by Chris Jepsen & Richard Johnston
Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920.
He was the third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. They gave him the middle name “Douglas,” after the actor, Douglas Fairbanks.
He never lived up to his namesake’s reputation for swashbuckling adventure on the high seas. Instead, Bradbury’s great adventures would take place behind a typewriter, in the realm of imagination. Today, as an author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, lecturer, poet and visionary, Ray Bradbury is known as one of America’s greatest creative geniuses.
Bradbury’s early childhood in Waukegan was characterized by his loving extended family. These formative years provided the foundations for both the author and his stories.
Long before the Toshiba Excite 7.7 got its name, its prospects were cause for excitement. The tablet’s beefy Nvidia Tegra 3-powered specs, its slim and lightweight design, its Android 4.02 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and its high-resolution AMOLED display all made it a front-runner challenger on paper.
Now that it’s here, I can report that this model fully lives up to its potential. The only disappointment lies with its steep price: $500 for the 16GB version–the same as the larger-screen third-generation iPad costs–and $580 for the 32GB model. More
By Christen Varley
Between the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, one would have thought the issue of the separation between church and state was settled. It seems the current administration does not think so.
As a person of faith, I take great exception to the rule enacted by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Affordable Care Act that forces individual and institutional employers to purchase health insurance for employees which provides free abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization procedures and contraceptive medications. As someone who began my activism in the tea party movement and looks at every rule and law through a prism of constitutionality and the role of government, I am incensed. No government entity in the United States of America has the ability to force any citizen to act against the beliefs and teachings of their religious faith. In fact, our constitution specifically forbids it.
The First Amendment to our Constitution begins “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Reducing opposition to the so called contraception mandate to a discussion on the cost of birth control is akin to believing a block of ice floating in the ocean is of no consequence to passing ships. This rule represents not the tip of the iceberg but rather, a lethal mass hidden, in this case, under reams of legislative legalese and bureaucratic red tape. Requiring religious institutions to act against their faith or face punitive penalties is unconstitutional. Denying a centuries-old definition of what is a religious institution in service to the whims of a temporary administration is unconscionable.
The debate over the mandate has less to do with what is mandated and more to do with who is mandated. Supporters’ claims that an overwhelming majority of American women use birth control, abortifacient-drugs and avail themselves of sterilization procedures simply debunks their accompanying claims that these “health care” services are difficult to access. Their rhetoric and fear-mongering is simply not factual. What is factual is that, when polled, a majority of Americans believe religious freedom trumps access to free contraception, abortifacients and sterilization.
In addition to the ridiculous assertions that contraception is now a “civil right”, there is the unprecedented redefinition of religious institution. The exemption offered by the administration offers relief only to those “religious values inculcating” houses of worship that fit their strict definition. Parochial schools, charity organizations, and hospitals and clinics nationwide have been redefined as secular institutions, forcing them, as we are seeing, to go to court to defend their faith and the good work they do as an exercise of that faith.
Conversations are being had all over the country about the mandate, the lawsuits filed to block it and the grassroots action that is needed to create awareness of this threat to our liberty. Confidence is high that the rule will eventually be struck down but this is little comfort to religious institutions that have been given a mere one-year reprieve in which to choose either acting against their conscience or facing exorbitant penalties that will lead to financial ruin. The temporary exemption offers no option at all to formerly religious now secular institutions, as well as individual business owners, as this administration abruptly refuses to recognize their rights of conscience.
There is, however, an option. Religious freedom and liberty activist, along with faith leaders, policy advocates and politicians across the country are petitioning members of Congress to live up to their oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America by voting to protect religious freedom. We are many but our ranks must grow. It is time to talk to family, friends and neighbors, to priests, ministers, rabbis, elders and lay people. The power of the American electorate is without equal. We have faced challenges to our freedoms in the past and are better for having stood up to defend our rights. The time has come to, once again, stand united with our fellow citizens in securing and protecting our first freedom, a freedom that makes us a beacon around the world to those oppressed and persecuted for their faith. A freedom we enjoy is slipping through our fingers. Is it not our duty to preserve it for future generations?
Whether your belief is in a higher power that has endowed us with unalienable rights, including the right to practice your faith in your home, your house of worship, and in the public square or in the individual Liberty secured and protected by our Founding Fathers in the constitution, the obligation is clear. Religious freedom is under attack and it is time to demand, in voices loud and strong, our legislators act
Christen M. Varley is the executive director of Conscience Cause
(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, announced today it is providing legal representation to a top conservative blogger and his organization that represents many other bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint.
“Free speech is under attack,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel. “Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals. The ACLJ has a long history of successfully defending free speech, and we look forward to defeating this latest attempt to threaten and intimidate conservatives into silence.”
