The First Amendment

The First Amendment states:

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

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article about a drive-in church service in Mississippi that resulted in those present receiving tickets for $500 for attending. Just for the record, the cars had their windows closed and were following social distancing guidelines.

The article reports:

Temple Baptist members were staying in their vehicles with the windows rolled up to listen to Pastor Arthur Scott’s sermon on the radio, the paper said.

Lee Gordon — a 23-year member of the church as well as a representative for the Washington County Board of Supervisors — told the Democrat-Times the church has been using a low-power FM frequency to broadcast sermons in the parking lot for the last three weeks.

“The preacher is in the church at the pulpit, and we are streaming the service live as well,” Gordon added to the paper. “But a lot of our membership is elderly and [lacks access to streaming technology].”

Gordon told the Democrat-Times he and his wife were among those gathered in the church parking lot — and figured they all were abiding by the coronavirus social distancing guidelines given they were in their cars with the windows rolled up.

But that wasn’t the case — and they paid for it.

Gordon told the paper he and his wife were both issued $500 tickets.

“I think somebody called the police,” he added to the Democrat-Times. “And we were just doing the same thing we’ve been doing the last three weeks.”

Gordon noted to the paper that the police “were respectful and just doing their job. They asked us to leave first, and those who stayed got a ticket.”

This is not acceptable behavior. I might be a little more forgiving if the people had been packed inside the church, but they were in their cars following social distancing guidelines. There is no way the city had the right to shut that down. Unfortunately, that may happen in my city tomorrow as some churches are planning to do drive-in services.

Again, if the people are in their cars with the windows rolled up, how is that a problem? This is an obvious violation of the First Amendment and it is good news that court cases will follow.

The article concludes:

And as it happens, First Liberty Institute — which is representing Hamilton and his church — sent a letter to Simmons (Democratic Mayor of Greenville Errick Simmons) urging him to withdraw his executive order, WJTV-TV reported.

“Protecting religious liberty is essential, even during a pandemic,” Jeremy Dys, special counsel for litigation and communications at First Liberty, told the station. “Americans can tolerate a lot, if it means demonstrating love for their fellow man, but they will not — nor should not — tolerate churchgoers being ticketed by the police for following CDC guidelines at church. This has to stop now.”

This is not acceptable. I wonder how long it will be before we get our First Amendment rights back.

We Have Seen This Happening Locally

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday with the following headline, “Eight Democrats and Independents in Mississippi Switch Parties to Republican — Leaders Express Concern Over Socialist Bernie Sanders.” This is the result of a group of extremists taking over the Democrat party. This ultra-left group appeals to the younger generation by promising them free things. Unfortunately, this segment of the younger generation, in addition to wanting free things instead of working, does not always have the ambition to get out and vote.

The article quotes WLOX, a local news station:

The Mississippi Republican Party is welcoming some new members and all of them were elected public offices as Democrats or Independents in this most recent election cycle.

The Mississippi Republican Party Chairman says he doesn’t expect this will be the last time they are welcoming new members to the GOP.

“We have had a relentless focus on switching conservative Democrats over to the Republican party,” explained MSGOP Chairman Lucien Smith. “They recognize increasingly that there is only one party that represents the conservative values of our state and that is the Republican party.”

All eight of the latest party switchers were from Smith and Covington Counties and one District Attorney whose district covers those areas. But the conservation didn’t take long to expand to the national party ties.

“We are in a scenario in this country where you can choose to be a member of the party led by Donald J. Trump or you can choose to be a member of the socialist Democratic party led by Bernie Sanders,” noted Governor Tate Reeves.

There is genuine concern in the establishment Democrat party that if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination the Democrats will lose their majority in the House of Representatives and will lose seats in the Senate. The Democrat party may be taking a sharp left turn, but a vast section of American has chosen not to follow.

 

Things That Don’t Turn Out As Expected

Today I learned the following:

Issues & Insights is a new site launched by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to use our decades of experience to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we think our approach to commentary is sorely lacking both in today’s mainstream media and on the internet.

