Saturday, March 31, 2012

WE WANT THE RELEASE OF OUR PRISONERS NOW!



REMEMBERING OUR POW'S WHO NEVER RETURNED

November 11, 2009 + By Edward Olshaker

Thirty-six Veterans Days have passed since the official release of our Vietnam prisoners of war, yet to this day we are left with clashing verdicts on the crucial issue of whether numerous prisoners were knowingly left behind.

An official communication from the US State Department to the Department of Defense on April 12, 1973 announced, "There are no more prisoners in Southeast Asia."

But if all living American prisoners of war were returned that year, why did an Air Force general maintain that intelligence experts felt "shock and sadness" that so many known prisoners were clearly left behind? Why did a congressman and former high-level aide to President Ronald Reagan reportedly claim that Reagan privately admitted that hundreds of abandoned American prisoners were still languishing in Vietnam at the end of his eight-year tenure?

This vital issue received a new wave of attention during the early 1990s with the publication of books including The Men We Left Behind, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, and The Bamboo Cage, along with congressional hearings held at that time. POW activists, many of them the loved ones of missing men, investigative journalists, and a small core of principled conservatives for whom this subject was their passion -- Ross Perot, former POW Eugene McDaniel, Reps. Billy Hendon (R-SC) and John LeBoutillier (R-NY), Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), and others -- kept the flame of truth alive on an extraordinarily difficult, painful, and murky issue.

It was realized from the outset that many American prisoners were left stranded in Southeast Asia. In The Men We Left Behind, investigators Mark Sauter and Jim Sanders tell us that in early 1973, "Hanoi released lists of American POWs held in North and South Vietnam. The lists were minus the names of many men known or suspected to be in enemy hands. Air Force General Eugene Tighe, later director of the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency], remembers that intelligence experts felt 'shock and sadness' at the incomplete prisoner lists. Not only were the lists from Vietnam incomplete, the lists did not include any POWs from Laos."

Simply stated, the North Vietnamese were holding most of the remaining men for ransom. But the reality of this hostage crisis was shrouded in euphemistic language: According to the agreement worked out at the Paris peace talks, Hanoi would get "reparations" or "reconstructive aid" for damage done to their country by the American military machine. In return, the United States would receive what was diplomatically termed "cooperation" or "progress" on the prisoner issue, i.e., return of the hostages.

France had found itself in the same situation after its defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, and bought back its men gradually over the years. The payments were purportedly for humanitarian aid. "They kept on paying and men kept on coming out," reports Nigel Cawthorne in The Bamboo Cage. "Over the next 16 years more than 1,000 Frenchmen and French Legionnaires came back from the dead." Returns continued up until the mid-1970s. (But the French had listed 9,537 men as prisoners. What became of the rest?)

In a letter to the North Vietnamese government, President Richard Nixon promised $3.25 billion in "aid." But he faced the unhappy task of presenting this bitter pill to Congress at an especially inopportune time, just as newspaper reports of torture of the returned prisoners was generating a national sense of outrage that diminished the prospect of a multi-billion-dollar aid package to communist war criminals. And the president himself was losing clout. "Certainly the US Treasury held enough cash to purchase the POWs..." Sauter and Sanders note. "But it was political capital that the Nixon Administration lacked. Heading into the Watergate crisis, Nixon and his advisers believed it too sensitive politically to tell the truth about the Paris negotiations and the secret wars in Laos and Cambodia. Nixon and Kissinger even concealed from Congress the fact that they had promised specific amounts of aid to Hanoi ... In the end, rather than pay for unpatriated US POWs, the Nixon Administration chose to deny their existence."

Thus began the government's alleged cover-up of its abandonment of our men, a policy that, once instituted in the bureaucracy, continued through all succeeding administrations. The enemy ceased to be Hanoi and instead became POW experts wishing to share intelligence, prisoners' families digging for the truth, and refugees and defectors bringing back evidence of live Americans left behind. As stated in a summary of a report by Gen. Eugene Tighe, "The POW office only pursues leads that will help discredit the source." And the general expressed his bafflement that the same classified intelligence that was kept from the prisoners' families was given to the North Vietnamese communists by U.S. delegates. Similarly, Army Colonel Millard Peck, chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency's special office for POW/MIA affairs, reached the disturbing conclusion that his agency had a "mindset to debunk" reports of live American troops left behind.

What became of the prisoners? According to reports of alleged sightings, many were said to be held indefinitely as slave labor in prison compounds and kept as potentially valuable hostages whom Hanoi hoped to be able to put back on the bargaining table at some point in succeeding American administrations. It is likely that at this late date, most have probably died because of the effect of deplorable living conditions and homesickness on their bodies and minds.

Researchers have presented evidence purporting to show that some American POWs were shipped to the Soviet Union, China, and other communist nations, even after the war ended, to be exploited for their technological knowledge. Valuable men such as these were never returned. No less an authority than Russian President Boris Yeltsin has supplied corroboration, telling NBC in 1992, "Our archives have shown that it is true. Some of them were transferred to the territory of the former USSR and were kept in labor camps. We don't have complete data and can only surmise that some of them may still be alive."

Instead of seizing on this remarkably candid bombshell as a rare window to the truth -- and perhaps even to the recovery of prisoners -- the U.S. government immediately downplayed Yeltsin's comments. Such revelations would have shone an unwelcome light on high-level failures, and also would have clashed with one of the key aims of U.S. foreign policy during the 1990s: the normalization of relations with Vietnam as part of a rush to establish trade. The U.S. government approached this goal over the dead bodies -- and perhaps in some cases, live bodies -- of the POWs, a development that appears to have had little to do with forgiveness and much to do with the almighty dollar.

Yeltsin's claim that prisoners were indeed left behind was allegedly corroborated by President Ronald Reagan. According to a 2002 Newsmax report, a congressman who served as a top aide to Reagan said the president "admitted to him that hundreds of American POWs were left behind in Vietnam and were still alive as late as 1988."

Even when confirmation of the abandonment of prisoners comes from the two most powerful men in the world, the presidents of the U.S. and Russia, it leaves almost no impression, owing to our tendency to avert our eyes from evidence that is heartbreaking and profoundly ugly. In all likelihood, the time has passed to rescue any of our forsaken troops. Our only remaining comfort is in knowing they are never lost to our omnipresent and loving Creator. Meanwhile, our obligation to their memory -- to tell the truth, honor their sacrifices, and resolve never to repeat the same tragic mistakes -- continues. In an admonition that sounds as timely as ever, President George Washington warned, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceived the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." on "Remembering Our POWs Who Never Returned"


As seen on : U2-Walk On

TRANS-"MITT" CARE...

OBAMA-ROMNEY CARE -V- OBAMA-ROMNEY CARE



VOTE AMERICAN - VOTE FOR LUGAR - A PROVEN DEFENDER OF AMERICA'S NUCLEAR SECURITY & PRO-LIFER AGENDA - NOT A 911 HIJACKER & CONTINUAL PERMANENT PHONE HACKERING FIXTURE NEXT DOOR




Two-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard G. Lugar has been one of the most widely respected foreign policy experts in Congress for over three decades. In this illuminating profile, John T. Shaw examines Lugar's approach to lawmaking and diplomacy for what it reveals about the workings of the Senate and changes in that institution. Drawing on interviews with Lugar and other leading figures in foreign policy, Shaw chronicles Lugar's historic work on nuclear proliferation, arms control, energy, and global food issues, highlighting the senator's ability to influence American foreign policy in consequential ways.

