What Are We Teaching Our Children In School?

According to Business Insider, the median age of an Apple employee is 31 years old. That really doesn’t tell us much except to imply that half of the employees are under 31 and half are over 31. A much more interesting number comes from an internal survey of Apple employees.

On September 1, InfoWars reported that 71.98% Of Apple Employees Say Repeal The First Amendment. It is ironic that the First Amendment protects their right to say that. I would venture to say that the number who also want to repeal the Second Amendment is probably comparable.

This is what happens when you do not teach history to American students. Our republic is always a generation away from disappearing. If we are to maintain our freedoms, we need to teach the value of those freedoms to our children. If they don’t value those freedoms, they will not preserve them.

This is a warning to young parents. If your children are not in a school that teaches the founding documents of America, the principles behind them, and why they are important, find another school. It’s that important.

Insanity Among Some Americans

Yesterday Todd Starnes posted an article about Brigadier General John Teichert, the new wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Brigadier General Teichert owns a website called, “Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States.”

The article reports:

…a press release from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation calling for the arrest of now Brigadier General Teichert – the new wing commander at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is an organization that trolls military bases in search of any public display of the Christian faith. They are typically triggered by Nativity scenes and Bibles placed on Missing Man tables.

MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein was especially angered to learn that Gen. Teichert owns a website called, “Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States.”

The website encourages “Bible-believing Americans to take time to specifically pray for our nation at lunchtime every day.” It also features a prayer list – including among others President Trump, Vice President Pence, Congress and the military.

Weinstein demanded that Defense Secretary James Mattis launch an immediate investigation – calling Gen. Teichert a “fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation claims to represent 41 personnel at Edwards AFB who are allegedly offended by the general’s personal website.

“Brigadier General Tiechert’s disgraceful, illegal and brazen promotion of his personal flavor of his weaponized version of Christianity represents one of the worst and most egregious cases MRFF has ever encountered in its 13 years of First Amendment civil rights advocacy,” Weinstein said in a prepared statement.

He went on to allege the general’s website violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice and demanded he must be investigated, prosecuted, convicted and punished.

“General Teichert should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a Wing wearing a General’s stars,” Weinstein said.

The Pentagon has not responded to my inquiries about Mr. Weinstein’s complaint, but the allegations are so outlandish they deserve no response.

“The Air Force appears to be doing exactly what it should upon receiving a complaint from Mikey Weinstein: ignoring him,” First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry told me. “Like so many complaints by the MRFF, this complaint is vindictive, intolerant, and completely without merit.”

Unless the Brigadier General was coercing people to go to his website, I really don’t think Mikey Weinstein has a case.

The article concludes:

During the Obama Administration Weinstein once bragged about having a hot line to the Pentagon. It’s beyond time for the Trump Administration to disconnect the number.

It’s time to put a stop to these vile and hateful attacks on Christian members of our military. Demanding that a general be imprisoned because he prays? Calling him an extremist predator? Outrageous!

It seems to me the only fundamentalist, extremist predator in this case is the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Mikey Weinstein is entitled to his opinion of Christianity. He is not entitled to prevent anyone from practicing Christianity.

If You Ever Doubted That Free Speech Is In Danger

The Washington Times posted an article today about a request made to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai by Senate Democrats to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting Group for “news distortion.” Yup. Right after they investigate CBS, NBC, ABC, and The New York Times for ‘news distortion.’ The request was denied.

The article reports:

“Thank you for your letter requesting that the Commission investigate a broadcaster based on the content of its news coverage and promotion of that coverage,” said Mr. Pai in his letter. “In light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press, I must respectfully decline.”

His reply was dated April 12, the day after the request from 11 Senate Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, who cited Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company.

 “We are concerned that if the Sinclair-Tribune merger continues without a thorough review of these new facts, Sinclair’s practices of news distortion will proliferate to even more local stations, which Americans rely upon every day for fair and impartial news,” said the Senate letter.

