02 June 2006    |    PatriotPost.US    |    Patriot No. 06-22

THE FOUNDATION

"Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." —George Washington

TOP OF THE FOLD

There's nothing "gay" about gender-disorientation pathology...

It's that time of year again, when many unsuspecting American families travel to one of the nation's favorite family-theme parks only to find themselves at the epicenter of cultural degradation. This week, hordes of extroverted homosexuals congregated in Orlando at Disney's Pleasure Island for the annual exercise in societal entropy they call "Gay Days at Disney." Fortunately, the gaudy and lurid displays of sexual deviance at Disney are not typical of the public etiquette maintained by most homosexuals.

Our forefathers understood "gay" to mean "licentious, lacking moral restraints, leading a debauched or dissolute life." The "Gay '90s," for example, was a decade the sagacious Mark Twain dubbed "The Gilded Age" —an era of unmitigated opulence and unrestrained immorality exercised by a subculture of the elite. Now, in the current vernacular of the fashionably PC, "gay" alludes to "homosexual" and therefore evokes the words of that inimitable American philosopher Yogi Berra: "This is like deja vu all over again."

They may call it "gay," but it's not. Indeed, today's "gay" culture is equally dissolute, and its agenda is anathema to the bedrock institution of our past, present and future—the American family.

Homosexuality is not the most insidious of social trends that undermine the continuity of the traditional family.

Of course, homosexuality is not the most insidious of social trends that undermine the continuity of the traditional family—the essential governing unit and innate building block of natural society. That unfortunate distinction is reserved for those who divorce—particularly men who abandon their responsibility as husbands and fathers.

 

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Concerns about divorce and its consequential degradation of social and moral order are not new. As Founding Father John Adams wrote, "The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families... How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?"

What is new is the vast number of fatherless children in America, kids who have been largely abandoned by their biological fathers, and the incalculable burden that places on them and society. One deleterious outcome associated with some of these broken and dysfunctional families, in addition to the life sentence they serve trying to sort out the rejection issues, is the absence of a healthy sexual identity—particularly in boys who have not been fathered properly. This identity void can result in lifetime pursuit of homosexual approval.

Though divorce, unlike homosexuality, lacks a well funded and well organized advocacy movement attempting to normalize it (divorce lawyers notwithstanding), it isn't difficult to connect the dots between dysfunctional families and homosexuality.

It isn't difficult to connect the dots between dysfunctional families and homosexuality.

To understand fully the homosexual subculture and its aggressive social agenda, then, one must gain some rational insight into the pathology of homosexual behavior. Unfortunately, there are few comprehensive treatises on the subject that inspire rational discourse—as opposed to emotive rants.

A few years ago, the most learned debates over the ordination of a homosexual cleric as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire revealed that not only the Episcopal clergy and laity needed assistance understanding this issue, but the Christian Church as a whole needed clarity. Indeed our whole society needs a better, and in some cases more compassionate, understanding of homosexual pathology.

Consequently, The Patriot has just published The Homosexual Agenda and The Christian Response on line, a comprehensive yet concise review of gender-disorientation pathology. It's an essay that anyone, inside or outside the Church, making a psychological, theological or social argument concerning homosexuality, should read.

The real value of this landmark report's substance is not measured in the accolades from conservatives around the world who have reviewed it, but in the unguarded praise it has received from homosexuals (including some activists), who responded that, for the first time, they have been able to comprehend, with the help of this analysis, both the Christian theological and conservative social perspective and objections, without feeling personally attacked.

American families are under assault from many quarters.

Every American family is under assault from many quarters, one of the most menacing being the challenge to traditional sexual morality. The Homosexual Agenda and The Christian Response, provides context for understanding sexual deviancy and addresses the familial origins and pathology of such deviance, the political, cultural and social "normalization" agenda of homosexual practitioners, the conflict this agenda has created within the Christian Church, and an appropriate Christian response.

High on the homosexual political agenda list is same-sex marriage. President Bush announced this week his support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. While we would support such an amendment, we believe that if the President is going to use what is left of his political capital to mobilize a national movement to amend our Constitution, there are much more important amendments to consider, starting with one mandating a balanced federal budget (just as most states require a balanced state budget).

