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Judge rules pledge law violates Constitution
Miami Herald ^ | 6/2/2006 | Rani Cupta

Posted on 06/02/2006 4:16:41 AM PDT by FerdieMurphy

A federal judge has declared a state law requiring students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp also declared students do not need a parent's permission to be excused from reciting the pledge, citing previous federal cases.

''It is a long-standing rule of constitutional law that a student may remain quietly seated during the pledge on grounds of personal or political belief,'' Ryskamp stated in his ruling based on a lawsuit filed by a Boynton Beach High School student who had refused to stand for the pledge.

Cameron Frazier, then a 17-year-old junior, was told by teacher Cynthia Alexandre that he was ''so ungrateful and so un-American'' after he twice refused to stand for the pledge in her classroom on Nov. 8, the lawsuit said.

Frazier's lawsuit did not challenge the recital of the pledge in Florida classrooms, only students' right not to participate.

Requiring Frazier to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance is ''in violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights,'' the lawsuit said.

In February, the School Board voted to settle and agreed to pay Frazier $32,500.

`ABOUT FREEDOM'

But the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state Board of Education and state Education Commissioner John Winn, challenging a state law that says the pledge needs to be recited at the beginning of the day at all elementary, middle and high schools.

''This is a decision about freedom and freedom in America means your right to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance or your right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance,'' said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU. ``The impact that we hope this decision will have is that school officials begin to respect the conscience and dignity of young people.''

The Pledge of Allegiance is recited every morning at all Miami-Dade County elementary and secondary schools.

However, students have a choice. They can stand or sit in silence if they choose not to recite it for religious or personal convictions, said Joseph Garcia, a spokesman for Miami Dade Public Schools.

''We prefer notes from parents,'' he said. ``But we will not discipline a child for not reciting it as long as they are not being disruptive.''

Broward County also offers its students the option of participating -- or not.

''The policy in Broward is we request students to say the pledge,'' said district spokesman Keith Bromery. ``If a student does not want to do it, all they are required to do is sit or stand quietly and not disrupt other students.''

Learning how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is part of the Miami-Dade curriculum, Garcia said.

He added there have not been any problems with the School Board ruling in recent years.

''Our ruling conforms with federal and state statutes,'' Garcia said. ``[The Pledge of Allegiance] is going to be said in our school. Whether a student says it or not is a matter of the student's personal or religious conviction.''

`DISAPPOINTED'

Simon said that was in line with what the Supreme Court ruled in 1943.

''The Supreme Court ruled that a person can't be compelled to professing allegiance,'' he said. ``Their rule respects the right of the student.''

State Department of Education spokeswoman Cathy Schroeder said the department was ''disappointed'' with Ryskamp's decision and may appeal.

''Our attorneys are reviewing the ruling to see if any further action can be taken,'' Schroeder said.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aclu; americahaters; blackrobedthugs; constitution; culurewars; education; federaljudge; judicialactivism; pledgeofallegiance; ruling
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After the dust settles following the special treatment our government wishes to give the illegal invaders of this nation, there will be many more ridiculous decisions like this.

Standing for the pledge indicates respect and how can the invaders respect a nation that is obviously such a patsy?

1 posted on 06/02/2006 4:16:43 AM PDT by FerdieMurphy
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To: FerdieMurphy

I'm of the opinion that our job isn't to force the kids to recite the pledge, but to make them want to recite the pledge.


2 posted on 06/02/2006 4:18:57 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000

Ditto that


3 posted on 06/02/2006 4:20:12 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: FerdieMurphy
''This is a decision about freedom and freedom in America means your right to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance or your right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance,'' said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU. ``The impact that we hope this decision will have is that school officials begin to respect the conscience and dignity of young people.''

Then they should apply this same logic to a "morning prayer". Opt in or opt out. BTW, judges suck.

4 posted on 06/02/2006 4:23:05 AM PDT by Pit1
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To: FerdieMurphy
...there will be many more ridiculous decisions like this.

What's ridiculous about it? It's consistent with legal precedent, and the right to say what you want certainly includes the right to not say what you don't want to.

5 posted on 06/02/2006 4:27:30 AM PDT by Grut
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To: FerdieMurphy

When an education system is twisted by the machinations of the left into teaching young minds that European Americans killed, subjugated, and stole everything from everybody, everywhere, how can this same system expect students to pledge allegiance to this it. The ACLU is so sick it is suing members within its own league, the teachers union, albeit at our expense.


