Reality vs Practicality

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review about birthright citizenship. President Trump is considering ending birthright citizenship by executive order. Actually, it’s not so much a question of ending birthright citizenship as it is reviewing exactly what the 14th Amendment actually says.

The article explains:

My friend John Eastman explained why the 14th Amendment does not mandate birthright citizenship in this 2015 New York Times op-ed. In a nutshell, the Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The highlighted term, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was understood at the time of adoption to mean not owing allegiance to any other sovereign. To take the obvious example, if a child is born in France to a married couple who are both American citizens, the child is an American citizen.

If I am living in Britain on a work visa and have a child, that child is not automatically a British citizen. Why should America do things differently?

The article concludes:

Moreover, it seems to me that, because Congress has weighed in on citizenship by codifying the 14th Amendment, the courts will swat down any executive order on the ground that it exceeds the president’s authority. That is, the courts will not even have to reach the merits of what jurisdiction means for purposes of the 14th Amendment and Section 1401.

We have seen something like this in an area of more certain executive power. President Bush attempted unilaterally to set up military commissions in wartime under his commander-in-chief authority. Even though there was plenty of precedent supporting this, the Supreme Court invalidated the commissions and told the president he needed Congress’s statutory blessing. (Congress later enacted the Military Commissions Act.)

Consequently, if the president actually issues an executive order changing the birthright-citizenship policy, I doubt the sun will set before an injunction is issued. I am in favor of changing the current understanding of birthright citizenship, but I believe such a change must be done by statute to have any hope of surviving court-scrutiny . . . and even then, I give it less than a 50-50 chance.

Stay tuned.

Following The Law And Not The Judge’s Bias

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court vindicated President Trump’s final iteration of his so-called “travel ban” order in Trump v. Hawaii this morning. The ruling was 5-4. Although the plaintiffs prevailed in the lower courts, the Supreme Court’s rational wing was unimpressed by the arguments ginned up to frustrate Trump’s executive order. The ruling left Trump free to be Trump and interred the Court’s 1944 Korematsu decision upholding Japanese internment by the Roosevelt administration to boot.

It also reminds me again to thank the Senate Republicans who toughed it out to leave the appointment of the successor to Justice Scalia to the winner of the 2016 election. Thanks especially to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. They took a lot of abuse from the media in an early preview of the hysteria we have endured since Trump improbably won.

The law is as follows:

Section 212(f) of the INA is arguably the broadest and best known of these Authorities . It provides, in relevant part, that

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate

The President is ultimately responsible for national security. The buck stops with him. For the courts to undermine the President’s ability to protect America is simply unbelievable. We have reached the point where to some people politics is more important than national security.

Restoring The Rule Of Law

A website called usconstitution.net explains the procedure involved in government spending:

…”All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (Article 1, Section 7). Thus, I’ve listed the House’s “original jurisdiction” over revenue bills (laws that affect taxes) as a check. The House, however, views this clause a little differently, taking it to mean not only taxation bills but also spending bills.

The plain language of the clause would seem to contradict the House’s opinion, but the House relies on historical precedent and contemporaneous writings to support its position. In Federalist 66, for example, Alexander Hamilton writes, “The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives.” This phrase could easily be construed to include taxing and spending. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the Senate can initiate bills that create revenue, if the revenue is incidental and not directly a tax. Most recently, in US v Munoz-Flores (495 US 385 [1990]), the Court said, “Because the bill at issue here was not one for raising revenue, it could not have been passed in violation of the Origination Clause.” The case cites Twin City v Nebeker (176 US 196 [1897]), where the court said that “revenue bills are those that levy taxes, in the strict sense of the word.”

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining how recent actions by President Trump are restoring that constitutional principle. On Thursday, President Trump announced that he was ending payments to insurance companies that were implemented by Executive Order under ObamaCare. Since the payments were never approved by the House of Representatives, the payments were illegal and should never have begun in the first place. The Obama Administration had made those payments.

