"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." --Thomas Paine
Government & Politics
Religious Freedom You 'Deserve'
The Yes-We-Can administration remains on the defensive following public outrage from its latest ObamaCare edict issued by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. This one forces religiously affiliated hospitals, schools and charities to provide insurance covering "preventive services." Trampling religious liberties is apparently the essence of Hope 'n' Change.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that American women "deserve" access to such health insurance coverage "regardless of where they work." Decrypting the leftist doublespeak, that kind of "preventive service" includes free sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and artificial contraceptives that violate the beliefs of many religious organizations including Catholic and other Christian hospitals. The 70-million-member Catholic Church, whose bishops oversee the operation of over 600 hospitals and 1,400 other health facilities in the United States, was particularly incensed.
Carney was quick to point out that "churches [and] houses of worship are exempt from this policy." The only problem with this statement is that under the administration's narrow definitions, virtually no organization, including an actual church, qualifies for the exemption. Pushback from religious organizations has been swift, united, sustained and vigorous, with Catholic priests set to condemn the new rules to their parishes nationwide and religious leaders across America denouncing the move.
Displaying its usual tone deafness to American sentiment was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had the chutzpah to claim that not only does the mandate for birth control coverage not violate religious liberties, but by choosing not to pay for employees' contraceptives the "powerful lobbying arm of the Catholic Church" and other similarly-allied organizations are forcing their own beliefs on their employees, violating their "rights."
Setting aside for the moment the fact that throughout history a "right" has always been defined as a freedom to act, along with a corresponding duty of forbearance from others who would interfere with that act, a right has never been viewed by any within the "sane" sector of the legal community as a positive conveyance. That is, the notion that a person has a "right" in the form of a demand on someone else to provide contraceptives, free abortions or any other form of "health care" is ludicrous. But we digress. That said, the ACLU remains clearly out of touch with both fundamental constitutional tenets and the broader American public.
Sensing the impending impact of this and other fallout from ObamaCare on the 2012 presidential race, former mouthpiece and current White House adviser David Axelrod attempted to soften the blow by opening the door to compromise on the rule. Of course, in true Stalinist fashion, "compromise" means never giving up ground (i.e., two steps forward, one step backward). Axelrod ventured that the president would "look for a way" to address concerns that the ruling would force some to violate their religious beliefs.
Though the president reportedly "reinforced" his stance this week in a speech at the Democrats' annual retreat at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, this morning, like a ping pong match, the media are again reporting that he is prepared to offer some "accommodation" for religious liberty, which, in fact, likely won't be any accommodation at all.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, wrote a stiffly worded letter to be read at military Masses worldwide, stating that the new health care regulation was "a blow" to freedoms U.S. troops have not only fought to defend but for which some have recently given their lives in battle. Archbishop Broglio aptly declared, "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has filed suit on behalf of Belmont Abbey College (a Benedictine Catholic college in North Carolina), Colorado Christian University and the Catholic Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) even made a rare floor speech to warn the president that House Republicans will do whatever they can to stop Obama's mandate. "This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand." For this and almost countless other reasons, Obama's presidency itself must not stand, and even if he now backs down he may have just made it more likely to fall.
This Week's 'Braying Jackass & Jenny' Awards
"[T]o show how the Republicans never lose an opportunity to mess up a good piece of legislation, listen to this: They're talking about First Amendment rights, the Constitution. That is so senseless." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objecting to Republican efforts to block the administration's mandate through amendments to other legislation
"This is about women's health. ... We shouldn't have to be to a place where people are saying -- when the overwhelming practice is going in favor of women's health -- 'we want to pull that back,' and use the excuse of religious freedom, which, of course, this is not." --House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who claims to be Catholic, slamming her own church for defending religious liberty
News From the Swamp: Budget Abdication Continues
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this week that there is no need for the Senate to waste time with something so mundane as passing a budget resolution because, he insists, there is already one in place. He was referring to the Budget Control Act (BCA), the result of last summer's debt ceiling battle. The Democrat-controlled Senate hasn't passed a budget in more than 1,100 days, an outrageous dereliction of duty, yet Reid is clearly satisfied with the situation. The Democrat leadership has instead relied on a series of continuing resolutions that prevented the government from having any fiscal focus or responsibility. A full budget resolution offers a long-term plan for government spending and sets priorities for funding programs. It's also required by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, passed, incidentally, by a Democrat Congress. Democrats aren't interested in reining in spending, however, only in raising taxes for the continued growth of government.
