Greatest Hits: The Utility of Free Speech

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The Utility of Free Speech:  While the left only allows speech that completely agrees with their own opinions, actual free speech has great value…

As we all know, freedom of speech is under attack.  Mark Lloyd proposes to replace privately owned media with a government approved and moderated PBS.  Cass Sustein and Henry Waxman have both floated the idea of regulating Internet content.  Speech codes on campus restrict the free flows of ideas on college campuses.  The ACLU threatens to sue kids that pray at graduation ceremonies.  People are threatened if they pray in public.  Conversely, the left is able to engage in whatever outrageous activity they choose, and even do what they accuse the right of doing.  The double standard is sometimes astounding.

Following Marxist concepts like “tolerant repression,” the left seeks to limit or eliminate dissent. We understand that this is part of their effort to obtain power by silencing all opposition, or making said opposition ineffective, and unable to reach the people.  Their allies in the media do not cover stories critical of the left, or distorts them into a one sided attack on the opposition.  The government ignores mass protests and accuses the protesters of “racism, terrorism,” and being paid by special interests.  What they cannot ban, or cover up, they will discredit.  They attempt to cloud genuine dissent with hate, all in order to attack the messenger, and to ignore the message.

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, this is certain.  And we know that in a Constitutional Republic, free speech is vital for debate and the free flow of ideas.  Without free speech, the Republic that so many bled and died for would take a short trip into tyranny. All these are true, but I would submit that there is an additional benefit for freedom of speech.

Every nation has fringe groups; racists, religious extremists of every type, anarchists, communist revolutionaries, national socialists, and probably a huge number of others.  It is tempting to deny these people a public forum, as they are repugnant to most all Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. But there are benefits to allowing them speak and function in the open:

  1. If they are public, we know who they are.  Putting a face to the hate allows us to confront it.
  2. If they speak openly, we can know what they believe, and what they want.  Knowing this allows us all to confront them.
  3. If they operate openly, we know what they are doing.  We can keep track of them, and monitor their activities.

If we ban free speech, even the speech that we find disgusting, we lose some things:

  1. We will have no idea who the extremists are, as they won’t go away, they’ll go underground.
  2. We will have no idea what they believe or plan to do.
  3. By banning their speech, the government will prove most of their beliefs about their ideas being a threat to power.
  4. Being banned makes them more attractive to “recruits.” They will have the “truth those in power don’t want you to know.”
  5. They become dangerous and more likely to take violent action.

Freedom of speech means that you might be offended by something that is said or written.  We have to take hate for what it is, and confront it, or just let if fail under the weight of it’s own stupidity.  We have to allow all of it, or face tyranny.  No party or group should have the ability to eliminate freedom of speech, or our Republic is doomed.

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Muslim Terrorists Try To Disrupt Texas ‘Draw Mohammad’ Free Speech Event, Get Killed In Attack

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muslims_hitlerHat/Tip to Warner Todd Huston at Publius’ Forum.

Two would be Muslim terrorists made to disrupt the free speech event held in Garland, Texas last night. The pair drove up to the event and started shooting at police stationed outside. One officer was slightly injured but the two Muslims were instantly put down in the attack.

As of last night police were still investigating to see whether there was a bomb inside the car in which the pair drove to the event.

Prophet Cartoon Contest Shooting

The event held at The Curtis Culwell Center in Garland was the “Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest” sponsored by Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Geller has been planning the event for months and has said that she is talking a stand for free speech over vociferous whining from some Muslims that images of Mohammad violate their radical, Islamist teachings.

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WFAA reports: “The Garland ISD officer, identified as Bruce Joiner, was shot in the lower leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesman for Garland Police. He was in stable condition at a local hospital.”

The officer was already released from the hospital by late evening.

The Curtis Culwell Center was quickly put on lockdown and the security perimeter extended to 1,000 yards around the building meaning that some nearby businesses had to be temporarily evacuated as a precaution in case the shooters had a bomb in the car.

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There was some suggestion that one of the would be killers Tweeted about his actions yesterday evening. His Twitter handle is @atawaawkul and this was the Tweet in question:

 

No confirmation of this has been made.

Just before 11PM Garland time, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force had joined the investigation and detained all participants of the event to interview them about what they witnessed.

This is a clash of freedom and the terroristic tenets of Islam and nothing less. If our freedoms survive it will only be because we didn’t knuckle under to the threat of Islam.

*UPDATE*

One of the would be terrorists has been identified…

From Breitbart: “ABC News reports one of the shooters has been identified as Elton Simpson, who an FBI official stated had been investigated for terrorism in the past. Court records from 2011 show Simpson identified as an ‘American Muslim.’”

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Those Against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Are Either Ignorant Or Liars

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Hat/Tip to Warner Todd Huston at Publius’ Forum.

