Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

31 March 2009

Nuclear Missiles and Threats on Washington

"North Korea is believed to have several nuclear warheads that could be mounted on a missile" (FNC). However, it is not yet known if North Korea possesses the technology and knowledge required to mount the five to eight warheads on the missiles.
Although I said I thought Iran was more stable than North Korea in terms of using nuclear warheads against another country, I'm not sure if it counts if Iran is aiding North Korea. "Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for its rocket launch" (FNC). "Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper declared [Sunday] a 15-strong delegation from Tehran has been in the country advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March.

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud "claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the U.S. capital" (FNC). Via phone, Mehsud told AP, "'Soon we will launch an attack on Washington that will amaze everyone in the world" (FNC). Mehsud also is undeterred by the $5 million bounty on his head. In fact, he wishes "'to die and embrace martyrdom'" (FNC).
It's a good thing we're not at war anymore. Otherwise, we'd probably have reason to worry about this!

Miracle in Massachussetts

Forty-five-year-old Robert Lemire, father of two, "was talking on his cell phone Sunday evening outside a pizza shop in Lawrence, about 25 miles north of Boston, when he saw [a] toddler dangling from a window across the street. He "bolted across a busy street, where he met 23-year-old Alex Day, who had been inside the home at a Bible study meeting. Together, they caught the 18-month-old before she hit the ground" (MSNBC). The two men are now being hailed as heroes by police.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Lemire wasn't talking on his phone at the time, or if he hadn't looked up? And what if Day would have just continued with his Bible study? God is good.

Positive stories will now be listed under the label "Happy News" until I can think of something less ridiculous. However, if you follow me on Twitter, I typically label positive stories as either "happy news" or with smiley faces.

30 March 2009

Overseas Contingency Plan

If the "War on Terror" has been replaced with "Overseas Contingency Plan," does that mean that we are no longer at war?

I walked into my dorm this evening to find Glenn Beck on the tv. I didn't turn it on. My roommate did.

"The U.S. deployed two missile-interceptor ships from South Korea" (FNC) today. "The ships are equipped with Aegis radar, a system that enables the vessels to locate, track and shoot down missles." However, "Washington's defense chief said the U.S. won't try to shoot it down."

27 March 2009

Richardson's Death Saves Girl

Last night my roommate and I watched "V for Vendetta." In one scene, amidst the chaos the terrorist/freedom fighter V has caused, Chancellor Sutler angrily declares, "What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television. I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want everyone to remember why they need us!" Immediately thereafter, the media is filled with stories of anarchy and chaos from across the globe.
My roommate and I looked at each other and agreed that "V for Vendetta" is entirely too close to reality for our liking. It seems that every time I check the news, there are more depressing stories than positive ones. I can count on two hands the number of devastating plane crash stories I've heard in the year 2009 alone.
In light of all of the depressing news, I've decided to post about happy stories, too.

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is not immediately apparent to us. Natasha Richardon's untimely death on March 18 created quite a stir -- and it's a good thing it did. Seven-year-old Morgan McCracken of Ohio "was hit in the head with a baseball during a game with her dad and brother in the family backyard" (MSN). Morgan's parents iced her head and afterwards, she seemed perfectly fine. However, "Morgan's mom and dad . . . learned of Natasha Richardson's accident . . . and wondered if their daughter was truly OK following the baseball accident. . . . That night, Morgan began complaining of a headache, so the family ventured out to the emergency room. Morgan was in such bad shape by the time they got there that she had to be transferred to a children's hospital by helicopter, where she was immediately taken into surgery. . . . The McCrackens learned there that Morgan had the same injury that Natasha Richardson had died of" (MSN). Her parents were told by their doctor that, if they "'hadn't brought [Morgan] in Thursday night, she never would have woken up'" (MSN). Morgan is reportedly doing fine and recovering from her surgery.

GIVE & North Korea

I've been searching for a summer job. I've looked into American Eagle and other such stores, but I wanted something a bit different. And then my aunt told me about AmeriCorps, which would not only pay me about $3,000 for the summer, but would also add $1,250 for school. Just what is AmeriCorps?
Americorps, under a "major national service bill" (FNC) that was passed yesterday, has been tripled "despite concerns from some conservatives that it could allow politically charged groups to benefit from extra funding" (FNC). AmeriCorps will grow from 75,000 positions to 250,000, and "is expected to cost $6 billion over five years" (FNC). "The package, called the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or GIVE Act, encourages a broad range of Americans to give back to their communities. It would create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans" (FNC). According to Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson, "This is a bad deal for taxpayers, and there will be no way to enforce any prohibitions on the use of the funds once the money is in the coffers of the political organizations" (FNC). And although the act "prohibits participants from lobbying or organizing protests or engaging in other political activity . . . ALG argued that government money could still end up funding those activities" (FNC). Participants are prohibited from political activism? There once was a time when political activism was viewed as a good thing.

Japan has approved the deployment of an interceptor force in response to any debris that may fall on Japanese territory following North Korea's communications satellite launch on April 4-8. "North Korea has warned that it will retaliate against any country attempting to intercept the satellite" (FNC). "Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura called for calm and promised to inform the public as soon as North Korea launches the rocket, adding it's unlikely to fall on Japan's territory" (FNC). If North Korea pursues the launch, it would constitute a "breach of a U.N. Security Council resolution barring the country from any ballistic activity" (FNC). Japan also has currently imposed sanctions on North Korea, which will expire April 13.
Although I've never done any research on North Korea, I've done research on the Iran and it's nuclear program/goals. And quite frankly, I feel that North Korea poses more of a threat than Iran does.

26 March 2009

Mandatory Volunteerism

American Thinker has posted more on HR1388. The text of the bill really is quite terrifying, and it's a shame that few people actually know about it. I was unaware of it until I noticed it on Gateway Pundit. So just imagine how many college students don't spend their evenings reading various political blogs and news sites (quick answer: a lot/those with social lives/those who don't procrastinate). But I bit the bullet and read through it, anyway.

Section 158 (42 U.S.C. 12618) is amended--
(B) in paragraph (6), by striking 'Clothing' and inserting 'Uniforms'; and
. . . "uniforms?" Will members of the Corps be identified with chevrons and bars and stars?