Signers, including Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said they were “alarmed” by Sinclair’s local anchors being required to read a promotional message last month about “biased and false news.”

The promo touted the stations’ commitment to balanced journalism and warned that “some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.”

 In their letter, the senators said that such “must-run dictates from Sinclair harm the freedom of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment by turning local journalists into mouthpieces for a corporate and political agenda.”

Mr. Pai responded that the FCC lacks the authority to yank broadcast licenses “based on the content of a particular newscast.”

Up until about 1991, when Rush Limbaugh arrived on the national scene, the political left had a monopoly on news–the networks and the major newspapers. Their monopoly has been slowly slipping away from them since then. Needless to say, the mainstream media does not like the competition. They have been trying to put Fox News out of business since it began by name calling and boycotting sponsors. This request is one of many examples of the need for the alternative media. It is also an example of the attack on free speech (further illustrated by what is happening on some of our college campuses).

Are We Losing Our Religious Freedom?

Yesterday Fox News reported the story of Eric Walsh, a lay minister in Georgia. The State of Georgia has asked that Dr. Walsh turn over copies of his sermons.

The article reports:

“Please produce a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts,” Attorney General Samuel Olens wrote to attorneys representing Dr. Eric Walsh.

…Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister had been hired in May 2014 by as a District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health. A week later, a government official asked him to submit copies of his sermons for review. He complied and two days later he was fired.

His attorneys said the government was curious about sermons Dr. Walsh delivered on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science and creationism. He also preached on what the Bible says regarding homosexuality.

He has since filed a federal lawsuit charging state officials with engaging in religious discrimination.

“He was fired for something he said in a sermon,” attorney Jeremy Dys told me. “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”

Dr. Walsh has assembled a powerhouse legal team comprised of Parks, Chesin & Walbert along with First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms.

“It’s an incredible intrusion on the sanctity of the pulpit,” Dys said. “This is probably the most invasive reach into the pulpit by the state that I’ve ever seen.”

The First Amendment applies to churches. The government has no right to examine or control what is preached from America‘s pulpits. Although separation of church and state is not part of the Constitution (the concept is based on a letter from Thomas Jefferson), the Constitution states that the government does not have the right to interfere with the free exercise of religion.

This is not the first time a pastor has been asked to submit his sermons to the government. About two years ago I posted an article about a similar request in Texas.

These requests are unconstitutional. We need to make sure that they are not allowed to stand.

 

The Central Issue In The November Presidential Election

There are a lot of issues floating around the presidential election in November–globalism vs. nationalism, gun control vs. the Second Amendment, freedom of speech, religious freedom, etc., but there is one very subtle issue that really needs to be looked at carefully if you care about the future of America.

On Wednesday, the American Family Association (AFA) posted an article about a recent statement by Donald Trump about this election.

In August, The Washington Post reported:

Donald Trump, trailing narrowly in presidential polls, has issued a warning to worried Republican voters: The election will be “rigged” against him — and he could lose as a result.

Trump pointed to several court cases nationwide in which restrictive laws requiring voters to show identification have been thrown out. He said those decisions open the door to fraud in November.

“If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised,” he told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times.”

The article was dismissive of the charges–not a surprise, considering the political bent of the newspaper, but we have seen clear evidence of voter fraud in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, so the idea of voter fraud is not shocking.

The AFA article explains exactly how the system is rigged:

This makes two debates in the past week where the moderator’s biases have been clearly evident. The American people can’t even get a fair and balanced debate.  Why? Because the Left’s ideas don’t work and if there ever were to be a fair debate, this would become quite obvious.

We all remember the role Candy Crowley‘s misinformation played in the 2012 debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. We can expect more of that sort of thing in the coming debates.

The AFA article further explains:

Over recent years, rogue federal judges have struck down voter I.D. laws in several key states. Laws aimed at preventing voter fraud have been partially or fully struck down in states like Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin to name a few. Many of the judges claimed that the voter I.D. laws would have caused a decrease in turnout for minority voters, specifically blacks.

