07/22/20

There Can Be Only One

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

I keep up with the discussions put on by Christian groups as they consider various doctrines which they believe to be from our Savior, Jesus Christ; or on the other side of that same coin, illusions created by men in order to persuade and mislead.  Not wishing to upset those wonderful discussions I chose to simply acknowledge that I’d visited rather than leave a comment.

My long time friend Bob started off a discussion this morning, “A couple of days ago I shared an article entitled The Death Rattle of Consumer Christianity. The main point of the article was that God was allowing certain practices in the American Church to die so that a renewed Church could be birthed. I’ve also noticed in the Christian blogosphere a lot of talk about the attempt by politically motivated individuals to create a new “world order.” I believe these two things have a common goal. Both are an attempt to reign supreme over the earth. One is legitimate, the other a fraud.”

We are in agreement as there can be only one legitimate world government, the one that has the Lord, Jesus Christ at its head; any other would be a fraud, exactly as my friend has suggested.

The “New World Order” which many propose as a solution to the petty sovereignty issues, immigration, and general disorder created by having so many independent nations is in fact a step backward for all mankind.  The elitists who wish to run this socialistic order have omitted God as the source of all powers, eliminating the need for inalienable individual rights which spring from Him.

Instead, those in positions of government would take the place of God, their handing out privileges and entitlements to whomever they decide should receive them.  There would be no need for constitutional protection of so-called “rights” because there wouldn’t be any.

Going back to Bob’s opening remarks, “…God was allowing certain practices in the American Church to die so that a renewed Church could be birthed.”  I found this intriguing, so much so that it was the reason for joining this discussion; knowing full well my boldness would not be appreciated or welcomed by many.

“The renewed Church could be birthed.”, and that is exactly what has occurred.  The nations of the earth were all too corrupted for the establishment of the Lord’s Church which is why it was necessary for America to become a nation.  Not a nation owing allegiance to any earthly King; rather, a nation built on the foundations set forth in scripture, eternal laws, and principles.  Only in such a country could the Lord set in motion the necessary fertile soil that would permit His Church to be renewed.

If you’ll read our founding documents, The Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution containing the Bill of Rights, it becomes more apparent that the Lord’s hand guided our founder’s thoughts in establishing the groundwork that would permit the freedoms necessary for religious zeal to abound.  The Great Enlightenment period with so many individuals desiring to know which denomination to join, which preacher to listen to as part of the Lord’s plan, not to have these denominations “die,” rather for this denomination which held important parts of the gospel to help usher in the Fullness of the Gospel as found in the one true Church.

Ahhhh, this is where my remarks begin to annoy some folks. They don’t want to hear about the restoration that has already taken place or that that restoration continues to take place even as I write.  “Blasphemy”, they cry while turning up their noses at such a preposterous claim.

Consider if you will those in Jerusalem at the time Jesus Christ walked the earth.  How many of them scoffed at the idea that He was the Son of God, the Chosen One of whom the Prophets in the scriptures testified would come to save us all?   Did they not crucify the Savior of the world looking off into the future for that illusive Savior?  Are they looking still?

I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Church, the only one which has been established with the authority to act in His name.  It is the structure and government which will be used by the Lord when he returns to this earth.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God, translated for the benefit of the entire world, not just for those who happen to live in America.  It is another witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, our Eternal Father.  It was written as a companion of scripture to validate what is found in the Bible and those who take the time to read these important books can have the Spirit testify of this truth.

I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.

07/15/20

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has Changed

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has Changed“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Conservatives are generally quick to point out that America is a republic, not a democracy. But what really is the difference, and are they even right?

Voting in America has changed considerably since the days of our founding. Back then, the government didn’t even print official ballots. Instead, you got ballots from the candidate who wanted your support. Sometimes voting took place in public, so everyone knew who you voted for. And, of course, the franchise was largely restricted to white, male property owners.

Now, anyone who turns 18 can vote. And the Democratic Party wants to increase ballot access by automatically registering anyone who gets a driver’s license. Democrats even pushed for mail-in ballots for the 2020 election to make voting even easier – and more open to voter fraud. But is any of this a good thing?

Indeed, it is worth considering the transformation of the United States from a Constitutional Republic, ruled by law with the input of the people, to a total democracy, where the will of the people dominates all other discussions.

A Brief History of the Franchise in America

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has ChangedOpen up your pocket Constitution and find the part where it says who can vote and who can’t. You’ll come up short. That’s because the Constitution delegates this right to the states. And while there are some amendments that, for example, say states can’t restrict the franchise on the basis of race, gender, or being over the age of 18, otherwise there is broad leeway given in terms of who can vote and who can’t.

Before the United States existed, people were still voting and there were oftentimes even more restrictions in place. Property qualifications were most common, but there was often also a religious test involved. For example, Plymouth Colony required that voters be “orthodox in the fundamentals of religion,” which would have likely excluded even Catholics from voting. Indeed, Catholics, Quakers, and Baptists were frequently forbidden from voting in early colonial elections. (Jews were forbidden from state office in Maryland until 1828, because of a state law requiring affirmation of belief in an afterlife.)

One of the first laws drafted by the new nation was a process for people to become citizens and thus be able to vote in places where citizenship was a requirement to do so – and indeed, citizenship was not a requirement in many states or colonies in the early days of America. While only “natural born” citizens can become president, naturalized citizens enjoy the full benefits of the franchise. There is still much debate as to what qualifies as a “natural born” citizen, and it’s worth noting that several recent major party presidential candidates were not born in the United States – most recently Tulsi Gabbard (who was born in American Samoa) and Ted Cruz (who was born in Canada). The Republican nominee in 2008, John McCain, was born in the Panama Canal Zone. The last of these was the most problematic, as Downes v. Bidwell ruled that unincorporated territories were explicitly not the United States.

While it is easy to ascribe this to petty religious bigotry, the reason is actually somewhat more profound: The colonists and the colonial governments that they formed considered it important to only allow the franchise to people who shared their values. Thus, those with heterodox religious beliefs were not allowed to vote on the grounds that doing so would undermine both the values and the liberty of the colony.

Similarly, property holders were meant to be the main voters for the simple reason of having skin in the game. The early colonists did not want, for example, the merchant class to have an outsized say in politics because they were not tied to the land and thus not as subject to bad decisions. A shopkeeper or importer can simply sell their stock and move on to the next colony. A freeholder, working the land with his family, has far less flexibility and, the theory goes anyway, would be making more long-term decisions about what is best for the polity.

What this meant, also, is that, in places like New Jersey, women were allowed to vote until 1807, provided that they could meet the property requirement. What changed in the early 19th century, under the expansion of the franchise under Jacksonian Democracy, was that race and gender were prized more than property rights. But free blacks still had the right to vote in some Northern states until 1838.

This too was not an arbitrary distinction. Men who had been veterans of the War of 1812, or at the very least, defended their community against Indian raids, believed that they were entitled to the franchise on the basis of that service. By 1856, free white men were allowed to vote without meeting any property requirements, but five of the states still kept tax requirements (frequently a poll tax) in place. Again, this makes sense: The force of government is largely about the spending of taxes and the use of the military.

By 1856, all property requirements had been lifted, but tax requirements remained in place in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, until the 20th century. Rhode Island had what was basically a brief, low-level civil war over the question of property requirements known as the Dorr War. Indeed, anytime that post-Civil War disenfranchisement is discussed, it must include a discussion of the disenfranchisement of poor whites as well. The Battle of Athens is a fascinating tale of World War II veterans returning from battle and refusing to be shafted at the ballot box anymore.

Of the 15 Constitutional Amendments passed since the Civil War, four involve the franchise. The 15th Amendment bars states from restricting the franchise on the basis of race, the 19th from restrictions on the basis of gender, the 24th bars any tax requirements, and the 26th bars any age restrictions against those over the age of 18. Another Amendment, the 17th, allows for the direct election of senators, rather than having them elected by the respective state legislature – another expansion of pure democracy in America, though not an expansion of suffrage per se.

The previous method of electing senators, having them appointed by the respective state legislatures, was not an oversight on the part of the Founders. Rather, this was to give a voice to the state governments in the federal government. This was seen as an important safeguard against the overreach of federal power. Among other things, the Senate was a check on a power-hungry federal government seeking to put its tentacles into anything it could. It was a form of distributed power that was yet another attempt by the Founders to prevent consolidation and centralization of government.

It’s worth noting that Western states, starting with Wyoming in 1869, were granting women the right to vote, largely as an enticement to get them to move to the region, which was seriously devoid of women.