The book presents Lugar's career as an example of the role Congress can play in the shaping of foreign policy in an era of a strong executive branch. It demonstrates the importance of statesmanship in contemporary American political life while acknowledging the limitations of this approach to governance.

OBAMA'S FLAWED CASE FOR RECONSIDERING THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY




OBAMA'S FLAWED CASE FOR RECONSIDERING THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY

Friday, Mar 30, 2012 Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Venue: Lehrman Auditorium

The Obama Administration is seeking to revive consideration of the decades old Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the U.S. Senate failed to ratify in 1998. The soon-to-be-released National Academy of Sciences report will raise and discuss many of the technical issues associated with the Treaty. The results of

The Obama Administration is seeking to revive consideration of the decades old Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the U.S. Senate failed to ratify in 1998. The soon-to-be-released National Academy of Sciences report will raise and discuss many of the technical issues associated with the Treaty. The results of the report and how they are interpreted will be a subject of much debate and controversy. Join us as our panelists examine these important issues.

Keynote Address Ambassador Robert Joseph Senior Scholar, National Institute for Public Policy; Professor, Missouri State University; and former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Followed by a Panel Discussion with Frank Gaffney President and CEO, Center for Security Policy, and former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy

Vice Admiral Robert Monroe (Ret.) Former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency

Baker Spring F. M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation International Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By: Peter Brookes Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs and Chung Ju-Yung Fellow for Policy Studies

U.S. FEDERAL JUDGE AWARDS $2.16 BILLION FOR 1983 BEIRUT ATTACK ON U.S. MARINES, BARACK


U.S. FEDERAL JUDGE AWARDS $2.16 BILLION FOR 1983 BEIRUT ATTACK ON U.S. MARINES, BARACK

Friday, 30,March 2012 + NEWSMAX.COM

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has awarded $2.16 billion to victims of the 1983 suicide truck-bombing of U.S. Marines in Beirut, his third award in two weeks to plaintiffs who had sued Iran over the attack.

The money will be difficult to collect, but the victims hope to obtain it from Iranian assets frozen in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth awarded the money Friday to estates of dead Marines and to injured Marines and their relatives. Two days ago, he awarded $44.6 million to two servicemen who were injured and their family members. And last week, he awarded $33.3 million to family members of two injured servicemen.

Iran has been blamed for supporting the militant group Hezbollah, which carried out the bombing.

FAIRFAX MAN SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS FOR SCHEME TO CONCEAL PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR HIS LOBBY EFFORTS


FAIRFAX MAN SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS FOR SCHEME TO CONCEAL PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR HIS LOBBY EFFORTS

WASHINGTON – Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, a U.S. citizen and resident of Fairfax, Va., was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and tax violations in connection with a decades-long scheme to conceal the transfer of at least $3.5 million from the government of Pakistan to fund his lobbying efforts in America related to Kashmir.

The sentencing was announced by Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; John DiCicco, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division; James McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Eric Hylton, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, after sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady in the Eastern District of Virginia.

On Dec. 7, 2011, Fai pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information. Count one of the information charged Fai with conspiracy to: 1) falsify, conceal and cover up material facts he had a duty to disclose in matters within the jurisdiction of executive branch agencies of the U.S. government; and to 2) defraud the Treasury Department by impeding the lawful functions of the IRS in the collection of revenue. Count two of the information charged Fai with endeavoring to impede the administration of tax laws.

According to court documents filed with his plea agreement, Fai served as the director of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), a non-governmental organization in Washington, D.C., that held itself out to be run by Kashmiris, financed by Americans, and dedicated to raising the level of knowledge in the United States about the struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination. But according to court documents, the KAC was secretly funded by officials employed by the government of Pakistan, including the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI).

“Mr. Fai spent 20 years operating the Kashmiri American Council as a front for Pakistani intelligence,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “He lied to the Justice Department, the IRS, and many political leaders throughout the United States as he pushed the ISI’s propaganda on Kashmir.”

“Syed Fai is today being held accountable for his role in a decades-long scheme to conceal the fact that the government of Pakistan was secretly funding his efforts to influence U.S. policy on Kashmir,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco.

“Today’s sentence sends a strong message that using the tax-exempt status of charitable entities to promote or conceal federal crimes carries heavy consequences,” said Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General DiCiccio.

“Mr. Fai had a duty to inform the U.S. Government of the finances which he received from Pakistan to fund lobbying efforts,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Concealed foreign affiliations can be a significant threat to our democracy, and those who engage in hiding these associations will be brought to justice.”

“Today’s sentencing further shows that IRS-Criminal Investigation is working vigorously to stop the misuse and abuse of charities in promoting or concealing federal crimes,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Hylton. “The message is clear that those who engage in this type of activity will face stiff criminal penalties.”

The Scheme

Fai admitted in court that, from 1990 until about July 18, 2011, he conspired with others to obtain money from officials employed by the government of Pakistan, including the ISI, for the operation of the KAC in the United States, and that he did so outside the knowledge of the U.S. government and without attracting the attention of law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

To prevent the Justice Department, FBI, Department of Treasury and the IRS from learning the source of the money he received from officials employed by the government of Pakistan and the ISI, Fai made a series of false statements and representations, according to court documents. For example, Fai told FBI agents in March 2007 that he had never met anyone who identified himself as being affiliated with the ISI and, in May 2009, he falsely denied to the IRS on a tax return for the KAC that the KAC had received any money from foreign sources in 2008.

In addition, according to court documents, Fai sent a letter in April 2010 to the Justice Department falsely asserting that the KAC was not funded by the government of Pakistan. Later that year, Fai falsely denied to the IRS that the KAC had received any money from foreign sources in 2009. In July 2011, Fai falsely denied to FBI agents that he or the KAC received money from the ISI or government of Pakistan.

In fact, Fai repeatedly submitted annual KAC strategy reports and budgetary requirements to Pakistani government officials for approval. For instance, in 2009, Fai sent the ISI a document entitled “Plan of Action of KAC / Kashmir Centre, Washington, D.C., for the Fiscal Year 2010,” which itemized KAC’s 2010 budget request of $658,000 and listed Fai’s plans to secure U.S. congressional support for U.S. action in support of Kashmiri self-determination.

Fai also admitted that, from 1990 until about July 18, 2011, he corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws by arranging for the transfer of at least $3.5 million to the KAC from employees of the government of Pakistan and the ISI.

According to court documents, Fai accepted the transfer of such money to the KAC from the ISI and the government of Pakistan through his co-defendant Zaheer Ahmad and middlemen (straw donors), who received reimbursement from Ahmad for their purported “donations” to the KAC. Fai provided letters from the KAC to the straw donors documenting that their purported “donations” to the KAC were tax deductible and encouraged these donors to deduct the transfers as “charitable” deductions on their personal tax returns. Fai concealed from the IRS that the straw donors’ purported KAC “donations” were reimbursed by Ahmad, using funds received from officials employed by the ISI and the government of Pakistan.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Washington Field Office.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon Kromberg and Daniel Grooms of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia; Trial Attorney John Gibbs of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Ickovic from the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov .

UNITED STATES MAY FAVOR DRONE BASE IN AUSTRALIA, BUT NOT AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION REVERSE SECURITY TACTICS AGAINST U.S. SOVEREIGNTY & DEFENSE ON AMERICAN SOIL THROUGH 'CLUB FOR GROWTH' PROPAGANDA MACHINE ON BEHALF OF PAKISTAN


LATELINE.- 28.03.2012: U.S. DRONE BASE A LONG-TERM PLAN

WATCH VIDEO HERE:

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3466086.htm

The Gillard Government has confirmed it is considering allowing US military surveillance drones to be based on Australian soil on the Cocos Islands.

