Thursday, February 07, 2008

Conservatives Don't Like the Flavor of Their Own Medicine

From AOL: Liberal City Takes on Marines

As I am sure everyone has heard, the City of Berkeley California has allowed the organization Code Pink, to commandeer a parking spot once per week in front of a Marines Recruiting center in efforts to protest the Iraq war and keep locals from risking their life in the Marine Corps. The city counsel also sought legal advice on how to oust the recruiting center calling them "uninvited, unwelcome intruders".

This of course has sparked outrage among conservatives and conservative bloggers saying this action prohibits the Marines right of free speech. Of course the Berkeley protesters accuse Marine recruiters of lying to prospects and saying anything to get them to sign on the line which is dotted. Code Pink states they are merely exercising their 1st amendment rights and trying to save the lives of local men and women. Michelle Malkin, Stop The ACLU and every other insignificant blogger with a "support the troops" or bald eagle banner on their site have all started petitions to get the City to allow the Marine's their 1st amendment right to conduct business where they please.

What I am wondering, now that everyone is convinced that the Marine's 1st amendment rights have been violated and a community has no say in which types of organizations can conduct business in that community, is when they will realize what one liberal city is trying to do to a conservative cause, conservatives have been doing to everyone else for years. Is Michelle Malkin now going to sign a petition to get all the protesters spitting on women trying to get a pap smear at Planned Parenthoods to stop protesting and give up their 1st amendment rights? (not that spitting is a first amendment right) Is Michelle Malkin also going to contact the local governments of every dry county in the United States to force them to allow the sell of alcoholic beverages in their communities and allow liquor stores and other establishments to sell liquor or do communities have a right to establish their own standards? Are they also going to fight for the rights of strip clubs to open near elementary schools in any affluent suburban community they wish and operate on Sunday mornings until 8am because hey, anyone can run any type of business anywhere they please, right? Are they also going to petition to allow sex shops, adult bookstores, and porn retailers to do business in places like Mississippi and South Carolina and exercise their 1st amendment rights? Are they also going to petition the protesters of these establishments to not exercise their 1st amendment rights in protesting and create hate filled blogs calling them traitors?

The God-bobs outside of Planned Parenthood (when they aren't bombing them) say they are there to save lives which is exactly what Code Pink and the city of Berkeley would say when they protest a Marines recruiting station. It's not like the city or the protesters wouldn't allow a Marine to set foot in their town, they are just protesting the recruitment and recruitment methods which sends so many bay area residents to their death in a useless, endless war and it's also a way for them to tell the military what they think about it's involvement in Iraq. Sure, their time would be better spent protesting the people who lied and made the decision to send those Marine's to Iraq but after all, why have the Marine's at all if there's no freedom of speech and expression for which to fight?

In otherwords, if you think that a business like a Marines recruitment center has the right to do business where ever they please, no matter the consequences, then you have to also be behind every strip club, porn shop and liquor store who decides to do business in conservative, religious communities. If you say that local communities are free to set their own standards of the type of businesses which will operate in their town then shut the fuck up about Berkeley.

Your morals tell you that granny can't make up her own mind about whether or not to buy a dildo or have a have a glass of wine and their morals tell them that we shouldn't be sending 18 year old kids to their deaths in Iraq. There's no difference!


getalife loser said...

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it's fair to say we've answered the call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep.

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time. (Applause.)

From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we've made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens. And so in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives for their futures.

To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future.

In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing. So last week, my administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable. (Applause.) This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible. (Applause.)

We have other work to do on taxes. Unless Congress acts, most of the tax relief we've delivered over the past seven years will be taken away. Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase. Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders. (Laughter and applause.)

Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about their federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. There's only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: Make the tax relief permanent. (Applause.) And members of Congress should know: If any bill raises taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it. (Applause.)

Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely. Next week, I'll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government. (Applause.)

The people's trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks -- special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. Last year, I asked you to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half. I also asked you to stop slipping earmarks into committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I'll send it back to you with my veto. (Applause.)

And tomorrow, I will issue an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by Congress. If these items are truly worth funding, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote. (Applause.)

Our shared responsibilities extend beyond matters of taxes and spending. On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market. My administration brought together the HOPE NOW alliance, which is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. And Congress can help even more. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. (Applause.) These are difficult times for many American families, and by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes.

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. (Applause.) The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. (Applause.) So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year. (Applause.)

The Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create Association Health Plans for small businesses, promote health information technology, and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits. (Applause.) With all these steps, we will help ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office -- not in the halls of Congress. (Applause.)

On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams -- and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.

Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, fourth and eighth graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. African American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. (Applause.) Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, provide extra help for struggling schools.

Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents, and their teachers to strengthen this good law. (Applause.)

We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation's Capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities. So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning. And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we've expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let us apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools. (Applause.)

On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas. Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods and crops and services all over the world. So we're working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can. We're working for a successful Doha Round of trade talks, and we must complete a good agreement this year. At the same time, we're pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements.

I thank the Congress for approving a good agreement with Peru. And now I ask you to approve agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea. (Applause.) Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free, yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets. These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. They will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say "Made in the USA." (Applause.)

These agreements also promote America's strategic interests. The first agreement that will come before you is with Colombia, a friend of America that is confronting violence and terror, and fighting drug traffickers. If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere. So we must come together, pass this agreement, and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life. (Applause.)

Trade brings better jobs and better choices and better prices. Yet for some Americans, trade can mean losing a job, and the federal government has a responsibility to help. (Applause.) I ask Congress to reauthorize and reform trade adjustment assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs. (Applause.)

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. (Applause.) Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. (Applause.) Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. (Applause.) Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. (Applause.) Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. (Applause.)

This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. (Applause.) The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more energy-efficient technology. (Applause.)

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow. Last year, Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge. So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on Earth. (Applause.)

On matters of life and science, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. (Applause.)

So we're expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. And so I call on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life. (Applause.)

On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. (Applause.) I've submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel. Many of these nominees are being unfairly delayed. They are worthy of confirmation, and the Senate should give each of them a prompt up-or-down vote. (Applause.)

In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need. Over the past seven years, more of our fellow citizens have discovered that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service. Americans have volunteered in record numbers. Charitable donations are higher than ever. Faith-based groups are bringing hope to pockets of despair, with newfound support from the federal government. And to help guarantee equal treatment of faith-based organizations when they compete for federal funds, I ask you to permanently extend Charitable Choice. (Applause.)

Tonight the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before. And tonight I'm pleased to announce that in April we will host this year's North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans. (Applause.)

There are two other pressing challenges that I've raised repeatedly before this body, and that this body has failed to address: entitlement spending and immigration. Every member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is growing faster than we can afford. We all know the painful choices ahead if America stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, or crippling deficits. I've laid out proposals to reform these programs. Now I ask members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our borders -- and with your help, my administration is taking steps to do so. We're increasing worksite enforcement, deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings. We've effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border, and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents. Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. (Applause.) This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm. We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals. (Applause.)

This is the business of our nation here at home. Yet building a prosperous future for our citizens also depends on confronting enemies abroad and advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace. In the last seven years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty. We've seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We've seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We've seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban and choose a new president and a new parliament. We've seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom. These images of liberty have inspired us. (Applause.)

In the past seven years, we've also seen images that have sobered us. We've watched throngs of mourners in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassin's hand. We've seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets, and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs. On a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant. These horrific images serve as a grim reminder: The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists -- evil men who despise freedom, despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

Since 9/11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offense, we will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to our enemies. (Applause.)

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny. And that is why the terrorists are fighting to deny this choice to the people in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories. And that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are spreading the hope of freedom. (Applause.)

In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies, and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope. These successes must continue, so we're adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan Army and police. Defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan. (Applause.)

In Iraq, the terrorists and extremists are fighting to deny a proud people their liberty, and fighting to establish safe havens for attacks across the world. One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. We gave our troops a new mission: Work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country.

The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. And they saw our troops, along with Provincial Reconstruction Teams that include Foreign Service officers and other skilled public servants, coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life. Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have the gratitude of our whole nation. (Applause.)

The Iraqis launched a surge of their own. In the fall of 2006, Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaeda's brutality and started a popular uprising called "The Anbar Awakening." Over the past year, similar movements have spread across the country. And today, the grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists. The government in Baghdad has stepped forward, as well -- adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year.

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago. (Applause.) When we met last year, many said that containing the violence was impossible. A year later, high profile terrorist attacks are down, civilian deaths are down, sectarian killings are down.

When we met last year, militia extremists -- some armed and trained by Iran -- were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq. A year later, coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured hundreds of militia fighters. And Iraqis of all backgrounds increasingly realize that defeating these militia fighters is critical to the future of their country.