Another outstanding Op-Ed from Warner Todd Huston, printed in its entirety.

I have to be straight forward right at the outset on this faux controversy over the new Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Those losing their tiny minds about it are either wholly ignorant of what is in the law, or know full well what is in it and are lying about the law in order to push their anti-Christian, gay-supporting agenda. There can be no other choice, here.

Firstly, before we even get to the case in Indiana, to act as if this whole idea is “new” is specious. Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) have been around since President Bill Clinton signed one in the 1990s.

The first such law was signed in 1993 by Bill Clinton and was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives where it was sponsored by no less than New York’s Chuck Schumer, now one of the farthest left Senators in Washington D.C.

Furthermore, 30 other states have RFRA laws just like Indiana’s or other laws that offer RFRA-like protections–including liberal states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington state, and Illinois.

In fact, 19 other states have laws almost exactly like the new Indiana law and no one is suddenly boycotting them. So, to act as if Indiana is alone, here, is a lie-based talking point.

Additionally, all the hysterical attacks from halfwitted liberals out there are not addressing a single thing in the bill but instead are making wild-eyed, spittle-specked assumptions that the bill somehow outlaws gays. So, here is the text of the Indiana bill in case you need to see it.

But the fact is, the new Indiana statute does not give anyone the license to discriminate against gays or anyone else for that matter. We already have federal laws that prevent such things and this law doesn’t make any attempts to overturn those protections.

Additionally, this law has nothing at all to do with how citizens interact with other citizens. This law addresses what government does to people with religious convictions. This law covers how government interacts with the people, not how the people interact with each other.

There are plenty of other laws that prevent discrimination and this RFRA law doesn’t do a single thing to upset them.

Yes, when all is said and done, if you are one of those running around vomiting all over yourself because of this law you are either an ignoramus who knows nothing at all about what he is talking about, or you are a liar using lies to push your gay agenda.

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How Does One Leftist Piss Off Another Leftist: Try To Take Away His Power

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Hat/Tip to IOTWReport.com.

The hard left Democrats are on board with whatever Obama wants to do, until he wants to take away some of their power…

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says when it comes to fast-tracking President Obama’s trade agreements, “it’s not constitutionally proper or right for us to give the authority to the executive, no matter who it is.”

Ellison told a crowd at the AFL-CIO Young Worker Summit last Friday that he doesn’t agree with the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or “Fast Track” measure.

“Now Fast Track says that ‘Congress, we want you to take your constitutionally designated authority and give it to the president, so he can negotiate the deal and then after he does, then you can vote yes or no,’” Ellison said.

“Let me tell you, 95 percent of the time I agree with President Obama. There’s five percent on this thing – I’m not with that, but usually we agree,” Ellison continued.

“We supported him on the executive orders on immigration, we supported him on the executive orders to stop wage theft, we supported him on a lot of things, but this – we’re not with that program.”

Read the full story here.

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No, George Washington DIDN’T Say America Should Stay Out Of Foreign Affairs

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George Washington, first President of the United States

Hat/Tip to Warner Todd Huston at Publius’ Forum.

A great piece on the Father of our Country.

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With the talk of how bad Islam is for civilization and the question of just what to do about it, we are seeing those lightly informed about American history claiming that our founders–in particular George Washington–warned us to stay out of “foreign entanglements.” In fact, however, Washington neither said this, nor meant for such a policy to be enacted.

Many on the left and the isolationist right try to use the father of our country to support their ideas against the GOP and to justify their hope that the USA will pull out of the Middle East. Specifically they cite Washington’s farewell address where a retiring president supposedly warned Americans against getting involved with foreign nations and getting caught up in those evil “foreign entanglements.”

On one hand, it is quite amusing to see lefties in love with a founding father or American history and principles for the first time in their lives, certainly, but it isn’t just the left revealing a sudden respect for a founding father with citation of Washington’s address. On the other hand those Ron Paulites and his isolationist wing on the right have for years been bandying about Washington’s farewell address as some sort of “proof” that one of our “first principles” was to stay away from foreign nations.

So, what was Washington really saying? Did he warn us against “foreign entanglements”? Did he think the U.S. should steer clear of all outside political situations and relegate ourselves only to trade with foreigners?

We have to point out, that Washington never used the exact words “foreign entanglements” in his farewell address. That has been a decades-long misconstruction of his last letter to the nation. He did ask why we should “entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition,” but he never used the exact words “foreign entanglements.”

That dispensed with, we move on to the assumed isolationism of George Washington’s address. What did he mean and did he mean it to be a permanent principle from which the U.S. should never stray?

First of all we must realize that the U.S. had been up to its neck in “foreign entanglements” before it had even become a nation. With wars against the French decades earlier, then the rebellion against Britain with help from the French, pleas to the Dutch for loans, not to mention intrigues in Canada and clashes with Spanish holdings in the new world, the progenitors to the United States, with all that our nascent nation was already a key player on the international stage.