The concept of “one man, one vote” is the cornerstone of a more pure democracy. There were three decisions of the Earl Warren Supreme Court that definitively transformed the landscape of America into a democracy:

  • Baker v. Carr found that federal courts had jurisdiction over state redistricting efforts.
  • Wesberry v. Sanders found that U.S. House of Representatives districts – whose borders are determined by state governments – must be roughly equal in population.
  • Reynolds v. Sims found that state legislative districts must be roughly equal in population, regardless of the chamber. This effectively means that states are not allowed to have institutions like the Senate – for example, a state government cannot give each county two seats in the state legislature if the counties do not have roughly the same population size.

Residency requirements are mostly illegal in the United States, with one-year requirements struck down in Dunn v. BlumsteinThe longest residency requirement that states are allowed to have now is 50 days.

What’s So Wrong With Democracy?

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has ChangedAll of this raises the question of what is wrong with democracy, as opposed to a Constitutional Republic? It’s a cliche that democracy is the right of 51 percent of the population to take away the toothbrushes of the other 49. The Constitution provides protection against the tyranny of the majority and one of those protections is against pure democracy.

Indeed, the Senate and Electoral College, two of the last vestiges of the anti-democratic mood that penetrated the country during Revolutionary times, provide protections to rural states to this day. Without either of these or with a Senate converted into a proportional representation body, as some have suggested, rural states are effectively political serfs for the larger urban centers.

The counter-argument presented to this is that “land doesn’t vote,” which is fair enough, but again: America was not conceived as a pure democracy where everyone had an equal say in everything. There are many layers to the onion, many tiers that prevent one group of the population from having too much say over the others. The Electoral College and the Senate allow rural states to have a voice in how the country is run, rather than being totally ruled over by people in urban centers who don’t own guns, can’t grow food, and have never met their neighbors.

It’s not a coincidence that Electoral College abolition is a particular ax ground by the left. The abolition of the Electoral College would allow for sweeping changes in American public policy championed by those currently on the leftward edge of the political spectrum. Do you want to live in a country where, for example, the voters of smaller states like Nevada, New Hampshire, and Montana are drowned out by a handful of cities on the coasts? What of medium-sized states with a number of post-industrial cities with their own concerns, just as valid as those of rural America, but entirely separate from the centers of financial, cultural, and academic power?

There’s also the small matter of the role that the media plays in shaping public opinion, as well as the role that public works projects and other government spending play in essentially buying votes. Ostensibly “undemocratic” institutions act as brakes on the manipulation of public opinion. Indeed, the Senate was specifically designed as a deliberative body that would “cool the passions” of the masses represented in the lower house, the House of Representatives.

The Primary System as a Laboratory of Democracy

The primary process for nominating presidential candidates represents an excellent example of how pure democracy has produced poorer results than a more managed and directed one.

Most Americans, particularly younger ones, don’t know that prior to the 1970s, the primary contests didn’t mean much. Rather, it was the state party conventions that held greater weight and these were largely managed by party bosses rather than directly influenced by voters. It’s not that this system of backroom wheeling and dealing never produced a total dud or stifled genuine needs for reform – of course, it did. However, looking at the roster of candidates produced by this process (i.e., two Roosevelts, a Coolidge, an Eisenhower, and a Kennedy), it’s hard to argue with the results.

What was entirely lacking was the current primary process that we have in the United States, which still boasts a very low overall turnout and lasts from approximately the fourth quarter of the year before the election sometimes all the way up until the convention. All told, the Democratic Primary cycle of 2020 had 12 debates planned, with 11 completed and the 12th not happening simply because Joe Biden said he wasn’t going to show up.

The primaries are dominated by highly motivated and often highly ideological voters. This means that a number of highly polarizing figures have made it through the modern primary process, including Barry Goldwater (1964, so a little early) and George McGovern, but also a ton of people who the party in question loved but Americans just plain didn’t like (examples of this being Walter MondaleMichael Dukakis, and Mitt Romney). This is because party bosses were much more concerned about someone who could win – and all the patronage that flowed from that – rather than someone who shared their ideological picadillo.

President Eisenhower is perhaps the gold standard of a president anointed by party bosses. Senator Robert Taft, the leading light of the ideologically conservative faction of the party, lost to the choice of the party bosses, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. While historical counterfactuals are hard to tease out, there’s little reason to believe that Senator Taft could have won a general election against President Truman or eventual nominee Senator Adlai Stevenson. This is because, while there was a big thirst to roll back the whole of the New Deal among the hardcore Republican base, there was virtually no taste for it in the American mainstream, which either liked the programs or had learned to live with them. Indeed, it is largely believed that the delegates themselves might have preferred Taft to Eisenhower – but they preferred Eisenhower to losing.

It’s worth noting that in the last two Democratic primaries, party bosses have leaned heavily on the scale against insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders in favor of, respectively, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. In contrast, Donald Trump was able to coast to the nomination in 2016 without any significant organized chicanery on the part of the party bosses.

But it’s not just political parties who lose when American presidential candidates are the result of a process catering to a very small niche of the electorate. America loses also because we are incapable of having substantive, issue-driven debates that address real problems of the American people. Instead, we end up focusing much more on the personalities and cultural differences that divide the two parties – to the detriment of the entire nation.

Election Fraud in the United States

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has ChangedThere is a dispute as to whether or not there is widespread election fraud in the United States. However, there are three presidential elections that merit a brief discussion in our exploration of the franchise in America.

The 1876 Election

The election of 1876 was so controversial and potentially fraud-ridden that it was the subject of a Congressional Electoral Commission in response to a major Constitutional crisis. There were 20 electoral votes outstanding, with the Democratic candidate one shy of winning, with the 20 outstanding electoral votes all coming from states with potentially massive voter fraud. The Commission was convened by the Democratic House and the Republican Senate, with five members from each body and five from the Supreme Court of the United States.

One of the tricks in question is actually an exploit of pure democracy: In those days, there were no official ballots. Ballots or “tickets” were generally printed up by political parties or their partisans and distributed to the voters. Southern Democrats used ballots with Abraham Lincoln on them in an attempt to fool illiterate voters into voting for their slate.

“Tilden or Blood!” was a slogan at the time and Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden’s supporters declared that they had 100,000 men ready to march on the capital and install him as president if need be. A party-line vote of the Electoral Commission gave all the votes to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, making him president. However, as a concession, the South got the end of Reconstruction and the withdrawal of all remaining federal troops.

Democrats remained unsatisfied, with the House of Representatives going as far as to pass a non-binding resolution declaring Tilden the winner. The Electoral Count Act of 1887 made the state legislature the definitive arbiter of who counted as an elector, which was the subject of Bush v. Gore, another controversial election over 100 years later.

The 1960 Election

The 1960 election was disputed as well, but not formally and officially like in 1876. The claim is this: That the Democratic Party used friendly city machines in Dallas and Illinois to win states for John F. Kennedy that he otherwise would not have won – and that would have delivered the presidency to Republican Richard Nixon.

This is not a marginal theory. Senators such as Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater have stated that they believe there was fraud in the election. All told, Republicans in 11 states sought to have the vote overturned, including in Illinois and Texas. A special prosecutor charged 650 people with voter fraud, but there were no convictions.

It is unknown to what degree Nixon felt he had been cheated, but he never seriously pursued it, believing it would divide the nation and tarnish the office of the presidency.

The 2000 Election

Finally, there is the 2000 election, where chicanery is alleged to have taken place not at the ballot box, but at the Supreme Court. It was the Supreme Court who stopped the recount under the Equal Protection Clause because they did not approve of how the recount was being carried out. Further, a new standard could not be agreed upon because of the time frame – electors had to be selected by December 12.

This allowed a previous vote count certified by Secretary of State Katherine Harris (a Republican and Bush family ally) to stand.

Here the question was not about whether or not someone was ballot-box stuffing. No one has seriously or credibly proposed this. What was in question is how the votes were counted. This calls to mind an apocryphal quote often attributed to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin:

“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

Several have written that if a statewide recount were done, rather than a county-based one, that it was Vice President Al Gore who would have won. But the question here is what was the best way to count the votes. And unsurprisingly, partisans of both parties prefer the method resulting in their candidate winning.

Beyond the Theory: Why Pure Democracy Is Bad In Its Execution

Once the notion of a universal franchise enters the public vernacular, there is then no limit on who should be included. Andrew Yang became the first major-party presidential candidate to endorse lowering the voting age to 16, but others have endorsed removing age requirements for voting entirely. Indeed, there is an entire current of thought that says that citizenship shouldn’t be a requirement (it isn’t in some municipal elections) or even that the entire world should be allowed a say in who becomes the President of the United States.

