Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Obama's Legacy: Hope On The Ropes

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Barack Obama entered office proposing and then passing a Stimulus Plan that was breathtakingly ambitious. This legislation constituted "the greatest increase in government spending in world history". The explicit goal was to halt the serious and precipitous decline of the American economy. One of the central promises of this plan was to slow and then reverse the unemployment rate that had been creeping up at an increasingly alarming rate. Prior to the Stimulus' passage Obama assured a concerned nation that unemployment would go up to 8% and shortly begin a decline.

And then the American people, comforted by this assurance, stepped back and waited for the magic to happen. Seven months later they are still waiting.

Predicting a President's legacy in the seventh month of his first (and only?) forty-eight month term may seem a bit premature but the momentum of this President's economic policies seems inexorable. In January of this year when Obama entered office the unemployment rate was at a troubling 7.6%. Instead of climbing to 8% and then receding the unemployment rate has gone up every month until it now stands at 9.4%, an increase of almost 24%. According to Mortimer Zuckerman of the Wall Street Journal,

"The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war."

As of this date the Administration and the Democratic Congress are now both saying they expect that unemployment will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Many economists predict that it may not drop down to pre-recession levels for five years or longer.

Unemployment is usually dealt with in the media as a function of how it is affected by or how it affects the economy. But unemployment can't just be viewed as a dry statistical artifact. Job loss has very real effects on very real people. And as President Obama was largely elected on feelings it is reasonable to assume that his legacy will largely be based on how the American public feels when he leaves office.

Since the Great Depression a large body of research has been compiled on the psychological effects of unemployment. From the seminal works of Jahoda, Lazarsfeld, & Zeisel (1933), Bakke (1933) and Eisenberg & Lazarsfeld (1938) to the recent work of Arthur H. Goldsmith (2008) the deleterious effects joblessness has on the psychology of the unemployed has been well documented.

The recent work of Professor Goldsmith of Washington and Lee University supports and extends much of the previous research about the psychological effects of unemployment in finding that for those who are unemployed,

"...even by five weeks you can see the changes. They begin to question themselves: ‘Why was I selected to be unemployed?' ‘Were my skills lacking?' ‘Is there something about me that's problematic?' And so begins the erosion of self esteem, which is such a very important part of our psychological well being.

In addition to a diminished sense of self, those exposed to a few months of unemployment begin to exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. If people face prolonged unemploy[ment], six to nine months or longer, the psychological effects often become chronic and have a long lasting effect."

Two points on this subject: 1) Clark, Georgelllis and Sanfey, in their 1999 paper, Scarring: The Psychological Impact Of Past Unemployment (1999) point out,

"...if individuals are unemployed for some time, they may become used to it: we refer to this as "habituation"...Individuals may dislike unemployment, and the memory of a previous spell is a spur to avoid another one, but if unemployment becomes the norm for an individual, then there is a reduced incentive to try to change one's labour force status."

2) According to Mortimer Zuckerman,

"The average length of official unemployment [has] increased to 24.5 weeks, the longest since government began tracking this data in 1948. The number of long-term unemployed (i.e., for 27 weeks or more) has now jumped to 4.4 million, an all-time high."

In other words, the unemployment situation created after Obama's Stimulus Plan is creating a generation of former workers who run the risk of becoming habituated to their new status.
Yet again, the problem is even more distressing than the official unemployment rate indicates. According to economist John Lott,

"If we include the normally counted number of unemployed as well as those who have recently given up looking for work and those who have taken a part-time low paying job because they can't find full-time work, the implication is that the unemployment rate for July would be at 16.3 percent. These discouraged workers will again look for work once the economy starts to improve, but this 6.9 percentage point gap between publicly discussed unemployment rate and these discouraged workers is unusually large. "

In light of Clark's research on the effects of long-term unemployment Zuckerman's belief that discouraged workers will look for work again may, in fact, be wrong. If so, the implications for America could be devastating.

Almost unremarked upon by the major media is the fact that the hardest hit victims of Obama's unemployment explosion are the very people who invested the most hope in him: blacks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment is now at 14.5% and again this doesn't factor in the number of unemployed blacks who are discouraged or under-employed, likely pushing the real figure to above 20%. One can only imagine the cries of racism the left (including the media) would direct at a conservative Republican administration that had produced such disastrous results.

