Incomplete Victory: Senators
Rand Paul, Feinstein and Lee take some of the teeth out of indefinite detention
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on December 01, 2012)
“If you don't have a right to trial by jury, you do not have due process. You do not have a Constitution. What are you fighting against and for if you throw the Constitution out?” asked Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, speaking before the Senate on Wednesday evening. “When zealots of the government arrest suspects or radicals without warrants, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.”
Earlier this month we learned that Sen. Paul was planning to force a vote on an amendment to protect the rights of American citizens detained under the controversial 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The NDAA is a federal law that is passed every year, specifying the budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defense, although each year's act also includes other provisions. The explosive 2011-2012 NDAA bill included a wildly unpopular clause in Section 1021 which provided for the indefinite detention without trial of American citizens judged to be involved in terrorism or “belligerent acts” against the US.
Sen. Paul has been a vocal opponent of the indefinite detention clause in the 2011-2012 NDAA bill, lamenting what he considers “Orwellian” developments and staunchly defending the right of all American citizens to a jury trial. For two weeks he has been threatening to put the 2013 NDAA bill on hold unless he was granted a vote on his amendment to restore the jury trial rights of Americans in military detention.
Liberty activists were hoping that the massive public outcry which ensued following the passage of the 2011-2012 NDAA bill would pressure some Senators to swing over to Sen. Paul’s side. However, due to the fact that his colleagues in the Senate this lame-duck session were mostly supporters of last year’s NDAA bill, Sen. Paul’s chances of getting them to undo that legislation seemed slim.
On Wednesday evening, something different happened.
Rand Paul rose to speak in support of a different amendment. Amendment #3018 was sponsored by California Sen. Feinstein and Mike Lee of Utah. It provides that,
“an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”
And – would you believe it ? – the Senate did something right. Albeit, it was merely an undoing (and, admittedly, a partial one) of something that was already horribly wrong. Nevertheless, it was a mighty demonstration of the power of the irate and tireless minority when the amendment passed the Senate on Thursday night. The vote was 67-29. Marring an otherwise joyous occasion was the sad realization that the supporters of jury trial rights for American citizens are no minority at all among American citizens, but rather a massive majority. That they should be represented by only a minority – even a noble and brave one – in the Congress of their representatives, is appalling.
(First posted at The Washington Times Communities
) UPDATE: Considerable contention has arisen since the vote, with some liberty activists arguing that the last clause of the amendment undoes all of the protections it claims to restore.
Congressman Justin Amash said,
“ ‘…unless an act of congress expressly authorizes such detention.’ Well, that Act of Congress is the 2012 NDAA, which renders the rest of the Feinstein amendment meaningless.”
Others, Congressman Ron Paul among them, seem to disagree. The elder Paul wrote on his official facebook page this morning,
“I applaud the Feinstein-Lee amendment for moving the debate forward. In the House most Republicans believe that a habeas hearing is sufficient for due process. The Feinstein-Lee amendment makes clear that anything short of a jury trial is not due process.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus
The RNC Power Grab:
Ignoring GOP injustices makes 'us' as bad as 'them.'
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on September 03, 2012)
GOP Presidential Candidate Ron Paul
Ron Paul is showing remarkable foresight in paving the way for a future generation of liberty people, even as he begins to see the end of his own road in sight
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on August 23, 2012)
According to the latest reports, the "liberty man” is not going to be given an official speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa at the end of the month. Texas congressman Ron Paul is missing from the RNC’s list of announced speakers, The Blaze reported Friday. Although this is hardly an unexpected omission, it has served to heighten the tension surrounding the event. Delegates from all over the country will meet in Florida on August 27th to nominate the Republican Party’s presidential candidate and Barack Obama’s opponent. Paul supporters, which comprise a hefty number of the delegates, will certainly be making their presence felt, as they have been doing for months.
The Ron Paul Campaign has planned a rally to be held on the afternoon of August 26th, with the theme ‘We Are the Future – A Rally for the Liberty Delegates’. Another rally organized by Paul’s supporters will run simultaneously in Tampa. These events are expected to draw huge crowds and put a spotlight on Paul’s gigantic influence, despite the Republican Party’s snub.
Paul supporters, of course, are still holding out for a Ron Paul presidency. Although it’s becoming increasingly likely that the party will nominate Mitt Romney at the convention, it is theoretically possible for Paul’s delegates to pull off a last-minute takeover next week. This possibility may shed some light on the Republican Party’s seemingly dangerous and unwise decision not to humor Paul supporters by giving their spokesman a speaking slot. Perhaps the RNC organizers know that Paul shines on a podium when given a reasonable amount of time to explain his views and that when his remarks are not limited to sound-bite-length statements in a televised debate, his fact-based arguments are fascinatingly convincing.