That debate aside, if you're interested in healthy marriages and families, the consequences of broken families and the potential implications of a largely unabated homosexual agenda on the next generation of our children, take a few minutes to read The Homosexual Agenda and The Christian Response—regardless of your theological orientation.

Quote of the week...

"In 1997 there were approximately 100 gay-straight alliances (GSAs)—clubs for gay and gay-friendly kids—on U.S. high school campuses. Today there are at least 3,000 GSAs—nearly 1 in 10 high schools has one—according to the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which registers and advises GSAs. In the 2004-05 academic year, GSAs were established at U.S. schools at the rate of three per day. GLSEN is setting kids up for a lifetime of perverse misery." —Researchers Chad Thompson and Warren Throckmorton on the GLSEN's school agenda

On cross-examination...

"If gay activists really wanted freedom, as opposed to advancing a particular political agenda, they would be hard at work moving government control out of areas of our society that limit their (and everyone else's) freedom. They should be fighting for nationwide school choice, so they can send their children to schools that teach what they want. They should be fighting for private social-security accounts so that they could stop complaining about discrimination in survivor benefits. They should fight for private health-care accounts and getting corporations out of the benefits-providing business so they could stop complaining about discrimination in benefits toward gay couples. Unfortunately, this is not happening. From what I see, despite the hijacking of the language of freedom, rights and discrimination, this movement is about sleight of hand and political power." —Star Parker

News from the Swamp...

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution in a pocket-sized booklet! Educate the public with this handy version of our founding documents! (Bulk pricing available)

In the Executive Branch, the reformation of the Bush administration continued this week as Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry Paulson was chosen to replace John Snow as Treasury Secretary. Snow, who resigned on Tuesday, was rumored to be on the hit list for several months, and his departure was virtually assured when Josh Bolten took over as Chief of Staff in April and signaled that a White House shakeup was imminent. For all the negative media attention heaped on Snow, the economy did grow at 3.98 percent per year during his tenure, which is above average for the last 25 years. Paulson's proven experience in the world of finance comes at a time when potential economic troubles have created jittery stock and commodities markets. He is also no stranger to government work, having served in the Nixon administration and the Pentagon.

Tapping a top financier for Treasury is a coup for Bush. Few believed that he would be able to get someone with Paulson's credentials to take a job that has up to now held little sway in the administration's economic policy. It could also signal a welcome change from the mindset of the previous occupants, Snow and Paul O'Neill, both corporate CEOs. Once again, the administration has displayed noteworthy flexibility as it heads into its final two years.

The administration received another glimmer of good news this week, as Brett Kavanaugh emerged from a three-year Demo-imposed purgatory this week to win Senate confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The usual tactics were employed to stop Kavanaugh's ascent to this court, which is generally regarded as the nation's second most powerful, behind only the Supreme Court. These tactics included an attempt to smear his record, but a solid 57-36 vote places Kavanaugh alongside other Bush appointees in a pitched battle to bring back strict constitutional-constructionist interpretation to the federal bench.

In the House, an attempt to lift the ban on oil and gas exploration on the Gulf Coast fell far short this week, with 94 Republicans joining virtually every Democrat in opposition. Despite the fact that Cuba is going into the drilling business and is offering parcels to China in its territorial waters to do the same, much of Congress is still siding with radical environmentalists, who erroneously believe that the ecosystem will be threatened by such a move. Not a drop of oil was spilled into the ocean during Hurricane Katrina, but that hasn't stopped these high-minded ideologues from putting their own agenda ahead of national security.

Bill sponsor John Peterson will try again to stir some sanity among his fellow legislators and sponsor another bill to lift the ban on natural-gas exploration. Natural gas, once considered by these same environmental gurus to be a clean fuel, is a commodity in short supply, and it doesn't spill like oil. Because natural gas cannot be conveniently shipped anywhere in the world without liquefying it or creating massive pipeline systems, it is subject to regional pricing based on demand. Oil, on the other hand, has one market price worldwide. Because natural gas is the cheapest and most efficient way for this country to improve its energy fortunes short-term, the Peterson bill deserves the vote of every congressman.