In light of the damaging psychological effects of unemployment, its current high rate coupled with its extended length presages a new era of American demoralization. If present trends continue, as now seems likely, Barack Obama, who attained office by lifting the spirits of the American people may have as his legacy a new lost generation. Ironically the only solution may be to add one more person to the unemployment rolls: Barack Obama himself.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

January 20, Year 20 AO

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Early morning sunlight flashed in Bill’s face, which wrinkled in irritation. He rolled on his back, leaving the worst of the light on his shoulder but too late; the sun had done its job. He was awake. He lay there for another minute or two but finally caved in to the inevitable, threw the heavy blankets aside and sat up, dropping his feet to the floor.

Brr. Freezing. He got up, the chill starting to sink in, and looked at his thermostat. 60 degrees. *SIGH* It was on days like this that he missed being able to set his temperature as he liked it instead of having a federally regulated thermostat set it for him. He knew a couple of tech-savvy guys who had hacked theirs and set it so that they were comfortable. Later they said it was almost worth the huge fine they had to pay and the public shaming. Almost. Bill had a sneaking admiration for them but realized, of course that carbon crimes were no small matter.

He opened his small closet and pulled out his robe and wrapped it tightly around himself , walked into his cramped living room and plopped down on the sofa, picked up the remote, hit the Power button and… the TV actually turned on! . Excellent. Thank goodness for sunny days. Since electricity had started to get so expensive back in the early Change days most folks had done the only sensible thing and had gone green. Of course with any worthwhile endeavor there were sacrifices to be made and the fact that most green technologies were a bit, well dodgy, just had to be accepted. On a really cloudy day his rooftop sun collector produced about enough power to keep his refrigerator going and keep his quota of four, 60 watt max energy saver light bulbs on. But today he had heat and TV, too.

The Today Show was on with perpetual hostess Chelsea Clinton looking perky and aging-and-never-perky host Sean Penn looking deeply serious as usual as they announced all the day’s big events.

“This is an anniversary of, continuing on in the grand tradition of, the way things have moved on into an ever more uplifting fashion. Celebrating freeness in the spread of deeply human facts for gay-bi-trans-animi-Earthers everywhere”, intoned the inscrutable Mr. Penn. His rather eccentric syntax used to be a source of some amusement in the past before word came down that anyone mocking Mr. Penn was an agent of the vast-right-wing-neo-conservative cabal that was intent on destroying all that was good, decent and multicultural in the world. Now he was given the serious attention that was his due.

“Well said, Sean.” chirped in Chelsea. “The excitement around these parts is palpable. It is hard to believe that it is twenty years since Change first came to the then-USA. It is almost hard to remember what things were like in the bad old fascist days. We have so much to celebrate and today is, of course the culmination of our week-long celebration. My congratulations to the superb NBC team on this past week’s reporting. Our dean of NBC News, Michael Moore, deserves special praise for his 2 hour long special on the 28th Amendment which made Barack Obama President-For-Life and chief Constitutional Reporter Carmen Diaz’s brilliant reporting on the 29th Amendment which, of course, reworked that tired old original Constitution, scrapping all those negative rights for the far more equitable positive rights that PFL Obama so justifiably and tirelessly had advocated.

It is hard to believe that our wonderful land once was divided into States instead of the much more reasonable Interest Groups that we now have. Of course there still are pockets of intolerance despite the Pro-Tolerance Acts and those so-called Christians still pop up now and again to try to steal our great land back from the forces of good. Fortunately the domestic Tolerance Police, using decent world-citizens as their vanguard, usually make quick work of such anti-progressive criminals. We’ve all felt relief at one point or another after seeing their Strike-Forces making raids in our neighborhoods.

We have to take a quick break now for today’s Apology Moment. Today we have a special Apology Moment guest: Apology Czar Markos Moulitas will be apologizing to cows for America’s long history of bovine abuse.

Back in a moment…”

At that moment Bill’s TV popped to black. Bill looked out his window and saw that the sun was hidden behind a large cloud. Oh well.

Bill stood, stretched and headed into the bathroom, hopped into the shower, set the timer and let the water spray him for his allotted four minutes. He got out, dried himself off, went into the bedroom, dressed and headed out to work. Fortunately, his number had been called last week and he was able to buy the two new tires he’d needed for the past month. He was getting tired of the four mile walk to work every day after his tires had given out so biking into work today seemed like a treat.

He locked his bike into the stand after a refreshing ride and walked into the hospital. He walked past the usual crowds of disgruntled patients, complaining as always about the wait. What was their problem? The average waiting time had dropped down from a day to a comfortable sixteen hours over the past few months. He’s seen a few of the illegal flyers that were making the rounds saying that this was due to so many people just not bothering to seek medical care at all recently. Propaganda. The people who’d printed those things would be taken care of soon enough. It was almost like people didn’t appreciate their universal health care. Ingrates.