Paul supporters are weary of seeing their man ignored and cheated out of his votes. Many are fed up with the party and some have taken to wearing buttons which declare boldly, “No One But Paul: good luck winning without us!” They understand something the GOP doesn’t seem to grasp. They have become a massive electoral base, and if they abandon the party this November, Mitt Romney and his supporters will be in a sorry state.
But what about the man himself? Where does Ron Paul come down in all of this confusion? Although he can’t help but be aware of the injustices done to his campaign and of his supporters’ frustration, the congressman is showing remarkable foresight in paving the way for a future generation of liberty people, even as he himself begins to see the end of his own road in sight.
In a message to his supporters, concerning the rally his campaign has planned in Tampa, Paul said, “I’m sure it will not only be a great time, but it will also go a long way to proving you and I are the future of the Republican Party.”
Ron Paul’s dream is to see his supporters take the message of liberty into the heart of the GOP and transform the Republican Party. He wants to see his dedication to fair play, his passion for the Constitution, his commitment to push back on the overreaching US government, and his enmity towards the Federal Reserve reach the utmost corners of the establishment. He wants the Republican Party to radically redefine its idea of government authority.
Paul continues to urge respectful discourse. He know his supporters are inclined to get excited, and he wants them to fight their battles courteously, bearing in mind that kindness and patience are more effective than threats and taunts. He is paving a way for them to take when he is gone. Ron Paul still has hope for the GOP. He has a vision of what the GOP can become.
Paul knows that he won’t be around forever and that unless his supporters can learn how to fiercely guard their principles and at the same time work amiably with the powers that be, they will soon become an irrelevant minority. He understands that they must find a way to keep their passion pure and unadulterated and still show the GOP they can be team players. He understands there is a danger that the movement he has started will die out with him, and he wants his supporters to understand that they will have to move on when he is gone and fight for the truth even without a charismatic and popular leader to unite them. He wants them to carry their values forward even without a nationally recognized spokesperson to lead the charge. Does he hope his followers will one day be able to charge under the banner of the GOP?
Fortunately, the GOP has left some loopholes open for kindly and pleasant discourse with the Paul supporters next week. They have announced that Ron Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul will be given a “very prominent speaking place,” and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox News yesterday that Ron Paul supporters are "welcomed with open arms" to the convention.
There are a lot of things that remain to be seen. It remains to be seen whether Paul supporters will embrace the path their leader has paved for them, or whether they will allow their resentment to get the best of them and to choke out the message they bear. Additionally, it remains to be seen whether the liberty people will be able to find enough common ground with the GOP to enable them to get along, as Paul seems to hope they will. “Unity is important but what do we unify behind?” Paul asked a crowd at the Texas Republican State Convention in June, making it clear that he doesn’t advocate giving an inch of the moral high ground. It remains to be seen how the GOP will treat these steadfast and impassioned liberty people.
Why the GOP must do a fast about-face or face disaster in November...
(Posted by Bryana Johnson on July 31, 2012)
Despite their spirited outward demeanor and cheerful speculation, is the Grand Old Party beginning to realize that they made a mistake in anointing Mitt Romney to lead the assault on socialism and Barack Obama? For their sake, let’s hope so. Because the only way for the Republicans to avoid the trap they’ve set for themselves is to understand the magnitude of their error and start back-pedaling as fast as they can.
The case against the GOP’s selection of Romney to carry the banner of conservatism on to the White House is easy to make. Our first premise is obviously that Romney is not a conservative. He is, in fact, a self-proclaimed “moderate” who “holds progressive views.” Needless to say, this makes his suitability for the afore-mentioned position rather dubious from the get-go.
Those few folks who are willing to look ridiculous by asserting that Romney is no longer left-leaning and that his opportunely-timed conversion to limited government and family values is genuine will be quickly hushed by a little research. Take, for example, these excerpts from an open letter signed by notable conservative leaders such as the Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s Michael Farris and Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute.
“Romney changed his position on over thirty key issues as he prepared to run for President four years ago. We all expect a politician to change their mind on one or two issues over the course of their career, but when someone changes their mind on EVERY foundational issue of importance to conservatives, we must be skeptical. Indeed, it is hard to accept Romney’s conversion on so many issues as authentic….
