“I have read that Americans are peace-loving,” 58-year-old Pakistani writer Syed Zubair Ashraf told the Washington Post. “But their government has interfered in every country. Why?” That is an excellent question, and one to which Americans ought to give serious consideration, especially as a presidential election approaches. Few Americans would consider themselves warlike. Who among us would choose to drop bombs on a foreign country at his own expense and risk? Yet the U.S. government, claiming to represent the American people, does so routinely — and then blames the inevitable retaliation on foreigners’ hatred of the United States’ liberty, not its government’s foreign policy. Such “blowback” (as the Central Intelligence Agency, which isn’t so foolish as to believe government propaganda, calls it) may soon be coming from Pakistan. The Post reports that Pakistanis, fed up with U.S. policy and the suicide attacks arising in response to it, have come to “view the United States … as an enemy.” They have good reason to come to that conclusion, says the paper: “Since 2001, when Islamabad partnered with Washington to combat the Taliban and al-Qaeda, there have been 335 suicide bombings in Pakistan. Before 2001, there was one.”
FBI agents have collared another Muslim jihadist bent on mass murder and mayhem. The accused, arrested yesterday in Framingham, Massachusetts, is 26-year-old Rezwan Ferdaus, an American citizen who graduated from Northeastern University with a physics degree. His goal, he told undercover agents whom he thought were on his side, was to kill as many “kafirs” (unbelievers) as possible by flying remote-controlled airplanes into the U.S. Capitol, then commencing a shooting spree with automatic weapons. It was all part of Ferdaus’ Jihad against the country in which he was born but to which he did not owe allegiance by the lights of his fanatical Islamic belief. The Plot According to the affidavit for his arrest, he planned to “commit violent ‘jihad’ against the United States, which he considers an enemy of Allah.” The affadavit continued,  
Governor Beverly Perdue’s recent suggestion that we suspend the 2012 elections so our Representatives can focus on getting things done has caused some to question whether she is fit to hold office. After all, if you want to preserve a wayward democratic republic, it’s probably not the best idea to suggest that democracy is what’s driving us off course. And ever since an audio surfaced of the North Carolina Democrat’s remarks, her efforts at damage control — a claim that she was simply indulging sarcasm — have been falling short. The audio reveals that her suggestion was rendered matter-of-factly, embedded within more than a minute of almost continuous blather, which, perhaps, leads one to believe that Perdue might be well served in the future to take a breath. It never helps when your mouth is one step ahead of your brain. But whether the Governor was serious or just possesses the world’s worst delivery is secondary, because she isn’t fit to hold office either way. It isn’t, however, for the reason most critics think.  
The lingering institutional wisdom when it comes to education is that increased spending will bring about improved results — even as history continues to reveal otherwise. For example, recent reports indicate that though education spending has increased 64 percent since the inception of the federal No Child Left Behind program, there has been little improvement in America’s test scores. Meanwhile, American schools continue to make little progress against other industrialized nations.
In what appears to be another incident in a troubling trend across Great Britain, police in the community of Blackpool in northwest England have threatened the owner of a Christian coffee shop with arrest for displaying Bible passages on a television screen in his shop. As reported by the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, Jamie Murray, owner of the Salt and Light café, “was warned by two police officers to stop playing DVDs of the New Testament in his cafe following a complaint from a customer that it was inciting hatred against homosexuals.” Murray said that the officers, who arrived during a busy time and questioned him for nearly an hour, said that the Scripture display violated Britain’s notorious Public Order Act, a 1986 law which prohibits the use of language that is “insulting” or may cause “harassment, alarm, or distress.” Murray recalled to the Daily Mail: “I told them that all that appeared on the screen were the words of the New Testament. There is no sound, just the words on the screen and simple images in the background of sheep grazing or candles burning. I thought there might be some mix-up but they said they were here to explain the law to me and how I had broken it.”