Further the United States had envoys in most of the major European nations long before Washington’s farewell address. So, to say that the U.S. was isolated from the rest of the world and that Washington’s entreaty meant for us to stay that way, to say that this was some axiomatic delineation of American foreign policy is a wrong headed claim. The U.S. was already so “entangled” that it couldn’t be untangled.

One of the important goals of Washington’s letter was to shore up his own foreign policy decisions. Washington had angered the Jefferson/Madison wing of the federal government when he decided not to side with France against England after our revolution ended. In fact, while leaning toward being an anglophile, Washington tried to tread a fine line of “neutrality” between France and England. His farewell address was in part meant to justify a policy choice he had made as president. It was less a doctrine for the ages and more an immediate act of politics.

There was also an important bit of reality that caused Washington and Alexander Hamilton to eschew full support of France and lean toward England. We didn’t have the naval power to back up any major involvement in Europe. In fact, if we had decided to jump in with France, there was no way at all we could have escaped major damage from the extensive and powerful British Navy if we sided too directly with France.

Washington’s idea of neutrality was based in part on the complete inability of the U.S. to back up its foreign policy. But even in that case he did not say in his address that we should forever stay away from any foreign involvement.

Here is the key section of his address:

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

To warn Americans against “permanent alliances” really should go without saying. Decades later a fast friend of the United States basically said the same thing when he, Winston Churchill, said there are “no eternal allies” and “no perpetual enemies” for any nation.

Washington went on to say, though, that sometimes we must form alliances. “Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture,” he wrote, “we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.”

Obviously he understood that always staying neutral–as Paulites and liberals maintain–is not possible.

It should also be realized that this was Washington’s (and Hamilton’s) vision. The farewell address was not an explication of standard practice even when it was written, but Washington’s ideals. Many founders disagreed with this vision. So to act as if an isolationist policy was a singular founding principle is a horrible misread of history.

In To the Farewell Address, the seminal book about Washington’s document and the era in which it was given, Felix Gilbert warned us all not to accept these flawed misconstructions we are discussing here as an explanation what was going on with Washington’s farewell address.

In the conclusion to his essay, Gilbert wrote:

Because the Farewell Address comprises various aspects of American political thinking, it reaches beyond any period limited in time and reveals the basic issue of the American attitude toward foreign policy: the tension between Idealism and Realism. Settled by men who looked for gain and by men who sought freedom, born into independence in a century of enlightened thinking and of power politics, America has wavered in her foreign policy between Idealism and Realism, and her great historical moments have occurred when both were combined.

In other words, today’s neo-isolationist view of America’s “real” foreign policy ideals is woefully incorrect. The U.S. was never isolationist as a first principle. Ron Paul and his isolationists are wrong and so are the liberals who have a sudden and uncharacteristic respect for a founding father.

Finally, it must be noted that this article of mine is discussing only one thing and that is the purpose of Washington’s farewell address when it was delivered in 1796 and what it means to American first principles. I have no interest in using this piece to excuse or justify anything that happened after Washington left the scene. This article is not meant to ascertain what amount of foreign policy is optimal, only that isolationism is not an American first principle.

If WWI or WWII were wrong or our Middle East policy is misguided, those are discussions for other articles, not this one.

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Obama Purposefully Set Clinton Up To Get Away With Email Crimes

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Hat/Tip to Warner Todd Huston at Publius’ Forum.

So THAT’s why he never filled that job…

President Obama made dead sure that Hillary Clinton would never get caught using illegal private email systems while Secretary of State by refusing to appoint an official internal inspector general for the Dept. of State during Hillary’s tenure, a new report shows.

It is the duty of the president to make sure that every government department has its own appointed Inspector General to serve as an internal watchdog over an agency. But during Hillary’s entire tenure, Obama never bothered to fill the vacant IG office for the State Department.

I mean if there’s not Inspector General then, there’s going to be no inspections!

A new report by the Washington Examiner reveals Obama’s complicity in giving Clinton all the cover she needed to do whatever she wanted as Secretary of State by making sure there was no watchdog to keep her honest during her stint at State.

“The White House is saying that the State Department has responsibility for making sure their officials and staff follow the law, but the White House is responsible for making sure they have the tools to do that and they fell down on that job in making sure they have the No. 1 tool, and that’s an inspector general,” John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan open-government group, told the Washington Examiner.

Read the full story here.

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Time For Torches And Pitchforks: Dictator Obama To Impose New Taxes Via Executive Order

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King Obama & his two court jesters
King Obama and his new taxation powers that he got from…..King Obama!

This president really does believe he’s our king. That we must bow before him. That he can impose his will upon us by fiat. The Constitution? That’s so old, who cares about it anymore? Certainly not anyone in his administration!