When we met last year, al Qaeda had sanctuaries in many areas of Iraq, and their leaders had just offered American forces safe passage out of the country. Today, it is al Qaeda that is searching for safe passage. They have been driven from many of the strongholds they once held, and over the past year, we've captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaeda leaders and operatives.

Last month, Osama bin Laden released a tape in which he railed against Iraqi tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaeda and admitted that coalition forces are growing stronger in Iraq. Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated. (Applause.)

When we met last year, our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of "return on success," and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home.

This progress is a credit to the valor of our troops and the brilliance of their commanders. This evening, I want to speak directly to our men and women on the front lines. Soldiers and sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen: In the past year, you have done everything we've asked of you, and more. Our nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments. And tonight in this hallowed chamber, with the American people as our witness, we make you a solemn pledge: In the fight ahead, you will have all you need to protect our nation. (Applause.) And I ask Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops. (Applause.)

Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and we can still expect tough fighting ahead. Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission. As part of this transition, one Army brigade combat team and one Marine Expeditionary Unit have already come home and will not be replaced. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit. Taken together, this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home. (Applause.)

Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and the recommendations of our commanders. General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in the "disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, al Qaeda-Iraq regaining lost ground, [and] a marked increase in violence." Members of Congress: Having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen. (Applause.)

In the coming year, we will work with Iraqi leaders as they build on the progress they're making toward political reconciliation. At the local level, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds are beginning to come together to reclaim their communities and rebuild their lives. Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad. (Applause.) We're seeing some encouraging signs. The national government is sharing oil revenues with the provinces. The parliament recently passed both a pension law and de-Baathification reform. They're now debating a provincial powers law. The Iraqis still have a distance to travel. But after decades of dictatorship and the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place -- and the Iraqi people are taking control of their future. (Applause.)

The mission in Iraq has been difficult and trying for our nation. But it is in the vital interest of the United States that we succeed. A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. A free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror, and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.

By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden the extremists, strengthen Iran, and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies, and our homeland. The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al Qaida's top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington. My fellow Americans: We will not rest either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. (Applause.) We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America. (Applause.)

We're also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace. (Applause.)

We're also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran's rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas' efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range, and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon.

Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you. We respect your traditions and your history. We look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home, cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops. We will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf. (Applause.)

On the home front, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty. We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since 9/11. This is not for the lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy. In the past six years, we've stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic. Dedicated men and women in our government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks. (Applause.)

And we owe them something more: We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe. And one of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they're planning. Last year, Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, Congress set the legislation to expire on February the 1st. That means if you don't act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We've had ample time for debate. The time to act is now. (Applause.)

Protecting our nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful, and more compassionate world. This is a reflection of our national interest; it is the calling of our conscience.

America opposes genocide in Sudan. (Applause.) We support freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We've also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency, and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world's food aid comes from the United States. And tonight, I ask Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we're working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years. (Applause.)

America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people, and some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. We must keep faith with all who have risked life and limb so that we might live in freedom and peace. Over the past seven years, we've increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. And as we increase funding -- (applause.) And as increase funding we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation. (Applause.) I call on the Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope and promise and dignity. (Applause.)

Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to child care, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the federal government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. (Applause.) Our military families serve our nation, they inspire our nation, and tonight our nation honors them. (Applause.)

The strength -- the secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. (Applause.) When the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation, which began with the words, "We the undersigned delegates." When Gouverneur Morris was asked to draft a preamble to our new Constitution, he offered an important revision and opened with words that changed the course of our nation and the history of the world: "We the people."

By trusting the people, our Founders wagered that a great and noble nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful nation on Earth and a beacon of hope for millions. And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the state of our Union will remain strong. (Applause.)

So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power, and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. God bless America. (Applause.)

Toad734 said...

Wow, did your 6th grader write this for model UN?What a big boy. Did he pass?

getalife loser said...

READING: Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 95; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
SERMON : "Our Continuing Debt"

Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
a-or23sx 994000

The following is a more or less complete liturgy and sermon
for the upcoming Sunday. Hymn numbers, designated as VU are
found in the United Church of Canada Hymnal "Voices United".
SFPG is "Songs For A Gospel People", also available from the UCC.