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AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION FAVOURS REVERSE SECURITY TACTICS AGAINST U.S. SOVEREIGNTY & DEFENSE ON AMERICAN SOIL THROUGH 'CLUB FOR GROWTH' PROPAGANDA MACHINE ON BEHALF OF PAKISTAN

Judith Ireland March 29, 2012

The opposition says it would look favourably upon a US base on Cocos Islands.


The federal opposition would be positive about basing US drones on Cocos Island, despite government moves to hose down speculation that Australian territory will be used for a US military base. Last night, opposition defence spokesman David Johnston said that a Coalition government would be ''very positive'' towards a US base on Cocos Island.

But Senator Johnston said that the Coalition would not approve anything before they saw the details of the plan. ''I mean I don't think Australia should do anything in terms of its sovereignty in the nature of a blank cheque,'' he told ABC's Lateline. Yesterday, Defence Minister Stephen Smith distanced the government from reports that US military aircraft — including unmanned drones — could be based on Australia's Cocos and Keeling Islands.

Mr Smith described the plan as a ''long-term prospect'' and said priorities were the rotation of US marines through the Northern Territory and greater US access to Australian air and naval bases — as announced during US President Barack Obama's trip in November.

Friday, March 30, 2012

EDWARD MARKEY (MA-D) BLASTS OBAMA'S FDA FOR REJECTING PETITION TO BAN FOOD CONTAINER CHEMICAL BPA




READ MORE ON PAST OBAMA-ROMNEY CARE OLYMPIC GENOCIDES:

http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=1685&catid=11&subcatid=73

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EDWARD MARKEY (MA-D) BLASTS OBAMA'S FDA FOR REJECTING PETITION TO BAN FOOD CONTAINER CHEMICAL BPA

By Julian Pecquet - 03/30/12 04:49 PM ET

A leading Democratic critic of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) blasted the Obama administration's rejection Friday of a petition to ban its use in food and beverage packaging because of growing concerns that the omnipresent chemical could be linked to cancer and other diseases.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Commitee with jurisdiction over the Food and Drug Administration, has introduced legislation to ban BPA from being used in food and beverage containers in addition to filing three petitions with the agency. The petitions request the FDA to remove regulatory approval for the use of BPA in infant formula and baby and toddler food packaging; small reusable household food and beverage containers; and canned food packaging.


"Despite steps taken around the world to eliminate the use of this toxic chemical in food and beverage packaging, the FDA continues to ignore safety concerns and allow BPA in the household products American families use everyday," Markey said in a statement. "Many manufacturers have already stopped using BPA in their products due to public pressure, leading to the development of alternatives for this harmful chemical. I call on the FDA to accept my petition and close the door on the use of this chemical in America’s food and beverage packaging and provide assurance that BPA forever will be kept out of our bodies."

The agency had until Saturday to make a decision under the terms of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The FDA said Friday it was not making a final determination on BPA's safety, but would continue to examine the medical research on the issue.

"While evidence from some studies have raised questions as to whether BPA may be associated with a variety of health effects," the FDA said, "there remain serious questions about these studies, particularly as they relate to humans."

The decision drew immediate fire from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The agency has failed to protect our health and safety — in the face of scientific studies that continue to raise disturbing questions about the long-term effects of BPA exposures, especially in fetuses, babies and young children," senior scientist Sarah Janssen said in a statement. "The FDA is out-of-step with scientific and medical research. This illustrates the need for a major overhaul of how the government protects us against dangerous chemicals."

This post was updated at 6 p.m. with comment from Rep. Markey

STAGE LEFT: CAN ANY OF THEM BE TRUSTED?



DEMOCRATS' CAMPAIGN TREASURER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES OF DEFRAUDING THE CANDIDATES OUT OFMORE THAN $7 MILLION

By Josh Lederman - 03/30/12 04:25 PM ET

A former top money manager for California Democrats admitted Friday that she defrauded candidates out of more than $7 million between 2000 and 2011.

Kinde Durkee pleaded guilty in federal court to five counts of mail fraud in what Justice Department officials are calling the biggest case ever prosecuted of a treasurer embezzling from campaigns.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) accounts were wiped out by Durkee, whom officials said used client money to pay her mortgage, credit card and other personal expenses. California Democratic Reps. Susan Davis, Loretta Sanchez, Linda Sanchez and Laura Richardson were also among the victims.

"Like any fraudster, she depended on trust to perpetuate and conceal her scheme," said Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. "In the world of politics, no less than in the world of finance, clients should be wary of relying on trust alone when choosing a guardian for their funds.”

Wagner's office said Durkee had agreed to pay restitution and would liquidate her own retirement account to help pay back what she took.

Durkee could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts when she is sentenced in June.

MORGAN -V- SWANSON HEARD AT HIGH COURT --- STATE OF TENNESSEE TO PASS BILL PROTECTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AS CATHOLIC STUDENTS TO LEAVE VANDERBILT CAMPUS OVER "ALL-PERVERTS" POLICY

SCOTUSblog

TENNESSEE LAWMAKERS TAKE ON CAMPUS RELIGIOUS SUBVERSION-PERVERSION POLICIES



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CATHOLIC STUDENTS TO LEAVE VANDERBILT CAMPUS OVER "ALL-PERVERTS" POLICY

SCOTUSblog

By John Roberts Published March 29, 2012 | FoxNews.com

It’s all written into Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination or “all-comers” policy.

All student groups must register next month. As part of the registration, they must sign a statement of affirmation that they will abide by the nondiscrimination policy.

Vandy Catholic -- a student group with some 500 members -- has decided it cannot agree to the policy and will be leaving campus in the fall. PJ Jedlovec, the president of Vandy Catholic, says it was a difficult decision, one made after much prayer and discussion.

“We are first and foremost a Catholic organization," says Jedlovec. “We do, in fact, have qualifications – faith-based qualifications for leadership. We require that our leaders be practicing Catholics. And the university’s nondiscrimination policy -- they have made it clear that there is no room in it for an organization that has these faith-based qualifications.”

SCOTUSblog

The university says it is “deeply disappointed” by Vandy Catholic’s decision. But the administration is sticking by its guns. In a statement provided to Fox News, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Beth Fortune said, “We do not believe our nondiscrimination policy to be incompatible with religious freedom. Vanderbilt’s policy does not mandate whom student organizations should elect as leaders -- it simply allows for anyone to be eligible for membership and to seek a leadership position.”

Religious groups used to have an exemption from the university’s nondiscrimination policy, but that language was erased last year. The Christian Legal Society, which was cited as being out of compliance with the nondiscrimination rules, points out that fraternities and sororities are exempt from the “all-comers” policy and that religious groups should be, too.

What’s ironic is that Vandy Catholic is in compliance. It’s constitution simply states that potential leaders must be “undergraduate students at Vanderbilt University.” But when the school re-iterated its policy in preparation for spring registration, Vandy Catholic leaders felt their hands were tied.

Father John Sims Baker is Vandy Catholic’s chaplain. He told Fox News, “I was trying to withhold judgment about it. But I do have to say I really felt kind of kicked in the gut – actually…that’s what I felt. I thought, you know, I could sort of see where I was afraid this was going.”