This should be an offense to the entire black community. A federal judge makes the assumption that minorities aren’t responsible enough to acquire a government issued identification card. If individuals have to show their I.D. when buying tobacco or when going to see an R rated movie, then why is it unjust to apply the same standard to something as important as voting?

I would like to note that the majority of the judges ruling against voter ID were appointed by Democrats.

So what am I saying? The system is definitely slanted against Republicans. If Hillary is elected, that will continue and she will probably add to the problem. Unless you want America to become a banana republic where one party rules and is above the law, you need to vote for Trump. I really don’t care what the man does or what he is accused of, he is the alternative to losing our freedom. If you believe that the Clintons are pure as the wind-driven snow and have never spoken or acted crudely, then you are the result of the slanted media I have been talking about. There are some serious things on the line here–the Second Amendment and the First Amendment (including religious freedom) being two of them. Your vote counts.

Re-education Training In America?????

Today’s Washington Times posted an article about Cynthia and Robert Gifford. The Giffords own a 100-acre farm in Rensselaer County, New York. In August, a judge ruled that the Giffords were required by law to host a same-sex wedding despite the fact that same-sex marriage was against their religious views. The Giffords were fined $10,000 by the state Division of Human Rights and also ordered to pay the McCarthys $1,500 each in damages for “the emotional injuries they suffered as a result of the discrimination.” Unfortunately, a New York appellate court upheld that ruling yesterday.

I believe that the court’s decision is in conflict with the First Amendment–it is infringing upon the rights of the Giffords to practice their religion, but there is another more disturbing aspect to this case.

The article reports:

The couple was also ordered “to implement re-education training classes designed to contradict the couple’s religious beliefs about marriage,” according to the ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom).

Re-education? Designed to contradict the couple’s religious beliefs about marriage? What in the world is going on here? How is this not an infringement on their First Amendment rights when the government is going to re-educate them to attempt to remove their religious belief?

Our First and Second Amendments are under attack. If Americans do not quickly wake up and elect people who will uphold our laws rather than rewrite them, we will lose our republic. Judges in most states are appointed by elected officials. Pay attention to whom you elect.

Losing Our First Amendment Rights

On December 17, 2015, Representative Donald S. Beyer, Jr., a Democratic Congressman from Virginia, introduced House Resolution 569 into the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is the text of the Resolution (taken from thomas.gov):

RESOLUTION

Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.

Whereas the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim;

Whereas the constitutional right to freedom of religious practice is a cherished United States value and violence or hate speech towards any United States community based on faith is in contravention of the Nation’s founding principles;

Whereas there are millions of Muslims in the United States, a community made up of many diverse beliefs and cultures, and both immigrants and native-born citizens;

Whereas this Muslim community is recognized as having made innumerable contributions to the cultural and economic fabric and well-being of United States society;

Whereas hateful and intolerant acts against Muslims are contrary to the United States values of acceptance, welcoming, and fellowship with those of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

Whereas these acts affect not only the individual victims but also their families, communities, and the entire group whose faith or beliefs were the motivation for the act;

Whereas Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing have been disproportionately targeted because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances; and

Whereas the rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance plays into the false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam, and can encourage certain individuals to react in extreme and violent ways: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes;

(2) steadfastly confirms its dedication to the rights and dignity of all its citizens of all faiths, beliefs, and cultures;

(3) denounces in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim;

(4) recognizes that the United States Muslim community has made countless positive contributions to United States society;

(5) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all United States citizens, including Muslims in the United States, should be protected and preserved;

(6) urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes; and

(7) reaffirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear and intimidation, and to practice their freedom of faith.

We need to be really careful about this resolution. Where is the rule against hate speech against Jews, Christians, Blacks. Indians, etc.? Note that this law makes hate speech a crime. I am not a fan of hate speech, but making it a crime is a dangerous infringement on the First Amendment. Hate speech is speech–not action. If actions follow, they need to be dealt with, but freedom to be an idiot is enshrined in the First Amendment. Just for the record, this law is in compliance with Sharia Law.

