The Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to our Constitution) was first drafted on September 25, 1789. It was ratified on December 15, 1791.
Happy birthday, Bill of Rights.
As a refresher, here they are.
I don’t live in Alabama so I don’t get a vote. I do have an opinion though that Ex-Judge Roy Moore’s fundamental claim that a state supreme court can ignore a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is anything but conservative. Based on that, he is not a very good candidate to represent the Republican party as a Senator.
Perhaps given his distaste for the Republican Party, he should have run as an Independent. That, at least, would have showed a hint of integrity. Speaking of integrity, is it right to accept money from a party and trash it’s leadership at the same time?
When Mr. Moore served as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme court, he served as a Officer of the Court with a sworn obligation to obey the U. S. Supreme Court. His acts of defiance got him twice removed from his elected position. This happen in both 2003 and 2016. It was not an act of civil disobedience as a private citizen.
Moore’s fundamental claim that a state supreme court can ignore a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is anything but conservative. That question was settled by the Civil War and the constitutional amendments that followed in its wake, and no one who claims to be a conservative would argue otherwise. ~The Federalist
Please note Article VI, Clause 2 of the U. S. Constitution.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
If we listen and read Mr. Moore carefully, we discover his wrong-headed view that our government should function more like a theocracy than a democracy. “I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government,” Moore said this during the primary debate with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was backed by President Trump and the Republican party.
Our constitution gives Congress, the President and the Supreme Court the authority to enact laws that are un-Christian. This has been demonstrated many, many times. Some of our laws are in fact in direct violation of Christian principles. That became clear in the very first amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Notice I do not mention the controversy surrounding the recent sexual allegations. They stand on their own. I have previously written about them here and here. Even without the allegations, Mr. Moore is really unqualified as a conservative (which he is not) and a Republican.
A person who won’t follow our laws and abide by the principles of our Constitution does not belong in the Senate. ~
Mr. Moore is not above the law and if elected, would once again take an oath of allegiance to our constitution. Having done that twice before and failed to live up to his oath, can we expect him to respect the constitution again. He has already said no. We should believe him.
It is not integrity to say and swear you will do something and then do the opposite. That demonstrates a lack of integrity not integrity. Jesus was clear when he said “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”
The assault on our constitutionally guaranteed rights continues. By the constitution’s plain terms, no federal office holder or employee can be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or a federal government job. It immediately follows a clause requiring all federal and state officers to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. This clause contains the only explicit reference to religion in the original seven articles of the U.S. Constitution.
The first amendment went even further, stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
A few members of the Senate and the media want to trample our rights and are unapologetic.
“In early September, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor nominated for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sen. Dick Durbin grilled her about her use of the term “orthodox Catholic” to describe those who try to practice the teachings of her church.
“Do you consider yourself an ‘orthodox Catholic’?” asked Durbin of Illinois, himself a Catholic, taking issue with Barrett’s use of that term to describe those who strive to align their lives fully with their church’s teachings. Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono suggested Barrett would be beholden to Catholic teaching when deciding cases.
Yesterday The New York Times continued the religious test of Amy Coney Barrett with a hit piece headlined in the style of a Donald Trump tweet:
While it is common to think of the early settlers, Pilgrims and Puritans, as coming to America for religious liberty, they really came to avoid religious persecution.
Later on, they would practice their own brand of persecution. This created a very messy background to the principles established in our constitution. Fortunately, our founders would be able to figure out a way, in the constitution and bill of rights, to create a great framework for governmental balance.
“Pilgrims and Puritans came specifically to practice religious beliefs freely and to spread the gospel. In the 1500s England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and formed its own church called the Church of England. However, the Separatists also known as the Pilgrims wanted nothing to do with that church. And as a result they were persecuted and harassed by followers of the new Church of England and accused of being traitors of the state. Many of these people feared for their lives, so under the leadership of William Bradford the Separatist decided to leave and go to a land where they could worship freely. In order to accomplish this new mission they sought the permission of the Virginia Company to establish their new home in this new land. Once they got permission the Pilgrims set sail in September 1620 on the Mayflower.
“Their journey was long and difficult and instead of landing in Virginia they actually landed North in Cape Cod. Because they landed in Cape Cod there was no formal written statement describing the rights and responsibilities of government. So the Pilgrims establish their own form of government for their colony. The agreement for the colony was to work together and consult each other to help the colony succeed. They began to fulfill the other part of their reasoning for coming here which was to spread the gospel by converting some of the Native Americans to Christianity.
“After learning that the pilgrims started their own colony and succeed other oppressed religious groups began to follow in their footsteps. In 1630 the Puritans also left England in search of religious freedom. The puritans left England because they wanted to become pure and get rid of any evil associated with the Church of England. In England if they disobey the Church of England they would suffer serious consequences. For that reason, they left to make reforms and changes elsewhere.
“The puritans received permission to form a colony in Massachusetts Bay. The puritans wanted to base their colony on the word of God. Their main belief was that God would protect them if they obey his commandments. The Massachusetts Bay also established a government where men church members could vote for governor and representatives to the General Court. Today many of the Amish communities are descendants from early settlers. It was also the protestant migration that paved the way for early constitutionalists to implement religious freedom into the constitution.”
I can’t help but think and reflect on these great words from our first Republican President on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war’s turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen.Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee’s invasion of the North.
The two armies suffered between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties. Union casualties were 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured or missing), while Confederate casualties are more difficult to estimate. Many authors have referred to as many as 28,000 Confederate casualties, and Busey and Martin’s more recent 2005 work, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, documents 23,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured or missing).
Nearly a third of Lee’s general officers were killed, wounded, or captured. The casualties for both sides during the entire campaign were 57,225.
Here is Lincoln’s speech.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This is a great National Review article by Jay Cost. We tend to forget it took a real revolution to create America. Our form of government is really radical.
It is important to remember that as some days it is easy to give up hope. Our founders gave their lives to create this for us. It is a precious jewel to be treasured.
“The first is the notion that civil liberty must be nearly absolute. The First Amendment guarantees the right to speak, to assemble, and to worship — with no caveats whatsoever. The Second Amendment empowers the people to arm themselves, as an alternative to standing armies, which had historically been tools of oppression. The remaining amendments in the Bill of Rights keep the government from abusing the rights of privacy, ensure fair and humane treatment in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, and underscore the limitations of federal authority.
“The second idea is a radically republican conception of the state. “Republicanism” had long been around as a governing ideal — the notion being that government should serve the citizenry and, in some respect, reflect its views. Political philosophers had usually reckoned that the best way to accomplish this task was to blend different forms — like democracy and aristocracy — to keep the defects of any one system from undermining the whole regime. In the 1700s, European theorists such as Montesquieu and David Hume had judged the British Constitution to be the greatest realization of this idea, for it “balanced” the Commons against the House of Lords and the Crown.
“The delegates to the Constitutional Convention would have none of this. Their system of government was founded solely upon the people — with no self-appointed or hereditary authority. And we see their radicalism in the fact that they affirmed this commitment in 1787, when popular government in the United States seemed to have been foundering for many years. The national government was impotent during the 1780s, and the state governments were often no different than mob rule. But instead of seeking reconciliation with George III, or some reinstatement of mixed estates, the delegates to the Convention, as Madison put it, chartered a government that addressed the “inconveniencies of democracy” while remaining “consistent with the democratic form of government.”
Paul C. Binotto at The Federalist makes some excellent points about anti-catholic and anti-religious bias by some in government.
Article Six of our Constitution states “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”
Was the British Empire a good or bad thing for the world? To put it another way, is freedom a good or bad thing for the world? Historian and author H.W. Crocker III explains why we may want to rethink the British Empire’s bad rap.
Script: Over the last 400 years, what power has done the most to spread the ideals of limited government, an independent judiciary, certain inalienable rights, and free markets? That power would be the British Empire.
It was Britain that gave these ideals to the United States. It was the British Empire, the largest empire the world has ever known, which made these ideals global aspirations. It was the British Empire, along with America, that defended these ideals in two colossal world wars. Freedom was an Englishman’s right—and wherever he went, he took that right with him. Whether he was an English colonist in America, governing himself through a locally-elected assembly; or an English adventurer, like Sir Stamford Raffles, creating the free-market city-state of Singapore; or an English officer, like T.E. Lawrence, leading Arab tribesmen against the Turks, the British always thought of themselves as liberators, as bringers of freedom.
The British believed the final and necessary justification of their empire was a moral one. The British kept the peace; they brought sound, honest administration; and they insisted that basic moral standards were honored. The British did not try to nation-build in the way we think of it now. They were under no illusions about making Arabs or Afghans or Zulus into Englishmen.