He’s got a pen and a phone, and he’s going to use them to unilaterally raise taxes.

President Obama really does think he is a king or an emperor of some type. Now he claims that he is going to use executive orders to raise taxes on us all.

This arrogant prince thinks he can do anything he wants just by his say-so. No act of Congress needed.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is “very interested” in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

“The president certainly has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority to try and advance an agenda that benefits middle class Americans,” Earnest said in response to a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calling on Obama to raise more than $100 billion in taxes through IRS executive action.

Tyranny. Pure, unadulterated tyranny.

The reason the Constitution requires that all new taxes originate in the House is because its members face reelection every two years, and are thus very responsive to the desires of their constituents and/or are quickly replaced. At least that’s the theory. A big hole in that limitation is that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of enforcement mechanism available, otherwise ObamaCare!!! — which originated, taxes and all, in the Senate — could never have become law.

Bad as that is, at least the Senate also faces popular pressure, so much so that half of the Democrat Senators who voted to pass ObamaCare!!! have since been removed or exited gracelessly from their jobs.

But the executive? Raising taxes on his own accord? Because the House, most closely representing the will of the people, won’t succumb to his will and enact his “preferred option” on its own?

Remember the concept of “no taxation without representation?” Yeah, me neither.

The Founding Fathers declared independence over less. The list of abuses and usurpations imposed by this president is unparalled in history.

And he grows bolder with each passing day.

Consider that just last week he moved to ban AR-15 ammo, the most common bullet sold in the United States.

And yesterday he announced a plan to Federalize every local police department in the country.

The people disarmed. The police answerable only to the tyrant. The media, complicit. The Congress, paralyzed. The military, defanged.

He’s preparing for something big. And if We The People allow him to succeed, if we do not stand up, united in opposition to his tyranny, Freedom and Liberty will die. Forever.

Wolverines!

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The Bergdahl Swap – More Questions Than Answers

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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Bergdahl Classification Isn’t What Matters – Don’t Miss the Larger Picture

All over the media there is horror and consternation in regards to the Bergdahl return.  He is being called a traitor and I have seen many calls for the death penalty floating about.  You are missing the bigger picture here.  First and foremost, the military never classified Bergdahl as a deserter.  That makes a huge difference in how the military should behave in trying to find and free him.  The military had an obligation to do so.  Secondly, the bigger picture seems to be getting missed here.  President Obama broke the law in order to get his return.  It doesn’t matter what the standing of the soldier is.  The law would be broken even if there were not serious questions about Bergdahl’s actions.

Now from the media reports I have read the sequence of events in this “trade” is that a video was made in December of 2013.  The White House was made aware of the video the following month.  In this very short video (I believe it is under three minutes) it reportedly shows Bergdahl in bad health.  In the statements made by the administration, as well as the president himself, the narrative that they are using is that they saw that his health was deteriorating and knew something had to be done.  Does that make sense to you?

If his health was so dire why did they wait close to five months to do something about it?  If his health was the reason for the “prisoner swap” wouldn’t they have done it in late January or early February?  This is one among many questions that must be answered.

Another one of the narratives that the White House is laying out there is the need for absolute secrecy.  Everyone knows that there are leaks coming out of Capitol Hill.  That can’t be denied.  But this is also the same institution that knew about the bin Laden raid months in advance.  Nothing of that leaked.  One would like to think that members of congress take national security seriously.  There are many who look at Bergdahl as a traitor, some of those people are members of Capitol Hill.  But that doesn’t mean that they would voluntarily risk the life of that man by leaking the information.  This is just a ginned up excuse that the administration is floating to direct attention away from the fact that he has clearly broken the law.  A law, I might add, that he signed.  It isn’t like he wasn’t aware that the law existed.  It seems like the touted Constitutional law professor has left those ideals behind.

This administration has emboldened the Taliban to take additional Americans hostages.  Not to mention many other rogue nations across the world such as North Korea, Iran, and a whole host of others.  We are now known for negotiating with terrorists.  We have crossed that line and there will be no going back.

Conservatives need to do themselves a favor and let the military justice system do what needs to be done and let them handle Bergdahl, we have much bigger fish to fry.

Impeachment must be discussed in this context.  I have never called for that before during the Obama administration because I don’t think incompetence is grounds for impeachment.  But this is a situation where multiple laws were broken, our national security has been endangered, and our troops all over the world have had a target put on their backs forever more.  That should not be allowed to stand.  This is the fight we should be waging.  Bergdahl is only a small cog in the wheel.  Let the Department of Defense handle him.

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President Obama, Which Side Are You On?