This week's "Braying Jenny" award:

"We could in America become a net exporter of new energy technology and employ thousands and thousands of Americans in good, high-paying jobs. You know, it's an old saying, but when it comes to energy it is true: You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem, and it's time for the oil companies to be part of the solution for the sake of our country's future." —Hillary Clinton, herself a part of the problem, arguing that heavier taxation of the energy industry will somehow create more American jobs.

If there's one thing the Clintons ever agreed on, it was to fake right, run left.

Clinton also kicked off her senatorial re-election campaign at the New York Democrat convention in Buffalo this week, though we suspect what actually took place was more a kick-off of her '08 presidential campaign. In the months to come, look for Ms. Rodham to perform the old Clinton chameleon trick, transforming from a deep-blue liberal to a purplish hue more conducive to the national stage. If there's one thing the Clintons ever agreed on, it was this: Fake right, run left.

On the Immigration front...

Rep. James Sensenbrenner has announced that the Senate version of the immigration-reform package is a "non-starter," citing that it offers amnesty to the nation's 11 million (or is it 12 million—how can we keep track if they can't even be counted?) illegal immigrants. The House version of the bill focuses on enforcement of existing laws and securing the border with Mexico, elements that will more effectively curtail illegals from entering the country than allowing them to stay and "earn" citizenship. On the other hand, the Senate version rewards illegals based on the amount of time in the country without getting caught.

Predictably, in an election year, there has been little cohesion among congressional Republicans on this issue, and the President's support of the Senate bill has not helped matters. The verdict is still out as to whether a sensible immigration reform package will be created, but if it doesn't happen, the blame should not fall to Sensenbrenner. His goal is to prevent a repeat of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzolli bill, which allowed three million illegal aliens to become citizens without penalty and opened the floodgates for 12 million more.

As the debate drags on, join The Patriot's Immigration Reform Campaign, which stipulates that immigration legislation in its final form must provide for the following: improved border security and enforcement; immediate detention and deportation of those crossing our borders illegally; no extension of amnesty or fast-track citizenship; preservation of our tax-subsidized medical, educational and social services for American citizens; penalties against employers who hire illegals; Americanization of new legal immigrants; and the elimination of birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens.

Political futures...

The Federal Elections Commission ruled that 527 groups can continue to gather bags full of money to influence elections. The 527 rule, one of the prized jewels of the wretched McCain-Feingold incumbent-protection bill, will surely have an effect on this year's elections as well as the 2008 presidential race, which is likely to be the most obscenely expensive in American history. America-hating left-wing billionaire George Soros and his friends had hoped to buy the 2004 presidential race, outspending Republican-aligned 527s by a three-to-one margin. Quality trumped quantity, however, as the modestly funded Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ultimately torpedoed John Kerry's candidacy. House Republicans voted in spending limits on donations to 527 groups, but Senate Democrats bent on revenge are determined to pursue legislation that will reverse that sensible act.

The BIG lie...

"How many lies do you get to tell before someone calls you a liar?" —John "Liar Liar" Kerry

"[T]he Swift Boat vets lied and lied and lied about everything. How many lies do you get to tell before someone calls you a liar? How many times can you be exposed in America today?" —John Kerry, who has been exposed as a liar regarding his Purple Hearts, a liar regarding his "Christmas in Cambodia," a liar regarding the release of his complete military records, ad infinitum...

On the National Security front...

The media and pundits across the spectrum are all alight this week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's announcement of U.S. willingness to engage in multilateral talks with Iran on the strict condition of Tehran's verifiable cessation of its uranium-enrichment activities. "We urge Iran to make this choice for peace, to abandon its ambition for nuclear weapons," Rice said, adding that failure to comply "will lead to international isolation and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions." Thursday, Rice concluded talks in Vienna with EU and Russian colleagues, finalizing the content of the offer, which would include a multilateral dialogue with Washington, removal of economic sanctions dating to the 1979 revolution, and light-water nuclear reactors in which Russia and the West would control fissile materials.

Iran is engaged in deadly game of "chicken" with the West.