Parents and legal guardians also have parts to play!
'(f) Parental Involvement-
'(1) IN GENERAL- Programs that receive assistance under the national service laws shall consult with the parents or legal guardians of children in developing and operating programs that include and serve children.
'(2) PARENTAL PERMISSION- Programs that receive assistance under the national service laws shall, consistent with the State law, before transporting minor children, provide the reason for and obtain written permission of the children's parents.'.
"We're dragging your kid off to build a ditch because it serves the community and builds character!" I can already imagine kids turning those When-I-was-your-age-I-walked-a-mile-to-school-in-three-feet-of-snow-during-a-raging-blizzard stories on their parents (or maybe grandparents). "I built a dam before I learned algebra!" Actually, considering the fact that kindergarten has become more like school and less like nap time, the kid would probably learn algebra while he's building the dam.

There is also a "State Plan for Baby Boomer and Older Adult Volunteer and Paid Service" which will "include . . . recommendations for . . . how to best tap the population of members of the Baby Boom generation and older adults as sources of social capital."
Yes, let's tap the population and use my parents as sources of social capital.

'(12) bolster the public awareness of and recruitment efforts for the wide range of service opportunities for citizens of all ages, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location, through a variety of methods, including--
[lists seven types of media]
'(18) where practicable, provide application materials in languages other than English for those with limited English proficiency who wish to participate in a national service program;
I'd suggest we start growing Victory Gardens, but I've recently heard that the government wants to end private gardens and the like because food might be unsafe. Let's hear it for irradiated vegetables!
If people can't fill out an application in English, how are they expected to communicate with their coworkers? I thought this was about community service and serving the nation and forming bonds and bridges and filling gaps. Speaking the same language fills at least one gap.

'(F) how to improve utilization of veterans as resources and volunteers.
Haven't they already served their country? Especially the baby boomers this act mentions rather frequently (especially in the National Senior Service Corps!).

Also, "Not less than 180 days after enactment of this Act, the Corporation shall conduct a nationwide 'Call to Service' campaign, to encourage all people of the United States, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic status, to engage in full- or part-time national service, long- or short-term public service in the nonprofit sector or government, or volunteering. In conducting the campaign, the Corporation may collaborate with other Federal agencies and entities, State Commissions, Governors, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, elementary schools, and secondary schools."
A "Call to Service?" That sounds more like a slogan the military would implement.
Also, I don't understand why the Corporation should be able to work with faith-based organizations, since "engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as aprt of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization" is listed under "'SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS."

Thankfully, they're repealing military installation conversion demonstration programs. If they included that, we might as well just enlist. Not only would it be the honorable thing to do, but I'd be serving the helpless. Not people who don't help themselves.

Sec. 198E refers to the National Service Reserve Corps. Sort of like the Reserves and the Marine Corps stuck together with some sort of national service. It sounds almost militant. Or maybe I'm just nitpicking. The National Service Reserve Corps will "prepare and deploy National Service Reserve Corps." For example, members will be deployed on "30-day assignments to assist with local needs related to preparing or recovering from the incident in the affected area," in relation to a "major disaster or emergency."

'(c) Certification of Organizations-
'(1) On a biannual basis, the Corporation shall certify organizations with demonstrated experience in responding to disasters, including through using volunteers, for participation in the program under this section.
'(2) The Corporation shall ensure that every certified organization is--
'(A) prepared to respond to major disasters or emergencies;
'(B) prepared and able to utilize National Service Reserve Members in responding; and
'(C) willing to respond in a timely manner when notified by the Corporation of a disaster or emergency.
I thought that's why we had the Coast Guard and the National Guard. And FEMA!

This act passed through the House of Representatives March 18th and is in the Senate.

British Politics

Do British politicians always address one another in this manner? If so, why don't American politicians address one another in this manner? A lot more people would be interested in politics, I'm sure.

Yesterday, I believe, Glenn Beck interviewed Daniel Hannan, who is a Conservative MEP for South East England, as well as a writer and journalist.

Abortion -- America's Hidden Holocaust

I recently received an e-mail regarding the plane crash in Butte earlier this week. Although I normally delete forwarded e-mails, I decided to do a little research into this particular one. It links to an article titled Family of Irving "Bud" Feldkamp, Owner of the Nation's Largest Privately Owned Abortion Chain, Dies in Montana Plane Crash.
The cemetery in which the plane crashed contains a memorial called the "Tomb of the Unborn," and is dedicated "to all babies who have died because of abortion." Feldkamp owns Family Planning Associates, of which there are seventeen in California (which also "perform more abortions in the state than any other abortion provider"). "Although Feldkamp is not an abortionist, he reaps profits of blood money from the tens of thousands of babies that are killed through abortions performed every year at the clinics he owns."

For more information on abortion and pro-life:
Rock for Life

Yes, I'm biased.

I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then. -Deut. 30:19

You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there -- you saw me before I was born. - Psalms 139:13-15.

The Medal of Honor

"After Army Sgt. Travis Vendela was wounded in Iraq and lost his legs, the community came together to give the soldier and his fiancee, Tiffany Black, a free $30,000 wedding in Loveland" (Military Times).
It makes me happy to know that not only do we still have a strong sense of community, willing to help others, but also that this happened to a very deserving couple, in my opinion. The Vendelas' story will be featured this week on the Discovery Health channel.
Also, this wedding cost less than a year at my college.

"The number of Medal of Honor recipients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can be counted on one hand. Each of the five acted spontaneously and heroically to save the lives of comrades. Each exemplified the medal's criteria of 'gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of one's own life above and beyond the call of duty.' And each was killed in action or died from wounds received in action" (Military Times). It is unfortunate that "it remains to be seen whether anyone will ever again earn a Medal of Honor and survive to accept it. With the exception of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, no other major conflict in modern military history has failed to produce a living recipient of the nation's highest award for valor. And no war has ever produced so few Medal of Honor -- or service cross -- recipients" (Military Times).
I firmly believe that Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who is also mentioned in the article, was deserving of the Medal of Honor. But despite the fact that both the commandant of the Marine Corps and the secretary of the Navy approved Peralta's nomination, the Pentagon rejected it (which, according to Military Times, may be due to "Peralta's onetime status as an illegal immigrant").
Though I do not condone illegal immigration, I feel that that should have no bearing on Peralta's (or any other Medal of Honor nominee) receival of the medal. Regardless of his past, the man sacrificed his life for his fellow Marines and his country. We who have not seen war have no right to judge those who have.

