Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Abortion Protesters

From FNC:

The Supreme Court dealt a setback Tuesday to abortion clinics in a two-decade-old legal fight over anti-abortion protests, ruling that federal extortion and racketeering laws cannot be used to ban demonstrations.

The 8-0 decision ends a case that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had kept alive despite a 2003 ruling by the high court that lifted a nationwide injunction on anti-abortion groups led by Joseph Scheidler and others.

Anti-abortion groups brought the appeal after the appellate court sought to determine whether the injunction could be supported by charges that protesters had made threats of violence.

The legal battle began in 1986, when the National Organization for Women filed a class-action suit challenging tactics used by the Pro-Life Action Network to block women from entering abortion clinics.

NOW’s legal strategy was novel at the time, relying on civil provisions of the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which was used predominantly in criminal cases against organized crime. The lawsuit also relied on the Hobbs Act, a 55-year-old law banning extortion.

A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction against the anti-abortion protesters after a Chicago jury found in 1998 that demonstrators had engaged in a pattern of racketeering by interfering with clinic operations, menacing doctors, assaulting patients and damaging clinic property.

But the Supreme Court voided the injunction in 2003, ruling that the extortion law could not be used against the protesters because they had not illegally “obtained property” from women seeking to enter clinics to receive abortions.

Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the decision.

The cases are Scheidler v. NOW, 04-1244, and Operation Rescue v. NOW, 04-1352.

Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the decision because he was not a member of the court when the case was argued. Don’t ask me why FNC left this information out of their article, but they did.

This will make abortion protester’s lives a little simpler. See, right now they have to apply for an injunction municipality by municipality. Since this was a unanimous vote no one should question its validity. I am sure they will, but they shouldn’t.

Read the legal opinion>>

Congress Set to Muzzle the Citizen Activist

Isn’t this special? It seems our Rights of Free Speech, Assembly and Privacy are under attack in the form of “Lobby Reform.”

From Lobby Sense:

A coalition of more than fifty grassroots and public policy organizations today announced the launch of a new citizen advocacy project, LobbySense, and released a detailed Statement of Principles that opposes any Congressional legislation that according to the group, “stifles citizen speech.”

The broad-based coalition also announced the appointments of Kerri Houston, vice president of policy for Frontiers of Freedom, as LobbySense national spokesperson; and, Jason Wright, president of the Institute for Liberty, as executive director.

“In the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff lobby scandal,” said Kerri Houston, “members of Congress reacted swiftly to public concerns and drafted legislation they deem ‘lobby reform.’ But while we applaud their willingness to engage, we oppose any legislation that overreaches and unnecessarily diminishes the rights of the many for misguided public image purposes.”

According to LobbySense, some proposed regulations aim far afield of their presumptive targets – corporate lobbyists and Congress itself – and have raised the ire of grassroots organizations and think tanks now caught in a web of expansive new restrictions despite any complicity in the current scandal. LobbySense maintains that state-based and national organizations object to new restrictions on member organizations that advocate for changes in public policy based on ideological values.

“Our coalition recognizes that intrusive and unnecessary restrictions in Senate bill 2128 proposed by Senator McCain (R-AZ) and S. 2180 sponsored by Senators Reid (D-NV) and Obama (D-IL) will have a chilling affect on the ability of ordinary citizens on all sides the political spectrum to have their voices heard by their Members of Congress,” stated Houston.

“Effective reform should include more transparency in reporting lobby-related activity, restraint on the spending at the heart of corruption, and strengthening of current criminal statutes,” continued Jason Wright. “The result of anti-grassroots provisions in these bills would be to strip concerned citizens of their right to organize and for members to maintain their current right to privacy. Yet, the American citizen and grassroots groups targeted by these ‘reforms’ had no role in the Abramoff scandal.”

“It is, in effect, arresting the neighbors instead of the burglar,” Houston concludes.

Wright noted that the Statement is signed by organizations from Maine to Illinois and Alaska to Connecticut, as well as national entities. It reads, in part “From the birth of the American experience, citizen expression has been the heart of political discourse,” and concludes that “some senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee … chaired by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), continue to assert that free speech restraints on American citizens are a necessary part of lobby reform.”