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The Obama administration gives away FIVE HIGH LEVEL TALIBAN JIHADISTS and we get a soldier who went AWOL, and that in all probability aided the enemy. What the friggin’ hell? Obama has either totally lost his mind, is insane, or he willingly gave aid to the people who are killing our soldiers; the the very people our soldiers are fighting, the enemy.

Yes, Andrew C. McCarthy is correcti n saying that we need to be focusing on the fact that President Obama has freed five high value Jihadist members of the Taliban and Haqqani network while the Taliban and Haqqani netword are still fighting us, trying to maim and kill our men and women serving in the Middle East.

Forget about Obama having violated the NDAA’s 30 day notice to Congress. That’s peanuts compared to him giving away five members of the enemy who want to kill Americans, our soldiers, while we are still at war with them. The GOP needs to get some cajones, get a back bone, and do what is right for this country. They need to stand up to our lawless President to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, as the Oath of Office they all swore to uphold says for them to do.

Andrew C. McCarthy gives details explaining what is horribly wrong with the Obama trade.

 

The vital point here is that the president has returned five senior commanders to the Taliban and Haqqani networkwhile those violent jihadist organizations are still conducting offensive attacks against American troops, who are still in harm’s way and still conducting combat operations pursuant to a congressional authorization of military force.These terrorists were not exchanged in connection with a final peace settlement in which it would be appropriate to exchange detainees—after all, if there is no more war, even unlawful enemy combatant prisoners must be released unless they can be charged with crimes.While the president is obviously abandoning the war effort, it has not been fully abandoned yet. The Taliban and Haqqani have not surrendered or settled; they are still working hard to kill our troops. It is thus mind-bogglingly irresponsible for the commander-in-chief to replenish their upper ranks. The reason the laws of war permit enemy combatants to be detained until the conclusion of hostilities is humane: when enemy forces are depleted, they have a greater incentive to surrender, bringing a swifter, less bloody conclusion to the war. By giving the enemy back its most effective commanders, Obama, by contrast, endangers our forces, potentially extends the war, and otherwise makes it far more likely that the war will end on terms injurious to American interests.As I demonstrate in Faithless Execution, high crimes and misdemeanors are not primarily statutory offenses. They are the political wrongs of high public officials—the president, in particular—in whom great public trust is reposed. When the commander-in-chief replenishes the enemy at a time when (a) the enemy is still attacking our forces and (b) the commander-in-chief has hamstrung our forces with unconscionable combat rules-of-engagement that compromise their ability to defend themselves, that is a profound dereliction of duty.That’s what we ought to be outraged about. The chitter-chatter about a 30-day notice requirement is a sideshow. Yes, the president has once again violated a statute. And as I said in yesterday’s column, he undoubtedly did so in order to get the swap done before public and congressional protest could mount. But in the greater scheme of things, that’s a footnote to the real travesty.

What President Obama did is unbelievable! This president is twenty times worse than Carter. President Obama is dangerous for the United States. 
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Irony Alert!! Flashback to 2008: Obama slams Bush for NOT going thru Congress…

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Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers.

I’m thinking this is a case of do what I say, not what I do. In other words, Standing Operating Procedures for Liberals…

Yeah, but this was before the Imperial Presidency.

Via Right Pundit:

“I taught constitutional law for ten years, I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President”

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An Example Of Trey Gowdy’s Aggressiveness

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Holy moly! I’d hate to have Trey Gowdy investigating something I “allegedly” did. Mr. Gowdy is leaps and bounds smarter, sharper, quick “on his feet,” intelligent, and down right knowledgeable than anything or anyone Obama has on his team. I believe if Gowdy is allowed free rein on the Benghazi investigation he’ll expose Obama, Hillary and all the rest for the frauds and traitors they are.  Check out the way he grills this guy. Almost makes you feel sorry for him …

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Supreme Court: Prayer at council meetings constitutional

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The Supreme Court upheld the right of local town councils to have prayers in conjunction with their meetings. The 5-4 decision said that even if prayer featured Christianity, as long as the council was “inclusive” of other religions, if applicable, that it did not violate the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has upheld the right of local officials to open town council meetings with prayer, ruling that these do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity. 

The court said in 5-4 decision Monday that the content of the prayers is not critical as long as officials make a good-faith effort at inclusion. 

The town of Greece, NY saw this decision as a victory and validation

“The prayer opportunity is evaluated against the backdrop of a historical practice showing that prayer has become part of the Nation’s heritage and tradition,” the majority wrote in the opinion. “It is presumed that the reasonable observer is acquainted with this tradition and understands that its purposes are to lend gravity to public proceedings and to acknowledge the place religion holds in the lives of many private citizens.”

The majority justices further argued that the intended audience “is not the public, but the lawmakers themselves.” 

This ruling is consistent with precedence.

In 1983, the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska legislature and said that prayer is part of the nation’s fabric, not a violation of the First Amendment. Monday’s ruling was consistent with the earlier one. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions. 

