I have been sharing the following information with groups for the last 25 years since we started the Americans for Constitutional Action in an attempt to create the major reforms needed in the tax and banking laws. Unfortunately, the trip into historical precedence continues and this latest assault through the proposed integration of 15-20 million illegal immigrants and the addition of 100 MILLION family member who would be eligible "family members" to also legally come here over the next 10-20 years is truly the validation of Professor Tytler's admonition to us over 220 years ago. This loss of our American liberty, culture and freedoms can come without a shot ever being fired.
The political noise level is rising from all sectors which is sure to result in millions of Americans TUNING OUT. Now is the time to look between the lines as well as the literal pronouncement by the candidates. What does "change" really mean? What is "comprehensive"? The political and financial literacy of the average citizen continues to decline. We are now urging employers to add the fundamentals of our political system and financial knowledge into their basic staff development programs.
HOW LONG DO WE HAVE? (Most of the information present here has been verified, some is still being researched.)
This is the most interesting thing I've read in a long time. The
sad thing about it, you can see it coming.
I have always heard about this democracy countdown. It is
interesting to see it in print. God help us, not that we deserve it.
How Long Do We Have?
About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new
Constitution in 1787, Alexander Tytler (Tytler, a.k.a. Lord Woodhouselee) a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the AthenianRepublic some 2,000 years earlier:
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist
as a permanent form of government."
"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters
discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."
"From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates
who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy,
which is always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the
beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage"
Professor Joseph Olson of HemlineUniversitySchool of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000
Number of States won by:
Square miles of land won by:
Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: (Compare to National Rate of 5.5)
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare."
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the
"complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
If Congress grants "amnesty" and legal citizen status to twenty million
criminal invaders including "anchor babies" called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than ten years. Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom and liberties.
"More permanent and genuine happiness is to be found in the
sequestered walks of connubial life than in the giddy rounds of
promiscuous pleasure." -- George Washington (letter to the Marquis de la Rourie, 10
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” --Thomas Paine
"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. . . . How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?" -- John Adams (Diary, 2 June 1778)
"To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim." -- James Wilson (Of the Study of the Law in the United States,
"The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive are, first, unity; secondly, duration; thirdly, an adequate provision for its support; fourthly, competent powers. ... The ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense are, first, a due dependence on the people, secondly, a due responsibility." -- Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 70, 14 March 1788)
“Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be...” —John Adams
“On the battlefield, when surrounded and cheered by pomp, excitement, and admiration of devoted comrades, and inspired by strains of martial music and the hope of future reward, it is comparatively easy to be a hero, to do heroic deeds. But to uphold honor in ordinary circumstances, to be a hero in common life, that is genuine achievement meriting our highest admiration.” —Booker T. Washinton
“The Democrats deliberately distort their intentions in the current debate on the Iraq War. They say their withdrawal timetable will ‘end the war’ —but it’s ludicrous to suggest that removal of U.S. troops will suddenly stop the fighting. Concerning so-called insurgents, everyone agrees they are ruthless, barbaric killers. So what will they do when Americans leave? Will bloodthirsty bad-guys suddenly turn into pacifists—or decide to retire from their murderous ways? Will they abandon sectarian hatreds and suddenly embrace their Iraqi enemies? General Petraeus, U.S. Commander in Iraq, says American withdrawal would lead to an ‘increase in sectarian violence... It can get much, much worse.’ Islamo-Nazis in Iraq would feel powerfully encouraged not mollified, by removal of the one force strong enough to contain them: the U.S. military. Democratic surrender timetables won’t ‘end the war’ —they’ll only make it longer and more bloody, necessitating the ultimate return of American forces at an even higher cost.” —Michael Medved
“The threat of radical Islam is not merely a few thousand terrorists using small explosives to kill a few dozen people at a time—usually in the faraway Middle East. Rather, it is an historic recrudescence of a violent, conquering old tradition of Islam that almost overwhelmed the world from the Seventh Century until as recently as the 17th century. It is radicalizing the minds of increasing numbers of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims to be very aggressive culturally, as well as violent—from Africa to Indonesia, to Cairo to Ankara, to Paris, to Rotterdam to London to Falls Church, Va.” —Tony Blankley
RE: THE LEFT