The article at Power Line states:

Liberal news outlets are offering a parade of horribles that will ensue if the federal government doesn’t continue to pay off insurance companies. In most cases, they pay little or no attention to the constitutional issue at stake. Whether such consequences will result is not so clear. Chris Jacobs points out:

For the time being, individuals likely will not see any direct effects from the payments ceasing. Carriers cannot exit Exchanges mid-year, and contracts for the 2018 plan year are already signed. (A provision in carriers’ 2017 and 2018 contracts lets them exit Exchanges if enrollees do not receive cost-sharing reductions—not if the insurers themselves do not receive reimbursement for those cost-sharing reductions. This clause, awkwardly drafted by insurers’ counsel, may provide them with little legal recourse—and further highlights their questionable assumptions and behavior surrounding the subsidies.) So maybe—just maybe—Washington can spend some time focusing on the real issue behind the Administration’s action: Upholding the Constitution.

If Congress wants to continue the subsidies, it can do so. Its appropriation, obviously, will make them constitutional. But regardless of what happens from now on, the Trump administration has acted admirably by refusing to go along with the unconstitutional regime that Barack Obama instituted.

This is not about politics–it is about following the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

Much Ado About Nothing

President Trump has doomed the earth to extinction! We have all heard some variation of that chicken-little headline because President Trump has directed the EPA to roll back former President Obama’s hugely expensive Clean Power Plan.

Well, yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s directive.

The chart below is from the article:

The article explains exactly what the chart illustrates:

Take a look at the Clean Power Plan — Obama’s most ambitious climate change effort. Despite the costs of this regulatory monstrosity, the Clean Power Plan would have no discernible impact in global carbon dioxide emissions over the next three decades.

That’s not the conclusion of climate change “deniers.” That’s what the Obama administration’s own Department of Energy said in a report issued in May 2016.

As part of its International Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration provided long-term forecasts of energy-related CO2 emissions, comparing global emissions with the Clean Power Plan, and without it.

What it shows is that with the Clean Power Plan, global carbon emissions would still climb 32% in 2012 and 2040, only slightly below what the increase will be without it.

So why did we cripple our domestic energy production and put thousands of people out of work? Rush Limbaugh has commented many times that the environmental movement is the new home for the socialists and communists of the world. As countries with basic freedoms have become more prosperous, countries that do not have basic property rights have become poorer. Those poorer countries would very much like to find a way to extort money from the richer countries. That is exactly what a worldwide carbon tax would do. How do you implement a worldwide carbon tax? You convince people that wealthy nations are ruining the earth and need to pay a price for it, and you give the money to the tyrants of the world.

Please understand, I am not in favor of pollution. However, I am in favor of balancing the economy and the environment.

The article further points out:

As we noted in this space recently, without any government mandates, energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. fell 12.4% from 2007 to 2015. Overall carbon intensity — a measure of how much CO2 it takes to produce a dollar of GDP — declined an average 1.5% a year since 2005.

These gains are due both to the fracking breakthrough, which unleashed massive supplies of lower-carbon natural gas, and the unending pressure the free market puts on businesses to be more efficient.

This same market-driven decarbonizing trend has been happening around the world.

Between 1990 and 2012, the carbon intensity of developed nations dropped by 33%, and by 25% in developing countries. By 2040, the carbon intensity of developed nations will be cut in half, the report projects, and will drop by almost 40% in developed countries, the Energy Department report shows.

Yet overall energy-related CO2 emissions will still climb by 51% in developing countries, and 8% among industrialized nations, from 2012 to 2040 — even with the Paris agreement.

Why? “Increases in output per capita coupled with population growth overwhelm improvements in energy intensity and carbon intensity,” the report explains.

In other words, barring some miracle scientific breakthrough, the only reliable way to cut global carbon emissions would be to depopulate the planet or kill economic growth.