…As Governor, Romney implemented an Executive Order that created a vast ‘diversity’ agency to make sure those of all races and ‘sexual orientations’ be hired throughout state government. Romney [also] issued a state proclamation honoring ‘Gay/Straight Youth Pride March’…
…Romney’s administration gave funds to Planned Parenthood. In November 2006, Romney’s economic development agency approved a $5 billion tax-exempt bond to be used by Planned Parenthood to build an abortion clinic in Worchester…
…For thirty years Mitt Romney was a strong advocate of abortion. His wife, Ann, contributed money to Planned Parenthood in 1994 at a PP event both her and her husband attended, but she was filmed during the 2008 campaign claiming, ‘I’ve always been pro-life…’ ”
Another video shows Ann Romney insisting that pro-abortion women have no need to worry about her husband due to his commitment to the abortion issue. (Once you’ve watched the 22-second clip, ask yourself if this is the voice of a pro-life woman!) To make matters worse for Romney’s record, even in the wake of his pro-life “conversion” experience in 2004, he continued to fund embryonic stem cell research and was recorded in 2005 stating “I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintaining the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far I’ve been able to successfully do that.” In 2006, Romney introduced RomneyCare, which covers abortion and makes it easy for people to obtain a state-funded abortion for as low as $50.
The Cato Institute reported that in his first year as Governor, Romney “proposed $140 [million] in business tax hikes through the closing of ‘loopholes’ in the tax code,” and according to job creation experts Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin of Northeastern University, manufacturing employment during the Romney years “declined by 14%, the third worse record in the country. Sum and McLaughlin also wrote that ‘from 2001 to 2006, Massachusetts ranked 49th in the nation in job creation…’
Having put to rest the myth that Romney is or ever has been “severely conservative,” as he now claims to be, it’s time to take a look at what that means for the GOP. The short answer is trouble.
Last December, former senator Bob Dole endorsed Mitt Romney. Let’s run that tape:
“The time has now come for us to decide who among [the Republican candidates] can defeat Barack Obama in 2012. I’ve made my decision, and I believe our best hope lies in Governor Mitt Romney. I’ve run for president myself and –”
Alright, stop. Stop it right there.
Let’s see what we remember about Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. One thing really stands out in my mind. He lost, and he lost big.
It was a rough year for Republicans. They were trying to take down President Bill Clinton, who was running for re-election, and they thought they had a clear lead over him. In 1994, a poll asked Americans to choose between Bill Clinton and " the Republican Party's candidate for President." Result? Clinton got 43% of the vote. The ghost Republican beat him with 50%. “Anyone can beat Clinton,” was the popular refrain, which has become so infamous today.
The Republicans nominated Bob Dole, an uninspiring moderate who did nothing to fan the flames of conviction. Dole didn’t understand that a huge portion of the Republican base was staunchly conservative and willing to take a stand for it at the polling place – even if it was going to hurt them. He failed to excite his base, and a third party candidate, Ross Perot, came in and snagged all of the votes his moderate stances didn’t bring in. Dole was a massive failure, and he gave us four more years of Clinton. His endorsement of Romney is anything but reassuring.
Fast-forward to 2008: the Republican Party’s next big loss. Faced with the alarming prospect of Obama as POTUS, the Republicans nominated another moderate, John McCain. McCain, just like Dole before him, did not succeed in capturing the enthusiasm of his base. Indeed, many Republicans were disgusted with him, and it wasn’t until his selection of conservative Sarah Palin for his running mate that his poll numbers began to climb. Palin ensured that the race would at least be competitive. McCain still lost.
This myth that moderates have the best chance to beat popular Democrats is just that: a myth. History clearly shows that Republicans do poorly when they nominate candidates who don’t pull in impassioned voters. Voters with strong opinions who care about real issues and will fight for them. Moderate voters by their very nature are a bad group to rely on in an election. Because their stances are less radical, they are less likely to be a virulent crowd and less likely to give sacrificially or inspire enthusiasm. While conservatives and liberals are people who feel strongly about ideas, moderates are people who delight in the muddy waters of the “middle ground”, and who, in large part, make decisions pragmatically rather than relying on principles.
The Republican Party ignores at their peril the fact that their candidate is a poor one. Their best hope for a comeback in November is to breathe life into their party by welcoming a staunch conservative darling into their ranks in the position of Vice President. If they fail to do this, I doubt if even Obama’s own alarming radicalism will keep him out of the White House for another four years. The question is, does the GOP want to hoist the banner of conservatism (and win) or slide back into moderate positions (and lose)?
Why President Obama's very commitment to smooth Julia's way might be the biggest danger to her LIBERTY
(Posted by Bryana Joy on May 14, 2012)
President Obama’s newest campaign tool has been providing laughs all week in conservative circles. This is hardly surprising, as The Life of Julia meme, in addition to being short-sighted and factually inaccurate, almost seems to have been made for ridicule. There’s something in it for everyone to laugh at, and although not everyone can agree on just what it is that’s wrong with the poor Julia’s life, everyone agrees that something is wrong.