As a private university, Vanderbilt is allowed to make rules that might not pass muster at a public institution. In fact, Tennessee lawmakers are working on legislation that would specifically prohibit state universities from extending nondiscrimination policies to student religious groups.

In another attempt to change the school administration’s mind, other religious groups on campus plan to sign the statement of affir

THE 'LONG' ROAD TO OBAM-NEY CARE'S GENOCIDE OLYMPICS - MAN FACES FEDERAL PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD 'MINOR CHILD' FOR PROSTITUTION



MAN FACES FEDERAL PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD 'MINOR CHILD' FOR PROSTITUTION

6:20 PM, Mar 28, 2012

GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA) - A federal grand jury indicted Melvin Douglas, a/k/a Melvin Longwood, 31, of Washington, D.C., for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police (MSP), as part of the Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force; and Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.

The one count indictment alleges that between September 5, 2011, and February 9, 2012, Douglas transported the minor victim with the intent that the victim engage in prostitution. According to court documents, the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit received a missing child alert from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), for a 15-year old female, who had been reported missing from Prince William County, Virginia. The Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF) located an advertisement for the missing girl on the website "Backpage.com"; a website used to post advertisements for prostitution and escort services.

According to court documents, a "date" was made with the victim, using the telephone number from the advertisement. An MSP undercover officer was instructed to meet the girl at a motel on Baltimore Avenue in College Park, Maryland, room #147. Members of the MCETF went to room # 147 and located the missing girl, who was taken to the College Park State Police Barrack where she was interviewed by law enforcement.

Prior to the undercover officer arriving at the hotel for his "date," Melvin Douglas and a woman were seen in the area of room #147 by an FBI special agent who was conducting surveillance outside the motel. Douglas walked from the area of room #147 to a car with Washington, D.C. registration. Douglas and the woman were detained and subsequently arrested. Two cellular telephones were seized from Douglas at the time of his arrest.

A search of the motel room and Douglas' car recovered a laptop computer, an i-Pod Touch, condoms, and two additional cellular telephones. In addition, the receipt for the telephone which was the contact telephone in the Backpage.com advertisement for the victim, was located in the front, driver's side door compartment of Douglas' car. This receipt was dated January 19, 2012 and was associated with the name "Mel Longwood."

The victim also agreed to a search of her cellular telephone, which revealed text messages to Douglas and photographs of the victim with Douglas.

Douglas faces a minimum mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for transporting a minor to engage in prostitution. No court appearance has been scheduled. Douglas is detained on related state charges.

WARNING: GLOBAL BANKING SCAM & CRIMINAL TELEPHONE HACKING & HARASSMENT BY 'BOYS' LOVERS' CHILD PORNOGRAPHERS & MOLESTERS



KENOSHA WISCONSIN & CRESTHILL ILLINOIS MEN CONVICTED IN "BOY LOVERS' CHILD PORN INVESTIGATION

Mark McGill, 27, is one of six Chicago-area defendants convicted so far after an undercover investigation by the FBI's Innocent Images Task Force. By Shannon Antinori | March 27, 2012

A Crest Hill man is the sixth member of a self-described “Boy Lovers” group to be convicted of child pornography possession and distribution.

Patrick Fitzgerald, United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Special Agent Robert D. Grant on Monday said Mark McGill, 27, was found guilty of one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography after using his home to transfer and store child porn in 2009.

The jury deliberated for just over an hour after McGill’s four-day trial, according to a press release issued by the FBI. McGill is federal custody and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years on the distribution count. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the child porn possession count, along with a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count.

U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall is scheduled to sentence McGill on July 25.

McGill was one of four Chicago-area men arrested in September 2009 as part of an undercover investigation into an informal group of self-described “Boy Lovers” by the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force.

At McGill’s trial, another defendant testified that McGill attended at least one party with members of the group, during which the men showed each other child pornography. According to the testimony, McGill gave the other defendant a thumb drive containing 3,500 pornographic images and 60 videos of nude minor boys, many engaged in sexual acts, in August 2009.

The same images and videos were recovered from McGill’s computer, which was seized by agents executing a search warrant.

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KENOSHA WISCONSIN MAN CHARGED IN FBI 'BOYS LOVERS' CHILD PORN STING

By Jay Sorgi and the Associated Press

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CHICAGO - Four men have been arrested in an FBI sting aimed at shutting down what agents said was an informal group of child pornography collectors focusing on underage boys.

Agents arrested 27-year-old Corey Stinefast in Kenosha, Wis., where he lives, Saturday and 24-year-old Mark McGill of Crest Hill, Ill. on Monday.

Two of the men, 22-year-old Jose Carlos Garcia of Schererville, Indiana, and 40-year-old Neal Maschke of West Chicago, Ill. were arrested Saturday when they met with an undercover agent and a cooperating witness at a suburban hotel.

Child pornography was recovered from all four men, the FBI said.

According to a criminal complaint, an unnamed man who may also be charged with child exploitation worked with the FBI to obtain information on Stinefast and the other men.

It details a meeting at Six Flags Great America where Stinefast gave Garcia and the unnamed man a disk of a 14-year-old boy committing a sex act. The unnamed person gave the disk to federal agents.

The unnamed man said that he and his associates called uynderage boys they molested "young lovers" and "young friends," and they referred to their group as "boy lovers."

Attorney Ralph Meczyk representing Maschke had no comment. Messages were left at the offices of attorneys for the other defendants.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
A total of six defendants in Chicago have now been convicted as a result of the “Boy Lovers” investigation, according to the FBI’s Chicago office.

VIETNAM REFUSES ENTRY TO CARDINAL VAN THUAN BEATIFICATION GROUP & CONTINUES TO HOLD HUNDREDS OF UNITED STATES' MISSING IN ACTION AND PRISONERS OF WAR



VIETNAM REFUSES ENTRY TO CARDINAL VAN THUAN BEATIFICATION GROUP & CONTINUES TO HOLD HUNDREDS OF UNITED STATES' MISSING IN ACTION AND PRISONERS OF WAR

By David Kerr

A delegation of Catholic clerics has been blocked from entering Vietnam to investigate the possible beatification of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.

“This is very disappointing news but it proves again how very difficult is to deal with communist authorities as they are so untruthful in their dealings,” Vietnamese-born Bishop Dominic Luong of Orange County said to EWTN News on March 28.

A delegation from Rome was planning to visit Vietnam from March 23 to April 9 to hear testimonies from people who knew Cardinal Van Thuan, who died in 2002. The group also wanted to speak to two women – a nun and a lay woman – who claim they were miraculously cured through his heavenly intercession.

On March 28 the Vatican Press Office confirmed for EWTN News that the group’s tourist visas were revoked by the Vietnamese authorities. They stressed, however, that the delegation was not traveling in any official capacity for the Vatican and that the group did not use the Holy See’s diplomatic channels in planning their visit.

While the press office would not confirm the identities of the group’s members, it also denied media speculation that Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was part of the delegation.

Cardinal Van Thuan was named the Archbishop of Saigon just seven days before the fall of South Vietnam to the communist North in 1975. He was then imprisoned for 13 years, nine of which were spent in solitary confinement. He was released in 1998, only to be placed under house arrest until 1991, when he was forced to leave his homeland.

He spent his exile in Rome where Pope John Paul II appointed him President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 1998. He was elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals in 2001. He died a year later after a long battle with cancer.

At the opening of Cardinal Van Thuan’s cause for beatification in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI praised “the shining witness of faith which this heroic Pastor bequeathed to us.”