Since I truly miss the IBD Editorial page, I am glad to see this website.

Today Issues & Insights posted an article about the raids on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

The article reports:

Remember when Democrats reflexively accused President Donald Trump of being a racist when he said illegal immigrants steal American jobs? Turns out, he was right, as evidenced by the aftermath of the massive summer raid that rounded up hundreds of illegals working at chicken processing plants in Mississippi.

In early August, some 600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded seven plants operated by five companies in six different cities. They rounded up 680 “undocumented” immigrants, in what was described as the largest raid in a single state.

This is part of a larger effort by Trump to target companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Last year, it raided a landscaping company near Toledo, Ohio, and a meatpacking plant in eastern Tennessee. A Government Accountability Office report issued in early December found that arrests, detentions, and removals were all up in Trump’s first two years in office compared with Obama’s last two.

Nevertheless, the reaction to the Mississippi raid from Democrats was swift and furious. Joe Biden said the raid was a sign that “Trump is morally unfit to lead this country.” Sen. Bernie Sanders called it “evil.” Beto O’Rourke – who dropped out of the race two months after the raid – said Trump’s “cruelty knows no bounds.” The media, naturally, lent Democrats a hand by playing up the disruption and crying children, while playing down the fact that those workers were in the country illegally.

In fact, the raid was the furthest thing from cruel or evil or immoral to American citizens living in the area – many of them black people – who flocked to get the jobs those illegals had held.

The New York Times traveled to Morton, Mississippi, to report on the impact of the raids. The times reported that the residents of the town benefited from the raids. Before the raids, the managers had been hiring illegal workers and exploiting them. When they hired American workers, they were forced to follow labor laws.

The article concludes:

To be sure, the Times sheds plenty of crocodile tears for the poor illegal immigrants affected by the raid, and it tries mightily to get the newly employed Americans to wring their hands about “stealing” those jobs.

But the inescapable conclusion is that the chicken companies had been exploiting cheap illegal immigrant labor to do jobs that Americans are clearly willing to take, if they have the chance.

Yet here we have the country’s leading Democrats – who constantly bleat about being on the side of the little guy and the downtrodden – siding with greedy companies that were exploiting illegal immigrants to fatten their bottom lines, and were doing so at the expense of low-income black people in the area who were shut out of those jobs.

Tell us again which is the party of compassion?

We live in America. Our government needs to make decisions that put American workers first.

Paper Ballots Might Be A Good Idea

Yesterday The Hill reported that state officials in Mississippi have confirmed at least three reports of voting machines in two counties changing voters’ picks in the GOP gubernatorial primary runoff.

The article reports:

Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are currently in a runoff for the Republican nomination in the governor’s race to see who will take on Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the November general election. Reeves led Waller in the Aug. 6 balloting by a 49-33 margin, though the race went to a runoff after no candidate hit 50 percent.

The issues emerged Tuesday morning, with one Facebook user posting a video showing a touch-screen voting machine changing their selection from Waller to Reeves.

“It is not letting me vote for who I want to vote for,” the voter says in the video. “How can that happen?” a woman in the background asks.

…Two other machines in Calhoun County exhibited the same issue of switching voters’ selection from Waller to Reeves, circuit clerk Carlton Baker told the Ledger.

All three machines in question are of the same model.

“We’re doing what we can to rectify the situation,” Baker said.

Voting machines that change votes need to be gone by 2020. It might be the right time to go back to paper ballots.

An Interesting Endorsement

This story is from March, but I had not seen it until today. The Clarion-Ledger reported on March 7 that Charles Evers has endorsed Donald Trump for President. Charles Evers is the borther of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who was assassinated in front of his Jackson home in 1963.

The article lists Mr. Evers reasons for the endorsement:

According to Evers, the hiring practices of Trump’s properties are reflective of him being “fair.” Before launching his campaign, Trump was accused of discrimination. In 1973, the real estate mogul and his father were sued by the Department of Justice under the Fair Housing Act for allegedly implementing a system to block black applicants from renting Trump Management’s Brooklyn; Queens; and Norfolk, Virginia, properties.