They were more than content to leave people alone, to let them be themselves, to govern them with the lightest possible hand. In American history, we remember this when we think of the British Empire’s so-called “benign neglect.” We can see it throughout the history of the British Empire. Think about the vast territory of the Sudan—it was governed by 140 British civil-servants. Even Gandhi praised the British Empire, paraphrasing Jefferson, saying that he believed that the best government was the government that governed least, and that he found that the British Empire guaranteed his freedom and governed him least of all. In the defense of freedom, the empire drew moral lines.
No power did more to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the modern world than did the British Empire. The British treasury spent enormous sums to liberate slaves and compensate slave-owners in the Caribbean. The Royal Navy had, as a primary duty, the eradication of the slave-trade—and, in fact, abolishing the slave trade become a major factor driving the expansion of the British Empire. The British enforced a Pax Britannica, putting down pirates, taming headhunters, and keeping the peace between previously warring tribes and religions. While respecting—and often ruling through—local leaders, the British still insisted on certain Judeo-Christian moral standards. They were not, in that respect, multiculturalists.
They had a firm sense of right and wrong. When Sir Charles Napier was confronted by the practice of suttee – widow-burning – in India, he told the Brahmin priests involved that he understood it was their custom. But the British had a custom, too: They hanged men who burned women alive, and their goods were confiscated. So, if the Brahmins insisted on continuing their tradition of widow-burning, then he would insist on following his British tradition of hanging the murderers of widows. Widow-burning in India soon ceased. For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/courses/histo…
Freedom doesn’t come with out some costs. For many, that has been paid by their life. Our freedom was first secured by men who were willing to die for it.
Freedom is a precious asset of our country.
What am I willing to do to support freedom? Perhaps loose a few friends. Perhaps offend a few people. Perhaps suffer a few trolls on Twitter. I somehow doubt I will have to die for it.
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine
At a Univision Town Hall in March 2011, President Obama clearly said that he could not suspend deportations through executive order because we are a nation of laws.
He said something similar over 20 times. He was right. He then did it any way.
Just a reminder.
Congress should make the laws. The President should faithfully execute them.
Since 1993, Jack Phillips has created custom cakes at his bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Colorado. Jack uses his creativity and artistic talent to create edible works of art that help celebrate the most special occasions. Jack serves LGBT customers. Jack doesn’t believe in same sex marriages and doesn’t want to participate in the ceremony.
Jack is going to the Supreme Court to have his case heard.
To learn more about his case, visit www.adflegal.org/faithandjustice
More from the Alliance Defending Freedom Continue reading
This says it all. Of course, MLK knew that it is Jesus that sets us free. How great is it that we live in a country where our founders valued freedom.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. Continue reading
“During the Obama years, the National Security Agency intentionally and routinely intercepted and reviewed communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution and of court-ordered guidelines implemented pursuant to federal law. The unlawful surveillance appears to have been a massive abuse of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection authority, carried out for the purpose of monitoring the communications of Americans in the United States.”
So how do most Americans react?
We yawn. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
Why aren’t more people upset? What happened to needing a search warrant?
Even more important, what happened to Presidents who actually care about our Constitution. We require that an oath be taken “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Jesus challenges us. He says let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. I don’t think he is impressed. This isn’t the way of his government.
“While aware that it was going on for an extensive period of time, the administration failed to disclose its unlawful surveillance of Americans until late October 2016, when the administration was winding down and the NSA needed to meet a court deadline in order to renew various surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).”
Alan M. Dershowitz raises a great question. Of course, Alan is a true liberal but he is honest to the core about our constitution. I always pay close attention to his thoughts.
So … who will guard the guardians?
President Trump has accused former FBI director James Comey of illegality in leaking memos that may have contained classified information. If it is true that the leaked Comey memos – laundered through a law professor in an effort to pressure Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into appointing a special counsel – contained classified information, who will investigate Comey? Surely the Special Counsel, Comey’s friend who he helped get appointed, could not conduct a credible investigation. Nor could Rod Rosenstein, who made the appointment. Will yet another special counsel have to be appointed to conduct an investigation of Comey’s leaking?
Our constitution is a marvelous document and a tremendous governmental framework. Combine that with the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and you have a true trifecta.
We seem to keep wandering down the path of executive authority. Congress and the Supreme Court should keep our presidents in check by using their constitutional authority.
That said, the president has the authority, under the constitution, to fire the FBI director.
The president doesn’t have the authority to approve treaties or start wars, just to name a few “no – no”s.
“Trump has an authoritarian impulse,” Ian Bremmer tweeted after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, “But incompetence is a better explanation of his administration’s challenges to date.”
It used to be our culture in the United States that we are all equal. We believed it. We fought for it. It was important to us.
We seem to be moving to a new standard and are encouraging a nation of victims.
I believe in freedom, liberty and equality. I refuse to be a victim.
“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.” ~Thomas Sowell
Anni Cyrus explains Sharia and its impact on American life style.
Why? Because you wanted to know what Islamism means to you and your way of life.
Jesus came to set us free and that freedom is guaranteed us in the United States Constitution. Jesus is the only way to God.
This is sad. Steve Tennes isn’t a bigot and doesn’t discriminate against others. He does hold traditional views of the Catholic Church. In our country, that is his right. He has been given that right by God. It is enshrined in our Constitution.
But, East Lansing is so intolerant of Steve Tennes’s viewpoint that it monitors Steve’s Facebook posts and punishes Steve for what he does outside of East Lansing. That isn’t right.
We must all stand up for his rights. If we don’t, we may loose ours.
Imagine the following bizarre conversation after a New York City police officer pulled someone over on the way to Newark Airport.
Officer: Is that a 32-ounce soft drink?
Man: Yes, officer.
Officer: Well, I’m going to have to ticket you for that. New York City recently banned consumption of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Man: I’m sorry, officer. I didn’t know about that law. But we’re currently in New Jersey now, and I bought the drink in New Jersey after leaving New York. So I’m confused.
Officer: Doesn’t matter. As part of the law, New York banned anyone from doing business in the city if he or she drinks soft drinks larger than 16 ounces anywhere.
Man: Wow. The city must seriously dislike soft drinks. Okay, but one more question, if you don’t mind. How did you even know to pull me over for the drink after my business trip?
Officer: Well, the city monitors social media, so when you posted a picture of the soft drink, it flagged city officials. In fact, posting the drink is a separate violation of the law, so I’m going to have to ticket you for two violations. Here you go. Have a nice day.
This conversation is too bizarre to be real. In fact, it’s fictional. Unfortunately, for a guy named Steve Tennes, the story is all too real. It just involves a different city and a different topic — the topic of same-sex marriage, a cultural context in which the bizarre becomes reality.
In order to enter kindergarten in the Needville, Texas, schools, Adriel Arocha, the son of Kenney Arocha and Michelle Bettenbaugh, was told he’d have to cut his hair.
The school had general grooming policies, including that “[b]oys’ hair shall not cover any part of the ear or touch the top of the standard collar in back.”
The policy’s stated design is “to teach hygiene, instill discipline, prevent disruption, avoid safety hazards, and assert authority.”
The parents applied for an exemption but because their religious practices were handed down orally, they couldn’t provide the necessary written documentation of their religious practice.
The boy and his parents won their case that the school district had violated Texas’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act. One interesting thing to note about this case is that it occurred back when the ACLU vocally supported RFRAs.
Great news for the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional, siding with a rock band whose name had been deemed racially disparaging by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
We know that there is truth. That truth is self-evident.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” ~~Thomas Jefferson
We need some bold ideas. This one probably won’t happen but it would help “drain the swamp”.
President Trump has tweeted that Senate rules for budget bills should be changed. There’s little chance that will happen. But why settle for little changes when we need big-league change? We need to stop playing the game as it has always been played. If we’re to get this country back on track, we need to change the rules of the game.
As a reminder: the Seventeenth Amendment allows for the direct election of U.S. senators. Previously, state legislators selected senators. The framers of our Constitution believed this process would make senators less tempted by the whims of voters and more concerned with the long-term interests of their states. Less concerned with the trending topic of the moment, these senators would brake the excesses of government expansion.
Donald Trump is not the only authoritarian leaning president we have had. We have had two in a row.
The constitution is important for all political parties to honor, respect and defend.
Trump has an authoritarian impulse,” Ian Bremmer tweeted after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, “But incompetence is a better explanation of his administration’s challenges to date.
Thomas Sowell is a great thinker, scholar and defender of our glorious constitution. I will miss his articles but fortunately, he leaves behind a great legacy of writing.
Most appreciated is his commitment to knowing the facts and research. It seems many have lost the will to do the hard work.
Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country — even if it was impossible to answer them all.
Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful. With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).
Why is our religious freedom important and we need state laws to protect us? It is not all about Christians.