“Good morning, Doctor.” said the station nurse, looking more irritable than usual.

“Good morning, Ben. How many we lose last night?”

“Only two. The meds for Ms. Ames didn’t make it in time. We’re expecting them later this morning.”

Bill nodded absently and headed into his office. His desk was, of course, stacked high with the day’s regulation paperwork and with a sigh he sat down to get to it.

About three hours later, Mary Jones stuck her head into Bill’s office, the rings under her eyes more pronounced than usual. Mary was the only other oncologist on staff and every day she dropped by with the latest news.

“They’re cutting our budget by another 5%. Obama says that the Iranians are asking for an increase in reparations and so cuts are in order again. I hear there’s going to be an announcement in a couple minutes.”

Bill sat back in his chair and briefly remembered the event that had triggered the Iran Reparations Policy a few years ago. The explosion of nukes in NY, Boston, LA and Houston had been devastating but Bill knew it could have been a lot worse if PFL Obama hadn’t immediately entered into negotiations with the Ayatollahs resulting in the United People’s Interest Groups’ Plea For Forgiveness for the former US’s sins against the Muslim world and the Reparations Policy that had been part of the deal. Smart move on Obama’s part. Who knows how many more nukes might have been blown without it? Cutting the military’s budget by 80%, the other stipulation in the Plea, had saved a huge amount of money to boot. An added bonus!

“Well, we’ll just have to make do, Mary. We always do.”

Mary made a face and left in a hurry. She was starting to worry him. He had a feeling that she was a real malcontent and not part of the team. He wouldn’t report her just yet but her behavior was starting to look fishier all the time.

He brushed some of his paperwork aside in his search for the radio, buried as it was hidden under the environmentally friendly, biodegradable artificial paper forest and turned it on. PFL Obama was being introduced. He was broadcasting from his compound in Beverly Hills, where he and his most trusted advisors: Spelling Czar Barbara Streisand, Parenting Czar Alec Baldwin, Tolerance Czar Jeanine Garofalo, always spent the winter. He started out with the pro-forma apology-greeting to the People of the World before getting down to business. There was to be an 8% across the board budget cut due for the need for further reparations and also due to the burgeoning $25 trillion deficit. (Hey, the hospital was only getting that small 5% cut. Not bad. PFL had always lived up to his promise to keep healthcare a priority.) He said that his initial plan had been to raise taxes on the rich, those making more than $65,000 a year, but apparently they’d managed to find some way to hide their excess wealth and until PFL Obama could root out where they’d socked it away, a budget cut was the only possible alternative. He was setting up a Blue Ribbon Panel to find out what the greedy rich were doing with their ill-gotten gains so this wouldn’t happen again. The Panel would present their findings to him at his Martha’s Vineyard White House in July. The criminals would of course be dealt with.

Bill turned off the radio and realized that he was hungry so decided to grab some lunch in the cafeteria. He made his way around all the gurneys in the hall filled with people in various stages of one illness or another and entered the food court. He looked at the menu. Everyone had already had their quota of fat for the week so he picked his choice of tofu meals. Not his favorite but what Nutrition Czar Rosie O’Donell demanded for everyone’s health, Nutrition Czar Rosie O’Donell got.

Having eaten about all he could take Bill threw his refuse into the recycle bin, checked his watch and realized it was time for rounds. As the hospital’s medical staff had shrunk so dramatically over the past few years Bill had to handle the full spectrum of patients and their ailments. He was looking forward to PFL Obama’s passage of the Mandatory Physicians Act wherein HHS would choose which students in high school and colleges had the most medical aptitude and were directed into medical schools. That will go a long way towards increasing the number of doctors. Another sensible policy. He realized most of them might not want a career in medicine (it didn’t pay well anymore and the risks of getting hit with costly malpractice suits was overwhelming) but people did have a right to medical care so somebody had to do it.

When he got back to his office he called the desk and asked for the list. He walked down the hall while reading his first patient’s chart. A perplexed look crossed his face as he read it and he looked up at the woman on the first gurney, whose chart it was.

The woman before him was plump (how was that allowed to happen, Bill wondered), gray haired and had a very obvious lesion on her nose.

“Ma’am, I believe there must be some mistake here. It says that you are 68 years old and are here for treatment of skin cancer?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“But surely you must be aware that there are strict government guidelines that state a person your age is not eligible for treatment of your condition?”