While these might all sound like ridiculous proposals – and we agree that they are – they are the thin edge of the wedge, the tip of the spear that will eventually introduce this kind of discourse into the political mainstream and perhaps much sooner than anyone thinks. If the only criteria for who gets to vote is that you are “affected by government policy” or some such and thus entitled to a say, why not let the entire populations of France and Bangladesh and China have a vote? There is a logic to universal suffrage that does not end with America’s adult population or even at its borders.

Consider the fight against voter ID laws in the United States. When one accepts that voting is a universal right, it makes perfect sense that having or not having an ID shouldn’t be an impediment to exercising that right. A lack of voter ID laws has been tied to voter fraud. But perhaps more disturbing is the growing practice of ballot harvesting.

Ballot Harvesting

Constitutional Republic vs. Pure Democracy: How the U.S. Election Process Has ChangedThe Democratic Party likes ballot harvesting so much that they tried to insert it into the stimulus and relief bill targeted at people suffering from the effects of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak of 2020. Put simply, this is when paper ballots are collected by intermediaries between the state and the voter, then delivered en masse. If this sounds like it’s a ripe place for voter fraud to happen, that’s because it is. Ballot harvesting played a role in the do-over of the 2019 North Carolina election, where Democrats were, perhaps for the first time ever, deeply concerned with the specter of voter fraud.

Orange County, California, was home to a whopping quarter million ballots delivered on Election Day alone. In practice, ballot harvesters go around collecting ballots for people who vote for the candidate they want to win. In the case of North Carolina, there were allegations that ballots had been discarded because people voted for the “wrong” candidate.

In the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, there has been a push – mostly from Democrats – to offer mail-in ballots. These are different from absentee ballots, which are sent out to specific voters on a by-request basis. Compare this with the push for mass mail-in voting: This is just printing up a ton of ballots, sending them out, and letting everyone mail them in. There are few, if any, protections in place for preventing people from voting twice, preventing non-registered voters from voting, or preventing illegal aliens from voting. For every person who votes that shouldn’t, a legal voter has their vote canceled out or nullified.

There’s not much of a way to verify and track this process to ensure that everyone who votes is having their vote counted. But again, it is very much in keeping with the logic of “one man, one vote.” Those who espouse the ideology of a pure democracy are always looking for ways to make it easier for people to vote.

Perhaps, not coincidentally, making it easier for people to vote also opens up the door to electoral fraud.

And this is really the crux of the matter when it comes down to pure democracy: The transition to a purer democracy has coincided with greater influence among unofficial kingmakers who control the process while also consolidating greater power in Washington, D.C. In practice, this has meant favoring a bureaucratic elite who effectively act as unelected legislators. Most of the regulations put in place by the alphabet soup of federal agencies aren’t there by statute but are in fact part of powers delegated to them by the legislature who have abdicated their legislative authority.

What’s more, these unofficial kingmakers are often shadowy figures whose names (to say nothing of their intentions) are mostly unknown. These are not the traditional party bosses who were, in a sense, beholden to their people in the form of having to provide patronage and pork and other tangible results. Rather the new kingmakers of our pure democracy are the mass media, party activists, and others with no skin in the game and little in the way of public accountability. Their angle is one entirely of self-interest and not to the broader body politic, to say nothing of future generations.

07/11/20

Trump SCOTUS Win Protects Religious Liberty And Little Sisters Of The Poor

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Reports of Trump’s SCOTUS picks failing to produce wins while Chief Justice John Roberts leads us straight to perdition by the chicken littles of the right apparently have been greatly exaggerated judging by the Supreme Court’s 7-2 supermajority decision upholding President Donald J. Trump’s executive order finally and totally freeing that group of charitable nuns known as the Little Sisters of the Poor from the atheistic deep state abortion and contraceptive mandate that came with ObamaCare. Not only is Trump’s conservative and originalist makeover of the federal judiciary proceeding apace, even at the highest level, but also it appears to be winning over the hearts and minds of those who were once hard-core liberal opponents. As Steven Ertelt at LifeSiteNews.Com reports:

The Supreme Court issued a ruling today upholding a pro-life order from President Donald Trump that protected the Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs under their health insurance plan. Abortion advocates have spent years trying to force the Catholic nuns to fund the destruction of unborn babies in abortions.

Justices voted 7-2 to uphold the pro-life order from the president with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four conservatives on the court along with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, both abortion advocates, dissented….

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Sisters asked the Supreme Court to put a stop to Pennsylvania’s attempt to take away their hard-earned religious exemption from the HHS contraceptive mandate, and end their seven-year legal battle once and for all….

In 2017, pro-abortion attorneys general in Pennsylvania, California and several other states filed lawsuits to overturn new religious protections issued by the Trump administration. The new rules protect the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious employers from having to pay for birth control drugs and devices that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans.

The Little Sisters won an initial victory against the mandate in 2016 at the U.S. Supreme Court, but the new lawsuits pushed them back into court.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, and many Americans, didn’t quite get this assault on religious liberty by the Obama administration as part of its “fundamental transformation” of America. Neither did Sister Loraine Marie McGuire, Mother Provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who said in a statement:

…now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters.

We don’t understand why the government is doing this when there is an easy solution that doesn’t involve us—it can provide these services on the exchanges.  It’s also hard to understand why the government is doing this when 1/3 of all Americans aren’t even covered by this mandate, and large corporations like Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi are fully exempt, yet the government threatens us with fines of 70 million dollars per year if we don’t comply.

The litigation filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor reflects the view that the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment is not limited to one hour on a weekend but includes acting on one’s faith in our daily lives. That was the motive behind the suit by the owners of Hobby Lobby, lost by the Obama administration. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

The Little Sisters contend ObamaCare not only violates the First Amendment’s religious guarantees, but also the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That requires the government to implement its policies in ways that do not impose an unnecessary burden on the free exercise of religion….

If the Little Sisters lose their case, they’ll either have to violate their religious conscience or face fines of around $2.5 million a year, or about 40% of what they beg for annually to care for the dying poor. Their ministry would be severely crippled, as would the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.

The Obama administration’s hostility to the free exercise of religion was seen in the Hobby Lobby case in which the government argued that acting on your religious beliefs in your personal and business life was illegal. The courts ruled otherwise and in the Hobby Lobby case agreed that this was an attempted infringement of the free exercise of religion:

So do scores of Catholic and non-Catholic institutions and businesses who argue either that the way they run their private businesses is an extension of their faith or that a church, something the federal government seeks to redefine, is not something that happens one hour a week on a Sunday but 24/7 through the hospitals, schools, soup kitchens and charities they may operate. They argue that acting out their faith through their works should not be illegal.

After the Hobby Lobby loss, the Obama administration crafted an “opt-out” provision. Organizations could file a religious objection to the ObamaCare mandate being included in their insurance coverage using a form to authorize contraceptive coverage being provided for and paid for by others. To the Little Sisters, this was an unacceptable distinction without a difference. They would be condoning contraception even if not paying for it directly:

The case of the feisty nuns challenges a bizarre “accommodation” offered by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). Under its proposal, the Little Sisters can fill out a government form that notes their objection but that also gives the government authority to have someone else provide that coverage.

After their case was heard before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in December of 2018, an attorney representing them made this observation, the Catholic News Agency reported:

“What the government has done, and it’s a strange thing to do, is say, ‘The only way we’ll accept our objection is if on the same piece of paper saying ‘I object’ you modify the plan to give someone else the authority to give out contraceptives on the plan,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said at a press conference following the oral arguments.

As the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, former head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, once observed, President Obama’s idea of religious liberty differs little from Josef Stalin’s:

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George recently wrote.

“You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor were once maligned by President Obama and lumped with those he called “less than loving Christians” at an Easter Prayer Breakfast, of all places. This victory by President Trump and a group of elderly Catholic nuns against the atheistic deep state hopefully ends their seven-year struggle for their constitutional rights.

Trump remains firmly committed to the U.S. Constitution, as written, to religious liberty and the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. It is unfathomable to me how Joe Biden’s support of black genocide by Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood could hold sway among those touted suburban women and college-educated independents. Stop your whining and doomsaying, Trump doubters, and instead of throwing up your hands, roll up your sleeves and fight the good fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as Trump is.

Trump recently marched for life against Joe Biden’s party of death, becoming the first U.S. President to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., a match he previously addressed via video, a march sure to be ignored by the lamestream media or downplayed as a gathering of white supremacists. It reflects his belief that every human life begins at conception and is a gift from God and reflects the fear, an unspoken motive for impeachment, that Trump will get to appoint more Supreme Court justices forming a majority to overturn the wrongly decided Roe V. Wade, another SCOTUS decision like Dred Scott which declared an entire class of people as less than human. As LifeSiteNews reported:

March for Life officials told LifeNews.com they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a million or more Americans demonstrating their resolve to ending abortion.