Sikh federal employee Kawal TagoreAfter being baptized in the Sikh faith, Kawal Tagore began carrying a kirpan, “an emblem resembling a small knife with a blunt, curved blade” that reminds Sikhs of their commitment to justice. It’s one of five articles of faith baptized Sikhs are supposed to carry.
She was told to go home from her job with the IRS in a federal building in Houston and told not to return. The building allowed scissors, knives, box cutters and other items with far sharper blades than her kirpan, but they wouldn’t let her carry her religiously required emblem. After working from home for nine months, she was fired.
She sought protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and on November 4, 2014, the government agreed to settle the case.
Much of our challenges right now, in America, are not our elected officials. The normal constitutional process and the necessary gridlock are working.
It is hard to get legislation passed, signed and upheld in court. It should be, that is the way it was designed.
What was unanticipated is executive and administrative “law”. One administration “orders” it. The next “un-orders” it, if they can.
We need to reign it in. We, the people, need to take control and force order back into the system.
Whether they realize it or not, Americans are subject to the soft despotism of administrative law.
This is absurd. We need to teach students the importance of the U. S. constitution.
As the Wall Street Journal recently reported:
The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates about attitudes towards free speech on campus. Some 800 students at a variety of colleges across the country were surveyed.
The results, though not surprising, are nevertheless alarming. By a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, students favor their school having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.
Sixty-three percent favor requiring professors to employ ‘trigger warnings’ to alert students to material that might be discomfiting.
One-third of the students polled could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech.
Thirty-five percent said that the First Amendment does not protect ‘hate speech,’ while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated.
The Johnson Amendment is outrageous. I can imagine Jesus refusing to not speak out. In fact, he frequently did.
In 1954, Sen. Lyndon Johnson, worried about opposition at home, came up with an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) that prohibited campaign speech by nonprofits and tax-exempt churches.
The effect of the Johnson Amendment is prohibit speech solely on the content of the speech.
Trump is correct to get rid of this.
I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.” ~Donald Trump
Veterans Day is a time to thank those who have served their country through military service.
Here’s a look at some of the best thoughts on Veterans Day, patriotism and courage:
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —John F. Kennedy
“On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” – Douglas MacArthur
“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” – President Barack Obama
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” —Maya Angelou
“The young patriots now returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan and other deployments worldwide are joining the ranks of veterans to whom America owes an immense debt of gratitude.” – Steve Buyer
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” —Elmer Davis
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill
“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place—police, firefighters, and members of our armed forces.” —Sidney Sheldon
“I believe it is the nature of people to be heroes, given the chance.” – James A. Autry
“Our veterans accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our values when duty called.” – Bill Shuster
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” – George Washington
“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan
“This year’s Veterans Day celebration is especially significant as our country remains committed to fighting the War on Terror and as brave men and women are heroically defending our homeland.” – John Doolittle
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. “ —Joseph Campbell
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” —Patrick Henry
“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.” — Michel de Montaigne
“While we can never truly repay the debt we owe our heroes, the least we should do for our brave veterans is to ensure that the government takes a proactive approach to delivering the services and benefits they have earned, so they can access the care they need and so richly deserve.” – Kristen Gillibrand
“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Authoritarianism, whether from the liberal or conservative side of things, is repugnant. We should be vigilant in recognizing it’s crafty nature of wanting to control life in America.
There is a huge difference in authority and authoritarianism. Authority is ordained by God. God is in control. Men and women who crave power are prone to authoritarianism and we should be cautious around them.
As our current election highlights, it is not just a left or right approach. When anyone wants a way of governing that values order and control over personal freedom we should listen and act with caution. I haven’t heard any of our current candidates talk about freedom, liberty and our constitution at all.
Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism’s determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 16 states’ attorneys general and those of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science.
Four core tenets of progressivism are: First, history has a destination. Second, progressives uniquely discern it. (Barack Obama frequently declares things to be on or opposed to “the right side of history.”) Third, politics should be democratic but peripheral to governance, which is the responsibility of experts scientifically administering the regulatory state. Fourth, enlightened progressives should enforce limits on speech (witness IRS suppression of conservative advocacy groups) in order to prevent thinking unhelpful to history’s progressive unfolding.
The Dark Art of Political Intimidation — By Kimberly Strassel
This is the United States of America. You are totally free to express your political views. No one is going to tell you what you can say or how you can say it, right? But what if you thought you’d be audited by the IRS or have your business boycotted or even lose your job? Would you speak freely then?
“Let’s face it: sometimes history seems irrelevant. We’re living in a modern technological wonderland of smart phones, Direct TV on airplanes, and online shopping. Yet what makes history both relevant and intriguing is the humanity behind it: the universal qualities and daily life applications that we can discover in the past.
“So it is with the behind-the-scenes story of drafting the U.S. Constitution in 1787, which we mark every year on September 17 as Constitution Day. If we look back, we find that James Madison’s problem-solving skills are as applicable and useful today as they were back then.”
Are we witnessing the end of one or both of our dominant political parties. Hard to tell but the rise of a socialist and populist may be telling to us all.
It will surely take a while for it to completely play out. Maybe it is much ado about nothing or maybe it is not.
What would come after the Republican Party? Conservative? Federalist?
The end of one political party and the creation of another may seem inconceivable to some readers. The current duopoly has governed the United States since the Civil War. They feel like a permanent part of the fabric of our national life.
But political parties are simply vehicles, means to a larger end. Political parties exist to mediate between citizens and their government; articulate (and moderate) agendas and grievances; and broker compromises among political coalitions.
When parties stop performing these functions—as both parties have—they have outlived their usefulness. Citizens should have no qualms about changing them out for newer, sharper tools designed for a new age. The Republican Party itself began in 1854 as the “third” party when the Whig Party collapsed over the issue of slavery and its expansion. One hundred and sixty-two years is not a bad run.
We are losing our sense of history. There are rays of hope but not enough.
Our culture is built on our history. How our country came into existence is important.
As a political philosophy nerd, I was delightfully surprised that Broadway merged pop culture and American history to create the musical “Hamilton,” and even more surprised that it actually appealed to my generation in spite of our notorious underappreciation of America’s founding history.
Yet the death of Justice Antonin Scalia revealed a startling disconnect: millennials flocked to social media celebrating the Grammy win of a show about the foremost proponent of the Constitution’s ratification, while simultaneously rejoicing in the untimely loss of a strong adherent to the ideals for which Alexander Hamilton fought.
Our country is founded on the principles that God has given us.
Proverbs 14:34 The Message (MSG)
God-devotion makes a country strong;
God-avoidance leaves people weak.
Our founding fathers knew that it is God who gives unalienable rights. It isn’t government or politicians.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
In the wake of Orlando, some politicians finally have found a way to begin stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
First, they’ll strip them of their Fifth Amendment rights. The Fifth Amendment declares that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.”
No one should be barred from purchasing a gun without a legal process that justifies their being stripped of the right to do so.
We live in an amazing country, founded by men and women who were willing to sacrifice so much for us. And it has continued on throughout our history until today.
There is a price for liberty.
May we remember that today and every day.
These heroes are dead. They died for liberty – they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest.
Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead. ~Robert G. Ingersoll
This is stunning. Breitbart “State Rep. Barbara Norton (D) led the charge against HB 1035, a measure that would require local school boards of education to have students in grades four to six recite a specified section of the Declaration of Independence after the current daily period of silent prayer or meditation and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill, introduced by state Rep. Valarie Hodges (R), would require students in the specified grades to recite the following passage:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
So what did Martin Luther King have to say?
When the architects of our great Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note which every American was to fall heir…” He said this would guarantee freedom for the rest of our posterity.
How about Frederick Douglas?
The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions and in all places…
This is stunningly brilliant and borderline evil in a country built on the constitution. In essence, I can violate the law without any worry of judgement because I appoint the judges.
Obama not only seeks to break the laws of the land, to make his own laws and then to demand that everyone abide by them, but he also wants a double standard in which these unique powers that he has claimed will be exclusive to his political movement. That goes beyond putting party ahead of country. It is the wholesale replacement of country with party and party with totalitarian ideology.
When he fought conservative judges based purely on ideology, Obama put party ahead of country. His judicial nominees were unqualified radicals who were manifestly hostile to the Constitution and put party ahead of country on the Supreme Court. Now Obama pleads with Republicans to put country ahead of party even while he schemes to once again find a way to put party ahead of country.
The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution set out the principles and framework of a God-centered approach to government. Our founders truly believed that God entitles us to this. God ordained it.
Our country is founded this truth being “self-evident”. Is it really self evident today? Do most of our citizens know this and believe it? Probably not and that is sad. We who do must work to make that clear.