New & Notable Legislation
Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) each introduced legislation that would provide tax incentives to spur the production and development of natural gas. The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NAT GAS) follows the same debunked formula for government intervention that led to epic wastes of taxpayer dollars for ethanol and alternative energy subsidies. Natural gas is an abundant, cheap and clean source of energy, and its use and development in the private sector has grown in recent years despite the actions of an environmental lobby that never encountered an energy source it liked. As usual, there is no need for the federal government to become involved. A market already exists for the product, and investors are anxious to take this opportunity. Besides, the billions of dollars wasted trying to push ethanol and electric cars on the public haven't resulted in a viable market for either product. If people don't want to buy something, they won't buy it, no matter how many tax dollars the government spends in its efforts to convince them otherwise.
NAT GAS isn't the only item threatening the natural gas industry. News broke recently that Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, gave $26 million in donations to the Sierra Club between 2007 and 2010 to fund its attack against coal-fired power plants. This marriage of convenience allowed the Sierra Club to continue its work while giving Chesapeake some added leverage over the coal industry. Both sides have been accused of selling out by their acolytes, but Chesapeake stands to lose more. After all, there's no way of knowing how much of that $26 million Sierra Club will turn back against the natural gas industry when convenient.
On the Campaign Trail: Santorum Rising
Presumptive GOP presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney looked to be on cruise control, winning again in Nevada's caucus Saturday with a clear majority. Then came Tuesday. Rick Santorum made a clean sweep of three contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Missouri's primary was little more than a beauty contest because no delegates will be awarded until the state caucuses in March. Minnesota and Colorado were states that Romney won in 2008, and he was expected to win Colorado again this time. In Minnesota, despite the help of popular former governor Tim Pawlenty, he finished a dismal third behind Ron Paul. Romney was quick to point out that he didn't do much, if any, campaigning in any of the three states. The delegate count is Romney 112, Santorum 72, Newt Gingrich 32 and Paul nine. A candidate needs 1,144 to secure the nomination.
Santorum cites these victories as proof that he is the most viable conservative in the race. Numerous conservative commentators, including Michelle Malkin, David Limbaugh, Mark Levin and others, are backing Santorum, and his stock is clearly rising. Indeed, he has won four of the first eight contests -- or one more than Romney -- and has raised $2 million since Tuesday. In his victory speech, however, Santorum aimed at the real target. "I don't stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney," he said. "I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama." The problem for the former Pennsylvania senator will be organization. His is far inferior to Romney's, and Super Tuesday will require feet on the ground in several states.
Ron Paul remains a factor in the race, as well. He continues to draw support and bring attention to his cause, which some might argue is the whole point of his candidacy. Paul has come close to conceding that he can't win the nomination, but he nevertheless plans to stay in the race. And why not? He has the money, the supporters and a platform worthy of gaining influence within the Republican Party. If he gains a prime speaking slot at the convention, it will give a notable place for the sorely needed message of fiscal discipline and limited government.
Up next: Maine's caucus on Saturday, where Paul expects to do well, followed by Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
In August 2010, Barack Obama denounced political action committees (PACs) as "shadowy groups with harmless sounding names." They can run ads attacking candidates for office and abide by different campaign finance rules than do official campaigns. "The worst thing of all," he complained, is "they don't have to reveal who is having to pay for them ... keeping the American public in the dark." He concluded, "We can not allow a corporate takeover of our democracy."