“Veteran political columnist David Broder set off a firestorm recently when he called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an ‘embarrassment’ for declaring the Iraq War ‘lost.’ From the assault subsequently directed at Broder—from other journalists, political operatives, left-wing bloggers and even the entire 50-member Senate Democratic Caucus—you’d have thought Broder had had an intimate encounter with an intern. Or, in the spirit of bipartisanship, had broken into Democratic National Committee headquarters. Broder committed no such dastardly deed, but merely did what he has done for the past 35 years. He called it as he saw it—just as Reid claims to have done, and that his defenders seem to find so refreshing. Nevertheless, the 50 Democratic senators felt compelled to respond. Doesn’t the U.S. Senate have more important matters to attend to than David Broder?” —Kathleen Parker
FOR THE RECORD
“The American public is not tired of the war; they are tired of believing that they are losing. They are tired of the daily drumbeat of pessimism and defeat promoted daily by our media and by some in our Congress. They don’t understand that building a democracy is a slow process that takes years, that victory in Iraq will be more like the fall of communism than like VE day in 1945. Like it or not, it is incumbent upon us in the military to correct this misrepresentation of our efforts. We have a duty to convince the American public why we must stay and finish the mission. Should we have to? Did we sign up to do that? The answers are no and yes, respectively. No we shouldn’t have to ask to be allowed to win a war, but yes we signed up to complete a mission. No whining allowed... It is not enough that we are making progress here in Iraq. We must make progress at home as well to ensure we are given the funds, support and time needed to finish the job. There is no doubt that we can create a stable democracy in Iraq—if we have courage enough to do so.” —Lt. Jason Nichols, founder of AppealForCourage.org
“We are torn by war and politics and government intrusion into virtually every aspect of our lives. We are plagued by terrorism and a level of fiscal irresponsibility that threatens to drown our children and future generations in debt. Our families are disintegrating all around us, while the pop culture bombards our sons and daughters with pornography and messages of violence and hopelessness. Can something—anything—be done to unite our nation, restore our families and heal our land?... On May 3, millions of Americans across the land joined their voices in united prayer and praise as part of what has become a great American tradition: The National Day of Prayer. The message of this wonderful day is powerfully simple: If we who call ourselves believers will humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our own personal ways of sin, then God promises to forgive us and to heal our land. It starts with us—the faithful. We can’t point the real finger of blame at Hollywood, or the media, or the government, or even the terrorists—the fault of our nation’s condition is ours. But God promises to heal our wounds if we first practice what we preach.” —Rebecca Hagelin
“Biblical teaching is clear: God intends government to use law to enforce morality. Informed Christian people are essential to that process because the concept of justice that grounds good government can be twisted by evil men in power. If the Church doesn’t stand in the gap giving substance to the words ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ then nothing prevents leadership from reversing the definitions, praising evil and punishing good. Tragically, this is already happening... Little by little, though, more things have been included under the broad rubric of ‘politics.’ One by one the secularists co-opted the moral issues, called them political, and told us to get off of the playing field... Notice the outcome. When Christians follow a policy of ‘no politics,’ it’s easy to silence the moral voice of the Church. Simply label any issue ‘political’ and followers of Christ wave the white flag. This policy is tantamount to surrender... The myth of political passivity unwittingly makes a Christian virtue out of the vice of negligence. When we ignore our obligation to morally instruct the nation merely because someone labels it ‘politics,’ then it won’t be long before the country teems with injustice as every man simply does ‘what is right in his own eyes’.” —Gregory Koukl
THE GIPPER ON RELIGION AND POLITICS
“Politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.” —Ronald Reagan
OPINION IN BRIEF
“Democrats are singing the same socialist tune they have since FDR declared himself Nanny-in-Chief. It goes something like this (especially since the sixties): ”You cannot take care of yourself. You deserve more than others. Rich people owe you. Armed conflict is never the answer, especially when it takes longer than a month. You deserve free medical coverage. If you are gay, non-white, female, ‘transgendered’ or whatever, you need even more protection.“ Here’s the reality: we are Americans. Let’s start acting more like adults and less like Democrats.” —Doug Patton
“’You shouldn’t go around touting that you balanced your budget when your deficit is $44 billion.’ Good advice, no? Well, Sheila Weinberg said it first. Ms. Weinberg has taken on the world’s most yawner of a topic, accounting, and is trying to get your attention. If we don’t (or can’t) follow our governments’ accounts, politicians and bureaucrats will rob us blind. She founded the Institute for Truth in Accounting in 2002. And she’s kicked up a ruckus. According to a recent Institute report, our federal financial hole is over $53 trillion. To fund our politicians’ promises and pay off debt and other bills, everyone in America would have to send a check to D. C. for $176,700. ‘If a corporation did this, they’d have to shut down,’ Weinberg says. ‘But it’s just common practice for the federal government...’ Are states in better shape? Well, take Illinois. Weinberg calls it the worst mess in the country. Sure, the state’s constitution requires a balanced budget, but lawmakers have hid both bills and borrowing, and managed to fabricate a surplus out of a $44 billion deficit. Thankfully, Ms. Weinberg has blown the lid off this story... and she intends to bring her work to a government near you. I call this heroic accounting.” —Paul Jacob
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Campaign watch: The Iowa caucuses
The voters of Iowa have spoken, but there is still a long way to go. A look back over the years shows that Iowa and New Hampshire are not always good indicators of who will win the nomination of either party.