Gaza as a Woman

If this highly controversial cartoon, which "a Jewish human rights group has denounced . . . as anti-Semitic, comparing it to Nazi imagery of the 1930s that led up to the Holocaust" (FNC) is permitted on display, then so too should Ahmed Mashhouri's display on Islam be permitted in Norway (I highly suggest you check it out, even if you can't read Norwegian).

Since 2003, at least three U.S. soldiers have been killed by electrocution while showering. Using appliances also poses a threat. In response, "the military is racing to inspect more than 90,000 U.S.-run facilities across Iraq" FNC). "About one-third of the inspections so far have turned up major electrical problems . . . but about 65,000 facilities still need to be inspected" (FNC).
Ninety-thousand facilities? Were these constructed haphazardly? Shouldn't the safety of our soldiers come first? This is simply my opinion, but three deaths by electrocution are three too many. Our troops should be worrying about fighting the enemy and getting home safely, not whether or not they'll come out of the shower alive.

The title of this post is a play on the book Egypt as a Woman by Beth Baron.

25 March 2009

Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act

The purpose of HR 1388 (which has been passed) is "to reauthorize and reform the national service laws" (GovTrack). I highly suggest that you read the entire text, which states that "service-learning is a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local education agency" (GovTrack). Mandatory volunteer work? Since Gateway Pundit has already made the connection between this invigoration of volunteerism and education and the HJ, I'll just direct you there.

That Lasted Long

This afternoon I was walking through a tunnel on campus. Since yesterday, there's been a poster on one of the two bulletin boards in the tunnel (as well as in various halls). The poster features a U.S. soldier in Iraq and advertises a public lecture on the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It immediately caught my eye when I first noticed it yesterday. I didn't notice it today.
Someone took it off the bulletin board (using enough care so as to replace the four tacks on the bulletin board) and tossed it on the ground. I must confess I wasn't totally surprised when I saw people obliviously trampling on the face-down poster, but I immediately knew what it was. So I picked it up, dusted it off, and took it back to my dorm with me. I'm debating where I should stick it. At the moment it's on my bed. I might put it on my wall -- but that would require me to take down the McCain/Palin signs.

Also, I'm probably infringing some sort of copyright by taking a photo of a photo on a poster. So I apologize if I am. And if I should be giving someone credit, let me know.

24 March 2009

Should The Motto "In God We Trust" Be Removed From U.S. Currency?

MSNBC currently has a poll asking that very question (go vote!). I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Red State Update

I've just discovered Red State Update. I'm not quite sure what I think of it, but it made me laugh.

TOTUS - Teleprompter of the United States

Plan B & Islamberg!

Plan B will now be attainable sans prescription by seventeen-year-olds, thereby basically completely removing any responsibility from either partner. No condoms? No problem. You can worry about the STDs later. But what really irks me is the fact that this is encouraging minors to have sex. It doesn't teach about the emotional aspect of sex, nor does it teach about safe sex. Just revert to Plan B. Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, claims that "'Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for all Americans who expect the government to safeguard public health'" (FNC). And of course, if we can rely on the government, we don't have to be accountable. That totally eliminates any responsibility we have to take care of ourselves. And God forbid we ever be expected to rely on ourselves over the government.

Have you heard of Islamberg? It's "a private Muslim community in the woods of the western Catskills, 150 miles northwest of New York City" (FNC). Islamberg is just "past a gate marked with No Trespassing signs, [and] is home to an estimated 100 residents" (FNC). "The town also has its own mosque, grocery store and schoolhouse. It also reportedly as a firing range where residents take regular target practice" (FNC). Pakistani cleric Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani founded Islamberg in 1980, and has "established similar rural enclaves across the country -- at least six, including the Red House community in southern Virginia -- though some believe there are dozens of them, all operating under the umbrella of the 'Muslims of the Americas' group founded by Gilani" (FNC). Not only has Gilani founded Islamberg and other tiny towns, but he was also a founder of Jamaat al-Fuqra, "a terrorist organization believed responsible for dozens of bombings and murders across the U.S. and abroad. The group was linked to the planning of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and 10 years earlier a member was arrested and later convicted for bombing a hotel in Portland, Ore" (FNC).
The article is rather lengthy, but I highly suggest reading it.
I've decided that I'm going to also purchase a 70-acre plot of land somewhere in the States. Somewhere fertile. I have no idea where I'd get the money, or for that matter, how much land 70 acres actually is. Regardless, I'm going to purchase a plot of land and set up camp. It'll be surrounded by a forest (like in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"), and maybe I'll also set up a moat with alligators. Imported from Florida. Or else I could purchase a beach area down South, and it'll be like the community Gabriel led Charlotte and his younger siblings to when they were escaping Colonel Tavington in "The Patriot." The point is that it's going to be secluded. And then we'll build our own buildings (like in "Defiance" -- I have about as much skill with carpentry as the two scholars did).
I haven't yet decided if I want to have a firing range or not, because I might only permit swords. And then other people could create similar communities nearby, and we could wage war with swords. I'm pretty sure the wars wouldn't last as long if we had AR-15s and Kalashnikovs. That's Option One.
Option Two includes guns, and we'd have a large firing range. We'd also train in various martial arts and wilderness survival. I'm not sure where I'd get the instructors for this, but I'll figure that out later. And then we'll have a school. The school -- and the community as a whole -- will be founded on Biblical values. In school, history will be taught, and it will include more than two pages on the Korean War, and students will also be taught about the Rape of Nanjing. Who's with me?
And I haven't figured anything else out yet because I made up all of the above completely off the top of my head.

23 March 2009

Party Like It's 1773!

At the moment, I'm watching Glenn Beck play Jenga.