“But thirty years ago my mother had exactly this kind of cancer when she was in her ‘70’s, was treated for it and she was fine. I understand that unless I get treatment I’m going to die.” Bill thought it sounded like she was beginning to plead.

“I’m sorry, ma’am but the regulations around this are quite explicit: after the age of 65 treatment for your condition is simply forbidden. The money that it would cost to treat you could far more fairly be used by a younger person with the same condition. Don’t you think a younger person should be given a chance?”

“But Doctor, this is so treatable. I have grandchildren, Doctor and…”

“And that is exactly why you should be willing to forego treatment. Do you want to deny those grandchildren the proper care they may need?” Bill couldn’t hide his growing annoyance.

“No, of course not. But the treatment wasn’t that expensive for my mother and…”

“And that was a long time ago, ma’am. In case you’ve forgotten we have universal healthcare now and that means we have to be much more efficient with the kinds of treatment we can give. Everybody knows this, ma’am. I’m sorry but there is nothing I can do.”

Bill flipped to the next chart and started to move on to the next gurney but the old lady began to get loud, protesting that she could still live a productive life, could live much longer blah, blah, blah.

Bill looked down the hall at the security guard standing at the door. He was already looking alert and Bill nodded to him to take care of this problem. The guard approached the lady, took her arm and escorted her out, with her yelling all the way. Bill made a note to report her.

Unbelievable, he thought.

By the end of his three hour shift Bill had seen forty-nine patients. As always, he was spent. Most the patients were surly and unpleasant. A number of them had been incredibly provocative and he’d had to make notes to report all of them. Sometimes he was demoralized with how selfish people could be.

He went back to his office and threw his new paperwork on top of the stack already there. Forget it. He’d get to it all tomorrow. He checked his watch and decided it was time to call it quits. He lowered his head and made his way through the morass of cantankerous patients.

On his bike ride home he thought that maybe this weekend he might visit one of his exes. He’d heard that his third wife, Winnie, had recently broken up with her fifth husband and second wife and might be lonely so there could be a little potential there. He remembered the days when people could only marry one person of the same sex and smiled to himself that such unsophisticated customs had actually existed.

When he got home he gave Winnie a call, talked about the old days a bit and asked if he might come over for some sex. But she said that she’d had sex with someone she was eyeing as her next wife a little earlier and was tired. Maybe some other time.

He settled back in his sofa and tried the TV. After collecting sunlight all day he had a pretty good charge and figured he’d probably have a good couple of hours before the set ran out of juice, as long as he kept all the lights off. He turned it on to see some of the anniversary festivities.

The ancient Keith Olbermann was intoning about all the extraordinary accomplishments that had been made since the PFL came to office in the old USA. The world loved this country again. The United People’s Interest Groups of America didn’t use up anywhere near the amount of the Earth’s resources that the old USA had. Healthcare was universal. Everyone had a job, even if there was no work to do. There was more fairness across the board than any previous generation could ever have imagined. Olbermann visibly shook with excitement as he read off his remarkably long list.

“Mr. President: Bravo!”

Bill grew drowsy but smiled to himself thinking how much Change had actually occurred over the years. He drifted off to sleep just as the TV blinked off, out of power.

January 20, Year 20 After Obama was over. But the Change, unstoppable, rolled on through the night and into all the glorious days to come.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On Hiatus

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Due to a perfect storm of server problems (Blogger is "improving" and updating their software, which means it no longer works properly LOL) and time consuming personal matters Because I'm Right will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future. (Please stop crying, friends and stop cheering, all others.)  Yes, I realize that "hiatus" is often a way of saying "going away forever" but such is not the case here.  As soon as some things resolve themselves I, nocomme1 aka The Right Guy will be back to a regular blogging schedule.  And just to prove my good intentions I will be popping up and posting now and again over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, have a great couple of weeks and I will see you all soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Zen

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The Obama Tapes...And Why They Won't Hurt HIm

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Here we go, again, wasting our time. The most "recent" Obama scandal du jour comes to us from the Lightbringer's very own lips. Politico reports on the content of the audio version of Obama's 1995 memoir, Dreams From my Father.

While it is true that there is much here of interest and much that will likely turn many people off it is also true that if Republicans are thinking that they will get much mileage out of it, they are probably indulging in more wishful thinking than making any kind of serious analysis. First off, the book was originally published in 1995, thirteen years ago. While some of the excerpts may come as a surprise to some people, Obama will of course fall back on the fact that this is old news...and he'll actually be right. Even the audio clips have been out there for three years. This doesn't exactly qualify as fast-breaking news. The Obama-loving media will, of course, will be more than happy to agree with him and ignore the "story" entirely.

