Common Sense Comes To The Courtroom

Townhall posted an article yesterday about a recent court decision in Arizona. Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled that DACA recipients are no longer eligible for “in-state” tuition.

The article reports:

The state’s attorney general Mark Brnovich welcomed the ruling as his office has continually argued that colleges and universities were violating state and federal laws by allowing DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition rates.

“While people can disagree what the law should be, I hope we all can agree that the attorney general must enforce the law as it is, not as we want it to be,” the statement said.

In-state tuition at Arizona State University is $9,834 for the next school year. Non-resident tuition is $27,618. At Maricopa Community Colleges, residents pay $86 per credit. Non-residents pay $241 per credit.

This decision makes sense to me–if DACA recipients are not actually citizens, how can they be considered legal residents of a state? There is no reason for them to be given preferential treatment over American citizens.

 

 

Convicted For Doing His Job, Now Pardoned

CNS News is reporting today that President Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Arpaio was convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court stemming from a civil rights lawsuit that accused him of racially profiling Latinos in the course of his law enforcement duties. He faced six months in jail. Sheriff Arpaio is 85 years old. He was checking the immigration status of Latinos because many Latinos were illegally immigrating to Maricopa County. It would have been a waste of time and money to check the immigration status of other groups. He might have found a few illegals, but the effort was better spent in the Latino community. To do otherwise is the equivalent of stopping little old ladies at a checkpoint when the description of the bank robber you are looking for says six-feet tall and about thirty-five years old.

The article includes the following statement from The White House Office of the Press Secretary:

Today, President Donald J. Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.  Arpaio’s life and career, which began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War, exemplify selfless public service.  After serving in the Army, Arpaio became a police officer in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas, NV and later served as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), formerly the Bureau of Narcotics.  After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA’s branch in Arizona.

In 1992, the problems facing his community pulled Arpaio out of retirement to return to law enforcement.  He ran and won a campaign to become Sheriff of Maricopa County.  Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.  Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.

For whatever reason, the Obama Administration supported illegal immigration. The Obama Justice Department attacked Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona when she tried to enforce immigration laws that were already on the books. Sheriff Arpaio was attacked simply because he chose to uphold the law. Despite the howls we will hear from the political left, President Trump did the right thing in pardoning Sheriff Arpaio.

 

How Things Work

I received this in my email from a friend. I am not sure if it is true or not, but it makes a good point:

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team,
Robert Sarver, came out strongly opposing AZ‘s new immigration laws.

Former Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver’s criticism of the new law:

“What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying?

What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are
but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed
to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected.

Furthermore, what if Suns’ ownership was expected to
provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink?

And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?”

Troubling Information

On Wednesday, Judicial Watch posted an article about one of the guns used in the Paris terrorist attack. According to law enforcement sources, the gun was illegally purchased in Phoenix, Arizona. The obvious question is how did it get from Phoenix to Paris.

The article reports:

A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.

The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.

It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.

The gun was probably sold as part of ‘Fast and Furious,’ which is troubling enough, but I want to know how you get a gun from Phoenix to Paris in this age of airline security. Was it packed in the person’s checked luggage or did he manage to get it through the metal detectors? Did it go from the United States to France or from Mexico to France? How did the gun get into France, which has very strict gun laws? It would be very interesting to trace the journey of the gun from Phoenix to Paris. It is also interesting to note that this story is based on law enforcement leaks. The people who are charged with enforcing our laws have reached the point where they are so frustrated with the unequal enforcement of the laws that they are speaking out.

When The Truth Doesn’t Matter

Truth seems to be taking a back seat in some major political discussions lately–Katie Couric‘s gun documentary did some creative editing and the State Department edited a press briefing that was to be saved as an historical archive. In both cases, the idea was to promote a point of view that was contrary to the truth. The gun documentary was supposed to show how easy it was to obtain a firearm, and the editing of the press briefing was to erase the fact that negotiations with Iran on the nuclear deal started long before there was a ‘moderate’ president of Iran. Just for the record, the president of Iran is not the person who is actually in charge. The group that is currently ruling Iran is essentially the same group of people that took over in 1979.

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review pointed out another problem with the gun documentary. People unfamiliar with gun laws who watched the documentary might have missed this, but Dana Loesch, a 2nd Amendment advocate, noted the following:

In an interview shared by Ammoland TV, Soechtig (Stephanie Soechtig, also involved in the production of the show) discusses the making of the film and notes the following:

“We sent a producer out and he is from Colorado and he went to Arizona and he was able to buy a Bushmaster and then three other pistoles without a background check in a matter of four hours. And that’s perfectly legal.”