“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,” Kennedy said. 

Read the full story here.

Read the Court’s Opinion here.

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Freedom Is Just Another Word

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What good is our constitution and its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, if the courts and our elected officials don’t uphold it? Is “freedom”, as Janis Joplin said in her song, Me & Bobby McGee. just another word? To this humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in, it does seem that we are losing our freedoms at such an alarming rate that maybe freedom is just another word of little significance. Let’s review some of our guaranteed rights.

The First Amendment

Freedom Of Religion _ In this once Judeo-Christian nation, it seems to me that the only people who still enjoy that right are atheists and Muslims.

Freedom of Speech _ This right now only applies to those people who are careful not to use any politically incorrect words that could potentially offend someone else. Once the bastions of free speech and ideas, our universities now have designated Free Speech Zones outside of which free speech is not condoned.

Free Press _ Not since Eric Holder has been our Atttorney General.

The Second Amendment

The Right to Bear Arms _ Every state and city has infringed upon this right to some degree. In some parts of the country it is almost impossible to exercise this right guaranteed by the constitution.

The Fourth & Sixth Amendments

The Right Not to be Subject to Unreasonable Search and Seizure, The Right to a Speedy Trial by an Impartial Jury, The Right to be Informed of the Criminal Charges, The Right to Confront Witnesses, The Right to Compel Witnesses to Appear, The Right to an Attorney _

These rights were effectively nullified with the passage of the unpatriotic Patriot Act, which gave us the DHS, TSA, FISA and an NSA that can do whatever it wants.

The Fifth Amendment

The Right not to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation _ “These days there are hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies that can confiscate your assets, levy your bank account, and freeze you out of your life’s savings. None of this requires a court order.” (Source) And, of course, under the Patriot Act and NDAA, if the government “accuses” a citizen of terrorism, that citizen has no rights… period!

The Ninth & Tenth Amendments

The Enumerated Rights of the Federal Government Shall Not be Construed to Deny the Rights Retained by the People, the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people _ A multitude of alphabet-soup agencies created by our Congress and directed by our Presidents have run roughshod over the rights of the States and their citizens for decades.

When every right and protection you have can be disregarded in their sole discretion, one really has to wonder how anyone can call it a ‘free country’ any more. (Source)

“Freedom” once was a concept that held the hearts and souls of average Americans. Today, with the exception of the conservatives and libertarians, freedom is just another word.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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President Obama’s Top Ten Most Divisive and Un-Constitutional Executive Actions

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obama rips founding documentsSince he took office in January of 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama has flouted the rule of law which is the bedrock America was founded on. He has visibly encroached upon and exceeded the boundaries set forth in the United States Constitution.

Now Obama hasn’t written more executive orders than his predecessors, in fact, in his first five years he is on par with other one term presidents. But in his case,it isn’t the quantity, it’s the quality of the EOs.
 
The Heritage Foundation has taken the time to compile a list of the top ten most egregious un-Constitutional actions taken by this president.

“Abusive, unlawful, and even potentially unconstitutional unilateral actionhas been a hallmark of the Obama Administration. When Congress refuses to accede to President Obama’s liberal policies, the Administration often ignores the restraints imposed on the executive branch by the Consitution and imposes “laws” by executive fiat. When the Administration disagrees with duly enacted laws or finds it politically expedient not to enforce them, it often ignores them, skirts them, or claims the Executive has prosecutorial discretion not to enforce them rather than fulfilling its constitutional obligation to take care that those laws be faithfully executed.”

Our nation was founded upon Judea-Christian beliefs and that is where our laws originate from. But the president doesn’t see it that way. He believes that, for his own political expediency, he can just use his “phone” and “pen and paper” to change laws to suit his fancy.

In an Obama world (which unfortunately we are now in), he gets to decide what laws he will and won’t enforce. Forget that they’ve been lawfully passed by each house of Congress and signed into law by his predecessors – and in some cases by he, himself. To do this, he claims “prosecutorial discretion.”

Here are the Top Ten Obama Administration’s Worst, Most Un-Constitutional actions:

Top 10 Abusive Executive Actions

  •  Amending Obamacare’s employer mandate, providing an unauthorized subsidy to congressional staff, and encouraging state insurance commissioners not to enforce certain requirements.
  • Inventing labor law “exemptions” in violation of the WARN Act so that workers would not receive notice of impending layoffs days before the 2012 election.
  • Waiving the mandatory work requirement under the 1996 comprehensive welfare reform law, which required able-bodied adults to work, prepare for work, or look for work in order to receive benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
  • Ignoring a statutory deadline and refusing to consider an application related to nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, which activists sought to block for years
  • Circumventing the Senate’s duty to provide advice and consent on appointments and instead making “recess” appointments in violation of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution when the Senate was actually in session
  • Deciding not to defend the constitutionality of the federal definition of marriage in court.
  • Implementing Common Core national standards through strings-attached waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Intimidating Florida to stop its voter roll cleanup, which included removing ineligible voters such as noncitizens, before the 2012 election.
  • Imposing the DREAM Act by executive fiat under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion.”
  • Refusing to enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized marijuana.