Sources: With only very minor changes, the children's story is from
Charles Kirkpatrick,, "Message for Ordinary 23,
Year A", as sent to the PRCL List in September 2002.


L The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P And also with you.
L Sing to God a new song.
P Give praise to the Lord in the assembly of the faithful.
L Let Israel rejoice in their Maker. Let the children of Zion be glad in
their King.
P Let them praise God's name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
L The Lord takes delight in his people,
he crowns the humble with salvation.
P Let the saints rejoice in this honour,
and sing for joy both day and night,
may the praise of God be in their mouths.

Loving God - we thank you for how you hold our hand as we learn how to walk
in your path and for your tender love and mercy that support us in the
steps we take. As we meet together before you today we ask that you would
continue to forgive us those things that we have done amiss and guide us by
the power of your living word to live more like Christ Jesus your Son. May
our song, our prayer, our speaking, our listening, our thinking and our
doing give you glory, both now and forevermore. Amen

* HYMN: "Jesus, Stand Among Us" - 396

CHILDREN'S TIME "One Plus One Equals Three"
Object: Flash Cards with questions and answers
Theme: When we gather in Jesus' name he will be there with us.
(Matthew 18:20)
Source: With only very minor changes, this is from Charles Kirkpatrick,, "Message for Ordinary 23, Year A", as sent
to the PRCL List in September 2002.

Good morning. It is back to school time! All around the world, children
have either already started back to school or they will very soon. As
someone who teaches I can tell you that one thing that is very important
for a teacher to find out is what their students already know. That way,
they will know where they should start in teaching them what they should

I was wondering if it might be a good idea for our Sunday School teachers
to give a little quiz to find out how much their students know about the
Bible? As an experiment, I made up a sample quiz to try out on you this
morning. Are you ready? I will ask a question, and if you know the
answer, raise your hand.

How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark with him? (allow time
for answers) Let's turn the card over and check our answer. "None!"

I thought the answer was two. Oh, that's right, it was Noah that built the
ark, not Moses.

Here is question number two. Are automobiles mentioned in the Bible?
Let's check our answer. "Yes, in Acts 2:1" Let's see what it says in
Acts 2:1... "When the day of Pentecost was come, they were all in one
accord." Hey! I don't think it is talking about an automobile there!

Those first two questions were trick questions, weren't they?

Well, I promise you that the next question is not a trick question. Here
it is: According to the Bible, can one plus one ever equal three? Let's
check our answer.... "Yes."!!

How can that be? The answer is in the Bible. Jesus said, "For where two
or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Oh, I see, if
two are gathered in Jesus' name, Jesus is there with them -- so one plus
one equals three.

Look around this room. I'm not sure exactly how many people are here this
morning, but whatever the number is, you can add One to it, because Jesus
is here too.

Let us pray..... Dear Lord Jesus - we thank you for being here this
morning - as we gather to worship you - and to learn about your
love. Bless our time together in your name - and help us become
more like you. Amen

And in the word's of Jesus who taught us to pray together as one family...

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom
come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this
day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive
those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the
glory, for ever and ever. Amen

* HYMN: "Jesus Loves Me" - VU 365

- Welcome and Announcements
- Birthdays and Anniversaries
- Special Matters
- Sharing Joys and Concerns


Open my ears that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear
and while the wave notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God they will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

(NIV) "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of
Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and
you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man
will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.
But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does
not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved

"Son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'This is what you are
saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting
away because of them. How then can we live?"'

Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I
take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they
turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!
Why will you die, O house of Israel?'

RESPONSIVE READING: Psalm 95 (VU 814) & the Gloria Patri (sung)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
World without end. Amen

(NIV) Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to
love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the

The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not
steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the
fulfilment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time.
The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our
salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is
nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds
of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently,
as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual
immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather,
clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about
how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

L This is the word of the Lord.
P Thanks be to God.

* HYMN: "Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love" - VU 593

(NIV) "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault,
just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won
your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two
others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the
testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to
them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the
church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in
heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything
you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For
where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

L This is the Gospel of our Risen Lord.
P Praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ

SERMON: "Our Continuing Debt"

O Lord, we pray, speak in the calming of our minds and in the
longings of our hearts, by the words of my lips and in the thoughts
that we form. Speak, O Lord, for your servants listen. Amen.

Paul writes in our epistle reading for today:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to
love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has
fulfilled the law.

How do we do that? How do we love another and so fulfil the law?

