Posts Tagged ‘States Rights’
This is a victory for federalism and election integrity.
A landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act has set up a stand-off between Republican-led states and the Obama administration over controversial voting laws that until now had been stalled.
The 5-4 ruling on Tuesday addressed a 1960s-era provision that largely singled out states and districts in the South — those with a history of discrimination — and required them to seek federal permission to change their voting laws.
The court ruled that the formula determining which states are affected was unconstitutional.
In doing so, the court potentially opened the door for certain states to proceed with voter ID laws and other efforts that to date had been held up because of the Voting Rights Act. Prominent among those are voter identification laws in Alabama and Mississippi.
The Voting Rights Act is what unscrupulous Attorney General Eric Holder used to block states from implementing voter ID laws aimed at combating election fraud. The Left relies on fraud to win closely contested elections.
[...] The ruling recognizes that widespread systematic voting discrimination is a distant memory. Today black Americans fully participate in the democratic process by voting, running for, and winning elective office at every level of government up to and including the highest office in the land.
But this is bad news for the race industry which thrives on making mountains out of molehills.
Predictably, leftist demagogues and community organizers across the fruited plain are howling now that a key tool they used to frustrate electoral integrity efforts has been taken away.
The Senate voted earlier to block the U.S. from joining the treaty, but Obama is likely to sign it anyway.
He’s already heading out onto the never-ending campaign trail to stump for more gun control. He wants to stir up public pressure to force the Senate to ratify it. If they do, you can kiss your 2nd Amendment rights good-bye.
This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into force for its signatories when it has been signed and ratified by 50 nations.
Though the vote in favor of the treaty seems overwhelming, a closer look shows something different. Among the major exporting and importing nations, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Russia abstained. So did most of the Arab Group, as well as a range of anti-American regimes, including Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and a smattering of others, including Belarus, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
A further 13 nations did not vote, including some known opponents of the treaty, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Finally, while Pakistan voted in favor of the treaty, its statement in explanation implied that it was voting for the treaty because it anticipated that India would abstain, and it wanted to look good by comparison.
Thus, what the U.N. vote amounts to is the tacit rejection of the treaty by most of the world’s most irresponsible arms exporters and anti-American dictatorships, who collectively amount to half of the world’s population.
Ken Klukowski warns, “What Americans Need To Know About The UN Gun Control Treaty“:
Today the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a global gun control treaty called the Arms Trade Treaty. Now the fight begins here at home. There are several things gun owners need to know to protect their constitutional rights.
Now that it’s been proposed, the treaty goes to all the member states to decide on whether to join. Per the U.S. Constitution, in America it must first be signed by the president (which it will), then be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate (which it won’t). The United States is not likely to join the treaty as a nation, though President Barack Obama will likely push for it.
The General Assembly can’t do anything at the United Nations except propose (not establish) treaties and admit new U.N. members. Most of the power at the U.N. is in the Security Council, which consists of five permanent members (including the U.S.) and ten rotating seats among all the other U.N. members. So the General Assembly did one of the only things it can by recommending this treaty to its member states.
However, the first danger is that U.S. courts have held we’re bound by “customary international law,” sometimes called the “law of nations.” If enough U.N. member states were to adopt this treaty, a liberal federal court could rule it has become customary international law. The current Supreme Court would never affirm such a ruling, but there is a real danger if Obama changes the balance of the Court over the next three years.
Because federal statutes and treaties are of equal force under the U.S. Constitution, whenever they are in direct conflict, the most-recently passed of the two prevails. So, if somehow this treaty were ratified by the Senate, if Congress were to later pass a statute taking the opposite position, it would trump the treaty.
Of course, you need a president’s signature to pass a statute or two-thirds of Congress to override a presidential veto, so we would need a president in 2016 who supports the Second Amendment to pass such a law.