Uh, never mind.
This week, he changed his story, saying that he won't distance himself from so-called super PACs helping his re-election effort. In fact, PAC Man will allow administration and campaign personnel to fundraise for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing him. Campaign manager Jim Messina said the reason is simple: "We will not unilaterally disarm." How about making that U.S. nuclear policy instead of just campaign policy?
Obama ran a unilateral arms race in 2008. He publicly pledged, along with Republican John McCain, to accept public financing before shamelessly opting out of it. Doing so allowed him to spend some $750 million and far outpace McCain, who stuck by the rules of his own making. Readers may recall that McCain is still only a senator from Arizona.
From the Left: Media Remove Accountability From Polling
In politics, polling is generally only respected when it confirms what a person or group wants to hear. Yet the Washington Post/ABC News poll has taken the wonder of political polling to a whole new level. They refuse to identify partisan affiliations of those sampled in their most recent polls on presidential favorability and possible election outcomes. They also didn't use registered or likely voters, instead relying on the general adult population. If a political poll of this nature is to have any credibility, it needs to state openly the partisan affiliation of its sample. Reporting that Barack Obama has a 50 percent approval rating, as did the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, doesn't mean much if a majority of the sample population is or leans Democrat. Likewise, reporting that Obama would beat Mitt Romney by several points if the election were held today is of no value unless the population is both randomly sampled and exclusively registered or likely voters.
Of course, media polls aren't looking to be accurate, but rather to drive public opinion. This is a technique we have long identified as pollaganda. In the case of the aforementioned poll, the narrative is that Obama's popularity is growing and he can beat any Republican currently running for president. Since people naturally want to be on the winning side, the Obamaphiles in the mainstream media hope to drive people toward the president.
Village Academic Curriculum: 10 States Left Behind
Barack Obama granted waivers for No Child Left Behind to 10 states Thursday -- Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Each state was struggling to meet standards of math and reading proficiency by 2014, so each offered alternative plans to the administration. New Mexico's application was the only one rejected, though it is working to make adjustments for approval. Another 28 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are seeking flexibility in meeting the standards.
Certainly the one-size-fits-all nature of NCLB is a fundamental problem, as is top-down federal control of education policy. The waivers, however, make matters worse. Rather than waive the standards until changes to the law can be made, Obama will circumvent Congress (again) and impose his own new standards as a condition of the waiver. The states are ceding educational control to the Department of Education outside of the law as passed by our elected representatives, continuing the clear pattern of this administration's flouting the law when it suits its purposes.
Income Redistribution: Obama's Big Bank Heist
Government dependence is now at an all-time high -- one in five Americans, or 67.3 million of them, receive some level of support from the federal government. Meanwhile, just a shade under half of Americans pay no income tax, and many could conceivably receive more in benefits than the average American's disposable income. In light of this, it's not surprising that the Obama administration is doubling down on handouts by targeting banks that lent billions to would-be homeowners across the country.
The administration made an offer that banks couldn't refuse for $25 billion. The shakedown is relatively simple: Banks will provide billions of dollars to homeowners who have lost or are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. Of course, the government mandated these bad loans in the first place, and now banks are the bad guys stuck with the bill.
The result is the White House is redistributing the money of bank shareholders to people who aren't paying their mortgages. As The Wall Street Journal editorialized, "[P]oliticians know an election-year windfall when they see it. Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo promised to devote a mere $1.5 billion of the $25 billion to alleged victims of wrongful foreclosures between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. The rest of the loot will serve the political agenda of paying off favored home owners -- er, voters -- with principal reductions, refinancing programs and foreclosure forbearance. The states and feds will also get nice cash payments. Think of this as one more giant political stimulus package -- Congressional approval not required."
Banks aren't the only ones paying for Obama's redistribution schemes, either. Remember that two-month Social Security payroll tax cut extension that will expire at the end of this month? Those who borrow to purchase a home or refinance their existing one will now have an additional and hidden fee of 1/10 of 1 percent that goes directly to Washington -- but not to replenish Social Security. Instead, the money will be shoveled into the general fund.
