Friday, July 17, 2009

Federal Defense, er...Hate Crimes Bill?



In an interesting (read, disengenuine) political maneuver, democratic leaders have attached the Federal Hate Crimes Bill (the ridiculously unconstitutional Federal Hate Crimes Bill) to a Federal Defense Bill, and then scheduled the vote for it at 1AM in the morning. Senator De Mint's argument against ALL of this nonsense is well spoken, and I highly recommend it. Methinks that even if this nonsensical bill does pass, it will simply invoke a spate of lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. Let's hope it never gets to that point.

Obamacare, ie: Lincoln Logs

Below are just a few of the myriad pieces of the proposed “overhaul” of America’s health care system – and all of this before a dime of our taxpayer money is ever spent on actual medical care, and many of these new agencies and positions duplicate existing government agencies and positions. If you haven’t guessed, I’m opposed to this, as well. You can read more here: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=607996

 

"Health Choices Commissioner"

"Health Choices Administration"

"Public Health Investment Fund"

"Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund"

"Bureau of Health Information"

"Assistant Secretary for Health Information"

"National Coordinator for Health Information Technology"

"Office of Civil Rights"

"Office of Minority Health"

"language demonstration program"

"cultural and linguistics competence training"

"a youth public health program to expose and recruit high-school students into public health careers"

"Senior Advisor for Health Care Fraud"

"Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud Enforcement"

"Health Care Program Integrity Coordinating Council"

"Coordinated Environmental Public Health Network"

"National Health Care Workforce Commission"

"public plan ombudsman"

"special health insurance exchange inspector general"

 

the "Raise the Cost of Living and Ship Jobs Overseas Act of 2009"

Read this:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=607988

 

Then call your senator and ask him to vote NO on this nonsense, or at least to fight for a full, open, fair debate of the bill on the senate floor. There are far better ways to promote shifts to alternative forms of energy than by shoving a cap and trade tax down our collective throats, and there are far better ways to promote policy change than by forcing and buying votes that otherwise would never be attainable. The politics on capital hill is frankly scary these days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ICAN Webinar - Preventing Unnecessary C-Sections Through Education

The following is an email I recently received from the President of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network), Desirre Andrews:

 

Dear friend of ICAN,

In our continued effort to prevent unnecessary cesareans through education, ICAN launched a new online webinar last month featuring our very own ICAN Birth Class: Cesarean Prevention.  A webinar (short for "web seminar") allows many participants in multiple locations to see and hear a presentation from their own desks, and is a great format for spreading ICAN's message.  Our first webinar was such a huge success that we are planning future webinars to come, with the first on Monday, July 27 at 9:00 pm EDT.

First-timers and experienced moms both can benefit from this webinar to find out ways to increase the chances of having an easier and safe birth. 

Presenting the ICAN webinar is Claudia Villeneueve, President  of ICAN Canada, ICAN’s former Education Director, and a birth doula and childbirth educator.

This 2-hour online session will cover:

* Different kinds of care providers, and the pros and cons of each
* How to empower yourself to make educated choices during pregnancy and during labor
* What factors contribute to the chances of having an unnecessary or preventable cesarean
* What is the "downward spiral of intervention"
* Why avoiding an unnecessary cesarean is safest for mom and baby
* When cesareans are truly necessary

$20 donation goes directly to support ICAN's mission.

For more information, please visit http://ican-online.org/none/ican-birth-class-cesarean-prevention

To register, go to https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/982351571

We look forward to seeing you there!

Warmly,

Desirre Andrews
ICAN President
www.ican-online.org

Be the change!  Ask me how.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A National Health Service leaflet is advising school pupils that they have a "right" to an enjoyable sex life

A British National Health Service leaflet, that is.

 

The full article is available here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article6689953.ece

 

I’m wondering, what’s the over under on when we’ll start seeing rubbish like this show up in U.S. schools, under the garb of state endorsement?

Reply to the President, How about that "political back and forth"

Perhaps this is a bit more terse than I ought to be, but I get a bit peeved when I hear people make certain arguments that disenginuinely contradict their own actions (read: hypocrisy cheeses me off).

I was therefore a bit bothered when I received a mass email today from President Barack Obama, supporting his recent nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor. Not that I disagree with such marketing tactics in politics (though such is often carried too far, IMO). After all, Mr. Axelrod (sp?) is a P.R. guy.

What bothers me is that Obama touts, not only her strong record, intellect, and experience (all without offereing any substantive proof of such, I might add - and he conventiently omitted the dismal record of her rulings that have been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but I digress again), but that he also touts her personal history as a qualification for the bench. He then made the following statement, which quite "set me off."

"It's important for these hearings to be about Judge Sotomayor's own record and her capacity for the job — not any political back and forth that some in Washington may use to distract you."

I include my reply below, as well as the actual letter from the President. I suppose I should have addressed the reply cordially, and I feel bad for not doing so. He is the President, after all, even if hypocritically...

