Listening To The People

I recently posted three articles (here, here, and here) about the renewal of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Section 702. Note that the law is called “foreign intelligence surveillance” act–not the spying on your political opponents act. Unfortunately the act has been used 278,000 times to conduct illegal searches on Americans. That is why I oppose the renewal of Section 702.

On Wednesday, The Hill reported:

A group of House Republicans on Wednesday tanked a procedural vote to begin debate on a bill to reauthorize the nation’s warrantless surveillance powers, leaving the chamber scrambling on how to address the important spy tool before it expires next week.

Nineteen Republicans joined Democrats in voting against a rule for legislation to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), blocking the measure from advancing 193-228.

The move comes after former President Trump on Wednesday urged Republicans to “KILL FISA” — throwing a wrench in an already contentious debate.

The failed vote marks yet another instance of members of the GOP tanking what is typically a routine party-line vote to protest legislation put forward by leadership.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, The Hill is part of the Operation Mockingbird media. The public has also urged Congress to kill FISA, but the author of the article chooses to overlook that.

On Wednesday, The Hill also reported:

Former Attorney General Bill Barr on Wednesday denounced former President Trump’s exhortation for Congress to kill the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as “crazy and reckless” and warned there will be “blood on people’s hands” if the intelligence community’s surveillance authority expires and there’s a terrorist attack on the United States.

Barr, who served in Trump’s Cabinet in 2019 and 2020, noted that Trump at one time supported the expanded surveillance powers authorized under Section 702 of FISA and warned that political “posturing” against extending that authority would be dangerous to national security.

“I think it’s crazy and reckless to not move forward with FISA. It’s our principal tool protecting us from terrorist attacks. We’re living through a time where those threats have never been higher, so it’s blinding us, it’s blinding our allies,” Barr told The Hill in an interview.

You mean those allies that aided in the Russia Hoax?

Section 702 is a step toward a government that can surveil its political opponents without any limitations. They don’t need a warrant and the people surveilled don’t have to know they are being watched. That is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which states:

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Bill Barr is a lawyer. He is supposed to know the U.S. Constitution.

A Very Skewed View Of The First Amendment

The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution to provide additional protection from the government to American citizens. The American Declaration of Independence declared,  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The U.S. Constitution was written to protect these rights–not the rights of the government. Unfortunately, many Americans have forgotten that–including one Supreme Court Justice.

On Monday, PJ Media reported on the arguments regarding the First Amendment Case currently before the Supreme Court:

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom Joe Biden nominated to the high court, had a particularly disturbing position on the issue:

“So my biggest concern is that your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the government in significant ways in the most important time periods,” she told Louisiana Solicitor General Benjamin Aguiñaga. “I mean, what would — what would you have the government do? I’ve heard you say a couple of times that the government can post its own speech, but in my hypothetical, you know, ‘Kids, this is not safe, don’t do it,’ is not going to get it done.”

“And so I guess, some might say that the government actually has a duty to take steps to protect the citizens of this country,” Jackson continued. “And you seem to be suggesting that that duty cannot manifest itself in the government encouraging or even pressuring platforms to take down harmful information.”

Jackson said she was “really worried about that” scenario because “you’ve got the First Amendment operating in an environment of threatening circumstances from the government’s perspective, and you’re saying that the government can’t interact with the source of those problems.”

First of all, the First Amendment does hamstring the government because it limits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” among other things. That’s a feature, not a bug of the First Amendment. 

The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to hamstring the government and empower the people. It is disturbing that a Supreme Court Justice does not know this.

 

So What Do We Do Now?

The courts seem to move slowly. Most of the time that’s not an issue, but we have a court case right now where the timing matters. It will be interesting to see what the next step is. Also, at what point is Congress required to follow the U.S. Constitution and what are the consequences when they don’t?

On Tuesday, Just the News reported:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday secured a major victory in his challenge to the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package passed in 2022, with a court declaring that the bill was approved unconstitutionally.

President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 in December of the prior year. The measure effectively set the federal budget for the year by wrapping the 12 annual appropriations bills into a single piece of legislation. Paxton, however, had argued that the House’s passage of the measure was unconstitutional as less than half of the lower chamber’s members were physically present to vote on it. Many lawmakers who were not present voted by proxy. Paxton had specifically challenged stipulations in the bill that affect his state.

“Like many constitutional challenges, Texas asserts that this provision is unenforceable against it because Congress violated the Constitution in passing the law. In response, the defendants claim, among other things, that this Court has no power to address the issue because it cannot look to extrinsic evidence to question whether a bill became law,” the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division wrote. “But because the Court is interpreting and enforcing the Constitution—rather than second-guessing a vote count—the Court disagrees. The Court concludes that, by including members who were indisputably absent in the quorum count, the Act at issue passed in violation of the Constitution’s Quorum Clause.”

So what happens now? Does this matter?

The article concludes:

The Texas Public Policy Foundation served as co-counsel in the case.

“The Court correctly concluded that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 violated the Quorum Clause of the U.S. Constitution because a majority of House members was not physically present when the $1.7 trillion spending bill was passed. Proxy voting is unconstitutional,” TPPF senior attorney Matt Miller said.

Does The New York Legal System Recognize The Eighth Amendment?

The Eighth Amendment states:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

On February 27th, The American Thinker posted an article explaining how that amendment applies to the New York judgement against President Trump.

The article reports:

On February 16, 2024, a judge in New York State imposed fines totaling just over $360 million on former president Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, and several related Trump companies and trusts in the civil case brought by the New York attorney general.  President Trump’s sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump were fined just over $4 million each.  The court imposed additional sanctions, including injunctions against former president Trump; Donald Trump, Jr.; and Eric Trump from serving as officers or directors in New York corporations for specified numbers of years, among other sanctions.