Except it isn’t. Legal, that is. When Soechtig sent a producer to Arizona from Colorado specifically to acquire firearms, she could have actually broken two federal laws:

  • Interstate transfer: for a purchaser to acquire a firearm outside their state of residence – in this case, Colorado – the transfer must go through a licensed firearms dealer in the purchaser’s state of residence [18 U.S.C 922(a)(3); 27 CFR 478.29].
  • Straw purchase: one individual may not make the purchase of a firearm in someone else’s name [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5)].

By Soechtig’s own admission, she sent a producer across state lines with instructions to purchase a firearm on her behalf (violation of straw purchase laws). And unless her producer is also a licensed firearms dealer, it’s likely that interstate transfer laws may also have been violated.

Loesch called on the ATF to investigate, noting the irony that people criticizing law-abiding gun owners were actually the ones violating gun laws already on the books.

It is interesting that those fighting to undo the 2nd Amendment do not understand the laws surrounding it. The 2nd Amendment was put there to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. We can argue about the current regulations surrounding the 2nd Amendment, but generally speaking, the safeguards are there to prevent criminals and unstable people from acquiring firearms. The right of law-abiding Americans to buy guns is part of the Constitution. It needs to be upheld. What was done in Katie Couric’s gun documentary is simply another example of the media trying to mislead the American people. We need to be smart enough to know when we are being lied to. Also note that many of the people trying to take away the guns of Americans have armed bodyguards. Another example of a law for thee, but not for me.

 

Huh????

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about a recent decision by the Supreme Court not to hear a case regarding proof of citizenship for voter registration.

The article reports:

In a commonsense decision, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a case that decided that people registering to vote in federal election don’t have to prove their citizenship.  That means that people registering to vote won’t be bullied into proving citizenship, which now seems to be an irrelevant criterion for voting.

“I am very pleased, obviously,” said Dolores Furtado, president of the Kansas chapter of the League of Women Voters. “It’s a good feeling because we’re truly trying to help” people get registered to vote.

Furtado said the league’s main interest is in increasing participation in the democratic process “rather than trying to make more hoops, more steps, to go through.”

It would have been nice if the Supreme Court had ruled on this; however, there is an interesting consequence of this decision that will give Kansas a more honest election on the state and local level.

On Monday, Roll Call posted an article explaining how the decision of the Supreme Court not to take the case would impact elections in Kansas and Arizona.

The article reports:

The Kansas and Arizona laws stand, meaning that people wishing to register to vote with state forms are required to show proof of citizenship. Kobach said more than 99 percent of Kansans use the state forms. “But because of the Supreme Court decision not to review the case,” he added, “we do have a small limited loophole.” The slim majority that uses the federal form can “refuse to provide proof of citizenship,” he said, “but that will only suffice for federal elections.”

Article I Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Basically that means that each state can set the standard for who is allowed to vote. Obviously, because there is a federal form people can use in Kansas, there is a way of circumventing that law by using the federal form. However, using the federal form only allows people to vote in federal elections. This is another example of the federal government overriding the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

I really wonder who came up with the bright idea that non-citizens would be able to vote in American elections. That is totally ridiculous and seriously undermines the integrity of our election process.

The Inmates Have Obviously Taken Over The Asylum

Yesterday Bizpacreview reported that ROTC members were forced to parade around the Temple University campus in Arizona in red high heels. I am not talking about female ROTC members–I am talking about male ROTC members. The exercise was supposed to raise awareness about assault against women. I suspect that the only awareness they raised was an awareness of how miserable your feet feel after doing a lot of walking in high heels.

This is one of the photos:

rotc article

The article reported:

For every social media proponent of the event, there were many more who voiced their opposition.

“Who’s the rocket scientist that thought this up and how much did it cost the taxpayers and the soldiers?” said one Facebook user.

“Extremely offensive,” read another.

“I don’t get the point here,” wrote a frustrated Facebook user, and added possibly the most relevant question of all, “How does forcing a person in uniform to wear high heels relate to sexual assault against women?????”

The sound you hear is that of the Founding Fathers turning over in their graves.

One Answer To Federal Government Overreach

According to the IJReview, the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill last Wednesday that had only two provisions.