Also it seems likely than those folks who are likely to be shocked, angered, outraged or otherwise miffed by what he has to say have already decided not to vote for the Obamessiah anyway. Unlike the Jeremiah Wright story, which was not known to the public at large and about which Obama has spent much time dissembling, in this case Obama may be concealing some truths here but the actual quotes are being read by him, making it difficult to say that he's hiding them.

There are far more productive ways to deal with Barack Obama than wasting time here. Pointing out that he is a socialist is one way. Pointing out that he is not "new", just another politician-as-usual is another. Pointing out that he will drive energy prices through the roof is another. Pointing out that he is unqualified to be commander is chief is yet another. Pointing out that...well, you get the point.

Pursuing this story would just pull resources away from far more fertile ground. Barack Obama is a veritable scandal machine (most of the "scandals" being found in the truth of his "record" and policies). We don't need this one.

We should close the book on this story and move on.

Conservatives To McCain: We're Not That Into You, Either

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Not much new in this video clip dealing with Conservatives' unhappiness with McCain. What is troubling is that McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee months ago and stories just like this one ran then.  At that time McCain's people assured us that he was aware of the problems and would be addressing them.  Well, he has come around on some things; tax cuts, offshore drilling, etc. but the lack of trust that Conservatives have in McCain (and discussed in the video)  is a very real, continuing problem.  We all know, as Michael Tanner of Cato says here that McCain is a "stubborn guy" as we have seen over and over again.  Of course it seems that most of that stubborn streak is usually saved for his supporters, generally presenting a more "respectful and reasonable" face to his Democratic opponent who is trying to figuratively kick his teeth in daily.

While McCain is sitting around congratulating himself on his stubborness, he'd be well served to remember that Conservatives are stubborn, too.  When he is stubborn, he adopts policies we don't like.  When we're stubborn we're very likely not to go out and vote for him.  Sometimes I think "the little jerk" doesn't really understand that.  But unless he realizes who his friends really are come Election Day, he may find out that he doesn't have very many of us left.

Another Environmental "Solution" Starts To Fall Apart: EU Infatuation With Ethanol Grows Cold - Canada, Too

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Give some credit to environmentalists: they don't just tell us that we are killing the Earth they do frequently have "environmentally sound" boatloads of solutions which we can employ to "save the Earth". Of course, many of those solutions come down to reversing the industrial revolution and all of us going back to living in caves, but they do have some other ideas, too. Take biofuels. Touted as being far more environmentally friendly than gasoline biofuels have been mandated to be incorporated into the fuel mix of many Western nations including those in the EU, Canada and US. But now comes this story from the EU and all of a sudden we have the makings of another enviro-boondoggle:

Signaling a major retrenchment, European Union legislators on Monday proposed ratcheting back an ambitious target to raise Europe's use of biofuels.

At the same time, a new report for the British government cast fresh doubt on using fuels from crops in the fight against climate change.

Until recently, European governments had sought to lead the rest of the world, setting a target for 10 percent of transportation fuels to be derived from biofuels by 2020. But the allure has dimmed amid growing evidence that the kind of targets proposed by the EU are contributing to deforestation and helpingforce up food prices.

"I think when we will look back we will say this was the beginning of a turning point for Europe on biofuels," said Juan Delgado, a research fellow specializing in energy and climate change expert at Breugel, a research organization in Brussels. "It will be very difficult now for Europe to stick by its targets."

And as far as being a sensible, economically smart alternative to gas in reducing greenhouse gases, well environmentalists might have oversold that a bit, too:

Britain also signaled a new course Monday. Ruth Kelly, the British transport minister, said the introduction of biofuels should be slowed down, citing a newly released report warning that current targets for biofuel production could cause a global rise in greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in poverty in the poorest countries.

And with all this reevaluating going on in Europe, across the Atlantic in Canada a very similar dissatisfaction seems to be taking hold:

An Angus Reid poll released on May 13, 2008 shows that only 53 per cent of respondents believe "ethanol is a great alternative to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels." Furthermore, a remarkable 44 per cent believe "corn or wheat-based ethanol should be banned, because it is ethically wrong to use food to produce fuel" in light of global food shortages.

Of course big government being big government, the common sense of the people is rarely a real consideration (the Brainiacs in the bureaucracy always know best).