Senate bill 2128 was proposed by Senator McCain (R-AZ) and S. 2180 sponsored by Senators Reid (D-NV) and Obama (D-IL), what an alliance huh?

I have gotten to the point that I cannot trust anything McCain is involved with, and those of you that would even consider voting for him better catch on. The McCain-Feingold Caimpaign finance reform also muzzled free speech and now he is slipping it into a bill on lobby reform. I have come to the conclusion that McCain is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He doesn’t want political free speech. He doesn’t really want to hear from you. After all, they know how to run the country better than “we the people” right?

It is time to contact your elected cockroaches again!
Senate

CentCom Electronic Newsletter 02-20-06

Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Work Together to Unify Iraq

By Multi National Forces Iraq

TAJI, Iraq – Dubbed Operation Arch Angel, Soldiers from the 9th Iraqi Army Division and 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, teamed up to search a suspected illegal arms dealer’s house in a local neighborhood near Taji Feb. 5.

Even though the operation netted only two suspects for further questioning and a small amount of AK-47 rifles, Operation Arch Angel was the perfect opportunity for the Iraqis and the Americans to hone their skills in their combined effort to fight the Global War on Terrorism.

“I like working with the American Army, and I’m learning a lot,” said Akeel Kadum, an Iraqi special forces soldier, a recent recruit who has been in the Iraqi army for six months. “We work with the Americans every day doing what we learned in basic training. It’s a hard job, but I will stay in the Iraqi army until we (Iraq) are able to defend our country.”

Read more…

298th Engineers Bring Aloha to Afghanistan
By SFC Stephen Lum – 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Fifty-three Hawaii National Guard Soldiers from the 298th Engineer Detachment completed more than 90 projects in eight locations while deployed to Afghanistan this past year.

In the first month, the Hawaii engineers completed more than a dozen assignments on Kandahar Airfield without organic tools and equipment, which were still on a military van making their way up through Pakistan.

“The vast knowledge and experience of the Soldiers enable the 298th to know which selective tools and equipment to scrounge for the variety of projects requested,” said Staff Sgt. Julie-Ann Lo, the full time administration sergeant from Nanakuli, Hawaii. “Through much improvising and without sacrificing standards or safety, the unit was able to complete projects for the Vicenza, Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade (Combined Task Force Bayonet) units, 864th out of Fort Lewis, Wash., military police, British and KAF base operations.”

Read more…

Local, Coalition Doctors Treat Patients Side by Side During MEDCAPs

By SGT Laura E. Griffin – Task Force Devil Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – Doctors from the Cooperative Medical Assistance/Surgeon Cell of Bagram Airfield teamed up with doctors from the Khost Provincial Health Director and the Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team to provide free health care for residents of Khost City Feb. 11. They also provided medical care for refugees at a camp on the outskirts of the city, Feb. 12.

The Medical Civil Assistance Program in downtown Khowst was held at the women’s affairs clinic, and focused its efforts on treating women and children from the surrounding area.  The doctors treated a total of 987 patients, with 378 women, 362 children and even 10 men.

Read more… 

Thirty-two Police Stations in Diwaniyah Province are Finished

By Suzanne M. Fournier – Gulf Region Southern District – US Army Corps of Engineers

Base Camp Adder (Ali Base) Iraq – The Police Chief of Diwaniyah Province, Iraq Reconstruction Management Office Representative Hakim Kawy and Col. Larry McCallister, commander of Gulf Region South District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and cut the ribbon to officially open the 32nd police facility within Diwaniyah Province. Hay Ramadan Police Station is a newly constructed station in a congested, busy residential and market area of city of Diwaniyah. Approximately one-hundred police officers and guests attended the ceremony.

The Police Chief talked about the symbolism of this building for all people in this area because like this construction, Iraq is constructing and building a new nation. He thanked all Americans and especially the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Read more…

Office of Security Cooperation – Afghanistan Meets With Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police Leaders

By SSgt Matthew Bates – Office of Security Cooperation – Afghanistan Public Affairs

 KABUL , Afghanistan The commander of the Office of Security Cooperation – Afghanistan traveled recently to Balkh and Nangarhar provinces for a firsthand look at the progress being made by Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police units.