6 posted on 06/02/2006 4:30:12 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (Illegal Aliens will take down the Democrats and Republicans and give rise to a new American party)
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To: FerdieMurphy
It's stuff like this that make me more and more sure that we will be ok in November. Every time people forget why we can't let the left get control of our lives, an idiot like this who wants to give school children the right to disrespect America, comes along to remind us.
7 posted on 06/02/2006 4:30:42 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (John Spencer: Fighting to save America from Hillary Clinton..)
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To: Grut

"U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp "

Appointed by Bush Sr.


8 posted on 06/02/2006 4:31:33 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Democrats - The reason we need term limits)
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To: coconutt2000
I'm of the opinion that our job isn't to force the kids to recite the pledge, but to make them want to recite the pledge.

Coming soon... ACLU files suit on behalf of children whose parents try to make them want to recite the pledge of allegiance.

9 posted on 06/02/2006 4:34:28 AM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1
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To: coconutt2000
"I'm of the opinion that our job isn't to force the kids to recite the pledge, but to make them want to recite the pledge."


To be able to do that "teachers" would have to teach American history in a positive light.

The precept that our Founding Fathers were nothing but "old dead white guys", unworthy of any adulation, comes with a price.



10 posted on 06/02/2006 4:38:03 AM PDT by G.Mason (Others have died for my freedom; now this is my mark ... Marine Corporal Jeffrey Starr, KIA 04-30-05)
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To: coconutt2000

Odd, that the entity that they are refusing to pledge allegience to, is the one that protects their right not to recite it.


11 posted on 06/02/2006 4:39:44 AM PDT by HHKrepublican_2
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To: FerdieMurphy
Thanks for the post.

If I were a student, I'd personally would like to know who is supportive of America and who isn't. It makes it a lot easier to know what kids I would want to associate with and which ones get the sh*t kickout of if a situation would arise.

12 posted on 06/02/2006 4:40:34 AM PDT by moonman (`)
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To: G.Mason

I was lucky. I had a 5th grade civics/social studies/homeroom teacher who added to the regular curriculum extra courses on American government and on our Constitution.

5th grade is when we're taught American History, for the first time, as a subject. Prior to then, tidbits of American History were taught in the context of other social study subjects. Without the extra courses, the social studies curriculum for that year would've only reinforced liberal revisionism of our history while not teaching anything about the fundamental documents that define our country.

So, yes - the problem is with the teachers. Forced recitation of the pledge has no meaning if those who recite it don't believe in it. Just as taking Holy Communion has no meaning if you aren't truly a believer or repentant.


13 posted on 06/02/2006 4:48:14 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: FerdieMurphy
``The impact that we hope this decision will have is that school officials begin to respect the conscience and dignity of young people.''

Too bad the ACLU does not think this way about abortion, the gay agenda, and student prayer. The ACLU has no respect for the conscience and dignity of people they don't agree with.

14 posted on 06/02/2006 4:48:59 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: FerdieMurphy

It's better to have all of the communists seated during the pledge so they are more easily identified by the patriots.


15 posted on 06/02/2006 5:10:54 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: AmericaUnited
"It's better to have all of the communists seated during the pledge so they are more easily identified by the patriots."

I REALLY LIKE YOUR THINKING; WELL STATED.

16 posted on 06/02/2006 5:21:48 AM PDT by Pit1
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To: Grut
"It's consistent with legal precedent

Exactly one of the MAJOR problems in the whole system being used by Liberals today to forward their agenda.

Legal "precedent" is effectively becoming LEGISLATION FROM THE BENCH by Liberal Activist Judges, without vote of The People, by contorted and contrived interpretations of existing statute. Just because some jackass Liberal judge decides HE wants the law to mean "this" or "that", and thus establishes a "precedent" does not make it the Law of the Land as far as common sense reading and historical interpretation go.

So long as judges (like the Massachussettes Homosexual Marriage fiasco ruling) come along after 200 years of understanding and decree that the Law is "my interpretation for my agenda", then precedent means doodly-squat.

17 posted on 06/02/2006 5:34:23 AM PDT by traditional1
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To: AmericaUnited

Yes, communists and the others not loyal to America should be noticed when they disrespect our country by refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Frazier, the unAmerican student, should take his conscious to heart and walk out of the classroom and reject the FREE education that the country he disrespects provides for him. Why should we have to pay for this ungrateful snots education?


18 posted on 06/02/2006 5:34:48 AM PDT by OrangeBlossomSpecial (DEAN & HERPES : The gifts that keep on giving & giving & giving)
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To: FerdieMurphy

Impeach him.


19 posted on 06/02/2006 5:44:41 AM PDT by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: FerdieMurphy

This judge should be removed from the bench. Unless this little demon can prove he bleongs to some religious cult the U.S. has mistakenly excused from pledging allegience like the Quakers or Jehovah's wintesses, the little brat should be forced to do so.

