Monday, January 31, 2011

Patriot Judge Reads the Founders, Finds ObamaCare "Unconstitutional"

As suggested by PoliticalJunkie Mom, I've just read U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson's ruling on ObamaCare and, I must say, this Florida judge took ObamaCare out behind the woodshed and gave it a thorough and very well reasoned whacking.

Judge Vinson started his analysis with an examination of the intent of the Founders in drafting the Constitution of the United States, which began as an effort to prevent hostilities between the new states by improving the trade of goods among them. In their search for an interstate trade agreement, the Founders eventually ended up with an entire Constitution that contained the Commerce Clause, which was the very point of law at issue in this court dispute. The argument over the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act hinged on whether the powers granted by the Commerce Clause for Congress to regulate interstate commerce could extend so far as to empower Congress to require U.S. citizens to purchase a product, health insurance, from a private company.

The defendants of ObamaCare, that is, Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services, Timothy Geitner and the Department of the Treasury, and Hilda Solis and the Department of Labor, argued that this individual mandate to purchase health care is "necessary" to the operation of ObamaCare, to which the judge responded, in part:
. . . the defendants'are essentially admitting that the Act will have serious negative consequences, e.g., encouraging people to forego health insurance until medical services are needed, increasing premiums and costs for everyone, and thereby bankrupting the health insurance industry -- unless the individual mandate is imposed. Thus, rather than being used to implement or facilitate enforcement of the Act's insurance industry reforms the individual mandate is actually being used as the means to avoid the adverse consequences of the Act itself. Such an application of the Necessary and Proper Clause would have the perverse effect of enabling Congress to pass ill-conceived, or economically disruptive statues, secure in the knowledge that the more dysfunctional the results of the statute are, the more essential or "necessary" the statutory fix would be. Under such a rational, the more harm the statute does, the more power Congress could assume for itself  . . . . (p. 59-60)
Do your brain a favor and see what a session with logic, reason, and U.S. history can produce. This ruling, which is written in clear and understandable language, is chock full of gems.

Update: Law Professor William Jacobson has pointed out that Judge Vinson "expects the federal government to obey the declaration that the law is unenforceable in its entirety."
Judge Vinson found that there was no need for an injunction, since the declaratory judgment that the entire law was invalid was sufficient.  In effect, there is nothing left to enjoin, since no part of the law survived.  By contrast, in the ruling in Virginia last year invalidating the mandate, the Judge severed the mandate from the rest of the law (but denied an injunction preventing the rest of the law from taking effect). 
Here is the key language from the Order showing that Judge Vinson expects the federal government to obey the declaration that the law is unenforceable in its entirety:
"...there is a long-standing presumption “that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.” See Comm. on Judiciary of U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 542 F.3d 909, 911 (D.C. Cir. 2008); accord Sanchez-Espinoza v. Reagan, 770 F.2d 202, 208 n.8 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (“declaratory judgment is, in a context such as this where federal officers are defendants, the practical equivalent of specific relief such as an injunction . . . since it must be presumed that federal officers will adhere to the law as declared by the court”) (Scalia, J.) (emphasis added).

There is no reason to conclude that this presumption should not apply here. Thus, the award of declaratory relief is adequate and separate injunctive relief is not necessary."
In this sense, this decision is far more sweeping than the Virginia case, and presents a greater problem for the Obama administration which arguably does not have authority to implement any aspect of Obamacare.
The plot thickens.
Florida Federal Judge Voids Entire Health Care Law
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Blogosphere Loses a Voice for Civilization: Chris Monson of snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition

Christopher David Monson, 1948-2011.

We grieve the loss of our dear snaggletoothie of the Loyal Opposition--THE BLOG of "NO"--who passed away on Friday afternoon, January 28, 2011. From Pat Austin via Yukio Ngaby comes the sad news that "Chris suffered a seizure Monday, fell and hit his head, and by the end of the week was in a coma." Chris suffered from spinal injuries that made it difficult for him to walk and that put an end to his nursing career.

Chris was the model of a civilized man: a man of compassion, incisive intelligence, and wide-ranging interests. He was a Conservative political observer of keen insight. He loved music of all kinds, from Beethoven to Glenn Miller to Patsy Cline to the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Snaggletoothie's blog header was a gallery of ever-changing images from around the world. Beautiful women and classic cars did not escape his notice, nor his posts. The quotes that Chris published mirrored the gentleness of his nature. Here is one that he posted recently:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Those are words that Chris obviously lived by.

Chris's love of literature led him to publish a second blog devoted to great literature from Homer to Shakespeare to Faulkner, which he called The Chinese Jar.

This is the motto that Chris posted on snaggletoothie: "Because someone must stand between civilization and chaos and say, 'No more today, thanks.'"

Chris would have been 63 on April 1.

His father publishes the blog Prune Picker, where Chris's friends and followers can leave messages of condolence.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Words for All Seasons - Which Side Are You On?


Usually I start the week with a sacred hymn, but this week, I am starting with a sermon, a sermon you will not forget:





Thanks to PoliticalJunkie Mom.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Gov't Efficiency at Last: Union Bosses To Sit in on Gov't Budget Meetings

On the home front, from Redstate:
The President of the United States of America has turned over a significant portion of the Executive Branch of the United States government to union bosses.
With Executive Order 13522, President Obama created "labor-management forums to improve delivery of government services."