Paul tells us that love does no harm to it's neighbour
and he urges us to look about and see that our salvation is nearer now than
when we first believed,
that the night is nearly over and the day is almost here
and to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light,
and to refrain from orgies and drunkenness,
from sexual immorality and debauchery
and from dissension and jealousy;
he tells us that we should cloth ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,
that we should let Jesus be closer to us than the clothing we wear,
and to not think about how to gratify the desires of our sinful nature.

The hymn we sang before the Gospel reading also suggests that we should be
like Jesus,
and that with his love filling us we should kneel and wash the feet our
friends, our neighbours,
whether they be rich or poor, near or far, or black or white or
something in-between.

I am sure that you can all think of some practical ways of loving your
friends and neighbours
- everything from not harming them through actions motivated by seeking
to satisfy our own desires (which you might call passive loving because
it focuses on what we don't do)
- to reaching out actively in love - through random acts of kindness
and deliberate acts of service.

You know how important the listening ear and the affirming word is to those
who are troubled.

You know how wonderful it is to have someone come and help you with tasks
that need doing.

You know how good it is to have folk who selflessly volunteer hours of work
for the church and for community projects so that the people of God can
fulfill their mission and the community around us can be a place of nurture
and care.

Love can be shown, and needs to be shown, in many ways.
It is what we owe to others. It is what we owe to God.

Today I want you to think of one of the obligations of the love that we owe
to others on account of the love that God has for us. One of the more
difficult obligations - but one that is of great importance to us - and to
God. And that is our obligation to warn our brothers and sisters of the
danger that threatens them on account of their sin - our obligation to
speak the word that God gives us so that they might turn back from the path
that leads to death to the one that leads to life.

Listen to a portion of the first reading again:

"Son of Man", says the Lord, "I have made you a watchman for the
house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from
me. When I say to the wicked, "O wicked man, you will surely die,
and you do not speak out to dissuade him from this ways, that wicked
man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his
blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and
he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved

And hear too again the first portion of this morning's Gospel:

"If your brother or sister sins against you, go and show them their
fault, just between the two of you.. If they listen to you, you
have won them over, but if they will not listen, take one or two
others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the
testimony of two or three witnesses'. If they refuse to listen to
them, tell it to the church, and if they refuse to listen even to
the church, treat them as you would a pagan or tax collector."

How difficult it can be do to do this
and to do it in the way we are supposed to do it
- to do it in love.

One of the best items to appear in newspapers around North America over the
last few years is the column by Dr. James Dobson called "Focus on The
Family". Dr Dobson is a deeply spiritual man with a gift from God of
counsel and advice about how to treat one's children and one's marriage

In the Calgary Sun a few months ago this question or comment concerning
marriage counselling was directed at him. The reader wrote:

If you were a counsellor who was helping someone manage a crisis
situation, your recommendations to exercise tough love could
potentially kill the marriage. Doesn't that make you nervous?
Have you ever regretted taking a family in this direction?

Dr. Dobson replied:

You need to understand how I see my situation. My role is similar
to that of surgeon who tells a patient that he needs a coronary
artery bypass operation. The man sits in his doctor's office
hearing the probabilities of success and failure. "If you undergo
this operation," the doctor says, "research shows that you'll have a
three percent chance of not surviving the surgery." Wow... Three
out of every hundred people who submit to the knife will die! Why
would anyone run that risk voluntarily? Because the chances of
death are far greater without the surgery.

The love must be tough - confrontations and ultimatums are like
that. They may result in the sudden demise of a relationship. But
without the crisis, there is a much higher probability of a
lingering death. Instead of bringing the matter to a head while
there is a chance for healing, the alternative is to stand by while
the marriage dies with a whimper. I'd rather take my chances today
(writes Doctor Dobson) before further damage is done.

Think about that and how it applies to the word from God to the prophet
Ezekiel today and to the word that Jesus gave to his followers.

So often we think of the continuing debt of love that we owe in terms of
the kind of passive and active acts of caring that I mentioned earlier - in
terms of those negative things we should not do and of all those positive
things we should do.

But as Dobson's column and our readings point out
- sometimes, in love, we need to warn and to confront others -
- not to beat them up
- not to delight in pointing out wrong
- not to vindicate ourselves as the aggrieved party or to exalt ourselves
as the righteous bystander
- not to assign blame or fault as a way of seeking retribution or
but to sound the alarm
so that both the individual and the community may be saved.