The article lists the provisions:

  1. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a policy directive issued by the U.S. DOJ to law enforcement agencies in this state that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.
  2. Prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with an executive order issued by the President of the U.S. that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

Simply stated, unless Congress passes the law, Arizona is not going to follow it. That is the way our government is supposed to work. Thank you, Arizona.

 

Our Children Need To Know At Least As Much As Those Who Come Here

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that Arizona has passed a law requiring all high school students to pass a civics exam before they graduate. The law requires that they answer correctly sixty out of one hundred questions on the civics portion of the U. S. citizenship test.

The article reports:

The test is being pushed nationally by the Scottsdale-based Joe Foss Institute, which has set a goal of having all 50 states adopt it by 2017, the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The institute says legislatures in 15 states are expected to consider it this year.

The idea is to prepare the students to be well-informed voters in the future.

The article further reports:

Republican Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, sponsoring the bill in his chamber, called the test a needed measure.

“Requiring that students pass this test is not by any means a silver bullet, but I think is a step, a small step forward,” he said. “And I think we need to encourage the people of America to become more aware of the values of America.”

The lone Democratic senator who opposed the bill on the education committee, David Bradley, said passing the test would do nothing to make good citizens. He said that despite the bill sponsors’ promises, there is a cost to the state.

It is the responsibility of American voters to know the principles upon which their government is based. It is also the responsibility of American voters to vote for people who uphold those principles.

A friend of mine volunteers his time at public events where middle and high school students are present. During these events, he will often ask the students a basic question about the U.S. Constitution or American history. He has often remarked that generally speaking the students who can answer basic questions about our country are the ones that are home schooled. We need to make sure all of our students know the history of America and the founding principles of America. There is a reason those people desiring to become citizens of America are required to take a citizenship test. Our own children should also be able to pass that test.

I Guess You Really Don’t Need A High Tech Security System

The Blaze posted a story today about an Arizona homeowner who set up a video system with an old cell phone so that she could check on her dogs while she was at work. When she checked on her dogs by logging on to her computer at work, she saw a strange man in her living room. She called the police as she watched the stranger feeding her dogs treats to keep them from barking.

The article reports:

Shortly after the crook was seen feeding the dogs, he noticed the camera and turned it off. However, it was too late. The 911 call had been made and cops were en route.

Police responded quickly, surrounding the property. They nabbed the would-be burglar in the alley as he exited the back of the house. He reportedly confessed to the arresting officer that he was trying to steal an X-Box gaming system.

I guess sometimes it pays to check up on your dogs.

The Obama Administration Has Forgotten Its Responsibility To Enforce The Law

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a lawsuit in Arizona. The lawsuit

The article reports:

A career attorney with top ratings at Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that she faced retaliation from superiors for refusing to drop cases pending against illegal aliens guilty of DUI, identity theft and other crimes.

Patricia Vroom, 59, made the claims in a lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court of Appeals in Arizona against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Many of the cases involved were identify theft and other low-level crimes. Ms. Vroom was “instructed to look favorably for prosecutorial discretion on immigration removal cases involving the lowest level of felony convictions for identity theft under Arizona law.”

Think about this for a minute. These are felony convictions. The idea here is to allow convicted felons to stay in America illegally. Don’t we have enough convicted felons that are here legally?

The article further reports:

Vroom also claims that on Nov. 5, 2013, Downer emailed her concerning the case of an individual who was found ineligible for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was started by President Obama, because of an ID theft conviction.

Unknown to Vroom at the time, top ICE and DHS officials had discussed that individual case on a conference call in August 2013.

An angry Downer emailed Vroom on Nov. 5, 2013, demanding to know why she had been unable to convince her field office director to cancel the “notice to appear” order for the alien.

Our immigration laws are currently not being enforced. They do need to be revised and brought up to date, but we do not need amnesty–we need common sense. I strongly suggest that rather than having an overactive President and a lame-duck Congress rewrite our immigration laws, we let the new Congress write them–after discussion and deliberation. Hopefully our new Congress will have some respect for the concept of making sure laws are enforced and will have some respect for the wishes of the American people.

Sometimes It Takes A Bit Of Showmanship To Make A Point

This video was posted on YouTube today:

The Daily Caller posted a related story.