Let me explain the history of what is going on here. In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted under the oversight of Eleanor Roosevelt. The document was an attempt to internationalize the rights that Americans have under the U.S. Constitution. In 1985, Sa’id Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the UN from Iran said the following:

The very concept of human rights was “a Judeo-Christian invention” and inadmissible in Islam…. According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah’s “most despicable sins” was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1990, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) drafted the Cairo Declaration. It was introduced to the United Nations in 1993. This document controls OIC policy on human rights.

The Cairo Declaration states in Article 22 (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely to such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. Remember that according to Sharia Law slander is defined as mentioning anything concerning a person that he would dislike. Truth does not play into the equation. Saying you love Jesus could be considered slander (or hate speech) under Sharia.

The information in the previous four paragraphs is taken from Stephen Coughlin’s book Catastrophic Failure. It is a book all Americans need to read.

Back to the Resolution. This needs to be put to rest very quickly. It is a direct assault on the First Amendment. Please keep in mind that one of the stated goals of both the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS is to bring non-Muslims under Sharia Law. This Resolution is a perfect example of how that would work.

Our First Amendment Rights Are In Danger

Yesterday PJ Media reported that the Federal Election Commission is considering a rule which would require non-profit organizations to provide a list of donors. This would mean that pro-life groups, Tea Parties, etc. would have to disclose donors. If this seems innocent to you, I would like to remind you of an incident that happened in California last year.

In April of last year I reported:

The Foundry is reporting today that Mozilla Corp. co-founder Brendan Eich has resigned as CEO after a week of public criticism for his support of Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8 was the ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Brendan Eich had been at Mozilla for 15 years.

I have a few problems with the forced resignation of Mr. Eich. How does anyone know he contributed to a campaign supporting Proposition 8? Is that public information? Since when did supporting traditional marriage cost you your job? Aren’t Americans allowed to contribute to things they believe in?

The article at PJ Media points out:

Harassment of financial donors to conservative causes has become one of the standard tactics of the militant left. Speech regulations issued by the Federal Election Commission are therefore a necessary component of snuffing out financial support for conservative causes through harassment campaigns.

A half-century ago, liberal groups understood and respected this. The landmark case of NAACP vs. Alabama saw the Supreme Court protect the NAACP from having to disclose supporter information because of the harassment campaigns that would follow.

Now, with perfect hypocrisy, the PAC that issued the petition which triggered the FEC to consider rulemaking which would force disclosure of information does not disclose the full name of its leader. On the page detailing who runs Make Your Laws PAC, Inc., the founder, treasurer, and director is listed merely as “Sai”:

sai

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (of which I am counsel) has already submitted comments to the FEC opposing new federal powers over political freedom. Those comments can be found here. If you also oppose more power for Washington bureaucrats to pry private information from groups who speak out, you can add your own comments at this link.

If you value your First Amendment rights, please leave a comment at the link in the previous paragraph. This is truly a threat to free speech.

Should Pastors Have To Turn In Their Sermons To The City?

Hot Air is reporting the following today:

Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.

Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are hoping to force a repeal referendum when they get their day in court in January, claiming City Attorney David Feldman wrongly determined they had not gathered enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The article further reports:

The subpoenas for any electoral activity might be legally acceptable, since churches have a tax exemption — but that is generally a state and federal issue, not a municipal distinction. The demand to produce any comments regarding “homosexuality or gender identity” go straight to the heart of the First Amendment and on government censorship. The intent to intimidate Christian pastors into silence on these issues could not be clearer, and uses the threat of government action to back up that intimidation.

There are two issues here that I think are important. The first is that the ‘rights’ of homosexuals and other gender identity groups are usurping the First Amendment right of free speech and the free exercise of religion. The other issue here is that this ‘equal rights’ ordinance will eventually be used to declare Biblical truth as ‘hate speech’ and silence pastors preaching from the Bible in that way. In both cases, America loses.

