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nChrist
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« on: September 25, 2009, 03:29:53 PM »

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The Patriot Post Digest 9-38
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THE FOUNDATION

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." --James Madison

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Yosi Sergant and Obama
Scandals Continue for Obama Allies


First, it was the Obamaphilic gang of community organizers at ACORN generating controversy. Now, it's the lapdogs at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). And once again, an Andrew Breitbart Web site blew the cover off. At BigHollywood.com, Patrick Courrielche, an artist and NEA grant recipient, released a full transcript of an August conference call hosted by "the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the Corporation for National and Community Service" during which strategy was discussed with a "handpicked arts group" that had worked with Obama's campaign, including the artist who created the ubiquitous "Hope" poster.

So what, you say? Well, Courrielche reports, "Later in the call, 'specific asks' were delivered by Yosi Sergant, then Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts," requesting that the art group "create art on several hotly debated political issues, including health care." They were also asked to join "United We Serve," a public-service project led by Michelle Obama. Buffy Wicks, who oversees Obama's national service initiative at "Serve.gov" (which directs activists to ACORN) at the White House's Office of Public Engagement, told participants in the call, "We're going to need your help." Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund writes, "Within two days of the phone call, 21 arts organizations endorsed President Obama's health-care reform plan."
Sergant

To summarize, a taxpayer-funded organization (NEA) was "asking" taxpayer-funded artists to help the Obama administration enact a government takeover of our nation's health care system. Courrielche notes, "This practice has never been the historical role of the NEA. The NEA's role is to support excellence in the arts, to increase access to the arts, and to be a leader in arts education. Using the arts to address contentiously debated issues is political subversion. And the fact that the White House played a role in encouraging the arts to address contentious issues should also be considered a government overreach." Indeed, to Barack Obama, every government bureaucracy is a potential campaign arm. The community organizer has now morphed into a government organizer.

After being caught red-handed, the NEA first "reassigned" Sergant, though when that didn't work, he resigned on Thursday. The White House also pushed out new guidelines to ensure such politicization doesn't happen again. Try not to spew coffee on your keyboard.

From the Left: ACORN Sues

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has filed suit in Maryland against James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the young conservative activists who posed as a pimp and a prostitute to video tape, in secret, ACORN employees giving illegal tax and loan advice for the creation of a child-prostitution ring using illegal immigrants. Also named in the suit is Andrew Breitbart, whose Web site posted the videos. ACORN alleges illegal wiretapping. However, ACORN claims that one office turned away O'Keefe and Giles and two offices called the police, though one of the latter waited until after advising them. O'Keefe and Giles deny that they were ever turned away. Regardless, assuming that five out of seven offices offered to help two supposed sex-traffickers set up shop and evade taxes, the episode doesn't exactly paint a pretty picture of ACORN. Furthermore, the nuthouse might have committed a grave tactical error since their lawsuit now opens their organization to further discovery.

Meanwhile, the IRS followed Congress (legislation still pending) and the Census Bureau in severing ties with ACORN, saying it would no longer use the organization in its tax assistance program. ACORN offered free advice to some three million low- and moderate-income tax filers in 2009, though as Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto quipped, "Just to be fair to Acorn, we should point out that the majority of those 3 million people do not practice sex slavery."

Overexposed Obama

Just before Barack Obama and the G-20 prepared plans for a major shift in the way nations manage their economies, the president displayed his eagerness to takeover one-sixth of the U.S. economy by booking himself on five Sunday talk shows to defend ObamaCare -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and even Univision. Fox News Channel was conspicuously absent from the list, probably because the man of hope-n-change isn't too "fair and balanced."

Recording five shows back to back made more news than what he actually had to say. Which gives rise to the adage: If Barack Obama says nothing five times over in the media forest, has he still made a noise?

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News challenged Obama's ridiculous assertion that a government-imposed penalty for not purchasing insurance is not a tax. "The government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don't [buy insurance]. ... How is that not a tax?" Stephanopoulos inquired. Obama filibustered with one of his classic long-winded answers claiming that the penalty is not a tax simply because -- well, he says it's not. He remained undeterred, even accusing his interlocutor of making up a definition when Stephanopoulos grabbed his Merriam-Webster and recited the definition of the word "tax." Obama's response? "My critics say everything is a tax increase." Word is Obama's picture will be included beside the "tax" entry in the next Merriam-Webster's edition.