The global warming panic is nothing more than a stealth attack on our economy and freedom. As I have stated before, the best site on the Internet for good, scientific information on climate change is wattsupwiththat.com. I strongly recommend that you visit the site when you wonder about the scientific accuracy of whatever current panic attack the environmentalists are having.

Americans Have Common Sense, Do Our Leaders?

Yesterday The Hill posted an article about sanctuary cities. There is a surprising amount of public support for President Trump’s deportation of criminal aliens.

The article reports:

The poll shows that President Trump has broad public support in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities.

A survey from HarvardHarris Poll provided exclusively to The Hill found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.

As it stands, hundreds of cities across the nation — many with Democratic mayors or city councils — are refusing to do so.

Trump has signed an executive order directing Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to find ways to starve these sanctuary cities of federal funding. A Reuters analysis found the top 10 sanctuary cities in the U.S. receive $2.27 billion in federal funding for programs ranging from public health services to early childhood education.

We need to deal with our own citizens who are living in poverty before we open our borders to more dependents.

The article includes the following graph:

If we are to be a nation of laws, we need to enforce our laws.

Putting Law Enforcement People At Risk

There are some real questions as to President Obama’s attitude toward police. A recent executive order really raises more questions.

Fox News reported Wednesday that:

President Obama issued Executive Order 13688 in January after the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Mo., amid concerns about the “militarization” of the police fueling a heavy-handed response.

The article explains:

Sheriffs using the program are outraged, saying that the main focus of the initial backlash – the armored tracked vehicles – are purely defensive vehicles that save lives in crisis situations, and double as rescue vehicles in areas with rough terrain.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., told FoxNews.com of a situation in which an active shooter was holed up in his house shooting out of the windows, hitting nearby homes. Bouchard said they were able to use the vehicle to evacuate residents from houses, while also protecting police officers from being shot. During the siege, over 500 rounds of ammunition were exchanged.

“There’s no question that saved lives,” Bouchard, who is also a former senatorial and gubernatorial candidate, said. “We have letters from people we evacuated saying ‘we don’t know what you could have done to save us without that armored vehicle.’”

Bouchard said the federal government’s crackdown on the equipment is an example of the disconnect between Obama’s claims and reality.

“His verbiage calls these tanks. These aren’t tanks. There is no offensive weaponry mounted on a tracked armored vehicle in any police department. These are big safe boxes,” he said.

This is not the time to ask local police departments to give up weapons and machines that keep them safe. We are under a rather severe terrorist threat, and local police departments need all of the weapons they can get.

The executive order to take these weapons away from local police was part of President Obama’s response to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. We need to remember some of the specifics regarding the events of Ferguson. The policeman involved did not use excessive force, the criminal (yes, he had robbed a convenience store) had already attempted to steal the policeman’s gun and was charging the policeman. Remember that at one point in the Baltimore riots, the police were told not to restrain the rioters. These are things to think about.

Stop and think for a moment. If the local police force is stripped of all of its heavy weapons, who will have those weapons? Do you trust a federal government with weapons that would be overwhelming to local police forces? Do local police forces need safe vehicles to use in the case of terrorist attacks?

At the same time, ask yourself why in August of 2012  it was reported that Social Security Administration had purchased 174,000 rounds of ammunition, adding the agency to a growing list of federal agencies that have purchased multithousands of rounds of ammo over the last six months. This was reported in The Examiner on August 15, 2012.

I support the right of local law enforcement to have whatever armor and weapons they feel are needed. I also support the right of individual citizens to own guns.

Quietly Infringing On The Second Amendment

Historically, one of the first steps in gun confiscation is the registration of all privately-owned firearms. That step makes it very simple for authorities to quickly go to the homes where firearms are owned and take them away. Gun registration in America has not met with a lot of success, so those who would like to ignore the Second Amendment are looking for alternative ways to determine which households own guns.

ObamaCare included a section that stated:

(2) Limitation on data collection

None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to-

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

On November 4, 2015, U. S. House of Representatives Representative Michael M. Honda, a Democrat from California, introduced H.R. 3926 To amend the Public Service Act to provide for better understanding of the epidemic of gun violence, and for other purposes.