Jeanne Mancini, President of March for Life, told LifeNews, “We are deeply honored to welcome President Trump to the 47th annual March for Life. He will be the first president in history to attend and we are so excited for him to experience in person how passionate our marchers are about life and protecting the unborn.”…

Last year, Trump told thousands of pro-life advocates at the March for Life that he plans to veto any bill that would promote abortion.

“Today I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the protection of human life, I will issue a veto,” Trump said. “And we have the support to uphold those vetos.”

“We know that every life has meaning and that every life is worth protecting, as president I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” he said.

“As president, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” Trump said in remarks recorded in the Oval Office, a right he said extended to “unborn children.”…

Trump has repeatedly called out the Democratic Party’s extreme position on abortion. During his state of the union address this year, Trump slammed the governors of New York and Virginia for promoting abortion up to birth and infanticide. He also called for Congress to pass a ban on late-term abortions on babies who are capable of feeling pain.

The media will no doubt minimize the crowd size and characterize it as part of a racist president’s war on women. Never mind that a disproportionate percentage of abortions are of black babies and that Planned Parenthood is arguably responsible for more black deaths than the KKK. Never mind that the Democrats make war on unborn women in their mother’s womb. Equal rights for unborn women, anyone?

Certainly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is Catholic like Judas was an Apostle, won’t go for that and neither will her abortion-until-birth-and-even-after Democrats. As LifeSiteNews reported during a recent  abortion-funding battle:

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blasted Catholics for fighting for the right not to perform or fund abortions, describing their abhorrence for supporting abortions as “this conscience thing,” in remarks to the Washington Post.      

Last month, during a debate in the House over a bill to stop abortion funding in the health care bill and to strengthen conscience rights on abortion, Pelosi had described the bill as “savage,” claiming that it would allow doctors to let women “die on the floor” because they could refuse to perform an abortion.

In her remarks to the Post, Pelosi, who says she is Catholic, defended her statements against the Protect Life Act. While some “may not like the language,’’ she said, “the truth is what I said.”

“They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’

“I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it … but they have this conscience thing [about abortion],” added Pelosi.

Apparently this “conscience thing” may be invoked in the name of open borders, sanctuary cities and states coddling murderers of American citizens, and enforcing lawful deportation orders, but not when you are someone who believes life begins at conception and ends at natural death and not at the point of an abortionist’s scalpel.

Heaven, as some have suggested, is a place with high walls and extreme vetting. And, we are told, once you have been judged, you are cast out, uh, deported. There is a big gate, which could be called a “port of entry,” but you do not get to climb over it or sneak around it.

Yes, Nancy Pelosi has children, but according to her, she had the right to snuff out every one of their lives right up to the moment of birth, perhaps even after, as the Democrat governor of Virginia said he was fine with. You cannot serve the Catholic Church and Planned Parenthood:

Speaker Pelosi’s attempt at claiming the moral high ground here is the peak of hypocrisy from a career politician. Our individual faith and beliefs are our own forces to reckon with, but Speaker Pelosi is far from a shining example of a strict follower of the church’s teachings, especially given her spineless rhetoric on abortion as the issue moves to the center of the ideological divide.

As her party moves further to the left each day, especially on the issue of abortion, Speaker Pelosi has simultaneously remained silent while still claiming to be a moderate and a faithful Catholic. The mainstream Democratic Party, fueled by young progressives and far-left interest groups, has embraced unlimited, late-term abortion with open arms. The Speaker refuses to condemn the abhorrent abortion laws implemented in New York and Virginia, which both go even further than third-trimester abortions. She also turns a blind eye to the harmful rhetoric pushed by groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, both of which provide substantial monetary donations to the Democratic Party, as they encourage American women to “shout their abortions.”

Roe V. Wade was decided in an era when you could argue that the fetus was a soulless clump of cells and get away with it. There was no ultrasound and, no way to monitor the fetal heartbeat, or even to perform fetal surgery. Premature babies are able to be saved at earlier and earlier dates. Should our right to life be determined by technology? What kind of right is that?

Viability was and still is a determining factor in limiting abortions. Many states have added restrictions on when abortions can be performed based on the ability of the unborn to save birth. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized when Texas passed a late-term abortion ban, the humanity of the unborn was even grudgingly acknowledged by one of the majority justices in Roe V. Wade:

The 20-week benchmark wasn’t pulled out of a hat. The respected University of Utah expert Maureen Condic recently testified before Congress that at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain and has “an increase in stress hormones in response to painful experiences” along with other reactions that “reflect a mature, bodywide response to pain.” It is her view that fetuses “deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding their experience of pain and protection from cruelty under the law.”…..

Thanks to medical science, the time it takes for a baby in the womb to become viable is shrinking. It’s been said that if the Supreme Court in 1973 had seen ultrasound pictures of the unborn, as is routinely done today, Roe v. Wade would have been decided quite differently.

Indeed, writing the majority opinion back then, Justice Harry Blackmun said: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”

He also wrote that if the unborn life was proved to be a person, “the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed.”

We may be only one or two more Supreme Court justices away from the right of the unborn to life being guaranteed in law. When President Trump issued an executive order restoring the Mexico City policy on funding of organizations that provide abortions, we got a clear message on his view of the humanity of the unborn.  As The Hill reported:

President Trump on Monday reignited the war over abortion by signing an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions.

The so-called Mexico City policy, established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or actively promote the procedure….

I think the president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first briefing Monday afternoon.

“And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects tax payer funding as well, and ensures that we’re standing up not just for life of the unborn, but for also taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.”

On the wall of the Jefferson Memorial are the words: “God who gave us life gave us liberty.” The two are inseparable. Slaves were once considered something less than human, as the unborn currently are. The Supreme Court, which gave us Roe V. wade, once gave us the Dred Scott decision. A Trump court may soon correct another gross injustice.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

07/6/20

America’s Taliban Wants Lennon’s Marxist “IMAGINE” As National Anthem

By: Daniel John Sobieski

We’ve seen this all before – the attempt to erase history through the destruction of statues and monuments to any historical event but today’s anarchy and any vestige of authority, real, institutional, or symbolic other than the authority imposed by the nihilists themselves.

As columnist Charles Krauthammer once pointed out, one the first acts of the Taliban in Afghanistan was to blow up centuries-old statues of Buddha carved in a mountain cliff. They did it not because they were built by the United States or Israel or represented Western colonialism. The giant Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban government on March 12, 2001, in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The two enormous statues, measuring 175 feet in height, were carved into sandstone cliffs at Bamiyan by Buddhist worshippers who traveled the Silk Road from China in the third century A.D. As Krauthammer wrote:

Buddhism is hardly a representative of the West. It is hardly a cause of poverty and destitution. It is hardly a symbol of colonialism. No. The statues represented two things: an alternative faith and a great work of civilization. To the Taliban, the presence of both was intolerable…

The distinguished Indian writer and now Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul, who has chronicled the Islamic world in two books (“Among the Believers” and “Beyond Belief”), recently warned (in a public talk in Melbourne before the World Trade Center attack), “We are within reach of great nihilistic forces that have undone civilization.” In places like Afghanistan, “religion has been turned by some into a kind of nihilism, where people wish to destroy themselves and destroy their past and their culture . . . to be pure. They are enraged about the world and they wish to pull it down.” This kind of fury and fanaticism is unappeasable. It knows no social, economic, or political solution. “You cannot converge with this [position] because it holds that your life is worthless and your beliefs are criminal and should be extirpated.”

This wasn’t an issue of white supremacy or privilege. They did it because they represented civilization and culture and ideas that were different than their own. Krauthammer’s analysis was in the context of Islamofascism, 9-11, and the war on terror but it bears relevance to the domestic terrorism being conducted by Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the Democratic Party. The goal is chaos and anarchy and the institution of a collectivist gulag based on the Taliban model and the model depicted in the “Lord Of The Flies.” In the name of social justice, they seek a world without any justice, only mob rule, a world of unfathomable cruelty and injustice.

Our history and our heritage are being shoved by rioters, looters, and anarchists down the memory hole. This is year zero on their calendar. Everything that came before and every struggle for freedom and human dignity by patriots of all colors is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is now. The only thing that matters is what they tell you. How we got here and what makes us who and what we are may not be pretty or politically correct but it is important. We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t remember where we’ve been.

The canceling of American history by anarchists, encouraged by cowering Democratic governors and mayors is necessary if they intend on propagating the lie that America is and always has been irredeemably racist. The Republicans are white supremacists and that only liberal progressive Democrats can create social justice, which means the absence of resistance to groups like Black Lives Matter, which among other goodies on its website endorses the elimination of the nuclear family. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the progressive police state they are hoping to establish on Nov. 3, 2020.