The Conservative government has committed $200 million to biofuel production through the ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative (ecoABC) alone and today introduced Bill C-33 which would make mandatory a minimum five percent biofuel content in all fuels by 2010.
There does seem to be a voice of sanity in Canada, however in the form of Dennis Young, the Libertarian Party leader who has said,

Newly elected Libertarian Party leader Dennis Young added that his party would scrap the biofuel mandates and subsidies to the industry: "Good ideas find
support in the market. Bad ideas require government subsidies and mandates."
Young argued that alternative energy solutions should come from the free market:
"High oil prices are driving innovations in alternative energy. Let's remove the government barriers to successful innovation and see what alternatives prove the most viable."
Here in the States, The Heritage Foundation (of course) has done a rational analysis of the biofuels dead-end:

America's energy policy has been on an ethanol binge, and now the hangover has begun. The federal renewable fuels mandate is an unfolding failure, and more Members of Congress are taking notice. If repeal of the mandate is not yet possible, Congress should at least freeze ethanol use at current levels while the nation reassesses its renewable fuels policy.


Mandates for renewable fuels, chiefly ethanol derived from corn, have steamrolled through Washington as few other issues have in recent years. The 2005 energy bill contained the first-ever requirement that these fuels be mixed into the nation's gasoline supply. Beginning in 2006, the mandate came on top of massive subsidies and tax breaks already enjoyed by domestic ethanol producers.

The mandate quickly proved to be a mistake—raising rather than lowering
fuel costs, sparking food price inflation, and invoking environmentalist opposition during its first two years. Nonetheless, a bill to increase the requirements nearly fivefold passed Congress easily and was enthusiastically signed by the President in December 2007. Thanks to this measure, America is now committed to 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008 and 36 billion by 2022. For at least the next few years, almost all of this mandate will be met by corn ethanol.

With Americans squirming under the weight of ever more costly energy how long will support for ethanol last when the following information sinks into their heads?:

The AAA calculates that ethanol has recently cost 20 to 30 cents per gallon more than regular gasoline.[1] And that does not take into account the heavy taxpayer subsidies, including a 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit, without which ethanol would be even costlier.

Proponents insist that economies of scale will kick in and make ethanol
more affordable as the mandated levels are ratcheted up, but there is no sign of that actually happening. The opposite is more likely. For example, ethanol costs more to transport than gasoline, and the expanding mandates necessitate usage well outside of its Midwestern home base.

Ethanol is also more expensive to use in the summer: It contributes to
smog and in several markets can be used only with a costlier base blend that
compensates for this shortcoming; but this blend must be used year-round. Over the longer term, the law requires that corn alternatives like cellulosic ethanol be used as well. Cellulosic ethanol—made from certain grasses, wood, or crop waste—is currently far more expensive than even corn ethanol.

Barack Obama, continuing to leave a gargantuan issue opening that John McCain seems unaware he should be exploiting, has a policy on ethanol would exacerbate the problems and continue the upward spiral of energy costs. His policy on ethanol found on his official website show this plainly:

Support Next Generation Biofuels

Deploy Cellulosic Ethanol: Obama will invest federal resources,
including tax incentives, cash prizes and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies with the goal of getting the first two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the system by 2013.

Expand Locally-Owned Biofuel Refineries: Less than 10 percent of new ethanol production today is from farmer-owned refineries. New ethanol refineries help jumpstart rural economies. Obama will create a number of incentives for local communities to invest in their biofuels refineries.

Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Barack Obama will establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard to speed the introduction of low-carbon non-petroleum fuels. The standard requires fuels suppliers to reduce the carbon their fuel emits by ten percent by 2020.

Increase Renewable Fuel Standard: Obama will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030.

John McCain, who has flirted with ethanol in the past seems to be coming to his senses on the issue recently.

Sen. John McCain Monday joined other GOP senators urging environmental
regulators to ease rules demanding a sharp increase in ethanol use to help head off further increases in food prices.

Ethanol is proving to be yet another policy foisted on the public by the environmental lobby among others with the assurance that it is part of the "answer". Instead what we are learning more clearly with every passing day is, not only don't the enviromentalists have the "answer", they don't even understand the question.

The Absurd Report would seem to agree

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Zen

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Jesus and Archaeology

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Early last year a story appeared that purported to prove that, unlike what the New Testament tells us and what billions of Christians have believed since the first century or so, Jesus Christ did no die only to be resurrected and then ascend into heaven. Instead, according to this "new discovery" we learn that like many other ordinary people of his day Jesus was married, died and and buried with his wife and family in the family tomb. You see, the family tomb has been "found". No Resurrection, no religion as we have known it.

On the other hand, in 1961...