The bill includes the following section:

SEC. 4. Protecting confidential doctor-patient relationship.

Section 2717(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–17(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(6) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Notwithstanding the previous provisions of this subsection, none of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an amendment made by that Act, or this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a physician or other health care provider from—

“(A) asking a patient about the ownership, possession, use, or storage of a firearm or ammunition in the home of such patient;

“(B) speaking to a patient about gun safety; or

“(C) reporting to the authorities a patient’s threat of violence.”.

As of the writing of this article, the bill has 36 co-sponsors–all Democrats.

On Friday, a website called guns.com reported:

Federal research of gun violence as a health care issue had been largely defunded for 17 years until President Obama’s January 2013 executive order partially restored it. This order lead to the National Institutes of Health publicly requesting research projects on the topic for funding consideration.

The CDC peeked into gun violence as part of a White House by executive order following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, but its results were surprising to gun control advocates. The final study found that defensive gun use was common, while mass shootings were not. It was also discovered that when guns are used in self-defense the victims consistently have lower injury rates than those who are unarmed, even compared with those who used other forms of self-defense.

Taking guns away from innocent people does not make anyone safer. It amazes me that this seemingly rather obvious concept seems to be beyond the reach of many of our leaders.

Does The U.S. Constitution Matter?

Yesterday an article at The Blaze reported that the major television networks will not be carrying President Obama’s immigration speech tonight. CNN media reporter Brian Stelter is reporting that the speech will be carried on Univision (the Spanish network) and other cable channels. Univision will delay the start of the 2015 Latin Grammy Awards, one of the network’s biggest shows of the year, with a 2014 viewership of nearly 10 million. It is not a coincidence that the speech is being carried on Univision or that it is beginning at the time when Univision viewers will be tuning in to see the 2015 Latin Grammy Awards. Essentially, President Obama is doing an end run around the wishes of the American people.

This is the video posted on YouTube of President Obama explaining why it is not legal for him to do what he is going to do tonight:

Peter Wehner posted an article yesterday at Commentary Magazine explaining exactly what President Obama is going to do tonight. The article is entitled, “Obama Is About to Commit an Act of Constitutional Infamy.” Unfortunately, that is a really good description of what is unfolding before us.

The article at Commentary Magazine states:

As the liberal law professor Jonathan Turley put it last night, this is a “particularly dangerous moment” for the president to defy the will of Congress yet again, just 15 days after an election in which the American people registered their emphatic (anti-Obama) judgment. “What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution,” according to Professor Turley. “We have a separation of powers that gives us balance. And that doesn’t protect the branches — it’s not there to protect the executive branch or legislative branch — it’s to protect liberty. It’s to prevent any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.”

What is about to happen may be the low point in a presidency filled with them. Mr. Obama is acting in a way that he himself knows–that he himself has said–is unconstitutional and indefensible. No matter. In an act of unmatched narcissism and selfishness, the president will create–he is thirsting to create–a constitutional crisis that is utterly unnecessary and will further polarize our political culture.

Mr. Obama is about to commit an act of constitutional infamy. This is a stain that will stay with him.

Congress needs to protect our Constitution. Our future, and theirs, depend on it.

A Dangerous Executive Order

The Daily Signal posted an article today about President Obama’s latest Executive Order. The President claims that the order will bar federal contractors from practicing “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. That sounds good, but there are some problems with it.

The article reports:

Today’s executive order does not contain any religious liberty protections—though it does retain an older federal regulation that permits religious organizations that favor employment of co-religionists to continue such practices. But there is no protection for organizations that hire based on mission—not on affiliation—to continue to do so. This in effect excludes taxpayers who hold conscientious beliefs about sexuality that run counter to Obama’s from being eligible for federal contracts funded with their own tax dollars.