Canceling culture and history as vestiges of Western oppression, with the possible exception of the statues of Robert F. Byrd, has a new goal – replacing the “Star-Spangled Banner” with John Lennon’s homage to anarchy and Marxism, “Imagine.” This was and is an awful song calling for an end to all moral authority and decency and conversion of civilization to a global Woodstock, a world without rules and order and discipline, and no one left to make and deliver the pizza. As the New York Post notes:

Amid a national reckoning over racial tropes in culture, historian Daniel E. Walker, author Kevin Powell, and others are calling to “rethink [‘The Star-Spangled Banner’] as the national anthem, because this is about the deep-seated legacy of slavery and white supremacy in America,” Walker told Yahoo Entertainment.

The song would join a long line of cultural mainstays that are rebranding after the Black Lives Matter protests — foods such as Eskimo Pies and Aunt Jemima syrup among them.

The song was originally a poem written in September 1814, during the Battle of Baltimore, by Francis Scott Key, who owned slaves. The poem was eventually set to music and became the country’s official anthem in 1931. President Herbert Hoover authorized the song, sung often at baseball games and graduation ceremonies — notably missing the third verse, which references “the hireling and slave.”

“[It’s] the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have,” Powell says.

No, it is not. In “Imagine,” Lennon dreams of a Marxist, one-world government, famously singing of a world with “no countries,” “no religion” and “no possessions.” It is “Kumbaya” for Communists. It is an ode to the Communist hellholes that were the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cuba, and places like the killing fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Lennon celebrated a living nightmare that has left a least a hundred million dead As Matt Margolis notes at PJMedia:

First of all, let’s get to the root of why Powell likely recommended the song: Lennon himself described it as “virtually the Communist Manifesto.”

Despite some innocuous language about living in peace and there being no hunger, the song is full of themes that are un-American to the core: “Imagine there’s no heaven […] No hell below us… Imagine there are no countries… And no religion too… Imagine no possessions.”

No morals, no borders, no God, no private property or ownership… So, let’s just call that a “no,” and move on, please….

Regardless of whatever blemishes might be on the song’s history, the anthem is a part of America’s identity. Changing it makes no sense. In fact, some of the most iconic performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” have been performed by African-American artists.

We would do well to remember and treasure the performances of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by Jimi Hendrix at, of all places, Woodstock, and Whitney Houston’s iconic version at Super Bowl XXV in 1991.

As I’ve written, we can’t know who we are unless we remember where we’ve been and what we’ve done.

Yes,  Francis Scott Key was a slave owner, as were many of our Founders. But they created and honored a system which could correct the most grievous of injustices and if anyone wants an apology, well, we apologized at Gettysburg. Yes, white men owned slaves but white men also freed the slaves suffering a long and horrible war to do it. As Zachary Faria notes in the Washington Examiner:

… Key, who was a slaveowner, opposed abolition but also represented slaves trying to win their freedom in court, for no charge. It turns out like many historical figures, Key was a complicated man.

The third stanza of the song also features some, at best, questionable lines. “No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,” could be referring to slaves literally, though Snopes pointed out that Key never specified what he meant and it could be a reference to the British Navy. Only the first stanza is ever even sung, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a handful of Americans who know any of the rest of the poem.

If you are going to replace the “Star-Spangled Banner” with anything, replace it with the “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” which not only is the ultimate anthem from the ultimate battle for social justice but acknowledges the true source of all moral authority, a God that knows no nationality or ethnicity. Cherish the words. Honor the words:

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning
Of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watchfires
Of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar
In the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence
By the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet
That shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men
Before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him;
Be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom
That transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy,
Let us die to make men free;
While God is marching on.

Chorus
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

Amen.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

07/4/20

Celebrating American Independence, President Andrew Jackson, and Mt. Rushmore

By: Cliff Kincaid

It was a highlight when I received the Andrew Jackson “Champion of Liberty” Award from Howard Phillips and the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance on September 17, 2008. The award was given on the Conservative Caucus 8th annual commemoration of Constitution Day. Today, President Jackson is supposed to be a villain, as communist agitators tried to take down his statue in Lafayette Park near the White House, calling him a “killer” for removing Indians from areas of conflict in the new America to federal safe zones or havens for their own protection. Jackson offered the Indians federal protection and became the legal guardian to a Native American orphan Jackson found in battle.

The agitators didn’t succeed in taking down the statue since federal police arrived in time to prevent that, but the communists did vandalize it.

Jackson and his supporters founded the modern Democratic Party and his policies on the Indians were considered benevolent at the time. For many years, before it became politically incorrect, there were Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraising dinners, named for Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, which were sponsored by the Democratic Party.

Today, Democratic Party officials and candidates hate Jackson. The former Democratic Party presidential candidate, New Ager Marianne Williamson, had promised to remove the Andrew Jackson painting from the Oval Office, referring to the federal government’s “historic mistreatment of America’s original inhabitants,” citing the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Indians were removed, but for their own good, to avoid more Indian deaths in the long run.

Indeed, as Robert Remini writes in his book on Jackson, “The Trail of Tears was a terrible price to pay for this legislation but, as Jackson predicted, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaws, and Seminole tribes are alive today. They were not annihilated like the Yamassee, Mokawks and Pequot, and other eastern tribes.” In his book on Jackson, Sean Wilentz confirms this, writing, “In completing the removal of the Indians to what he considered a safe haven, Jackson may well have spared them the obliteration that had been the fate of many northeastern tribes.”

Her mind clouded by esoteric New Age ideas, Marianne Williamson and other fashionable thinkers must think that the European-Americans who settled in the United States encountered back-to-nature natives at home with Mother Earth. As we (most of us) celebrate American independence, let’s read that sacred document, the Declaration of Independence, especially the section that says:

“He [King George III] has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction, of all ages, sexes, and conditions.”

This passage was once labeled “hate speech” by Facebook.

Clearly, the British-backed Indian attacks on the Americans were a factor in the cause of independence. Our founders understood that some of these “savages” were ruthless killers fighting for the British against the American revolutionaries.

An honest rendition of American history shows that Indians hostile to the revolution raided white settlements, murdering men, women, and children. The barbaric practice of scalping was so common by the Indians that some forts had people who specialized in treating scalped heads. One of the scalping treatments was called “pegging.”

The dissertation, “Andrew Jackson and the Indians, 1767-1815,” includes some important hard-to-find information about this period, citing one case in which Indians scalped several settlers, “stripped them naked, roasted their bodies, and ate the men, then took the scalps back through the Chickamauga towns to show off as war trophies.”

Indians Owned Slaves

Another part of the relevant history, frequently overlooked, is that Indian tribes owned slaves. One tribe, the Chickasaws, owned over a thousand black slaves, as noted by David S. Reynolds, the author of Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson. The Cherokees owned two thousand black slaves. In fact, one Indian expert noted that the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes” — Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole – “were deeply committed to slavery, established their own racialized black codes, immediately reestablished slavery when they arrived in Indian territory, rebuilt their nations with slave labor, crushed slave rebellions, and enthusiastically sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War.”

Although they lost the Indian wars and were on the losing side in the Civil War, they were able to use the American constitutional system on their own behalf. Some tribes went before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing unsuccessfully (Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia) that they were independent nations on American soil.   However, in another case, Worcester v. Georgia, the Court ruled that the Cherokees were “a distinct community” exempt from state laws. Jackson was said to have reacted by saying “Justice [John] Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

Such a statement demonstrated his grit. Gaining new lands for America, Jackson fought the Indians, the British, and the Spanish. As president, he vetoed a national bank under the control of private interests and paid off the national debt. He rooted out corruption and replaced government bureaucrats not serving the people.

In making the case for the Indian Removal Act in his First Annual Message to Congress on December 8,  1829, Jackson asked, “…is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian?” It sounds harsh, in retrospect, but European-Americans had left their own homelands to start a new life, too. Jackson tried to resolve the Indian Wars in a peaceful manner, negotiating treaties with some tribes, but when others resisted, conflict broke out.

Arguing for a “progressive” solution to the Indian problem, he told Congress, “The waves of population and civilization are rolling to the westward, and we now propose to acquire the countries occupied by the red men of the South and West by a fair exchange, and, at the expense of the United States, to send them to a land where their existence may be prolonged and perhaps made perpetual.” One can argue with the end result, but it was his determination to end the clashes between the white settlers and the Indians, saving many of the Indians in the process.

Author David S. Reynolds notes, “Altogether, over forty-five thousand Indians moved west under Jackson’s policies – with a similar number designated for late removal – at the expense of $68 million of public funds and perhaps around thirteen thousand deaths among the natives.”

Modern Indian Agitation

The term “red men,” used by Jackson and others, is today controversial, just like the “Redskins” name for the Washington, D.C. NFL team, is considered by the Washington Post and its communist allies to be “offensive” these days. But “Redskins” is an acknowledgment of their fighting ability.