News From the Swamp: Health Care Debate

While BO hogged the cameras, the Senate Finance Committee debated the health care bill proposed by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). Democrats and the White House are eagerly displaying their definition of "transparency" by rushing through proposed amendments so that the public doesn't have a chance to see up close how completely this shoddy and unconstitutional legislation will ruin health care and bankrupt the country. Republicans are attempting to shed light on the subject by begging as much time as the "bipartisan" Democrats will afford them, but many of their proposals are falling short on party-line votes.

The major issue at this point is just how big a blow seniors will be dealt by the new plan. Part of the cost savings for Baucus's $800 billion plan derive from making real cuts in Medicare funding, and Democrat support is already starting to drift away at the prospect of seniors being asked to sacrifice a portion of their benefits. The traditional Democrat supporters in Big Labor are also concerned about the 35 percent tax to be imposed on so-called "Cadillac plans," health insurance packages valued at more than $8,000 for individuals or $21,000 for families. This tax is supposed to help fund the rest of the program, but the costs will hit hard for middle-class union families with generous insurance packages, though not necessarily generous salaries.
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 03:31:14 PM »

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Government Stomps on Private Insurer

Humana Inc., principal insurance provider for the Medicare Advantage program, drew the ire of Democrats this week for having the temerity to advise its customers that they could see significant cuts to their benefits and services if ObamaCare becomes law. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under Sen. Max Baucus's urging, ordered Humana to cease and desist in its letter campaign. The company is now the target of a federal investigation for violating a conveniently vague rule against scaring seniors with its communications. We wonder if Baucus has ever heard of the AARP.

Baucus denies that his program will have any adverse effect on Medicare coverage for seniors. The Congressional Budget Office disagrees, noting that Medicare Advantage will see $100 billion in cuts, ultimately leading to reduced benefits. This particular Medicare program is targeted because Advantage actually allows consumers to work with private insurers. Democrats, of course, hate this free-market idea.

The government's action against Humana is just a taste of what Hope and Change will bring. Today, they control through intimidation the message of private companies; tomorrow they control the companies completely.

New & Notable Legislation

Surprising no one, the Senate voted down an amendment by Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would have removed federal funding for an airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, that The Wall Street Journal calls "Congressman Jack Murtha's Airport for No One." The airport serves fewer than 30 people each day for three commercial flights to Washington, DC, but it has devoured more than $150 million in Murtha pork over the last 20 years, including $800,000 in "stimulus" cash this year for -- get this -- a second runway. DeMint complained that "if we can't cut funding for this project, we can't cut anything in Washington." Flight 150000000 for DC is now boarding with plenty of seats available.

The House voted 406-18 Thursday to halt premium increases for Medicare Part B, given that Social Security recipients will not see a cost of living increase in 2010. Most Medicare recipients are already exempt from increases if there is no boost in Social Security payments, but many others would face monthly premium increases of $8 to $23 without action by Congress.

The Associated Press reports, "The Senate has unanimously condemned the release of the Libyan terrorist convicted in [the] Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie and called upon Libya to apologize for celebrating his return." The 1988 bombing killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. Scotland released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last month on "compassionate" grounds because he is dying of cancer. He was greeted in Libya as a national hero by cheering throngs.

Last, hang on to your wallet -- due to plummeting readership and flat-lined advertising revenues, Barack Obama is open to a newspaper bailout. "I haven't seen detailed proposals yet, but I'll be happy to look at them," he said this week. And we thought the press was already in the tank for Obama.

Judicial Benchmarks: Campaign-Finance Law Struck Down

A three-judge panel of the DC-based Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck down prohibitions on campaign spending by independent political groups, a move one observer warned "could lead to a more negative campaign season." The rules, which were put into effect following the 2004 campaign, prohibited outside entities from the unfettered use of so-called "soft money" -- money not used in direct advocacy for the election of a particular candidate or issue. These rules came in the wake of a huge wave of political spending by tax-exempt organizations recognized under IRS Code, Section 527, such as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Club for Growth.

While some think that this ruling will largely benefit conservative groups given the recent overwhelming participation in the Tea Party movement, left-leaning groups also stand to prosper, as unions will once again be free to distribute their massive political war chest to a number of new and existing 527 groups such as Moveon.org. In fact, it was the pro-abortion group Emily's List that filed the suit, claiming the rules restricted their First Amendment rights. We agree -- on that point.