The article also explains the solution for this Executive Order:

In response to this executive order, Congress has an opportunity to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act—sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in the House (H.R. 3133) with more than 100 co-sponsors of both parties and sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R – Utah, in the Senate (S. 1808) with 17 co-sponsors—would prevent the federal government from taking such adverse actions. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Indeed, tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement.

We have always had transgendered people with us. They should be treated with respect. However, people with religious convictions should also be treated with respect. The right of conscience has always been a part of American law–from abortion law to gender issues. The Executive Order President Obama signed today is an affront to the freedom of all Americans–it does not respect their First Amendment right to practice and live according to their religious beliefs. Someone needs to read the U.S. Constitution to all of the people in Washington .

The Quiet Government War Against Guns

According to a Breitbart.com article posted on January 8, 2014, Operation Choke Point is an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009.

Breitbart reports:

It (Operation Choke Point) also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation’s banks and related financial institutions.

In an article posted yesterday, the Daily Caller describes Operation Choke Point as follows:

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, the story at the Daily Caller was about a Massachusetts gun shop owner who was denied a loan from TD Bank because he owned a gun shop.

This is the story:

Mark Cohen, who owns Powderhorn Outfitters, a Hyannis, Mass. gun retailer, said that his longtime bank, TD Bank, refused to extend a line of credit because of the business he is in.

Cohen explained what happened in an interview with The Daily Caller on Friday.

“This year I went to apply for a line of credit, and the bank manager came by the store,” said Cohen, adding that he’s known the bank manager for over 20 years.

“Mark, I apologize,” she said, according to Cohen, “your credit history is great, but the bank is turning you down because you sell guns.”

Cohen told his friend and lender that he would have no choice but to close his accounts with the bank since they couldn’t provide the services his company needs.

…Cohen believes that TD Bank didn’t want to do business with his gun store because of a government initiative called Operation Choke Point.

TD Bank has since tried to make amends, but Mr. Cohen has said that he will no longer do business with them. There is no law against legally selling guns, and there is no indication or charge that Mr. Cohen was doing anything illegal. We currently have an out-of-control federal government. We have November 2014 and November 2016 to shut it down. If we elect people who will continue in the direction we are going, we deserve what we get.

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The Latest Executive Order From President Obama Is Not What It Appears To Be

Executive Orders are getting old. According to Snopes, a sometimes reliable source, President Obama had issued 138 Executive Orders as of September 2012. In his two terms as President, George W. Bush issued 291.

Today the Daily Caller posted an article about an upcoming Executive Order to be issued by President Obama. The Order will “ban almost all re-imports of military surplus firearms to private entities.” Other than the fact that it is gun control law the President can’t get through Congress, it sounds rather harmless. Unfortunately it isn’t. This Executive Order will effectively shut down the 110-year-old Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).

The article explains:

The CMP tightly controls the importation of obsolete military weapons. The program was created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 1903 War Department Appropriations Act with the purpose of allowing civilians to hone their marksmanship skills, should they later be called into military service.

…There are no data indicating any of the weapons involved in homicide were imported surplus military rifles. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s homicide crime statistics, rifles accounted for only 323 deaths out of 12,664 homicides in 2011, the most recent data set provided by the FBI.

“Apart from a donation of surplus .22 and .30 caliber rifles in the Army’s inventory to the CMP, the CMP receives no federal funding,” the CMP website states, adding that they have been overwhelmed by requests and orders are taking 30-60 days to ship product.

This is an end run around Congress to take guns away from innocent, hard-working civilians.

The article concludes:

The rifles that the Executive Order would affect are typically from U.S. allies and are pre-Vietnam era. Without the importation of these rifles, the CMP is likely to become defunct and thus destroying a 110 year tradition of saving military arms and their civilian ownership.

I don’t know how much power Congress has in relation to Executive Orders, but Congress needs to develop a backbone and fight this one. This Order has nothing to do with crime or keeping Americans safe–it is simply a move by a petty tyrant to take firearms and firearm training away from Americans.