Tragically, as with the case of the George Floyd death, the communists are exploiting the “Redskins” controversy and the plight of the Indians, with one Marxist group, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, actually running the incarcerated Leonard Peltier as its 2020 vice-presidential candidate. He was a member of the American Indian Movement now serving two consecutive life sentences for the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams in 1975. The communists consider Peltier a “political prisoner,” a label he originally acquired through a sophisticated Soviet propaganda campaign on his behalf. The No Parole Peltier Association (NPPA) exists to keep him in prison.

However, the National Congress of American Indians has sought Peltier’s release.

To guard against attempts to alter or destroy Mount Rushmore, also considered “offensive” by some radical Indian groups, Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced the Mount Rushmore Protection Act, in order to “prohibit the use of federal funds to alter, change, destroy or remove the likeness, the name of, or any of the faces on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.” Radical Indian groups circulated a meme showing the faces on Mount Rushmore (Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) being blown to bits. The Democratic Party has said that Mount Rushmore “glorifies white supremacy.”

Democrats didn’t always talk this way about American presidents.

In his foreword to Remini’s book on Jackson, General Wesley K. Clark, a prominent Democrat, called America’s seventh president a great military hero. Although he was not without controversy and had personality flaws, Clark said Jackson’s “military prowess, proved on half a dozen battlefields, makes him one of our greatest generals and strategic force in the shaping of modern America.”

Former Democratic Virginia Senator Jim Webb called Jackson “one of our great presidents,” explaining, “A product of the Scots-Irish migration from war-torn Ulster into the Appalachian Mountains, his father died before he was born. His mother and both brothers died in the Revolutionary War, where he himself became a wounded combat veteran by age 13.” He noted, “On the battlefield, he was unbeatable, not only in the Indian Wars, which were brutally fought with heavy casualties on both sides but also in his classic defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812. His defense of the city (in which he welcomed free blacks as soldiers in his army) dealt the British army its most lopsided defeat until the fall of Singapore in 1942.”

Webb said Jackson “became the very face of the New America, focusing on intense patriotism and the dignity of the common man.” For this reason and others, President Trump has cited Jackson as one of his heroes while visiting the Jackson home The Hermitage in 2017 and giving a speech in his honor. In his remarks, Trump quoted Jackson as saying about the elites in his day, “The rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”

Under the Obama administration, however, the Treasury Department recommended that Andrew Jackson’s image be taken off the $20 bill. Trump Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has wisely delayed that change.

Andrew Jackson’s Farewell Address highlighted the plight of the Indians, referring to their “unhappy race” and being “the original dwellers in our land” but now “in a situation where we may well hope that they will share in the blessings of civilization.”  He said their removal had placed them “beyond the reach of injury or oppression.”

He concluded, “I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty and that He has given me a heart to love my country with the affection of a son.”

Let’s hope that when the communists return to Lafayette Square, to threaten once again to topple the Jackson statue, that they will be met with the force of law.

Perhaps President Trump should propose a “Communist Removal Act.”  They could be sent to Cuba, where the Black Lives Matter hero, cop-killer Assata Shakur, is living.

Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

07/4/20

Liberty or Tyranny? We Have a Choice to Make, America

By: Allen West | CCNS

Last week former President Barack Obama appeared with his former Vice President “Basement” Joe Biden in a video conference. I was truly taken aback when Obama referred to what is happening in America as an “awakening,” a “movement.”

It was at that moment that I reflected upon how Obama and his administration responded to a real awakening — a movement that occurred during his presidency.

In 2009, in response to the increased government spending stimulus programs and the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” a constitutional conservative grassroots organization was born. The organization focused on one issue, the fiscal responsibility of the federal government. The organization called itself the TEA Party, which stood for “Taxed Enough Already.”

This movement was about restoring our constitutional Republic to its foundations, its fundamentals. Based on principle and policy, it did not agree with the Obama vision of “fundamentally transforming” these United States of America.

The reaction to the TEA Party movement was incredibly dismissive and disrespectful. “We call it AstroTurf,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said at the time, meaning a fake grassroots movement to keep the focus on “tax cuts for the rich.”

Then came the 2010 midterm elections, Obama’s first, and it was historic. The Democrats lost their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives when 63 congressional seats shifted. I came into the political arena during this period, and I was part of that shift, based upon constitutional principle. The progressive socialist left had experienced something they were not used to — a conservative grassroots movement – local, principled, community organizing by the right.

This got the attention of the left in America and Obama. And the vitriol, the incessant attacks, increased, aimed at simple, everyday Americans who were exercising their First Amendment right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. They stood up. They spoke up. They held rallies. They voted. They cleaned up after their rallies. They never enacted any form of violence. They never destroyed property. They never took over major portions of cities. They never said they were going to burn down the system.

They just voted.

Yet, the ire and angst of the Obama administration was aimed at them, as well as the collective power of the progressive socialist left, including their media accomplices. The TEA Party now found itself assailed on all fronts. They were demonized as racists, just because they disagreed with the policies of a president who just happened to be biracial but was promoted as Black. And how confounding it was when Black conservatives were embraced by the TEA Party — they were sellouts, Uncle Toms, Oreos, and other disparaging monikers.

The TEA Party was denigrated as an extremist group for daring to want fiscal responsibility and discipline from their federal government. It was as if the left was declaring that our very Constitution was extreme. We all know that to not be true, but what the left was saying was that anyone disagreeing with them was an extremist. It went so far that some leftists and Democrats denounced the TEA Party as terrorists, with no proof of any violent actions.

President Obama, the Democrats, and the progressive socialist left knew one thing — they had to crush, destroy, the TEA Party before Obama’s reelection bid in 2012. And they did just that by employing the power of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Today, we turn on the news and we see the anarchist organization, Antifa, which has been designated as a domestic terrorist organization. We have watched them enact violence in our streets, destroy property, attack those with whom they disagree.

An avowed Marxist organization that cleverly named itself Black Lives Matter is now calling for violence against our law enforcement officers, and most recently, its leader in New York City declared that if their demands were not met, they would “burn down the system.” Those are the words of insurrection, the actions of an insurgency, yet the lips of the Democrat elected officials are sealed.

And Barack Obama refers to this wanton violence, the destruction of memorials, monuments, and our history as “an awakening.” In other words, Obama and his ilk are embracing radicalism, the despotism, the tyranny we are seeing on our streets. The media that once disparaged the TEA Party as extremists, terrorists, racists, turn a blind eye to leftist intimidation, fear, coercion, and violence.

Sadly, few are talking about this comparative analysis of how the left, the Democrat Party, unleashed the full weight of the federal government against a constitutional conservative grassroots movement. And how, in the face of abject sedition, they are all silent.

Let us not forget the Clinton administration and how it used the power of the federal government in Waco, Texas against the Branch Davidians. Or how little Elian Gonzalez was ripped from his family at the hands of armed federal government agents. And why is it that we allow the left to always own the narrative and refer to conservatives as violent and extremists?

Here is what we had best learn — real fast: Socialism, communism, statism, fascism, Marxism are philosophies of governance, ideologies, that cannot advance on their own merit. Advancement can happen only by what we see happening in the streets of America – fear, threats, intimidation, coercion, and violence.

That is the nature of leftism. That is why Hitler had the Brown Shirts. That is why Nicolas Maduro has the “Colectivos.” And that is why the Democrat Party has Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

The TEA Party was a grassroots movement, an awakening. What Obama will not condemn is a blatant insurrection, an insurgency — and of course, he will not, because he embraces the maxim of “by any means necessary” for his fundamental transformation to come to fruition.

We have a choice to make, America.

We can surrender to the “woke” mob of tyranny — or we can become “awoke” as true Patriots to our commitment to individual liberty. Just know, you cannot compromise, appease, negotiate, or acquiesce with the mob, evil, it only emboldens them. The left is fully committed to crushing all political opposition, and Obama once asserted such.

It’s liberty or tyranny.  This week, 244 years ago, we made that decision. Time to make it again.

This column was originally published at CNSNews

06/11/20

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Worse Threat To Democracy Than Russia’s Putin

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Election meddling, anyone? By “fact-checking” just one tweet by President Donald J. Trump, Twitter  CEO Jack Dorsey shows he and other social media giants like him have both the power and the desire to swing elections and the power and desire to swing the 2020 election away from Trump and toward the incoherent Joe Biden who probably thinks tweeting is what those honking geese were doing outside his basement window.

