libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank the Thirty Four, Especially N.C.

Here is a list of the 34 Democrats who crossed the aisle and voted against the Senate's healthcare bill:

Rep. Stephen Lynch (Mass.)
Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)
Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.)
Rep. John Adler (N.J.)
Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.)
Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.)
Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.)

Rep. Rick Boucher (Va.)
Rep. Glenn Nye (Va.)
Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.)
Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.)
Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.)
Rep. John Barrow (Ga.)
Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.)
Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.)
Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.)
Rep. Travis Childers (Miss.)
Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.)
Rep. Charlie Melancon (La.)
Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.)
Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.)

Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.)
Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.)
Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)
Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho)
Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.)
Rep. Zack Space (Ohio)
Rep. Harry Teague (N.M.)

© 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Power to Cool the Globe

While purchasing tickets online for an upcoming show at the Charlottesville Pavilion, I was confronted with this option . .


GreenNotes invites you to join the Charlottesville Pavilion, CLIF Bar, and Musictoday in taking steps to start global cooling. By offsetting the CO2 emissions from your trip to the show, you can help the environment.

When you drive your car to an event, it emits harmful amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) that pollutes the environment and promotes global warming. By helping fund the construction of new renewable energy sources through NativeEnergy, you can help offset this pollution. To do so, simply check the text box to the right and your credit card will be charged .40 cents in addition to the ticket price. For more information on the GreenNotes program and how to help start global cooling, visit

To learn more about how CO2 offsetting works, visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thank God She Changed Her Mind

The woman at the center of the Supreme Court's landmark abortion rights ruling was arrested today at the confirmation hearing for Sonia Sotomayor among a wave of anti-abortion protesters who lined the sidewalks outside the Senate office buildings and several of whom made it into the hearing room and disrupted in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as "Jane Roe" in the famous Roe v. Wade case from January 1973, was arrested after she and another protester started yelling during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), according to Capitol Police. McCorvey, whose pursuit of the right to access to abortion in the early 1970s led to the ruling that has been a pivotal part of every Supreme Court nomination process since, eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police said McCorvey and Francis Mahoney, 68, of Florida were charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress, the third and fourth such arrests the police made during the more than five-hour proceedings. McCorvey was part of the group of protesters outside the Hart Senate Office Building throughout the day, a gathering led by Randall Terry, the former head of Operation Rescue, an organization dedicated to ending abortion.

McCorvey, who used Roe as an alias in her court filings for fear of retribution, remained an abortion-rights supporter until the mid-1990s. Working at a women's clinic in Dallas, she befriended some Operation Rescue protesters. In 1995, she was baptized and has been an anti-abortion activist ever since.

The last two rows of the hearing room were reserved today for about 50 members of the public, who rotated into the hearings for short intervals and then were escorted out to allow others to view the proceedings. McCorvey and Mahoney were part of a group headed out as Franken was praising the service of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), a staunch supporter of the Roe decision. Kennedy left the Judiciary Committee earlier this year, making this the first Supreme Court confirmation fight without his presence since 1965.

From 'Jane Roe' Arrested at Supreme Court Hearing by Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writer, July 13, 2009.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Diversity Too Far

What does "diversity" mean on campus today?

Student reaction to the University of Virginia's announcement of J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, as its commencement speaker this year has thrust this question into the spotlight. Some U-Va. students have launched an effort to challenge the selection of Wilkinson in the name of protecting "diversity," complete with columns, an online petition drive and hints that they will disrupt graduation.

This growing effort shows that too often, diversity is absent from the one facet of campus life where it is essential: intellectual life.

Supporters purport to use "diversity" synonymously with open-mindedness; they argue for the U-Va. administration to hire a "dean for diversity," for the faculty to offer a wider variety of classes and for students to sign a "diversity pledge." They sing the virtues of learning about people from different places with different points of view. Yet, when it comes to listening to someone with a reputation for being politically conservative, that supposed open-mindedness quickly dissipates.

Because some students disagree with a few of Wilkinson's opinions, they are quick to claim that his opinions are "discriminatory" and illustrate "blatant political bias." A student columnist described one "problem" with his selection: "It is that his political biases will alienate a large number of students when a commencement speaker should bring students together." Others justify their complaints with the need to "protect diversity," claiming that inviting Wilkinson is against U-Va.'s "long-standing commitment to diversity." But where is their support for diversity when it comes to a more politically conservative public figure?

These students argue that because some of Wilkinson's rulings are disagreeable to them, he is offensive. Their message is: If you disagree with someone on a few issues, that person is automatically offensive, discriminatory and alienating -- and therefore, should have no place on campus. This is the opposite of true intellectual diversity.

Some of the students supporting this effort are hiding behind process arguments, claiming that students should have a bigger role in the selection of the commencement speaker. Currently, a committee of students and faculty members gives the university president a list of 10 speakers, from which he invites one. This process has been in place for years. No one complained about the selection process when author John Grisham, a well-known high-dollar Democratic fundraiser, was selected, or even after his speech, in which he hit on hot-button political issues such as the Vietnam War and global warming.

That a conservative judge does not fit within the definition of diversity on campus reveals how far we have to go to achieve diversity in the academy. Unfortunately, we have settled for descriptive diversity, such as race and sex, rather than reaching for intellectual diversity.

I hope that Judge Wilkinson takes the opportunity to address diversity in his commencement speech. This would help complete our education.

From 'Diversity' in Name Only at U-Va. by Karin Agness, April 5, 2009.

The writer is a law student at the University of Virginia and founder and president of the Network of Enlightened Women, a national organization for conservative college women.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sir Charles Speaks

"The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington . . After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell--and that this president told better than anyone. I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks."
From "The Fierce Urgency of Pork" by Charles Krauthammer, February 6, 2009.