Another victory against current unconstitutional campaign-finance rules is pending in the Supreme Court, where the provision banning corporate purchases of political ads 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election is undergoing scrutiny through the case of "Hillary: The Movie." We won't comment on the merits of the film, but given the withering questioning from several justices, it's possible that McCain-Feingold itself may be on the ropes.

From the Leftjudiciary: Indiana Court Tosses Voter ID

Despite a significantly higher voter turnout last year than in most previous presidential elections, as well as Barack Obama's narrowly carrying the state, the Indiana State Court of Appeals threw out the state's voter identification law -- a statute that had already passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court -- claiming the law wasn't equally applied to those casting absentee ballots. The 3-0 ruling, made by a panel of judges appointed by Democrat governors, was blasted by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels as "an act of judicial arrogance" and "transparently" partisan.

Predictably, state Democrat leaders hailed the ruling, claiming, even in the face of those increased turnout numbers, that the law requiring voters to present a form of identification bearing their photo "disenfranchised hundreds if not thousands of voters." Heaven forbid, after all, that voters are who they say they are and vote only once.
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 03:32:15 PM »

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Hyper-Hypocrisy: Massachusetts Grants Kennedy's Last Wish

Honestly, we're only surprised the votes were that close. In a move state Republicans called "a stunning example of Democrat hypocrisy," the Massachusetts legislature voted to reverse a 2004 law that permitted filling vacancies in the United States Senate only through a special election. This power play immediately paved the way for Democrat Governor Deval Patrick to name former Ted Kennedy aide Paul Kirk as the former's successor, thus preserving the Democrats' 60-seat majority in the United States Senate. Kirk will occupy the seat at least until a Jan. 19 special election.

The 2004 law providing for a special election was hastily passed as a backup plan in the event that John Kerry won the White House because a Republican, then-Gov. Mitt Romney, would have selected his successor. Ironically, Bay State Republicans submitted a similar bill back in 2006, but it was defeated in the Massachusetts House by the overwhelmingly Democrat majority because Romney was still governor. Only when the governor's chair was safely in Democrat hands could such a bill be considered, despite the current high-minded Democrat rhetoric of maintaining two voices for the state in the United States Senate. Such hypocrisy, unfortunately, will only be rewarded by Massachusetts voters. Republicans have called the move unconstitutional and have taken the matter to court.

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NATIONAL SECURITY
Warfront With Jihadistan: Requesting More Troops


Is Obama preparing to run up the white flag in Afghanistan? Unfortunately, recent actions point in that direction. Just a month ago, Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their convention in Phoenix that Afghanistan was "not a war of choice" but "a war of necessity." A few months prior to that, he had grandly announced his new strategy for victory there, telling the Taliban and the terrorists, "We will defeat you." On this past Sunday's talk-show circuit, however, Obama openly wondered if the U.S. was "pursuing the right strategy" and further said he would not send more troops to Afghanistan unless "we've got the right strategy." Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly told his top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, to delay submitting a request for more troops and wait for the Obama administration to rethink its strategy.

A confidential report put together by Gen. McChrystal was strategically leaked, however, bluntly warning that without more troops, the eight-year Afghan war "will likely result in failure" within a year. The report also says that the Taliban have become a sophisticated enemy, using modern communication techniques and propaganda to recruit new members and plan attacks. McChrystal seems poised to request 40,000 more troops, for the first time bringing the total to more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Trying to downplay the report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday said that while she has "respect" for Gen. McChrystal's conclusion, she countered, "I can only tell you there are other assessments from very expert military analysts who have worked in counter-insurgencies that are the exact opposite." She left people scratching their heads as to exactly who these unnamed "very expert military analysts" might be.

When Gen. David Petraeus presented President George W. Bush with a similarly dire scenario in Iraq, Bush resolutely ordered the troop surge that turned Iraq around. But it now appears that a weak-kneed Obama may ignore his leading commander's advice and instead listen to his increasingly raucous leftist base. During the presidential campaign, these double-talkers called Afghanistan the "real" war and Iraq just a "distraction." Well, Mr. President, it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

More Shenanigans in Honduras

It seems there really is no rest for the weary Hondurans. Nearly three months after the country's major legal institutions determined that former President Manual Zelaya had committed treason with his Hugo Chavez-esque grab for power, the tiny nation is still being pressured to allow Zelaya to resume his role as leader.

