It’s Not Yours Until Government Says So

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Our nation was founded on sound principles; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness was a flowery alternative for property, or so it was at one time. Today it might mean something else since life and liberty no longer mean much either.

There’s a fairly important property case taking shape which many would just as soon go away. It involves the government’s “taking” of raisins of all things; that’s right, shriveled up grapes are at the center of a major court battle.

An article by Jonathan Stempel quickly pointed out that “Farmers object to setting aside crops without payment.” Imagine that, objecting to the government confiscating your crops and not getting paid. These folks must think we live in America.

Lower court rulings, to include the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have all ruled against the plaintiffs citing a Depression Era ruling which “requires raisin “handlers,” who include farmers and packers, to set aside part of their crops, in an effort to prevent supply gluts and price volatility.”

There was a line in Stempel’s article which jumped off the page and struck me on the cheek:

“The U.S. government had urged the Supreme Court not to accept the appeal.”

The translation of that line, “If the Supreme Court hears this case it will open a whole can of worms and expose most legislation and government regulations regarding property rights that pertain to individuals as being unconstitutional.” Any arguments which come before the court will challenge the validity of government’s interference in the free market system. That having been said, wouldn’t We The People want to have a clearly defined court ruling on property rights; We The People being the government? (Silly me, I forgot what year this was.)

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Some of you may remember the free market system which, over these many years has been corrupted and dismantled “one brick at a time;” to the point where it is nearly gone. That system regarded private property as the basis for a civilized society.

If you look at the formative thoughts upon which American “doctrine” was founded, a variety of concepts were borrowed and then polished:

“Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” ~John Locke

Followed closely by:

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ~Frederic Bastiat

…and in our own day:

“Just as man can’t exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.” ~Ayn Rand

So where does anyone in our government get away with appropriating the goods or services of an individual or group of individuals without just compensation? This doesn’t even include the idea that an individual must first agree to relinquish his/her property to begin with. The Kelo decision marked a turn toward the dark side if ever there was one.

I’ll throw in one more property rights quote; but this from an avid socialist:

“Property is organized robbery.” ~George Bernard Shaw

The rate of speed with which America is being transformed from a free market system into a third world socialist backwater system has escalated incredibly over my life time; yet nothing compares with the Obama administration’s agenda. Some of you might recall Robert McChesney, good buddy to Van Jones the ousted communist Green Jobs Czar under Obama. McChesney declared that capitalism has to be dismantled “brick by brick.”

Well at least McChesney was honest about his feelings and purpose. He expressed what many progressives want; not exactly an American concept; but what would you expect when we have a Marxist Communist living in the White House?

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


The Right To Oppose Sharia: The Case of Stephen Lennon

By: ICLA Admin

Stephen Lennon speaking in the European Parliament

The International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) is a human rights organisation that aims to uphold democracy, freedom and individual liberties. In its Mission Statement ICLA commits itself to campaign for the right to oppose sharia. There are many people who would argue that such a right is automatic in the West. Others would say that the right exists but that it is ‘rude’ to use it because it risks causing ‘offence’ or ‘hurt feelings’. Far from being an automatic right people have been demonised and slandered, they have lost their livelihoods, they have even ended up in prison for opposing sharia. As a result specific provision to protect this right is now essential in both national and international law.

The ICLA Mission Statement says the following:

(8) The Right to Oppose Sharia
Countering any attempts by Islamic leaders or organisations to implement Sharia, covertly or openly. Campaigning for the protection of individuals and organisations working to prevent the implementation of Sharia in our societies. This includes ensuring that law enforcement and courts deal fairly and robustly with threats and intimidation against citizens doing so, for such citizens are working in line with the European Court of Human Rights verdict of February 13th 2003:

“… the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention. It considered that Sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it.”

The leader of the English Defence League (EDL), Mr Stephen Lennon – better known as Tommy Robinson, today finds himself a resident of London’s Wandsworth Prison. As a country that pretends to be a free and democratic society the United Kingdom still feels to need to have a pretext for locking up dissidents. Could his imprisonment be the result of who he is rather than what he is alleged to have done? Mr Lennon has spoken out on subjects that powerful people do not want to be discussed. Is that the real reason why he is now behind bars in appalling conditions? Is this about his opposition to sharia? Opponents of sharia are persecuted in the United Kingdom – that is a fact!

In a country where council officials can stop someone being a foster carer on the basis of their political allegiances what lengths are those with power willing to go to in order to clamp down on dissent? The public can no longer be sure that those in positions of power are not abusing that power. Denials to the contrary are equivalent to those made by the boy who cried wolf.

We witness scandal after scandal that is glossed over or explained away with anyone complaining being labelled a conspiracy theorist or demonised in some other way. Even people involved with ICLA have been forced out of their jobs so we are aware of the way opposition to sharia is dealt with from the personal experiences of our own people. It is now impossible to know when powerful officials and the institutions that they control are telling the truth. The only way to ensure that anti-sharia activists are not discriminated against is for specific legislation to protect them.