Our country is founded on the truth that we are created equal by God. God gives us certain rights that are “unalienable”. They can’t be taken away from us.
What are those rights?
What do we have a government for? To secure those rights for us. That is not only the main thing that is the thing.
We give the government the power to do that. It isn’t the other way around.
We must know what the documents say and mean.
We must care that they are faithfully followed.
No Constitution can protect a people that does not know or care about what it says.
Source: Sultan Knish: Youmerica
The FBI tells us that its demand for a back door into the iPhone is all about fighting terrorism, and that it is essential to break in just this one time to find out more about the San Bernardino attack last December.
Is it essential? Will it end there? Probably not.
Ron Paul is right. Our constitution guarantees us our right to privacy.
The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of “establishment,” an epithet now descending into meaninglessness.
What does it mean? It is hard to tell. Is it really important if you are “pro establishment”, “establishment” or “anti establishment”?
You can be the “establishment” and conservative. Does the one really matter in that case?
Many times we like to react to things we haven’t read or understand. Someone says it is true and we believe it. We are hearing this with the Georgia “Religious Freedom” bill that recently passed.
Here is an overview of and some initial thoughts on the bill (you can read the actual bill here):
So, what’s the bottom line?
Here are some questions to think about:
Would you require Christian pastors, Jewish rabbis or Muslim clerics to perform weddings to which they object? Would you require a Muslim cleric to marry a Christian and Jew?
Would you force churches, synagogues, or mosques to let others use their private property for weddings and other events to which they object?
Would you force an individual to attend a wedding or other religious ceremony to which he or she objects?
Would you require a religious school to hire or retain a person whose personal religious beliefs clash with that of the school?
And so on. After all, the opposite of giving people freedom not to do these things is requiring them to do so. The entire debate has been about how to protect one person while not trampling on another person’s rights. That is a careful balance to strike, a difficult one to strike, but it is the proper role of the legislature, rather than courts, to strike that balance.
We live in a republic, not a democracy. That is the way our founding fathers wanted it and that is what is laid out in our constitution. There are many examples of where this is true.
Trump forces are also ignoring the fact they often benefit from primary rules that could be mischaracterized as “disenfranching” voters. Take South Carolina, where Trump won only 32 percent of the vote but, because he won each of the state’s congressional districts in a divided field, he won all 50 delegates. Two-thirds of the voters cast ballots for candidates who won zero delegates, which by Trumpian logic means they that they were “disenfranchised.”
The Republican party has held 39 national conventions since its first in 1856. At each and every one, a majority of delegates was needed for someone to get the nomination. Abraham Lincoln won on the third ballot in 1860, even though rival William Seward captured a plurality, 41.5 percent, of the delegates on the first ballot. The reason only trivia geeks remember John Sherman, Leonard Wood, or Frank Lowden is that while those men entered their GOP conventions with a clear plurality of delegates, they fell short of a majority, and lost to another candidate on a later ballot.
Following President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit to fill the vacancy left by sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, there has been an intense clamor from the left for the Senate to “do your job!”
By this, they mean that the Senate has a constitutional obligation to give Garland a hearing and an up-or-down vote, which Senate Republicans have announced they are not going to do. But is the Senate obligated under the Constitution to do so?
The answer is clearly “no.”
The president “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court ….” That’s all Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says about the confirmation process for justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Of course, the constitution doesn’t say the Senate has to give Supreme Court nominees a vote. When it was to Harry Reid’s advantage, that was his position. Now that it isn’t to his advantage, he takes the opposite view.
In 2005, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., also reminded us:
The duties of the Senate are set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say the Senate has a duty to give presidential nominees a vote. It says appointments shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. That is very different than saying every nominee receives a vote.
My oh my how our wonderful world captures and preserves the record. I’m sure we have it on video as well.
Oh, yes, we do have it on video.
Of course, this isn’t what President Barack Obama is saying now.
There are some who believe that the president, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee…that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed. I disagree with this view. ~Senator Barack Obama
The constitution is clear on a nomination to the Supreme Court. The President nominates and the Senate advises and consents. The Senate can advise the President that his choice is unacceptable. Under the rules of the Senate, the Senate leader can make this call.
That is all there is to it. No need to nuance it with the “Biden rule” or anything else. The constitution is all the matters.
Obama is a lame duck who has already done lasting damage to the separation of powers that undergirds our constitutional system. He has already put his stamp on the federal judiciary: Besides two Supreme Court justices, he will have placed well over 300 like-minded, life-tenured appointees on the bench by the time he leaves office. He should not be permitted to further shape the ideological direction of the Supreme Court, especially with several cases on the horizon that challenge Obama policies implemented by unilateral, legally dubious executive action.
Jonah Goldberg has a real way with words. This article is long but worth it to get these kind of gems.
Sadly, it is true that President after President is weakening our republic with executive actions.
We need leadership who can stick to what they believe is best for the constitution. That is what they have sworn to do.
Consider the fact thatObamacare is now simply untethered from law or policy. This week the administration announced that you can get a hardship waiver from Obamacare if your hardship is . . .wait for it . . . Obamacare. This is like getting out of doing push-ups during basic training if you can prove that doing push-ups would be difficult for you, defeating the point of doing push-ups in the first place. The White House is quite simply making it all up as they go along. You can’t really point to a thing that is Obamacare because doing so would be like pointing at the blob in a lava lamp and saying “that looks like Michael Caine eating a badger.” Maybe it looks like that right now. Give it a second.
It is sad that the states need to do this but I guess it needs to be done. Free speech has to be protected. Kudos to Tennessee if they pass it.
Representative Martin Daniel (R-18th District) has filed a bill that would confirm the First Amendment right of students enrolled in Tennessee institutions of higher education.
House Bill 2063, entitled “The Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act,” would require that institutions of higher education adopt a policy on speech and expression that would confirm students’ freedom of speech as a fundamental right, guarantee them the broadest latitude to speak about any issue that presents itself, and allow students to openly and vigorously discuss ideas that other members of the institution’s community might oppose. Furthermore, the Act would prohibit higher education institutions from discouraging any type of lawful speech or expressive activity, establishing speech “safe zones,” or shielding individuals from ideas and opinions that they might find disagreeable, unwelcome or offensive.
In Tennessee, the First Amendment does not stop at the campus gate. This Bill would confirm the nearly forgotten concept of free speech. We can’t allow politically correct policies to smother free speech. Courtesy and sensitivity, while encouraged, can never trump basic constitutional rights. Tennessee higher education should prepare our students for the real world, and encouraging expression of all sorts of viewpoints is essential to that objective.
This is absurd. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.”
This sounds like it is clearly abridging the freedom of speech.
Auburn has free speech zones on campus, and we were protesting that,” Stone said. “We didn’t bother to get a permit, because why would we need a permit to exercise our free speech rights?
George Will takes a deep dive into the Compact for America balanced-budget proposal which, “would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed. The Compact for America is the innovation of the Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, who proposes a constitutional convention carefully called under Article V to enact a balanced-budget amendment written precisely enough to preclude evasion by the political class.
This class has powerful and permanent incentives for deficit spending, which delivers immediate benefits to constituents while deferring a significant portion of the benefits’ costs.
From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement’s brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other state legislatures. It would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed.
The Constitution guarantees us free speech. It is, in an “originalist” sense, very clear. It didn’t say we guarantee free speech unless …
Is hate speech free speech? It is speech.
I think we should err on the side of free speech. Free speech, while potentially offensive, is still our right. You have the right to offend me. As a lover of liberty, I should defend your rights. You should defend mine. That is our obligation as free citizens.
The First Amendment, ratified December 15, 1791, states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In 1969, the Supreme Court protected a Ku Klux Klan member’s racist speech and created the “imminent danger” test to permit hate speech. The court ruled in Brandenburg v. Ohio that; “The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force, or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
In 2011, the Supreme Court issued their ruling on Snyder v. Phelps, which concerned the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest with signs found offensive by many Americans. The issue presented was whether the 1st Amendment protected the expressions written on the signs. In an 8-1 decision the court sided with Phelps, the head of Westboro Baptist Church, thereby confirming their historically strong protection of hate speech, so long as it doesn’t promote imminent violence. The Court explained, “speech deals with matters of public concern when it can ‘be fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community’ or when it ‘is a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.”
So what do I make of this (below)? Not much.
Where will America draw its line in the sand? In some cases this speech never evolves beyond rhetoric, so we tolerate it for the sake of free speech, but increasingly the threat of violence looms just past the propaganda. We shake our heads at Ammon Bundy, many quick to make light of a dangerous situation so long as it doesn’t spill over into a deadly one. But in doing so, we are implicitly condoning the segregation of certain groups within the country and allowing influential figures to paint targets on groups that ideologically stand in their way. Then, when our televisions and newspapers are plastered with events like the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado (in which the gunman allegedly said “no more baby parts,” a reference to the debunked narrative that the organization was selling baby parts for profit), we need to look in the mirror and ask: at what point must we step in to prevent the needless deaths of innocent citizens?
