This is a follow-up article to yesterday's "Big Push for UN’s International Criminal Court" The International Criminal Court has been dependent on a vast support network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the get-go. Long before the United Nations 1998 Rome conference which established the ICC, the UN’s army of NGO activists provided boots on the ground for aggressive lobbying of national governments to support creation of the tribunal.
Mitt Romney broke the tape in the race for Iowa just ahead of Rick Santorum. The closeness of the results, however, hasn't stopped some in the religious wing of the GOP from worrying about Romney representing the Republican Party in November. According to a story published by Politico, a coterie of influential Christian Republicans has been invited to a confab next weekend at the Texas ranch of Paul Pressler.
The push is on to empower the International Criminal Court, the United Nations’ global tribunal that claims universal jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. Over the past year, the Obama administration, acting primarily through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has been ratcheting up the campaign to legitimize the ICC as a global prosecutor and Supreme Court. Together with a coterie of think tanks, media allies, and non-governmental organizations, the administration is attempting to establish precedents for U.S. participation in, and support for, the ICC action agenda, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S. Senate has not ratified the 1998 Rome Statute establishing the ICC. Following the examples of other recent White House occupants, President Obama announced in March his decision to commit U.S. military forces in support of the NATO/UN war against Libyan dictator Moamar Gadhafi because “the writ of the international community must be enforced.” The “writ” to which he referred was United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, passed on March 17 — with prodding from Secretary Clinton and her minions at State.
In the aftermath of a series of bombings on Christmas Day, Nigerians have reason to worry that Islamic terrorism will continue to increase in their country. Boko Haram, the organization behind much of the escalating anti-Christian violence in that African country, is dedicated to a campaign of fear and murder in a society where Muslims and Christians constitute nearly equal proportions of the population.
The Washington Post’s editorial celebrating the ending of ethanol subsidies iterated the same free-market positions taken by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and other Austrian school economists about those subsidies. Calling the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit supporting U.S. corn-based ethanol production and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol “two of the most wasteful subsidies ever to clutter the Internal Revenue Code,” the Post estimated that ending those subsidies will save the U.S. taxpayer approximately $6 billion this year.
An underreported but serious problem with illegal aliens and health care costs surfaced in the New York Times again this week. The paper reprised a report on patients who will not or cannot leave the hospital after treatment. Many of them, the Times says, are illegals.
In more than half of the 50 states, a worker has the option of not joining a union in order to hold a job. In those states where such an elementary freedom exists, the economic condition is more vibrant than in states where union membership, once it is gained at a place of business, is mandatory. Indiana legislators want to make their state the newest right to work state. But state law requires two-thirds of the 100 House members to be in session before business can be conducted. The current makeup at the Indiana state house has 60 Republicans — seven short of the two-thirds quorum mandated in state law — and 40 Democrats. So, because enough Democrats who are customarily in Labor's back pocket decided to stay away from their jobs, the plan to enact right to work legislation has been stymied. The tactic is reminiscent of Wisconsin's Democrat state senators fleeing to Illinois to stymie legislation in their state earlier this year. Eventually, the Wisconsin senators did not succeed.
In his official remarks about the end of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, President Obama told an assembly of troops: The war in Iraq will soon belong to history. Your service belongs to the ages. Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries — from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you — men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.
Planned Parenthood has released its Annual Report for 2009-2010, and predictably, the revelations about the abortion giant’s doings over that time frame paint a tragic picture. With a total budget of just over $1 billion, the “family planning” group was responsible for a total of 329,445 abortions, while making just 841 adoption referrals. That means there were 391 abortions for every adoption — a horrific ratio. Interestingly, the “non-profit,” which receives almost half (46 percent) of its annual budget from taxpayer dollars through government grants, contracts, and Medicaid payments, boasted an $18.5-million revenue “excess” during 2009-2010 — a handsome windfall for the abortion provider. The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List pointed out that by Planned Parenthood’s own tally, it served a total of three million people over the time frame of its report, meaning that 11 percent of its clients were on the receiving end of an abortion. The pro-life watchdog’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, challenged, “With over a billion in net assets and a business model centered on abortion and government subsidies, it is time for Planned Parenthood to end its reliance on taxpayer dollars.”
Robert E. Sanders, a former official of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) for 24 years and now a board member of the National Rifle Association, complained that the ATF’s practice of issuing “private letter rulings” on what constitutes a “weapon” are not only confusing but often arbitrary and even contradictory. The main reason is that the regulations under which the ATF operates aren’t defined and therefore are subject to interpretation and modification: It is hard to tell what ATF wants you do to without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling. You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law? Len Savage, the owner of Historic Arms in Georgia, found out the hard way about the ATF’s capriciousness, and it cost him $500,000. Savage is a firearms designer and manufacturer and was told by the ATF in July 2005 that he could convert machine guns legally owned by collectors into belt-fed weapons. After investing in the tools and machinery to make the conversions, he received another letter from the ATF in April 2006 saying that “upon reconsideration” it was rescinding its previous approval. Savage said the ATF “follows no rhyme or reason” calling it “enforcement by ambush.”