A little perusal of the web results in a smorgasbord of takes concerning the debacle of Julia from conservative bloggers and columnists. The most prominent of these seem to be:
Julia gets some awesome benefits, but the national debt skyrockets as a result of them, leaving her future uncertain .
Julia has a better life under conservative leadership .
Julia gets some awesome benefits alright, but she doesn’t represent the average American woman.
Julia gets some awesome benefits, but what about the men in her life?
Julia gets no awesomeness and no benefits.
Julia gets some awesome benefits and you and I pay for them.
The Obama campaign failed to consider some less desirable things that Julia will get .
Julia may or may not get awesome benefits, but the whole thing is so laughable I don’t even want to think about it! Make the stupid people go awayyy…..
Julia gets some awesome benefits…..for a citizen in an Orwellian 1984 regime.
Upon further consideration, what Julia gets isn’t that awesome after all.
A number of these conservative responses are spot-on and insightful and even many liberals have weighed in against the Obama campaign on this one, but I’d like to spend a few moments considering a possibility for the Julia saga that I’m not seeing discussed as much as I’d like to, and that I think may be the most likely possibility of all:
What if Julia gets some awesome benefits for the price of her liberty?
Let’s suppose for a moment that the highly improbable is, in fact, true: that the champions of fiscal sanity and personal responsibility are wrong and that President Obama is not only altruistic but also correct in his figuring and that Julia gets awesome benefits. Let us suppose that Julia gets government money to be enrolled in a Head Start program and that the program actually works and improves her three-year-old learning skills immensely, vaulting her into the world of grade school education with a bang. Let us suppose that Julia’s high school gets government money via Obama’s new Race to the Top program which also shocks everyone by actually working. Let us suppose that this money really does improve her SAT scores and that Julia also qualifies for President Obama’s American Opportunity tax credit and a Pell Grant, breezing through college, except for a short interlude during which she undergoes surgery that is covered by Obama’s healthcare plan.
And so on.
In short, let us suppose that everything goes right for Julia as she waltzes through life under the protective shadow of her government’s wings. Even so – even in this very unlikely paradise of Obama’s to which we have committed Julia – I would not want what Julia has, for Julia has got all of this at the expense of the most precious civil right she possesses: her right to be right when the government is wrong.
Because it’s all well and good to be dependent on an altruistic governmental system you adore. If you are of one mind with your nation’s ruling powers, there is, theoretically, little reason to object to the concept of a shared money-bag and no fear of a future state of involuntary servitude to scare you away from the benefits of having all things in common.
The question is, what about when the system that claims a desire to nurture and nourish you is one with which you fundamentally disagree? Is it truly wise or even sane to support the burgeoning and swelling of such a system by feeding into its open jaws more and more responsibility for your life?
The question is, how is Julia going to break away from her protector and her supplier when he demands of her things she cannot in good conscience do? And the answer is that we don’t have to look far to find ample examples of the bondage that results from a people’s exaggerated dependence upon their government.
How is Julia going to respond when her healthcare provider insists that her web design company pay for her employees’ abortions or allocates her funds for the purpose of research utilizing aborted fetal cells? Who is likely to get the upper hand: Julia’s health or Julia’s conscience? What is she going to do when her privacy is violated by airport and train station security officials at every checkpoint? Who is likely to get the upper hand: Julia’s need to travel (to visit her aging parents, and to keep her job) or her privacy? What will she do when her children are subjected against her will through the public education system to ideological indoctrination concerning family, homosexuality, sex ed, political science, religion, history and everything in between? What will she do if she wishes to liberate her children from an education system she finds ineffective and abhorrent and to homeschool them but isn’t permitted to by her government? Who is likely to get the upper hand: Julia’s relatively comfortable lifestyle or Julia’s conscience and her children?
I know not what course others may take, but it seems to me that handouts and awesome benefits pale in comparison with the freedom to think and to abide according to my convictions and to do business and raise children in the way that I see fit and to keep myself from becoming tethered to the manipulative and unstable monster that is government.
Upon further consideration, what Julia gets isn’t that great after all.
Are politicians buying your vote with money and elaborate voter analysis programs or winning it with a display of consistent standards and ethics?
(Posted by Bryana Joy on April o3, 2012)
“To defeat Barack Obama, Republicans can’t nominate a candidate who relies on outspending his opponents 7-1,” said Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich earlier this week, referring to rival Mitt Romney who overwhelmingly won the Illinois primary on March 20th. Indeed, the Associated Press reported that Romney and his allies outspent Santorum and his backers by $3.5 million to $500,000, an advantage of 7-1.