The media reporting on the court’s decision has been massive since the decision was rendered.  However, little or no reporting focused on the constitutionality of the fines under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  President Trump and his co-defendants all have substantial 8th Amendment “excessive fine” challenges to raise.  In fact, a review of the facts and applicable law reveal that this decision is simply more election interference.

The article concludes:

Applying these factors to the New York court’s decision reveals that the fines are clearly excessive.  There are no victims in the Trump case.  No one was harmed.  Each and every financial institution involved was fully repaid and made money on its loans.  Further, a review of case law in New York demonstrates that there simply are no cases ordering a defendant to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in disgorgement without any victim being deprived of anything.  Finally, just how “reprehensible” is it to obtain loans and credit facilities and then pay the lenders back, in full, on time, in compliance with the agreement?  The answer is, not very.

Once again, a court in New York issued yet another political decision masquerading as justice.  The fines imposed by this New York court on former President Trump and his sons and businesses are grossly and unconstitutionally excessive.  While President Trump and his co-defendants undoubtedly have many defenses to the claims to raise on appeal, chief among them should be a constitutional challenge to these grossly excessive fines.

The U.S. Constitution is an amazing document. It is impartial when followed. My hope is that it will be followed in this case.

Is The U.S. Constitution Relevant In America?

On February 27th, Issues and Insights posted an article about a recent statement by President Biden.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court told President Joe Biden that he didn’t have the authority to forgive student loan debt. But he did anyway, bragging that the Court “didn’t stop me.” So why do we even have a legislative branch and a high court if the president is going to make law as if he were a king?

Does Congress have the intestinal fortitude to insist that the President abide by the Constitution? Frankly, I doubt it.

The article continues:

It’s Biden’s party, and its activist media, that has been carping for years about losing “our democracy.” Yet when a Democratic president bypasses the checks and balances that are the backbone of our republic, the three co-equal branches framework of government that is intended to guard against descending into a dictatorship, they celebrate rather than condemn.

Maybe it’s because they care about the integrity of our system of government only when it’s making policies they want.

In June 2023, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down the Biden administration’s plan to cancel up to $400 billion in student loans, which it had announced in August 2022. In her concurring opinion, Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted that “when it comes to” national policy, “the Constitution gives Congress the reins — a point of context that no reasonable interpreter could ignore.”

But high court rulings apparently don’t apply when a Democratic president decides they don’t. Last week, the White House played the role of unreasonable interpreter and announced “$1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers.”

“The Biden-Harris administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions,” according to a White House fact sheet.

Biden acknowledged last week that “my MAGA Republican friends in the Congress, elected officials, and special interests stepped in and sued us,” and that “the Supreme Court blocked it.”

The government does not have the power to step between a lender and a borrower. That is a private contract and should not be interfered with by the government. How would you feel if the government stepped in and forgave your neighbor’s mortgage while requiring you to pay off your mortgage? That is what the Biden administration is trying to do.

Who Wrote Her Script?

The death of any American military is sad. It should be solemnly addressed by the administration in power. Condolences should be offered. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s response to the recent deaths of three American soldiers was not exactly what was called for.

On Monday, The Conservative Review reported:

During an interview on MSNBC, Jean-Pierre spoke about the fallen soldiers — but appeared nearly unable to piece together a coherent statement.

What I will say, our deepest, uh, obviously, our deepest condolences go out and our heartfelt condolences go out to the families, uh, who lost, uh, three, three brave, uh, three brave, uh, three brave — three folks who are military folks who are brave, who are always fighting, who are fighting on behalf of this administration, of the American people, obviously, more so, more importantly.

Uh, we lost those souls as the president said yesterday when he was in South Carolina. Our hearts go out to their families and friends. And let’s not forget: there are wounded, also wounded soldier, military forces as well, and our hearts go out to them, and so I want to make sure that we offer up those deep, uh, deep thoughtful condolences to them.

The article includes a video of Karine Jean-Pierre’s remarks.

First of all, the oath these soldiers took was to the U.S. Constitution–not to the Biden administration. Second, I found it demeaning to call these brave soldiers ‘folks.’ They were trained military personnel who swore an oath to defend their Constitution. They were not just folks.

 

Recognizing The Procedure Put In Place By The U.S. Constitution

On Sunday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the the Defend The Guard Act recently passed in the New Hampshire State House.

The article reports:

The New Hampshire State House passed the Defend The Guard Act in a 187-182 vote on Thursday, which, if passed in the Senate and signed by the Governor, “would prohibit the deployment of the New Hampshire National Guard into overseas combat unless Congress first votes to declare war.”

This is much-needed legislation as the Biden Regime plunges the U.S. into foreign wars left and right, all while leaving American national security vulnerable and our borders wide open.

Defend The Guard has been introduced in other states, including Arizona.

Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers’ SB1367 “Defend the Guard” would have “Prohibit[ed] the National Guard of Arizona from being released into active duty combat unless the U.S. Congress has passed an official declaration of war, or has taken another official constitutional action as outlined.” After Senate Republicans passed this bill with zero Democrat support, Toma stonewalled it in the House, according to a Capitol insider and Bring our Troops Home founder Dan McKnight.

According to Cornell Law School:

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. The President, meanwhile, derives the power to direct the military after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section 2, which names the President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. These provisions require cooperation between the President and Congress regarding military affairs, with Congress funding or declaring the operation and the President directing it. Nevertheless, throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Presidents have often engaged in military operations without express Congressional consent. These operations include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, the Afghanistan War of 2001 and the Iraq War of 2002.