…Evers said he doesn’t feel the U.S. should be obligated to provide support for undocumented immigrants.

Evers added that he also respects Trump for his faith and that he plans to attend Monday’s rally in Madison. Evers said that if he has the chance to speak with Trump he wants to pitch bringing a catfish processing plant to Mississippi.

“Our catfish is shipped to China and brought back for us to buy. Put a catfish farm here.”  A website for The Catfish Institute, based in Jackson, lists more than half a dozen U.S.-certified catfish processors in the state.

Mitch Tyner chairman of the Mississippi Donald Trump Committee in a news release Friday named Evers as a member of the candidate’s state campaign team along with Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

Mr. Evers is 93 years old. I have not seen this story in the media until I stumbled on it today. Mr. Evers is obviously a realist who has made a very practical choice.

Why?

Townhall.com posted an article today about a young Mississippi couple who planned to join ISIS on their honeymoon, Thankfully they were arrested before they had a chance to carry out their plans.

The article reports:

Now these two are facing criminal charges after being arrested in Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi, this past weekend with accusations of conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS.

“We learn very fast and would love to help,” the young couple told undercover FBI agents claiming to work with ISIS through social media messaging.

…The couple derive from Mississippi, where Dakhalla is the son of a local imam and, ironically, Young is the daughter of a Mississippi police officer.

What were they thinking?

The Threat Of Conservative Groups

There is a reason the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted conservative groups. There is also a reason that many establishment politicians in both parties have not necessarily given their full efforts to the investigation of the IRS. When an investigation of this sort takes years, it is a pretty good bet that someone does not want the investigation to succeed.

One of the groups targeted by the IRS was True the Vote. I first became aware of True the vote and its founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, in September 2010 (rightwinggranny.com). The group’s effort was directed toward ensuring that the voting in Harris County, Texas, included only people who were entitled to vote. They have continued their efforts to ensure the integrity of American elections.

Breitbart.com is reporting today that True the Vote has gotten involved in the recent Republican primary held in Mississippi. Republican establishment candidate Thad Cochran defeated conservative Chris McDaniel in a primary run-off election. Mississippi voting laws state that a person who voted in the Democrat primary election this year is not eligible to vote in the Republican run-off election. There are some real questions as to whether or not that law and other voting laws were enforced.

The article reports:

“All we are asking is that the MS State Republican Party follow the law; allow their designated county representatives to inspect the poll books and ballots, give them the review time they are permitted by law, and allow them to uphold their responsibility to MS voters,” True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement about the suit. “True the Vote has been inundated with reports from voters across Mississippi who are outraged to see the integrity of this election being undermined so that politicos can get back to business as usual. Enough is enough.”

True The Vote wants the federal judge to order the state party and Secretary of State’s office to allow independent verification of the election results to ensure there were no “illegal votes.” Such votes could come as fraudulently cast absentee ballots—the runoff saw a massive spike in absentees over the primary a few weeks earlier—or by Democrats who voted in the June 24 GOP primary runoff after having voted in the June 3 Democratic primary. Other potentially fraudulent votes could come from Democrats voting in the Republican primary who don’t intend to support the Republican they voted for on June 24 in November’s general election, though intent is difficult to prove. There are further allegations of vote-buying surfacing this week.

This is the establishment Republican party fighting for its life against the Tea Party. Because the establishment Republican party has become almost indistinguishable from the Democrat party, they are losing votes as people are looking for an alternative party. Stay tuned.

Incumbency Over Ethics

National Review Online posted a story today about Mitzi Bickers, who played a major role in Thad Cochran’s primary victory in Mississippi. Ms. Bickers is a Democratic staffer and political strategist. Last year, she left her job as a senior adviser to Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed after news surfaced that she had filed a fraudulent financial-disclosure statement.

