Category Archives: Law

Obama and Live Birth Abortion

Abortion is a topic that I hate to get into, it is one issue that draws out the irrational passions on both sides of the aisle, that it is impossible to leave a discussion of it with a satisfied and productive feeling.   Additionally, it is a topic that I think too much emphasis is placed on by the right, for many it is the ONLY issue that matters and I find that going a little too far for an issue that is hardly a scourge in our country.

All that being said, I came across a post this morning on Race 4 2008 by Kavon Nikrad that discussed a very, very disturbing stance by Barack Obama on live birth abortions.  Jill Stanek from World Net Daily (a site I am not a huge fan of by the way) gives us the following:

As a nurse at an Illinois hospital in 1999, I discovered babies were being aborted alive and shelved to die in soiled utility rooms. I discovered infanticide.

Legislation was presented on the federal level and in various states called the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. It stated all live-born babies were guaranteed the same constitutional right to equal protection, whether or not they were wanted.

BAIPA sailed through the U.S. Senate by unanimous vote. Even Sens. Clinton, Kennedy and Kerry agreed a mother’s right to “choose” stopped at her baby’s delivery.

The bill also passed overwhelmingly in the House. NARAL went neutral on it. Abortion enthusiasts publicly agreed that fighting BAIPA would appear extreme. President Bush signed BAIPA into law in 2002.

But in Illinois, the state version of BAIPA repeatedly failed, thanks in large part to then-state Sen. Barack Obama. It only passed in 2005, after Obama left.

I testified in 2001 and 2002 before a committee of which Obama was a member.

Obama articulately worried that legislation protecting live aborted babies might infringe on women’s rights or abortionists’ rights. Obama’s clinical discourse, his lack of mercy, shocked me. I was naive back then. Obama voted against the measure, twice. It ultimately failed.

In 2003, as chairman of the next Senate committee to which BAIPA was sent, Obama stopped it from even getting a hearing, shelving it to die much like babies were still being shelved to die in Illinois hospitals and abortion clinics.

Chicago Sun Times

 She continues:

Obama insinuated opposition to abortion is based only on religion, lecturing pro-lifers like me to “explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

I don’t recall mentioning religion when I testified against live-birth abortion. I only recall describing a live aborted baby I held in a hospital soiled utility room until he died, and a live aborted baby who was accidentally thrown into the trash.

Neither do I recall religion being brought into the partial-birth abortion ban debate. I recall comparisons made to U.S. laws ensuring animals being killed are treated humanely. I recall testimony that late-term babies feel excruciating pain while being aborted.

Obama stated pro-life proposals must be “amenable to reason.”

Amenable to reason, eh?  There is absolutely nothing reasonable about supporting either partial-birth or live-birth abortion (aka infanticide), especially the latter.   How much of a heartless and horrible person do you have to be to support such measures.  It is one thing to support abortion in the first trimester when the baby is barely formed (although I would never support it), but to think it is  acceptable when the baby is fully developed or even “officially alive” is preposterous and shows a complete lack of judgement on the part of Barack Obama and others like him. 

I am not one to allow one single issue to dictate my vote for President, I prefer to look at the candidate as a whole and then decide, but this is one instance that is a complete deal breaker.  It is my impression that Obama is a good person (and Hillary is not), for me that is a big deal.  I want someone with integrity leading our country.  However, good judgement and upholding some sort of a moral standard is absolutely essential and that takes more than integrity and being a good person, one’s policies make a difference.

Assuming the claims made in this article are true, Barack Obama has a lot to answer for and if he indeeds supports such positions he is no longer tied with McCain for my top choice of those remaining, but now even Hillary would prove to be a better option.   Live or partial birth abortion is never acceptable, never.

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Filed under Abortion, Barack Obama, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Law, Politics

Mitt Needs Your Help

Good morning folks, I have a few friends in Virginia who are working hard to make sure that Mitt Romney gets on the ballot for the Virginia primary.  In Virginia, unlike most states, candidates are placed on the ballot by petition.  I believe 10,000 signatures are needed, including a set amount from each county.   As all of us are (or should be) ardent supporters of democracy, it behooves us to ensure that all serious candidates for office are on the ballot.   I ask you and implore you to help make sure that Mitt Romney is on the ballot so that the people of Virginia have a choice in who is their next President.    So if you are a resident of Virginia, a Mitt supporter or not, a Republican or Democrat, please contact the following email to sign the petition.   It should be pointed out that signing the petition is not an endorsement of a candidate.  