If passed, this new law will force the federal government to abide by the U. S. Constitution–at least as far as the New Hampshire National Guard is concerned.

Misinformation And A Continuing Narrative

Recently President Biden recently gave a speech where he talked about attending the funerals of police officers killed on January 6th. Just for the record, there were no police officers killed on January 6th. There were two civilians killed–one shot and one beaten and trampled during a police-caused stampede in the Lower West Terrace tunnel.

Capitol Policeman Brian Sicknick died on January 7th, after having been admitted to the hospital for a stroke on January 6th. The medical examiner ruled Sicknick’s cause of death as natural causes–two strokes. There is speculation that the strokes were a reaction to either the chemicals sprayed by the police on that day or the chemicals sprayed by the protestors that day. We will never know.

However, when was the last time that a police officer who died of a stroke was honored by flags flown at half mast and lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda? Those two things, ordered by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were done to plant the idea in peoples’ minds that Brian Sicknick had been killed in the line of duty by radical extremists. It was all a lie. I am sure all of the police involved on January 6th were stressed. I am also sure that many of them were angry that the reinforcements that the President (Trump) had asked for were denied. There were also police that called headquarters for reinforcements and did not get a timely response.

The bottom line here is that we have been fed a lot of lies about January 6th. Many of those lies have been debunked as the videos of the day have been released. I am sure many more of the lies will be revealed as more video is released. Meanwhile, there are people in jail for simply walking through the Capitol after the police opened the doors. These defendants have been sitting in jail with no bail awaiting trial for three years. That is in total violation of the U.S. Constitution. Where are the lawmakers who have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution?

Election Interference?

On Tuesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to keep President Trump off of the Republican primary election ballot.

These are the three main problems with the decision listed in the article:

#1)  It was a 4-3 decision. Meaning it was the politics of the court, literally the political makeup and perspective therein, that determined the outcome of the decision.  This is showcased in point #3, which is the funniest part.

#2)  The entire framework of the case against Trump in the Colorado decision is predicated on this: “[the complainants] asserted that he was ineligible under Section Three because he engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021, after swearing an oath as President to support the U.S. Constitution.”  [pdf, page 6]  REMINDER – President Donald Trump was not charged with “insurrection,” is not accused of “insurrection,” does not fit the complaint under the definitions of “insurrection,” and has never been found guilty of insurrection.  The complaint is moot before the court.  But hey, it’s Lawfare… and we all know Lawfare is created for public media consumption, so that takes us directly to the biggest point.

#3)  Instead of me writing it, let me screengrab it so we can all laugh together [pdf page 9].

Wait, what?

As long as President Trump appeals the ruling, he can be on the ballot, so what’s the point?

This is political theatre. It should not be taken seriously although it is an example of lawfare. If the practice of lawfare continues, we will eventually lose our Republic. That is the major significance of this case.

Time To Exit The United Nations?  

Author:  R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D    

The United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945 right after the end of World War II.  Like the League of Nations formed after World War I, it was hoped that the UN would foster global peace among nations.  It is time to assess whether the UN has achieved that objective and whether our participation in it is beneficial to our country.  There have been many wars since the creation of the UN such as the Korean War, Vietnam War, Israeli Six Day War, Iraq War and currently Russia/Ukraine and the Israel/Hamas conflict.  

One might argue that the presence of the UN has prevented a nuclear World War III, but that would be a stretch to say the least. The threat of mutual destruction has been the controlling factor in preventing nuclear war thus far.  Whether that will continue with the spread of nuclear weapons to China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and inevitably Iran remains to be seen. The existence of the UN does not seem to have prevented nuclear proliferation.   

Is membership in the UN beneficial for the United States? The UN started with 51 countries and now has 189. The majority of these countries are not democratic and their values and principles are not consistent with our constitution.  Worse still, the structure of the UN General Assembly gives every country one vote with the weight of the smallest country (Tuvala, population 12,000) carrying the same impact of the United States.  Currently, the United States pays up to 25% of the UN annual budget of about $4 billion which amounts to $1 billion a year.  Money that could be spent on securing our borders, for example.  

Some other areas of concern are the leftist leaning decisions of the UN.  The World Health Organization arm of the UN mishandled the COVID 19 pandemic and failed to hold China in anyway responsible for the creation and spreading of the manmade virus. The UN’s unwavering support of the climate change extremist’s agenda, such as the Paris Accords, and the war against fossil fuels threatens our country and way of life, while allowing China and India to continue to build coal burning power plants.   Another example, is the UN’s failure to condemn the barbaric atrocities of Hamas for almost two months and their history of condemning Israel at the slightest excuse. They have never condemned Iran, the biggest sponsor of terror in the world.  The latest example is UNESCO’s (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) global wide guidelines that would severely restrict free speech in the media and social platforms. The guidelines require the blocking of any speech that they label as “misinformation.”  Sound familiar?  They also boldly stated that the U.S. Constitution needs to be changed to reflect these new guidelines. 

  It is time to have a serious debate as to whether we want to turn over the governance of our country to some global authority.  Some of the leftists in this country believe we should.  I do not and hope neither do you. With China increasingly controlling the UN by placing members of their communist party in key positions, we must make an honest evaluation of whether the UN has outlived its usefulness. 

Has Anyone In Washington Actually Read The U.S. Constitution?