My reply:

You mean, like choosing a Latin female as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, largely because that candidate is Latin and female, and then arguing that because you are the President, the Senate should consent to that nomination without further inquiry into her judicial record, temperament, and philosophy; like arguing that somehow “empathy” is an important qualification for a Justice charged with impartially interpreting and upholding a Federal Constitution; like citing a laudable personal history of overcoming adversity as a reason to give someone the power to apply that Constitution, with a binding effect, to issues that will affect all Americans in varying degrees?



Yep, no “political back and forth” there, Mr. President.



And what about the “political back and forth” you engaged in when you were a Senator and President Bush nominated a certain Latin man, Mr. Estrada, to the federal bench? I suppose you are above that now that you are a President actually making the appointment…



Sincerely,

Clifford A. Arthur, esq.


The President's letter:



Good Morning,

Yesterday, Judge Sonia Sotomayor made her opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and moved another step closer to taking a seat on the United States Supreme Court. In case you missed it, watch the video of her opening statement here:



As President, there are few responsibilities more serious or consequential than the naming of a Supreme Court Justice, so I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the qualifications and character that informed my decision to nominate Judge Sotomayor.

Judge Sotomayor's brilliant legal mind is complemented by the practical lessons that can only be learned by applying the law to real world situations.

In the coming days, the hearings will cover an incredible body of work from a judge who has more experience on the federal bench than any incoming Supreme Court Justice in the last 100 years. Judge Sotomayor's professional background spans our judicial system — from her time as a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator, to her work as a federal trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and an appellate judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

And then there is Judge Sotomayor's incredible personal story. She grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx — her parents coming to New York from Puerto Rico during the Second World War. At the age of nine, she lost her father, and her mother worked six days a week just to put food on the table. It takes a certain resilience and determination to rise up out of such circumstances, focus, work hard and achieve the American dream.

This character shined through in yesterday's opening statement: Watch the video.

In Judge Sotomayor, our nation will have a Justice who will never forget her humble beginnings, will always apply the rule of law, and will be a protector of the Constitution that made her American dream and the dreams of millions of others possible. As she said so clearly yesterday, Judge Sotomayor's decisions on the bench "have been made not to serve the interests of any one litigant, but always to serve the larger interest of impartial justice."

In anticipation of today's first round of questioning, I hope you'll share this email widely, because Judge Sotomayor's confirmation is something that affects every American. It's important for these hearings to be about Judge Sotomayor's own record and her capacity for the job — not any political back and forth that some in Washington may use to distract you. What members of the Judiciary Committee, and the American people, will see today is a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into breaking from the rule of law.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

Monday, July 13, 2009

To Heck with Freedom from Religion!

Great radio clip. Peter Heck makes some great points here. I don't agree with how he made his final point, but I very much agree with the substance of his arguments. The establishment clause is written the way it is because the founding fathers wanted to foster an environment in which religion could thrive based on individual conscience, and without dictation from the federal government (I will omit any potentially lengthy discussion of the operation of the 14th amendment on state government and the subsequent incorporation of, inter alia, the 1st amendment as against the states - suffice it to say that the first amendment was initially intended to operate solely against the federal, and not the state governments).

In any case, the establishment clause of the first amendment was a brilliant, although relatively recently twisted attempt to protect religion and federal government from eachother, with the intent of fostering the healthy coexistence of them both. Sad to see so many these days using the establishment clause as a club to pound religion from our societal conscience, but I digress.

Enjoy the clip:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sweat is my sanity

This from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in a recent interview. I think it’s hilarious because my sweet wife HATES sweat, but I can relate to this statement. I love a good sweat!

 

Palin also stated that she would beat President Obama in a long race. An event like that just might bring pay per view back into national prominence. I think it should be followed by a boxing match with Biden…

 

More available here: http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/us_palin_runners_world/2009/06/30/230608.html?s=al&promo_code=829B-1

 

Counter Surge?

In a surge movement that runs almost exactly counter to the strategy which the Obama-Biden ticket ardently argued they would employ in Afghanistan, because they argued that a surge similar to that employed in Iraq would not work, U.S. troops in Afghanistan are set to reach the same levels as that in the Iraqi surge, while operating under similar principles. (I don’t have time to dig up the old footage, but in addition to Obama continuing to put down the Iraqi surge and arguing that a different strategy was needed in Afghanistan, I distinctly remember one Joe Biden chiding Palin in their VP debate for supporting the use of “surge principles” in Afghanistan because certain “experts” said it would not work.)

 

Well, get a load of this: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/world/asia/02afghan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

 

Like many of his policy measures, Obama is of course refusing to admit that he is doing exactly what he said he would not do – in other words, Obama refuses to refer to the current administration’s Afghan strategy as a “surge,” but the facts of the operations on the ground reveal otherwise.

 

As an aside, I would note that our beloved Marine Corps is once again leading the charge in this current operation. Semper Fi.