Justice Turned Upside Down

In June of last year, I reported on a rape case in Idaho (here). I don’t usually write about such things, but this was an unusual case (I hope). A five-year-old special needs girl was sexually assaulted after being lured to the laundry room of the apartment complex where she lived. Three young men assaulted her–two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14. The attack was filmed by the oldest boy, so there is little doubt as to what happened.

However, it seems as if our justice system is not particularly interested in protecting little girls. World Net Daily recently posted an article about the trial of the young thugs.

Some highlights from the article:

A judge sentenced three Muslim refugee boys in the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in Idaho, but nobody knows the length or terms of the sentence because the judge has barred everyone in the courtroom, including the victim’s own parents, from speaking about the case.

The three boys — two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14 — pleaded guilty in juvenile court in April to multiple counts of sex crimes in an incident that occurred last June in Twin Falls. The assault occurred at Fawnbrook Apartments, when 5-year-old Jayla, who is developmentally disabled, was lured into a laundry room, stripped of her clothing and sexually assaulted while the oldest boy filmed the entire incident.

Now, following a sentencing hearing Monday at the Snake River Juvenile Detention Center in Twin Falls, Judge Thomas Borresen of Idaho’s 5th Judicial District issued a gag order preventing everyone in the courtroom from saying anything about the sentence received by the boys.

Borresen did allow the family to say they were unhappy with the sentencing, but threatened to jail them for contempt of court if they say why they are unhappy.

“We can’t talk about it since it’s a sealed case,” said Lacy Peterson, the girl’s mother, when contacted by WND Tuesday.

Mathew Staver, chairman and co-founder of the nonprofit legal assistance agency Liberty Counsel, has stated that the judge does not have the right to place a gag order after the trail has taken place. This is a violation of the Constitution.

Why would the judge seal the records after the trial? I understand that our legal system does not usually release the names of juvenile defendants, but are these thugs a threat to other women in the community? Shouldn’t parents be aware of who these thugs are?

If you had a young daughter and lived in this community, would you want these young men on the sexual predators list? The gag order is totally insane. I for one would like to know exactly what the sentence was for this crime.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The young girl’s parents were treated very badly, and the court seemed very concerned about any trauma her attackers might have suffered because they were arrested and not concerned about the trauma the little girl suffered. The entire story is upside down, and the judge is an example of a judge who is obviously not interested in making sure the lives and rights of Americans are protected.

 

Green Energy At Its Finest!

I am not against green energy. I am against government subsidies of green energy. If the free market is allowed to work in the alternative energy segment of the economy, we will get the best, most efficient, and least expensive form of alternative energy possible. Someone will make a huge profit from their invention, but I am fine with that. However, whenever the government gets involved, things get more expensive and less efficient.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted a story that is a glaring example of this. The story is about a solar roadway in Idaho.

The article quotes The Daily Caller:

An expensive solar road project in Idaho can’t even power a microwave most days, according to the project’s energy data.

The Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways project generated an average of 0.62 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day since it began publicly posting power data in late March. To put that in perspective, the average microwave or blow drier consumes about 1 kWh per day.

On March 29th, the solar road panels generated 0.26 kWh, or less electricity than a single plasma television consumes. On March 31st, the panels generated 1.06 kWh, enough to barely power a single microwave. The panels have been under-performing their expectations due to design flaws, but even if they had worked perfectly they’d have only powered a single water fountain and the lights in a nearby restroom.

Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways has been in development for 6.5 years and received a total of $4.3 million in funding to generate 90 cents worth of electricity.

I have no problem with Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways trying to develop a road that generates electricity. Go for it! However, I do have a problem with my tax dollars paying for their research. Let them create a prototype that investors would be interested in and go from there. That is the way the free market works. That is how people actually prosper.

 

A City Recognizes Freedom Of Religion

On Sunday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

I quoted a Daily Signal article which reported:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

It seemed to me that the ruling did not respect the Knapps right to practice their religious beliefs freely. Evidently the town in Idaho had second thoughts on the decision and has changed its mind.

The Washington Post is reporting today:

The city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said a for-profit wedding chapel owned by two ministers doesn’t have to perform same-sex marriages….

[City Attorney Michael] Gridley said after further review, he determined the ordinance doesn’t specify non-profit or for-profit.

“After we’ve looked at this some more, we have come to the conclusion they would be exempt from our ordinance because they are a religious corporation,” Gridley explained.

One has to wonder who the city attorneys talked to before they decided that the ministers were not breaking any laws.

The article concludes:

As I’ve argued before, I think more than just religious freedom is at stake here — the Free Speech Clause protects the right not to participate in verbal ceremonies, whether religious or otherwise, and whether they are pledges of allegiance (even ones without “under God”) or the conducting of wedding vows (even ones that are secular). A secular freelance writer, for instance, has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to write news releases for religious groups that he disapproves of (even if he generally takes commissions from the public), or articles praising ceremonies that he disapproves of. Likewise, a wedding officiant has a Free Speech Clause right to refuse to lead wedding ceremonies that he disapproves of. But at least I’m glad that, in this instance, the city has agreed that the ordinance doesn’t apply.

I believe that the freedom to practice religion is under attack in America. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality, and those Christians who believe in the Bible should be free to practice their religion. If the state chooses to marry homosexuals, that is a civil matter. If the state orders Christian pastors to perform gay weddings, the state is then infringing on the rights of Christians.That is the problem with the homosexual agenda–it discriminates against people who have a Christian worldview.