Is the prospect of U.S.-Iran talks cause for concern? Probably not. President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, exploiting a perceived weakness of the U.S. to intervene given the situation in neighboring Iraq, is engaged in a rational and deadly game of "chicken" with the West, all the while maneuvering around the mullahs and the moderates at home. Waiting for the U.S. to swerve as it moves forward with its nuclear ambitions, Iran has no obvious incentive to comply. In fact, even before the final proposal was released, Iranian officials were denouncing the offer "in tone and content."

U.S. policymakers knew this going in, but the Bush administration's announcement of potential talks is part of a broader strategy of legitimizing any future U.S.-led action against an Iran intent on nuclear armament. Evidence that the U.S. has gone that extra mile in avoiding a confrontation will facilitate UN-led sanctions against Iran, likely to include Chinese and Russian support, and make it that much easier for the Shahab-shy EU-3 to endorse—or participate in—action against Iran if (or when) that time comes.

On the National Intelligence front...

General Michael Hayden was sworn in as director of the CIA this week, emphasizing in remarks to employees that the agency must be a "competent and cooperative" member of the Intelligence Community to keep the "Central" in the CIA. The general announced his intention to create a culture in the agency that rewards risk-taking among clandestine officers and encourages analysts to make assessments independent of the political winds. Later, in Gen. Hayden's public ceremony, President Bush reiterated the need for the CIA to redouble its human-intelligence efforts and its capacity "to penetrate closed societies and secretive organizations" and discern the intentions of "dangerous regimes and terrorist organizations."

Hayden has also announced his intention to bring on Stephen Kappes as his deputy director. Kappes retired from the CIA after differences with advisers to former Director Porter Goss. He was also a lead player in negotiations with Libya's Muammar Qadhafi, which culminated in 2003 with the rogue state's decision to abandon its WMD programs. Last month, the U.S. officially restored diplomatic relations with Libya as a result of this agreement.

From the warfront with Jihadistan...

Kabul, Afghanistan, erupted in violence Monday after a U.S. military truck lost its brakes on one of the capital city's steep streets, crashing into a dozen vehicles and killing one person. An angry mob converged on the scene, forcing U.S. personnel to fire in self-defense as they attempted to retreat. Riots soon spread across the city, which was soon blanketed in black smoke as cars and buildings burned. Monday night, the Afghan government instituted the first curfew the country has seen in four years. Some 20 civilians are now reported dead, with hundreds wounded.

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While many have remarked upon the Afghans' growing impatience with the U.S. military presence in their country, other factors are at play. From the austerity of the Taliban days, Kabul is now replete with high-end shopping, western fashions and music and even fast food. In other words, in the five years since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, their world has been turned upside down. Afghanistan today is what sociologist Emile Durkheim called the anomic state—a society experiencing such rapid change that law and custom cannot keep up, leaving man in a state of angst and uncertainty. Hence the simple traffic accident that provoked a day of retro-Taliban, Islamist-flavored riots. This isn't to say that regional democratization won't work, but it will take time—lots of time. In a civilization as old as Afghanistan, one doesn't erase the past overnight.

From the "Department of Military Readiness"...

The Leftmedia warns that the deployment of America's tactical reserve to Anbar Province in Iraq proves our forces are thinly spread. Contrary to their military theory, however, redeploying reserves is a common military tactic, one used for many reasons—for example, to exploit enemy weakness and force a decisive battle. The recent wave of al-Qa'ida violence in Anbar Province convinced U.S. commanders to bring in reserves to keep the enemy on the defensive and reduce his offensive capability. It only makes sense to concentrate forces where the bad guys are. Meanwhile, a tremendously capable Marine Expeditionary Unit remains in reserve as needed.

Military Operations in an Urban Environment (MOUT) are the most dangerous of all modern combat. Indeed, they are fraught with command-and-control difficulties and inherently dangerous to everyone (civilians included) in the area. Nevertheless, the Haditha incident recently seized upon by the mainstream media (MSM0 threatens to cause more trouble than just another scandal in this two-front war (U.S. v. Jihadistan and U.S. v. the Left). The Left has already tried and convicted, in the court of public opinion, the men involved—enlisted Marines who are stand accused of killing unarmed civilians in the terrorist stronghold of Haditha. Joyous, the MSM thinks it may finally have its "My Lai" of the Iraq War, the incident that will at last bring the war crumbling down upon the President.