I can hear you ask, "President Obama is interested in improvement of government service delivery?"

But of course! Who better to improve service delivery than labor union bosses?

The result of the President's order is the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, which will oversee taxpayer-funded "forums" in which union bosses get to sit in on federal agency meetings to hear "confidential" information and then "suggest" to those federal agencies what to do and how to spend their money during the annual budget process.

Pretty good, huh, taxpayers? That is government efficiency at its finest! Don't bother with the messy process of having union members vote for union-favored candidates and then have those elected representatives work out how to spend taxpayers' money. Skip the middleman!

Instead, send the union bosses right into the budget meetings.

After the meetings are concluded, while "Congress is considering the President’s Budget proposal," those busy union "employee representatives" can busy themselves "providing input to management on possible ways of implementing the President’s proposals." That's according to a directive from the head honchos at  the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management.

What could possibly go wrong when union bosses attend "confidential" agency meetings to "help" government agencies "implement" the president's proposals?

I mean, really.

And I bet you thought that Andy Stern, the president of SEIU, visited the White House more than any other person just to chat. And that Denis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, was made chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York because he knows a lot about banking.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hallelujah! Southern Sudan Free at Last!

Southern Sudanese women lined up to vote in the Independence referendum (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/1-9-11)
How often do we get an event that the entire world can celebrate? Here's a big one: South Sudan has managed to secede from North Sudan by means of a referendum purchased at the cost of 4 million lives and with the help of pressure from the U.S.
According to the latest ballot figures, nearly 99 percent of southern Sudanese voters have chosen separation from the mostly Arab north after decades of brutal civil war. The north is under American economic sanctions and Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes in the Darfur region. 
From the Imperial Valley Press:
Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, facing pressure from Washington and Europe not to return to war, has said he would accept the results of the referendum
The unified Sudan that al-Bashir had in mind was a Sudan ruled by Shariah law. But South Sudan has large populations of Christians and animists. Said one young woman:
During the war, the Arabs held the nation. They slaughtered our men and women like goats. Many in my family died. My father was beaten until he stopped breathing.
Father Kasimiro Mogga Joseph, a priest at the All Saints Roman Catholic Church, had this to say:
This ends our slavery at the hands of the Arabs. The Arabs considered us animals. They wanted this land but not its people. Being a priest, you feel the difficulties of your parishioners. They came to us crying and suffering during the war. We took them to hospitals and gave them hope.
Via Zilla of the Resistance, comes this history from Atlas Shrugs, who has been covering the struggle of the people of southern Sudan since late 2004. In 2005, Pamela Geller wrote:
In its 54-year history, Sudan has suffered from civil war between the north and south for 39 years. Some 200,000 south Sudanese were kidnapped into slavery. Two million Sudanese have died in the wars. Four million have become refugees. But the fact is that with the West openly supporting southern Sudanese independence, a new war's consequences will not be limited to Sudan itself. Therefore it is worth considering why such a war is all but certain and what southern Sudanese independence means for the region and the world. 
There were two main reasons that Bashir agreed to sign the peace treaty with the south Sudanese in 2005. First, his forces had lost the civil war. The south was already effectively independent. 
The second reason Bashir agreed to a deal that would give eventual independence to the oil-rich south is because he feared the US. 
In 2004, led by then president George W. Bush, the US cast a giant shadow throughout the world. The US military's lightning overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime frightened US foes and encouraged US allies. The democratic wave revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon were all fuelled by the world's belief in US's willingness to use its power to defeat its foes. 
Bashir's regime is closely linked to al-Qaida, which he hosted from 1989 until 1995.
When the US demanded that he accept the south's victory, he probably didn't believe he could refuse.
Now comes a report to Pamela Geller from Simon Deng, a Sudanese human rights activist who, as a nine-year-old child, became one of the 200,000 South Sudanese kidnapped into slavery: 

Everyone is drunk with happiness. People in Southern Sudan are in unity. We are one. Everyone is saying, "Hallelujah! Free at last!"
[snip]
If you don't believe in miracles, look to Southern Sudan. Everyone in Southern Sudan is smiling. Everyone. The country is smiling. They will never be as happy as they are today. We are free from the victimization and islamization of the North."
Read more at Zilla of the Resistance.
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America's Response to Obama's SOTU: Sputnik Quote of the Day



Or, as Stilton Jarlsberg says:

America's problem isn't that her citizens need a Sputnik. It's that her politicians need a Buttkik.

Could anyone put it better than that?
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama's SOTU "Tantamount to Plagiarism"?