Redistribution, Take Two
"Government subsidies have impacted upon rising tuition costs," said Joe Biden this week, admitting what conservatives have always known -- if you subsidize something, it grows more expensive. Yet Biden defended the administration's plan to cap college tuition as well as keep subsidizing it. "[I]f we went the free market route," he explained, "we would not have increased Pell Grants, and there would be nine million fewer students in college today." Perhaps, but wouldn't that also be nine million fewer people staring down years of paying off college debt? And, more likely, college would be far less expensive -- as it was before the feds got involved.
In other redistribution news, it seems that our president would like to keep veterans on the public payroll a little longer by creating a "Veterans Jobs Corps." That means putting returning soldiers on make-work projects such as eradicating invasive species and rebuilding roads and trails on public lands, with $1 billion proposed for creating 20,000 jobs. Compared to how much Obama has sunk into failing enterprises for elusive "green jobs," though, that might be a bargain. We're all for employing returning veterans, but isn't another bureaucratic boondoggle exactly the wrong way to do it?
Regulatory Commissars: Keystone Rejection Already Costly
That didn't take long. No sooner did Barack Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline to bring much needed Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast than Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would talk with China about a possible deal to export oil across the Pacific. Less than a month later, Canada and China reached a series of multibillion-dollar trade agreements, including the shipment of Canadian petroleum, uranium and other products to the Chinese. Granted, these deals may have been in the works or completed regardless of Obama's Keystone decision, but Harper's working in favor of his country's economic interests represents a stark contrast to Obama's agenda.
In other energy news, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved two new reactors in Georgia -- the first two new nuclear reactors approved since 1978. The Obama administration offered the Vogtle project $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees. With the White House track record, that probably means the project will go bankrupt in short order.
Hope 'n' Change: Driving Innovation Offshore
In another infamous Friday afternoon document dump, last week the IRS issued regulations outlining the ObamaCare tax on medical device manufacturers. Over the next seven years, this 2.3 percent excise tax on an industry that employs more than 400,000 Americans could cost the industry $20 billion and send 43,000 workers to the unemployment line, according to an industry study. Others contend that the layoffs won't be as severe, but prices for medical equipment will increase. So much for cutting costs.
Originally passed in 2010 as a tweak to ObamaCare, these regulations fly in the face of Barack Obama's grandiose plans for job creation by penalizing an industry that is a net exporter. The result will be to send many of these American jobs overseas -- China's medical device industry grew 15 percent in 2010 and would likely see more improvement in coming years if this tax takes effect. For some small companies the additional excise tax could be the last straw, since it's based on sales, not profits.
While the final law won't be in place until later this summer after a public comment period, it's likely that many medical device manufacturers will get the jump on the government and make their business decisions expecting the tax. The tax is already blamed for the layoff of 5 percent of the workforce at Michigan-based Stryker Corp. -- approximately 1,000 jobs -- while Covidien, a surgical instrument manufacturer, is furloughing 200 U.S. workers and moving some production to Mexico and Costa Rica.
More Bad News for Auto Workers
We told you that the Chevy Volt can't sell, catches fire and costs up to $250,000 in government subsidies, but its losses aren't necessarily competitors' gains. Fisker Automotive, which entered the electric car market with a more upscale model, is facing troubles of its own.
In order to have enough ready capital to obtain more government loans, the maker of the quaintly dubbed Karma (no doubt to appeal to the Kumbaya set) -- retail price $108,000 -- had to lay off workers in California and Delaware. Fisker originally came under fire for receiving $529 million in Department of Energy loans to build cars in Finland; the company claimed "no contract manufacturer in the U.S. ... could actually produce our vehicle." The Delaware operation is based at a former General Motors site being retooled for Fisker production, with $380 million of federal and state money sunk into the Wilmington plant.