I do not condone discrimination, but I do think everyone in the marketplace should be able to make their own decisions about who they do business with. A car dealership has the right to turn away a customer because the customer cannot afford to buy a car from that dealership. Doesn’t a business owner have a similar choice if someone is asking him to do something that violates his conscience? If a venue chooses not to be available for a homosexual wedding because the owner holds the Biblical view on homosexuality, should that vendor be asked to compromise his religious beliefs? Couldn’t the couple involved simply choose another venue? Again, I am not against homosexual rights–I just don’t want to see homosexual rights used as a vehicle to destroy the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

 

Senators Opposed To Free Speech

On Monday, the Washington Post posted an article by George Will on a recent move by Senate Democrats to limit free speech.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I am not a lawyer (neither were most of our founding fathers), but that seems pretty clear to me.

The Washington Post reports:

The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as “relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.” But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats’ amendment says: “Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” and may “prohibit” corporations — including nonprofit issue-advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money “to influence elections,” which is what most of them exist to do.

Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed “reasonable” will surely serve incumbents’ interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.

The foxes are guarding the hen house again.

This is the list of Senators proposing this bill. The names in italics are Senators running for re-election:

Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Angus King (Maine), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), John Walsh (Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).

This is one example of why we need term limits and Congressmen who understand the Constitution.

How Far Does Free Speech Go?

I will admit that free speech is not always comfortable. We have allowed Nazis to hold parades in America under the banner of free speech, and I am sure that everyone has groups they disagree with that hold parades or protest various things. That is their right. Or so we thought.

CBN News is reporting today that a federal appeals court has ruled against a group of Christian evangelists who were forced to leave an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012.

The article reports:

Festival-goers threw rocks and water bottles at members of the Bible Believers group when they denounced Islam and called Mohammed a false prophet.

In response, Wayne County authorities threatened to ticket the Christian group if they did not leave.

On Wednesday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed county authorities, ruling 2-1 that police were only trying to keep public order.

The article included part of the judges’ ruling:

“The video from the 2012 festival demonstrates that (evangelists’) speech and conduct intended to incite the crowd to turn violent. … Although robustly guarded by the First Amendment, religious conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society,” the three-judge panel wrote in its ruling.

Think about that for a minute. The judge was judging the intent of the evangelists–not the actions of the crowd. I thought when you threw a bottle at someone, you were responsible for throwing the bottle–I didn’t realize that the person you were throwing the bottle at was responsible for making you mad.

The dissenting judge had an opinion more in line with the First Amendment:

“The First Amendment protects plaintiffs’ speech, however bilious it was,” Judge Eric Clay wrote in his 11-page dissent. “The majority … provides a blueprint for the next police force that wants to silence speech without having to go through the burdensome process of law enforcement. I expect we will see this case again.”

Again, the evangelists were simply speaking–they were not rioting or destroying property. It was their speech that was stopped–not the actions of the violent crowd. We have forgotten who we are.

Another Unanimous Decision By The Supreme Court

WCVB.com is reporting today that the Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law requiring anti-abortion protesters to stay at least 35 feet from patients and staff at abortion clinics.

The article reports:

In the unanimous decision, justices ruled that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.

The ruling signals that states can pass laws ensuring access to clinics, but cannot more broadly ban speech on public streets and sidewalks.

According to the article, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley had a different opinion than the Court:

“It balances the rights of those who need and want access to the clinic. It balances the right and need for public safety. And it balances the rights of those who want to speak and to get their message out,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said in January.

The Supreme Court overruled the opinion of Ms. Coakley.

The Challenge To Union ‘Closed Shop’ Laws Moves Forward

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that a California case challenging union ‘closed shoplaws is moving forward. The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) has been trying to get the case challenging those laws to the Supreme Court. Currently they will be appealing the case to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ‘closed shop’ laws require anyone who is hired by a company where there is a union has to pay dues to that union whether they choose to join the union or not. The supposed rationale behind that is that the person hired benefits by the fact that the union has negotiated the current wage and benefits package of the company, and since the employee benefits from that negotiation, he should be required to pay union dues. In a ‘right to work’ state, that practice is prohibited.