How can any nation survive by permitting its citizens to refuse pledging allegiance to said nation???


20 posted on 06/02/2006 5:45:08 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: Grut
It's consistent with legal precedent, and the right to say what you want certainly includes the right to not say what you don't want to.

Prepare to be inundated with people who refuse to understand that:

along with the freedom to speak comes the freedom NOT to speak.

and

a 'pledge' of 'allegiance', or fealty, is an oath of subservience... exactly what the Founders refused to give to the King of England.

-----

Why everyone thinks it's okey-dokey to make such an oath or affirmation to an artificial creation called 'government, I will never understand.

21 posted on 06/02/2006 5:49:54 AM PDT by MamaTexan (Loving your country is NOT the same thing as loving your government.)
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To: AmericaUnited
It's better to have all of the communists seated during the pledge so they are more easily identified by the patriots.

There's one worth repeating.

That being said, school prayer advocates may have a gripe.

22 posted on 06/02/2006 5:56:51 AM PDT by sayfer bullets
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To: FerdieMurphy
Another traitorous anti-American judge whu should be brought to the bar of justice himself.....for TREASON!!!!!!


Q: What do you say to a lawyer with an I.Q. of 50?

A: "Good morning, Your Honor."
23 posted on 06/02/2006 6:25:43 AM PDT by Crispus Attucks Patriot
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Bush Sr is a liar, a faux-conservative, and a globalist One-Worlder.

He was a terrible president, and Reagan's only major mistake.


24 posted on 06/02/2006 6:27:53 AM PDT by Crispus Attucks Patriot
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To: Crispus Attucks Patriot; FerdieMurphy

I would bet ANYTHING that the judge would fine any visitor to the court room who failed to stand when Hizzoner entered.

If I were to be in the court room, and refused to respect the judge because I thought he was a POS ... and I tried to exercise my "freedom of speech" to not stand and be respectful .... how big a "Contempt of Court" fine would be imposed on me?

Someone who is trying to defend the school's position ought to try the stunt ... then ask that the judge be recused from ruling on the case, since he would have shown himself to be a big-time hypocrite.

The ruling should stand only if judges agree that there should be no displays of respect in the court room, such as mandating people stand.

Mike


25 posted on 06/02/2006 6:33:38 AM PDT by Vineyard
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To: HHKrepublican_2

Just to be clear:

It's the constitution, not the flag, that protects the stdent's rights.


26 posted on 06/02/2006 6:44:32 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: coconutt2000
Agreed. I'm as conservative as they come but forcing kids to recite a pledge seems so, well, fascist to me. If you love your country (or don't) that will be in your heart and no amount of regurgitating phrases in public will change that. It only appeals to the "goose steppers" (left or right) who insist on strict conformity.

You can't just have an "opt-out" option for kids either. If it is something being suggested by the schools and teachers, it will have the stamp of authority and there will be compulsion factor.

What they should do is reinstate civics classes where the kids learn about their country so they can develop "allegiance" on their own.
27 posted on 06/02/2006 6:58:34 AM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: Vineyard
There is a difference between showing respect and forcing recital of a pledge. Rather than recite the pledge every morning, how about a flag raising and have the kids stand in respect.

What exactly do you gain by forcing the kids to recite the pledge? Do you think they know what it means? Better to educate the kids on why having allegiance is a good and proper thing and then let them decide on their own.

Allegiance is in ones heart, not on the lips. reciting a pledge means nothing and forced patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

28 posted on 06/02/2006 7:05:42 AM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: coconutt2000
I'm of the opinion that our job isn't to force the kids to recite the pledge, but to make them want to recite the pledge.

Well out.

Mindless recitation doesn't mean anything. Moreover, I happen to believe that it devalues the Pledge.

29 posted on 06/02/2006 7:13:29 AM PDT by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
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To: From many - one.
I pledge allegience to tehe flag of the united states of America and to the Republic for which it stands.
30 posted on 06/02/2006 8:45:56 AM PDT by HHKrepublican_2
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To: FerdieMurphy; derllak

At the risk of being flamed into charcoal, I happen to agree with this Judge.

I do not owe my allegiance to anyone or anything other than God.


31 posted on 06/02/2006 8:49:23 AM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (In a world where Carpenters come back from the dead, ALL things are possible.)
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To: ZULU
How can any nation survive by permitting its citizens to refuse pledging allegiance to said nation???

Yep, forced pledges certainly guarantee the survival of the nation, like in Nazi Germany... er, like the Soviet Union... ah, help me out here....

32 posted on 06/02/2006 8:53:15 AM PDT by steve-b (Hoover Dam is every bit as "natural" as a beaver dam.)
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To: ZULU
some religious cult ... like the Quakers or Jehovah's wintesses

Ah, bigotry and fascism all in the same package. How very efficient of you.