For its part, the DoE was still willing to work with Fisker. Stating that production delays are a common stumbling block for start-up companies, the DoE insisted that it would work with the company to "determine the best path forward." It seems to us they may only succeed in throwing good money after bad -- Fisker needs to sell about 5,000 Karmas just to pay back the loan, let alone cover fixed costs or make a profit. In 2010, when the loan was announced, the company predicted it would sell 115,000 vehicles a year by 2015. Based on the puny market for electric cars so far, that prospect is about as realistic as the loan payback.
Warfront With Jihadistan: Lt. Col. Warns About Afghanistan
An interesting report this week from the front lines of Afghanistan: In an article in the Armed Forces Journal, Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis claimed that Afghanistan is nothing short of a disaster, and he further accuses military and government officials of lying about the actual conditions there. Davis says that, "What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground," and he adds that insurgents controlled virtually all land beyond view of coalition bases. He also witnessed Afghan security forces colluding with the insurgency.
While it's noteworthy that such a senior officer wrote this story, what he actually says really isn't news. It's been known for years that many Afghan forces are sympathetic to the Taliban, with some actually turning their weapons against and killing allied forces. Likewise, very few, if any, official statements about the long Afghan war could be called "rosy." Nevertheless, Davis' article is a needed reminder of just how precarious Afghanistan is, and it lends credence to the view of many that the Taliban will once again be in control as soon as the Obama regime completes its withdrawal. It also raises the disturbing question that, if Afghanistan is still such an unstable, backward, brutal Islamic land after 10 years of American presence -- and is still a place where a 15-year-old "bride" can be tortured by her husband and family -- then really, outside of our troops killing jihadis, what good are we doing there?
Some Things Don't Change No Matter How Much You Hope
It took three years for the Obama administration to learn what any Russia-watcher could have told them, and what we and others tried to tell them: Russian national interests and behavior won't change just because Hillary Clinton handed a toy "Reset" button to Foreign Minister Lavrov (the State Department put the wrong Russian word on it, anyway). Proving yet again that Russia sides more often with tyrants than with the free world, on Saturday Moscow vetoed the latest UN Security Council Resolution dealing with the slaughter in Syria. China also vetoed, while the other 13 members all voted in favor. The resolution called for President Bashar Assad to step down; it did not specify that he would face charges or even exile. That was still too much for Russia to countenance, coming so soon after former Soviet client Moammar Gadhafi was unceremoniously dumped upon the ash heap of history.
UN ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Clinton expressed shock and outrage over the veto, which is rather like expressing shock and outrage when a rattlesnake bites someone who trod upon it. Russia has large existing and future arms deals with Syria that trump humanitarian concerns -- as if Vladimir Putin has ever spared a nanosecond worrying over human suffering. Russia also wants to foil U.S. and Western interests wherever possible, which means keeping Kremlin-friendly dictators propped up. Feigning surprise when Russia vetoes a resolution that would upset those deals, and that would pull another miscreant regime out of Russia's orbit, reinforces the fact that Hope 'n' Change is not a viable foreign policy.
Komen Controversy Continues
Last week, we noted that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation's largest breast cancer fundraising organization, would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. No sooner had we published, however, than news broke that Komen had reversed course -- a fact we quickly noted. Komen has succeeded in little more than bringing attention to an issue about which most people were unaware, and making people on both sides angry in the process.
This week, pro-life Republican Karen Handel cited the controversy when resigning from her position as vice president at Komen. The decision to modify the foundation's rules for grants, which ended up excluding Planned Parenthood however briefly, was made before Handel joined Komen. Yet she backed the decision and was "deeply disappointed" by the reversal. Countless donors are deeply disappointed too, and we don't doubt Komen has hurt not only its own bottom line, but -- far more important -- women fighting breast cancer.