I don't agree with everything suggested, and I must admit, the word "revolution" put me on edge. Of course, that word immediately conjured images of Jason Isaacs running Heath Ledger through with a sword, and Mel Gibson as a South Carolinian plantation owner who makes rocking chairs in his spare time and somehow manages to retain freed slaves to work his land.
Regardless of the "R" word, I still thought that this video was very inspiring. Also, CafePress has a wide variety of tea party paraphernalia -- just type "tea party" into the Search bar.

Speaking of tea parties! Today I parted with two bags of Twinings of London Earl Grey tea. One is adorning my backpack, the other is tied to my over-sized Victoria's Secret bag. I even took a few MySpace-ish photos.

Love the dog hair -- I carry bits of Maddie and Sally around with me everywhere I go.

Don't you love the McCain/Palin signs in the background?

Today was my first day back at college from Spring Break. And even though I didn't spend a week tanning in Cancun and drinking mojitos, I did have a few informal 9-12 coffee talks, and I spent a day at the Antique Arms Show in Baltimore.
I received my Islamic History mid-term exam today. Unfortunately, I only earned an 85.4%, in part due to the fact that I somehow mislabeled the Tigris as Baghdad and the Euphrates as Karbala (and vice versa). Even though I labeled all of the other black circles with white font as cities and the white circles with black font as geographical features, I somehow confused those four. Which is really depressing since I'm partly a History Major and am concentrating in MidEast Studies.

[EDIT 9:47 PM]
I'm rewatching the Thomas Paine video at the moment and, in my opinion, he seems quite similar to Hugo Weaving's character V in the film "V for Vendetta" (which I highly recommend).

For even more information about tea parties, check out Tea Party Day.

21 March 2009

Antique Arms Show

Yesterday evening my family and I drove down to Lancaster to visit family friends. Typically, the women spend Saturday shopping at the various outlets while the men go to the Antique Arms Show in Baltimore. This year, I decided to forgo shopping (and apparently missed a Borders outlet!) in favor of tagging along to see the gun show. I must admit, waking up at half past five and waiting in a long line for half an hour in cold weather trumped a day of retail therapy.
I met some of the most interesting people and saw some of the most interesting things today. An entire building full of pre-1898 firearms, swords, knives, photos, uniforms, letters and basically everything else under the sun. And the people working the stalls are so knowledgeable about their displays -- history truly comes alive.
At first, I was completely overwhelmed and aimlessly wandered down the aisles. Then, I decided to look for WWII and Middle-Eastern items, which really made the day a lot more interesting.
I met a Vietnam veteran who is currently in the process of publishing a book about his experiences in Vietnam. It should be published in three to six months, and I'm looking forward to purchasing a copy. It was quite a privilege to talk to him.
I also spent a few minutes talking to a man who collects samurai armor and other memorabilia. I must admit that I was at first a bit upset that something so important would be carelessly sold and taken far from Japan, but I know that the armor and katanas are in far better care with him than with uncaring families. Still, he tries to return items to their families when he is able to, which I thought was wonderful.
There was also a man with a lot of propaganda posters from the World Wars. He noticed me looking at them and immediately began to explain the different stories behind the posters, and showed me an album about a Vietnam War museum exhibit featuring the ship bunks of soldiers on their way to Vietnam.
One man specializes in Islamic knives, which of course caught my attention. He had a very nice blade with Arabic calligraphy on it -- I took some photos with the hopes that my professor can translate the script. There was also an Indian axe head with writing on it, but thus far no one has been able to translate it. I took a few photos and will upload them tomorrow, and hopefully someone will be able to translate.
Dad bought the two of us strawberry-lemonade smoothies (which were insanely expensive, by the way) and we sat down near two gentlemen from Delaware. The first was a native Delawarean, and I never would have guessed his accent. The second was originally from Brooklyn, which was evident immediately. They were both interesting to talk to (and the one from Brooklyn hunts in Lake Ariel, which is where my dad was born and raised!) and very nice -- I must admit that I was a bit surprised by the amount of courteous and genuinely friendly people.
I purchased a few Iraqi propaganda pamphlets from a man named James Sparew (I believe). I would have purchased more (I easily could have spent a small fortune), but I've decided that I need to prioritize and buy a handgun first. But after I have a handgun (and maybe an AR-15), I would love to start collecting. I've discovered that my interests lie more in personal effects, like letters and photos, than in guns and sabres (though they're nice, too); although, Dad and I saw three HJ knives and I fell in love with them. I also really liked a poster about sword canes and dishonor and usage, the words of which I can no longer remember. I've decided that someday I'm going to decorate my house with propaganda posters and Michael Yon photography.
Overall, I really enjoyed going to the gun show, and I have the feeling that I'll be skipping out on shopping next year, too.


If anyone can translate the above script, I'd be very grateful! Please comment or e-mail me at licentialoquendi@live.com.

19 March 2009

What Type of Conservative Are You?

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Faith-Based Fighter, also known as a religious conservative. You believe in Judeo-Christian values, restoring God’s rightful place in the public square, and in showing all the unwashed and unsaved liberal sinners the path to salvation, or at least to the GOP.

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com

I took this quiz twice because I liked two different answers for some questions; the second time my result was "Freedom Crusader." My dad is also a Faith-Based Fighter.


Although I am saddened by the untimely demise of Natasha Richardson, the surrounding news coverage leads me to wonder how many people of non-celebrity status die in skiing accidents or due to head trauma. People should be made aware of the importance of prompt medical care, regardless of a victim's social status or career.

According to the Military Times, "the Pentagon . . . will pay for families of fallen soldiers to travel to the Delaware base where the U.S. military's deceased are flown from overseas" (Military Times). I feel that it is the least the government can do for the families of fallen service members -- how horrible would it be to learn your son has died but you can't meet him at Dover because money is tight?

Also, a retroactive monthly $500 will be paid to stop-lossed soldiers dating to October 1, 2008. beginning April 1. The Army will begin to deploy units without stop-loss in January of 2010, and the practice will tentatively be eliminated March 2011.

14 March 2009

Glenn Beck, The 9-12 Project & Tea Parties

I must admit that tonight was the first night I watched Glenn Beck -- my dad has mentioned him a few times, and today at the coffee shop one of the guys asked me what I thought of Glenn Beck. Tonight's show gave me a very good first impression of the man.