The article reports:

CIR’s case argues that unions should not be able to get “security clauses” in the contracts they negotiate management. These clauses, also called “closed shop” rules, say that anyone hired must either join the union or at least pay dues to one. The rationale is that the clauses prevent economic “free riders” since all workers theoretically benefit from union collective bargaining.

Such clauses have long been a standard feature of union contracts, though 24 states have “right to work” laws that prohibit the practice.

CIR’s case argues that the practice should be prohibited even in those states without right to work laws because they violate the individual rights of workers. “These fees do nothing but cause ongoing and irreparable injury to their First Amendment rights,” Pell (CIR  President Terry Pell) said.

If this case goes to the Supreme Court and the right of the individual not to pay union dues if he chooses, all states will become ‘right to work’ states. Obviously, the unions are trying to prevent that from happening.

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What Is Happening To My Country?

Yesterday I posted a story about Audrey Hudson, a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter (rightwinggranny.com). Yesterday the Washington Times posted a story about the incident.

The Washington Times reported:

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.

“While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter,” Times Editor John Solomon said. “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.

“Homeland’s conduct in seizing privileged reporters notes and Freedom of Information Act documents raises serious Fourth Amendment issues, and our lawyers are preparing an appropriate legal response,” he said.

Keep that story in mind as you read the rest of this article.

On October 21, I posted an article about the behavior of the Park Police during the government shutdown (rightwinggranny.com). The source of that article was a John Fund article at National Review Online. The question being asked in the article was if the Obama Administration can use the Park Police to fight a political battle, what other federal agencies can they co-opt? Again I ask, when were the shut-down signs and the barricades ordered and who authorized the order?

On October 23, The Blaze reported that a total of nine commanding generals have been fired this year. The article lists the generals and contains a video of an interview with the reporter investigating this.

Where were you when you first heard the expression “shelter in place?” That was mainly added to the American vocabulary after the Boston Marathon Bombing. Think about that for a moment. In the past, when a criminal escaped from jail, we were told to lock our doors and windows and be alert. I don’t ever remember hearing the expression “shelter in place.” Shelter in place implies Martial Law. Is that something that is going to become routine?

I list the above incidents for your consideration. They may mean nothing, they may mean a lot. Think about them the next time you have the opportunity to vote. I don’t like the direction our country seems to be heading in. The only way to change that direction is to change the people running the country. The only way to change the people running the country is to vote the current people out and elect new people. We need to do that.

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The House Of Representatives Has Passed A New Stolen Valor Act

On September 14th Stars and Stripes reported that the U. S. House of Representatives passed a new Stolen Valor Act. The first Stolen Valor Act passed by Congress was struck down by the Supreme Court on freedom of speech issues. The House of Representatives voted 410-3 to pass the revised Stolen Valor Act.

The article reports:

The bill states that those who misrepresent their military service with the intent of receiving something of value would be subject to up to one year in prison. Following the lines of the court ruling, it exempts from punishment those who simply wear military medals or decorations that do not belong to them.

The Supreme Court, in its 6-3 decision overturning the 2006 Stolen Valor Act in June, ruled that while lying about receiving military awards might be contemptible, it was protected by the First Amendment. Several justices, however, also noted that it was established that the government could restrict speech if it involved false claims made to obtain money or other benefits.

I understand why the Supreme Court struck down the first law, but I don’t agree with their decision. I am glad to see the House has passed a new law dealing with false claims, but I still think that misrepresenting military honors or military service for any reason should be regarded as a serious crime. To allow anyone to claim military service or military honors they did not earn is to me simply a further disrespecting of those who have served valiantly in our armed forces. I hope this new bill becomes law, but it is not nearly as severe as it needs to be.