Contact: Virginia@mittromney.com

Thanks,

Steve Swint, Editor-in-Chief mittreport.com; dryflypolitics.com

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Filed under Candidates, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Law, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney

Iran’s New Hardline Nuclear Negotiator

Last week, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, resigned his post due to a complete inability to work with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. This alone is terrible news for those seeking a peaceful resolution to the nuclear standoff. While Larijani is not considered a reformer and is indeed among the more conservative officials in the government, he is very pragmatic and firmly believed that the best resolution was through negotiation. To lose a person like this in the negotiations is quite detrimental. (Contrary to American belief, not all Iranian officials are nuts like Mahmud.)

To compound the problem is the person chosen to replace Larijani, Said Jalali. Jalali is a close ally to Ahmadinejad; perhaps even considered a right hand man. He fully supports Mahmud’s hard line stance on the nuclear program; intending to pursue it regardless of the cares of the outside world. Currently, Jalali is saying all the right things; fully intending to cooperate with the IAEA and international community to find a diplomatic solution. However, if indeed he is from the Ahmadinejad school of diplomacy, he will say one thing and do the opposite.

Said Jalali

In Ahmadinejad’s administration there have been two camps of Iranian political power; the Ahmadinejad wing and the Larijani wing. The latter, while still conservative, is much more pragmatic and really wielded the true power in Iran. Included in this wing are such prominent Iranian politicians as former President Rafsanjani and Hassan Ruhani, Iran’s National Security Advisor. In between these two camps is Ayatollah Khamenai, occasionally siding with the hardliners and occasionally with the pragmatists. Sadly, now it looks as if he has committed to Ahmadinejad and his ilk; indeed there is now a consolidation of power around the President.

The thing most American’s (including the President of Columbia University) failed to realize about the Iranian government is that the President is really just a figurehead. He has limited real power. He has no right to dictate foreign policy or be involved in internal affairs. His is primarily domestic authority, of which most decisions have to be ratified by the Council of Experts and the Ayatollah. So for people in America to have been so afraid of Ahmadinejad and for the President of one of America’s most prestigious universities to call him a dictator, was really ignorant and reflected poorly on us as a people. However, now there is reason to fear, not because of Ahmadinejad per se, but because the Ayatollah seems to have completely joined his camp, and the Ayatollah is the true arbiter of Iranian power and foreign policy. The chance for a peaceful resolution to the nuclear crisis has diminished extensively.

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Filed under Atomic, Bush, Election 2008, Iran, Law, Military, Nuclear, Politics

An Ill-Timed and Unnecessary Genocide Resolution againt Turkey

This week, Democratic leaders in the House will seek to pass a non-binding resolution officially classifying the mass-murders of Armenians by the Turks in World War I as genocide.  This is a terribly ill-timed and strange move on the part of the Democrats.   If it passes there could, and likely will be, significant detrimental effects on U.S. – Turkish relations.  Detrimental effects that we cannot afford.  

Certainly, what the Turks did to the Armenians in 1915 is a genocide.  There is no argument here and there should be no argument anywhere.   Additionally, genocide needs to be condemned wherever it is found. 

But why now?  Our relations with Turkey are already strained by the coalition forces’ inability to curb the increasing number of Kurdish militias staging incursions into Turkish territory.  Also, we need Turkey.  They are one of our few Muslim country allies and the most moderate of Muslim states.  Passing this resolution will only prove to have negative effects on our relations with little good in return.  

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Turkey’s top general, General Yasar Buyukanit, warned that the passing of this resolution may result in the U.S. losing access to Incirlik Air Base, a key cargo and transportation hub for our military.  He also added that, “If this resolution passes the House, our Military ties with the U.S. will never be the same.”  These are huge implications not only for us, but for the greater war on terror.  We need Turkey on board and we need Incirlik Air Base. 

It is indeed important that history be accurate and refer to genocide for what it is.  But why can’t this be done during a time of peace or at least when our key international issue is not bordering the country we are about to deeply offend.  This genocide occured nearly 100 years ago, what will a few more years of waiting to do this harm?  If Congress is intent on this, they should  pass this measure in 2015 at the 100 year anniversary or when it is less politically harmful.  But now is not the time. 

So, there are two options that we have that may serve to solve the problem, we could pull the resolution from the table or have it defeated.  Or we could pass the resolution then encourage the Turkish parliament to offically classify our treatment of the American Indians in the 1800’s as genocide and then call it even.  I prefer the former.  This is a strange and unnecessary move on the part of the Democrats, if it passes and Turkey does indeed follow through on their threats, we had better place full blame on Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. 