I thought the above video clip, the opening segment of tonight's show (a re-run from yesterday), was very inspiring. I feel that many Americans -- but not all -- have forgotten what happened on September 11, 2001. The love of our nation and the fear and anger we felt that united us then has since dissipated. And while some Americans are content to be blissfully ignorant about what is happening in our nation, in our government, many are dissatisfied.
If you are dissatisfied and wish this nation was as united as it was on September 12, 2001, then I challenge you to check out The 9-12 Project and live the 9 Principles and 12 Values.

I mentioned tea parties in an earlier post. Fresh Tea Daily provides information on various tea parties to be held on Tax Day (April 15) in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Judging by the comments on the page, I can only assume that there will be many more tea parties organized in smaller towns and cities! Unfortunately, I will be in classes on the fifteenth, as it is a Wednesday, so I will most likely not be able to attend one of the tea parties, one of which may be held in my city (though I think it would be quite an experience, and I look forward to becoming more involved in politics).

Free Rice

Following a much-anticipated visit to the local coffee shop with my dad, I spent the rest of the morning playing a vocabulary game with my mom. The game, Free Rice, donates ten grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme for every word correctly matched to its definition. While ten grains may not seem like much, over the course of the morning my mom and I accumulated 6,020 grains of rice. A friend and I used to play the game a lot in high school.

12 March 2009

Birthdays and Cartels

Why the eighteenth and twenty-first birthdays (and the two in the middle) are important:
Eighteen: Voting! Loss of minor status = ability to enlist/get married/everything else without parental permission.
Nineteen: Final year in which you can use the excuse that the irresponsible stuff you do is because you're a teenager.
Twenty: Official adulthood -- no more "-teen" suffix. Same irresponsible stuff without the excuse.
Twenty-one: Loss of dependent benefits. Oh, and drinking. Probably even more irresponsibility.
I turned nineteen today and I can't believe I've been on this planet for almost two decades. And if I'm freaking out now, imagine what I'll be like when I hit twenty-seven and I'm an unmarried workaholic. At least I'm consoled by the fact that Asians tend to age more slowly than everyone else. . . .

The four most prominent drug cartels in Mexico not only have 100,000 foot soldiers, but also "RPG's and law rockets" (FNC). First of all, it irks me that "law" isn't capitalized. LAW is an acronym which stands for "Light Anti-tank Weapon" or "Light Anti-armor Weapon." They are simple to operate and fire from the shoulder. Obama is considering deploying National Guard troops to the border. It'll be like the DMZ . . . minus the "D."

40 Lashes for the 75-Year-Old!

"Bernie Madoff . . . the world's greatest scammer is 70 years old and facing up to 150 years for his $50 billion swindle, but it could have been worse — much, much worse — if he'd committed his crimes in some other countries" (FNC). How true! In what other country could a man defraud "thousands of investors of their life savings" (FNC) -- and let's focus on the words "thousands" and "life savings" -- and then be condemned to spend the rest of his life getting three square meals a day and shelter, all at the expense of not thousands of taxpayers, but rather millions? Granted, I'm sure that if I were to do the research (which I have no time for at the moment, as I have a mid-term exam and various essays due tomorrow -- and yet I strangely have time to blog), I'd probably realize that individual taxpayers really don't pay a whole lot of money to keep a prisoner incarcerated. However, it simply seems ironic to me that a man can swindle people of an amount greater than many countries' GDPs, and then live off of their taxes. But I don't believe he should simply walk free on that, and nor do I believe that he should receive the death penalty. But if he were to do so, we could follow shari'a law according to the Saudis and stone him -- I'm pretty sure stones are free.

Speaking of the Saudis, 75-year-old Khamisa Sawadi has been sentenced to forty lashes and four months in prison. First of all, I can't even imagine what sort of a person would condemn a 75-year-old woman to lashes and prison time . . . "for mingling with two young men . . . who were not her immediate relatives" (FNC). My professor shared this story (from a different source) with the class on Monday. The two men, her nephew and his business partner, took the woman five loaves of bread (which she had requested), and were then arrested by the religious police.
"'Because she said she doesn't have a husband and because she is not a Saudi, conviction of the defendants of illegal mingling has been confirmed'" (FNC). According to Islamic tradition, "breast-feeding establishes a degree of maternal relation, even if a woman nurses a child who is not biologically hers" (FNC). However, despite the fact that Sawadi told the courts she breast-fed Fahd al-Anzi (her nephew), "the court denied her claim, saying she didn't provide evidence" (FNC). Exactly what sort of evidence is a woman supposed to provide to prove that she breast-fed her now 24-year-old nephew?
Sawadi, who is not Saudi-born, will also be deported following her prison sentence.

11 March 2009

"Study Session"

This evening's study session for Islamic History turned into a two hour and fifteen minute discussion of politics and religion (with about five minutes' worth of discussion on who died at the Battle of the Camel and designation of Muhammad's uncles as The Evil Uncle, The Good Uncle, The Heroic Uncle and The Nobody Uncle). The interesting part was that the three participants in the discussion included an African-American Christian, a Korean-American Christian, and an Iranian-American Muslim. We discussed a great deal of theology -- both men thought that deeds supersede actual beliefs, and neither really believe in the Trinity, while I believe the opposite. It was very enlightening and I really loved the discussion.

09 March 2009

Updates: Layout

I installed a premade layout and a tweaked header. I realize that it's pink and girly and completely irrelevant, but I was bored with the plain white layout. However, if anyone has difficulty reading the text, let me know and I'll either find a new layout or possibly find the time to design my own ("possibly" being the operative word). I would have to learn Blogger coding and I have no idea how long that would take. Mid-terms are this week, so I'm rather busy. Or at least I will be. Maybe.

Also, I've considered adding bloggers, but I'm not sure if I want to yet or not. I can't decide whether I'd want this to be a Right blog or a multi-partisan blog.