Now, as a result of the massacre-hungry media blitz, Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has denounced U.S. indifference to civilian casualties in the most virulent terms, accusing troops of near-daily attacks against innocent Iraqis. While John Kerry and his war-crimes contingent, together with their media lemmings, will see this as a confirmation of U.S. atrocities and the hopelessness of the situation in Iraq, the reality of Maliki's remarks is far different. Maliki's denouncement represent a calculated move—likely with U.S. assent—to hold together the country's fragile new governing coalition, which is dependent on keeping the Sunnis at the table in the face of media-fed popular discontent. It's one more example of domestic constraints driving international relations in the Muslim world.

These savage media attacks received their biggest shot in the arm with Congressman John Murtha's pronouncements describing the incident as though he were an eyewitness: "There's no question in my mind about what happened here... They killed four people in a taxi and then, in addition to that, they went into the rooms and killed them. [I]t's something that we cannot excuse." Even if—God forbid—Murtha is correct, his use of our troops as a lever to slam the Commander in Chief, publicly condemning the American military in wartime, is absolutely unforgivable. His accusations place our soldiers in even greater jeopardy as tempers run high on the "Arab street." In short, Murtha & Co. have once again given aid and comfort to the enemy at this critical time. We pray the good citizens of Pennsylvania remember this treason come November.

Judicial Benchmarks...

From the Legal Lotto File, six illegal immigrants have filed suit against the Salvation Army in New Jersey after two men within the organization took more than $4,000 from each immigrant, promising to secure their citizenship. The two men were fired from the Salvation Army months ago for related shenanigans, but this has not stopped Gilberto Garcia, a lawyer for the illegals, from seeking an undisclosed amount in damages from the organization. Now he's even seeking class-action status, claiming that there could be hundreds of illegals who have been similarly defrauded. Perhaps if these people came to America legally and followed the proper procedures toward citizenship, they wouldn't be so vulnerable and would have better protection under the law.

From the "Court Jesters" File, in Nebraska, District Judge Kristine Cecava came up with a novel rationale for reducing a convict's sentence—the long arm of the law nabbed a criminal who's too short. The judge declared that convicted child molester Richard Thompson, standing at 61 inches, is too height challenged to survive in prison, so he'll get ten years of probation instead...and we thought the "You must be this tall to enter" rule applied to carnival rides, not prisons.

Your home will most certainly be protected by this sticker (though it helps to actually own a gun)! Stand for your 2nd Amendment rights against those 'Gun Free' folks who just don't get it. T-shirts are also available.

From the Left...

The Bush administration has had to play referee this week over a growing conflict between Congress and the Justice Department in the wake of a search of Demo Representative William Jefferson's congressional office. President Bush has ordered documents seized during the raid sealed for 45 days, until judges have had a chance to review whether the seizure violated the Constitution. Jefferson, whose indictment for bribery appears imminent, has steadfastly maintained his innocence despite the existence of a videotape of him taking a bundle of cash from an FBI informant, $90,000 of which was later found in his freezer. A longtime business associate of Jefferson's, Vernon Jackson, has pleaded guilty to bribery charges, and last Friday, Brent Pfeffer, Jefferson's former aide, was sentenced to eight years in jail for conspiracy charges related to a man whom court documents referred to as "Representative A." Yep, you guessed it, Representative A is William Jefferson.

The recent circle-the-wagons mentality in Congress is shameful.

In a poor showing of bipartisanship, Republicans have joined Democrats in Congress in denouncing the raid, stating that it violates the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution. This clause essentially states that Congress has the right to debate legislation in secret and that members are protected from encroachment by, among other sources, the executive branch. It is doubtful that this provision was meant to protect members who are the subject of a criminal investigation, particularly since that power could be perverted to insulate them while they are engaging in criminal acts. The circle-the-wagons mentality in Congress is shameful.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller have threatened to resign if the documents are returned, and they maintain that only papers related to the investigation were seized. House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner has called for both men to appear before Congress to explain their actions. It seems the fact that they were merely executing their constitutional duty to uphold the law is not enough. We can only hope that this 45-day cooling-off period will allow common sense to float to the top of this mess.