The Daily Caller story concludes:

This summer has seen a whirlwind of terrorist activity on the southern border, with dire anecdotes pouring out of local news stations but ignored by the mainstream press. Security contractors found a Muslim prayer rug on the Arizona border, where 300 extremists affiliated with al-Qaida’s Somalia syndicate al-Shabab recently entered the United States unaccounted for. Terrorist watch-list suspects were also detained trying to get into the country through California. Country music legend Charlie Daniels revealed that, “I personally spoke with an Arizona law enforcement officer who had taken four what he called ‘Taliban’ out of the back of an 18 wheeler.”

Relevant on the contemporary merits, O’Keefe’s video also makes an important symbolic point thirteen confusing years after the attacks of 9/11. The terrorists we’re fighting today are more technologically savvy than their idol Osama bin Laden, the self-designed political figure who tried to fire history’s loudest shot. But their motives have not changed. And they have access to the United States.

How safe do you feel?

Losing The Concept Of Law

One of the problems with the Obama Administration is that the President seems to think he has the right to follow some laws and ignore others. Unfortunately, this idea seems to be working its way through the country.

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that a federal appeals court has ruled that Arizona must issue driver’s licenses to ‘dreamers.’ Dreamers are the young illegal immigrants that President Obama has given tentative permission to be in the country. The ‘dreamers’ are in a difficult position–they were brought here as young children and have lived their lives in America–but they are still illegal immigrants–and we are giving them driver’s licenses. This really sets a bad precedent.

We need to remember that illegal immigrants are not American citizens–they are not entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution granted to American citizens. I would not have a problem with setting up a reasonable process to allow dreamers to become citizens, but issuing driver’s licenses to illegals is a really bad idea.

The article reports:

The ruling could bolster Mr. Obama’s desire later this summer to claim executive powers to carve out even more illegal immigrants from the danger of deportation.

The judges said Congress has given the executive branch “broad discretion” to decide whether illegal immigrants are able to live and work in the U.S., and the judges said Arizona was interfering with that ability.

The ruling once again puts Arizona in the center of the immigration debate — a role that the state had played for years but which it seemed to be shedding in recent months as Texas rose to the front — overwhelmed by a new wave of illegal immigrant families and unaccompanied children from Central America.

The Tenth Amendment states:

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 federal appeals court is taking away the right of Arizona to decide to follow the law and not issue driver’s licenses to people who are here illegally.  Not only is that is a state matter–not a federal matter–it is in conflict with existing federal law.

 

What Are We Doing To Our Children?

Fox News posted a story today about some of the lessons given to fourth grade students at Pasodale Elementary School in El Paso, Texas. One of the lessons cited was the story of a wife finding a strange hairclip under her bed with a different color hair in it than her hair. The second lesson deals with a mother learning about the death of her son. In the second lesson, the entire situation does not even accurately describe how the military brings the news to the family of a fallen hero. These are not age-appropriate subjects for fourth grade students.

The article reports:

Today on Your World, parenting expert Dr. Deb Gilboa said she was “shocked” by the material.

She said, “This teacher either didn’t read the assignment before handing it out, or had not enough life experience to realize that there’s no correct answer to these questions.”

Last year in Arizona, FoxNews.com reported that students at Playa Del Rey Elementary School were asked to read the same passages. In that instance, the teacher hadn’t read the assignment and immediately apologized.

Dr. Gilboa noted that kids already see messages they’re not old enough to comprehend, but parents shouldn’t have to worry about that coming from a school.

The article does not state this, but I strongly suspect that the material is part of the suggested lessons included in the Common Core.  There are a number of textbooks that have been written to be compatible with the Common Core curriculum. The best thing that could happen for American students would be for the Common Core curriculum to be thrown out and states be allowed to set their own standards. Hopefully the textbooks adopted after the demise of Common Core will not include the kind of fourth grade lessons shown above. These lessons should be categorized as child abuse.

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When Citizens Speak Out

A lot of Americans don’t pay attention to exactly what their government is doing, but occasionally something comes along that wakes everyone up. Common Core is an example of that. The Common Core standards were developed to provide national standards for students as they progressed through school. Aside from the one-size-fits-all aspect of the program, there were serious questions as to the age-appropriateness of what was being taught and the political slant. As people, particularly parents, become more aware of what Common Core is, the opposition to the program is growing.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Indiana has passed Senate Bill 91, a law ordering public K-12 schools across the state to stop using Common Core standards. Some other states (Iowa, Florida and Arizona) have tried to get around the opposition by renaming the program–Indiana simply threw out the program.