Father Peter Nguyen Huu Giai, a priest in the Vietnamese Diocese of Hue, told UCA News that he and several others had been ready to give evidence to the delegation early next week.

“I have prepared documents in English and French to present the delegation, but it is regretted that I could not meet them,” he said March 26.

Fr. Nguyen said he believed the refusal to grant visas is a result of the Vietnamese government’s sensitivity surrounding any possible beatification.

“I look forward with optimism about the Cardinal’s beatification process because the Holy See has the right to beatify him (regardless of) the government.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI ALLEGES WIDESPREAD IRREGULARITIES, BUT IS DETERMINED TO WIN SEAT IN PARLIAMENT - THE JUNTA IS HOPING FOR THE U.S. TO EASE RESTRICTIONS


AUNG SAN SUU KYI ALLEGES WIDESPREAD IRREGULARITIES, BUT IS DETERMINED TO WIN SEAT IN PARLIAMENT- THE JUNTA IS HOPING FOR THE U.S. TO EASE RESTRICTIONS

By Associated Press, March 29, 2012

YANGON, Myanmar — Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi says Myanmar’s elections cannot be called free and fair because of widespread irregularities, but that she is pressing forward with her candidacy in Sunday’s polling for the sake of the country.

Suu Kyi made the comments at a news conference Friday, two days before by-elections that are being closely watched by the international community.

The 66-year-old Nobel peace laureate listed irregularities that go “beyond what is acceptable for democratic elections.”

She says the polls will not be “genuinely free and fair” but that “we are determined to go forward.”

Suu Kyi is expected to win her first seat in parliament in Sunday’s vote.

The polls are seen as a crucial test of Myanmar’s commitment to democratic reforms.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CHINA'S HU VISITS CAMBODIA AS ASEAN LEADERS EYE SEA DISPUTES



CHINA'S HU VISITS CAMBODIA AS ASEAN LEADERS EYE SEA DISPUTES

March 29, 2012 + By DANIEL TEN KATE

President Hu Jintao today becomes the first Chinese head of state to visit Cambodia in 12 years, in a trip days before Southeast Asian leaders gather for talks that may touch on territorial disputes in the South China Sea.


Hu’s visit, which lasts until April 2, will deepen ties between Cambodia and China , its largest investor, the official Xinhua news agency reported March 27, citing the country’s ambassador in Phnom Penh , the capital. China appreciates Cambodia’s support on core interests, the report said, adding that China opposes outside interference on the South China Sea.

“Cambodians will not want to upset the Chinese by pushing the South China Sea on the agenda of the Asean meeting,” said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies in Singapore . In the past two years, previous hosts Vietnam and Indonesia “really pushed the issue, so that momentum will slow under a Cambodian chairmanship,” he said.

Vietnam and the Philippines have pushed the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take a common position regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where Exxon Mobil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) are searching for oil and gas. Cambodia holds the bloc’s rotating chairmanship.

The South China Sea contains oil reserves that may total as much as 213 billion barrels, according to Chinese studies cited in 2008 by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. China used patrol boats last year to disrupt hydrocarbon survey activities in waters it claims, chasing away a ship working for Forum Energy Plc (FEP) off the Philippines and slicing cables of a survey vessel doing work for Vietnam.

The Philippines said in January it’s ready to host a summit to help resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea. China must meet with the countries claiming part of the sea “under the guidance” of Asean as soon as possible, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Jan. 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

PERU DENIES ARGENTINE REQUEST TO EXTRADITE FORMER MILITARY RULER



PERU DENIES ARGENTINE REQUEST TO EXTRADITE FORMER MILITARY RULER

March 29, 2012 + By JOHN QUIGLEY

Peru’s Supreme Court denied a request by an Argentine court to extradite a former Peruvian military leader in connection with the kidnapping and torture of opponents to his regime.

General Francisco Morales Bermudez, who ruled Peru from 1975 to 1980, is accused of being involved in the kidnapping and torture of 13 Peruvians who were deported to Argentina in May 1978, the Supreme Court said in an e-mailed statement.

The court rejected the extradition request as Peruvian legislation at the time didn’t cover torture or conspiracy to commit a crime, it said. There is nothing stopping the relevant Peruvian authorities from investigating the charges of kidnapping, the court said.

Morales Bermudez, who ended a 12-year military regime by calling elections, has denied any involvement in the crackdown.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at jquigley8@bloomberg.net .

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net . +++++++++++

PERU'S HUMALA LAUNCHES NATGAS PIPELINE PROJECT

March 29, 2012 + By RYAN DUBE

LIMA (MarketWatch) -- President Ollanta Humala on Thursday launched the start of work for a natural gas pipeline project in southern Peru, which he called the Andean country's "most important project" during the last 100 years.

The Southern Andean Gas Pipeline, which will be more than 1,000 kilometers long, was declared a national interest and public necessity by Congress late last year.

The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Camisea gas fields to cities in southern Peru, providing cheaper energy to some of the country's poorest regions, Humala said. He said that pipeline will provide an important boost to southern Peru's development.

"We are starting the most important project in Peru in the last 100 years," Humala said during a ceremony in the town of Quillabamba, located in the southern Cuzco region. "This project is going to change, not only life in Cuzco, but the entire country, and particularly the country's south."

Mines and Energy Minister Jorge Merino said during the ceremony that the pipeline will ensure energy security in Peru.

The project will also allow Peru to create a petrochemical industry on Peru's southern coast using gas from the Camisea fields, Humala said. He added that Peru will be on the "vanguard" of the petrochemical industry thanks to the project.

Peru has been negotiating with the Camisea consortium in order to have natural gas from Block 88 to be used exclusively for domestic use.

The government has said that 2.5 trillion cubic feet from Block 88 are contractually tied to a company that exports liquefied natural gas, and the government has wanted the private-sector Camisea consortium to find other guarantees, freeing that gas for domestic use.

Humala said recently that the government is close to a deal with the consortium. He said Thursday that the government will make an announcement on the destination of the gas from Block 88 next week.

The pipeline is being developed by Kuntur Transportadora de GAS S.A.C. Kuntur is controlled by Latin Power III L.P., a fund managed by Conduit Capital Partners, LLC.

Peru's state-owned Petroleos del Peru (PETROBC1.VL), or PetroPeru, plans to have a minority interest in the project. Petroperu President Humberto Campodonico said in February that the pipeline will require an investment of $4 billion.

Humala also announced Thursday that state-owned enterprise Electroperu SA will build a 200 megawatt thermoelectric plant in Quillabamba. "In this government we are going to have cheap gas, we are going to have cheap energy," he said.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

U.S. SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY ADDRESSES SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GINSBERG'S THREAT OF NOT PRESERVING, PROTECTING, & DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


U.S. SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, ADDRESSES SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GINSBERG'S THREAT OF NOT PRESERVING, PROTECTING, & DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

FORWARD THE VIDEO TO 4:08:21 TO LISTEN TO U.S. SENATOR GRASSLEY:



FORWARD THE VIDEO TO 4:08:21 TO LISTEN TO U.S. SENATOR GRASSLEY


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BOEING & BELL HELICOPTER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF UNITED STATES' MARINE PILOTS IN 2000 OSPREY CRASH - (JP MORGAN CHASE BANK CONTINUES TO CONSPIRE AGAINST AMERICA & HER ARMED SERVICES IN ILLEGAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES)



U.S. SENATOR WALTER JONES (NC-R) SITES BOEING RESPONSIBILITY IN THE DEATHS OF UNITED STATES' MARINE PILOTS In 2000 OSPREY CRASH

By Jeremy Herb - 03/29/12 05:00 AM ET

For a dozen years, two widows say, the Marines have unfairly blamed their husbands for the death of 19 Marines in a fiery V-22 Osprey crash.