Chris Brown & Rihanna

If you've watched the news at any point between February 8 and now (or if you've been lurking around this blog for the past few weeks), you are probably aware that Chris Brown "deserves every punishment in the book. Besides forcibly trying to remove Rihanna from the moving Lamborghini, he also repeatedly smashed her head against the window, punched her squarely in the face (more than once), and proclaimed, 'I'm going to beat the --- out of you when we get home'" (LimeLife) because he received a text from a former lover and she was upset about it. "A Los Angeles police affidavit alleges that on Feb. 8, Brown punched, bit and choked Rihanna until she nearly lost consciousness" (Music.MSN.com). "When Rihanna called her assistant to get help - and make sure the police were on their way - Chris responded, 'You just did the stupidest thing ever. I'm going to kill you' . . . not surprisingly, new details are emerging that confirm this is not the first time Chris has hit her" (LimeLife).

And now, "According to Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker, Brown and Rihanna plan to co-author a book about abuse and reappear together on a number of talk shows in a deal, which also reportedly includes a $10 million clause regarding Brown's future actions toward her.
"'[He'll pay] as much as $10 million . . . if he as much as squeezes her arm the wrong way,' a source close to Brown reportedly told the columnist" (Access Hollywood).
Recently, "a message was posted on what appears to be Brown's MySpace blog on Thursday urging fans to vote for the singer in the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards" (Access Hollywood).

So . . . a man hits a woman and promises to pay her $10 million if he hits her again . . . if he doesn't kill her, first. I am appalled by the fact that Chris Brown can get away with that (in part because he is, after all, Chris Brown), and that he is still being nominated in the Kids' Choice Awards. He clearly is not a good role model for children. But, then again, Rihanna is not a good role model for young women -- what sort of message is she conveying to women, especially women in abusive relationships? What sort of message are both of them projecting to not only their fans, but couples in general? If you have enough money, you can knock around your girlfriend and pay her to drop the subject.

[EDIT 3/11]
Chris Brown has withdrawn his name from the Nickelodeon KCA -- (FNC).

The History Teacher

"A survey of around 1,000 high school students aged 11 to 16 found 10 percent of youngsters were unsure of what it was and 2 percent thought it was a brand of beer. One percent thought it was a type of bread" (FNC). Of what were these British teens and pre-teens ignorant?


A representative of the London Jewish Cultural Centre stated that the Centre was not surprised, though disappointed. "If we are not careful, the Holocaust will disappear into the realms of history like the battle of Trafalgar. It is vital that children are made aware of the effects of ignorance" (FNC).

You're telling me that people don't know what the battle of Trafalgar was, either (even though there's the famous Trafalgar Square in London)? This is completely inconceiveable to me. Then again, Papa raised me on Henry Fonda's "Battle of the Bulge." And when I was sick and stayed home from school and my aunt babysat me, we'd watch "Gettysburg" to kill time. And, to encourage my sister and me to read, my dad used to always buy our books when we went to Waldenbooks.

What are these parents teaching their children? What are these schools teaching the next generation -- or, more aptly, what are these schools not teaching the next generation? If they aren't teaching about the Holocaust, they certainly can't be teaching about the Rape of Nanjing (Nanking). And what about the Berlin Airlift? And the White Rose?

This reminds me of a poem I read last year in AP English Literature. It's titled "The History Teacher" and was written by Billy Collins.

Trying to protect his students' innocence
he told them the Ice Age was really just
the Chilly Age, a period of a million years
when everyone had to wear sweaters.

And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
named after the long driveways of the time.
The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
than an outbreak of questions such as
"How far is it from here to Madrid?"
"What do you call the matador's hat?

The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan.

The children would leave his classroom
for the playground to torment the weak
and the smart,
mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,

while he gathered up his notes and walked home
past flower beds and white picket fences,
wondering if they would believe that soldiers
in the Boer War told long, rambling stories
designed to make the enemy nod off.

04 March 2009

Freedom of Speech? Not in College!

According to FOX News, "last October John Wahlberg and two classmates at Central Connecticut State University gave an oral presentation for a communications class taught by Professor Paula Anderson. The assignment was to discuss a 'relevant issue in the media,' and the students presented their view that the death toll in the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre would have been lower if professors and students had been carrying guns." To make a long story short, Wahlberg (23 years old) was called to the police station that evening, and the cops asked him about his registered guns. Since Wahlberg lives off-campus (a whole twenty miles off campus, to be exact) and keeps his guns locked away like any normal and responsible gun owner, no one pursues further action. "According to The Recorder, Anderson cited safety as her reason for calling the police" (FNC). "'It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well-being of our students, and the campus community at all times. As such, when deemed necessary because of any perceived risks, I seek guidance and consultation from the Chair of my Department, the Dean and any relevant University officials" (FNC).
Also, "in 2007 . . . a student at Hamline University in Minnesota was suspended after writing a letter to an administrator arguing that carrying concealed weapons on campus may help prevent tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech. The student was allowed to return only after undergoing a psychological evaluation" (FNC). And last year at Colorado College, "campus administrators denounced a flyer as 'threatening and demeaning content' because it mentioned guns . . . the students who produces the flyer were found guilty of violating the school's violence policy, which was added to their school records" (FNC).
"Anderson cited safety as her reason for calling the police." Prof. Anderson called the police because a student mentioned concealed carry, thus endangering her? If a German or a Palestinian mentions the Holocaust (well, maybe not the Palestinian) and a Jew happens to be in the classroom, is the aryan or Palestinian going to be taken to the station and investigated? If I create a flyer in an attempt to bring awareness to the Mumbai bombings, am I going to get a slap on a wrist and a black mark on my record because of the word "bomb?"
The college I currently attend is not located in a reputable city, and late-night trips to Wawa will most likely result in a mugging. There have been a few instances of sexual assault and quite a few muggings -- college does not equal immunity. One evening, a friend and I were walking back to our dorms after a late-night study session, and, while walking through an isolated tunnel all alone, were approached by two men who were supposedly looking for their puppy. We decided not to help them find their puppy.
I carry pepper spray at all times (it's attached to my lanyard, and frequently dangles out of my coat pocket because I have so many other keychains and paraphernalia that there's no room left for my pepper spray or my hands), and have a back-up in my dorm.
Speaking of dorms, sometimes the sensor (which only acknowledges IDs of students living in a particular dorm) malfunctions, and on days when students return from breaks, the doors are not locked at all. There's also an unspoken rule that people hold the entrance doors open for others. I will admit that we are entirely too trusting. Most students do not lock their doors at night, and I'm guilty of shouting, "Come in!" whenever someone knocks on my peephole-less door.
Also, parts of the campus are not well-lit at night, especially the crucial call boxes or "blue light system" (though this is to updated in the future). The buildings, aside from dorms, do not require IDs to gain entrance, and with the overnight program (which enables a student to host a prospective student and take him or her to classes the following day), people can randomly appear in classrooms.
Therefore, it is the student's right and obligation to be proactive in regards to safety. In lieu of concealed carry, pepper spray, mace or tasers can be easily obtained; however, a police officer I spoke with told me he doesn't recommend that people carry pepper spray or mace. Some colleges and universities may offer self-defense or RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) classes. Gyms may also offer classes, and martial arts schools definitely do. However, if you are ever confronted by an armed aggressor, I suppose you'll probably be shot before you can reach your mace, and I don't think even a ninth degree black belt can stop a bullet. In which case one of your thoughts might be, "Gee, I wish I'd been packing heat."
If you'd rather not have to consider that thought, check out Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
But, I believe the main point of the article is that "'colleges and universities are dedicated to the free flow of ideas'" (FNC). This clearly was not the case in regards to Wahlberg, and indeed it is not the case in other colleges, as well.