That action, along with tagging another Trump tweet commenting on the need for law enforcement and civil and state authorities to confront rioting in Minneapolis as possibly promoting violence interferes with the 2020 election in ways that Vladimir Putin could only dream of. By controlling what we see and hear and know and think about, the Dorseys of the world can influence massive numbers of votes, more than could ever possibly be stolen by fraudulent mail-in voting schemes. Yes, these were in-kind contributions to the DNC and the Biden 2020 campaign, but they were also the tips of a political iceberg that threatens to sink our democracy. No amount of troll farms, hacking, planted bits and the like can interfere in our elections like Twitter, Google, and Facebook have already done and will continue to do unless President Trump gets reelected and controls both houses of Congress to take the necessary remedial legislative action.

Having had one Twitter account permanently suspended for being ardently, and effectively, pro-Trump, with a second account currently temporarily suspended (this piece should do it), I can personally attest to Twitter’s ability and propensity to throttle, censor, and delete conservative thought. Through techniques and tools such as “shadow banning” and ”deboosting” you can pretty much end up tweeting to yourself, or a small limited group of followers.

Nearly two years ago, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz suggested that Twitter’s ongoing censorship amounted to an in-kind contribution to liberals and Democrats worthy of FEC sanctions  Gaetz has suggested that the biased treatment of conservative politicians on Twitter and “errors” that do not seem to affect progressive socialist Democrats may amount to an “in-kind” political contribution:

Rep. Matt Gaetz is considering filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over Twitter’s alleged suppression of his account, the Florida Republican told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.

Gaetz was one of several prominent conservatives, including members of Congress and the chair of the Republican National Committee, whose accounts Twitter suppressed by making it harder to find in the site’s search function, a Vice News investigation published Wednesday found.

“Democrats are not being ‘shadow banned’ in the same way,” the report concluded, noting: “Not a single member of the 78-person Progressive Caucus faces the same situation in Twitter’s search.”

Twitter announced in May that the company would rely on “behavior-based signals” to boost the visibility of some accounts and to suppress the visibility of others as part of a step “to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter.”

And what behavior-based signals would Twitter use? Conservative pro-Trump hashtags or themes perhaps? Indications of conservative support may already be employed in triggering shadow bans:

Covert (and overt) censorship of conservatives and right-wingers has been a reality on Twitter for some time. In January, Twitter employees were caught on camera discussing “shadowbanning” some conservative accounts, and classifying others as “bots” if they made too many tweets about “God, guns, and America.”

Thanks to James O’Keefe of Project Veritas we know some of the details of, methods, and reasons for Twitter’s pro-active censoring of conservatives:

Twitter direct messaging engineer Pranay Singh admitted to mass-banning accounts that express interest in God, guns, and America, during a Project Veritas investigation.

“Just go to a random [Trump] tweet and just look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, and with the American flag and the cross,” declared Singh, who was secretly recorded by Project Veritas reporters. “Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.”…

“So if there’s like ‘American, guns,’ [in the account bio] can you write an algorithm to just take all those people out?” asked one undercover reporter.

“Umm, yeah, it’s actually how we do it,” Singh replied. “You look for ‘Trump,’ or ‘America,’ or any of, like, five thousand, like, keywords to describe a redneck, and then you look, and you parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then look for stuff that matches that stuff… You assign a value to each thing, so like Trump would be .5, a picture of a gun would be like 1.5, and if the total comes up above a certain value, then it’s a bot.”

Does Twitter shadowban users who constantly say “Impeach 45” or “Trump is Putin’s puppet?” Planned Parenthood and its ilk are not affected so why should pro-life Christians who support the Second Amendment be? Twitter only shadowbans conservatives. Twitter has also been known to play curious favorites, like the notorious Harvey Weinstein.

Twitter recently exercised its power to censor thought it doesn’t approve of by banning a pro-life ad from then-Tennessee GOP Rep. and Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn because it considered Blackburn’s pro-life rhetoric and denunciation of Planned Parenthood “inflammatory”: These are campaign contributions Jack Dorsey’s thumb is on the election scale tilting it towards liberals and Democrats. Yet nobody is shouting “Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!” like they shouted “Russia, Russia, Russia!”

Jack Dorsey, who has lied to Congress about both his motives and intentions, is not alone in trying to manipulate election results, He has had help in Facebook’s duplicitous Zuckerberg. Facebook once famously censored and branded as “dangerous racists” the iconic Internet duo Diamond and Silk. And don’t forget the wonderful folks at Google who cried the night Hillary lost her inevitable victory. Together, they, not the Russians, pose a threat to our democracy by censoring and deleting information searches and exchanges. As Professor Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, former editor-in-chief of “Psychology Today,” and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts stated… we quite literally won’t see it coming. As Epstein noted in an interview with Mark Levin on his Fox News show:

If Google’s search results for any reason, are biased to favor one candidate or one party for any reason; that will shift a lot of opinions about that candidate, and that will shift a lot of votes. And in fact, it can shift millions of votes.

It doesn’t matter whether an employee or an executive at Google did this deliberately. The algorithm alone, a computer program could be doing this and it will still affect the outcome of elections. …

In 2016, I set up the first-ever monitoring system that allowed me to look over the shoulders of a diverse group of American voters. There were 95 people in 24 states. I looked at politically oriented searches that these people were conducting on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. I was able to preserve more than 13,000 searches and 98,000 web pages.

And I found very dramatic bias in Google search results — not Bing or Yahoo, just Google’s — favoring Hillary Clinton whom I supported strongly. But the point is, I reported that. I reported what I found and that level of bias was sufficient, I calculated, to have shifted over time, somewhere between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes to Hillary without anyone knowing that this had occurred…

Twitter has gone beyond enforcing rules of civility to enforcing its view of political correctness, punishing conservatives who use social media, particularly those who are good at it.

It is no accident. It is not an “error.” It is intentional.  Ever since Twitter’s co-founder expressed regret in inadvertently helping Trump get elected, Twitter has mounted a deliberate campaign to make sure it doesn’t happen again in 2020.

In the age before cable, there was an iconic sci-fi program called The Outer Limits whose opening featured a series of test patterns, flickering screens and a narrator who solemnly intoned, “Do not attempt to adjust your television set. We will control all that you see and hear.” Today that is a chilling reality as social media giants like Twitter routinely censor what people can see and hear on their sites.

Twitter and the other social media giants need to know that George Orwell’s “1984” was a warning, not a technical manual.  Its insidious form of censorship goes beyond what even Big Brother could have dreamt of.

* Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

06/1/20

Maoist Thugs Target Christians, With Support from Justice Roberts

By: Cliff Kincaid

With all that’s happening in the United States and the world, you may have missed the ruling from our “conservative” Supreme Court on May 29. The “conservative” Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, joined the four liberals in ruling that churches are not entitled to First Amendment protections and that they have to obey the dictates of liberal governors.

Two days later, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. went up in flames as rioters were threatening to attack the White House.  The more than 200-year-old church sits near Lafayette Park, across from the White House, where Secret Service agents and police fought with communist agitators.

It appears that arsonists have better access to churches than the parishioners.

In other anti-Christian actions, graffiti was written on St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York that included BLM, standing for Black Lives Matter, and “F–k F–k” in red letters. In Louisville, Kentucky, professional protesters broke windows in the rectory of the Cathedral of the Assumption. They were then boarded with plywood.

I returned to the disgraceful Roberts ruling after contemplating the Bible readings for May 31, including the Gospel of John 20:19-23, about the disciples of Christ hiding in a room because they were scared of the religious authorities of the day. Suddenly the resurrected Christ appeared and they were given the spirit of God and the authority and power to defeat the demonic forces of the secular world. The rest, as they say, is history, except that many of today’s ministers are hiding in rooms, conducting fake church services over the Internet, some with “spiritual communion,” rather than the real thing. They defend their sanitary “church services” with a camera crew while wondering when the state will decree that they can meet with real people. Many such “virtual” services conclude with requests for online donations for the invisible collection plate. After all, the religious bureaucracy that depends on the state for favors and even grants must be fed.

I watched one “virtual” service over the Internet on Sunday night, with the minister reciting the reading about Jesus appearing to his disciples after rising from the dead and showing them his hands and his side, the evidence of the crucifixion. The reading says, “The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’”

The minister reading these words didn’t seem to comprehend the significance of telling the story of disciples hiding in a room while he read the Bible from a small room himself, filmed in isolation so it could be presented to his flock through a computer connection.

It’s a fact that many of today’s ministers are afraid to challenge the secular authorities of this era, such as “Lockdown Larry” Hogan, the Republican Governor of Maryland, or Gavin Newsom, the Democrat Governor of California.

A major exception is South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, which challenged Newsom’s lockdown order that resulted in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling against the First Amendment.