Gingrich’s remark showcases an inevitable aspect of the election process: our votes are up for auction and the highest bidder gets them. Sadly, he doesn’t always have to offer payment in the form of results, credentials, policies, or history. And he doesn’t always have to offer it to us. More often than not, the lucky buyer who walks away with the prized purchase of our votes has not given us anything at all, but has shelled out his funds on advertising, analysis, traveling and staffing costs. I can’t help but feel that we’re getting the raw end of the deal.
Gingrich’s insightful comment does not, of course, signify that his campaign has decided to take a principled stand against exorbitant spending, but merely that his synapses are still firing quickly enough to turn out those characteristically witty comebacks which were responsible for his short-lived surge in the polls late last year. When reports came in last month that big-money Republican donor Sheldon Adelson was expected to give $10 million to Gingrich’s Super PAC, the media networks were all abuzz with predictions that the new funds would shake up the primary race and give the former House Speaker a dramatic rise in the polls. This story serves to illustrate the fact that the pecuniary nature of elections is well-known generally and not frowned upon by our society.
There is another metaphor that aptly describes the means by which political hopefuls manipulate their voting blocs: we are the potential buyers and they are the products that are up for sale. Their number one focus is on selling themselves to us, and, in order to do that, they invest heavily in elaborate analysis programs that they use to plumb the quagmire of public opinion. One very disturbing example of this is Romney’s New Hampshire modus operandi as catalogued in this hard-hitting piece by the LA Times.
“Romney's operatives paired the voter data with several hundred thousand paid and volunteer calls. They knew his sweet spot was among older, higher-income voters — those with annual household incomes of between $75,000 and $150,000 and with upscale interests like gourmet cooking. He was particularly appealing to older women and did best — as they knew from 2008 — among self-identified Republicans. They also knew that Romney, a father of five sons, held particular appeal for voters whose consumer preferences showed a focus on children and family-centered activities. That knowledge guided the $1.3 million that Romney spent on television ads in New Hampshire, which focused heavily on his four-decade marriage and family values, as well as his business background.
Most important, the Romney team was able to weed out voters unlikely to support him — allowing it to steer away from socially conservative voters whose affinity for church or Bible interests, for example, suggested they might be a tougher target for a Mormon candidate.”
In a video that went viral across the web on Wednesday, Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide for the Romney campaign, explained that taking conservative positions during the primary that may upset the liberal media is no problem for Mitt Romney. “Everything changes,” Fehrnstrom told CNN. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”
During President Obama’s meeting Monday with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama let fall an appalling statement, unaware that his mic was still on.
“ On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Medvedev at the end of their 90-minute meeting, apparently referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Medvedev replied, “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
“This is my last election,” said Obama. “After my election, I have more flexibility.”
The Russian leader responded, “I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir.”
Needless to say, when the biggest concern faced by a candidate is how he might best sell himself to the public, trifles like principles, ethics and standards are almost foreordained to fall by the wayside. Rather, the sum of the candidate’s energies will be devoted to probing the interests of his voting bloc and catering to them through advertisements and statements carefully crafted to hit them in their most vulnerable places. We shouldn’t be surprised if this preoccupation with public opinion causes those in the limelight of politics to stumble around a bit, on occasion. Or to be forced to cede major talking points when polls show that a large number of voters have changed their minds about something.
Should politicians put a cap on their campaign spending and stop using in-depth analysis programs like those utilized by the Romney campaign? Perhaps. But those are unrealistic goals, to say the least. What we must do as citizens is make ourselves aware of the fact that we are being played “like violins,” (to steal a phrase from Hamlet) and that, in elections, as in all other business transactions, the byword is caveat emptor: buyer beware! (First posted at The College Conservative)
New Hampshire HB 1264 would protect religious business owners from being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings; Governor Lynch promises to veto...(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 04, 2012)(First posted at The College Conservative) “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.
Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…”
A bill currently pending in the New Hampshire State legislature would allow business owners to turn away customers on the basis of “conscience or religious faith.” Introduced by Rep. Frank Sapareto, HB1264 aims to protect Christian wedding vendors from being forced to provide services for homosexual couples.
The fear that conscience rights may be violated in the Granite State is hardly far-fetched: many US small-business owners have already faced lawsuits for refusing to host or perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. In January, a New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” Last November, Christian cake-baker Victoria Childress of Des Moines was threatened with legal action by a lesbian couple that had hoped to commission her to design their wedding cake. In September a gay couple filed suit against two Illinois institutions that refused to host their civil union. Christian “Bed and Breakfast” establishments, which are often family-owned businesses, are especially targeted by homosexual rights activists for this type of harassment.