Barack Obama won the Democrat caucuses by a comfortable margin over Hillary Clinton, who finished third, three-tenths of a point behind “Man of the People” John Edwards. Hillary’s massive campaign machinery and “inevitability” apparently weren’t enough to win votes on the ground. Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich barely registered on the radar in this three-horse race. Indeed, Biden and Dodd folded up their tents for good. For Hillary, this loss means she will redouble her efforts in New Hampshire and beyond and we can look for the race to get (even more) ugly.
On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee won, which comes as little surprise in a state with a large evangelical voter block—more than 60 percent in entrance polls, and they went for Huckabee over Romney by a 2-1 margin. Huckabee won with very little money, beating out Mitt Romney and his multi-million-dollar war chest.
How did he do it? Largely with a free pass from the media because they view him as an easy target in the general election. Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan notes, “[H]e’s an ace entertainer with a warm, witty and compelling persona.” His populist message, combined with his personality and faith, struck a chord with Iowa voters who view the culture as the most important issue to them. They were either willing to give Huckabee a pass on his, shall we say mixed record on fiscal policy, or they were ignorant of it. However, as Noonan points out, “[W]hile the presidency, as an office, can actually make real changes in the areas of economic and foreign policy, the federal government has a limited ability to change the culture of America. That is something conservatives used to know.” Let’s hope New Hampshire voters can do better.
As for the other Republicans in Iowa, Fred Thompson finished a disappointing third, tied with John McCain, who likely gained the most. Fundraising juggernaut Ron Paul finished fifth. McCain is surging in New Hampshire, where he won in 2000. On the other hand, we hope that Thompson’s consistent conservative message will come through in the end.
News from the Swamp: 2007 spending recap
Congressional Democrats did a poor job of projecting an aura of fiscal responsibility in 2007. It was left to President George W. Bush, then, to rein in spending by issuing vetoes on profligate bonanzas like the politically popular SCHIP expansion. Earmarks did not die the well-deserved death that Democrats promised, either. Reform legislation was significantly watered down early in 2007, and efforts to shame lawmakers by publicly linking them to their earmark amendments fell flat. But since when was it possible to shame a congressman into spending less, anyway? The fate of the $555-billion omnibus spending package and the $459-billion defense bill remains undetermined, but, collectively, they contain 11,000 separate earmarks, including such gems as $100,000 for signage in L.A.’s fashion district, $250,000 for a culinary school in Washington State, and $213,000 for olive-fruit-fly research in France. (Yes, France.)
The aforementioned defense-authorization bill received a pocket veto from President Bush over the Christmas holiday to the surprise of... well, everyone. A provision that opens up the Iraqi government to terror-victim lawsuits committed during Saddam Hussein’s rule caught the eye of the White House after negotiations had been wrapped up and the bill hit the President’s desk. President Bush asserts that opening up the fledgling Iraqi government to these lawsuits will cause problems they cannot afford. Democrats were outraged over the last-minute rejection, and it is unclear how much the bill will change otherwise if the provision is removed.