For many years the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been trying to destroy freedom of expression via its demands for a global blasphemy law. An OIC inspired global blasphemy law, whatever weasel words were used to justify it, would mean that pro sharia advocates would be encouraged and anti-sharia activists would be persecuted to an even greater degree. There would no longer be the need for the use of pretexts like those used to lock up Mr Lennon. In a world that is moving in the direction of theocratic tyranny, laws to protect anti-sharia dissidents are absolutely essential.

National governments in places like the UK have failed to confront the demands by the OIC to curtail freedom of speech. It is as if they want draconian laws to stifle free speech. People are already criminalised for thought crimes and this seems to get worse with each passing day. Efforts to restrict free speech only make suspicion of the powerful more acute – why do they want to shut people up?

To what extent is the current crackdown on dissent a case of the UK Government doing the bidding of the OIC? Is Mr Lennon now in a prison cell because of pressure applied from the OIC? We will never know because despite open government rhetoric government is conducted in secret.

Due to the context of a general crackdown against opposition to sharia in the United Kingdom ICLA is naturally suspicious of those who wield power in that country. We believe that it is for the British Government to prove beyond down that this is not the case. In the absence of such assurances and due to the commitments that we have to our own Mission Statement ICLA would like to put on record its endorsement of the Free Tommy Campaign which is based at FreeTommy.Info The British Government needs to prove that it does not have a policy of persecution against those who oppose sharia law in the United Kingdom.


This Week’s Forum: What’s Your Reaction To The Gaza Ceasefire?

The Watcher’s Council

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: What’s Your Reaction To The Gaza ceasefire?

The Razor: I’m more sanguine about it than JoshuaPundit, and agree with Haaretz (paywalled at http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-pillar-of-defense-achieved-its-goals.premium-1.479674#) that Israel achieved its two strategic goals of reinstating the cease-fire with Hamas and stabilizing the peace with Egypt. Add in the whacking of a few senior Hamas leaders and the success of Iron Dome shooting down the rockets with the mild reaction of the cliché “Arab Street” and I believe it will be hard to paint Israel as the loser in this episode, although I’m sure the Leftist media will struggle to portray it that way.

Hamas was clearly acting as Iran’s proxy to draw attention away from its Syrian quagmire. What’s particularly interesting to me is the failure of Hezbollah to join the fray given its reliance on the mullahs in Teheran for funding. Syria is definitely draining the pond it swims in, and the quiet on Israel’s northern frontier says a lot, as does the relatively muted response in the Arab world. The protests in Egypt started as anger against the Morsi regime for failing to support Hamas against Israel and then brokering the peace, but they quickly morphed into protests against the regime’s power grab that has given me a serious case of ear worm with The Who’s classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” particularly the line “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Obama clearly thinks he bought Morsi which I personally doubt; I just hope for America’s sake he stays bought.

But back to the topic, if the missiles begin to sail over the border, Israel can just whack another Hamas leader and the cycle will start again. Israel has clearly learned from its past episodes dealing with Hamas and in my view comes out of this episode stronger than it was when it went into it.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Like being hit with a nerf baseball bat. You know something just happened yet are semi sorta unsure exactly what the heck it was.


At terrible risk of appearing to be a war monger, the Strip Cease Fire seems to only delay the inevitable clash betwixt Little Satan and the now illegit HAMAS regime (no elections in nigh unto a decade? Please). And to what end? A Lo Down Ho Down is looming as all of Little Satan”s Near Abroad begins to exhibit bloody borders – Syria, The Strip, Jordan.

Methinks next time – and there will be a next time – Little Satan should strike 1st and quiz later with a ground assault – faster and heavier than Cast Lead. Easier said than done no doubt – calling up reserves is a pretty obvious signal and alerts friends, frenemies and enemies what may be unfolding.

As Caroline Glick recently LOL”d about doing the Strip:

“To accomplish this Israel will need to invade Gaza and remain in place. It will have to kill or imprison thousands of terrorists, send thousands more packing for Sinai, and then spend years patrolling the streets of Gaza and arresting terrorists just as it does today in Judea and Samaria.”

JoshuaPundit: I think The Razor already linked to my basic feelings above about this.

Israel was presented by President Obama with two bad choices and simply chose the less bad one, which amounts to the status quo ante bellum… except that a good part of Hamas’ Iranian missile armory was destroyed… for now. There will be a next round, and the Israelis know it, which is why so many of them opposed this ceasefire even though their loved ones’ lives were on the line. You can’t appreciate what a people’s army the IDF is unless you’ve seen first hand how Israelis react to it.

Another part of the fallout that isn’t appreciated here (and certainly not by our president) is the way this is going to be seen as a victory over the Jews in the Arab world. It will make Israel’s enemies a great deal bolder next time.

It also had an effect on our relationship not only with Israel but with what’s left of our other allies in the region. They just received fresh evidence that America is not to be depended upon. According to my sources, the Israeli government is particularly livid over what went down.