The first physical evidence relating to Pilate was discovered..., when a block of
black limestone
[pictured below] was found in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima, the
capital of the province of Iudaea, bearing a damaged dedication by Pilate of a Tiberieum.[9] This dedication states that he was [...]ECTVS IUDA[...] (usually read as praefectus iudaeae), that is, prefect/governor of Iudaea. The early governors of Iudaea were of prefect rank, the later were of procurator rank, beginning with Cuspius Fadus in 44.

The inscription is currently housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where its Inventory number is AE 1963 no. 104. Dated to 26–37, it was discovered in Caesarea (Israel) by a group led by Antonio Frova.

Score one for the the historical story of Jesus.

Now comes this story of a tablet dating back to slightly before the time of Jesus upon which is (supposedly) written evidence to the effect that Jesus' reported "...death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time." As with most such ancient artifacts its authenticity and actual meaning is somewhat in doubt. While it may date to a time before Jesus, because of its poor condition it is difficult to be sure exactly what it is saying: Does it really indicate that there will be a risen (after three days) messiah? Is the messiah it talks about a person named Simon, also mentioned in the text? Is it really talking about Barack Obama, and not Jesus? (Ok, that was a little joke.)

Believers may now move to one corner of the room and non believers to the other and you can start yelling your arguments at each other. The fact is that militant atheists are always eager to latch onto some bit of "evidence" that they believe will somehow negate the truth of "Christianity" (oddly, they never seem to spend much time looking into the archaeological record to see if they can negate any of the Koran). On the other hand Christan believers can sometimes be a little defensive on the subject of the veracity of Jesus' existence and word.

For me, while I find Biblical archaeology fascinating I tend to agree with the Catholic Church's (and maybe Protestant policy on this as well; I'm just not that familiar with it to know for sure) take on this sort of thing. Christianity's truth will not be found in archaeology, or any other science. In modern times, anyway the Church does not seem to fear science as it once did. Faith, by its very definition is beyond science. We can look for many answers to many questions in the universe that God created but we won't find a rationale for why he created the universe created that universe in it. For that we have to look elsewhere, to religion.

I'm always sort of amazed at the way militant atheists are condescending about believers for all the "absurd" things they believe that are so far away from what everyday experience should tell them is nonsense. Yet these same atheists don't find the current scientific explanation about the creation of the universe, the Big Bang theory, wherein all matter in the universe was once contained in a space a trillionth of what it now is and inexplicably exploded, and (briefly, faster than the speed of light) expanded and cooled to become the universe we all know. Now if you want a crazy story...

Personally I have no problem in believing in the Big Bang, evolution etc. and in Jesus' resurrection, too. Christ's message of redemption is so deep and profound that it "feels right". I'm not a great Catholic, probably not a particularly good one but the older I get the more the story of Christ strikes me as "elegant" as the scientists might say and the less worried I am about the revelations of science and the more I see the strength that exists in faith.

So let the archaeologists, the physicists, the mathemeticians, etc. have at it. I'm betting God isn't afraid of them. And if He's not, neither am I.

Oh, as an addendum: The "photo" of Christ at the top of this post comes from a Popular Science story that investigated what an average man of Jesus' time in Israel probably looked like. And the Jesus' tomb story is now generally considered to have been debunked by most archaeologists.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Definition Of Patriotism: Happiness When The US Defeats The Enemy

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Here's a part of the definition of patriotism that Barack Obama seems to have forgotten in his speech the other day: Patriotism is celebrating the defeat of those who have killed and want to continue killing Americans and who want to destroy the American nation. But Barack shouldn't really feel that bad; apparently most of the msm and the Democratic party as an entity have also forgotten.

According to this story ,
American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular
victories of the war on terror.

One would think that a victory this "spectacular" would be big news indeed, and indeed it would be if it had happened during the administration of a Democrat President, but as it this victory represents the vindication of GWB, it apparently is barely worth a mention.

After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul. A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.

Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the
Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of
Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.

The breadth and implications of this victory are far reaching and represent the biggest defeat for Al-Qaeda since the Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan.
American and Iraqi leaders believe that while it would be premature to
write off Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni group has lost control of its last urban base in Mosul and its remnants have been largely driven into the countryside to the south.

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who has also led a crackdown on the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad in recent months, claimed yesterday that his government had “defeated” terrorism.

“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” Maliki said.
“But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we
defeated them.”

The number of foreign fighters coming over the border from Syria to bolster Al-Qaeda’s numbers is thought to have declined to as few as 20 a month, compared with 120 a month at its peak.

And how solid is this situation, how stable will it be?

Major-General Mark Hertling, American commander in the north, said: “I think
we’re at the irreversible point.”