Charles LiMandri, the Chief Litigation Counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, handled the case for the church and its pastor, Bishop Arthur Hodges. He insists it was not a complete dismissal of South Bay Church’s case but was “largely based on the very high standards required for our obtaining an emergency injunction.”  LiMandri noted that Roberts’s ruling was “a solo concurring opinion with little to no precedential value.” That is true but the implications of this 5-4 opinion are nonetheless startling. This is a real decision with practical consequences.

The four dissenting justices, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, said the California restrictions were clearly discriminatory. The dissenting opinion noted, “In response to the COVID–19 health crisis, California has now limited attendance at religious worship services to 25% of building capacity or 100 attendees, whichever is lower. The basic constitutional problem is that comparable secular businesses are not subject to a 25% occupancy cap, including factories, offices, supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, pet grooming shops, bookstores, florists, hair salons, and cannabis dispensaries.”

That’s right: the secular authorities have determined that marijuana businesses selling dope have more rights than churches. It appears that the stoners are more inclined to vote the way the liberals want them to vote.

The conservative Catholic writer, Vic Biorseth, noted that it was the “conservative” Roberts who approved Obamacare when he changed the nature of the legislation in a controversial court ruling and “illegally adjudicated it into law.” Yet, it was unconstitutional on its face, to begin with. “So it doesn’t matter what the law under consideration says, nor does it matter what the Constitution says; all that matters is the balance of the partisan division on the Court and which way the political wind is blowing at any particular moment in time,” commented Biorseth.

The wind in today’s “moment in time” is to close down churches while keeping pot shops, abortion clinics, and liquor stores open. That’s how communist riots in the streets can be termed “unrest” and “peaceful” by the secular press. But when five members of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice, accept this garbage, you know we as a nation are in deep trouble.

Biorseth concludes, “If a purposeful violator of the Constitution who is a sworn officer of the government is not a domestic enemy of America and a traitor, then there is no such thing, and the Constitution itself is without meaning, and America has lost it very purpose for being.”

Those are strong words. But when Roberts joins the four liberal justices to restrict Christian worship in California, can we explain it any other way? And isn’t it a fact that the churches, for the most part, have become slaves to the state, willing and even anxious to please the corrupt authorities?

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org.

05/21/20

Great Agreement: Time to Gather in Our Churches, Pentecost Sunday, May 31st

By: Arlen Williams | Gulag Bound

Last I read, thousands of churches in California alone are committing to open on Sunday, May 31st. I hope to find one here in the northern Driftless Area of Wisconsin. “Driftless” means it is filled with ancient bluffs never raked down by the glacial flow of the wanes of Ice Ages.

I like that stalwartness, to stand up and be what one best and truly is. It reminds me of my favorite epistle (letter) in the New Testament, Ephesians — firmly founded, rooted and grounded, not pushed around by climates, but growing-up dynamically, with other believers to be fully equipped in Christ, in His love eternally.

Most pertinent to our present time, about worshiping together, through a very relevant passage of Scripture, Hebrews 10:19-25, the Lord tells us:

Therefore, brothers, since we have the confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

What time is more fitting for the renewal of church in person, than Pentecost Sunday, an anniversary of Jesus’ disciples’ worship together in the upper room of one building, shortly after Christ ascended to Paradise, where he remains to this day. Suddenly, they found themselves anointed by the Holy Spirit for their new times.

Two videos, one by a pastor in California, the other in Colorado, spell out the need to resume personal worship together and on Pentecost Sunday.

Pastor Jack Hibbs, Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, California, on May 5th.

It’s Time To Open Our Doors Again from CCCH Online on Vimeo.

R. Loren Sandford, New Song Church, Denver, Coloradi, on May 11th.

Pentecost Sunday is coming up May 31. It’s a special day and I want to tell you why.

Many prophetic voices, going all the way back to David Wilkerson in the 1980s up through today, have been prophesying that this coronavirus crisis will be followed by a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I don’t like setting dates for such things. We’ve seen too many prophecies with dates attached come and go without real fulfillment, but I do believe the greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God in history is coming and I don’t believe it will be long before we see it unfold.

Some say it will actually begin on this coming Pentecost Sunday, May 31. I can’t verify that. I can’t say that God has spoken this to me, but this I do know. That date is significant. Historically, Pentecost Sunday is the day the church remembers and celebrates the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit that John the Baptist prophesied before Jesus began His earthly ministry.

It was the day that the sound of a mighty rushing wind filled the upper room where the 120 were gathered. It was the day that flames appeared on their heads and they began speaking in tongues, praising God in languages they had not learned. The power of it drove them out of seclusion in the upper room into the street to become witnesses for Jesus, making disciples of all the nations. Three thousand men and their families came to Jesus that day because of the power they received.

All across this nation and the world, churches have been forbidden to gather during this crisis. Most have willingly complied with government orders while at the same time a chorus of voices have risen, at least in the United States, to protest this violation of our first amendment rights to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Most have gone along with it because they believed they were saving lives, and because they believed they should submit to the governing authorities, but as the days and weeks have passed, both the issue of whether we are actually saving lives and the issue of submission have been legitimately called into question.

Now in many states businesses are gradually being allowed to open. Marijuana shops and liquor stores never did close. They were deemed “essential services” by our government officials while churches were ordered to remain shut. We were labeled “non-essential”. We were supposed to be content with going online, but going online will never be a satisfying substitute for in-person contact and eyeball to eyeball ministry to one another in an atmosphere of the presence of God.

Some states – and yes, I will say states ruled by Democrats – have forbidden churches to open for many more months to come. But the worship of God and the gathering of the saints is indeed an essential service for the mental and emotional health of a stressed out and fearful people. We need that touch of God and the encouragement of fellowship face to face and eyeball to eyeball. As human beings we are built for this. It’s the way God made us.

Continues at rlorensandford.com

This is a new time for us all. Time to stand up, not be drawn down and raked away. Time to warm up to the Lord, not be put on ice. Perhaps, time for the healthiest kind of fire, a new rush of the Holy Spirit as we worship together, in conjunction with one-on-one time with Him and by his living, written Word.

Clearly, we face new challenges and new opportunities. I am looking for a renewed church fellowship fit to meet it all in the flow of new blessings as well as old, by the King’s storehouse. I pray you find your best open doors.

05/19/20

Congress Attempting to Issue New Code of Conduct Rules for Judges

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

This has been building for quite a while and was noticeable if anyone watched any Senate confirmation hearings for judge candidate nominees. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI) is one of the loudest drivers of this change.

House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is launching an investigation into a draft advisory opinion by the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct which, if approved, would prohibit federal judges from being members of the right-leaning Federalist Society or left-wing American Constitution Society (ACS).

Jordan’s concern with the draft advisory opinion is that membership in these groups had previously been allowed, and while under the draft opinion this would no longer be allowed, membership in other groups including the American Bar Association (ABA) would continue to be permitted. The committee said their concern with the Federalist Society and ACS is that membership could lead to people questioning a judge’s impartiality when it comes to issues on which those groups have taken positions.

Federalist Society Introductory Meeting | Announce ...

Humm, the judges can participate in events held by those organizations, they just can’t be active members? It was not too long ago that Senator Dianne Feinstein also had a huge issue with Judge Amy Barrett’s fidelity to Catholic theology. Other senators joining with Senator Feinstein were Senator Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Hirono (D-HI).

It is interesting that Trump Judge nominee and confirmed, Judge Ralph Erickson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, also chairs the committee behind the draft opinion. That opinion to change the code of conduct is found here. (Important Read)

Simply put, Judge Erickson has enlisted a panel to challenge the Federalist Society.

The proposed rules change is the latest salvo in a campaign to cast the Federalist Society as too political, and thereby politically risky, for judiciary participation. The Wall Street Journal editorial board labeled the proposal “judicial political mischief masked in high sounding rhetoric,” a step that is spurring a backlash among “judges and others” who should denounce it as “undermining legal education in America and perhaps violating the First Amendment right of association.”

Conservative activists put it more bluntly, calling the rules change a transparent attempt to neuter the Federalist Society. The motivation is obvious, these activists say, after the Senate has confirmed a record number of Trump-appointed judges, many of whom are Federalist Society members or have participated in the group’s events.

“This rules change was probably instigated and driven by people who are upset with the transformation that is taking place in the federal judiciary, and since they are on the left, they are accustomed to addressing problems by trying to censor the other side,” a longtime Federalist Society member told RealClearPolitics. “And that’s exactly what this is — an act of censorship.”

Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, said the new rule would create a different standard for judges than they have been held to in the past and severely limit their civic participation.

“Obviously there are situations that do require recusal – if someone is involved in a political campaign or directly advocating for a political position,” she said. “But simply being in a group that believes in certain principles — they are misconstruing the Federalist Society by calling it a group that takes political positions.” Read more here.