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Obama Is Politically Tone Deaf As He Is Ready To Begin His Second Term

The battle over the fiscal cliff continues. Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Today’s Weekly Standard is reporting that President Obama has issued an executive order ending the pay freeze on federal employees, thus giving a pay raise to Vice-President Biden and members of Congress.

The pay raises are not large, but it does seem odd that at a time when government spending is spiraling out of control, the government is giving out raises to government workers. Also, I would withhold a raise to Congress until they pass a budget.

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A Program That Needs To Be Stopped Before It Begins

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story about the changes being made on the federal level to school curriculum in America. We are replacing classic literature with propaganda and junk.

The article reports:

Consider that one of the “informational texts” recommended as a replacement for, say, Great Expectations is “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” Students would thus study government propaganda in English class (this Executive Order was issued under President Bush, but it is still propaganda — a political sop to the environmental left, as Stanley Kurtz shows).

Another Common Core’s non-fiction exemplar is an excerpt from a 2009 New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande on health care. This too is propaganda – an effort to show that Obamacare is wise policy.

Proponents of downgrading the teaching of literature claim that their goal is to make sure U.S. students can read and understand complicated texts. But there are plenty of complicated texts that don’t amount to political propaganda, much less propaganda relating to current hot-button policy issues in which the Obama administration is heavily invested. If teaching students how to read such texts were the only goal here, the list of exemplar tests wouldn’t include one-sided political tracts about health care and the environment.

The new curriculum is related to the Race to the Top funds being given out by the Obama Administration. States are required to adopt common standards in order to compete for Race to the Top funds.

The article explains what this is about:

The shrewdest aspect of Obama’s education power play is the relative absence of his fingerprints. As noted, Common Core is being presented as having been adopted in 46 states and the District of Columbia. In reality, though, most of them hadn’t even seen the new standards. They were induced to agree to adopt whatever curriculum leftists like Darling-Hammond came up with as a condition of receiving federal funds.

There is value in a classical education. It should not be phased out in favor of an education that does not allow students to enjoy the writings of some of the great authors of the past. I realize that today’s children live in a world of instant information and texting, rather then literature, but they still need to know some of the great authors in western literature.

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Pay Attention–Your Freedom Is At Risk

The Justice Department is now going after individual citizens who disagree with their political policies. A recent case, the Judge ruled correctly, but the fact that the case was brought is chilling. It is easy to see from the actions of the President and the Justice Department that both are strong supporters of abortion. Although the heathcare directive that religious organizations provide contraception services (and abortion services) violates the First Amendment rights of these organizations, the Obama Administration has strongly supported the directive. The Executive Order stating that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for abortions has turned out to be worthless when viewed against the procedures set up in Obamacare.

The pro-abortion attitude is now reflected in an attack on a pro-life citizen acting within her rights. On Friday the Daily Caller posted a story about the court case against Mary “Susan” Pine, a pro-life sidewalk counselor. Holder v. Pine charged Ms. Pine with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance (FACE) Act.

The article reports:

You won’t hear it from the mainstream media, but the Justice Department has just faced an embarrassing smack down on the highest profile of these cases. It has dropped an appeal in Holder v. Pine against pro-life sidewalk counselor Mary “Susan” Pine, who is represented by the civil rights firm Liberty Counsel. The DOJ has agreed to pay $120,000 for this frivolous lawsuit which, as the evidence indicated, was intended to intimidate Ms. Pine and send a shot over the bow of pro-lifers around the country.

The case itself was interesting. The article reports some of the Judge’s statement:
 
Judge Ryskamp wrote that Holder’s complete failure to present any evidence of wrongdoing, coupled with the DOJ’s cozy relationship with PWC and their apparent joint decision to destroy video surveillance footage of the alleged “obstruction,” caused the court to suspect a conspiracy at the highest levels of the Obama administration. “The Court is at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place,” wrote Judge Ryskamp. “The Court can only wonder whether this action was the product of a concerted effort between the Government and PWC, which began well before the date of the incident at issue, to quell Ms. Pine’s activities rather than to vindicate the rights of those allegedly aggrieved by Ms. Pine’s conduct.”
 