The article reports the Governor’s statement on Common Core:

“I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level,” Pence said in a statement.

“By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high, and I commend members of the General Assembly for their support,” the Republican governor added, according to the Star.

Massachusetts proved in the 1990’s that states can write their own standards and improve education in their individual states. It is a mistake to allow the federal government to control local education–parents and school boards should do that.

One aspect of Common Core that I think is often overlooked by its supporters is the amount of data collection on the students. I do not believe that this amount of data collection is necessary, nor am I sure that once the data is collected it will be kept sufficiently secure so as not to be a violation of the students’ and parents’ privacy. It is up to parents and grandparents of students to insure that American students get the best education possible. High standards are a good thing–federal standards dictated by Common Core are not.

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The People Who Control The Language Control The Argument

The people who control the language control the argument. This was made very clear recently in the debate over Arizona SB 1062. The bill was designed to protect the rights of Christians in the marketplace. The legislature of Arizona felt that the bill was necessary because of various incidents resulting in lawsuits in other states. When the State of Arizona passed the bill through its legislature, the state was threatened with boycotts, loss of the Super Bowl, and various other forms of economic harassment. The bill was labeled ‘anti-gay,’ ‘Jim Crow, and various other things. The opponents controlled the language. The bill is only two pages long. It is written in legalese, but is fairly straightforward and easy to understand.

Power Line posted a link to the bill on Tuesday.  Here is the bill:

State of Arizona

Senate

Fifty-first Legislature

Second Regular Session

2014

 SB 1062

Introduced by

Senators Yarbrough: Barto, Worsley

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 41‑1493 and 41‑1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to the free exercise of religion.

  (TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 41-1493, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1493.  Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1.  “Demonstrates” means meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

2.  “Exercise of religion” means the practice or observance of religion, including the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

3.  “Government” includes this state and any agency or political subdivision of this state.

4.  “Nonreligious assembly or institution” includes all membership organizations, theaters, cultural centers, dance halls, fraternal orders, amphitheaters and places of public assembly regardless of size that a government or political subdivision allows to meet in a zoning district by code or ordinance or by practice.

5.  “Person” includes a religious assembly or institution any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.

6.  “Political subdivision” includes any county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district, any board, commission or agency of a county, city, including a charter city, town, school district, municipal corporation or special district or any other local public agency.

7.  “Religion‑neutral zoning standards”:

(a)  Means numerically definable standards such as maximum occupancy codes, height restrictions, setbacks, fire codes, parking space requirements, sewer capacity limitations and traffic congestion limitations.

(b)  Does not include:

(i)  Synergy with uses that a government holds as more desirable.

(ii)  The ability to raise tax revenues.

8.  “Suitable alternate property” means a financially feasible property considering the person’s revenue sources and other financial obligations with respect to the person’s exercise of religion and with relation to spending that is in the same zoning district or in a contiguous area that the person finds acceptable for conducting the person’s religious mission and that is large enough to fully accommodate the current and projected seating capacity requirements of the person in a manner that the person deems suitable for the person’s religious mission.

9.  “Unreasonable burden” means that a person is prevented from using the person’s property in a manner that the person finds satisfactory to fulfill the person’s religious mission.

Sec. 2.  Section 41-1493.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

41-1493.01.  Free exercise of religion protected; definition

A.  Free exercise of religion is a fundamental right that applies in this state even if laws, rules or other government actions are facially neutral.

B.  Except as provided in subsection C, government of this section, state action shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.

C.  Government State action may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it the opposing party demonstrates that application of the burden to the person person’s exercise of religion in this particular instance is both:

1.  In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.

2.  The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

D.  A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, and obtain appropriate relief against a government regardless of whether the government is a party to the proceeding.  The person asserting such a claim or defense may obtain appropriate relief.  A party who prevails in any action to enforce this article against a government shall recover attorney fees and costs.

E.  In For the purposes of this section, the term substantially burden is intended solely to ensure that this article is not triggered by trivial, technical or de minimis infractions.

F.  For the purposes of this section, “state action” means any action by the government or the implementation or application of any law, including state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether the implementation or application is made or attempted to be made by the government or nongovernmental persons.

 

I have posted the bill in order to allow readers to draw their own conclusions about what the bill said and what the bill didn’t say. Those of us who support family values and religious freedom need to be very aware of what happens when those who oppose these values control the vocabulary.