On Saturday, The U.K. Daily Mail reported the following:

Biden invokes emergency wartime powers to boost heat pump production with $169M in federal funds in administration’s latest push to replace gas appliances

  • Biden will fund nine manufacturers with $169 million from last year’s climate bill
  • Funding is the first under emergency authority on the basis of climate change
  • Biden is using the powers under Defense Production Act to boost green energy

There is no reason to use emergency powers because of climate change. The first question here is how much money did these nine manufacturers pay Joe Biden or his family recently? It also should be noted that heat pumps are not efficient in temperatures below 40 degrees. We had a heat pump in our first house in North Carolina and on the rare occasions that the temperature dropped below 40 degrees, the house was cold and we had to resort to small portable heaters. There is no way that this is better for the environment than gas heat. Where does the Biden administration think that electricity comes from?

The article reports”

President Joe Biden will use special wartime powers to boost US production of heat pumps, by funding nine manufacturing projects with $169 million from last year’s climate bill, the Energy Department said on Friday.

The awards were granted under the emergency authority of the Cold War-era Defense Production Act (DPA), which Biden invoked on the basis of climate change to boost spending on clean energy technology. 

‘The President is using his wartime emergency powers under the Defense Production Act to turbocharge US manufacturing of clean technologies and strengthen our energy security,’ said Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi in a statement.

Heat pumps can heat and cool homes and businesses more efficiently using thermal transfer, which moves heat from one area to another, rather than generating new heat.

President Biden’s wartime powers do not apply in this case, and I hope either Congress slaps him down or that a court case is quickly put together to stop this nonsense.

Regaining Our Rights Guaranteed By The Fourth Amendment

The U.S. Constitution was not written to give Americans their rights. It was written to insure that the government respected the God-given rights of Americans. The Constitution was written to limit the rights of the government–not the rights of Americans. That concept seems to have gotten lost in recent years.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The government in recent years has violated that amendment by spying on Americans without cause or has invented causes (see Carter Page). Now that it has come to light that some Congressional staffers were spied on, Congress has decided to do something about it.

On Friday, Just the News reported:

House Judiciary Committee Republicans are pressing ahead with sweeping reforms to the government’s FISA surveillance powers that among other things would would prohibit the FBI from searching through Americans’ phone records without a court-approved warrant. 

The effort is on track to be wrapped up by the end of the year when several Patriot Act powers expire. Republicans and Democrats are coming together on this matter in rare bipartisan cooperation, lawmakers told Just the News.

“We’ve got, I think, strong agreement amongst members of the Intel Committee and members of the Judiciary Committee. And frankly some Democrats as well, that there needs to be stronger penalties if you abuse the system,” Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told the “Just the News, No Noise” television show in an interview aired Friday night.

Jordan said he was focused on what is known as the Section 702 system “where they can create this database” of phone communications metadata that currently can be searched by agents without a warrant. 

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court earlier this year declassified a report revealing that FBI agents had inappropriately searched Americans’ phone records more than 270,000 times over a two year period, alarming civil liberty experts and generating bipartisan condemnation.   

I hate to be cynical, but it seems that Congress is only getting around to dealing with this problem when it affected them. That’s okay. I just hope they successfully end unwarranted government spying on American citizens.

The Police State In Action

On Wednesday, Breitbart posted the following headline:

Exclusive — ‘We Caught Them Red-Handed’: DOJ Spied on GOP Staffers Probing the Origins of the Russia Collusion Hoax

Is anyone surprised?

The article reports:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained private communications and other personal records of multiple Republican House and Senate staffers who were investigating the department’s role in the origins of the Russia collusion hoax, according to former senior Trump administration official Kash Patel.

A recently-revealed subpoena shows that the DOJ sought the records for not only Patel when he was an investigator for then-Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), but also those of Jason Foster, who was at the time chief investigative counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (I-IA) and was also looking into the DOJ’s role in the hoax.

According to multiple subpoenas revealed so far, the DOJ had subpoenaed Google, Apple, and other companies to obtain private records in what Patel believes was an unlawful attempt to dig up dirt on them in retaliation for investigating the Democrat-pushed hoax that Donald Trump’s campaign had colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

It is time to fire every supervisor and leader in the Department of Justice and replace them with people who are willing to respect the U.S. Constitution that they took an oath to uphold and protect.

The article concludes:

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking into the DOJ’s use of subpoenas “and other legal authorities” to obtain the private communications records of lawmakers, staff, and journalists, according to the DOJ Office of Inspector General website:

The DOJ OIG is reviewing the DOJ’s use of subpoenas and other legal authorities to obtain communication records of Members of Congress and affiliated persons, and the news media in connection with recent investigations of alleged unauthorized disclosures of information to the media by government officials.

The review will examine the Department’s compliance with applicable DOJ policies and procedures, and whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations.

“Whether you hated us back then [because of] the Nunes memo — well, every report since then has said the same thing we did,” Patel said. “We were the first out of the gate. The IG, John Durham, said there was no lawful basis to ever investigate Trump or his campaign and that FBI people lied to a federal court and the slew of other violations that they came up with.”

“They got caught. We asked them to help expose it and instead they doubled down and used the system of justice and FBI investigatory powers to try to take us out and silence us,” he said.

“I’m going to put Chris Wray, Rod Rosenstein … and other people in the hot seat under oath, and I’m going to depose them, and demand they answer these questions, and we’re going to watch them lie to the world,” Patel said, adding that Rosenstein currently works at Wray’s old law firm.

“None of this is a coincidence. These people cover up for each other and Chris Wray is still covering up for them as a director of the FBI and I’m going to expose it all,” he said.

It’s time to either abolish the DOJ and the FBI or simply fire the executives and appoint new ones.