This is not just a defeat for Al-Qaeda, but is a terrific defeat for Iran, which has been waging a proxy war against the US by funding Al-Qaeda and supplying it with what frequently seemed a never ending supply of manpower.

Ed Morrissey points out the psychological impact this will continue to have on the enemy:

They have lost their supposedly divine endorsement; why would Allah have called them to action, just to see them destroyed by the infidels? The sheer bloodthirstiness of their actions in Iraq have exposed them as drug-driven demons, not righteous jihadists.

While Barack Obama and the Democratic party run around shouting to every microphone they can find that "Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it was on 9/11" Al Qaeda itself is telling a different story. In a letter seized by US military all the way back in the summer of 2007 an Al-Qaeda leader in Anbar province said that their security structure was in a state of "total collapse". And in October of that year came this letter which shows the chaos in their ranks, found in the same way:
"I am Abu-Tariq, emir of the al-Layin and al-Mashahdah sector,” [His force of 600 had collapsed down to a force of 20.]

“We were mistreated, cheated and betrayed by some of our brothers...Those people were nothing but hypocrites, liars and traitors and were waiting for the right moment to switch sides with whoever pays them most.”

Obama and company may try to downplay the importance in Iraq in the broader war on terrorism but but once again they are gainsaid by Al-Qaeda itself. This is what Osama bin Laden had to say about the importance of Iraq for his global stategy:

The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this
third world war … raging in [Iraq]." BIN LADEN: "I now address my speech to the
whole of the Islamic nation: Listen and understand. The issue is big and the
misfortune is momentous. The most important and serious issue today for the
whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began
against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The
world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate." (Text
Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites,

Thousands of American men and women have suffered and died to create a beachhead of stability in the Islamic world, to draw a line in the sand that says, 'No, you will not advance'. They have challenged the core assumptions of Al-Qaeda's motivating philosophy, that Allah is on their side and they cannot fail, and in doing so have crushed the spirit of Al-Qaeda's followers and assured that recruiting into "Allah's army" is far more difficult that it would have been if otherwise.

And what has been the response of the Democratic nominee for President, his party and devotees in the msm? To deny that these brave men and women have accomplished anything of value to America, often accusing them of crimes against the Iraqi people and against humanity.

Barack Obama may try to set up a rhetorical framework that disallows any questions about his patriotism, but his own behavior demands that his patriotism be called into question.

Barack Obama is no patriot.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday, July 4th Zen

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Happy Birthday, America

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Uinted States Constitution, Bill of Rights And The Amendments

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Never in the history of Man has one document ever encapsulated the hopes and aspirations of the human heart more than has the United States Constitution. But its achievement is greater than that, it does something far more difficult: It provides a roadmap to make those hopes and aspirations real. It is not a perfect document as its writers knew, allowing for a method to amend it. But then perfection is not the province of Man but of God.

When this nation has gone astray is when we have strayed from the Founder's wisdom and the words and spirit found in this document.

In this upcoming election, as in all, we could do worse as a way of deciding for whom to vote than choosing that candidate who will keep us closer to the meaning of the words in this document.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington

Presidt and deputy from Virginia


Geo: Read

Gunning Bedford jun

John Dickinson

Richard Bassett

Jaco: Broom


James McHenry

Dan of St Thos. Jenifer

Danl. Carroll


John Blair

James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

Wm. Blount

Richd. Dobbs Spaight

Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Charles Pinckney

Pierce Butler


William Few

Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon

Nicholas Gilman


Nathaniel Gorham

Rufus King


Wm. Saml. Johnson

Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston

David Brearley

Wm. Paterson

Jona: Dayton


B Franklin

Thomas Mifflin

Robt. Morris

Geo. Clymer

Thos. FitzSimons

Jared Ingersoll

James Wilson

Gouv Morris

The Bill Of rights

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States

begun and held at the City of New-York, on

Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their
adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction
or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should
be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government,
will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that
the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States,
as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which
Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid
to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United
States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of
the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Printer-Friendly Version

The Bill of Rights: A Transcription

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States

begun and held at the City of New-York, on

Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments
to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December
15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty
dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by
a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Amendments


Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; -- the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. --]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.


Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.


Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 16.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the 17th amendment.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.


Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by amendment 21.

Section 1.

After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2.

The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was superseded by section 3.

Section 1.

The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3.

If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4.

The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5.

Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.


Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.

The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.

The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.


Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.

The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

Note: Article II, section 1, of the Constitution was affected by the 25th amendment.

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.


Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Originally proposed Sept.
25, 1789
. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.