As of 2010, 151 people have been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Twenty-nine nominees (including one nominated for promotion) have been unsuccessful on at least the first try. Of those 29:
Source: National Review
Peace through strength is something all of our great leaders have known. Our enemies may be reluctant to attack if that is the case. If they do, we are ready.
To preserve our freedom and liberty, we must be ready.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
Antonin Scalia will be remembered for much. Much will be written.
Today there is probably not much I can add to that.
His words speak volumes. And volumes he has written.
Here are a couple of my favorites.
God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools … and he has not been disappointed. ~Antonin Scalia
At his core, besides being a constitutional originalist, he was a man of deep faith. Combine those two and you have a legacy.
If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world. ~Antonin Scalia
We have been promised liberty. Where is it in the age of big government?
We should beware Republican and Democrats who both want to control us. Our founders promised us liberty. Our constitution promises what isn’t in the constitution for the federal government, is up to the states. If not to the states then to us, the people.
What ever happened to the right to be left alone? Where is a candidate who will defend it? What are lovers of liberty to do?
I don’t see where in our constitution it gives the Federal government the right to own land.
The tenth amendment does say that “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.”
Reagan did bring about a revolution of looking at the constitution and defending it. The battle continues on today.
Ronald Reagan was campaigning in Utah in 1980 when he offered an unusual pitch to the state’s voters: “Count me in as a rebel.”
A weird argument for a candidate for the presidency, but in that place at that time, it was good politics. Utah was one of six states at that point that had passed legislation aimed at nullifying federal ownership of land within the state’s boundaries. As we noted Monday, while explaining the takeover of a federal building by armed activists in Oregon, large percentages of land in the West are still owned by the federal government, including more than half of Utah.
There is nothing like liberty. It is the foundation of our country. It is, however, under attack.
Liberty is “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” (Google definition)
Progressives and many Republicans want to control us and regulate our life.
Liberty can grow. Our liberty and freedom comes from God. As the Apostle Paul says “But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.” Romans 7:4-6
We need to encourage a culture of liberty and freedom. It can grow if we focus on it. The first course of action is get it to take root.
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
There is a lot of focus on the legal aspects of the abortion issue. It is necessary to do so.
We must recognize that at its core, it is a matter of the heart and a moral issue first.
We must win the moral argument. We must resist the temptation to focus exclusively on the legal.
We must protect the lives of children. To not do so makes us sick in our souls and we will be held accountable for that. There will be a day of judgement.
Our country was founded on the principle of the sacredness of life. Our creator endowed us with the right and responsibility to protect life.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So it is a simple question if you believe life does not begin at conception and should be protected.
In one week during January 1973, President Richard M. Nixon was inaugurated to his second term, former President Lyndon B. Johnson died, the United States and North Vietnam entered into the Paris Peace Accords, and the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Only the last of these events continues to affect and haunt the moral and constitutional order every minute of every day.
The Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade is arguably its most controversial in the post-World War II era. Its effect has been as pernicious to human life as was its 19th century intellectual progenitor, Dred Scott vs. Sanford, in which the Supreme Court ruled that African-Americans are not persons.
No amount of gun laws or do-goodery is going to keep guns out of the hands of evil people. But those laws can keep guns out of the hands of careful, safe, law-abiding citizens who just want to protect themselves and their families.
And that should be a crime.
Regardless, we have a constitutional right. We must protect it regardless.
There’s sadly no excuse to be ignorant about firearms. They’ve been around for hundreds of years. They’re owned and operated safely by tens of millions of Americans each year. Our Constitution guarantees our individual right to possess guns so that we might be able to defend ourselves from those who would violently take away our freedom. Many gun controllers, however — some of whom have bylines for major media organizations — don’t actually know the first thing about firearms.
I have always believed that Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in this country. I think most people believe that. We have bought into the propaganda that it was all back alleys with coat hangers. As was consistent with our constitution, the individual states were making the laws. Roe v. Wade did not legalize abortion. It did prevent the states from deciding it for themselves.
Of course, the Supreme Court decided to ignore the 10th Amendment: “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.”
Myth: Before Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal in the United States.
Reality: In 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, there were 586,760 reported legal abortions in the United States. After July 1970, New York hospitals performed legal elective abortions up to the end of the second trimester for both residents and non-residents. Elective abortion up to the 20th week of gestation was also legally available in Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington State. And thanks to a series of court decisions, California had a policy that, in practice, allowed for elective abortion for most women after the fall of 1972. Thirteen other states allowed for abortion in cases of rape and incest or for health reasons. Before Roe v. Wade, any woman who could find a way to get to New York and pay for a hospital abortion could legally terminate her pregnancy. Roe did not create legal abortion in the United States.
Shocking and completely expected. Source: The Federalist
Of course, no bias here. Lauren Reeder, a Harris County prosecutor, has been a board member for Planned Parenthood since 2013 and a fundraiser since 2009.
I’m curious about what has happened to “Freedom of Speech”? Will the journalistic community rally to Daleiden’s support?
We must stand for life. We must stand for Freedom of Speech. We must stand whether we agree or not. Continue reading
Here are some reasons I have no obligation at this point to support Donald Trump.
Jonah Goldberg nails it. Continue reading
In Article II; Section 3, the U. S. Constitution says that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.”
On four separate occasions, President Obama swore that he would “faithfully execute the Office of President.” Yesterday, the Supreme Court told him to prove it. As expected, the justices voted to review Texas’s challenge to Obama’s executive action on immigration, known as DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). Critically, the Court ordered the Obama administration to answer a pivotal question: Whether DAPA “violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution.” In 225 years, the Supreme Court has never had occasion to ask the president whether he has reneged on his oath to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. However, with pens-and-phones replacing checks-and-balances, the Supreme Court is now poised to break new constitutional ground in order to preserve our embattled separation of powers.
I am dismayed. I am a constitutional conservative (not a “Tea Partier”). I believe I’ve looked fairly at Mr. Trump’s positions. Historically, he seems to be more of a progressive than a conservative. He is clearly running as populist more than anything. That is just my opinion. Some share it, many do not.
Palin’s endorsement of Trump (and it sounds like Jerry Falwell Jr. will follow suit) confirms what many conservative pundits and political scientists have been highlighting the past several weeks: The GOP grassroots are not nearly as conservative as was thought. They, like Palin, were sick of big government on an instinctual level, not a philosophical one.
This was a bad day for Ted Cruz. He got hit hard when the popular Republican governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, said he supported anyone but Cruz. Now Palin has given Tea Partiers and evangelicals the cover they need to support a heterodox Trump. To top it all off, Cruz was campaigning in New Hampshire today because he was confident of his standing in Iowa.
This is very troubling. Our constitution and laws are clear. Senator Rubio’s support is concerning. I’ve not heard him speak about this. In search Google News, George Will is the only one who has highlighted it.
Wielding irrelevant laws, spurious social science and financial coercion, the Obama administration is pressuring colleges and universities to traduce standards of due process when dealing with students accused of sexual assault. Claiming that a 1972 law prohibiting sex discrimination in education somehow empowers the government to dictate institutions’ disciplinary procedures, the administration is dictating that a mere “preponderance of the evidence,” rather than “clear and convincing” evidence, be used in determining a life-shattering verdict of guilt.
Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson — a lawyer and an academic, neither Republicans — write that the administration justifies this by citing a single “resoundingly discredited” study purporting to prove an epidemic (involving one in five women) of campus sexual assaults. The administration opposes allowing accused students to cross-examine their accusers, and favors a form of double jeopardy — allowing accusers to appeal not-guilty findings.
Rubio is one of 12 Republican senators collaborating with the administration by co-sponsoring legislation that would codify requiring improvised campus disciplinary proceedings to supplant law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Proposed by Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the legislation is, as Taylor and Johnson say, “designed to advance the administration’s agenda.
The legislation’s language radiates prejudgment: By repeatedly referring to accusers as “victims,” it presumes the guilt of the accused. Taylor and Johnson write:
“America’s universities are in the grip of a dangerous presume-guilt-and-rush-to-judgment culture. … An entire generation of college students is learning to disregard due process and the dispassionate evaluation of evidence. And dozens of clearly or at least probably innocent students, whose cases we will detail in a book we are now writing, have been branded sex criminals, been railroaded out of their universities, and seen their hopes and dreams ruined.