The new bill, which was scheduled to come up for a vote last month but has been pushed back to February, would prevent such suits from coming before New Hampshire courts by ensuring that individuals will be legally permitted to “choose not to provide accommodations, goods, or services for a marriage if doing so would violate his or her conscience or religious faith.” Needless to say, the bill has been roundly attacked by homosexual rights activists and mainstream media networks. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has promised to veto it.
So, just what is it that’s so repugnant about the idea of allowing business owners to make their own decisions about who they want to work with? Probably this aversion to freedom in the marketplace is due in large part to a common misconception about the nature of the business world. There is a popular myth that permitting private vendors to express opposition to aspects of their society by refusing service to customers will somehow foster attitudes of intolerance and cultivate so-called “haters.”
Proponents of this view, however, have put forward a proposition based on laughably fallacious reasoning. Passing laws that force businesses to perform actions which are prohibited by their convictions doesn’t alter the mindsets of business owners and certainly doesn’t make for a content citizenry. On the contrary, it is counterproductive and wrong to attempt to change the thought patterns of a culture by forcing its people to engage in and endorse activities which they believe to be immoral. Additionally, such legislation promotes division and stifles individuality in a population. Unless businesses are engaging in activities that directly harm others, these heavy-handed methods to coerce them are totalitarian and must not be endured by a free and thoughtful people.
Let us illustrate this premise with a simple example: suppose a white business owner in a southern state in the 1920’s decides to refuse service to Ku Klux Klan members. The business owner finds the KKK’s racist beliefs and creed despicable and doesn’t want to associate with its members. Surely most modern people would agree that the business owner has every right to make this decision. After all, his business is his property and a transaction made with a customer is a form of contract that the owner must enter into. Can there be a truly free society that forces people to enter into contracts against their will?
What many homosexual rights activists do not seem to understand is that opposition to their lifestyle is, in many cases, at least as strong as any southern business owner’s opposition to the KKK might have been a century ago. While they try to paint their opposition as an insignificant minority, 2011 polls showed that 46% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while only 45% favored it. The Bible teaches that homosexual acts are not only a sin but an abomination. In a nation that identifies itself as predominantly Christian, is it any wonder that a significant portion of the population is horrified by the idea of being involved in a same-sex wedding? Is it really fair for government to take sides on an issue that has the nation split into a cultural divide? Does an individual’s right to be served by a private business overrule the property rights of the business owner?
When government doesn’t interfere in the workplace, the free market tends to right itself. If a business begins to annoy potential customers as a result of its discriminatory practices, the boycott system comes into play and the owner begins to lose money. If the convictions held by the business owner are strong enough, he or she will be willing to take the loss. If not, monetary distress will force the owner to alter his or her policies. If no consensus can be established between two opposing camps of ideas, the nation can at least agree to disagree. It’s called free trade, and it’s how civilized adults handle their differences. When government gets involved in such a conflict, it only short-circuits the efficiency and precision of a perfectly functional natural process. It also serves to warn a people that they are not free; that they are, in fact, considered unfit to rule themselves and to do business in the way that seems best to them. Rather, they must do their business in the way that seems best to their leaders.
You lovers of freedom in the great state of New Hampshire, might you take just a few minutes out of your day to give your senators and representatives a call. You are the only ones who can defend liberty in the Granite State. . .
Live free or die. Find your New Hampshire state representative
Find your New Hampshire state senator
Is Ron Paul anti-Israel or does he have a new and improved stance on the Jewish Nation?
(Posted by Bryana Joy on February 01, 2012)
The Washington Times Communities)
“He’s right on,” say many Republican voters of Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, “--except on foreign policy.” Among social conservatives, who tend to be in favor of extensive defense spending and to be staunch supporters of Israel, this take on the Texas Congressman’s campaign is all too common. Members of this large and very important electoral block appreciate Paul’s fiscal sanity, his dedication to Austrian economics, and his determination to cut $1 trillion in his first year in office. They embrace his pro-life position and concern for homeschooling rights. Some of them are beginning to understand his opposition to an unaccountable central bank and call to end the Federal Reserve. He also receives accolades because he respects the U.S. Constitution so stalwartly. But they just can’t get over his approach to foreign policy, which they see as dangerous and anti-Israel. The question we need to be asking is whether this disconnect is really a result of Dr. Paul’s policies or only of how these voters perceive them.
One of the biggest complaints against the Congressman is that he advocates cutting foreign aid to Israel. That fact alone makes many unwilling to consider supporting him or even taking time to learn more about his position. This knee-jerk reaction prevents many voters from coming to an understanding of Paul’s beliefs or even of the particulars surrounding his statements.