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Received In My E-Mail Today

I think this is a really good idea:

Friends,

Over the past several months we have been reaching out to you, asking that you support a National Day of Prayer and Repentance this 9/11. The response we have received is overwhelming. With over tens of thousands of people signed up, we continue to receive an outpouring of support from across the nation. We come to you as fellow Americans and believers in Christ.

As we approach the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and the first anniversary of the attacks in Benghazi, we understand that our need for the presence of God in this country is greater than ever. We continue to witness tragedies occurring within this country; the fire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters, the West Fertilizer Company plant explosion that killed 15 individuals, increasing interracial violence, murders, abductions, and much more. We need God’s presence in our country more than ever.

Christ once said, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

We need to call upon our fellow believers, fall to our knees, and seek God’s face. We have the power to change the dynamics of this country. So long as we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. It is up to us, believers in Christ and children of God, to humble ourselves, to seek God’s face, and to repent of our wicket ways.

Will you join us? Will you open up your churches, your homes, on 9/11 to those who feel called to participate? Will you pray with us for the sake of the nation?

There is a Facebook page you access to show your support. The e-mail was from World Net Daily.

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Good News

It is no secret that the Justice Department has gone political under President Obama. For the people who follow such things, it is amazing how unsuccessful they have been in some of their attempted prosecutions. One of those witch hunts has been aimed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

USA Today and website called Stand with Arizona are reporting that the investigation of Sheriff Arpaio has now ended and no charges will be filed.

NBC News reports:

The federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct by Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s toughest sheriff,” and no charges will be filed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Friday.

A separate federal investigation relating to allegations of civil rights abuses by Arpaio’s office is continuing. 

That last sentence means that the Justice Department is still looking, hoping they can find something! I think, as Americans, we need to take a really good look at the federal government’s ability to hassle people.

The article at Stand with Arizona expresses it very well:

Friday night releases of embarrassing political revelations are a long and infamous tradition, in order to minimize the exposure of the story to the American people. But this release took the cake: Friday at 5pm, before a Labor Day weekend, and right after the close of the Republican National Convention.

And no wonder. This one was a doozy. After all, this was a political persecution right from the start. The Obama DOJ started this thing less than 100 days after Obama took office, at a time when the Department was not even fully staffed. They were chomping at the bit to go after him. And now it is all for nothing.

Dozens of investigators, 4 Federal prosecutors, countless FBI agents, all working for three damn years to try and bring down Sheriff Joe. We won’t hold our breath waiting for the left-wing media to demand to know how much the DOJ spent on this disgraceful witch-hunt, but you can bet it was in the tens of millions.

And they came up with NOTHING. Because there IS nothing. Because this was never about substance, only politics.

NBC News reported:

Arpaio, who returned from the Republican National Convention on Friday night, said he was “very happy” with decision.

“I send my appreciation to the federal government for their hard work in clearing my office,” he said in a news briefing. 

Arpaio, 80, who is seeking re-election to a sixth term as sheriff in November, has been under a separate federal inquiry since 2008 over allegations that he and his deputies engaged in an extensive pattern of civil rights abuses.

If Sheriff Arpaio has been elected five times, the people of Arizona must think he is doing something right!

 

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Does The Government Want To Enforce The Border With Mexico ?

CBN News posted a story today about a technology that would make a huge difference along America‘s southern border with Mexico.

The article reports:

Arlington, Texas, is home of the Cowboys stadium, and one of the most technologically advanced municipalities in the country.

CBN News met a man there who developed the security system for the Super Bowl, and may also hold the key to securing the southern border.

“The fence is a wonderful tool if you want to stop wildlife, if you want to stop livestock, if you want to stop somebody for 30 seconds,” Dan Hammons, owner of Hammons Enterprises, explained.

“We think the border needs to be a line in the sand as opposed to a wide area,” he added.

“If a person crawls over that fence or crosses that border illegally, we have a wide array of sensing technologies that will set off an alarm and will turn on a camera on a node tower,” Hammons said. “So you can determine, is it a person, is it a deer, is it a cow.”

“With our system, I’m confident that we are going to detect 100 percent of the people crossing that border illegally,” he boldly claimed.

Mr. Hammons ‘security system costs about $1 million less per mile than the border fence. Because of the bandwidth of his security system, Border Patrol agents would be able to see thousands of video streams covering thousands of miles in real time.

The article at CBN reports the government’s response:

Still, decision makers in Washington have repeatedly turned down Hammons’ ideas.