Army Maj. Gen. Robert Durbin met Feb. 4 and Feb. 12 with members of the Afghan National Army’s 209th and 201st Corps and of the Afghan National Police force in Mazir-E-Sharif, Torkham and Jalalabad. At each site, he sought information on how the Coalition might better support the ANA and ANP, and urged military and police leaders to rise to recruiting, retention and communication challenges.

As long as ANA commanders recruit and retain the soldiers necessary to meet their requirements, he said, the Coalition will provide them with necessary equipment, weapons and ammunition.

Read more…

Transcript: President’s Radio Address 02-25-06

From The White House:

Audio
Transcript:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. On Sunday and Monday, I will meet with America’s governors during their annual gathering in Washington, D.C. As a former governor, I appreciate the work of these fine public servants. I look forward to talking with them about the challenges and opportunities facing their states and our nation and discussing how leaders of both parties can work together to solve problems for our citizens.

One of the most important issues we will discuss is how to improve health care for the American people, and we have a good example in the Medicare system that provides health care coverage for our seniors. When I took office, I found a Medicare system that would pay tens of thousands of dollars for a surgery, but not the money for the prescription drugs that could have prevented the surgery in the first place. So, working with Congress, we passed critical legislation that modernizes Medicare, provides seniors with more choices, and gives them better access to prescription drugs.

More than 25 million people with Medicare now have prescription drug coverage, and hundreds of thousands more are enrolling each week. This new coverage is saving seniors money on their drug premiums: the typical senior will end up spending about half of what they used to spend on prescription drugs each year.

Another issue I will discuss with governors is how to keep America the most innovative and competitive nation in the world. In my State of the Union Address, I announced the American Competitiveness Initiative. Under this Initiative, we will double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research in the physical sciences over the next decade. We will also make the research and development tax credit permanent to encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to increase their investments in innovation. These investments will lead to new technologies that will offer a better life for our citizens and keep our economy strong.

My Competitiveness Initiative will also give American children a firm grounding in math and science to prepare them for the jobs of the 21st century. I proposed that we train 70,000 additional high school teachers over the next five years to lead Advanced Placement courses in math and science and bring in 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms and give extra help to students who struggle with math. By ensuring that our children are prepared to succeed in life, we will ensure that America’s economy succeeds in the world.

When I meet the governors, I will also talk about our energy strategy. I proposed an Advanced Energy Initiative to take advantage of new technologies. Under this Initiative, we will change how we power our homes and offices by investing in clean coal technology, solar and wind power, and clean, safe nuclear energy. And we will change how we power our cars and trucks by investing in hybrid vehicles, pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen, and alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. By applying the talent and innovative spirit of our citizens, we will move beyond a petroleum-based economy, protect our environment, and make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

I’ll also discuss with governors our progress in the war on terror. The states are playing a vital role in the war effort through the contributions of their National Guard units. During the past two years, many governors have traveled to Iraq or Afghanistan to visit with the men and women from their states who are serving in freedom’s cause. These governors have seen firsthand the courage of our troops and their dedication to the mission. Last month, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee visited Iraq and Afghanistan with three of his fellow governors. He said: “People back home need to realize just how proud they should be of our men and women here. It is obvious these troops remain upbeat and focused on ridding the world of terrorists.”

To improve health care, keep America competitive, achieve greater energy independence, and protect our Nation, we must put aside politics and focus on what is best for the future of our country. America’s governors are good allies in this effort, and I look forward to working with them in the year ahead.

Thank you for listening.

United States Strike a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia

From CNS News:

The United States has struck a major trade agreement with Colombia — part of an effort to engage economically with Latin America at a time when a growing number of Latin American countries are tilting to the political left.

Congress must ratify the free-trade pact before it takes effect.

“This deal opens the door to huge opportunities for American business and agriculture in Colombia,” said Daniel W. Christman, U.S. Chamber senior vice president for international affairs.