As I type, Mark Levin is reading the following passage from an article by Alvin Felzenberg in U.S. News. The title of the article is "Obama's State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism."
Had the president submitted the text of his second State of the Union Address in the form of a college term paper, he would have been sent forthwith to the nearest academic dean. Once again, our public affairs are such that we have one standard for presidents and another for undergraduates. 
Heh.
It would appear that the only president of note whose imprint was absent in Obama’s long awaited and much-anticipated speech was Obama. This was supposed to have been the moment when the nation found out whether he was at the core a Rooseveltian liberal or a Clintonian centrist. What it got was a cut and pasted version of great and not-so-great State of the Union and other addresses of the past.
Read the rest.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Roll of Shame: GOP Pols and their SOTU Dem Babysitters

Remind me not to work on or contribute to the campaigns of the Republicans who can't wait to play State-of-the-Union footsie with their Dem babysitters.

List from the Washington Post via Sister Toldjah
* Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

* Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

*Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

* Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

*Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.)

*Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Rep. Don Young (D-Alaska)

*Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

* Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.)

* Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

* Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)

* Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

* Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)

* Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.)

* Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

* Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.)

* Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and Rep. Luis Guttierez (D-Ill.)

* Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.)

* Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

* Rep. Tim Holden (D-Penn.) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.)

* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)

* Colorado's House Delegation: Reps. Mike Coffman (R), Diana DeGette (D), Cory Gardner (R), Doug Lamborn (R), Ed Perlmutter (D), Jared Polis (D), Scott Tipton (R)

*Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas)

*Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Rep. Renee Elmers (R-N.C.)

*Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

*Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

*Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

*Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)

*Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

*Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

*Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

*Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)

*Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.)

*Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

*Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)

*Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-Mich.)

*Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.)

*Georgia Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

*Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

*Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.)

*Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

*Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Reps. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) and Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.)
More about these pairings here.
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Penny-Pinching Drill: A Warm-up for the SOTU

Just something to think about while considering Obama's words (just words) tonight: an oldie but goodie.


h/t: Jo-Joe Politico
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chinese Pianist Plays Anti-American Song at White House State Dinner

Lang Lang at the piano at the White House State Dinner
What! Nobody in the White House or the State Department knows anything about Chinese politics, culture, music, or movies?

Or is it that no China scholars managed to get a peek at the program planned for Obama's festivities entertaining Chinese dictator Hu Jintao?

Why should they? The Obama administration didn't think it necessary to take culture or history into consideration when dealing with Great Britain, Russia, and Turkey, so why should they welcome advisors on China?

Last Wednesday, Lang Lang, a Chinese virtuoso pianist who moved to Philadelphia to study when he was 15 years old, entertained the guests of the White House state dinner honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao with a piece called "My Motherland." It's the famous theme song of a 1956 Chinese anti-American war movie celebrating the killing of Americans during the Korean War by the Chinese Army at the Battle of Triangle Hill.

As reported by Kathy Yuan of the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese back home got a big kick from this insult (and veiled threat) to Hu's American hosts, who applauded rapturously: 
“Those American folks very much enjoyed it and were totally infatuated with the melody!!! The U.S. is truly stupid!!” wrote a user named You’re In My Memory on Sina’s micro-blogging site. This particular post was re-posted many times.
[snip]
“I think Americans should also be familiar with this song, whose meaning is so notorious that you don’t even need an explanation,” wrote user Winter Frost Rain on Sina’s micro-blog. “Lang Lang is too cool.” 
Hu and his entourage no doubt enjoyed Lang Lang's choice of music as well. The money lyric of "My Motherland" that thrilled Chinese audiences is this: “When friends are here, there is fine wine/But if the jackal comes/What greets it is the hunting rifle.” The jackal in this song represents the U.S.

In this satellite view of the Korean peninsula at night,
the illuminated area at the top is China.
The illuminated area below is South Korea.
The dark area between is North Korea, which was "saved
from American imperialism" by the Chinese Army.

Apparently Lang Lang didn't get Obama's memo about "civil discourse." And neither did China. Since 1952, the year that the Battle of Triangle Hill was fought, China's "hunting rifle" military capacity has been upgraded to include an anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missile, a stealth fighter jet, and an upcoming new fleet of submarines and blue-water navy.

According to China's revisionist view of history reflected in the movie, Shang Gan Ling (The Ridge above the Gan), the U.S. started the Korean War by invading Korea. (Fact: North Korean forces invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950.)

Also according to Chinese propaganda, South Korea is a puppet government of the U.S. (Fact: America's defeat of Japan in 1945 ended Japan's cruel 35-year-long occupation of pre-division Korea. North Korea, ruled by a dictator aided by a pair of Communist Big Brothers, the Soviet Union and Red China, has an economy in free fall and offers its people a standard of living rated 99th among nations, whereas South Korea, the so-called U.S. "puppet," is a presidential republic that enjoys the world's 12th largest economy and is home to such international giants as Hundai, Kia, and Samsung.)

Don't celebrate yet, Mr. Hu. Not all Americans are as arrogantly unaware as our current administration. And, unlike China, we do replace our presidents quite often. Our next president might have quite different taste in music.

h/t Weasel Zippers

Update 1/25/11: White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, scolded Americans with his remark that “any suggestion that this was an insult to the United States is just flat wrong." Vietor's statement is a further insult to Americans, all the worse because it comes not from a foreigner but from a fellow American representing the president of the United States. That ain't rain we're feeling on our legs, Tommy, and we know it.
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How Many Infanticide Mills Are Out There?