Equal Justice Under The Law

The U.S. Constitution states:

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.  (emphasis mine)

In the past two years there have been some events that have caused me to question whether the Biden administration is adhering to the concept of equal protection under the law. There are many questionable happenings regarding the January 6th defendants and recently questions about the pro-life activist who had never broken a law and whose home was raided by 15-20 FBI agents with guns. Now we have more questions regarding the standard applied to President Trump versus the standard applied to President Obama regarding the keeping and storing of presidential records.

On Tuesday, The American Thinker reported the following:

It almost sounds like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie: a dusty warehouse.  The smell of must permeating the air.  The only sound the scurrying of the occasional rat.  And entombed within it, thousands of boxes upon boxes, practically stamped “TOP SECRET.”

But this is no flight of Hollywood fantasy.  It is the reality of what remains of the Barack Obama presidency: Twenty truckloads of crates, kept in a space that formerly housed the inventory of Plunkett Furniture, containing roughly thirty million documents generated during the eight years of Obama’s time in the Oval Office.

And to the best of anyone’s public knowledge, it may still be sitting there, uncatalogued and unscanned for future perusal.  It’s composed in part, it can be assumed, of classified files.

That is the conclusion being made following a letter from the Obama Foundation to the National Archive and Records Administration  that has recently come to light.  According to the letter, at least up until 2018, the Obama-era documents — all of them — were being stored in the warehouse at Hoffman Estates.  The letter clearly states that classified papers were included alongside the unclassified files.

From the letter: “The Obama Foundation agrees to transfer up to three million three hundred thousand dollars ($3,300,000) to the National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) to support the move of classified and unclassified Obama Presidential records and artifacts from Hoffman Estates to NARA-controlled facilities that conform to the agency’s archival storage standards for such records and artifacts, and for the modification of such spaces. The first transfer of $300,000 was already made on August 9, 2018. An additional interim transfer will be made within 180 days of that date. Subsequent payments are subject to the negotiation of terms of the digitization process and museum operations.”

It is now also being reported by the Daily Herald that the Obama Foundation has extended its lease of the warehouse through 2026.

Somehow the FBI has not chosen to raid that warehouse. I kind of wonder who is pulling the strings at the FBI right now.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article.

Why Is The Justice Department Wasting Their Time On This?

On July 5, ABC News reported that the Justice Department is suing the State of Arizona over a recently passed state law that requires voters to present proof of citizenship in order to vote in presidential elections.

The article reports:

The Justice Department has filed suit against Arizona challenging its recently enacted voting law that requires proof of citizenship in order to vote in presidential elections.

The lawsuit contends that certain restrictions in Arizona’s House Bill 2492 directly violate Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act and Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act.

The Supreme Court previously rejected an effort by Arizona in 2013 to require its residents to provide proof of citizenship in order to participate in federal elections, though after President Joe Biden’s victory against Donald Trump in 2020 the state quickly sought to implement a similar mandate in passing House Bill 2492.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on March 30.

The article concludes:

In a press release, the Justice Department notes the new law with violate the Civil Rights Act “by requiring election officials to reject voter registration forms based on errors or omissions that are not material to establishing a voter’s eligibility to cast a ballot.”

Arizona is one of the states where Trump has falsely contended he won in 2020. Biden defeated Trump by about 10,000 votes. A GOP-led review of the vote tally in Maricopa County, the state’s largest, reaffirmed Biden’s victory, and even increased his lead by a slight amount.

Actually, the review of the vote tally simply recounted what was already counted. The chain-of-custody for the ballots was not available and there were some serious questions about deletions made during updates on the computers and information not retained on the computers involved that was legally required to be retained. Nothing discovered in the investigation into Arizona’s 2020 election indicates that everything was above board.

Why would the Justice Department be fighting a law that required proof of citizenship to vote in a presidential election?

According to the U.S. Constitution (article here):

Amendment 15 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Amendment 19 The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Amendment 24 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

(For a history of why the 24th Amendment only applies to federal elections, see here).

Amendment 26 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Note that all of the above applies to citizens. It has always been understood that non-citizens did not have the right to vote in federal elections.

Another Win For The Supreme Court

Does anyone remember this gem from 1975:

This is a kid-oriented explanation of how laws are supposed to be passed in America. Unfortunately, many of our laws are currently being passed by unelected bureaucrats in government agencies. These bureaucrats are not held accountable by the people because they never have to run for office. Well, on Thursday the Supreme Court took a small step to bring America back to the lawmaking procedure established by our Founding Fathers.

Red State posted an article on Thursday reporting the decision.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court sharply curtailed the power of the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change. In a 6-3 ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court sided with conservative states and fossil-fuel companies in adopting a narrow reading of the Clean Air Act.

The Court found that Congress had not authorized the EPA to induce a shift toward cleaner energy sources.

“Congress did not grant EPA…the authority to devise emissions caps based on the generation shifting approach the Agency took in the Clean Power Plan,” the majority wrote.
The ruling was spurred by an appeal to a decision last year that struck down a Trump-era power plant rule.

In appealing that decision, West Virginia asked the court to consider whether the EPA has the authority to try to push the entire system away from coal and reshape the country’s electric grid.

The article notes:

Justice Kagan in her dissent acted as though it was the Court’s responsibility to address climate change, rather than interpret the law and the Constitution.

Maybe she needs to go back and reread the Constitution.

If the Biden administration wants to change the source of America’s energy, they need to ask Congress to pass a bill to do that. Elected officials need to be held accountable for the laws they make. Bureaucrats are not elected and cannot be held accountable. That is why our laws are supposed to be made by Congress and not by bureaucrats.