From the "Non Compos Mentis" Files...

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has skillfully helped to create the appearance of a Republican "culture of corruption" to win back Congress for the Demos this year, found himself caught up in an ethics flap this week. He accepted ringside seats to boxing matches by the Nevada Athletic Commission in 2004 and 2005 when they were trying to prevent federal legislation from regulating the sport. Reid's excuse was that he wanted to make sure that boxing was being conducted properly in his home state.

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"I'm not Goodie two shoes." —Senate featherweight Harry Reid

Senator Featherweight defended his actions by saying, "Anyone from Nevada would say 'I'm glad he is there taking care of the state's No. 1 businesses.' I love the fights anyways, so it wasn't like being punished... I'm not Goodie two shoes. I just feel these events are nothing I did wrong." But on Wednesday, when it became known that fellow Senator John McCain, who sat next to Reid at one bout, actually paid for his own ticket, Reid reversed himself and announced he will no longer accept such gifts. The about-face probably came quick enough for the Leftmedia to quash the story before Reid's hypocrisy could become known to voters. Now, after the Jefferson and Reid debacles, Democrats are scrambling to save their campaign strategy of painting the Republicans as the "party of corruption."

Regarding the redistribution of your income...

Liberals constantly bang on their highchairs complaining about "tax cuts for the rich" and "windfall profits" by oil companies in an effort (somewhat successful to date) to convince Americans that the economy is not good at all. Yet stubborn facts tell a different tale. "Tax cuts for the rich" have yielded quite a "windfall" themselves in the last four years for the U.S. Treasury. April's tax receipts were up 13.5 percent from the previous year, with the majority of that coming from investment taxes that are paid by the wealthy. Indeed, the "rich" (that ten percent of the population making at least $251,400 a year) will pay over 56 percent of all federal taxes this year, much of which do-gooder politicians redistribute to others, impeding greater economic progress. However, the only news the Leftmedia wants you to hear is that despite the heavy tax burden, the rich are getting richer. The problem for them is that the poor are getting richer too.

From the "Regulatory Commissars" File...

Speaking of taxes, the war has continued to be a burden for taxpayers for years. In fact, a three-percent excise tax on phone service was enacted just to pay for the war—by the way, it was the Spanish-American War. Now, after only 108 years (and 18 administrations), the Bush administration has pushed to repeal what was originally billed as a "temporary" tax. Before we give them too much credit, however, multiple court rulings on the illegality of the tax in a time when price is not based on call distance have forced the administration's hand. Then-Treasury Secretary John Snow announced that the IRS will cease collecting the tax on long-distance calls and issue refunds for the past three years, though it will still collect the tax on local calls. Here's a crazy idea: Repeal the tax altogether! Rep. Gary Miller's Telephone Excise Tax Repeal Act (HR 1898), aims to do just that. The war is over, after all.

From the "Village Academic Curriculum" File...

FBI raids on offices seem to be all the rage these days. This time it's the office and home of the Washington, DC, school board's executive director of charter schools, who's suspected of misusing hundreds of thousands of federal and local dollars. Brenda Belton is responsible for the oversight of 17 of the 51 charter schools in DC. The charter-school office gave some firms no-bid contracts, and although she denies any "wrongdoing," investigators suspect a Belton connection. She also claimed to be unaware that warrants were executed, though the investigation began in January with an audit and further financial investigation beginning in March by the inspector general's office. That's yer gubmint skools at work.

Around the nation...

From the states, a handful of candidates for various offices around the nation merit some attention due to their unflinching support of the Second Amendment. Ken Blackwell is running for governor of Ohio but faces a stiff challenge from "moderate" Democrat Congressman Ted Strickland. Also in Ohio, the race for the open 4th congressional seat finds James Jordan promoting gun rights on the trail and in the state legislature. Other Second Amendment defenders are running in the Idaho 1st congressional (Bill Sali), Minnesota 6th congressional (Michelle Bachman), and in the Nebraska 3rd congressional (Adrian Smith). After all, the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution...

In business/economic news...

If tort reform takes off, how will ambulance chasers like John Edwards make their millions?