In a court case sure to go down in history for one of the most bizarre rulings, a Wisconsin judge has held that American citizens do not have a "fundamental right to produce or consume foods of their choice." The decision was so shocking that the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund asked the judge to issue a clarification of the ruling. The case involved people who owned cows and sought to board them at a farm. As noted by Foolocracy.com, “Although the commercial relationship between the owner of the cow and owner of the land gives cause for the state to intervene, Fiedler [took] his ruling into a more personal and troubling direction.” The plaintiffs in the case argued that their right to privacy — which allows them to decline medical treatment, allow abortion, view pornography, and engage in consensual sex — should also translate into the right to “consume food of his/her own choice.” Judge Patrick Fiedler remained unconvinced, claiming that the constitutionality of food rights is “wholly without merit.” He added that the plaintiffs' use of the Roe v Wade case as a precedent does “not explain why a woman’s right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk….  
In what is likely to be their only point of agreement, both sides in a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) petitioned the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear their appeals and rule on the law’s constitutionality as soon as possible. Both are appealing a ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that the ObamaCare individual mandate is unconstitutional but the rest of the law is not. The Obama administration, which (as The New American reported Tuesday) allowed a deadline for requesting a review of the ruling by the full circuit court to pass, appealed to the Supreme Court to uphold the entire law. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., “said the justices should defer to ‘the considered judgment of the elected branches of government on how to address a crisis in the national healthcare market,’” according to the Los Angeles Times. The plaintiffs — 26 state Attorneys General plus the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) — are, on the other hand, asking the court to strike down the whole law, not just the individual mandate.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reversed course on a law to regulate safety systems to prevent swimmers, particularly children, from getting trapped in public swimming pool drains. Federal regulators will investigate single drain systems and require public pools to install suction shut off systems by May 2012, or they will be closed down. In a 3-2 vote, the CPSC approved the new pool-safety measure on Wednesday. Previous to the new requirement, municipal pool operators were exempted from requirements mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007 if they installed special covers on their drains to prevent entrapments. In response to incidences where children have drowned from getting trapped in pool drains — including the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker — the requirement would force public pools with a single main drain to install back-up systems that would be capable of automatically shutting down the suction of the drain. Due to pool and spa drain entrapments, between 1999 and 2010 — an entire decade — there have been 80 injuries and 12 fatalities, according to government reports.
Today the German parliament voted overwhelmingly, 523-85, to increase the size of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) from $335 billion to $600 billion, and to allow it to purchase sovereign bonds, lend to profligate governments, and strengthen banks hurt by holding risky government debt.  Protests over the move came primarily from Wolfgang Bosbach, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own party and an initial supporter of the European Union. He pointed to the failure of the continuing Greek bailouts, observing, “The first medicine didn’t work, and now we are simply doubling the dose. My fear is that when the big bang happens, it won’t just be us who will have to pay for generations hereafter.” He still favors the union, however: "I don’t want to be co-opted into an anti-euro movement — the EU is an important political project. But what we promised the people was a union of stability, not a union of debt."   Bosbach reflects increasing discontent of German citizens who find themselves forced to give approximately $300 billion to the rescue fund which will then use the money to buy worthless Greek bonds and continue to extend credit to the bankrupt country.
This is a speech delivered by the author at the Liberty Political Action Conferene in Reno, Nevada, on September 15, 2011: Introduction The phenomenon that has arrested our attention and that is the object of our concerns is something that we call “liberty.”  Indeed, if our political universe can be said to consist of ideas, then the idea of liberty is the center around which every other revolves.  Partisans of every conceivable variety, if they insist upon engaging in our political discourse, simply have no option but to become fluent in the language of liberty.  The idiom of liberty has prevailed over all others, not just within the contemporary Western world, but well beyond it.  In America, especially, one would no more think to deny the value of liberty than one would think to deny the values of compassion, justice, or any other virtue. Still, just because the rhetoric of liberty springs effortlessly from our lips does not mean, necessarily, that we know that of which we speak.  It is true, no doubt, that, not unlike any number of other concepts with which we are acquainted, “liberty” is not something that is easy to define.  And, not unlike any other concept, the challenges of defining liberty, we are confident, do not preclude us from identifying it when we see it.  Whether this self-assurance is justified, however, is another question.
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