President Bush can be proud of the fact that he stood firm in the face of repeated attempts by the MoveOn Democrats to tie Iraq war funding to unilateral troop withdrawals. These encroachments on the President’s constitutional power as Commander in Chief went nowhere, and the troops still got the funds they needed. The energy bill leaves much to be desired, however, with its ill-conceived plan to jack up automobile fuel-efficiency standards by 40 percent over 12 years. Also ignored is its impact on America’s automakers and the negligible effect it will have on perceived climate change. Congress also saw wisdom in investing billions of dollars in unproven and untested biofuel schemes that may not even be scientifically possible, let alone economically feasible.
Big Dig finally complete
Boston’s Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project, better known as the Big Dig, is finally finished. This urban roadway project to relieve traffic congestion has long been a monument to the utter failure of government planning, and rightly so. It went five years over schedule and 469 percent over budget, coming in at $14.8 billion. During its tortuously long construction, the tunnel sprang more than 1,700 leaks. This, Ted Kennedy’s pet project, was also responsible for the death of a woman trapped under a massive ceiling panel that fell on her car. That led to the resignation of two Massachusetts Transit Authority chairmen and fraud indictments of six employees accused of supplying sub-standard materials. Had Massachusetts contracted this project out to a private group, the job would have been done right long ago, and the taxpayers would not have been cheated along the way.
Warfront with Jihadistan: Bhutto assassination
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December in Rawalpindi, an unqualified disaster for Pakistan and for those friends and allies who are with the United States in the Long War on Islamofascism. Make no mistake, this was not just another violent act of Pakistani internal politics—it was the latest effort by al-Qa’ida to strike down those who oppose the vision of a medieval reign of Sharia law. Bhutto had spoken openly and often about the absolute need to clean out the madrassa system that perpetuates the jihadist mentality in Muslim countries. For this heresy, and because she was a legitimate candidate to regain political power in Pakistan and put these sentiments into action, she was targeted by al-Qa’ida.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and his government rightly have been criticized for their bumbling response and contradictory statements following the assassination, as well as for failing to take sufficient steps to ensure Bhutto’s safety. While there is as yet no indication that Musharraf’s government had any role in the assassination, the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) is known to be heavily infiltrated by supporters of al-Qa’ida. Nonetheless, the assassination represents a victory for al-Qa’ida, and we should not delude ourselves otherwise.
What is important now is the stability of Pakistan’s government, especially President Musharraf’s continued position in power. Musharraf is far from an ideal partner in our efforts to transform the Middle East, but in one regard he is indispensable: He has the support of Pakistan’s military, the owners and protectors of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Above all else, the continued stable control of those weapons is critical, and the U.S. itself has spent $100 million to ensure just that.
North Korea: Same story, different year
What’s that saying about a leopard being unable to change its spots? In February 2007, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-il agreed to disable the Yongbyon nuclear site and provide a full disclosure on all its nuclear activities by the end of 2007. In return, the U.S. agreed to consider removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism (though there is proof that they still sponsor terror), and other countries involved, including China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, agreed to send fuel oil and other aid to the impoverished nation.
But surprise, surprise, the new year has come and gone with the Yongbyon dismantling still incomplete and silence from Pyongyang on its nuclear activities. If this sounds familiar, it should. The Clinton Administration negotiated the 1994 U.S. -North Korea Agreed Framework, wherein the Yongbyon facility was sealed, though not disabled. In 2002, the Bush Administration accused North Korea of running a covert nuclear program, and in an escalating shoving match, North Korea expelled UN monitors and restarted the site, producing enough plutonium for the North’s successful October 2006 nuclear-weapon test.
Since that test, the North apparently decided to sacrifice the aging Yongbyon facility, since it did its job and gave the Glorious Leader his bomb. Some analysts believe the current delay is technical, as removing the fuel rods from the rundown facility could not be done safely by year’s end. However, it also appears that Pyongyang is again using the process to its advantage, slowing it down in order to reap richer rewards for its “cooperation.” How many times will North Korea play the world like a fiddle before we learn we cannot trust tyrants?
