Public rites will be visible across Iran on Wednesday in honor of Ashura, a major Shiite festival commemorating the death of Hussein, Muhammad’s grandson. But for Iranians who are not Shiite Muslims, public practice of their religion remains severely limited or flatly banned — and the Islamic Republic’s war on religious freedom has hurt no community more than Iran’s Bahais.
Alas, the evidence suggests the answer is no. To smooth Rouhani’s path at the U.N. General Assembly in September, Iran released 11 prisoners of conscience — but not one was a Bahai. In August a well-known Bahai in Bandar Abbas, Ataollah Rezvani, was murdered. Before his death, human rights groups report, Rezvani had received threats and been pressured by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. He also received threatening phone calls. The government opened an investigation, but no progress has been reported.
In his dissent from the Supreme Court’s recent overthrow of the Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Antonin Scalia observed that the majority opinion accused the Congress and president who had enacted this law not merely of exceeding their powers but of spreading malice, encouraging stigmatization, and—above all—denying equality. “It is one thing,” wrote Scalia, “for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”
The hot dog is in decline in America, writes Paul Lukas at Bloomberg, and one thinks, "What isn't?" What institution, anyway. If everything were not in decline, then what would there be for journalists to write about (see Andrew Ferguson on George Packer and Haynes Johnson) and what would politicians have to campaign about?
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress declared independence. George Washington declared that day that “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves....The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.” A useful reminder for us, in a week when we rightly celebrate a Declaration, a document embodying a great idea, that speech needs to be backed up by arms, and that all still depends on the "courage and conduct" of our armed forces.
In the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat in last fall’s election, and the defeat of a myriad of Republican Senate candidates (establishment and Tea Party alike) in Romney’s wake, Republicans are getting no shortage of free advice. The quantity of that advice, however, is more apparent than its quality.
In his second inaugural address, President Obama made every effort to tie his political philosophy to the ideals and principles of the American Founding, even as he made clear how little he understands those ideals and principles. The gist of Obama’s speech was that only government can grant freedom. Or as he put it, “[W]e have always understood…that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina has seen the last of hundreds of employees of the European Union, United Nations, and other international agencies, including dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that once gathered there. They have left the country a politically-partitioned and economically-distressed state that, if not failed, seems ever deteriorating.
‘Slowly the ship glides into the harbor,” wrote one turn-of-the-century immigrant of arriving in New York, “and when it passes under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the silence is broken, and a thousand hands are outstretched in a greeting to this new divinity to whose keeping they now entrust themselves. ‘Oh Papa,’ cried one young girl, ‘the goddess has waded into the water to meet us!’ ”
Our government is not a pure democracy but a constitutional republic, meaning that we govern ourselves in accord with the Constitution, which provides for a Supreme Court with the authority to review and strike down laws that are in conflict with the Constitution. In Cosmic Constitutional Theory, J. Harvie Wilkinson III argues that the Court has nullified many more laws on constitutional grounds than it should have. The Court has been activist when it should have been restrained, displacing democracy in each of its unwarranted rulings.
Charlotte Four years ago in Denver, the group Democrats for Life hosted an event. A tiny cadre of anti-abortion Democrats assembled in a hotel conference room and were treated to a hopeful talk led by Senator Bob Casey and Representatives Lincoln Davis and Heath Shuler. The pro-life caucus was a minority in the party, they realized, but it was a crucial bloc and it would not be left behind by a President Obama, he of the purple states and the hope and change. A new era for pro-life Democrats was just around the corner.
In addition to raising federal spending (by a whopping 13 digits), federal taxes, health insurance premiums, and overall U.S. health costs, Obamacare would cause the price of pizza to rise. Politico reports that Papa John’s CEO and founder John Schnatter conveys that Obamacare would “result in higher costs for the company,” which he says would be passed on to customers. Schnatter says, “Our best estimate is that…Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis.”