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Myanmar Exemplifies Catch-22 for World Powers

 

The recent history and current situation in Myanmar is among the most tragic in the last century.  It ranks right up there with Sudan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe, and North Korea among others.  But Myanmar’s, like Lebanon and Zimbabwe in some ways, is not tragic because of Genocide, for we are far from that, but it is tragic because of the fall of a culture and productive country.  Prior to the rise of the military Junta in 1990, Myanmar was fairly democratic and was a “shining star” in SE Asia.  They had a strong economy and a great and historical culture.  It is among the most beautiful countries in the world and has incredible architecture, and now it is all thrown away.  The military Junta, like all military controlled governments, will eventually turn the country into a garbage pile. 

The events of the last two weeks have been fascinating and frustrating to watch.  What a great sight it was to see thousands of Buddhist monks and their supporters stage massive protests against a repressive regime.  At the height of the protests I wondered how the Junta would handle it.  They could ill afford a Tiannanmen Square incident.  The military leaders had to know that mass killings of monks would cause massive outcry in the world community, an outcry that may force the world to act with stronger muscle than usual.  Monks are the human embodiment of peace and oneness, regardless of if you believe in buddhism or not.  They come across as pure, pious, and innocent, the world would not stand for well-publicized mass killings of such a people.

 Sadly, the Junta was aware of this and played their hand extremely well.  They allowed the protests, allowed the people to get most of it out of their systems and then instituted curfews and prohibited gatherings of people; pretty standard for authoritarian states.  Once the media and world attention lessened a bit the violence started, first just in short bursts – nothing more than a few beatings and occasional killing of an out of hand protester.  But the Junta had a larger plan.  They new that the real problem were the monks, the people were loyal to the monks and would follow them.  So what how do you keep power if you don’t have loyalty?  You make people fear you.  And that is just what they did.  Over the last few days the Military cleared the monasteries and temples of monks that were the harbingers of the protests and killed many of them in brutal fashion.  Reports are that thousands have been massacred

Why is there no outcry? no outrage?  Because the American public no longer cares.  It was exciting and fun to watch for a day or two, but we lose interest in world events pretty quick.  Why concern ourselves with different looking people in a land that exists somewhere in the world called Myanmar when we need to find out if Britany is losing her children.  And because there is no public outrage there is no government action.

But then again what are Western governments supposed to do?  This is the same catch-22 that we have in dealing with Sudan, Rwanda in the ’90’s, Congo, etc.  We have no vested interest in these countries.  We have limited resources.  Because of international accords, we are expected to respect the territorial rights of a country, etc. etc.   Myanmar is no threat to the U.S., no threat to Britain or Germany or France; militarily or economically.  Not only that, but China is a close ally of the Junta.  If we press to hard on Myanmar, we may have to deal with China.  What if China decides, because of our actions against their ally, that they are going to fully reclaim Taiwan militarily.  Then we have world war.  Certainly this scenario is unlikely, but not out of the realm possibility.   On the other hand, don’t countries like us and France and Britain who have freedom and democracy at least supposed to stand for human rights and protect those who can’t protect themselves?  We have an obligation almost.  How can we stand by and allow a mini (or perhaps soon to be major) genocide occur, regardless of the circumstance behind it.   This is the catch-22 for our country.   Usually, in these situations we deal with it through sanctions or other economic penalties. But all this does is hurts the people who are already being oppressed.  Sanctions can only work if all major countries are on board, but with China supporting the junta, they are a waste of time and will only draw Myanmar closer to China.  The currently policy against Myanmar is not working and will not work unless we get China on board, which won’t happen.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what the solution is (although I have a few ideas).  But that is the job of the policy makers and they will probably screw it up.  

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Filed under Britain, Burma, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, International Affairs, Justice, Law, Military, Murder, Myanmar, People, Politics, Republicans, Terror, terrorism, War

President James E. Faust, 1920-2007

 

 President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, passed away this morning, August 10, at the age of 87. President Faust was a man of deep faith, conviction, and love for his Savior, even Jesus Christ. He held the same love for his family and for the Church that he dedicated his life to serving.

Excerpt of the official press release from the LDS Church:

“(President Faust) had previously served four years as an Assistant to the Twelve (the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest presiding body) before being appointed a member of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (other senior leaders in the Church) on 1 October 1976.

His most recent assignments included vice chairman of the Church Board of Education; the board of trustees of Brigham Young University; the Welfare Services Executive Committee; and Deseret Management Corporation.

Bruce Olsen, managing director of Church Public Affairs, said this morning that President Faust’s ‘gentle manner and depth of knowledge, which was an important part of his ministry for nearly 35 years, will be missed.’

‘He was a true Christian who spoke and wrote with wit and wisdom,’ Olsen said. ‘Many members of the Church loved his unique way of teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ at General Conference.’

Olsen said that Church members around the world are calling to extend to President Faust’s family their heartfelt condolences.