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Another Lawsuit Regarding The Health And Human Services’ Birth Control Mandate

CNS News reported yesterday that a court in Michigan will hear arguments against the Obama Administration’s Birth Control mandate on September 26.

The article reports:

The lawsuit aims to permanently block implementation of the Health and Human Services requirement that employees and individuals to obtain insurance coverage that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion-producing drugs without any cost-sharing. The HHS mandate imposes clear violations of conscience on Americans who morally object to abortion and contraception, the Law Center (the Thomas More Law Center) said in a news release.

The lawsuit also challenges the constitutionality of the HHS mandate because the mandate limits the rights of business owners to freely practice their religion.

The article states:

“Judge Cleland’s decision to expedite the briefing schedule and set a quick hearing date for oral arguments on our motion for a preliminary injunction against the Government was crucial,” said Thomas More Law Center attorney Erin Mersino. “It best serves our goal of protecting the religious freedoms of our clients. Without the Court’s timely intervention, the HHS mandate effectively penalizes their free exercise of religion,” he added.

The question of whether or not the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment is definitely headed to the Supreme Court. As I reported on July 28 (rightwinggranny.com), a Colorado company called Hercules Industries won a court case in the Tenth Circuit regarding the HHS mandate that companies provide birth control services in the health insurance policies.

As reported on July 28:

A federal court issued an order Friday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Colorado family-owned business while an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit challenging the mandate continues in court.

I am sure there will be much more to come on this issue.

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Losing Our First Amendment Rights

Townhall.com posted an article today about Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based corporation, a business owned and operated by the Newland family, that manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment.

The article reports:

The Newlands believe the morality the Catholic faith teaches them must animate their lives not only within the walls of the churches they attend, but literally everywhere else, as well — in the way they deal with their families, their neighbors and, yes, their business.

The Newlands sued to protect their free exercise of religion in this regard because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a regulation, under the Obamacare law, that requires virtually all health care plans to cover — without cost-sharing — sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.

Unfortunately, the family lost the lawsuit. The article reports:

In response to the Newlands’ complaint that ordering them to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church in the way they run their business is a violation of their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, the Obama administration told the federal court that a private business has no protection under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause — especially if the business is incorporated.

“The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church,” said the Justice Department. “Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer.”

“By definition,” said the Justice Department, “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion.'”

“It is well established that a corporation and its owners are wholly separate entities, and the Court should not permit the Newlands to eliminate that legal separation to impose their personal religious beliefs on the corporate entity or its employees,” said the Justice Department.

The message here is very simple. You are free to practice your religion in your church. The government will no longer allow you to exercise your beliefs anywhere outside of that church building. This is a far cry from the early days of America when churches were routinely meeting in the Senate and House of Representatives and public prayer by elected officials was accepted and expected. The attack on the First Amendment rights of religious people is one of the main characteristics of Obamacare. Obamacare needs to go away as quickly as possible!

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Free Speech ?

There have been a few instances in recent years that have called into question whether or not we have a First Amendment. Two recent examples are the four people charged with disorderly conduct because they were handing out copies of the Gospel of John outside an Arab cultural festival.(see rightwinggranny.com) and General Boykin being denied the right to speak at West Point because of his stand against Islamic terror (see rightwinggranny.com). The latest violation of the First Amendment by those who should be supporting it occurred near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Yesterday the Insurance Journal reported that the Thomas More Law Center has filed a civil suit against Allegan Michigan officials and the leaders of a Muslim civil rights organization that asked the city to cancel the event.

The article reports:

According to the suit, a speech given Jan. 28 by Kamal Saleem at Allegan High School was stopped by police acting on a letter opposing Saleem’s visit. The letter was sent several days earlier by Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The suit also said that police were told of possible _ and unconfirmed _ threats against Saleem, said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More center. Thompson said shutting down the meeting violated Saleem’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the Ann Arbor-based Thomas More center, commented, “The irony is this event was held to extol the virtues of the U.S. Constitution. In the middle, you have the police coming in and shutting it down. The audience is shouting ‘What about free speech?’ ”

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), stated, “We believe he is a bogus ex-terrorist. I’m saying he’s a total fraud. If they want to sue me, then sue me for defamation of character. We view this lawsuit as a nuisance and form of trying to drain advocacy organizations of their resources. Advocacy organizations have freedom of speech to raise concerns about people who propagate divisive messages in the community.”