What About The Right To Practice Your Religion?

The Daily Signal posted an article yesterday about Donald and Evelyn Knapp, two ordained ministers who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel.

The article reports:

Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

I hope the Knapps have good lawyers working on this–it is blatantly unconstitutional.

The article explains the balance that is needed in this case:

States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form—both nonprofit and for-profit—to speak and act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. It is particularly egregious that the city would coerce ordained ministers to celebrate a religious ceremony in their chapel. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion arguing that this action “violates [the Knapps’s] First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, substantive due process, and equal protection.”

Citizens must work to prevent or repeal laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We must also insist on laws that protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

It is not my concern whether or not homosexuals marry. It is my concern when the rights of Americans are violated in order to give special privileges to any group. We need to get back to the place where the rights of all Americans are respected–the rights of religious people and the rights of homosexuals.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes A “Preposterous Assertion” Leads To The Truth

On Sunday Kimberly Strassel posted an article at the Wall Street Journal detailing some aspects of the current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal. Ms. Strassel reminds us that leadership comes from the top. President Obama didn’t have to be directly involved in the increased IRS scrutiny of conservative groups–he simply had to set the tone.

The article states:

Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.

One of the Democrat talking point on this scandal is that it is the result of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in 2010. What that decision did was to allow corporations, associations, and political groups the same privileges in election campaigns that unions had enjoyed for years. The decision essentially leveled the playing field. Unions had been legally pouring money into campaigns for years whether their members supported the candidates they were supporting or not. The Citizens United decision meant that corporations would also have that right. It is interesting to note that corporations generally have a Board of Directors they have to answer to–unions are answerable only to their own leadership–the ones making the donations.

Ms. Strassel reminds us how the Obama campaign treated Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot:

Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”

This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.

Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.

This leads me back to the title of this article and to Ms. Stassel’s conclusion:

The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter: Given the president’s “animosity” toward Citizens United, might he have “appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . .” Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with “That’s a preposterous assertion.”

Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is “outraged” and “angry” that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to “operate with absolute integrity.” Even when he does not.

I need to go on the record again as saying that I do not believe President Obama should be impeached. I believe that he has encouraged overreach by government agencies and misdeeds by supporters, but I don’t believe he should be impeached. President Obama has had enough Chicago experience to know how to avoid leaving his fingerprints on any questionable activity–an impeachment would simply divide the country and accomplish nothing.

So what do we need to do? If the mounting scandals bother you, get involved–in either party. There are good men in both parties–find one you can support and get to work. Every candidate needs people to mail things, hold signs, make phone calls, or simply show up at rallies. If you want to see integrity brought to Washington, become part of the process.

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This Is Understandable But Scary

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about a group of people organizing a community in Idaho. Doesn’t sound like news–builders construct golf communities, retirement communities, etc., all the time, but this is radically different. The community is called the Citadel.

The article reports:

Citadel organizers envision their project to be a community where residents are bound by a desire to “live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty,” which they have determined to mean “that neighbors keep their noses out of other neighbors’ business, that neighbors live and let live.”

Marxists, Socialists, Liberals, and Establishment Republicans may find that living within our Citadel Community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles,” the group — which claims no leader other than the “ideal of Jefferson’s Rightful Liberty” — explains on its website.

There are a lot of aspects of this community which frighten me. The article further reports:

The plans for the community — which they expect to build in Benewah County, Idaho, starting this summer — include at least 2,000 acres surrounded by a defensible perimeter that is “inaccessible to tourists.” Each neighborhood will also have separating walls “dividing the town into defensible sections/neighborhoods.”

What is the community planning for the relationship between the Citadel and its surrounding communities? Are state and federal authorities given the appropriate authority within the community? How does the community plan to handle legal matters? What prevents a small group of petty tyrants from taking over the community and turning into a place it is impossible to leave?

Maybe I have been reading too many conspiracy novels lately, but I think the risk here outweighs the benefits. I personally would prefer to take over my own private desert island and sit under the palm trees drinking drinks with little umbrellas in them. I think that is as likely as the success of this community.

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American, Your Property Rights Are Being Taken Away

On Friday, CNS News reported the story of Michael and Chantell Sackett, an Idaho couple who bought a piece of land in Idaho in order to build their dream house. Unfortunately, their plans to build their dream house have become a nightmare.

The article reports:

The Sacketts, small business owners in Idaho, located a lot in the northern part of the state in a town called Priest Lake. According to court documents, the lot is less than an acre and is just 500 feet from Priest Lake on its west side. It is separated from the lake by a house and a road and has no standing water or any hydrologic connection to Lake Priest or any other body of water.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared their lot a wetland, and the nightmare began.

The article further reports:

Following the EPA “compliance” order, the Sacketts hired a private engineer who, following an inspection of the property, provided a report stating that the property is not wetlands.The EPA did not relent.

On Monday (today) the case will go before the Supreme Court. This is a case to watch. The property was not listed on the EPA’s online wetland inventory, but the EPA declared it a wetland anyway. This sets a dangerous precedent. You can imagine local politicians getting involved in this sort of struggle and all sorts of money required to get the necessary permits. There is a very large chance for abuse if this arbitrary ruling is allowed to stand. I realize that we have an obligation to protect the environment, but we also have an obligation under our Constitution to protect private property rights.

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