By co-sponsoring S-590, Rubio is helping the administration sacrifice a core constitutional value, due process, in order to advance progressives’ cultural aggression. The next Republican president should be someone committed to promptly stopping this disgrace, not someone who would sign S-590’s affirmation of it.
The Constitution provides the states to convene to propose amendments to the United States Constitution. It has never been done before. It would be a novel way to try to gain some sanity to what our founding fathers had in mind.
But then, I am constantly amazed by unintended consequences that can surprise us. It happens all the time.
It is worth considering since our founders thought it made sense. Maybe it is time to give a try. It could be better than our un-elected Supreme Court that seems to think creating laws is their job. It is not their job.
In recent years, a small but growing number of people have advocated a convention of states to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The reaction to the proposal has been hostile, out of all proportion to either the originality or the danger of such a convention.
The political left has been especially vehement in its denunciations of what they call “messing with the Constitution.” A recent proposal by Governor Greg Abbott of Texas to hold a Constitutional convention of states has been denounced by the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union and nationally by an editorial in the liberal “USA Today.”
Shariah blasphemy doctrine matters to free societies because of followers who seek to impose that doctrine in civilized countries and the United States of America. It stands in direct contradiction with our Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The United States and its allies are accustomed to confronting external threats. Democracies are generally uncomfortable about facing internal threats. The Muslim Brotherhood and others are exploiting our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms to demand tolerance of its medieval religious practices and to repress free speech where it gives offense to them. In this sense, they are effectively imposing shariah blasphemy laws in America, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
Shariah is fundamentally about power – the enforcement of a body of law, not faith. Therefore it is a political force, not a religious one. In the words of Muslim Brotherhood theoretician Sayyid Qutb, “Whenever an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the Divinely-ordained system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and control the political authority so that it may establish the divine system on earth…”
Seizing assets without permission is theft. It is even worse when the government we elect to protect our rights does it. We can’t allow our government to violate our rights this way. The Fifth amendment clearly states that we will not” be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil-asset forfeiture—usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime—exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars.
One of the most important differences between the Left and the Right is how each regards the role and the size of the government.
The Left believes that the state should be the most powerful force in society. Among many other things, the government should be in control of educating every child; should provide all health care; and should regulate often to the minutest detail how businesses conduct their business — in Germany, for instance, the government legislates the time of day stores have to close. In short, there should ideally be no power that competes with Government. Not parents, not businesses, not private schools, not religious institutions; not even the individual human conscience.
Conservatives, on the other hand, believe the government’s role in society should be limited to absolute necessities such as national defense and to being the resource of last resort to help citizens who cannot be helped by family, by community, or by religious and secular charities.
Conservatives understand that as governments grow in size and power, the following will inevitably happen:
1. There will be ever-increasing amounts of corruption. Power and money breed corruption. People in government will sell government influence for personal and political gain. And people outside government will seek to buy influence and favors. In Africa and Latin America, government corruption has been the single biggest factor holding nations back from progressing.
2. Individual liberty will decline. With a few exceptions such as an unrestricted right to abortion, individual liberty is less important to the Left than to the Right. This is neither an opinion nor a criticism. It is simple logic. The more control the government has over people’s lives, the less liberty people have.
3. Countries with ever expanding governments will either reduce the size of their government or eventually collapse economically. Every welfare state ultimately becomes a Ponzi Scheme, relying on new payers to pay previous payers; and when it runs out of the new payers, the scheme collapses. All the welfare states of the world, including wealthy European countries, are already experiencing this problem to varying degrees.
4. In order to pay for an ever-expanding government, taxes are constantly increased. But at a given level of taxation, the society’s wealth producers will either stop working, work less, hire fewer people, or move their business out of the state or out of the country.
5. Big government produces big deficits and ever increasing — and ultimately unsustainable — debt. This, too, is only logical. The more money the state hands out, the more money people will demand from the state. No recipient of free money has ever said, “Thank you. I have enough.”
Unless big governments get smaller, they will all eventually collapse under their own weight — with terrible consequences socially as well as economically.
6. The bigger the government, the greater the opportunities for doing great evil. The twentieth century was the most murderous century in recorded history. And who did all this killing? Big governments. Evil individuals without power can do only so much harm. But when evil individuals take control of a big government, the amount of harm they can do is essentially unlimited. The Right fears Big Government. The Left fears Big Business. But Coca-Cola can’t break into your house or confiscate your wealth — only Big Government can do that. As irresponsible as any Big Business has ever been, it is only Big Government that can build concentration camps and commit genocide.
7. Big government eats away at the moral character of a nation. People no longer take care of other people. After all, they know the government will do that. That’s why Americans give far more of their money and volunteer far more of their time to charity than do Europeans at the same economic level.
Without the belief in an ever-expanding government, there is no left. Without a belief in limited government, there is no right.
Sen. Rand Paul at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, March 7, 2014. You may not agree with him but he does make some stunning points.
Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty.
On electing Republicans:
You may think I’m talking about electing Republicans, I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.
On Democrats vs. Republicans:
It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great, great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not for the Republican Party, but for the future of the entire country.
On the NSA spying:
Some things are worth fighting for. When I discovered the NSA spying is collecting every American’s record, I took a stand. I sued the president.
Amen to this:
It is decidedly not a time for the faint of heart. It’s a time for boldness, [for] action. Stand with me, let us stand together for liberty.
What would the sons of liberty do?
We will not trade our liberty for security. Not now, not ever.
What about Barack?
How will history remember Barack Obama? To those who had hoped President Obama would somehow be a champion of civil liberties, [Pink Floyd’s] Roger Waters might ask: ‘Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Did they get you to exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage’?
Justice cannot occur without a trial. That fact should be abundantly clear to any group that has ever been persecuted. You can be a minority by the color of your skin or the shade of your ideology. Anyone who has ever paddled upstream, anyone who has ever been [in the] minority of thought or religion, anyone who has ever taught their children at home or sought to pray to God without permission should be alarmed that any government might presume to imprison without trial.
Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs the constitutional requirements of probable cause against how today’s intelligence community operates.
The fourth amendment to our constitution says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”
The constitutional requirement of probable cause is not political fancy; rather, it saves us from tyranny…
At the dawn of the Republic, James Madison famously warned against the “violence of faction,” and asserted that our Constitution—his Constitution—would cure its ills. “If a faction consists of less than a majority,” he asserted in Federalist 10, “relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.”
It was a nice try. But history, unfortunately, has proven Madison wrong. The recently passed “omnibus” spending and tax bills show us how.
Factions—today we call them special interests—routinely have their way, obtaining lucrative privileges for themselves while foisting the costs onto others. When policy makers indulge factions with special privileges, they waste resources and misdirect entrepreneurial talent; they stymie economic growth and arrest creative destruction. Selective favoritism isn’t only economically costly. It’s culturally costly, undermining the legitimacy of both markets and government.
This is all maddening. The budget process is supposed work on a basis known as regular order. How can you pass an all encompassing $1.1 trillion budget with no opportunity to amend it?
The annual appropriations process is in a state of collapse. A primary symptom is the decline of “regular order,” the budget procedure for debating and passing individual appropriations bills in each chamber. Today this procedure has been replaced by the passage of huge “omnibus” packages at the end of the session, with little scrutiny and opportunity for amendment.
While both chambers have some responsibility for the breakdown in this key part of federal budgeting, the Senate’s rules and procedures shoulder most of the blame.
It’s time to restore regular order. To do this the Senate would need to take several important steps, including:
We need to take Islamism head on. There is a problem. The problem is belief in Sharia law. The moderate Muslims should clearly renounce Sharia. In America and most of the west, it is dangerous to our constitutionally guaranteed way of living.
Let me be clear. There is only one God. It is not Allah. There is only one way to God and that is Jesus, his Son, The Messiah and our Master.
The Islamic State and radical Islamist Jihadist want to establish the Caliphate and institute Sharia law.
So what is Sharia?
Shariah is a totalitarian ideology that controls all aspects of life. All are forced to submit to Islamic law as defined by theologians. Shariah institutionalizes discrimination against women, deprives people of freedom of expression and association, criminalizes sexual freedom, and incites hatred and violence against people of certain social groups. As manifested in countries officially ruled by Islamic law, shariah condones or commands abhorrent behavior, including underage and forced marriage, “honor killing” (usually of women and girls) to preserve family “honor,” female genital mutilation, polygamy and domestic abuse, and even marital rape.
Here are several examples of the differences. For a more complete list, see here.