The article reports:

In a bizarre turn of events, it seems that Bickers was in the middle of a bitterly contested Republican Senate primary. Two Atlanta-based entities affiliated with Bickers, The Bickers Group and the Pirouette Company, were paid thousands of dollars to make robo-calls on Senator Cochran’s behalf by a super PAC that backed Cochran in his bid for reelection. Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Mississippi Conservatives, the political-action committee run by former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour’s nephew Henry, paid the groups a total of $44,000 for get-out-the-vote “phone services.”

It is becoming very clear that some Republicans are as opposed to the Tea Party as the Democrats are. Why? Because some of the Republican establishment has morphed into a Democrat Light party and has lost its way. The Republican establishment no longer adheres to the principle of smaller government and individual freedom. They have joined the Democrats in supporting the status quo and consolidating power in Washington.

The Republican Party needs to get back to its roots and its platform if it intends to be a political force in the future.

Why Voter Education Is Important

The Corner at National Review posted a picture of the flier that Thad Cochran passed out before the Mississippi Republican primary election.

This is the picture:

aaaaaaaathadcochranI am ashamed that a Republican ran this sort of campaign. However, this campaign would have been much less effective on an educated voter base. In the end, the voters are responsible for who they send to Washington. As much as I hate to see Harry Reid stay in power, I hope Senator Cochran loses in the general election. This is a disgrace. It is also a reason conservative Republicans should stop giving money to the Republican Party, but only donate to individual candidates.

The Democrats have branded the Tea Party as racist as a way to undermine the message of smaller government and lower taxes. It is a shame that some establishment Republicans have chosen to echo that message. The Tea Party represents the only hope of change in Washington. That is why the political class is so opposed to their message.

It Really Was No Big Deal

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about this week’s election in Mississippi. The article wasn’t about the candidates or even about who won–it was about a part of the election that got very little publicity.

The article reports:

Mississippi’s new voter ID law got its first run in the June 3 primary, and the sky did not fall. Despite the tiresome and disproven claims by opponents that such laws cause wholesale voter disenfranchisement and are intended to suppress votes, Mississippi “sailed through” its first test of the new ID requirements, according to The Clarion Ledger, the newspaper of Jackson, Miss.

Any government-issued photo identification could be used in order to vote. The State of Mississippi provided free identification to anyone who did not have identification.

The article further reports:

Contrary to the claims of those who say large numbers of Americans don’t have an ID, Mississippi estimated that only 0.8 percent of Mississippians lacked an ID.  In fact, even that may have been an overestimate since the state had to issue only about 1,000 voter ID cards. All those who forgot their ID on Tuesday also could vote by an affidavit as long as they returned and showed an ID within five days.

The article concludes:

As Sid Salter from the Clarion Ledger put it, the voter ID law was a “non-event” and “voters expressed little, if any, inconvenience at the polls due to the new law.” So how is the new law being covered by the media? Instead of reporting that the voter ID law is “sailing through,” the mainstream media has instead elected to remain silent. As Hosemann said, “No news is good news.”

Just for your entertainment, I found a list of things the federal government,  some states and some businesses require identification to do at a website called usmessageboard.com:

1. Boarding an airplane
2. Writing a check
3. Cashing a check
4. Using a credit card
5. Driving a motor vehicle
6. Applying for a business license
7. Applying for permission to hold a protest or rally
8. Securing employment
9. Purchasing a house or real estate
10. Renting a domicile
11. Renting a motor vehicle
12. Purchasing a firearm (Includes BB guns)
13. Applying for a hunting license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
14. Applying for a fishing license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
15. Purchasing alcoholic beverages
16. Purchasing tobacco or products that contain nicotine
17. Purchasing a motor vehicle
18. Initial registration of a motor vehicle
19. Applying for a building permit
20. Receiving prescription medicine
21. Purchasing OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine
22. Serving on jury duty
23. Getting a bank account
24. Cash transactions of $5000.00 or greater
25. Sales tax exemption for people aged 80 and above

I suspect that most Americans have been involved in one or more or these transactions in their lifetime. Asking for a photo identification to vote is not any more intrusive than asking for a photo identification for any of the above activities.

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