President Faust was born 31 July 1920, in Delta, Utah. He participated as a member of the University of Utah track team in 1938 and ran the quarter-mile and mile relay.

His college career was interrupted first to serve as a missionary for the Church in Brazil and later by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Army Air Force and was discharged as a first lieutenant. In 1948 he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degree. He began the practice of law in Salt Lake City and continued until his appointment as a general authority of the Church in 1972.

He served as a member of the Utah Legislature from 1949 to 1951, as an advisor to the American Bar Journal, and president of the Utah Bar Association in 1962-1963. He received the Distinguished Lawyer Emeritus Award from the Utah Bar Association in 1995. In August of 1997, he received an Honorary Doctors Degree of Christian Service from Brigham Young University. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumni at the University of Utah in 1999, and was awarded the Honorary Order of the Coif at Brigham Young University in 2000.  In 2003, he was given the Marion G. Romney Distinguished Service Award by Brigham Young University Law School, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctors of Law degree by the University of Utah.  President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in 1962.”

President Faust gave many speeches to the body of the Church, speeches that I always found inspiring and uplifting.  In this past General Conference of LDS Church in April, Pres. Faust’s talk was the most memorable for me.  He spoke on the importance of forgiveness and not holding grudges.  In the talk he spoke movingly of the wonderful example of the Amish community near Lancaster, PA.  A couple of years ago a traged struck when a deeply troubled young man murdered many of their young women and girls at a small school.  It was a heart wrenching and terrible report to hear, yet the response of the Amish was incredible.  Rather than call for the criminal’s head and demanding justice, they called for forgiveness and love to be shown the family of the murderer.  Their example of forgiveness and love is one that we should all aspire to.  President Faust will be missed dearly, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is resting with the Savior and his Father in Heaven. 

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Libertarians must hate the children

On this very blog, amongst other places, I have said openly that I think that career politicians are a poison to our democratic system of government. I actually have no idea what their respective backgrounds are, but the bi-partisan dynamic duo of Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and (now infamous) Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) should both be relieved of their duties that have to do with technology immediately.

Just like Kip, I love technology too and I hate seeing it be misunderstood and blamed for something that’s not it’s fault. Recently the aforementioned dynamic duo took part in a meeting that called for universal implementation of filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet. The last thing I want is my ISP, HOA or other public group deciding what is and isn’t decent for the entire world. I don’t have any problem regulating open transmissions like radio and unencrypted television etc. However, trying to filter the Internet universally to “protect the children” is just stupid. Only someone that doesn’t understand how to filter the “series of tubes” as he called it, would make such a ridiculous claim. All in the name of the children.

My problem with this whole scenario is that it’s coming in a wake of debates about Net Neutrality. Shocker that the two leaders of our commerce are now calling for monitoring implementations universally on our global Internet. I wonder if any of the nation’s broadband providers have paid any lobbying money to get network traffic filtering legislated, so they can then levee that into offering consumers premium (higher priority, means you don’t have to wait in line) broadband plans for a premium price leaving the rest of the consumers in the cold. Or possibly more deviant, the larger ISP (Your AT&T’s, Verizon’s etc) that are required to lease the usage of the large tier networks to smaller broadband providers (a.k.a. their direct competition) would like to make their traffic more reliable and their lessee’s traffic worse, so the lessee’s customer’s switch providers for a better connection. Couldn’t be…….nah, never.

That being said, here is my real issue with the duo’s remarks: from Sen Inouye

“While filtering and monitoring technologies help parents to screen out offensive content and to monitor their child’s online activities, the use of these technologies is far from universal and may not be fool-proof in keeping kids away from adult material, ….. In that context, we must evaluate our current efforts to combat child pornography and consider what further measures may be needed to stop the spread of such illegal material over high-speed broadband connections.”

Who does he think he’s kidding? The current best technology isn’t enough to keep kids away from porn, therefore we must universally implement this inadequate technology universally? Wow, what a moron. He then says that contextually we need to determine what measures may be used to stop spreading child pornography. Here’s how to stop child pornography: Make the punishment so stiff (worldwide) that it becomes too dangerous to casually view, store, serve or create such pornography. Sounds great doesn’t it? Except, we go back to the age old “I know pornography when I see it” ruling. How can you attempt to determine measures to stop something that you can’t define what “it” is (thank you Mr. Clinton).

These two should be fired for one of two reasons:

1) They are absolutely incompetent to make the decisions to regulate our commerce of technological nature (which they’ve both shown).

2) They are heads of a committee that should be fighting for capitalism, not caving to the lobby of the large broadband providers that want to eliminate the lower tier competition by not giving them reliable connections on the large tier networks.

All in the name of protecting the children of course……

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