The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003

(List of United States federal legislation, 2001-present)


The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (Pub.L. 108-105, 117 Stat. 1201, enacted November 5, 2003, 18 U.S.C. § 1531,[1] PBA Ban) is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls “partial-birth abortion”, often referred to in medical literature as intact dilation and extraction.[2] Under this law, “Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.” The law was enacted in 2003, and in 2007 its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.

Grover Cleveland

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times – in 1884, 1888, and 1892 – and was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1861 to 1913.
Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. His battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era.[1] Cleveland won praise for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.[2] Cleveland relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. Indeed, as a reformer his prestige was so strong that the reform wing of the Republican Party, called “Mugwumps”, largely bolted the GOP ticket and swung to his support in 1884.[3]
Disaster hit the nation as his second term began when the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894 and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of his Democratic party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.[4]
Cleveland took strong positions and was heavily criticized. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide and angered the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party.[5] Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation’s economic disasters – depressions and strikes – in his second term.[5] Even so, his reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote: “in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not.”[6]

Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


W. Eugene Smith by Day Williams



W. EUGENE SMITH (1918-1978)

The storm gods sent him, W. Eugene Smith,
A photojournalist who lived as large as myth.
He made his pictures with his blood and sweat and soul
Of saints and soldiers, workers with Pittsburgh coal.

He flew to the Pacific during World War II,
And went with the Marines in island battles, too.
He longed to have his photographs end all wars
Between all people, on every nation’s shores.

A subject was a Country Doctor on each case,
Who held a cup of coffee, weariness on his face.
In the South was Maude Cullen, a nurse midwife,
The first black woman in an essay in LIFE.

He covered Albert Schweitzer in his distant town,
A doctor and musician, he was world-renowned.
Smith spent three nights to print one photo of the man,
And then resigned from LIFE, wanting a free hand.

The grit and grime of Pittsburgh, meat to Smith’s dark eye,
Blast furnaces and factories under dark skies
He did that photo essay, longest he ever made,
With his life savings and an agency’s aid.

Japanese in Minamata were eating poisoned fish;
Smith photographed those crippled and shared their poisoned dish.
He was attacked in his crusade by corporate men,
But villagers stopped the polluters in the end.

Smith challenged death many times for his photo stories;
The photo essay was his art; he struggled for its glories:
His compassion for the poor, the sufferers, the wronged
Shone through his master prints, and made his life’s work strong.

I met the man in Tucson when he’d had a stroke;
He walked with a cane, and had trouble when he spoke;
Yet he had a fire deep inside, a sense of justice denied,
Battling darkness on all sides even ‘til the day he died.

–Day Williams

Montana lawmakers asks to be paid in gold

Lawmaker asks to be paid in gold

Gold bars are shown. | AP Photo

Montana state Sen. Jerry O’Neil said he earns about $7,000 annually from the Legislature. | AP Photo

By KEVIN CIRILLI | 11/13/12 11:36 AM EST

A Montana state lawmaker is asking that he be paid in gold coins because of his lack of faith in the U.S. dollar amid a rising deficit.

Jerry O’Neil, a Republican just reelected in his northern Montana district, says his constituents told him he was not honoring his duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which O’Neil and Gold Standard supporters say requires the government to print money backed by gold.

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