Article VI: The Constitution is the supreme law of the land
Constitution: Article VI: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby”
Shariah: “The source of legal rulings for all acts of those who are morally responsible is Allah.” (a1.1, Umdat al-salik or The Reliance of the Traveller, commonly accepted work of Shariah jurisprudence); “There is only one law which ought to be followed, and that is the Sharia.” (Seyed Qutb); “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program.” (Seyed Abul A’ala Maududi)
First Amendment: Freedom of religion
Constitution: First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ”
Shariah: “Those who reject Islam must be killed. If they turn back (from Islam), take hold of them and kill them wherever you find them.” Quran 4:89 ; “Whoever changed his [Islamic] religion, then kill him” Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:57. In historic and modern Shariah states, Shariah law enforces dhimmi status (second-class citizen, apartheid-type laws) on non Muslims, prohibiting them from observing their religious practices publicly, building or repairing churches, raising their voices during prayer or ringing church bells; if dhimmi laws are violated in the Shariah State, penalties are those used for prisoners of war: death, slavery, release or ransom.(o9.14, o11.0-o11.11, Umdat al-salik).
But none of these groups have ever addressed head-on one of the central claims of ISIS and other Islamist groups, which is that Muslim societies (including non-Muslim minorities) should be governed by Islamic law, or Sharia.
Setting aside who should decide the correct form of Sharia, is this something most Muslims believe? Is it a radical belief or mainstream? According to a 2013 Pew survey of Muslims, huge majorities of Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia say they agree that Sharia should be the law of the land.
Muslims in the West shouldn’t be offended if their fellow Americans or Europeans are uneasy about admitting large numbers of people who hold such a view into their countries. Combined with Islam’s political origins and its history of conquest, many westerners conclude, not unreasonably, that Islam is fundamentally illiberal and an Islamic “reformation” is impossible.
But instead of lecturing westerners about Islamophobia, moderate Muslims would do better to address candidly how something like Sharia can be reconciled with Western values. Tell us, in other words, why Islamist groups like ISIS are wrong for wanting to impose a Muslim theocracy, and tell us what Sharia and jihad mean if they don’t mean what Islamists say they do. We are capable and willing to understand.
Source: The Challenge For Moderate Islam
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Our Constitution is clear. The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
Here is exactly what it says.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
For some reason, some politicians think our security is more important than our constitution. It is not. In the Constitution, personal security trumps national security.
Here are some thoughts from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.
If you were looking for a needle in a haystack, simple logic would tell you that the smaller the haystack the likelier you are to find the needle. Except for the government.
Since Edward Snowden revealed the federal government’s unlawful and unconstitutional use of federal statutes to justify spying on all in America all the time, including the members of Congress who unwittingly wrote and passed the statutes, I have been arguing that the Fourth Amendment prohibits all domestic spying, except that which has been authorized by a search warrant issued by a judge. The same amendment also requires that warrants be issued only based on a serious level of individualized suspicion backed up by evidence — called probable cause — and the warrants must specifically identify the place and person to be spied upon.
Because these requirements are in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, Congress and the president and the courts are bound by them. There is no emergency or public safety or wartime exception to them. These requirements cannot be changed by legislation; only a constitutional amendment, ratified by the legislatures of 37 states, can do so.
All of this is what lawyers and judges call black letter law — meaning it is well-understood, has not been seriously challenged and is nearly universally accepted. Except by the government.
The government — which thinks it can right any wrong, tax any event, regulate any behavior and interfere with any right — also thinks it can keep us safe from the terrorists among us by cutting constitutional corners, which it has done many times since 9/11. Among the constitutional corners it has cut is unleashing its 60,000 domestic spies upon us with orders to disregard the constitutional requirements for spying on Americans and gather all the data about us that they can by listening to phone calls and reading emails, as well as gathering the banking information, credit card information, utility bills, postal mail and medical records of everyone in America, without regard to individualized suspicion.
As we look at our immigration policy, are we focused on the right issue? It isn’t whether you are a Muslim or not. It isn’t about whether you are a terrorist or not.
It is what you believe about a critical issue called Sharia law. That is the real issue to be dealt with. Advocates of Sharia will not support our Constitution. As Americans who care about our constitutional republic, we should educate ourselves about Sharia and effectively communicate why it is so dangerous. One of the outgrowths of the Sharia believe is Jihad and terrorism. At the heart of Jihad and terrorism is believe in the Islamic Sharia laws.
Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression, property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.
The President of the United States has a job. When he is sworn into office he takes an oath. It is “”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The second amendment says that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Should that be up for debate? Is there any logical or illogical reason to change it?
When debating the wisdom of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, the media tends to start from the presumption that the question is purely scientific, and that the answers can — and should — be derived from statistical analyses and relentless experimentation. This approach is mistaken. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is not the product of the latest research fads or exquisitely tortured “data journalism,” but a natural extension of the Lockean principles on which this country was founded. It must be protected as such.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1941, declared December 15 “Bill of Rights Day” to commemorate the day in 1791 when Virginia became the eleventh state to ratify the ten amendments.
It’s a day to remember how fortunate we are to be governed by a charter that guarantees “freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free right to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging thefreedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. Initially, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by Congress, and many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today.
In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson’s correspondence to call for “a wall of separation between church and State”, though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute. Speech rights were expanded significantly in a series of 20th- and 21st-century court decisions that protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing, pornography, and school speech; these rulings also defined a series of exceptions to First Amendment protections. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for defamation and libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). Commercial speech is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, and is therefore subject to greater regulation.
The Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, and applies to a wide variety of media. In Near v. Minnesota (1931) andNew York Times v. United States (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint—pre-publication censorship—in almost all cases. The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms. The concept of a right to keep and bear arms existed within English common lawlong before the enactment of the Bill of Rights. Eighteenth century English jurist and judge Sir William Blackstone described this right as
a public allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
First codified in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 (but there only applying to Protestants), this right was enshrined in fundamental laws of several American states during the Revolutionary era, including the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.
Long a controversial issue in American political, legal and social discourse, the Second Amendment has been at the heart of several Supreme Court decisions.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The Third Amendment restricts the quartering of soldiers in private homes, in response to Quartering Acts passed by the British parliament during the Revolutionary War. The amendment is one of the least controversial of the Constitution, and, as of 2012, has never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and seizure (including arrest) must be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer who has sworn by it. The amendment is the basis for the exclusionary rule, which mandates that evidence obtained illegally cannot be introduced into a criminal trial. The amendment’s interpretation has varied over time; its protections expanded under left-leaning courts such as that headed by Earl Warren and contracted under right-leaning courts such as that of William Rehnquist.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case 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.
The Fifth Amendment protects against double jeopardy and self-incrimination and guarantees the rights to due process, grand jury screening of criminal indictments, and compensation for the seizure of private property under eminent domain. The amendment was the basis for the court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), which established that defendants must be informed of their rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination prior to interrogation by police.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The Sixth Amendment establishes a number of rights of the defendant in a criminal trial:
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
The Seventh Amendment guarantees jury trials in federal civil cases that deal with claims of more than twenty dollars. It also prohibits judges from overruling findings of fact by juries in federal civil trials. In Colgrove v. Battin (1973), the Court ruled that the amendment’s requirements could be fulfilled by a jury with a minimum of six members. The Seventh is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights not to be incorporated (applied to the states).
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The Eighth Amendment forbids the imposition of excessive bails or fines, though it leaves the term “excessive” open to interpretation.
The most frequently litigated clause of the amendment is the last, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. This clause was only occasionally applied by the Supreme Court prior to the 1970s, generally in cases dealing with means of execution. In Furman v. Georgia (1972), some members of the Court found capital punishment itself in violation of the amendment, arguing that the clause could reflect “evolving standards of decency” as public opinion changed; others found certain practices in capital trials to be unacceptably arbitrary, resulting in a majority decision that effectively halted executions in the United States for several years. Executions resumed following Gregg v. Georgia (1976), which found capital punishment to be constitutional if the jury was directed by concrete sentencing guidelines. The Court has also found that some poor prison conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment, as in Estelle v. Gamble (1976).
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Ninth Amendment clarifies that the specific individual rights stated in the Constitution, particularly in the Bill of Rights, does not constitute anexplicit and exhaustive listing of all individual rights possessed by the people, and cannot be used by the federal government to increase its powers in areas not stated. It was rarely cited before the second half of the 20th century, when it was used as a positive affirmation of a right not stated but nonetheless protected by the Constitution, the right to privacy. This right was, in turn, the foundation upon which the Supreme Court built decisions in several landmark cases: Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which struck down a Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraceptives;Roe v. Wade (1973), which overturned a Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion; and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which invalidated a Pennsylvania law that required spousal awareness prior to obtaining an abortion.
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.
The Tenth Amendment reinforces the principles of separation of powers and federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people. The amendment provides no new powers or rights to the states, but rather preserves their authority in all matters not specifically granted to the federal government.
What has happened to Constitutional conservatism? Shouldn’t our world revolve around circumventing the law? What happened to due process? What has happened to freedom of religion, speech and property?