At least the Judge acted on the evidence and not the politics.
 
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What Makes A Contract A Contract ?

The legal definition of a contract is an agreement that two parties enter into voluntarily. Helen Whalen Cohen posted an article at Townhall.com asking if Obamacare violates this basic concept. Ms. Cohen also points out how bad things can get when a government enters into contracts with the governed without the consent of the governed.

Jim Powell at the Cato Institute cited a few examples of government forced contracts that did not turn out well in a recent article he wrote for Forbes Magazine.

Mr. Powell points out:

…For example, on April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 that mandated Americans to surrender their gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates to the government by May 1, 1933.

…On February 19, 1942, amidst war hysteria, FDR issued Executive Order 9066 mandating that some 110,000 peaceful Japanese Americans be hustled away from the Pacific Coast and into places like the urine-soaked Santa Anita racetrack stables until these people could be moved to Spartan “War Relocation Camps.”

…On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon issued Executive Order 11615, mandating price controls, rent controls, wage and salary controls. By forcing people to do their business at below-market prices, Nixon’s controls encouraged consumers to buy more, while encouraging producers to supply less. Consequently, the controls caused shortages that led to rationing and daily inconvenience.

…In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs’ most hated tax was the corvée — forced labor that had to be provided on demand for, among other things, quarrying stone and building pyramids.

…After the U.S. Civil War, many blacks didn’t want to work for former masters who had tormented them. But The Union army, occupying the South, pressured former slaves to sign annual contracts with plantation owners, and blacks were forbidden to leave plantations without the owners’ permission — the same policy as under slavery.

…During the 1930s, Nazis began barring Jews from professions and ordering Germans not to do business with Jews. By December 1938, there were substantial numbers of unemployed Jews, and the regime issued a decree that ordered these people to register for forced labor.

Etc., etc., etc. The point here is that a forced contract is simply not a good idea.

Mr. Powell concludes:

Four thoughts:

1. Most of the cases I mentioned took place during a war, a financial crisis or other emergency leading people to accept extreme measures that are unthinkable in easier times.

2. Nobody can predict when the next emergency will occur.

3. There isn’t any reliable way of keeping bad or incompetent people out of power.

4. Once government gains additional power, it’s exceedingly difficult to roll back.

These are major reasons why we should uphold our Constitution with limited and enumerated powers.

I hope the Supreme Court Justices take these ideas into consideration.

 

 

 

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Agenda 21

In June I wrote an article (rightwinggranny.com) about an Executive Order signed by President Obama establishing the White House Rural Council with 25 executive branch departments. This Executive Order is the beginning of the implementation of Agenda 21.

On Monday night, I was fortunate to attend a seminar on Agenda 21 put on by the Northborough Massachusetts Tea Party. The seminar was eye-opening. It revealed how the ‘green’ movement was going to be used to undermine the concept of private property in America and allow for the redistribution of wealth. t would take too long to detail everything discussed at the seminar, but I would like to share a few quotes. If you would like to learn more, I suggest you google ‘Agenda 21’ or ‘ICLEI.’

Some interesting quotes:

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class–involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing–are not sustainable.”  Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit

“Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of the accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.”  This is a quote from the 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlement, held in Vancouver, Canada. Under “Section D. Land,” of the Report of Habitat, which came out of the conference. It is from the preamble and speaks of the private ownership of land.

Please do your own research on how Agenda 21 has impacted your community. When one member of our Tuesday night discussion group went to the website of his community, he found evidence of ICLEI involvement all through the website. The idea that we should protect our environment is a good one–but that protection needs to be done on a local level in a way that respects individual property rights. As you do your research, remember that private property rights are one of the pillars of our representative republic.

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