“To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries, and it becomes weapons of war –” said Paul at the Western Republican Presidential Debate.
“Congressman Paul, would you cut foreign aid to Israel?” interrupted the moderator.
“I would cut all foreign aid,” the candidate responded. “I would treat everybody equally and fairly.”
Paul’s aim then is not to cut foreign aid to Israel specifically, but to cut foreign aid to everybody the US currently supports abroad. As he explained in an interview with Newsmax last month, Israel would actually come out on top in such a scenario.
“Stop and consider America’s policy,” the congressman said, “We give $3 billion a year to Israel in loans; and we give $12 billion or more in assistance to Israel’s self-declared enemies. Some of these are countries that say they will drive Israel into the sea.”
“What should our relationship be with Israel?” asked Newsmax contributor Doug Wead.
“We should be their friend and their trading partner,” said Paul. “They are a democracy and we share many values with them. But we should not be their master. We should not dictate where their borders will be nor should we have veto power over their foreign policy…. I say [to Christian evangelicals who want foreign aid to Israel to continue] that our aid in the region is out of balance and it is wrong. Foreign aid does not help Israel. It is a net disadvantage. I say to them that “the borrower is servant to the lender” and America should never be the master of Israel…we should stop interfering with them. We should not dictate what she can and cannot do. We should stop trying to buy her allegiance. And Israel should stop sacrificing their sovereignty as an independent state to us or anybody else, no matter how well-intentioned.”
Paul then went on to talk about previous conflicts in which he had shown support for the sovereignty of Israel.Unbeknownst to many, the candidate stood by Israel three decades ago when she was heavily criticized by most politicians in congress at that the time.
“In October, 1981, most of the world and most of the Congress voiced outrage over Israel’s attack on Iraq and their nuclear development. I was one of the few who defended her right to make her own decisions on foreign policy and to act in her own self-interest.”
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic recently wrote that Ron Paul’s position is actually the closest to a Zionist of all the Republican candidates, because, “a true Zionist is a believer in two core values of the Jewish liberation movement: Jewish independence and Jewish self-reliance.”
It would seem that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also feels strongly about the importance of Israel’s independence and self-reliance – values that Paul insists are crucial to the Jewish nation. Said Netanyahu in his 2011 address to the U.S. congress,
“My friends, you don't have to --you don't need to do nation-building in Israel. We're already built. You don't need to export democracy to Israel. We've already got it. And you don't need to send American troops to Israel. We defend ourselves."
Israel certainly does defend herself. It has been estimated that the nation possesses from 75 to as many as 400 nuclear weapons.In addition to concerns about undermining Israel’s national sovereignty through interference with their policies, Paul has offered another major reason why the foreign aid spending has to go. “We’re in bankruptcy,” he says, referring to the United States, a country with a $15.2 trillion national debt. “We’re not going to be there forever, we’re going to come home.” Thus, he maintains that dependence on U.S. money is “a bad risk” for Israel. “I think their dependency on us is very, very harmful to them,” he stated.
Perhaps social conservatives and Israel-supporters should take another look at Ron Paul and determine based on the full import of his statements whether he really is as anti-Israel as some of the media networks are making out. Before holding him up to their standards of what support for Israel is meant to look like, should they perhaps be double-checking their own policies? With his concern for her long-term interests and condemnation of the substantial U.S. funding extended to her enemies, could it be that Dr. No really has the best stance on Israel, one that will provide her with the strongest national defense and the most wholesome relationship with the US?
(First posted at
New Hampshire Governor Lynch
Shocking disregard for justice: sting video raises concern about voter fraud, New Hampshire Attorney General sues…….James O’Keefe!
(Posted by Bryana Joy on January 25th, 2012)
In July of 2011, New Hampshire governor John Lynch vetoed a bill that would have required New Hampshire voters to show photo ID before entering the polls. “Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire,” said Governor Lynch in a statement last summer. “We already have strong election laws that are effective in regulating our elections.” Not surprisingly, the governor was outraged last week when a watchdog group, Project Veritas, organized an undercover sting operation to test the veracity of his reassurances. What they found was appalling, if not unexpected.
The incidents, which were recorded on hidden cameras, involved actors entering multiple polling places and obtaining ballots using the names of deceased voters. Some of these late voters had been dead for well over a year. When the actors explained that they had forgotten to bring any ID with them, they were told by poll workers that New Hampshire law didn’t require them to show ID. In each case, the actors, feigning shock, said they would feel more comfortable if they went out to their vehicles to get their ID. According to Project Veritas, none of the actors cast a vote with the ballots they had acquired during the sting.