Gosnell and his "Family Womens Medical Society" on Lancaster & N. 38th in Philly
Through reports circulating in the blogosphere, people are gradually learning, with unspeakable horror, about the closing of an infanticide factory where hundreds of living, breathing babies were barbarically murdered. The "clinic" has been operating in Philadelphia for 40 years, run by a scissors-wielding doctor making $1.8 million a year performing illegal forced abortions on women heavily sedated to quiet their resistance, performing illegal late-term abortions, and killing viable babies outside their mothers' wombs. One of his assistants actually played with a living, breathing baby before slitting the infant's throat.

The doctor, whose name is Kermit Gosnell, was not board certified as either an obstetrician or a gynecologist, and he performed many hundreds of illegal third-trimester abortions and killed babies outside their mother's wombs. No nurses worked at his clinic, so nurses did not oversee the recovery of patients. Anesthesia was administered by an unlicensed worker and her 15-year old daughter. Blood work and lab work, when it was done, was performed not by trained medical technicians but by untrained workers including the high school student. The clinic reused one-use medical supplies. Not surprisingly, the fiends operating and working at this clinic made no agreement with a hospital for emergency care for patients when something when terribly wrong.
At least two women died from the procedures, while scores more suffered perforated bowels, cervixes and uteruses, authorities said.
All of these are violations of Pennsylvania abortion regulations, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health looked the other way; ignoring and then "losing" a formal complaint by a well-respected physician who noticed that patients treated at the "clinic" were being infected with sexually transmitted parasites, ignoring attorneys' inquiries and malpractice complaints on behalf of women who suffered injury or death at the "clinic," and passing the buck when a medical examiner investigator reported to the DOH that a medical examiner had performed an autopsy on a baby who was stillborn in a hospital as the result of an illegal third-trimester abortion performed at Gosnell's house of horrors.

Pearl Gosnell
With that kind of unconcerned "oversight" [or do we more accurately call it collusion] on the part of Pennsylvania's Department of Health, one must wonder how many "medical facilities" of this kind are out there.

Gosnell has been charged with the murder of seven babies with scissors and a woman who was administered an overdose of painkillers while awaiting an abortion:
Four clinic employees were also charged with murder, and five more, including Gosnell's wife, Pearl, with conspiracy, drug and other crimes. All were in custody. Gosnell's wife performed extremely late-term abortions on Sundays, the report said.
Go here and read this. Zilla of the Resistance puts into words what we all need to hear.
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Hymn for the Holy Innocents

This ancient hymn, with lyrics that date from the year 383, commemorates the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, babies under the age of two, who, at the order of King Herod, were ruthlessly murdered in an attempt to slay the infant Jesus.

The innocents are still being slaughtered. There is infanticide in America. From Jill at Potluck:
Pass it on. The major news outlets are ignoring this.
Michelle Malkin reports on mass-murderer Kermit Gosnell and the mass cover-up that allowed it to continue for decades:

In the City of Brotherly Love, hundreds of babies were murdered by a scissors-wielding monster over four decades. Whistleblowers informed public officials at all levels of the wanton killings of innocent life. But a parade of government health bureaucrats and advocates protecting the abortion racket looked the other way – until, that is, a Philadelphia grand jury finally exposed the infanticide factory run by abortionist Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D., and a crew of unlicensed, untrained butchers masquerading as noble providers of women’s “choice.”
More than you ever wanted to know here. This story is horrific, but it must be told. God help us.

********

 
Latin
Salvete flores martyrum
quos lucis ipso in limine
Christi insecutor sustulit
ceu turbo nascentes rosas. 

Vos prima Christi victima
grex immolatorum tener
aram sub ipsam simplices
palma et coronis luditis.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria
qui natus es de Virgine
cum Patre et almo Spiritu
in sempiterna saecula. 
Amen

English
Hail, martyred flowers!
On the threshold of the dawn of life,
Christ's persecutor destroyed you
like the whirlwind does the budding roses.
You, Christ's first martyrs,
a flock of tender lambs,
now play with your palms and crowns 
right up at God's altar.
Jesus, born of the Virgin, 
to You be the glory,
with the Father and the Loving Spirit,
unto eternity.
Amen

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'll Keep My American Inheritance, Thank You


Yesterday I posted a video of a discussion of equality featuring economist Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate and advisor to Ronald Reagan whose ideas about how to run an economy were in direct conflict with the economic thinking of Barack Obama and his administration. In that video, Friedman pointed out that there are different kinds of inheritances: some children inherit physical property from their parents, but others inherit less tangible attributes, such as different talents and abilities:
Much of the moral fervor behind the drive for equality comes from the widespread belief that it is not fair that some children should have a great advantage over others simply because they have wealthy parents.

Of course it's not fair, but is there any distinction between the inheritance of property and the inheritance of what, at first sight, looks very different?

[snip]

The inheritance of talents is no different, from an ethical point of view, from the inheritance of other forms of property: of bonds, of stocks, of houses, or of factories. Yet many people resent the one, but not the other.

Or look at the same issues from the point of view of the parent. If you want to give your child a special chance, there are different ways you can do it. You can buy him an education, an education that will give him skills enabling him to earn a higher income, or you can buy him a business, or you can leave him property, the income from which will enable him to live better.