33 posted on 06/02/2006 8:55:07 AM PDT by steve-b (Hoover Dam is every bit as "natural" as a beaver dam.)
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To: HHKrepublican_2

Note which comes first.


34 posted on 06/02/2006 9:04:17 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: Bob J

Despite my opposition to forcing (see post 26) I stood and recited the pledge proudly and daily when I was in school.

Of course, this was during WWII. Somehow I think it had a different meaning to us then.


35 posted on 06/02/2006 9:13:43 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Reagan appointee,, 1986

http://air.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2084

Ryskamp, Kenneth L.
Born 1932 in Grand Rapids, MI

Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Nominated by Ronald Reagan on March 12, 1986, to a seat vacated by Joe Eaton; Confirmed by the Senate on April 23, 1986, and received commission on April 24, 1986. Assumed senior status on January 1, 2000.


36 posted on 06/02/2006 9:32:23 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: Leatherneck_MT

Can't argue with that! You're right, as usual, LMT. You're pretty darn smart for a guy! :)


37 posted on 06/02/2006 9:44:20 AM PDT by derllak
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To: NormsRevenge

I stand corrected. I thought he was a Bush appointee.


38 posted on 06/02/2006 9:52:13 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Democrats - The reason we need term limits)
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To: Crispus Attucks Patriot

Great homepage. Try suspenders. :)


39 posted on 06/02/2006 9:52:50 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

No problem, I am sure both Presidents would be disappointed in this latest pronouncement from the bench.


Here is a site to get info on all Judges.

http://air.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/search_db_sybase!OpenForm&BaseTarget=right


40 posted on 06/02/2006 10:01:12 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: FerdieMurphy

Children are not citizens, that is self-evident. They can be be compelled to say the Pledge. We compel them to go to school in the first place, and once there compel them to say and do any number of things, why shouldn't they be allowed to opt out of going to school or participating in any given class, history for example, "on grounds of personal or political belief?" It might be a good idea to allow students to sit out the pledge as a lesson in freedom of opinion but Constitutional Right? No way.


41 posted on 06/02/2006 10:31:17 AM PDT by jordan8
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To: From many - one.

well then would you prefer...

I pledge allegience to the Republic and to the flag which stands for it?

The flag is listed first because it is the symbol of the US. Do you not agree that the Flag stands for this Nation, the rights it gives and the people who have died for it?


42 posted on 06/02/2006 11:21:08 AM PDT by HHKrepublican_2
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To: coconutt2000
I could not agree with you more.

Still the bright side is, that we are turning out enough patriots, who are both knowledgeable about and respectful of this great country's past, that we have survived ... so far.



43 posted on 06/02/2006 11:34:05 AM PDT by G.Mason (Others have died for my freedom; now this is my mark ... Marine Corporal Jeffrey Starr, KIA 04-30-05)
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To: FerdieMurphy
Standing for the pledge indicates respect and how can the invaders respect a nation that is obviously such a patsy?

I tend to think very little of those who will not stand for the pledge (with exceptions for those whose religious beliefs forbid such actions under any circumstances, such as Jehova's Witnesses).

I also tend to think very little of governments that attempt to make standing for the pledge compulsory.
44 posted on 06/02/2006 12:30:56 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: traditional1

I take it, then, that you do not agree with the ruling and believe that it is acceptable to make the activity ruled against compulsory? What is the reasoning for that?


45 posted on 06/02/2006 12:33:08 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: steve-b; ZULU

At the risk of being presumptious, I believe that ZULU was employing a rhetorical tactic known as "sarcasm".


46 posted on 06/02/2006 12:37:03 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: jordan8
They can be be compelled to say the Pledge.

Indeed. There is no greater means for fostering respect for a country than to mandate loyalty oaths under penalty of law for failure to comply.
47 posted on 06/02/2006 12:40:32 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: ZULU
the little brat should be forced to do so.

Obviously, you have nothing but contempt for the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

48 posted on 06/02/2006 12:41:37 PM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: Dimensio; ZULU
At the risk of being presumptious, I believe that ZULU was employing a rhetorical tactic known as "sarcasm".

If so, then I retract my previous comment -- but it certainly sounded indistinguishable from stuff that some Freepers say with complete seriousness.

49 posted on 06/02/2006 12:47:00 PM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: FerdieMurphy

Do we have three branches or two?

Seriously, if the legislative law is so irrelevant then why bother? We could have a fortune in pensions and we could rent out the capitol bildings for bar mitzvahs and weddings.


50 posted on 06/02/2006 12:49:16 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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