Department of Military Readiness: F-15s grounded
For the second time in as many months, a significant majority of the USAF F-15 Strike Eagles were grounded for yet another potentially serious material failure. It’s no surprise that many of our aircraft have begun to show their age. These amazingly capable war-birds have almost literally been flying their wings off, and the effects of such use are becoming a serious issue for military planners and logisticians.
The F-15’s planned replacement, the F-22, has come under congressional scrutiny for its expense (now they’re fiscal hawks!), and some now even question its basic function and mission statement. In our view, Congress is right to question these issues, but unfortunately, Democrat finger pointing at the war in Iraq is not helping define the mission statement and the requirement for a replacement.
We do not need a short-sighted focus on unique requirements for the war against Jihadistan to subvert the very real requirements for maintaining our defensive posture toward the serious conventional threats that remain. Naval, ground and air forces require adequate maintenance funds as well as expensive and time-consuming research-and-development programs to stay ahead of our potential enemies. Our troops should have the best equipment this nation can provide, and our congressional leadership must see that our defense-spending priorities are properly focused.
Immigration front: Fencing shenanigans
To quote Will Rogers, “With Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.” The secure border-fence “joke” is the latest proof of this witticism. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 may have become the law, but the appropriations to implement it are anything but secure. As The Washington Times reports, “The 2006 Secure Fence Act specifically called for ‘two layers of reinforced fencing’ and listed five specific sections of border where it should be installed. The new spending bill removes the two-tier requirement and the list of locations.” This is the same double-tier fence currently used so effectively in San Diego. Some officials say removing the requirement merely gives DHS “flexibility,” others that it removes the teeth needed to make this an actual deterrent. In fact, only five miles of fence that meets specifications has been built more than a year after the Secure Fence Act became law.
Whatever the outcome of the fence farce, it is our view that the only effective way to turn our illegal immigration chaos around is to stop the many lucrative incentives for illegal immigration. As a start, we should stop giving in-state tuition breaks to the college-age children of illegal aliens and stop providing non-emergency healthcare. We should take aggressive action against employers who use these workers to undercut wages and gain unfair advantage against competitors. We must remove incentives for employers who receive this government subsidy when they knowingly hire illegal workers. Finally, we must remove so-called “birthright citizenship” for children of illegal aliens. Good fences make for good neighbors. It’s high time we build this one.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Regulatory Commissars: The lights are on, but...
On 31 December 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb. Soon, Edison’s bulb will be American history again—literally. President Bush recently signed into law an energy bill that requires the phase-out of the conventional bulbs by 2014, to be replaced by compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. The reason? Global warming, of course! CFLs use 75 percent less energy than Edison’s bulb, and they last up to five years.
What both Congress and the President missed, however, is that when comparable corporate-average fuel-economy mandates for automobiles were instituted in the 1970s, the result wasn’t less fuel consumption, it was more driving. Similarly, rather than promoting energy efficiency, CFLs may lead to extended light use.
Even more disturbing, though, is the danger posed by CFLs. Each 20-watt bulb contains approximately five milligrams of mercury, a highly toxic substance particularly dangerous to children and unborn babies. A bulb broken in or near a home can easily contaminate the area. Furthermore, spent bulbs cannot simply be thrown away but must be properly recycled to avoid further contamination and exposure.
On the other hand, what’s a human-health hazard compared to saving the polar ice caps? To the bright politicians in Washington, DC, apparently not much.
California sues EPA
California this week made good on threats to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the EPA’s decision not to use its authority to regulate auto emissions (and related fuel-efficiency standards), which are, as the story line goes, destroying the planet. There are interesting federalist implications in this disagreement. Although the clause has been abused, the Constitution contains that pesky snippet allocating to Congress the regulation of interstate commerce. One of the essential questions, then, is whether Congress, in handing regulation of carmaker standards over to the EPA (obviously, a matter of interstate sales of vehicles), has in any way run afoul of California’s setting so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions levels of its own for manufacturers who sell cars in the state. California, meanwhile, is suing the EPA to get an agency-approved exemption that would permit the state to do just that.
San Francisco healthcare
New taxation requirements for health plans by liberal politicos attempting to implement HillaryCare through incremental steps received a fatal blow in federal court in San Francisco. The court ruled that a city law requiring employers to meet minimum-contribution levels for employee health benefits or face mandatory funding of the city’s free-lunch health program was pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Despite the setback, city officials promised to move forward with plans to expand taxpayer-funded health services for uninsured residents while appealing the decision.