Saying The Quiet Part Out Loud

On Wednesday, Breitbart reported the following:

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “AC360,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) argued that the Senate gun legislation “paves the way in the future to look at” other gun control provisions.

Host Anderson Cooper asked, “Well, there [are] probably a lot of people who wanted this to — obviously, you said you wanted this to go farther in terms of gun safety or gun control. What do you say to those who say that this doesn’t go far enough and that this may make it harder to try to get further changes in the future?”

Klobuchar responded, “We have worked on this for decades. And after Parkland, I sat across from Donald Trump at the White House, along with a number of senators, he said he was going to do something about background checks. I still have the piece of paper, eight times, nine times, he said it…nothing happened. After Sandy Hook, nothing happened. And when you talk to the families who have been working on this for so long, they understand how difficult this has been, how disappointing this has been. So, to start with something that’s going to save lives, even if a particular provision wouldn’t have saved their own babies’ lives, that is an act of love and generosity of spirit that you hear from the families of those that have lost loved ones. That’s why we’re moving ahead. And I think it actually paves the way in the future to look at some of these other provisions. But if you do nothing and you just go home, then we’ve got nothing. And that’s why it’s so important to pass this bill on a bipartisan basis.”

The current bill is unconstitutional. It contains red flag laws which allow the government to seize property without giving the property owner due process. Red flag laws have the potential of creating the same kind of mass hysteria that fueled the Salem Witch Trials. They could also be easily misused by citizens or the government to disarm people they did not like or who disagreed with government policies. Any Republican who votes for this bill should be voted out of office.

Rewriting The Constitution

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article citing a recent quote by President Biden.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden opened his remarks announcing a police reform executive order by remembering the victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting and calling on the Senate to confirm his nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

“To state the obvious: I’m sick and tired of what’s going on,” Biden said. He said the Senate could help ensure existing federal gun laws are enforced by confirming Steve Dettelbach as ATF director. Biden’s previous nominee, David Chipman, was withdrawn last year amid Senate opposition.

…But the president also argued the Second Amendment had limits, saying “you couldn’t own a cannon” when it was ratified and that there were gun control measures that could be passed that would address the violence without infringing on constitutional rights.

“The Second Amendment’s not absolute,” he said.

Well, not so fast. The Second Amendment is part of The Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution because some of the original thirteen colonies refused to sign on to the Constitution unless the Bill of Rights was added (North Carolina was one of those colonies). The Bill of Rights was added to limit the power of government and protect the rights of Americans. The Second Amendment does not grant the right to bear arms to Americans–it prevents the government from taking away that right. Any executive order or law that limits the rights of Americans to bear arms or that creates a gun registry is unconstitutional. The Second Amendment does absolutely affirm the rights of Americans to bear arms.

Has it occurred to President Biden that the gun wasn’t the problem–a very disturbed young man who wanted to kill children was the problem. If he had not had a gun, he would have found another way. The Boston Marathon bombers used a pressure cooker. The 9/11 terrorists used box cutters and airplanes. The weapon is not the problem–the person holding it is.

Taking Down The Guardrails

As much as I have at times hated the Senate filibuster, I have come to regard it as a necessary evil. When the Senate is split between the two parties, the filibuster forces negotiations. Sometimes that does not end well–the pork flows–but other times a worthwhile compromise is reached or a radical piece of legislation is avoided. The filibuster does have some basic validity. However, there are those who would like to move it out of the way in order to pass a law that is obviously unconstitutional.

On January 3rd, One America News reported the following:

The U.S. Senate will vote this month on whether to change its rules to make it easier to pass a bill protecting voting rights, top Democrat Chuck Schumer said on Monday, days before the anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 attack the Capitol building.

Schumer said the narrowly Democratic-controlled chamber needed to consider a change to its filibuster https://www.reuters.com/world/us/what-is-us-senate-filibuster-why-is-everyone-talking-about-it-2021-10-06 rule after a wave of Republican-led states last year passed new restrictions on voting, inspired by Republican former President Donald Trump’s false claims that his 2020 election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

“Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly one year ago, Republican officials in states across the country have seized on the former president’s Big Lie about widespread voter fraud to enact anti-democratic legislation,” Schumer said in a letter to Democratic senators on Monday. “We can and must take strong action to stop this anti-democratic march.”

First of all, voter id requirements do not restrict voting. In America, 99.9 percent of Americans have some form of photo identification, and photo identification is violable free in states where it is required. This is not a voting rights bill–this is a protect-the-Democrat-majority bill.

Article I Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states:

SECTION. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for
Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each
State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at
any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as
to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and
such Meeting shall be [on the first Monday in December,]*
unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

The voting rights bill will protect voter fraud. I will be the end of our two-party system as mail in ballots will be universally used to create a Democrat majority whether it actually exists or not. This is a bad bill that needs to be stopped.

Sharia Law In America

There are many aspects of Sharia Law that are different from American Constitutional law. One of the more obvious is the conflict between the concept of free speech and the penalty for blasphemy. On Tuesday, The American Thinker posted an article about a bill that was recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives that will move America in the direction of Sharia Law.

Congress.gov (you have to go to the site and put in the bill number as the specific link expires) describes HR 5665 as follows:

Passed House (12/14/2021)

Combating International Islamophobia Act

This bill establishes within the Department of State the Office to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia and addresses related issues.

The office shall monitor and combat acts of Islamophobia and Islamophobic incitement in foreign countries. The bill establishes the position of Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Islamophobia, who shall head the office.