Now, Zelaya, likely aided by Venezuela's Chavez, has snuck back into the Honduran capitol of Tegucigalpa where, from the safety of the Brazilian embassy, he has called for his supporters to converge on the city with "peaceful" demonstrations. And they have done so, despite interim President Roberto Micheletti's declaration of a curfew, roadblocks and a closed airport. Meanwhile, Zelaya bizarrely complains of assassination attempts by "Israeli mercenaries" who he claims are using toxic gases and high-frequency radiation to torture him. Apparently, the "gas" has gone to his head.

The Obama administration has repeatedly ignored Honduras' right to self-determination with measures that make the Left's cry of "American imperialism" during the Bush years seem like child's play. The U.S. State Department has cut off vital aid to Honduras and has denied its citizens U.S. visas, all to make it bend to the will of Obama, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. "It is imperative that dialogue begin," Hillary Clinton declared, and "that there be a channel of communication between President Zelaya and the de facto regime in Honduras." Memo to Hillary: Zelaya is no longer president, his legal term in office has expired, and the "de facto regime" is a legitimate transitional government until elections can take place.

Regardless, the U.S. State Department has declared that it will not recognize the outcome of the upcoming elections on Nov. 29 unless Zelaya is returned to power.
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 03:33:18 PM »

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Lt. Col. Chessani Faces BOI over Haditha Incident

United States Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani will face a Military Board of Inquiry (BOI) before year's end. The question is whether Chessani should be demoted in rank due to his role in the November 2005 Haditha incident, in which 24 Iraqis, including nine insurgents, were killed by Marines after an IED struck their convoy. All charges have been dropped against seven of the eight Marines involved. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich still faces possible court-martial. Chessani, who was not present for the convoy's actions, first reported that the deaths resulted from a firefight between Marines and insurgents. He was originally charged with dereliction of duty for not ordering an investigation, but those charges were dismissed, albeit on technical grounds.

Chessani is a highly regarded Marine, having served his third combat tour in Iraq in 2005 and also having served in Panama and the First Persian Gulf War. But the Thomas More Law Center warns, "The Board can consider files without the benefit of a cross examination; they will consider the tainted record of the Article 32 Hearing; LtCol Chessani cannot subpoena witnesses; and the government need only prove misconduct by a preponderance of the evidence (50.1%) rather than beyond a reasonable doubt." In short, those who would short-circuit the war effort are seeking to do something -- anything -- that would punish those Marines.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Regulatory Commissars: Stuck in Neutral


Citing the need to "level the playing field" for broadband wireless access, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski explained the renewed push for so-called "net neutrality," saying, "This is not about government regulation of the Internet. We will do as much as we need to do, and no more, to ensure that the Internet remains an unfettered platform for competition, creativity and entrepreneurial activity."

As we've warned many times before, anytime a liberal vassal claims, "This is not about (X)," it's exactly about (X) -- in this case more regulation and more government power. Likewise, the phrase, "level the playing field" simply means increased government intrusion into the "field" in the middle of the game. To those familiar with the underlying tactic (commonly referred to as lying), any repetitively uttered phrase crafted by Demo-Statists is certain to be teeming with doublespeak.

At face value, net neutrality sounds appealing enough: Open access to broadband wireless services for all with no single provider able to restrict information flow. Proponents liken the policy to an interstate highway, on which everyone happily motors along, sharing equal access to all lanes. The problem with this analogy is that it doesn't go far enough. A more accurate analogy would be to think of that interstate populated with roughly 80 percent "normal" traffic, and 20 percent of its traffic consisting of incredibly large, multi-lane semi rigs pulling, say, a few hundred trailers behind each.

"Net neutrality" is thus destined to rank with "congressional ethics," "abortion doctor," "death benefit," "liberal culture" and "government efficiency" as a favorite among leftist oxymorons.

Automotive Fool Economy

The Obama administration has released tentative new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. With a phase-in period beginning in 2012, automaker fleets would have to average 35.5 miles per gallon. Rules for 2009 mandate new cars to average 27.5 mpg and 23.1 mpg for trucks (2009's new cars actually average 32.6 mpg, while trucks clock in at 24.2 mpg).