If anyone has information on "tea parties," (the political sort, not the high tea variety) please let me know via comment or e-mail at licentialoquendi@live.com.

03 March 2009

The Easy Way to Reduce Abortions and Unwanted Pregnancies!

Obama intends to repeal a regulation that was "instituted in the last days of the Bush administration, [and] strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse to provide a medical service because of moral qualms" (FNC). "Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds. The Bush administration's rule adds a requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors. It was intended to block the flow of federal funds to hospitals and other institutions that ignore those rights" (FNC). However, the Obama administration is worried that the rule is "too vague and could prevent some professionals from offering a full range of services to their patients." A senior official said that, "'This policy of potentially allowing providers to refuse to provide contraception or family planning runs counter to the [Obama] administration's goal of reducing abortions and unwanted pregnancies'" (FNC).
I would like to point out that I went to the campus doctor the other day because I thought I had a touch of pneumonia (according to the doctor, in his infinite wisdom, I had acid reflux). I stepped into the exam room and lo and behold, there's an entire basket of condoms setting on the table! In regards to college students, I think the sexually active ones are covered. Contraception? Check. Of course, there's also a wholesome and fool-proof form of contraception. . . .

Rule Four of A D.I.'s Rules for Dating His Daughter clearly states: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Also, yet another commonly overlooked way to not get pregnant that requires no money or visits to the doctor: abstinence! Surprising, I know. I'm one of those "weird Christian virgins" the people on campus talk about. And those cute Christian guys who also happen to be virgins? According to many people who aren't virgins, they're homosexual (but they don't know it yet). Seriously?
I can recall sitting on the bus with my best friend one day Senior year on the way home from school. A group of freshmen (fourteen-ish) sitting nearby could not understand how some people made it to Senior year without having sex! My friend and I simply looked at each other and said, "It's not that difficult."
I really don't understand why everyone feels the need to run out and have sex. Everyone's not doing it, I promise. The prospect of STDs and other little surprises really doesn't thrill me all that much. Aside from health risks, there are also emotional risks. And if a woman and her partner are not emotionally and financially prepared to potentially handle the responsibilities of bringing a child into this world and raising him or her (it will cost about $180,000 to put a child born in 2009 through college), perhaps they should think twice about whether or not they really can't wait! Condoms aren't fool-proof (remember the scare Kenickie and Rizzo had?), and neither is the Pill.
It just takes a little will power. Or maybe a loving mom:

Today, I went to get a condom because my boyfriend and I were going to have sex for the first time. When I opened the drawer, I saw that every single condom had a Jesus pin stabbed through it, and a note on top of the box: "love mom." FML
-#126669 (fmylife.com)

One Way in Which a Former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan and I Differ

Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef, "a former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan [who] spent almost four years in Guantanamo" (FNC) has an iPhone. I don't. But then again, I'm not a huge fan of them.
And neither are the Japanese. The iPhone is "being given away free with a 2-year contact" (FNC). Apparently, not only are "carrier charges . . . a lot cheaper in Japan than they are in the U.S." (FNC), but also "few Japanese want to pay $60 per month to use a phone that can't shoot video, receive TV signals or text-message photos" (FNC). Even my LG enV2 shoots video and texts photos!
I still remember when the iPhone was released (but then again, it wasn't too long ago . . . unless we're going by the rate at which technology becomes obsolete). I was in England and a visiting American had an iPhone. At lunch, all of the men crowded around the visitor to check out his iPhone (which cost at least twice as much in GBP).

Ten Billion Dollars

There are 1.3 soldiers in Mexico's army for every one foot soldier in Mexico's top two drug cartels -- and I'm pretty sure that the 1.3 soldier isn't as well-armed as the one foot soldier (and a third of a soldier hardly seems intimidating). The Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels (aka "Federation"/"Golden Triangle" and "Los Zetas," respectively) have not only been growing, but "are reportedly discussing a truce or merger to better withstand government forces" (FNC). According to Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, "'Mexico has spent $6.5 billion over the last two years, on top of its normal public security budget, on the fight against drugs, but that falls short of the $10 billion Mexican drug gangs bring in annually'" (FNC).
Ten billion dollars? That number is completely inconceivable to me. Sadly, I must admit that I had to look up the number: 10,000,000,000. That's more than the GDP of all of Africa (excluding Somalia). That's 45,454.5 times the cost I would have incurred as a four-year undergrad at what was my top college choice (it's since been replaced by its rival). Ten billion dollars would buy forty billion packs of Ramen noodles. Do you know how many college students that would feed? Everyone for Eternity. Well, maybe not. But regardless of how you look at it, ten billion dollars is a lot of money for the drug industry -- or any industry, for that matter. I don't understand why people would want to waste their money (and their lives) for such a thing. But, there are at least one hundred thousand people in Mexico willing to do so -- willing to die for their . . . whatever it is they're shipping. In my opinion, Mexico (and Juarez) is a bit too close to the U.S. for the U.S. government to simply sit idly by. But then again, I'm not a huge fan of banning the sale of assault weapons, either. It's not that I want to buy one of each model, but I see the ban as a restriction of Americans' rights. But, regardless, Mexico is vying for the title of Somalia II. And I'm fairly certain that the U.S. doesn't want another Somalia.