Listen again to what God says through the Prophet Ezekiel later in today's

'As surely as I live', declares the Sovereign Lord, 'I take no
pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from
their ways live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!, Why will you
die, O House of Israel?'

If we are really to fulfil our continuing debt of love for one another,
we must warn them when they are sinning against God and their neighbours,
and seek to win them back to the way that leads to life.

We are called to do this privately - and in love - with those who have
sinned against us within our families and our churches - there is to be no
pointing fingers here, no shouting from the rooftops, no gossip, no
accusations, no desire for retribution - we are to seek the life, the well
being, of those who have sinned against us in each step that we take - not
their death, nor their banishment from our midst.

That is why Jesus outlines a very slow and deliberate procedure of
confronting others with their sin.

And as for our public stance - our preaching and our teaching within the
larger community: again we are not called to render our own judgements
upon the world, but rather to communicate what the word of God is and God's
desire that the guilty should turn and live rather than continue on in
their sin and die.

There was a poll taken in 2002 near the first anniversary of September 911
regarding the degree of responsibility that our fellow Canadians think that
the American Government has for the tragic events of 911. Slightly over
sixty percent of Canadians thought that American foreign policy is
partially responsible for the attacks upon New York and Washington - while
about twenty percent each felt that the American Government was either
entirely with - or without - responsibility.

What is served by such judgements made in such a way?
Who is served?
Who is loved?

The word of God that has come to me is not who is to blame, but rather how
can we act - so that new life can rise from the ashes and so that these
kinds of acts are less likely to happen again.

The cross of Jesus Christ tells me that there is judgement coming upon all

It is a judgement of mercy to those who would be merciful
and a judgement of wrath upon those who would be wrathful.

It is a judgement of life to those who seek to love God with all their
heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbours as themselves
and a judgement of death to those who would love only their own people
and their own selves.

Assigning percentages and getting into the details of blame and guilt don't
help us make peace in our own families, nor does it make for peace in our
Church - and it certainly doesn't help the nations of our world to change
their ways.

Only by our understanding our present time - only by waking up from our
slumber and making payments on our continuing debt to love one another -
only by recalling what is at stake and working to bring the love of Christ
- the living and active Word of God - to everyone around us - to saints and
sinners alike - can we fulfill the law of God and ensure that we are ready
when the day of salvation breaks upon us.

How can we know when the day of salvation is breaking upon us? That we are
moving beyond the night time of terror and deeds that lead to death?

A rabbi once asked his students a similar question about how you can know
when night has ended and the day has come..

One said, it's when you can tell a palm tree from a fig tree.

No, said the rabbi.

Another said, it's when you can tell a sheep from a goat.

No, said the rabbi.

Another said, it's when you can tell a rabbit from a dog.

No, said the rabbi.

The students were puzzled and had no more answers.

And the rabbi said: "It is daylight when you can look into the face
of another human being and recognize that he or she is your brother
or sister. Until then, he said, it is night."

Let us gather ourselves together for prayer - first in silence - then by
our singing our prayer song.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Rx - And In Your Love Answer Singing #400 at
the start and the end of the prayer time)

Lord, listen to your children praying.
Lord, send your Spirit in this place;
Lord, listen to your children praying,
send us love, send us power, send us grace!

Various prayers of thanksgiving, intercession and petition.....

These things we ask in Jesus' name. Amen

Lord, listen to your children praying.
Lord, send your Spirit in this place;
Lord, listen to your children praying,
send us love, send us power, send us grace!


* SHARING GOD'S BLESSINGS: As the Offering is presented all stand for the
Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow - VU 541) and Prayer of

Loving God - receive our gifts for your work in this Congregation
and through it for your work in the world. Accept them - and accept
all the intentions, thoughts, words and actions as part of our
continuing debt to love one another and to proclaim your glory.

* DEPARTING HYMN: "For The Healing Of The Nations"

* COMMISSIONING (Unison): In the power of the Holy Spirit we now go forth
into the world, to fulfil our calling as the people of God, the body of

Go in peace, love and care for one another in the name of Christ Jesus,
- and the love of God embrace you and give you a holy peace and an
everlasting joy,
- may the wisdom of God guide you and protect you,
- may the compassion of God fill you and flow forth from you,
- and may the strength of God uphold you,
for ever and ever. Amen

* CHORAL BLESSING: "Go Now In Peace" - VU 964

copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2005