To hit the targets set by the federal bureaucracy, automakers plan to market much smaller vehicles with technology imported from European market units. Since government rules can never be simple, also required are reductions in certain greenhouse gases -- a mini cap and trade for qualifying automakers. The government doesn't seem to mind that, as is unavoidable through simple physics, passengers in smaller and lighter vehicles suffer greater physical injuries (including more deaths) in collisions. In fact the bodies have piled high since the CAFE standards were first passed.

Coinciding with the 2012 implementation of higher mileage standards is the White House's delaying until then new rules to permit oil drilling in the 300 million acres opened by the expiration of the 25-year-old ban on drilling. The administration's sudden lack of urgency in regard to our energy security makes no sense unless we factor in his desire to restrict the supply of disfavored energy sources.

Hope 'n' Change in Fiscal News

It was only four years ago that Democrats stopped George W. Bush's plan to reform Social Security (a case in which the word "reform" actually did mean making it better). At the time, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed, "Social Security, if we don't do anything, [is] safe for approximately the next 50 years." But time flies when you're spending other people's money. The Congressional Budget Office has determined that Social Security, for the first time since 1983, will have a cash deficit next year, though even that assumes overly optimistic payroll growth. By 2016, it will be running permanent deficits.

That being said, according to CNS News, "President Obama's welfare spending will reach $888 billion in a single fiscal year -- 2010 -- more than the Bush administration spent on [the] war in Iraq from the first 'shock and awe' attack in 2003 until Bush left office in January." During the campaign, of course, Obama used the federal debt as a bludgeoning tool against his opponent. "Because of the Bush-McCain policies, our debt has ballooned," Obama warned in March 2008. "This is creating problems in our fragile economy. And that kind of debt also places an unfair burden on our children and grandchildren, who will have to repay it." The Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl estimates, "President Obama's budget will likely produce $13 trillion in deficit spending over the next 10 years -- nearly $4 trillion more than forecast." That's about 10 times Bush's last deficit.
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 03:34:15 PM »

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Obama also complained about the cost of Iraq -- "When Iraq is costing each household about $100 a month, you're paying a price for this war" -- but this doesn't compute either. As another report from The Heritage Foundation indicates, "Applying that same standard to means-tested welfare spending reveals that welfare will cost each household $560 per month in 2009 and $638 per month in 2010." Witness liberal "compassion."

CULTURE & POLICY
Climate Change This Week: UN Summit


Despite promises that the Obama administration is "determined to act" on climate change, mercifully little progress was made at this week's huge UN carbon footprint, er, climate summit, much to the disappointment of EU nations which are pressuring the United States to push through cap-n-tax legislation. China, current world champion polluter, made many promises at the summit to reduce its emissions, most notably by planting trees. However, "It would be 'ironic' indeed," said Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, "if China has figured out how to grow its economy at 9% per year while increasing energy use by only 3% and decarbonizing its economy at an even lower amount. If this were true, then China would have discovered the holy grail of emissions reductions and we can all forget about the challenges of climate policy."

Even if the United States were to pass the massive tax burden of cap-n-tax along to its citizens, "U.S. action alone will not impact CO2 levels," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson recently told the Senate. With China seeming to pay mere lip service to the idea of curbing emissions, "the different U.S. policies have relatively small effects on the CO2 concentration if other regions do not follow the U.S. lead," according to an MIT study.

Failure of formal progress is likely a deathblow to climate talks at December's Copenhagen Climate Conference. Obama insisted, "We understand the gravity of the climate threat ... and we will meet our responsibility to future generations." Perhaps Obama should also realize the gravity of his own country's economic circumstances before bankrolling the earnings of future generations for government schemes that have zero scientific basis.

In other climate change news, the sun is nearing record levels of low sunspot activity, a possible explanation for the cooler summer many regions of the U.S. experienced this year. According to research hydrologist Charlie Perry, the earth may be entering a period of extended cooling due to decreased sun spot levels. Imagine, the sun being responsible for the earth's temperature -- who'd have thunk?

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award

"Later this week, I will work with my colleagues at the G-20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge." --Barack Obama on Tuesday at the UN global warming summit

We would love to see subsidies end for fossil fuels, as well as ethanol -- because we believe in markets free of government intervention, not because of the global warming hoax.