What would you do with ten billion dollars? Anyone who has figured out the comment button is more than welcome to answer that.
If I had ten billion dollars, I wouldn't just stimulate the economy, I'd give it shock therapy. I'd tithe a billion. I don't think my church would know what to do with the money. I'd pay off college for my sister and me, and buy both of us cars. I'd let my dad take some to Baltimore, and buy whatever my mom wanted from Creative Memories (or maybe I'd just buy her Creative Memories). I'd fix up my grandmothers' houses, and pay off any vet bills my aunt's dogs would incur in the future. I'd donate at least a billion to IAVA and Invisible Children. I'd buy a flat in Washington, D.C. (or maybe Arlington), and an estate in England. I'd take my family on another cruise. Or two or three. I'd buy the Dictionary of International Relations, Neorealism, States, and the Modern Mass Military, and Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army -- actually, I'd just build myself a library. And, I'd buy some of Michael Yon's photography and a Chatham House membership. And I'm pretty sure that all of that doesn't add up to ten billion dollars, but I can't think of anything else. I suppose I'd just donate the rest to IGOs or NGOs or places like my current college -- then they could feed me decent food and fix the sidewalks and have the sidewalks plowed earlier than one p.m. after a noreaster. Maybe.

You Could Have Heard a Pin Drop

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Condi Rice was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. She answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France in which a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and Americans. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?" A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly, "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"
You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?" Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."
You could have heard a pin drop.

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready." The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it. "Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!" The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate your country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."
You could have heard a pin drop.

01 March 2009

HR 45

Both OpenCongress and Govtrack.us include information on HR 45 (Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009), which, in case you didn't feel like reading the entire bill, means that . . .

Applicants for a firearm license (no more than $25) need:
(1) a current, passport-sized photograph of the applicant that provides a clear, accurate likeness of the applicant;
(2) name, address, and date and place of birth of the applicant;
(3) any other name that the applicant has ever used or by which the applicant has ever been known;
(4) a clear thumb print;
(5) a statement that the individual is not a person prohibited from obtaining a firearm;
(6) certification by the applicant that the applicant will keep any firearm owned by the applicant safely stored and out of the possession of persons who have not attained 18 years of age;
(7) a certificate attesting to the completion at the time of application of a written firearms examination;
(8) authorization by the applicant to release to the Attorney General or an authorized representative of the Attorney General any mental health records pertaining to the applicant;
(9) date; and
(10) signature.

Sale/Transfer of firearms will require that a record is issued to the Attorney General "or, in the case of a licensed dealer located in a State that has a State firearm licensing and record of sale system certified under section 602 of this Act, to the head of the State agency that administers that system." The record will include:
(1) the manufacturer of the firearm;
(2) the model name or number of the firearm;
(3) the serial number of the firearm;
(4) the date on which the firearm was received by the transferee;
(5) the number of a valid firearm license issued to the transferee under title I of this Act; and
(6) the name and address of the individual who transferred the firearm to the transferee.

There is a universal background check requirement, which makes it "unlawful for any person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer a firearm to any person other than such a licensee, unless the transfer is processed through a licensed dealer in accordance with subsection." HOWEVER, the aforementioned "shall not apply to the infrequent transfer of a firearm by gift, bequest, intestate succession or other means by an individual to a parent, child, grandparent, or grandchild of the individual, or to any loan of a firearm for any lawful purpose for not more than 30 days between persons who are personally known to each other."

If a child under the age of 18 gains access to firearms, the owner will be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both. Failure to meet the licensing requirements, sale or transfer requirements for qualifying firearms, or failure to maintain or permit inspection of records will result in fines and/or imprisonment up to two years.

I don't even remember how old I was when I first shot a gun. But I'm pretty sure it was a .22 and I hit the target (of course, it was probably only about 25 yards away, if that). And I remember taking Hunter/Trapper Safety Ed. with my neighbor (I only missed one question). I got my hunting license as soon as I could (I still have yet to hit anything other than trees), and hunting with Dad and Papa has given me lots of amazing memories. I would hate for my children to be denied those memories because of this bill.

By the way! This pertains to handguns and firearms with clips, but excludes antiques.

Wine in Iran & Drug Wars in Mexico

According to the Qur'an, alcohol is a "great sin, and some profit, for men" (2:219) and "Satan's handiwork" (5:90).
With that in mind, freelance journalist Roxana Saberi was arrested on January 31 for purchasing wine, and called her parents on February 10 to let him know what happened. She has not been heard from since then. Saberi had "moved to Iran six years ago and had previously reported for NPR, the BBC and FOX News, had her press credentials revoked, and was not working as a journalist" (FNC). Her father "believes [she] was writing a book about Iran at the time of her arrest" (FNC).
I don't understand why she was purchasing alcohol in the first place.

Drug wars in Mexico have killed 400 people in two months alone, according to a CNN video. "More than 5,300 people were killed in Mexico last year in connection to criminal activity" (FNC), 1,600 being killed in Juarez. Fifty of that 1,600 were police officers. Cartels are hunting the mayor of Juarez and his family, who are currently hiding in Texas. Texas officials, meanwhile, "are planning for the worst-case scenario: how to respond if the violence spills over the border, and what to do if thousands of Mexicans seek refuge in the United States" (FNC).
Fewer people have died since the beginning of the Iraq War than have died in the past year in Mexico. I find that completely absurd. Why are these people resorting to drugs? What pushes people to violence? Fortunately for Mexico, the US has decided to permanently ban the sale of assault rifles . . . because clearly such a ban will help Mexico. Since it clearly can't help itself.