Under the pre-empted city law establishing “Healthy San Francisco,” private employers with at least 20 employees and not-for-profit groups with at least 50 employees were required to provide healthcare benefits at an arbitrary minimum spending level, lest they instead be forced to fund the Healthy San Francisco program. The court felt such a scheme runs afoul of ERISA’s goal of ensuring uniform national regulation of employer coverage. The breadth of ERISA has long prevented irresponsible state attempts at over-regulating employer benefits plans by states and cities. This includes irresponsible liberals who think sleight-of-hand hidden taxation of employers somehow results in more benefits for everyone else.
Judicial Benchmarks: Voter ID hits Supreme Court
A case is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding a voter-ID law in Indiana that Democrats claim is a violation of civil rights. The new state law would require that voters in Indiana show a state-produced ID before voting, a common-sense measure intended to reduce voter fraud. Democrats, who often depend on voter fraud to win elections, are calling the requirement a modern-day poll tax that would hurt the poor and minorities hardest. Oddly enough, a federal judge found that opponents of the bill were unable to come up with a single individual Indiana resident who had been turned away from the polls because of the law. Georgia has a similar law that will be affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling, which should come in June. And just in case you were wondering, the Associated Press reminds us that the Supreme Court “famously split 5-4 in the case that sealed the 2000 presidential election for George Bush.” You have been warned.
Around the nation: Oregon civil unions
Last week a federal district judge temporarily blocked a law passed by the Oregon legislature last year that would have authorized same-sex civil unions in the state beginning 1 January 2008. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative legal group, filed suit claiming that the secretary of state wrongfully invalidated 254 signatures on a petition to place a voter referendum on the ballot to overturn the civil-unions law.
According to the bill, Oregon “has a strong interest in promoting stable and lasting families, including the families of same-sex couples and their children. All Oregon families should be provided with the opportunity to obtain necessary legal protections and status and the ability to achieve their fullest potential...[This can be achieved] by extending benefits, protections and responsibilities to committed same-sex partners and their children that are comparable to those provided to married individuals and their children by the laws of this state.” ADF is fighting for the voters’ right to weigh in on the issue in November. We will know the result in February.
’Non Compos Mentis’: Roses and Sheehan
Has-been celebrity “peace mom” Cindy Sheehan made the news again this week at the annual Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. As hundreds of thousands of Americans flooded the streets to watch parade floats of various shapes and sizes followed by one of the most celebrated college-football bowl games, Sheehan and dozens of war protestors showed up—directly across from the TV cameras, of course—holding signs that read “Impeachment is Patriotic.” After the last float started on the parade route, the protestors stepped in behind, waving their signs. They were met by a surprise, though: a chorus of boos from the crowd. “This is not the occasion for this,” said one parade sightseer. Indeed, Sheehan seems obsessed with trampling on the grave of her own son with these political stunts, which oppose the very cause for which he gave his life.
THE LAST WORD
“For the sake of argument, let’s say former CIA Director George Tenet is right in his book and that Vice President Dick Cheney pushed too hard with questionable or inaccurate intelligence because of a predisposition to go to war in Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. So what? We can’t go back and fix the mistakes of the past. Only two choices are available: victory or defeat. Let us assume the Democratic left is right and we should pull U.S. forces out as early as Oct. 1, or perhaps a few months later, but certainly before the next president takes office, because the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq has completely failed and, in the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, ‘the war is lost.’ What next? Does the United States not suffer a loss of credibility in the world’s eyes for again failing to finish a job it started? Do the millions who voted for the first elected government in Iraq conclude they risked their lives for nothing? What would be the consequences of pulling out before Iraq is stabilized sufficiently to stand on its own? And, most importantly, what would a U.S. retreat do to the confidence of the enemy that wishes to dominate the world by force?” —Cal Thomas
William Prouty, CBC CEC CLU RHU MBA PhD, Director Global Economic & Workforce Development Coalition
California International Business Alliance
Global Education Systems Alliance
Global Insurance Advisory Services
National Alliance of Consumers and Healthcare Professionals
PO Box 989, Sun City, CA 92586-0989
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