Furthermore, in an official statement about the investigative videos, Project Veritas explained,
“not a single one of our citizen journalists broke any laws or misrepresented themselves in any way to election officials or anyone else while filming this report. They simply inquired to poll workers if a certain individual’s name was present on the voter list, and were then offered a ballot with no further questions…..
Shockingly, rather than owning that, in light of the expose, measures should be taken to make the system in New Hampshire more effective, Governor Lynch has condemned the sting operation altogether and is calling for Project Veritas to be prosecuted for obtaining ballots under false pretenses.
"I think it is outrageous that we have out-of-staters coming into New Hampshire, [said the governor] coming into our polling places and misrepresenting themselves to the election officials, and I hope that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they're found guilty of some criminal act."
Joining the governor in this blatant refusal to acknowledge the facts are Keith Olbermann, Ryan Reilly and MSNBC’s Al Sharpton. Sharpton’s coverage bears the heading, “James O’Keefe has another run-in with the law,” and over the course of the bitterly partisan six-minute session of commentary, Sharpton calls O’Keefe “the professional smear artist who was behind the fake ACORN scam,” and adds that O’Keefe “sent his cohorts out to fraudulently collect ballots in New Hampshire.”
“…James O’Keefe has struck again, exposing the non-existent problem of voter fraud in New Hampshire. The conservative filmmaker and others working on behalf of Project Veritas are now facing a criminal investigation by [New Hampshire’s] attorney general. There is every indication that O’Keefe and his colleagues committed voter fraud at primary polling locations Tuesday night.”
So, wait. Let me get this straight – citizen journalists conduct a sting operation for the purpose of raising concern about voter fraud and when they release the tapes they are the ones who get charged with voter fraud?
“ Has voter fraud ever been a problem in New Hampshire?” Olbermann asks of Ryan Reilly in an interview devoted almost solely to discrediting Project Veritas.
“ You know, it really – there’s no evidence that it has,” responds Reilly. “Specifically in-person voter – impersonation fraud hasn’t been an issue, nor has it been across the country.”
Project Veritas’ actors were given a similar story by Ryk Bullock, the New Hampshire Ward Moderator whom they consulted for the purpose of expressing their concerns about the possibility of voter fraud. When asked whether fraudulent impersonation could occur, Bullock explained,
“It could, it could…[But] I’ve been here 43 years and, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had it happen. In theory, it could happen…”
But it doesn’t happen, they assure us. It can, of course, as there aren’t sufficient safeguards to prevent it (as demonstrated by the recent sting). But it won’t.
Should we find this nonchalance reassuring, or should it cause us to become doubtful about the integrity of the officials and media moguls who continue to drill us in the unconstitutionality of photo ID laws? When we stop to consider, we will realize that every vote cast fraudulently cancels out the vote of some conscientious citizen who took care to register legally and provide the required information in order to be able to perform his or her civic duties. The argument that such votes will not be cast even though they can be is absurd. It’s like arguing that we shouldn’t have lifeguards at public pools where no one is ever known to have drowned, or suggesting that we abolish fire departments in areas that have never been ravaged by forest fires.
Voting legally is a fairly painless process. I recently registered to vote in Texas, and it could hardly have been easier. I signed up online to receive the simple registration form, which was mailed to me. After filling it out, I dropped it in my mailbox. I didn’t even have to pay for postage. Under pending photo ID laws, voters will be able to flash any form of government-issued photographic identification at the polls. This could be a drivers’ license, passport, gun permit card, or any ID card issued by your local DMV office. Registered voters who do not possess photo ID will be provided with the necessary ID by The Department of Safety and Homeland Security at no charge. As photo ID is already required for the purchase of tobacco or alcohol products, vehicle rentals and banking transactions, it is safe to assume that most citizens of legal voting age will already be in possession of such ID. The only residents who might have difficulty in obtaining photographic identification are – well, non-citizens. And they aren’t allowed to vote anyway.
So, what is all of the fuss really about? That’s a good question. Perhaps Keith Olbermann answers it best himself,
“The right wing’s fixation with voter fraud is largely used as a justification for passing restrictive ballot access measure designed to suppress voter turnout among people who tend to vote for Democrats.” Exactly who are these “people who tend to vote for Democrats”? People who can’t obtain photo ID? Wait, that means they’re probably ----- yep, you got it. Illegal.
Will new photo ID laws cause some hassle for those legal citizens who don’t already possess the necessary identification and are forced to get a lift down to their local DMV office? Yes. But as Thomas Sowell reminds us, “There are no solutions….there are only tradeoffs.” Inconveniencing a miniscule percentage of the population in order to protect the votes of millions of legal Americans sounds like a pretty good tradeoff to me.