The issue involves targeting a number of conservative bloggers with a dangerous and illegal tactic that’s become known as SWAT-ing – (making false 911 calls sending police to the homes of bloggers, claiming a crime has occurred.) The tactic is used in retaliation for posts the conservative bloggers have written.
The ACLJ is representing Ali Akbar, a top blogger and president of the National Bloggers Club, a coalition of conservative bloggers which reaches millions of readers. Akbar has seen his mother’s home photographed and placed on the internet. He has also received formal notification that he may soon be sued for publishing truthful information about radical liberals and their wealthy donors.
“I’m grateful for the support of the ACLJ, and I’m confident we’ll defeat any and all legal challenges to our fundamental right to free speech,” said Akbar. “We will not be deterred in our quest for the truth.”
The ACLJ will aggressively defend the constitutionally-protected free speech rights of Akbar and his organizations.
The ACLJ’s representation of Akbar comes as Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated. In a letter to the Attorney General, Sen. Chambliss wrote: “Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels. . . Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse.”
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is based in Washington, D.C. and online at www.aclj.org.
Below is an excerpt from a speech given on the Senate Floor today by U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) in response to public comments by President Obama and Senate Democrats – including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – about the Supreme Court as it deliberates over the ObamaCare case. These comments are clear efforts to intimidate and bully the court as it decides the landmark case. Senator Lee called the bullies out today. He was joined by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) who all made similar comments.
“MR. PRESIDENT, I STAND TODAY TO RESPOND TO WHAT I BELIEVE ARE IRRESPONSIBLE AND DANGEROUS ATTACKS ON THE LEGITIMACY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. …
“IN RESPONSE TO THESE FALSE AND FRANKLY RECKLESS STATEMENTS, I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE THREE POINTS. FIRST, ATTEMPTS TO MANIPULATE OR TO BULLY THE SUPREME COURT, ESPECIALLY DURING DELIBERATIONS IN A PARTICULAR PROCEEDING, ARE IRRESPONSIBLE AND THEY TEND TO THREATEN THE VERY FABRIC OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. … [I]T IS SIMPLY INAPPROPRIATE FOR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, WHO THEMSELVES HAVE SWORN AN OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION, IN THE SPIRIT OF PARTISANSHIP TO QUESTION THE HONESTY AND IMPARTIALITY OF OUR NATION’S HIGHEST COURT IN WHAT COULD BE PERCEIVED AS PART OF AN EFFORT ON PART OF THOSE ELECTED POLITICIANS TO INFLUENCE A CASE PENDING BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT. …
“SECOND, CRITICISMS OF THE WELL-ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE OF JUDICIAL REVIEW GROSSLY MISREPRESENT HOW OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC FUNCTIONS. PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SOME MEMBERS OF THIS BODY HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THE JUDICIARY, WHICH THEY SOMETIMES DENIGRATE AS A GROUP OF UNELECTED PEOPLE, SHOULD SIMPLY DEFER TO CONGRESS. BUT OF
COURSE EACH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING THE JUDICIARY, HAS AN ESSENTIAL DUTY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION TO POLICE ITS OWN ACTIONS, TO MAKE SURE THAT ITS OWN ACTIONS COMPLY WITH THE TEXT, THE SPIRIT, AND THE LETTER OF THE CONSTITUTION. CONGRESS AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SHOULD POLICE THEMSELVES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY DON’T TRANSGRESS THOSE LIMITS. BUT WHEN THE POLITICAL BRANCHES HAPPEN TO OVERSTEP THEIR OWN BOUNDARIES, THEIR OWN LEGITIMATE LIMITS, AS I BELIEVE HAPPENED WITH THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE, THE SUPREME COURT CAN AND INDEED MUST ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION. …
“THIRD AND FINALLY, IT SIMPLY IS NOT THE CASE THAT A COURT CAN PROPERLY BE DESCRIBED AS ACTIVIST JUST BECAUSE IT ENFORCES THE CONSTITUTION’S STRUCTURAL LIMITS ON
Nevada Has The Highest Unemployment & Foreclosure Rate In The Country
WASHINGTON — As embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley continues to dodge Nevadans, today President Barack Obama will visit the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he will remind Nevadans that his failed economic policies have made things worse for the Silver State.
Thanks to his liberal allies in Congress, President Obama was able to sign Shelley Berkley, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s $825 billion stimulus that failed to ‘create or save’ 34,000 jobs in Nevada.
Additionally, their job-killing healthcare law – which has hurt companies in Las Vegas like the Palms – has created economic harm in the Silver State.
“Embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley likes to hide from President Barack Obama in Nevada, but in Washington she’s always at his side supporting his failed policies like the stimulus and ObamaCare,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Jahan Wilcox. “After 24 months of the highest unemployment rate in the country, it’s clear the economic policies of President Obama and Representative Berkley are not working.”