From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File

"I congratulate our son the president, 'Obama' ... and commend him because he is the [leader of the] host country. ... We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of the United States of America... The American presidents used to say to us, they shall terrorize us.... What our son Obama said is completely different today." --Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, yet another Obama ally he probably wishes would hold his tongue

Village Academic Curriculum: Praise Obama
Obama fits right in with Uncle Joe Stalin


It would be enough to make Joe Stalin and Joe Goebbels blush. A video recently posted on YouTube shows a class at B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, New Jersey, learning to sing the praises of Barack Obama. The kids laud his "great accomplishments" and his "great plans" to "make this country's economy number one again." The song also quotes from the children's spiritual "Jesus Loves the Little Children" -- except Jesus' name is replaced with Obama's: "He said red, yellow, black or white/All are equal in his sight. Barack Hussein Obama." Oddly enough, children in public schools can't sing the actual song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" for fear of the ACLU. It must first be adulterated with the name of a cult leader. And liberals couldn't understand why so many parents didn't want their children subjected to the speech The One gave to schools earlier this month.

Income Redistribution: Rich to Blame if Poor Get H1N1

A new United Nations report states that unless "wealthy" countries (i.e., the United States and the United Kingdom) cough up $1.5 billion for H1N1 vaccines and medicines, we will in effect be responsible for millions of deaths in developing countries. That's in addition to the $67 billion a year we're supposed to give to offset the effects of global warming. But that's as it should be, right? The rich have had a "good run of it," after all.

The UN's source is the World Health Organization, which is concerned that it will not be able to raise even half the money needed given the global economic climate. The report includes the needs of 75 countries, including the likes of North Korea and Cuba, which would gladly do us in if they thought they could get away with it.

The U.S. and Britain have already promised to give 10 percent of their vaccine supply, and the UK has pledged 23 million, or about $37 million. The WHO says that's not enough. But then again, it never is. "The money is a trickle," one official said, "not a flood. It is going to be a struggle. If we are not careful, the virus could destroy a burgeoning economy or democracy."
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 03:35:21 PM »

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Faith and Family: Christian Convert Fears for Life

While most 17-year-old girls dream of high school proms, Fathima Rifqa Bary fears for her life. The Ohio teen fled her parents' home after her father allegedly threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. Now in foster care in Florida, she awaits a court decision that could force her to return to Ohio, to the father she fears.

Rifqa's father denies threatening her life, yet his disclaimer is suspicious, especially given his attorney's work for the Council on America-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which denies any connection at all between Islam and "honor" killings -- a denial contradicted by Islamic law itself and by documented cases of such murders here in the United States.

Of course, Rifqa's conversion would be a non-issue if it were from Christianity to Islam. And it is an interesting contrast to our recent report of a New Hampshire court's ordering of a Christian homeschooled girl to attend public school for "exposure to different points of view." Parental rights remain an issue not to be taken lightly -- indeed, too often, they are when the shoe is on the other foot -- but Rifqa's very life could be at stake. Florida authorities argue her concern is "subjective and speculative," but if she is returned to Ohio and murdered, what then? Who would be held accountable? Florida officials? Not likely.

In related news, Muslims held a prayer rally at the U.S. Capitol Friday. One of the chief organizers was Hassen Abdellah, a lawyer who has previously represented Islamic terrorists, including some involved with both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The objective was to display their patriotism and religious freedom -- two things that non-Muslims definitely do not enjoy in Islamic countries.

And Last...

It wasn't long ago that Barack Obama was using the United States Postal Service as a shining example for how ObamaCare's "public option" would affect the competition. The Postal Service, Obama argued, hadn't driven its competitors out of business and neither would ObamaCare. In fact, he argued, it was the Postal Service -- and not FedEx or UPS -- that was having all the problems. Fast forward a couple of months, and Congress is considering a USPS bailout as part of a stopgap spending bill scheduled to come before Congress in the next week. According to David Rogers at Politico, it "would be allowed to defer $4 billion in payments due at the end of this month to cover retirement benefits for its employees." The deferment could last until 2017. It's no wonder Obama has shifted to comparing the public option to public universities. Then again, in California, college tuition is skyrocketing this year by 32 percent due to the state's crushing budget deficits. Looks like it's back to the drawing board, Barack!

*****

Veritas vos Liberabit -- Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot's editors and staff.

(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world, and for their families -- especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)
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