Read the full report here.

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Dems Push for a National Popular Vote – Reader Post

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TCL over at The Conservative Lady (which is an awesome site), has news that George Soros and the Democrats are once again pushing for a change in our national elections.

 

Electoral College Cartoon

This is an old cartoon. I guess it should now say “…the most Facebook friends”.

 

I’ve posted on this subject in 2011, and now it’s coming back into the forefront.  The New American and Dick Morris are reporting that the Democrats have a plan to “transform” our county’s voting system, and not in a good way.  The plan is for the Electoral College to get thrown out and be replaced with the National Popular Vote.  Some states are already on board, with New York being the latest.

Unsurprisingly, the push for a National Popular Vote is being promoted by a George Soros funded election group called The Center for Voting and Democracy.  Another site to check out is National Popular Vote.

Find out the details in the articles below:

Via:  The New American

The Democrats’ Plan to Destroy Our Electoral System

Written by  

While most people aren’t aware of it, there’s a movement afoot to completely change the way we elect our president — and its success would have serious consequences for our nation’s future.
The plan is a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that would neuter the Electoral College and give the presidency to the winner of the popular vote. Under this agreement, your state would award its electors to the candidate winning the most votes nationally — even if a majority of your state’s residents voted for a different candidate.
The compact will take effect once enough states ratify it to constitute at least 270 electoral votes, a majority of the total 538. And with Governor Andrew Cuomo having signed a bill on April 15 making New York the 10th state party to the agreement (the District of Columbia is also on board), its 29 electoral votes bring the compact’s total up to 165, well more than halfway to the goal. The other signatory states are California, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island.
Moreover, the compact has already been passed by one house in Nevada, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oregon. Upon ratification, these states would represent 78 more votes, bringing the compact’s total to 242 — just 28 shy of activation threshold. At that point the agreement would conceivably be just one state away (Florida) from taking effect.
To many people the compact is an easy sell. What’s wrong with a popular-vote system? But as political consultant and pundit Dick Morris explained recently in a Newsmax article, there’s a reason why virtually all the compact’s proponents are leftists, with every ratifying state — and 80 percent of the one-house states — having voted for Obama. The movement is also receiving funding from radical leftist George Soros’ Center for Voting and Democracy. Morris writes:
Democrats usually see a smaller percentage of their people go to the polls than Republicans do.
Under the electoral vote system, they figure why beat the drums to get a high turnout in New York City when the state will go Democrat anyway? But, if its [sic] the popular vote that matters, the big city machines can do their thing — with devastating impact.
And think of the chances for voter fraud! Right now, the biggest cities, the ones most firmly in Democratic control (e.g. Washington DC, New York, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.) are all solidly in blue states. Not only does this make it unnecessary to maximize turnouts there, but it also makes it unnecessary to promote double voting, fraudulent voting, and all the other tricks of the trade at which Democrats excel.
Additional Articles:
 

Here’s a good article explaining why we should keep the Electoral College:

 

Why Keep the Electoral College?  

What Were the Founding Fathers Thinking?

“A popular election in this case is radically vicious. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union, and acting in concert, to delude them into any appointment.” — Delegate Gerry, July 25, 1787

“The extent of the country renders it impossible, that the people can have the requisite capacity to judge of the respective pretensions of the candidates.” — Delegate Mason, July 17, 1787

“The people are uninformed, and would be misled by a few designing men.” — Delegate Gerry, July 19, 1787

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Will our nation change its name and do away with states some day?

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Our nation, as constitutionally formed, is The Republic of the United State of America. In theory, a republic is where the supreme power is vested in the citizens who elect people to represent them. Do you feel that we are living in a republic? Do our elected officials really represent their electorate? And, what about the words: United States? Are we, a constitutional union of states, where all power rest with the states except for the enumerated powers constitutionally assigned to the federal government? Our nation may have started out as The Republic of The United States of America but it has evolved into something quite different. Some  of the changes came about through constitutional amendments and, thereby, the citizens of each state did have a voice in those changes. Most changes, in my opinion, have come about by either judicial fiat or by congress passing laws that no one asked for or by Executive Orders of a sitting president. The laws passed by congress have often created federal programs, which states must implement with partial or full funding from the federal government. When states accept those funds, the find they must comply with the strings, which are firmly attached. Those federal funds and the attached strings have given the federal government much power over the states that was never envisaged in our constitution.