The bill also requires certain existing annual reports to Congress about human rights and religious freedom in foreign countries to include information about Islamophobia, such as information about (1) acts of physical violence or harassment of Muslim people, (2) instances of propaganda in government and nongovernment media that attempt to justify or promote hatred or incite violence against Muslim people, and (3) actions taken by a country’s government to respond to such acts. The office shall coordinate and assist in preparing these portions of the reports.

No funds made available pursuant to the bill may be used to promote or endorse a boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement ideology (i.e., economic measures against Israel or Israel-related individuals or organizations) or used to promote or endorse a Muslim ban.

It is no surprise that the bill is sponsored by Ilhan Omar.

The American Thinker reports:

The actual text of the bill not only seeks to eradicate blasphemy against Islam around the world – and solely against Islam at that – but even requires the federal government to reorganize some portions of the State Department along the lines of an Islamic religious institution which will be responsible for interpreting the Quran.  For example, the text of the bill mandates that “[t]he Secretary of State shall establish within the Department of State an Office” and the “purpose” of the office is described as “[m]onitoring and combating acts of Islamophobia and Islamophobic incitement that occur in foreign countries.”  That is, the State Department is required to create an office that is a cross between George Orwell’s Big Brother and the Taliban.

The word ‘combat’ in the text of the law is problematic but fits in perfectly with the concept of waging violent jihad against the countries deemed to have committed blasphemy against Islam.  Almost every dictionary defines the word primarily as an action pertaining to war.  While the internet firm Google’s dictionary defines ‘combat’ as “fighting between armed forces,” Cambridge Dictionary defines the word as “a fight, especially during a war.”  According to Collins Dictionary, “combat is fighting that takes place in a war.”  This is no hyperbole as the State Department has a long history of supporting Islamic terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.  Former Assistant Secretary of State, Robin Raphel, ran her office as though it were an outpost of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and she lost her security clearance when she was investigated for counterintelligence activities.  Little wonder then that Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, used the term “Rogue State Department” and President Donald Trump described the State Department as the “Deep State Department.

This law is not consistent with our Constitution.

What Constitution?

The President takes an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. Unfortunately we currently have a President that routinely ignores the Constitution.

On September 20th, The Daily Wire reported:

The Biden administration is using a legal tactic to continue denying COVID-19 relief to farmers based on the color of their skin, even after multiple courts ruled the practice was unconstitutional.

Braden Boucek, director of litigation at the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which is representing one of the white farmers who filed a lawsuit, wrote at The Federalist that the administration is still discriminating against white farmers, and the injunctions issued in Florida, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are now moot.

“After taking an uninterrupted string of losses in defending the program’s racial preferences, the government has changed tactics. It has argued that it is wasteful and unfair to force it, the United States of America represented by the Department of Justice (the world’s largest law office), to have to defend its unconstitutional program in multiple places at one time. Just remember this the next time you need an extension on your taxes,” Boucek wrote. “Largely, this change in tactics has worked. In case after case, courts have stayed their cases. Those nationwide injunctions you may have read about? They are pretty much now moot or dissolved outright. The government staved off a much-needed reckoning.”

The program in question, which was supposed to provide COVID relief to those affected by the pandemic, was made available only to nonwhite applicants, who would have their loans fully forgiven and receive an additional 20% of the loan as a bonus.

There is one case, however, where a judge rejected the government’s request to stay – in Tennessee. As Boucek explained, farmer Rob Holman filed a lawsuit after learning he was ineligible for funds because he is white, even though his farm was hit hard by the pandemic. Boucek noted that the “government doesn’t get to complain about being overwhelmed by pro bono law firms, then put Holman’s case on the shelf for years while it chooses where and how it would like to litigate.”

The article concludes:

According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by civil rights attorney Hans Bader, it appears the Biden administration knew the program’s racial preferences were unconstitutional. Bader reported:

In a June 2 email, Lawrence Lucas of Justice for Black Farmers Group closes by noting, ‘Please remember it was the Biden/Harris transition team that you headed up that told us that debt relief for Black farmers was ‘unconstitutional.’” That’s a reference to when Vilsack was managing the Agriculture Department’s transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

The email can be found at this link. It was released on August 18, in response to a lawsuit against the Agriculture Department by the Bader Family Foundation. It sued the Agriculture Department for failing to respond to a FOIA request from it and Liberty Unyielding.

A President who ignores the Constitution deserves to be impeached. However, with the current make-up of Congress that is highly unlikely.

When Tyrants Gain Power

Just for the record, Dr. Anthony Fauci is not an elected official. He does not have the power to make laws. Americans need to remember this when he speaks. However, Americans also need to remember that there are those in Washington with the power to make laws who believe everything Dr. Fauci says.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent statement by Dr. Fauci.

The article reports:

I’m more worried about what is happening behind the scenes in the non-COVID universe while everyone is distracted by the purposeful weaponization of the healthcare institutions.  It’s the other thing, the unseen activity, that is most troublesome when the leftists are this entrenched on a singular narrative.

In this clip from Anthony Fauci on ABC This Week Sunday [Rumble Link], the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, claims that individual rights no longer exist during the era of COVID-19.  When you consider the mindset of the far-left, his opinion on communal rights -vs- individual rights is right in line with the collectivist perspective.  These people are dangerous.

This is what Dr. Fauci said:

The fact is, if you get infected, even if you are without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable … So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights.”

The article notes:

It appears from the visible evidence, the Delta variant of COVID-19 may well be more transmissible; perhaps even more transmissible due to increased shedding from people who are vaccinated carriers of the virus. However, the death rate is lower than the traditional flu.