We need to understand that CAIR was in unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case–they have an agenda. Their goal is to use the American legal system to undermine the rights of Americans and destroy the US Constitution so that it can be replaced with Sharia Law. If that sounds wild to you, please google the Holy Land Foundation Case and read the plans for destroying the American legal system. Those plans are included in the case documents and are available to the public.

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A Consice Summation Of A Really Dumb Story

Hugh Hewitt (my favorite talkshow host – on the internet at Townhall.com) posted an article at the Washington Examiner that I think totally sums up the recent Rush Limbaugh dust-up. The headline of the story is “Nothing shocks when anything goes.”

Mr. Hewitt states:

There is one standard for all commentary, and it ought to apply to Palin and Ms. Fluke, to President Obama and President Bush, to Justice Thomas and to Justice Kagan.

So credit nothing of a condemnation from anyone who has not first articulated his or her standard, preferably backed up with a reference to the rebukes they have handed out to themselves and their own team, and only if that standard condemns all of the profane, the vulgar and the bigoted.

Can we now get back to the real issue of a government forcing an organization to provide services that go against their religious beliefs?

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Is This The Direction We Should Be Heading ?

The Corner at National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy about a recent court ruling in Pennsylvania.

The article reported:

A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomy’s sharia defense — what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed — trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.

So let me get this straight. The assault victim, Ernie Perce, an activist atheist, paraded last October in a “Zombi Mohammed” costume. As a result of this, he was attacked by Talag Elbayomy. According to this judge, Mr. Perce’s First Amendment free speech rights are not valid since Mr. Elbayomy’s god was insulted. OK. So do this mean that if I want to attack someone physically for some of the anti-Christian artwork that has surfaced in recent years, I can do that and not be convicted? If I kill them, is it still ok?

This is totally ridiculous. I am not sure if appeal is an option in this case, but it should be. The U. S. Constitution trumps sharia law. If the judge does not believe that, he has no business being a judge in America.

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Having It Both Ways On Religious Organizations

On Friday CNS News posted an article about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) that President Obama signed into law on January 31 of this year. The government took over the student loan program in July of 2010. Now we are beginning to see the consequences.

The article reports:

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created by Congress in 2007 to encourage graduates to go into public service professions. The program forgives the balances of student loans for such graduates after they have made 120 full payments.

The new rules deny loan forgiveness to graduates who chose to go into public service with a religious orientation.

Religious organizations are seen as separate from public service in this law, yet in the healthcare law religious organizations are included and required to violate their consciences. The PSLFP also rules out labor unions and partisan political organizations. At least that makes sense.

The article further reports:

The Obama administration views anything the church does outside of the church building itself as not covered by the First Amendment’s religious liberty language.

Just as ObamaCare gave the Obama administration incredible power to regulate the health care industry – power it is now using to mandate limits to how Catholics live out their faith in America – the government takeover of the student loan business has empowered government to make these  new student loans forgiveness rules, by which the administration again attacks religious organizations that dare to reach out to the broader community.

Religious organization often view community outreach ministries as part of their religious mission. A church operating a free clinic for the poor, a shelter for the homeless, or gathering clothing and food for the less fortunate often views its efforts as both living out the will of the Savior and seeking to bring more people to Him. In other words, charity is often also a form of proselytizing.

The bottom line here is simple. The First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion. Most Christians interpret that as the freedom to practice their religion; the Obama Administration interprets that as the freedom to worship inside their church walls. The Obama Administration is attempting to take the morals of Christianity out of the public discourse. It’s time for all freedom-loving Americans to wake up and stop this assault on one of our basic freedoms.

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