A new study by the Pacific Research Institute indicating that states with poor legal climates often have poor economies brought a quick attack from the American Trial Lawyers Association, supposedly on the study's merits. A brief review of the report reveals the reasons for their angst. States with a lot of business regulation and weak tort laws tend to have weak economies as well. For instance, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland all ranked poorly in the PRI study, and all have lagged behind the nation at large during the continuing economic upswing. Trial lawyers don't want people to hear this, so they're doing their best to discredit the report. After all, if tort reform takes off in the states, and legislatures get wise to the strangling effects of overregulation, how will ambulance chasers like John Edwards make their millions?

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On the frontiers of science...

According to a new report from the United Nations AIDS program, 2005 witnessed a slowing of the epidemic globally—one that the program's director calls "the least bad year in the history of the AIDS epidemic." Though sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the epicenter for the disease, the African nations of Burkina Faso, Kenya and Zimbabwe reported a decline in new HIV infections, joining Uganda's previously reported progress. Outside of Africa, the Bahamas, Cambodia, Haiti, India and Thailand likewise experienced declines in rates of infection. Faster rates of spread were detected in China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ukraine, Vietnam and the Russian Federation, though not outweighing the slowing trends detected elsewhere.

While the UN eagerly took credit for the progress, much of the credit must go to the Bush administration, which made containment of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic a policy priority in 2001 and funded UN and other efforts to that end. In all, the U.S. has led the world in raising AIDS funding from $1.6 billion in 2001 to $8.3 billion in 2005. Particularly in Africa, the AIDS epidemic has become inextricably bound to global-security interests. Poverty and AIDS have existed in a mutually reinforcing relationship, causing the disintegration of society and its institutions and prompting many to turn to extremist ideologies, specifically radical Islam. As a consequence, many parts of Africa have become havens and recruitment centers for al-Qa'ida and other terrorist factions. Simultaneously, oil and gas exports from the continent have been threatened, as well as the control and supply of other strategic resources from Africa such as uranium. Though the UN report offers some encouraging news, the existence of 38.6-million HIV-infected persons globally in 2005, including 4.1-million new infections, indicates that the end is hardly in sight.

Around the world...

Finally, something to be grateful for in Latin America. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cruised to a second term in Sunday's elections, stemming the rising tide of Leftist authoritarians (Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales come to mind). Uribe received a convincing 62 percent of the vote, taking advantage of the momentum provided in March's congressional elections when his coalition was given a strong majority in the legislature. Just as convincing as Uribe's win was Colombians' rejection of his leftist challengers: Carlos Gaviria came closest with a mere 22 percent of the vote, while the Liberal Party's Horacio Serpa collected less than 12 percent—a stark rejection of the Left's failed policies across the region.

Backed by more than $3 billion from the United States, Uribe has successfully taken on Marxist terrorists of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—a group with at least nominal ties to al-Qa'ida—as well as demobilizing the bulk of the country's paramilitaries. Additionally, Uribe has increased Colombia's security forces by 100,000 troops, or about one third, and signed a free-trade agreement with the U.S., which awaits approval by both countries' legislatures.

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And last...

Teddy Kennedy has finally come around to support electricity-producing wind turbines off the coast of Massachusetts. Of course, there is one minor detail—it has to be in someone else's back yard. After vehemently opposing a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, thus earning the ire of his own environmentalist constituents, Kennedy is tentatively supporting a similar farm in Buzzards Bay near Cape Cod and the towns of Dartmouth and Fairhaven, so-called "working-class" towns. As always, what's good for hoi polloi simply doesn't apply to the royalist Kennedy Klan. In fact, the proposed Nantucket wind farm wouldn't even have been visible from Kennedy's Hyannis compound, but it would have interfered with the family's favorite sailing waters. Actually, Kennedy claimed that it would have hurt commercial fishing (you know, the "working class") and damaged an important marine sanctuary, clearly a reference to the reef of used martini glasses dropped overboard from his fashionable yacht. Now if he can just find something to do with all those slovenly commercial fishermen who will be forced to move to Nantucket Sound...

Lex et Libertas—Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for the editors and staff. (Please pray for our Patriot Armed Forces standing in harm's way around the world, and for their families, especially those of our fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who have died in defense of American liberty while prosecuting the war with Jihadistan.)