Is there any ethical difference between these three ways of using your property?

Or again, if the state leaves you any money to spend over and above taxes, should you be permitted to spend it on riotous living, but not permitted to leave it to your children?

The ethical issues involved are subtle and complex. They are not to be resolved by resort to such simplistic formulas as "fair shares for all."

Men Placing the Constitution in Its Case,
October 1, 1944.
Photo: George Skadding.
/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
That got me thinking. It doesn't take a genius to know that people are not enthusiastic about having government bureaucrats take their money through taxation and strip them of productivity through burdensome government regulations. People work for their own betterment and that of their families;  parents work to provide opportunities to their children by using their money, property, skills, and other assets to help their children develop their natural talents.

No one--not even the most vocal supporters of "spreading the wealth around," like Oprah Winfrey--wants to have "the government" use taxation and regulations to strip them of their ability to fulfill their inborn desire to care for their children (or others they may want to help) so that the government can "redistribute" their assets wherever "the government" sees fit. The Founders recognized that the natural desire of parents to care for their children is part and parcel of being human and thus is "endowed by our Creator," not by any holier-than-thou community organizer or political scientist, however high they rise in the political world.

One emotion that many Americans are feeling very strongly right now is the grief of being stripped of their American inheritance, an inheritance purchased at great price. When we see politicians, academics, and the press sneer at the Constitution and work to suppress it, we know that they are working to deprive us of our inheritance.

When we see the history of our American inheritance shoved aside in our schools, we know that we are having our own inheritance taken away from us, bit by bit. If Americans don't know what our inheritance is, we won't be able to claim it.

Around the world people know that if you want to give your child a special chance, one of the best ways you can do so is get that child to America and put that child in line to receive the American inheritance. It has become unpopular, however, for some groups to accept that the American inheritance includes--and cannot exist without--this country's Judeo-Christian foundation, a set of laws built on the Ten Commandments, and the continual efforts of a united people to be governed by those laws and not the dictates of any one man, alive or dead.

Those among us who still know that the American inheritance is a precious gift--and that is most Americans, I am sure--must maintain it, treasure it, and protect it.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Flashback: Thomas Sowell Faces Off With Francis Fox Piven (Video)

Introduced by Ronald Reagan's economic advisor, Milton Friedman, this is an exchange between Thomas Sowell, the libertarian economist who opposes government intervention, and Francis Fox Piven, the co-creator of the Cloward-Piven strategy to overload the U.S. government bureaucracy with impossible welfare entitlement demands, thus pushing American society into crisis and economic collapse and forcing the government to implement socialism.

Milton Friedman, now deceased, started out supporting the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, the discredited British economist whose ideas were resurrected by Barack Hussein Obama and tested on the American economy with obvious results. Keynes believed that "a government can pull a country out of a deep recession by spending a lot."

Friedman evolved to become the main advocate for opposing the Keynesian mode. He predicted that Keynesian policies would cause high inflation and minimal economic growth. He opposed government intervention and regulation and supported school choice. Friedman "argued the central government could not micromanage the economy because people would realize what the government was doing and change their behavior to neutralize such policies."
H/t: Publius1787 at US Message Board.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dem "Vitriolic" Graphic of the Day

From the Boone County, Missouri, Democrats comes this:


Did you notice that the words "Bocomo DEMOCRATS Target 2012" form the shape of a pistol with bullets coming out?

2012 is in big trouble now.

Warning, GOP. Be careful about sitting next to Dems at the State of the Union address.

H/t: Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin.
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After Tucson: The U.S. Constitution Has Not Gone Away


Before the Democrats decided to turn the Tucson tragedy into an opportunity to bash Conservatives, bring Congressional Republicans to heel, and in general keep Americans distracted from Democrat shenanigans, public debate centered on two issues of vital importance in the Republican majority House of Representatives: maintaining the Constitutionality of Congressional legislation and methods for repealing ObamaCare.

When it comes to judging how much the Tucson Massacre should be allowed to chill Americans' freedom of speech and inhibit our political process, including debate on the best way for Americans to get their health care, it is time to put that event, tragic and horrific as it is, into perspective.

Since 1789, when the U.S. government began operating under the Constitution, nearly one billion Americans have come and gone but, through all that living and dying, the Constitution has remained the foundation on which American liberties rest. Since the American Revolution, close to 700,000 U.S. servicemembers have died in battle and close to 1.5 million U.S. servicemembers have suffered wounds that they survived. All of those casualties since 1789 were suffered in support and defense of the U.S. Constitution.

When, just two weeks ago, House Republicans changed House rules to require a reading of the Constitution at the opening of a new Congressional session, Democrats objected with a hue and cry, likening reading of the Constitution to idolatry and complaining about the expense of taking up Congressional time to read the founding law that every member of Congress, Democrats included, swears an oath to uphold.

Tomorrow: What is it about the U.S. Constitution that today's Dems' hate (and can't stand even to hear) that their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, and grandmothers were willing to defend to the death? 