Connie Gruber and Trish Brow have been fighting to get the Marines to say their husbands, pilots Maj. Brooks Gruber and Lt. Col. John Brow, should not be blamed for the April 2000 crash when the tiltrotor aircraft rolled over sideways trying to land in a training exercise.

Their cause has been championed by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), who has lobbied the Marines for a decade to remove “human factors” as a cause and say the pilots weren’t at fault.


FORWARD THE VIDEO TO 6:40:58 TO LISTEN TO U.S. CONRESSMAN WALTER JONES (NC-R):



FORWARD THE VIDEO TO 6:40:58 TO LISTEN TO U.S. CONRESSMAN WALTER JONES (NC-R)


“I have children who are 19 and 20 now, and they deserve that for their father,” Trish Brow said in an interview.

But Jones’s efforts have failed to persuade Marine leaders, who say there’s no reason to change the crash report, which found numerous factors contributed to the accident, including human ones.

“The Marine Corps is unaware of any new evidence in the case and therefore has no basis to second-guess the judgments of the many professionals who were involved,” a spokesman for Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos said in a statement. “We believe this matter to be closed.”

Jones, who has met with both Amos and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus about the crash, vows to continue his fight. He brought it up when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified in the House Armed Services Committee last month, and told The Hill he’s considering going to the White House and Vice President Biden.

“I either will die, or I’ll be defeated” before dropping the wives’ cause, Jones said. “It’s just the right thing to do. It’s just that simple to me. The families deserve this.”

Producers for “60 Minutes,” which did a story on the Osprey crashes and falsified test data in 2001, met with Jones to consider a follow-up piece on the wives’ ordeal.

Jones said the Marines’ investigation report actually exonerates the pilots — it was the Marines’ statement about the investigation that sparked the “pilot error” blame.

“Unfortunately, the pilots’ drive to accomplish that mission appears to have been the fatal factor,” the release said.

That statement led to years of press accounts that said pilot error was the cause of the crash, Gruber and Brow say. They are asking the Marines to issue a statement that says the two pilots “were not at fault” and include it in the accident report.

As Jones stepped up efforts to clear the pilots’ names last year, he solicited letters from the three crash investigators, all of whom wrote that the pilots should not be blamed for the crash.

Documents reviewed by The Hill and interviews with those involved show the circumstances surrounding the accident do not lead to simple conclusions. While the pilots took actions that contributed to the crash, they and their superiors did not yet understand the flight condition called “vortex-ring state” (VRS) that caused the Osprey to roll over and crash.

“The consequences of something like that happening were unknown,” retired Lt. Col. Mike Morgan, the lead investigator of the accident investigation, said in an interview. “Unfortunately, in aviation, sometimes it takes something like that to happen before fixes are designed into airplanes.”

The accident occurred during a night mission in Marana, Ariz., with 17 Marine passengers on board. Following the lead aircraft’s steep line into the landing zone, Brooks and Gruber descended too rapidly, causing one of the rotors to enter VRS and stop rotating, which flipped the Osprey upside down.

Morgan said the incident prompted further testing to find the limits of the Osprey’s descent ability, and a warning system was later added to the aircraft.

The investigation report said: “We found nothing that we would characterize as negligence, deliberate pilot error or maintenance/material failure.”

“If you ask, legally, did pilot error contribute to the mishap? You would have to say yes, it did,” Morgan said. “But as the years go by and everything that has gone on in the program, I don’t think it’s fair to pin it on pilot error.”

Morgan said he “was very disappointed” when the Marines’ press release pointed to the pilots.

But some who were involved don’t think the Marines should change their report. Retired Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle, former Marine aviation chief, said while the crash was heartbreaking, the pilots’ actions still led to the tragedy.

“To me, it was human factors,” McCorkle said in an interview. “That’s what I’ve told the family, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.”

The crash occurred at a time when the future of the Osprey — which takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a plane — was in doubt.

Following another Osprey crash in December 2000 and reports that test data had been falsified, the Pentagon temporarily suspended flights and created a commission to examine its future.

Jones says he supports the Osprey program, but that the two pilots should not be punished for past testing and design problems.

Gruber first reached out to Jones in 2002, and a year later Jones sent a letter asking for the Marines to remove “human factor error” from the report.

In 2004, then-Marine Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee wrote that the report did not identify a primary cause in the crash and it didn’t need altering.

Letters were exchanged over the next several years, as separate lawsuits for the 17 Marines and the pilots were settled with Bell Helicopter and Boeing, the Osprey’s manufacturers.

Jones has amplified his efforts since 2009, introducing a House resolution on the crash and gathering a team of supporters and evidence.

“The more I got involved, the more I learned, the more I believed these two men should be totally exonerated,” Jones said.

The Marines remain unconvinced. In his last letter to Jones in 2011, Amos wrote: “I cannot prevent outside observers from using unflattering characterizations about these pilots.”

Jones disagrees. “You give the wives the one paragraph, and they’ll take care of it,” he said.

Gruber and Brow say they continue the fight because of their children, as they don’t want a cloud hanging over their fathers’ deaths.

“We do not continue with this 12-year mission due to bitterness,” Gruber said. “We do this for the men who can no longer speak for themselves.”

AXE THE EX-IM BANK



AXE THE EX-IM BANK

By Howard Rich — 21.03.2012

While it may not garner the same level of scrutiny as other big government boondoggles, the United States’ Export-Import Bank — or “Ex-Im Bank” — is every bit as deserving of public scorn.

Billed as “the official export credit agency of the United States,” the Ex-Im Bank is an independent agency that was created decades ago to provide “aid in financing” to foreign entities and “to facilitate exports of goods and services, and in so doing to contribute to the employment of U.S. workers.”

Clearly the federal government cutting checks abroad to finance the purchase of American goods is not a core function of government. Nor are the loans doled out by this bank in anyone’s best interests (other than the companies which receive the subsidies, of course). In order to maximize prosperity, facilitate innovation and foster economic growth, the flow of capital across borders should be dictated by the global marketplace – not by government edict.

Yet given the pseudo-socialist world view that’s come to dominate decision-making in Washington, D.C., it’s not surprising that this vestige of Old Keynesianism is being given a costly New Keynesian spin.

Created during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal for the purpose of making loans to the Soviet Union, the Ex-Im Bank became a standalone government agency in 1945. Since then it has doled out hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign loans with little to no accountability. And while the bank claims that “in excess of 80 percent of our transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses,” in reality it is nothing but a slush fund for politically-connected multinationals.

“In fiscal 2009, Ex-Im guaranteed $8.4 billion of loans to benefit Boeing, an astounding 90 percent of all of Ex-Im’s loan guarantees,” Timothy P. Carney of The Washington Examiner reported last summer.

The following year the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer was awarded $6.4 billion in loan guarantees — or 63 percent of the total Ex-Im loan guarantees that year.

No wonder Boeing rushed to cut a deal with Barack Obama’s rabidly pro-union National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) when the agency threatened the company in 2011.

Currently Obama’s administration — with Boeing’s aggressive support — is seeking an extension of the Ex-Im Bank’s authorization and a major expansion of its borrowing capacity. Of course this four-year, $140 billion proposal isn’t being offered as a standalone piece of legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has instead chosen to attach it as an amendment to a popular bipartisan bill designed to eliminate regulatory barriers for small businesses.