The Washington Examiner had an eye popping article the other day. The article contains a great graphic of the United States color code in one case to show the federal funds received on a per capita basis and then it changes to show the rate of change in dependency of the states on federal spending. I must admit I had no idea of just how dependent the states have become on federal funding. The first sentence in the article blew me away:

Only 11 states depended on the federal government for more than one-third of their total revenues in 2001. By 2012, 24 states found themselves in this situation.

Seriously, I would not have guessed that any state depended on the federal government for one-third or more of  their funding. Please take time to read this short article. You will learn for example, that Louisiana receives 44% of their budget from Washington and New Mexico 37% and Idaho 35%. The article also points out that state which have historical not taken so much funding from the federal government, like  Massachusetts, are now jumping on to the gravy train with both feet. There is no reason to believe this trend won’t continue. So, your humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in is wondering if some day congress will propose an amendment to our constitution to do away with state governments and set up regional federal administrative centers and change the name of our nation to simply America. After all, shouldn’t a nation’s constitution reflect what really is?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Asylum Watch

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Huge Win for the 2nd Amendment Foundation

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John W. Jackson is an Australian citizen, who legally resides in America, specifically in New Mexico. He applied for a concealed carry permit and was denied on the fact that he was not a citizen of the United States, even though he was a legal resident. He sued thccw badgee state of New Mexico, along with the Second Amendment Foundation for his right to obtain a concealed carry weapon permit.

The crux of the state’s defense was that it is impossible to do a full background check on citizens of other countries, even though they reside legally here in the US. However, the judge didn’t see it that way. Chief Judge M. Christina Armijo issued her ruling which said that the New Mexico statute “violates the Equal Protection Clause” in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In her order, she said that there isn’t any evidence that green card holders, or legal permanent residents, pose any more of a threat or greater danger when carrying concealed fireamrs than do American citizens.

Attorneys for the state of New Mexico unsuccessfully argued that it wasn’t discrimination to treat legal immigrants differently from US citizens – and even if it was, it was necessary because of the inability to conduct full background checks on the legal immigrants. They said that the background checks on the legal immigrants cannot discover any disqualifying midemeanor crimes committedin foreign countries.

But the judge didn’t buy it. Judge Armijo said that the same is true for US citizens who might have travelled to other countries and possibly committed crimes while abroad, and it was wrong to differentiate between legal immigrants and citizens for that reason.

“United States citizens who have traveled or lived abroad are not denied such licenses due to defendant’s inability to run a complete and thorough background check,” Judge Armijo wrote. “Therefore, the court concludes that the citizenship requirement is not narrowly tailored to serve the government’s compelling interest in public safety.”

Alan Gottlieb, Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation
Alan Gottlieb, Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation

Alan M. Gottlieb is the Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment

Foundation and co-plaintiff said that the ruling makes it increasingly harder for gun control activists to chip away at gun rights.

“It helps build case law,” he said. “If legal aliens have rights, citizens obviously do, too. This is a victory not only for our plaintiff, John W. Jackson, but for all permanent legal resident aliens who are otherwise qualified to obtain a concealed handgun license,” said Gottlieb.
He further went on to say, “One of the more significant notations in the ruling is that the court found New Mexico’s statute discriminates on the basis of alienage, and as a result, was subject to strict scrutiny.”

Now this ruling doesn’t destroy New Mexico’s concealed carry law, nor declare it unconstitutional in its entirety, but it does say that the fix for violating the equal protection clause is to simply sever the citizenship requirement from the state’s statute. The judge said it can be down, “without impairing the remainder” of the state’s ccw law.

To read the actual court filing by Mr. St. John on this case, click here.

This follows a 2009 ruling which saw a federal judge rule that police officers could not detain people for openly carrying guns.

It seems that a theater manager called the police because a patron named Matthew St. John was openly carrying his gun. It was holstered and he wopen carryas seated in the theater, bothering no one and trying to enjoy the movie he paid to see. The police entered the theater, physically seized Mr. St. John from his seat, took him outside, disarmed him, searched him, and obtained personally identifiable information from his person. Then they only allowed him to re-enter the theater after making him secure his gun in his vehicle. He never caused a scene and the police had no reason to suspect him of a crime and they, of course issued no summons for violating any law.

All this occurred even though nobody from the theater asked him to leave, or take his gun off premises. The police in this case, went too far and violated Mr. St. John’s constitutional rights.

US District Judge Bruce D Black ruled that as a matter of law the police violated Mr. St. John’s 4th Amendment Constitutional Rights because they seized and disarmed even when there wasn’t “any reason to believe that a crime was afoot.”

These victories are important building blocks for Americans who wish to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, as they give us legal precedence, or stepping stones that make it harder and harder for the gun control activists to take away those Constitutionally protected rights.

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