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fought the Battle of Jericho

I have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to thank, in large part, for my ability to share some of my closest friendships and to have lived some of my most transformative personal experiences. Without Dr. King's courageous leadership, there is no doubt that my ability to live with and to work with people of different skin colors than my own would have been greatly limited. My window into different cultures--and even my view of Christianity--would have been much different, and much less rich and informed. So today I join with many others to celebrate Dr. King's influence on my own life and that of my nation and to mourn his untimely passing.

Here's a great video of Dr. King on a happy day, being honored, most appropriately, by friends and supporters led in song by the great Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson. It's a wonderful moment:

Lyrics
Chorus:
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,
Jericho, Jericho,
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,
And the walls came tumbling down!

You may talk about your men of Gideon,
You may talk about your men of Saul,
But there's none like good old Joshua
And the battle of Jericho!

Chorus

Right up to the walls of Jericho
They marched with spear in hand;
"Go blow them ram horns," Joshua cried,
"Cause the battle is in my hand."
Chorus
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Believe - Roy Hamilton

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shape-Shifting Dems Nervous About State of the Union


Oh those rascals.

Democrats are so nervous about their dwindling popularity that, instead of sending Republicans to sit in the back, as Obama has demanded, they actually want to sit next to Republicans at the State of the Union address.

Wow.

Democrats clearly don't want it to become too obvious during a nationally televised State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama that the majority in Congress no longer are willing to clap, cheer, and leap to their feet in standing ovations for President Obama's socialist, job-killing, incentive-destroying, poverty-inducing policies. From Yahoo:
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is leading the charge to get members of opposite parties to sit together in a symbolic show of unity during the president's Jan. 25 speech -- and the White House is on board.
The Democrat mantra, so ably articulated by the Democrat president no longer is: "We won," so  "Get out of the way" and "Don't do a lot of talking."

Now it's "Together We Thrive."

And to think, there's already a t-shirt for that.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Progressive Equation: Idiotic = Intelligent


Bill Whittle hits it out of the park again:



H/t: Jo-Joe Politico.
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Civility: the New Word for Censorship

A good strategist will get the people he or she wants to influence to use their own energy to achieve the strategist's ends.

I think it's time for Conservatives to consider just how much direction we are willing to take from the American Left.

One obvious characteristic of most Conservatives and adherents to the Ten Commandments is their high regard for civility. Today I see a great many Conservatives rushing to display civility in their assessment of President Obama's memorial address in Tucson.

This afternoon, a caller on Rush's show who found the conduct of yesterday's memorial "unseemly" offered what I consider to be a moment of insight when she said: "Civility is the new word for censorship. Yeah. We don't want to criticize the state."

Rush agreed: "Civility is the new word for shut the heck up."

Indeed. [An added thought: the Leftist definition of "civility" might be a directive to Conservatives to shut up, but it does not seem to exclude giving free Democrat-blue t-shirts to memorial service attendees or having a memorial service "concession stand" at which beer reportedly was served.]

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

After Midnight: Illinois Lame Duck Legislature Makes History

At 1:00 a.m. this morning the Illinois senate passed a bill to increase the state's income tax rate by 66% and raised the corporate tax to 7%, the highest corporate tax rate, as Stuart Varney pointed out, in the entire Western world.

Congratulations, citizens and businesses of Illinois. Your legislature just made history. And all you have to do is pay for it:
The increase means an Illinois resident who now owes $1,000 in state income taxes will pay $1,666 at the new rate.
The Democrats stayed up late to pass the tax increases because today at noon the newly elected legislators take over from the lame ducks. From the New York Times:
In the new session, Democrats will continue to control both chambers, but their margins will shrink. Some leading Democrats viewed this as the only time when such a politically difficult vote might be possible: a moment when departing legislators need not fret over how voters might react.
Another thing many of the departing legislators don't have to fret about is their future paychecks. No doubt the tax increases will fund many public sector jobs the exiting lame ducks--and their friends and supporters--plan to be holding soon.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

What Did Sheriff Dupnik Know About Jarod Loughner?

Horrifying: Jarod Loughner's mug shot
Many people who came into contact with the Tucson mass-murderer, Jarod Loughner, felt instinctively that he was likely to commit a massacre, and they said so. The blogsphere and print publications are packed with stories about people who so greatly feared for their lives in Loughner's presence that they took precautions when circumstances forced them to be near him, such as sitting next to a classroom door to expedite escape in case Loughner started shooting or attempting to "befriend" Loughner to reduce the chances of being killed by him in case he snapped. One of his teachers was afraid to turn his back on Loughner to write on the blackboard.

All this was no secret.

According to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, law enforcement officers knew that Loughner had threatened to kill people. In fact, law officers are known to have talked to Loughner about these death threats, and one recent report even states that Loughner telephoned "many" people to issue death threats, "including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers."

Didn't people complain? Didn't they attempt to press charges?

They did.

Faculty and students at Pima Community College were so alarmed by Loughner that they refused to let him return to school after he was suspended and then withdrew unless "a mental health professional agreed he did not present a danger. The Cholla Jumps is claiming that, "when Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed [about death threats made by Loughner], his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system."