“The U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement is one of the best tools imaginable to help our friends in Colombia lock in their progress in the fight against narco-trafficking and terrorism by developing sustainable economic alternatives to the drug trade.”

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) called the trade deal a “win-win” situation for the American and Colombian people.

“This deal opens new markets and opportunities for America’s small businesses, particularly agricultural communities like those I represent in Illinois,” Hastert said, noting that Colombia is one of the largest agricultural markets for the United States.

He also predicted that the agreement, by spurring economic development, will stem Colombia’s drug trade.

More interest in the “War on Drugs,” which we will never win. It can’t be done people, as long as there is a market, and it is huge, there will be drugs. But this still drives our foreign policy south of the border. Although this seemed to make sense to me 20 years ago, it no longer makes any sense to me. 20 years and I don’t know how many billions of dollars later and the drug market is stronger than ever before. Well, I am off the gerbil wheel of wasted tax dollars. No company could run this way and neither should our government. They have wasted our money with nothing to show for it. I am starting to think it is all a money/power grab by the government. We haven’t just gotten no results we have gotten negative results and I say enough is enough.

I say if you support this idiocy that YOU should have to personally fund it, and leave me out of it. Before you Conservatives get your panties in a knot, since when did you believe in taking money from people to do what someone BELIEVES is wrong or right? This sure sounds like a socialist program to me!

Top Zarqawi Aide Abu al-Farouq Nabbed, Iraq TV Says

Maybe this last little stunt by the terrorists has awakened some Iraqis!

From FNC:

Interior Ministry forces captured a top aide to Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi during a raid in western Iraq, a security official said Monday.

The official, a member of the ministry’s counterinsurgency Wolf Brigade, identified the key Al Qaeda figure as Abu al-Farouq, who was previously unknown. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The officer said al-Farouq and five other Al Qaeda operatives were captured based on a tip from residents near al-Bakr, about 30 miles west of the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi.

“Abou al-Farouq, a Syrian, was in charge of planning and financing militant groups operating in Ramadi while the other five are responsible of attacking Iraqi and coalition forces,” the officer told The Associated Press.

Hope springs eternal, but the middle east is a gigantic hell hole, and IF it improves it will be very slowly and violence is not going to end. The violence in that region is ancient so to expect it to just disappear is not rational.

Teacher to Return to Class After Having a Sex Change

From The Las Vegas Sun:

To students at Eagleswood Elementary School, she used to be Mr. McBeth. Now, after undergoing a sex change, 71-year-old Lily McBeth is ready to return to teaching as Miss McBeth.

McBeth, a retired sales executive who was married for 33 years and had three children, underwent gender reassignment surgery last year and re-applied for her job under her new name.

McBeth on Monday told the school board and the crowd that she loves teaching and children, and looks forward to returning to the classroom.

“This is not something I got into just as a whim,” she said.

Several parents said children in the school – which consists of kindergarten through sixth grade – were not old enough to understand the concept of changing one’s gender.

“I, as a parent, am appalled to have this issue brought into my child’s psychology,” Steve Bond said.

After two hours of public debate and a private meeting with McBeth and her lawyer, the board took no action on calls by several parents to bar McBeth from returning to the school where she taught for five years before becoming a woman.

Here we go again, people home school your children or send them to private school, because Public Schools are not going to protect your children; nor do they care what you have to say about it.

There was a better time where no school would even consider exposing children to this kind of thing. Now they teach them about it. This person is a freak of nature and should not be employed to work around children. I don’t care what they do to themselves, but leave our children ALONE!

Think about how self absorbed this individual is to bring its problems into a school for children. This individual doesn’t care about children, if it did then it wouldn’t even consider doing such a thing. More Narcissism from those who live on the fringe of society. This is all starting to make me quite ill.

This country better break out of the brain washed nonsense about trying to understand everyone and of the everything is OK indoctrination. The SMALL minority does not drive society, that is the privilege of the majority. I have had enough of all this political correct nonsense. You do not become a women just because you had plastic surgery! You are not normal if you even contemplate such a thing, this makes them abnormal. Abnormal people should not be allowed around children.

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