Increasingly, this is how the corporate cronyists in Washington, D.C. seek to pass all manner of anti-free market measures. They know it is politically toxic to seek approval for these items straight up — so they insert them as amendments to broadly-supported bills in the hopes that no one will notice (or risk objecting).

Also troubling is the so-called “opposition” to the Ex-Im Bank, which consists of a GOP proposal to reauthorize it for one year while raising its cap to $113 billion.

Neither of these plans is acceptable. This agency must be done away with altogether —immediately.

While certain U.S.-based companies like Boeing may benefit from the Ex-Im Bank’s loans —other U.S. companies are hurt by them. Take Delta, which was forced to scrap a popular international route because it could no longer compete with a foreign airliner that was receiving Ex-Im Bank subsidies.

Not only is this a bad outcome for Delta and its employees, it’s a bad outcome for consumers who must pay higher fares as a result of the reduced competition. No wonder Delta is currently suing the Ex-Im Bank for making loans that enabled Air India — its foreign competitor — to purchase Boeing jets at a substantially reduced interest rate. This sort of manipulation of the marketplace is rampant in the global economy — yet with occasional exceptions (like the Solyndra scandal) its drawbacks are rarely discussed.

In a collection of essays called The Morality of Capitalism, Kenyan entrepreneur June Arunga describes what happens when “international companies get special favors from governments.”

“These regulations restrict our markets and our freedom,” Arunga writes. “We are left purchasing goods and services that may not be of the highest quality or the best price, because we don’t have freedom of choice. That lack of freedom keeps us down and perpetuates poverty.”

Indeed. If we are going to reclaim our freedom and free markets, the Ex-Im Bank is one of many government entities that must be abolished immediately — and permanently.

The author is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE FOX NEWS VIDEO WITH JUDGE NAPOLITANO ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ARGUMENTS & THE FUTURE OF OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE LAW


EXCLUSIVE FOX NEWS VIDEO WITH JUDGE NAPOLITANO ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ARGUMENTS & THE FUTURE OF OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE LAW:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/after-the-bell/index.html#/v/1535156007001/judge-napolitano-on-the-future-of-the-health-care-law/?playlist_id=87062


EXCLUSIVE FOX NEWS VIDEO WITH JUDGE NAPOLITANO ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ARGUMENTS & THE FUTURE OF OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE LAW:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/after-the-bell/index.html#/v/1535156007001/judge-napolitano-on-the-future-of-the-health-care-law/?playlist_id=87062

PAM BONDI, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, FINDS SPOTLIGHT OUTSIDE UNITED STATES' SUPREME COURT


C-SPAN VIDEO: REACTION TO THE UNITED STATES' SUPREME COURT ARGUMENTS AGAINST OBAM-NEY CARE



Paul Clement reacted to Supreme Court health care law arguments on severabiltiy, whether the remainder of the 2010 health care law can stand if the individual mandate provision is found unconstitutional. Mr. Clement argued against severability.

+++++++++++++


PAM BONDI, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA, FINDS SPOTLIGHT OUTSIDE UNITED STATES' SUPREME COURT

By Erika Bolstad, Miami Herald + March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Blessed with sound bite sensibilities in an all-male scrum of long-winded gray suits, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi stood out in Washington this week as the unofficial spokeswoman for the 26 states that challenged the health care law to the Supreme Court.

Elected in 2010, the telegenic former state prosecutor and former Fox News legal commenter inherited the lawsuit from former Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum. But she campaigned on the issue herself and has seized it as her own since taking office at the beginning of 2011.

Beaming on Wednesday after the historic three-day arguments in front of the Supreme Court, Bondi said she thought it went "very well, once again." And she insisted that Florida's opposition to the signature achievement of President Barack Obama's administration is on constitutional, not political grounds.

"As attorneys general, we keep going back to the constitutionality, because that's our job," she said. "We're not here to debate health care policy. It's all about the Constitution and following the law."

Although Bondi has also tackled pill mills in Florida and a number of other initiatives, the health care case has consumed her staff since she took office. She served on the executive committee that chose Paul Clement to argue the case in front of the high court; as the case approached oral arguments, there were as many as three conference calls a week on its status.

One deputy, Tim Osterhaus, was so committed to seeing the arguments that he bought a sleeping bag and camped out in a special line for attorneys the night before the justices tackled the question of individual mandates.

Her predecessor filed the lawsuit in March, minutes after Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Bondi helped persuade an additional six state attorneys general to join the suit.

Bondi emerged naturally as their spokeswoman, in part because Florida was the lead plaintiff in the case, said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who like his Florida counterpart, had a predecessor who took an early and aggressive interest in challenging the federal government on health care.

Also?

"She's the best looking face of us all," Wilson noted.

A registered Democrat from 1984 until 2000 when she switched to the Republican Party, she wasn't especially politically involved until running for office.

Today, Bondi, 46, downplays suggestions that the health care lawsuit may have raised her profile — and as a result, her future prospects in the Republican Party.

"I don't care about that," she said. "I care about defeating the health care mandate. That's all I care about."

She repeated her talking points: the legal challenge was about the Constitution, not politics.

"When we were in front of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, everyone kept saying it was about politics. 'You don't stand a chance of winning, because you have two Clinton appointees and one Bush appointee on your panel,'" Bondi said. "And we ended up with the best bipartisan decision in the country. So it's not about politics, it's about the Constitution. And that's what we firmly believe."

Among fellow Republican attorneys general recapping court arguments with daily press conferences, Bondi served as emcee and chief spokeswoman. And Bondi had the politics nailed. She introduced Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning as "our next United States senator," and pledged that health care would have to go back to Congress for a rewrite.

"When they do go back to the drawing board — and I firmly believe they will have to — I think everyone will read the law at that point. Seriously!" she said, in a dig at the 2,700-page legislation. "Next go-around, they're going to be much more thoughtful, much more cautious."

Bondi doesn't discount the need for health care reform in the United States, however. Among her talking points on the issue is a standard disclaimer that it's an issue desperately in need of addressing. Just follow the Constitution, she says.

"I would be the first one to say we need tremendous health care reform," she said. "But this is not the way to do it."

Leaving a final press conference with several Republican senators, fellow attorneys and somewhat inexplicably, former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Bondi walked toward the car that was taking her back to the airport and her duties in Tallahassee.

She stopped to take a wistful look at the Supreme Court building. "Can you take my picture in front of it?" she asked her staff

PROTECTING THE ELDERLY - ALL HANDS ON DECK IN THE "LONG" REPEAL OBAM-NEY CARE




PROTECTING THE ELDERLY - ALL HANDS ON DECK IN THE "LONG" REPEAL OF OBAM-NEY CARE

September 19, 2011 - Cardinal O’Malley - Red Mass Homily

Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near, Isaiah urges us this morning. We gather here as seekers. Our life of faith is a quest. St. Paul tells us today: “conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”

Life as a disciple is not a solo flight; it is more like being on Noah’s Ark. Some passengers are getting seasick, part of the crew might be ready for a mutiny. Occasionally there is a man overboard. And yet we are all in the same boat, and it is infinitely better than being in a dingy by yourself. Faith is lived in a community of disciples who share a common vision and a common mission. One learns discipleship the way we learn a language by being part of a community that speaks that language. And although we are pilgrims in this world, God expects us, as the Jews say, “to repair the world”. We must leave it a better place than the way we found it. As Catholic Jurists you have a unique responsibility and opportunity to advance this mission to repair the world, to build a civilization of love. Please see your own profession as a vocation, a calling to a life of service, a life of discipleship in Christ’s Church.