Despite widespread knowledge that Loughner had serious mental problems, including at the Pima County Sheriff's Office, that knowledge seems never to have been communicated to local mental health authorities, who did not intervene. The organization that provides mental health services to Pima County denies not only that Loughner was enrolled in their system but also that anyone ever called the organization's crisis line about Loughner. Either step might have helped a great deal:
ADDITION Congresswoman Shot
The slain: Christina Taylor Green, 9, Dorothy Morris, 76,
Arizona Federal District Judge John Roll, 63,
Phyllis Schneck, 79, Dorwin Stoddard, 76,
and Gabe Zimmerman, 30.
Unlike other states, which require that someone be an imminent danger to themselves or others before seeking to have them involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation and treatment, in Arizona, one need only be "persistently or acutely" ill.
"It was also suggested [by the Sheriff's Office] that further pressing of charges [against Loughner for making death threats] would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved . . . ."

It didn't turn out that way.

Like medical intervention, further charges against Loughner might have prevented the legal purchase of the Glock 19 semi-automatic weapon that Loughner apparently purchased only 5 weeks ago, and might have prevented the massacre altogether.

It's past time for the press to stop asking Sheriff Dupnik what he thinks about public discourse and start asking him what the Pima County Sheriff's Office did to prevent a mentally disturbed man who was threatening to kill people from carrying out those threats.
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Bridge Over Troubled Waters . . .

Just now, I find myself unwilling to be moved by the Left's latest barrage on Conservatives. It's a sign of their fear that they are losing power.

In the meantime, a small offering:
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Schubert's Agnus Dei

In memory of the victims of yesterday's Arizona shooting and in prayer for their families and friends:

Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy on us.


Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of world,

dona nobis pacem.

grant us peace.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Parent 1's Day and Parent 2's Day Just Aren't Going to Be the Same

The Obama administration, in their infinite audacity, have determined that the words Father and Mother are misleading and inappropriate and, to start, will no longer be used on passport applications. Instead, American sheeples who also are progenators soon will be instructed by the U.S. State Department to refer to ourselves as Parent 1s and Parent 2s, and our offspring will be instructed to refer to us by those terms too.

Obviously, father no longer means father and mother no longer means mother because, well, gay no longer means gay. Or something.

Now that, in the febrile imagination of the U.S. government, I've been dispossessed of my heretofore most honored and honorable descriptor, which, I now confess, has annually found its way scripted on greeting cards thus: "Happy Mother's Day," I find myself in a mood often shared by another parent:

Li'l Abner's Parent 2 Yokum

Fortunately, being female, (oops, didn't mean to mention that, Secretary of State Clinton), I share Parent 2 Yokum's desire for law, order, and decency, unlike:

The Surrogate Parent 1
I'm no saint, like:

Calcutta's Parent 2 Teresa
Boys Town's Parent 1 Flannigan






                 or












And I'm certainly not wealthy, like

Orphan Annie's Parent 1 Warbucks

Or artistically talented, like the painter

Grand Parent 2 Moses

Or courageous, like WWII flying ace
Parent 1 Boyington

But I do believe that kindergarten Parent 1's Day and Parent 2's Day pageants are just not going to be the same.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

That Magic Moment

Thanks to Stilton Jarlsberg at Hope n' Change.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Republicans Introduce Bill to Oust Obama's Czars


Thanks to teresamerica for passing along this terrific news:
House Republicans introduced a bill today to eliminate Obama’s 39 czars.
The Hill reported: 
A group of House Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday to rein in the various “czars” in the Obama administration. 
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and 28 other House Republicans introduced legislation to do away with the informal, paid advisers President Obama has employed over the past two years. 
The legislation, which was introduced in the last Congress but was not allowed to advance under Democratic control, would do away with the 39 czars Obama has employed during his administration 
The bill defines a czar as “a head of any task force, council, policy office within the Executive Office of the President, or similar office established by or at the direction of the President” who is appointed to a position that would otherwise require Senate confirmation. 
In the first 9 months of his presidency, Barack Obama created more appointed positions than any president in history. 

These Obama appointees were confirmed by the Democrat-majority Senate:
California Water Czar: David J. Hayes [Salary: unknown]
Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske * [Salary: unknown]
Government Performance Czar: Jeffrey Zients [Salary: unknown]
Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair ** [Salary: $197,700]
Science Czar: John Holdren [Salary: unknown]
Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra [Salary: unknown]
Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter [Salary: unknown]
Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein* [Salary: unknown]
TARP Czar: Herb Allison [Salary: unknown]

These Obama appointees hold jobs created by Congress:
Information Czar: Vivek Kundra [Salary: unknown]
Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney [Salary: unknown]