They had a similar experience with France on the eve of the ’67 war. Expect them to chart a much more independent course in the future, and to look for new allies, especially as their massive oil and gas discoveries come online next year. That’s not so good for America on a lot of levels.

The Noisy Room: My reaction to the Gaza ceasefire has several facets. My initial response was that it was a horrible mistake militarily. But I realize, that there may be much more to Netanyahu’s response than meets the eye. I am sure he has a strategy that is not obviously apparent.

Evidently he was strong armed into a Hobson’s Choice. Israel wanted to invade with ground forces and completely eliminate Hamas from Gaza. This sounds like a fine plan… enter the US and Egyptian meddlers. They were okay with the original plan, but they wanted to attach a rider. Upon succeeding in this strategy, Israel was to turn over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, Obama insisted that Israel declare a Palestinian State in Gaza, including also Judea and Samaria, which of course would necessitate removing all Israeli citizens from those areas. And the whole shooting match would be turned over to Abbas. So, in summary, “Go ahead and win this, as long as you take this poison pill too.”

The second option Israel is offered is a hudna, a temporary ceasefire and fragile peace, but Obama and Morsi are calling on Israel to stop all attacks on Gaza, including targeting of individuals. They are also requiring all Palestinian factions to stop hostilities against Israel from Gaza, including rocket fire and attacks along the border. But this won’t stop smaller factions from their campaign of Islamic terror. Israel is going to relax border restrictions with Gaza, which means that weapons smuggling will step up in intensity. Hamas has blatantly stated that they will keep arming their forces.

This is only a brief reprieve. War with Iran and Hamas is coming. Israel may be regrouping for the fight to come. I really hope they’ve got some card up their sleeve no one has seen yet. Otherwise they are in a world of hurt and the pain is just beginning. The US will not have their back and Israel will have to fight alone. At least they will have God on their side.

The Independent Sentinel: My reaction is that this has been a win for terrorists. They now have a better sense of what Israel can do and our President appeared to be more terrorist appeaser than Israel supporter.

Iran and Hamas get to talk about making Israel scream in pain. Egypt, obviously not much of a help in the negotiations, was praised by the administration for being much of a help.

Morsi responded to the accolades by making himself into a dictator – it’s temporary he claims.

Hamas won’t stop making and smuggling weapons though the daily missiles being lobbed into southern Israel have stopped for now. We now know their missiles have a longer reach.

In the aftermath, protests against Israel are taking place throughout the world.

Israel seems to stand alone and I am very concerned for Israel and the US.

President Obama’s failed foreign policy continues FORWARD.

Oh, but we have peace, don’t we? Only until Gaza replenishes their weapons. Perhaps they are really preparing, along with others, for a massive attack on Israel if she tries to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites.

Other than that, Hillary and Barack did a fine job.

Rhymes With Right: What do I think of this truce? Frankly, I think it is ill-advised and likely inimical to the best interests of Israel — but then again, hasn’t every truce with terrorists that has ever been forced on Israel by those who are loath to allow it to defend itself from those who would destroy the island of civilization in the midst of the Islamic world?

For those who think I am being too harsh, let’s consider things which have happened in just these last few days.

1) The Egyptian leader — anointed as the guarantor of peace by Barack Obama — has made himself the de facto dictator of his country, and is now facing massive unrest as a segment of his people rise up in protest. How long will he stay in power? Who knows — and is he likely to be the sort of leader who will, in fact, carry out his own commitments to rein in Hamas?

2) Hamas itself has continued with its bellicose statements regarding its eventual intention of destroying the Jews. Does this sound like a peace partner likely to honor the truce? When one considers the first violation came within an hour of the truce going into effect, the answer should be obvious.

3) Iran is already sending vessels ready to resupply Hamas with newer, better weapons to fight Israel — consistent with the drumbeat of genocidal anti-Semitism that has been part and parcel of the Islamic Republic’s rhetoric for the last thirty years.

4) For all Barack Obama mouthed the right words in support of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, his track record is such that it is impossible to believe he will hold the Arabs’ feet to the fire regarding the terms of the truce — but will require Israel to observe every jot and tittle of it. In this he is little different from all his predecessors, but his previous hostility towards Israel leads me to believe that he will not be so forgiving of Israel taking defensive action as have been previous presidents.

Israel should not have signed off on this agreement — at least not until every political and military leader of Hamas was dead and Gaza swept clean of every weapon more advanced than a sling or a bow. And if that meant more casualties among the civilian population in Gaza, their blood would rightly be reckoned as being on the hands of the Hamas terrorists who chose to war with a neighbor that has for over six decades asked for nothing more than peaceful coexistence with its Arab neighbors. But as Israel is the only civilized participant in the conflict, its leaders felt obliged to exercise restraint — a policy which I fear will mean more innocent blood will flow in the streets of Israel when Hamas again renews its terror campaign.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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