“They have shut the door in our face,” he said.

“We offered to do this for them for free. We wanted to build a three-mile section of it for free. No cost or obligation to the government, all we wanted was an operational evaluation,” Hammons recalled.

He hinted that the system’s potential may be viewed by some as a political problem.

“We’re going to be able to tell the truth about what’s going on on the border,” Hammons said. “We’re going to be able to show the American public exactly what is happening down there.”

In the meantime, ranchers along Arizona’s border feel like they’re stuck in a war zone.

“Regardless of what Homeland Security and Border Patrol says, the border isn’t as safe as it’s ever been,” Ladd said. “There’s more drugs coming right now than ever before.”

“A guy driving a Border Patrol truck up and down the fence isn’t going to cut it,” he added.

Why is the government ignoring a solution to securing our border that would be both cheaper and more effective?

 

 

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The Obama Administration’s Attack On Arizona Continues

There are two sources for this story–an Associated Press story from yesterday and Breitbart.com. The story by the Associated Press deals with the fact that the Obama Administration has set up a hot line to deal with any complaints of civil rights violations reported in the enforcement of the Arizona immigration law. This is an invitation to legal chaos and a chance for lawyers (a major contributing block to Democrat campaign coffers) to increase their income dramatically. The article at Breitbart.com reports that after the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the major item in Arizona’s immigration law the Obama Administration decided to retaliate.

The article at Breitbart.com reports:

By the same token, Brewer recognized the threat implicit in the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to suspend cooperation with Arizona state authorities via 287(g) task force agreements. “This continued assault on the state of Arizona in regards to illegal immigration has been totally unfortunate,” Brewer said. “The bottom line is that the feds need to step up and do their job and secure our border so we can work on other issues that are a result of the borders not being secured.”

 Brewer was deeply upset at the new round of federal pressure on Arizona. “At every turn,” she said, “we see the federal government putting their finger down on other places … They rescinded the 287(g) for all law enforcement in the state of Arizona immediately after this ruling came out. They’re taking away the ability for us to work hand in hand with ICE. So now instead of being able to access the [citizenship] database we’re going to have to call in and go through ICE to verify if somebody’s illegally in the state or not. That’s an assault on Arizona. And it was only rescinded in the State of Arizona.”

This is more Chicago thuggery from the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration puts politics and pettiness ahead of protecting American citizens. They need to be shown the door in November!

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A Mixed Decision On The Arizona Immigration Law

The U.K. Daily Mail posted a story today on the the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold part of Arizona’s immigration law and to strike down other parts.

The article reports:

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona  hailed the immigration verdict as a victory because it  cleared the way for the officials to start enforcing a provision that allows law enforcement officers,  when making lawful stops, to check the immigration status of people.
 
The Supreme Court struck down the part of the law that made it a state crime for illegal immigrants to apply for jobs or to not carry immigration papers. It also struck down a provision that gave the police authority to arrest immigrants for crimes that may lead to deportation.
 
I am not a lawyer, but I fail to see the logic in what the Court decided to strike down. It should be a state crime illegal immigrants to apply for jobs–they are illegal! Shouldn’t immigrants be arrested for crimes period? (Just like any American citizen would be.)
 
The article also reports:
 

In a blistering 22-page opposition to the ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:  ‘to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind,” Scalia wrote. “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State’

He charged that the Obama administration ‘desperately wants to avoid upsetting foreign powers’ and accused federal officials of ‘willful blindness or deliberate inattention’ to the presence of illegal immigrants in Arizona.

I agree with Justice Scalia.

 
 
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There Is NO Common Sense In Government

A website called The Red State Report posted an article Tuesday on recent events in Tombstone, Arizona. During 2011, a shortage of water developed in Tombstone due to the Monument Fire, which destroyed a lot of the desert vegetation around the town. The fire was followed by a record monsoon season which caused mudslides, sending car-sized boulders tumbling down the hillsides. The mudslides crushed the waterlines that supply the town with water and destroyed the reservoirs. Since Tombstone is in the middle of the Arizona desert, the town’s water supply is vital to the survival of the town. Part of the pipes that supply the town with water are buried under more than ten feet of mud and some are suspended in mid air because the ground was washed out from under them.

Normally, the town would simply get to work, clean up the mess, and move on with life. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration {and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)} have chosen to get involved.

