Claiming allegiance to a "higher law than the law of the land," a town clerk in western New York has submitted her resignation rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as required by the Marriage Equality Act the New York Senate narrowly passed on June 24 at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill had previously won approval in the state Assembly and Cuomo immediately signed the bill into law, effective July 24. Laura Fotusky, the town clerk in Barker, notified town officials that she was resigning effective Friday, July 21, three days before the new law takes effect. "I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible.  In Acts 5:29, it states, 'We ought to obey God rather than men,' " Fotusky said in a letter presented to Barker Town board on July 11. "The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God." Fotusky wrote that she would be "compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure."
American taxpayers are funding an art exhibit in the Marquette, Michigan, city art gallery that equates Republican governors with Nazis. Naturally, the artwork has prompted a number of complaints, but despite opposition, will remain on display. The Blaze reports: Titled “The Faces of American Fascism,” the poster has pictures of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder and Fla. Gov. Rick Scott under the national insignia of Nazi Germany. The symbol of the Republican Party is encircled in the wreath under the eagle instead of a swastika. Written in the middle of the poster are the words, “Anti union,” “anti worker,” “anti woman,” “anti elderly” and “anti poor.” At the bottom, it charges viewers to “Rise up! Demand a recall” next to an image of a closed fist.
Law enforcement officers across the country are preparing to make widespread use of facial recognition equipment to identify people based on a picture of their face or a scan of their iris, or on a fingerprint reader. And concerns have already been raised among the liberty-minded over how the information would be gathered and used. The Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), produced by B12 Technologies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, runs on the iphone platform. B12 officials report that the company already has contracts with 40 government agencies to deliver 1,000 devices.  
With President Obama claiming that if our debt limit is not increased by Congress, it may force the government to stop payment of Social Security checks, the public, and in particular those dependent on these monthly checks, are a bit confused about how the Social Security System is financed. The truth is that the government does not have to go out and borrow money in order to pay Social Security recipients. Those payments are covered by present receipts of FICA taxes. So the idea that Social Security payments are dependent on borrowed money is false. Indeed, over the years these taxes have brought in more revenue than is actually needed to cover present payments of the Social Security System. The federal government spends that surplus and places in the Social Security Trust Fund government bonds at 5.50 percent interest, redeemable when the FICA taxes do not bring in enough money to cover Social Security payments.  
As the state of New York prepares to officially legalize homosexual marriage on July 24, at least one local government official has made the decision to put moral principle above political expediency. On July 11, Laura Fotusky, clerk in the Town of Barker in central New York, submitted her resignation to the town board, explaining that her Christian beliefs would not allow her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as her position would require. Municipal clerks in New York issue and sign marriage license, and under the state’s new same-sex marriage law, Fotusky would eventually have found herself faced with the dilemma of following the new mandate or obeying a higher authority. In her letter of resignation Fotusky, who has served as the Town of Barker’s clerk since 2007, explained that she would be compromising her “moral conscience” if she were to administer marriage licenses to homosexual couples. “Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21,” she wrote. “I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24. It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as Barker Town Clerk.”
According to internationally acclaimed author and highly regarded expert Lester Brown, writing in the January 10 issue of Foreign Policy magazine: Tonight there will be 219,000 additional mouths to feed at the dinner table, and many of them will be greeted with empty plates. Another 219,000 will join us tomorrow night. In Sana’a, the capital of Yemen — home to 2 million people — tap water is available only once every 4 days; in [nearby] Taiz, it is [only available] once every 20 days. Virtually all of the top 20 countries considered to be “failing states” [defined as suffering massive economic decline] are depleting their natural assets — forests, grasslands, soils and aquifers — [just to] sustain their … populations.
The notion that government can keep robbing Peter to pay Paul indefinitely was always unrealistic. The creation of “entitlements” did not happen in America under FDR, as many people think. Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of militaristic Imperial Germany introduced old age pensions, workers compensation, and related state programs in an effort to placate German socialists, which were a major power in German politics. While society agrees, generally speaking, that the sick, the aged, the orphans and the disabled should be cared for rather than left to die, that responsibility, historically, has rested upon social and moral foundations rather than legal rights. Families, more than any other institution, cared for the elderly and the disabled. Not only did families undertake this obligation, but families also made the lives of the old or the handicapped useful.
Twenty months have passed since the citizens of Switzerland voted to amend their constitution and ban the future construction of Muslim minarets, but only in recent days has it become clear that the will of the Swiss people may be allowed to stand. A clear majority of 57 percent of Swiss voters approved the constitutional change in November 2009, but it was only on July 8 that the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling that allows the constitutional change to remain in place. A story at SwissInfo.ch (“Strasbourg minaret ruling causes no surprise”) reports on the action of the European Court, which rejected two appeals from Muslims living in Switzerland who had sought to overturn the will of the majority of that nation’s citizens:
On June 23 the United States conducted an unmanned aerial drone attack in Somalia, killing at least one person and wounding others. The targets of the attack were members of the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which for several years has been fighting the U.S.-backed Somali government. Recently, however, the group began “planning operations outside of Somalia,” a senior U.S. military official told the Washington Post. “A Pentagon official said … that one of the militants who was wounded had been in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric now hiding in Yemen,” according to the New York Times. Awlaki himself was the target of a U.S. drone strike in May but escaped unharmed.
Europe’s crisis took a dramatic turn for the worse with the sudden awareness, reflected by a steep increase in government bond yields, that the Italian economy may soon be on the financial chopping block alongside those of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland. Italy, whose national debt is second only to that of Greece in the Eurozone as a percentage of GDP, was long assumed to be too big to fail. The fact that Italy’s more prudent lending practices have prevented a major real estate bubble was faint reassurance that somehow Italy would be immune to financial contagion.
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