In Washington, Rep. Berkley Supported The Stimulus & ObamaCare
Berkley Voted In Favor Of The $787 Billion House-Passed “Stimulus” Bill. (H.R. 1, CQ Vote # 46: Adopted 244-188: R 0-177; D 224-11, 1/28/09, Berkley Voted Yea; H.R. 1, CQ Vote # 70: Adopted 246-183: R 0-176; D 246-7, 2/13/09, Berkley Voted Yea)
Berkley Voted To Approve The TARP Program. (H.R. 1424, CQ Vote #681: Agreed To 263-171: R 91-108; D 172-63, 10/3/08, Berkley Voted Yea)
Berkley Voted For The Final Version Of The Obama-Pelosi-Reid Health Care Bill That President Obama Later Signed Into Law. (H.R. 3590, CQ Vote #165: Motion Agreed To 219-212: R 0-178; D 219-34, 3/21/10, Berkley Voted Yea)
Smart Money -
Stocks jumped Wednesday on signs Europe may be gearing up for more economic stimulus. We asked the pros what to do next.
How quickly markets turn: In late April, stocks hit a four-year high, after posting their best first-quarter return in more than a decade; by last Friday, those gains disappeared as investors fled equities for “safe haven” investments like bonds and cash. Then today, stocks jumped up again — more than 200 points — on signs Europe may be gearing up for more economic stimulus. More
It’s unlikely that E3 2012 will go down as one of the more newsworthy installments of this annual trade show. But, while we may lack blockbuster news (or many must-play games), there are several trends on display that paint a clear picture about what kinds of games and interactive entertainment experiences are coming over the next several years.
Hardware doesn’t drive the business anymore
Gamers should get used to the idea of a longer wait between new consoles. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are well past the half-decade mark, with not a hint of future versions at E3 this year. Nintendo’s Wii U is more evolution than revolution, making use of the original Wii‘s controllers and accessories, and much of the same industrial and UI design. More
As many of you may have seen, longtime Nevada lobbyist and lawyer Harvey Whittemore was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges that he made illegal campaign contributions and lied to the FBI. In particular, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid received well over six-figures in campaign contributions from Whittemore and his family members in recent years.
But as many of you will also recall, as the controversy around Whittemore built in recent months, several elected officials stepped forward and announced they would voluntarily, and immediately, give away Whittemore campaign contributions. Senator Dean Heller for example, announced donations to three Nevada charities — The Children’s Cabinet, the Nevada Statewide Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, and Always Lost, a meditation on war exhibit.
Senate Democratic candidate and U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, was not among those officials.
In fact, this was just another example of Congresswoman Berkley saying one thing, and then doing another. After initially telling the Nevada media that she was “disposing” of the almost $12,000 she received from Harvey Whittemore, her campaign admitted later that she was in fact holding onto them. But today, upon hearing the news that Mr. Whittemore had been indicted by the federal government, Berkley is claiming she really will return the contributions.
If you are reporting on today’s indictment, and Berkley’s decision to shed Whittemore’s campaign contributions, please consider the following statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):
“Given the fact that Congresswoman Berkley is currently under investigation herself, perhaps she’s held a special level of sympathy for her friend Mr. Whittemore in recent months. But elected officials should always hold themselves to a higher standard and it’s remarkable that it took an actual federal indictment for the Congresswoman to pry herself free of these campaign contributions. Let’s hope this time, Congresswoman Berkley finally does the right thing and gives this money away as she first promised to do months ago.”
- Jahan Wilcox, NRSC Press Secretary
This is what Shelley Berkley said:
- “We have identified the contributions and we are disposing of them,” Berkley said. “I’m not sure if we gave them to a charity or to some other organization but we decided I don’t need any taint on the contributions to my campaign. So those contributions are no longer on my books.” (Erin Breen, “Political Powerbroker Embroiled in Legal Battle,” KTVN Channel 2)
Here’s what Shelley Berkley did:
U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, is holding on to the $11,900 she received for now.
When the Whittemore scandal broke, Berkley spokesman Eric Koch said: “The campaign will be disposing of contributions from Mr. Whittemore and his family.”
“When asked why no disbursements of that nature appeared on her first-quarter financial report, Koch referred the question to Zac Petkanas, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. Berkley’s report lists eight campaign contribution refunds, but none to Whittemore or anyone associated with him.
“Petkanas wrote in an email that “the contributions you are referring to are being held in escrow.” When asked why, he sent a copy of the Code of Federal Regulations that deals with receipts and disbursements. He highlighted one section that states if a contribution appears to be illegal, it can’t be deposited into the campaign account and must be placed in a separate account until it is determined to be legal.
“Petkanas said they would hold the money in escrow until the contributions are found to be legal or illegal. (Martha Bellisle, “Reid among Nevada officials holding on to Whittemore-related money, Reno Gazette-Journal, April 21, 2012)