Since he announced his candidacy, Trump has:
Thomas Sowell considers The Price of Freedom. He correctly asserts it isn’t freedom if we can be punished. Excellent column, well worth the read as always.
It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States if the government can punish you for exercising those rights. And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials’ power if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences. In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped.
This is a trend that doesn’t need to be reformed. It needs to be ended and it needs to be ended now. That government agencies can confiscate property with you being convicted of anything is outrageous.
“Americans understand the importance of the principle of innocent until proven guilty. However, a problematic, growing government program turns this long-standing ideal on its head. Civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to take personal property without even accusing individuals of a crime, much less proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
I think it is time to do away with the Filibuster. It has become outdated and useless. I say this regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge.
“When Democrats in the Senate detonated the so-called “nuclear option” in 2013 – changing the rules of the legislative branch’s upper chamber to prevent filibusters on most nominations – Republicans said they would eventually make Dems rue the day they messed with the body’s cherished traditions. “The next majority will do it for everything,” then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned at the time,
“Well, McConnell now heads that next majority, and while the GOP hasn’t yet followed through on his threat, it is mulling new changes to the filibuster. One group of Republican senators wants to do away with the 60-vote threshold to begin debate on government spending bills. Another group is looking into a package of reforms aimed at making the Senate more efficient that would be rolled out in 2017, after the next election.”
What corrupts politics more: Millionaires and billionaires? Or the rules that intend to limit the influence of wealthy donors? At Prager University, George Will, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, explains who designed campaign finance reform and why Congress’s solution to the problem may actually be the bigger problem.
Summary of the video
Campaign finance reform is what it pretends to combat: corruption.
Let me say that again, slightly rephrased: campaign finance reform corrupts the political system it presumes to save from corruption.
Now that I’ve taken the trouble to repeat myself, you may be shaking your head, wondering how I could be so… wrong. Don’t we want to “get money out of politics?” Isn’t campaign finance reform an inherent good? The late Senator Eugene McCarthy, the iconic liberal politician of the Vietnam War era, didn’t think so.
McCarthy, a Democrat who represented Minnesota in the Senate from 1959 to 1971, did something unthinkable in 1968. Because of his opposition to the Vietnam War, he challenged a powerful, incumbent President for his party’s presidential nomination.
His challenge to President Lyndon Johnson was possible — and potent — only because five wealthy liberals who shared McCarthy’s opposition to the Vietnam War gave him substantial sums of money. Stewart Mott’s $210,000 would be $1.4 million in today’s dollars. The five donors’ seed money enabled McCarthy to raise $11 million dollars or $75 million dollars today.
But, because of campaign finance reform, the most a wealthy quintet could give to help an insurgent against an incumbent today would be $13,000 (five times the individual limit of $2,600). McCarthy didn’t win the nomination, but he did compel Johnson not to run for a second term. In doing so, McCarthy changed history. But the Democratic Party establishment wasn’t happy about it. To stop it from happening again, they pushed for government regulation of political speech.
Thus in reaction to Eugene McCarthy’s insurgency, campaign finance reform was born.
Not much has changed since then.
Whatever their stated intentions, campaign finance laws are not written to protect the public from corrupt politicians, they are written to protect incumbents from anyone who might challenge them. So, not only doesn’t campaign finance reform disrupt the status quo; it encases it in cement.
All the laws that ever have regulated campaigns, or ever will regulate them, have had or will have one thing in common: They have been, or will be, written by incumbent legislators. That is why such laws are presumptively disreputable and usually unconstitutional.
But, reformers shout, politicians are bought and sold by big money interests, and we have to stop this.
These reformers argue two propositions.
One is that corruption is so pervasive and so subtle that it is invisible.
They resemble the zealots who say proof of the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy is the fact that no proof has been found.
Alternatively, reformers argue that corruption is entirely visible everywhere: If politician A votes in a way that pleases contributor B — particularly if contributor B enjoyed “access” to politician A — that shall be designated corruption.
But there is abundant research demonstrating that money almost always moves toward the politician with whom the contributor already agrees. In other words money is rarely given in order to change a politicians’ votes; it is given in order to support politicians who already vote the way donors want them to.
Nevertheless, reformers increasingly argue (see their justifications for restricting political action committees or PAC’s) that regulating the timing, amount and content of political advocacy is necessary to improve the tone of politics.
These reformers apparently think that what James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, meant when he wrote: “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech,” was really “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech — unless incumbents think abridgements will help keep them in office.”
Even if it were Congress’s business to decide that there is “too much” money in politics, what does “too much” mean?
In the 2007-08 election cycle, spending in all campaigns, from city council members up to the presidency, was $8.6 billion, about what Americans spend annually on potato chips.
Reformers say that regulation of campaign giving and spending will not only spare our leaders the distraction of the governed — that is, seeking “undue” influence on government, it also will make us think better of government.
But a jaundiced view of government is often sensible, and certainly it is justified by all these campaign regulations, which have become a particularly virulent form of the disease it purports to cure.
So, let me repeat myself a third and final time: Campaign finance reform is what it pretends to combat: corruption.
I’m George Will for Prager University.
The video focuses on self-determination and concludes with Reagan’s rise to the presidency.
Ronald Reagan understood that America’s strength comes from our people and not from our government. It is the independence of each American that makes our country unique and exceptional. When government takes away our independence in order to exercise control of its people, America suffers.
In his 1964 speech Reagan said, “This is the issue…Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
Think about how much control the federal government has today and how much the bureaucrats in Washington try to dictate the lives and choices of the American people. Each progressive policy that comes out of Washington slowly takes away American independence.
The Founding Fathers sought—and many gave their lives—to protect the rights and individual freedoms of the people—and to ensure that the federal government never encroached upon those rights. When Reagan assumed the presidency, he fought to protect those unalienable rights. Today’s federal officials consistently trample upon those rights. We need to return to a government that is accountable to its people and do as Ronald Reagan advised: “Preserve for our children, this, the last best hope for men on earth.”
If you have been impoverished by a birth too recent or an education too faddish to know the value of rote learning, you might never been forced to memorize the Gettysburg Address, delivered on this date in 1863. You might have instead had a computer game in which you imagined how Americans of different stations and views would have felt about the speech or made a diorama with a pipe-cleaner Abe Lincoln on a popsicle-stick stage or fashioned a stovepipe hat out of recyclables. If that’s so, you were ripped off. Everyone ought to know the speech that is the best, briefest encapsulation of the American idea of freedom conceived by the Founders and bought with the lives of more than 1.3 million troops at war. The good news is that it is easily remedied. At 278-words, even the most screen-addled ought to be able to learn it.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Our constitution is very clear. The Ninth Amendment says “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. If it isn’t in the constitution (and many things are not) then we retain them. Seems pretty clear.
“But when one reads not only the Ninth Amendment itself but about why it was written—to make it clear that the rights we “retain” when we establish government are far more numerous than could ever be enumerated in a constitution—then it becomes clear that the discovery and protection of those rights cannot be left to the very political majorities against which they are most likely being invoked in a legal action before a court. Indeed, if Whelan were right—that we enjoy only those rights that are expressly stated in the Bill of Rights—then prior to the ratification of the Bill of Rights, two years after the ratification of the Constitution, we enjoyed almost no rights against congressional majorities—save for those few mentioned in the original document.
“We’ve reached a point in our public discourse at which constitutional understanding is at the nadir. When so many American’s believe that the purpose of government is to provide them with all manner of goods and services, as demanded by democratic majorities, it’s difficult to explain the proper role of the courts under a Constitution for limited government. But neither will it help to feed that appetite for public goods by justifying the majoritarian force that satisfies it. Better it would be to appeal to the liberty we all want and the constitutional means for securing it.”
Bernie Sanders applied to not participate in the Vietnam war as a conscientious objector. I applaud people of conviction who feel that way. We have always been a country that has accomodated people of faith. Until recently that is.
It wasn’t that long ago. It was Bill Clinton who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That bill, once championed by the Left, compels the government to use the least restrictive means possible when forcing an American to violate his or her religious beliefs. Basically, it says if an accommodation can be made, the government must make it. The 1993 bill was crafted in direct response to a Supreme Court case concerning the religious liberty of Native Americans, a religious minority.
It is a core question of liberty and freedom that our country was founded on. God helped us create something special in this country. Are we willing to through it all under the bus in the name of political engineering?
May God help us all!
“Religious freedom is arguably under the greatest threat it has ever endured in our country’s history. The freedom of Christian practice unquestionably is. On the Left, one-time champions of religious liberty have thrown it under the bus of equal outcomes. On the Right, the rise of corporatism and the libertarian movement has moved religion from its central position to a bothersome side issue that many roll their eyes at.”