Unfortunately a lot of the reactions to the coronavirus have turned our Constitutional freedoms upside down. There is nothing in the U. S. Constitution that allows the government to shut down a private business or control the mask-wearing of the patrons who enter that business. These matters cannot even be decided by local governments unless there is a visible public nuisance. The rights of American citizens and business owners are theoretically protected by the U.S. Constitution. Unless we begin to elect representatives at all levels of government who understand that principle, we are in danger of losing those rights.

Will The Tenth Amendment Stand?

The American Spectator posted an article today about the recently passed coronavirus relief bill.

The article reports:

Well, that didn’t take long. The first major bill passed by the new Democratic congressional majority and signed into law by our new president on March 11 had already provoked a constitutional challenge by March 17. The attorney general of Ohio filed suit against the Biden administration last Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) unconstitutionally and coercively limits the right of states to manage their internal fiscal policies: “This suit challenges an unconstitutional provision in the American Rescue Plan Act — a provision that allows the federal government to commandeer state taxing authority.”

If the use of “commandeer” in this context seems vaguely familiar, it’s probably a vestigial memory of the Obama administration’s failed attempt to exert equally questionable control over state budgets using the mandatory Medicaid provision of Obamacare. Fortunately, in NFIB v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that such coercion is unconstitutional. Ohio’s ARPA challenge involves a provision whereby $195.3 billion in fiscal recovery aid will be distributed among the states and the District of Columbia. Beyond its effect on the federal budget deficit, this doesn’t seem particularly pernicious. The real problem arises from the restrictions the provision imposes on the power of the states to reduce taxes:

A State or territory shall not use the funds provided under this section or transferred pursuant to section 603(c)(4) to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue of such State or territory resulting from a change in law, regulation or administrative interpretation during the covered period that reduces any tax (by providing for a reduction in a rate, a rebate, a deduction, a credit or otherwise) or delays the imposition of any tax or tax increase.

This constitutionally dubious language was inserted into the legislation by the Democrats at the last minute, the New York Times reports, for the express purpose of interfering with the ability of the states to make changes in their tax codes. It is a deliberate and insolent attack by the federal government on state sovereignty and the doctrine of federalism. As Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost puts it in his Motion for Preliminary Injunction, “The Tax Mandate thus gives the States a choice: they can have either the badly needed federal funds or their sovereign authority to set state tax policy. But they cannot have both. In our current economic crisis, that is no choice at all. It is a metaphorical ‘gun to the head.’ ”

The coronavirus relief bill actually punishes fiscally responsible states and rewards fiscally irresponsible states, so it is no surprise that the law would actually limit the ability of states to improve their economies by lowering taxes. In the world envisioned by the current Democrat party, we would all pay more taxes and government would have more control over our lives. Never in the history of America have Americans been given government guidelines as to their activities in their own backyards on Independence Day. I fear that this is only the beginning of the power grab by those currently in control of Washington.

Further Dividing Americans With The Covid Relief Bill

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some of the items in the Covid Relief Bill.

The article reports:

Polls show most Americans support the federal COVID-19 relief bill. But if they knew what’s in it, they might feel differently. The bill is an affront to the American ideal of equal treatment under law — and a slap in the face for people who want everyone helped fairly.   

Section 1005 of the bill offers “socially disadvantaged” farm owners total debt forgiveness of up to hundreds of thousands of no-strings dollars per farmer. But white men needn’t apply. The bill’s definition of “socially disadvantaged,” drawn from elsewhere in federal law, limits aid to racial groups who faced historic discrimination.

Newly elected Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who proposed the measure, says it will make up for years of discrimination. Sorry, senator, but this is discrimination.

Discrimination likewise mars the bill’s aid to restaurants. It grants restaurant owners up to $5 million per facility to offset losses caused by lockdowns. That’s a lifeline for restaurants barely hanging on.

Here’s the hitch: Only women, veterans and owners of “socially and economically disadvantaged” concerns (again, defined racially elsewhere in federal law) may apply during the program’s first three weeks. Most white males go to the back of the line, even if their needs are more pressing.  

These items in the bill need to be challenged in court–our Constitution states that we are equal under the law (a principle guaranteed by the 14th Amendment). This bill creates a situation where some people are more equal than others.

The article continues:

The bill looks more like reparations than COVID relief. It says farm aid is “for the purposes of addressing the longstanding and widespread discrimination against socially disadvantaged farmers.” Truth is, farmers have been struggling for a decade, and more than half lose money year after year. Minority-owned farms are generally less indebted than those owned by whites, though diminished access to credit may be part of the reason. White and minority farmers alike need debt relief.

Sen. Chuck Schumer crisscrossed the Empire State last weekend, bragging about his role in the relief bill and claiming credit for the $25 billion in aid to restaurants. He warned that 54 percent of New York restaurant owners won’t be able to survive the next six months without help. “They’re needed, because they’re one of the biggest employers in every community in New York, whether it’s urban, suburban . . . or rural.”

That’s the point, Senator. Instead of dwelling on racial or gender equity, the relief bill should focus on ensuring economic survival. All will benefit.

The article concludes:

As Congress debates the relief bill, Republicans should protest the racist giveaways. They’ve hardly been mentioned, and the public is unaware. More are on the way: Warnock and four other Democrats, including New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, introduced a bill on Feb. 5 to give 32 million acres of farmland to black farmers over the next 10 years. None to whites. Reparations without the label. What’s next?

Racism won’t cure past racism. And it won’t unite the nation.

Voters need to wake up before the 2022 elections and remove the people who support this sort of legal inequality. This bill and those like it will only divide America.