The article reports:

“federal bureaucrats are refusing to allow Tombstone to unearth its springs and restore its waterlines unless [city officials] jump through a lengthy permitting process that will require the city to use horses and hand tools to remove boulders the size of Volkswagens.”

The article states:

There is evidence that the Forest Service under Barack Obama’s leadership is adopting a comprehensive plan “to clear federal lands of any private or non-federal uses.”

Ranchers in the West,  have been told to give up their various access and water rights, ski resorts have faced problems with access to federal lands and Indian tribes have been dealt the same blow.

The federal government owns about 30 percent of the land in the United States–most of it in the western part of the country. This is another example of federal government overreach. It is time to elect a President who respects the Constitution.

 

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This Is Just Getting More Complicated

As I have previously stated, I have no idea what to make of this. There seem to be some valid questions about President Obama’s eligibility to be President. On Monday wnd.com reported that in addition to the court case in George about putting the President on the ballot (see rightwinggranny.com), there are other states taking a closer look at how they qualify candidates for elections.

The article reports:

Whatever the outcome in Georgia, the issue is gaining traction in other states, too, including Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona, New Hampshire, and even Illinois, Obama’s home political base.

There, in a complaint recently filed by Stephen F. Boulton of McCarthy Duffy LLP and Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, their client is asking for a change in state law to allow the vetting of political candidates.

Whatever happens in Georgia, Americans have the right to be fully confident that a candidate on the ballot has been checked to make sure he meets the qualifications for the office he is seeking.

The article points out:

The newest round of court actions do not try to have a judge determine Obama is not qualified for the Oval Office and remove him from it, they simply challenge his eligibility for the 2012 election.

Many of the cases cite Minor v. Happersett, a U.S. Supreme Court opinion from 1875 that said a “natural born citizen” would be a person whose parents both were citizens.

“This complaint does not request any injunction against any state or federal government official. Instead this complaint asserts that the private entity, Defendant Democratic Party, intends to act negligently or fraudulently in a manner that will cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs, to the states, and to the citizens of the United States,” said one of the filings.

It continued, “Because Mr. Obama has admitted that his father was not a U.S. citizen, and because this fact has been confirmed by the U.S. State Department, any reasonable person with knowledge of these facts would doubt Mr. Obama’s constitutional qualifications. Therefore, any representation by the Democratic Party certifying said qualifications would be negligent, absent further evidence verifying Mr. Obama’s natural-born status.

“Plaintiffs further request an injunction prohibiting the Democratic Party from making any representation to any state official asserting, implying, or assuming that Mr. Obama is qualified to hold the office of president, absent a showing by the party sufficient to prove that said representation is not negligent.”

Van Irion, lead counsel for Liberty Legal Foundation, also is working on several of the issues, and has brought the question in court in Arizona.

The question is out there. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Meanwhile, have you read about this in the mainstream media?

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One More Short Note On The State Of The Union Speech

We all heard about the excessive tax burden of Warren Buffett’s Secretary (who makes more than $200,000 per year), but my sympathy for this lady is running a little thin. I am glad she makes what she makes, but the fact that she is overtaxed has nothing to do with what Mr. Buffett pays in taxes–it has to do with the fact that the government is overspent.

Yesterday The Smoking Gun pointed out that this poor overtaxed lady just bought  a second home in Arizona, complete with a swimming pool and a “professional PGA putting green,” according to real estate records.

The article reports:

The principal Bosanek residence is in Bellevue, Nebraska, several miles from Buffett’s corporate headquarters in Omaha. The couple’s 2568-square-foot home, built in 2000, also has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. But the modest property, which Sarpy County assessors last year valued at $217,716, offers no outdoor amenities for swimmers or golfers.

All  of us are overtaxed. Mr. Buffett is not undertaxed. The government is overspent.

 

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A Courageous Lady

English: Official portrait of United States Re...

The Washington Post posted a story today stating that Representative Gabrielle Giffords has said that she will resign from her Congressional seat this week, more than a year after the attack that severely wounded her and killed six people.

The article quoted her resignation statement given in a video on her website:

“I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice,” she said, looking directly into the camera. The hair that had been severely cropped after the shooting now framed her face in soft curls. “I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”

This is an act of courage. Representative Giffords is doing what is right for the people she represents. She realizes that her focus has to be on her recovery and is stepping aside to allow someone to take her office who will be more able to fulfil the duties of the office. She is putting the needs of the people of Arizona first. Thank you, Representative Giffords, you are setting a wonderful example.

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