Either way, Planned Parenthood will be just fine. The "women's health" organization performed more than 300,000 abortions in 2010, bringing in $164 million in revenue. Yet it shamelessly and ruthlessly shook down Komen for a mere $650,000.
Judicial Benchmarks: 9th Circus Strikes Down Prop 8
Proponents of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, lost a battle this week when a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court struck down the law. Given that Court's leftist bent, the decision itself was a given; however, the reasoning behind it, as well as its narrow parameters, is rather surprising.
The 9th Circuit Panel could have ruled that homosexuals should have the same rights to marry each other as anyone else, but they chose to avoid that issue. Instead, Judge Steven Reinhardt stated merely that Prop 8 does not advance a state interest. One might wonder why a leftist judge would play it so safe, but upon closer look, it becomes apparent how clever the decision is. Reinhardt's holding is based on Romer v. Evans, the 1996 case in which the Supreme Court struck down a Colorado measure that explicitly denied special rights to homosexuals. The Supreme Court held, similar to the Prop 8 case, that the law had no "rational basis."
Prop 8 does not seek to strip homosexuals of rights they already have under California's Domestic Partnership laws, including the right to adopt children. As Judge Reinhardt pointed out, if the aim of Prop 8 is simply to deny a marriage certificate, then the law is motivated purely by a desire to attach a stigma to same-sex marriage, and therefore has no rational basis. In addition, he said, it seeks to take away a right that had already been granted. The decision was also narrowly tailored to California, which makes it tougher to challenge.
Prop 8 proponents now have two choices: They can either appeal to the entire 9th Circuit, or directly the Supreme Court. In the meantime, same-sex couples will not be issued marriage licenses until the appeals are exhausted. Finally, the ruling highlights an important issue in the November elections: If Barack Obama is elected, then he will have four more years to appoint leftist judicial despots to trample the Constitution.
In related news, Washington is poised to become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage, though in its case, elected representatives, not the courts, actually made the call. Both houses of the state legislature passed the bill and Democrat Gov. Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it into law.
Around the Nation: ACORN Survives
Nearly three years after the obituary was written, it seems "[r]eports of ACORN's demise are greatly exaggerated." So notes Charles Cooke of National Review, pointing out that the community-organizing group is still receiving federal dollars supposedly yanked from it. Not directly, of course -- that would be too obvious. Rather, ACORN central works through a network of non-profit affiliates, using a mechanism known as "fiscal sponsorship" to receive donations funneled through these affiliates. In essence, 501(c)3 groups become "fiscal sponsors" and underwrite projects undertaken by organizations that either don't qualify for or have a pending 501(c)3 certification. In ACORN's case, affiliates, which are little more than federal-grant-receiving subsidiaries conveniently renamed following the scandal, "sponsor" projects to then quietly channel funds to ACORN. As Cooke observes, "When somebody buys a gun for a convicted felon, it is called a 'straw purchase,' and it is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. When ACORN takes money prohibited to it by employing others as collection agents, it is called 'accounting.'"
When one whistleblower pointed out this game of musical tax dollars to the Government Accountability Office, GAO's response was that ACORN is "in Chapter 7 (dissolution) bankruptcy" and hence unable to have affiliates. Ah, wisdom that can come only from government bureaucrats. Bureaucratic baloney aside, some are starting to take notice, and the bad news for ACORN is that its secret has been uncovered. What remains to be seen, though, is whether the feds will continue to turn a blind eye or, once and for all, put an end to the federal funding of ACORN.
Iran's nuclear program isn't the only weapon of mass destruction we should worry they possess. Word has reached our shores that deep in the heart of Iran lies a weapon possibly more powerful than any other -- a 3,500-strong army of female ninjas. State-run Press TV featured a six-minute video of the female warriors practicing various moves and wielding weapons. Of course, according to the Internet ninja meme, capturing them on video means they're not very good ninjas. And given the campy nature of the video, and the fact that they show their faces while performing less-than-believable training exercises, perhaps this is little more than the Persian version of Jillian Michaels.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team