When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert he based his arguments on passages from the Old Testament, which has given rise to the saying that even the devil can quote Scripture. Ironically those who advocate a strict separation of Church and State often quote Jesus words: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Ceasar’s and to God the things that are God’s”. What they often mean by that is “Let’s lock God in the sacristy and let Caesar call all the shots.” That can be very perilous, especially if Caesar happens to be a blood thirsty ideologue who likes to throw people to the lions.

A couple of months ago Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus came to give a speech at Faneuil Hall to mark the 50th anniversary of JKF’s inaugural address. Carl Anderson eloquently demonstrates how Kennedy’s inaugural address captures the convictions of our nation’s founders that “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the State, but from the hand of God.”

Our Country’s democracy is based on the conviction that human rights come from God. The Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In declaring this nation independence the signers of the Declaration stated that the rights cited in their claim were not simply a matter of opinion or even of belief. Rather they were God given rights that could not be taken away by any person or any government. These rights are self evident and those words were unanimously adopted. On this moral foundation, America has staked its claim for liberty.

American Catholics seek neither theocracy nor secularism but a moral way forward for our country. Last year when Pope Benedict was in England he addressed an impressive group of intellectual leaders of Parliament and four prime ministers. In Westminster Hall, the very venue of St. Thomas More’s trial and condemnation, the Holy Father stated: “if the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident, herein lies the real challenge for democracy. The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world. Just as every economic decision has a moral consequence, so too in the political field the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can fail to ignore.”

Pope Benedict asks: “Where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of Revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these norms, as if they could not be known by nonbelievers, still less to propose concrete political solutions which would lie altogether outside of the competence of religion, but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles. This corrective role of religion is not always welcome, partly because distorted forms of religion such as sectarianism and fundamentalism can be seen to create serious social problems themselves; but without the corrective supplied by religion, reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. The Holy Father goes on to say that the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue for the good of our civilization. This month the Attorney General of Massachusetts has certified a petition in support of legalizing physician assisted suicide in our state. It is another attempt to undermine the sacredness of human life that demands an energetic response from Catholics and other citizens of good will.

Today, many people fear the prospect of a protracted period of decline at the end of life. They fear experiencing pain, losing control, lingering with dementia, fear of being abandoned, fear of becoming a burden on others.

We as a society will be judged by how we respond to these fears. We must devote more attention to those who might feel that their life is diminished in value or meaning, they need the love and care of others to assure them of their inherent worth.

Most people, regardless of religious affiliation know that suicide is a tragedy, one that a compassionate society should work to prevent. They realize that allowing doctors to prescribe the means for their patients to kill themselves is a corruption of the medical profession. It even violates the Hippocratic Oath that has guided physicians for thousands of years. To quote from that foundational document: “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone even if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan.”

By rescinding the legal protection for the lives of a category of people, the government sends a message that some persons are better off dead. This biased judgment about the diminished value of life for someone with a serious illness or disability is fueled by the excessively high premium our culture places on productivity and autonomy which tends to discount the lives of those who have a disability or who are suffering or dependent on others. If these people claim they want to die, others might be tempted to regard this not as a call for help, but as a reasonable response to what they agree is a meaningless life. Those who choose to live may then be viewed as selfish or irrational, as a needless burden on others, and might even be encouraged to see themselves in that way. Many people with a disability who struggle for their genuine rights to adequate health care, housing and so forth, are understandably suspicious when the freedom society most eagerly offers them is the freedom to take their lives.

The notion that assisting a suicide shows compassion is misguided. It eliminates the person but causes suffering to those left behind and pushes vulnerable people to see death as an escape. According to the National Council on Disability: “As the experience in the Netherlands demonstrates there is little doubt that legalizing assisted suicide generates strong pressures upon individuals and families to utilize the option, and leads very quickly to coercion and involuntary euthanasia.”

Legalizing assisted suicide leads to more suicides. This is the collateral damage of the assisted suicide agenda. The World Health Organization warns: “avoid language which normalizes suicide or presents it as a solution to problems.”

A decade after Oregon’s law allowing physician assisted suicide took effect, suicide had become the leading cause of “injury death” in Oregon and the second leading cause of death among those between 15 and 34 years of age. The suicide rate in Oregon was in decline until legalizing physician assisted suicide. The suicide rate has been rising since 2000 and by 2007 was already 35% higher than the national average –without counting physician assisted suicides of seriously ill patients which Oregon law does not allow to be counted as suicides and without counting 1,000 failed attempted suicides each year.

We hope that the citizens of the commonwealth will not be seduced by the language: dignity, mercy and compassion which are used to disguise the sheer brutality of helping some kill themselves. A vote for physician assisted suicide is a vote for suicide.

A rabbi in Baltimore said: “The Jew must attend to those who are ill and reassure those who are dying of our presence. Part of attending them is reminding them of their worth and dignity when they lose all control over the end of life. Medicine and public policy will never be competent or adequate at defining or managing the meaning of life and death. Only we can do that. And the call for physician assisted suicide is a reminder to us we must do it better.”

In the Gospel the workmen are angry at the owner of the fields for this largess to those who only produced a little bit, only worked the last shift. God’s logic is one of love. He does not just see what we deserve, but what we need. God’s approach is expensive and the insurance companies would not be in favor.

In the eyes of the world those who are in the last stages of life are somehow diminished in their humanity and should be eliminated. We must see them through God’s eyes and recognize that each and every person is created in his image and likeness and that we are all connected to God and to each other. We are our brothers keeper and our sister’s helper. Cain who forgot he was his brother’s keeper ended up becoming his executioner. “Thou shall not kill” is God’s law and it is written in our hearts by our Creator.

We are call upon to defend the Gospel of life with courage and resolve. Your very profession invests all of you with an even greater responsibility to ensure that our laws are just and that they protect the weak.

And so in this Red Mass –whose color links blood of martyrdom with the robes of justice-we gather before this altar to invoke the power of God that the Holy Spirit might guide all of you in your work so that you too may be steadfast proponents of all that is right and good and true. Like St. Thomas More may you come to see your profession to be an opportunity to unite your natural talents with a vision of faith and the force of reason, not to serve the enticements of power but the supreme ideal of justice, and as a chance to put public activity at the service of the human person for a virtuous democracy.

UNANIMOUS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF AN AMERICAN MINOR CHILD - LIFE, LIBERTY & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ...




A PRO-LIFE PRAYER FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Lord God, Author of Life and Source of Eternal Life,

Move the hearts of all our public officials and especially our President, to fulfill their responsibilities worthily and well to all those entrusted to their care.

Help them in their special leadership roles, to extend the mantle of protection to the most vulnerable, especially the defenseless unborn, whose lives are threatened with extermination by an indifferent society.

Guide all public officials by your wisdom and grace to cease supporting any law that fails to protect the fundamental good that is human life itself, which is a gift from God and parents.

You are the Protector and Defender of the lives of the innocent unborn. Change the hearts of those who compromise the call to protect and defend life. Bring our nation to the values that have made us a great nation, a society that upholds the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Mary, the Mother of the living, help us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life with our lives and our laws, through Christ, Our Lord.

Amen.

Imprimatur: January 22, 2009
Most Reverend Robert J. Baker
Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama

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PRAYER FOR THE UNBORN

Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.

Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood.

Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life.

Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.