These Czars [to the best of my knowledge] have not been confirmed:
Cyber Czar: Rod Beckstrom (resigned, 6/09)
Border Czar: Alan Bersin [Salary: unknown]
Terrorism Czar: John Brennan * [Salary: $172,200]
Oil Cleanup Czar: Michael R. Browwich
Energy Czar Carol Browner * [Salary: $172,200]
Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion, Jr. [Salary: $158,500]
AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley * [Salary: $102,000]
Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis [Salary: unknown]
Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle ** [Salary: $158,500]
Faith-based Czar: Joshua DuBois ** [Salary: $98,000]
Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg [Salary: reportedly unpaid.]
Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried [Salary: unknown]
Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration [Salary: unknown]
Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke * [Salary: unknown]
Green Jobs Czar: Van Jones (resigned Sept. 6, 2009) [Salary: unknown]
Bank Bailout Czar: Neel Kashkari
Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell [Salary: unknown]
Auto Recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery (stepped down, 6/10) [Salary: unknown]
Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal [Salary: unknown]
Mideast Policy (Iran) Czar: Dennis Ross [Salary: unknown]
Weapons of Mass Destruction Czar: Gary Samore [Salary: unknown] Weatherization Czar: Gil Sperling
Climate Czar: Todd Stern [Salary: unknown]
Economic Czar: Paul Volcker ** [Salary: Volcker reportedly is unpaid.]
Car Czar: Ron Bloom [Salary: unknown]
Safe Schools Czar: Kevin Jennings
 
* Denotes a position established by a prior administration that had its role redefined by Obama.

** Denotes a position established by a prior administration that had its appointment procedure changed by Obama.

Rense.com's list of Obama's czars (as of 10/24/09) is here.

Glenn Beck's list of Obama's czars (as of 8/20/09) can be found here.
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Constitutional Amendments Being Read in House - Livestreaming on Fox News

Despite all the bellyaching on the part of Democrats about this reading, it looks like almost everyone is trying to get into the act.

Here's the link: http://www.foxnews.com/
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House Reads Constitution This Morning, About 10:30 a.m.

From Fox News:
Boehner will begin Thursday by reading the Constitution's preamble: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will follow suit with Article 1, Section 1, which states that Congress will have a Senate and a House of Representatives. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., then reads Article 1, Section 2.

Members will continue on until they have read the entire Constitution and its amendments. They will not get to choose which section they read.

Goodlatte expects the proceeding to take 90 minutes. They will use one copy of the document to do the entire reading, and will pass it between members.
The full text of the U.S. Constitution is available here.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NY Governor Vows to Make State the "Progressive Capital" of the U.S.


I just listened to most of Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech. If I ever had any question about whether socialist progressive Democrats understand what the rest of America wants, New York's newly elected governor definitively answered that question.

They get it.

With an understanding of America's complaints as clear as that of any conservative, Cuomo neatly listed New Yorkers' complaints: too much government, government corruption, enormous ever-rising property taxes, huge spending on schools with no gain for students, declining job and business opportunities, etc., etc., etc.

No matter. Socialist progressive Democrats like Cuomo are intent on shoving their progressive dream down America's collective gullet anyway, cleverly (they think) disguised as capitalistic enterprise.

High on Cuomo's list of promised fixes is the state's spending on Medicaid health care for the 4.7 million poor people enrolled in the program. New York spends 40% of its money on Medicaid, which this year amounts to $54 billion of a total budget of $136 billion. And who are among the medical experts Cuomo is putting in charge of New York's "Medicaid redesign team"? None other than Cuomo's old buddy, campaign supporter, and "medical-care stakeholder," Dr. SEIU.

SEIU United Health Care Workers East is "a vast local union that represents hundreds of thousands of nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, home-care aides and other health-care workers."

As Cuomo pointed out, most emphatically, “We must turn this crisis into opportunity to fundamentally remake our state into the progressive capital of the nation."

This is not an empty threat. Cuomo, it should be remembered, is one of the original authors of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "affordable housing" fiasco responsible for derailing the U.S. economy.

Hold on to your hats New Yorkers, and drop your wallet into Andrew Cuomo's collection box. Sick and poor? Stand aside. The SEIU is waiting.

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A Whole Lot of Shakin': 112th Opening Livestreamed; Gibbsy Moves On

Image courtesy Free Republic via The Looking Spoon.

As the U.S. Constitution moves into the House Chamber today, proudly being read by the new House majority of Republicans on Friday today [Rush reports], Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says he is resigning his job as Obama's chief spokesman. According to the Associated Press, "Gibbs is leaving to become an outside political adviser to Obama and to give speeches in the private sector." He's scheduled to be leaving in February.

Livestreaming of Congress's opening session will be available starting at noon on facebook, with a comment section, at the PledgeToAmerica page.

All members of Congress take the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
As The Other McCain pointed out, "The 112th Congress will read the Constitution. The 111th Congress never even read the bills they voted for."

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pakistani Pol Assassinated for Trying to Help Condemned Christian Woman, Aasia Bibi

Salman Taseer listens to Aasia Bibi at a prison near Lahore, Pakistan.
When Aasia Bibi, a Punjabi Catholic mother of five from a rural village of Pakistan, was sentenced to death for reportedly insulting the founder of Islam and thus violating Pakistan's so-called "blasphemy" law, the governor of the Punjab Province, Salman Taseer, visited her in jail and asked Pakistan's president to consider granting her clemency.

On New Year's Eve, as terrorists were making their final preparations to bomb Saints Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Egypt, thousands of members of Pakistan’s religious parties in three cities protested Taseer's efforts to overturn Bibi’s conviction.

Today Taseer was assassinated, shot nine times as he left an Islamabad restaurant by a Pakistani policeman who reportedly told authorities he killed Taseer for campaigning to repeal Pakistan's blasphemy law.
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