[...] The dangers are obvious, however. If Barack Obama manages to get an anti-gun politician like Hillary Clinton or Andrew Cuomo to follow him in 2016 as president, and changes the balance of the Supreme Court over time, then the Arms Trade Treaty could open America up to a worldwide U.N. gun control regime. That could lay the groundwork and set up a system that a decade or two from now could restrict lawful firearm ownership in this nation.
The tyrants at the UN won’t be satisfied until every citizen capable of resisting them world-wide is disarmed into sitting ducks. If just 2/3 of the Senate votes to ratify this treaty, our gun rights will be in serious jeopardy.
The fact that Democrats are willing to take the side of other nations against their own fellow citizens’ constitutional right to self-defense reveals how traitorous they truly are.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was not enough support to give Sen. Dianne Feinstein the stand-alone vote she demands on the “assault weapon” ban, but the upper chamber may soon be the deciding factor in whether the United States ratifies an international treaty that could strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
On Monday, the United States joined in the nine day conference in New York to finalize negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty is intended to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, but depending how the final document is worded, it could put at risk Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
The countries were negotiating the draft last July, but stopped when the U.S. asked for a delay. Many believe Mr. Obama pushed the issue past Election Day in order not to further alienate gun owners. Now that he has more “flexibility” in his second term, the U.S. is back at the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged reaching consensus by March 28. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he wrote in a statement Friday.
[...] Mr. Obama will likely go ahead and sign the treaty as it is. Then the only thing standing in the way of the U.N. stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights is if he can get two-thirds of the Senate to ratify.
Certainly the ATT is controversial. Touted as a means of getting a handle on an international arms trade valued at $60 billion a year, its stated purpose is to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime at an international level.
Its vague and suspicious wording led some 150 members of Congress last June to send a letter to President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that the treaty is “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.”
We have noted that a paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) says that arms have been “misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would . .. minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”
Would defending your home against intruders, or U.S. laws permitting concealed carry, be considered a “misuse?”
[...] Last Thursday, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing the treaty. The resolution states the U.N. proposal “places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality” and represents a threat to U.S. national security.
Our Constitution is unambiguous in its protection of gun rights. The ATT is not.
Interestingly, just as the world’s worst human rights violators have sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America’s enemies, was elected to a top position at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty held in New York last July.
The U.S. is one of few countries that has anything like a Second Amendment, our Founding Fathers enshrining the right to bear arms in our founding principles in recognition of it being the ultimate bulwark against tyrannical government.
The fact that an organization full of tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human rights violators wants to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.
Somehow, administration assurances that the treaty won’t infringe on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms doesn’t reassure us.
UPDATE: Defeated in the Senate 53-46. We dodged a bullet…this year.
I don’t take my position on any issue lightly. Especially for one who regularly expresses opinions on political and moral issues, I believe it behooves us to seriously research and consider all the facts and cornerstone moral principles before taking a position on an issue. I expect as much from those who seek to serve in public office. Sadly, it appears many politicians consider principles to be disposable things that can be discarded as soon as they are deemed inconvenient.
Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.
In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch.
“That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”
Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”
As a parent, I understand how love for one’s children can sometimes tempt us to blind ourselves to truths we’d rather not face. But it’s a temptation we must not yield to. Truth, right and wrong are not dependent on our feelings or circumstances.
Does that mean Portman should stop loving his son? Absolutely not! He should love Him unconditionally, no matter what mistakes he makes or what he’s struggling with. But loving a child doesn’t mean redefining an entire bedrock societal institution for their sake. It means embracing them for who they are, responding in grace to what they do, and remembering that all of us are sinners in need of a savior, whether gay or straight.
Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn’t be changed — but it shouldn’t hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator’s son, should it?
What if a conservative senator said, “I’m reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren’t.”
One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It’s the Oprahfication of political philosophy.
Should a conservative determine good policy this way?
To state it bluntly, Senator Portman, Christianity, the Word of God, and the proper view of homosexuality has nothing to do with you or your changing perspective. It has everything to do with the unchanging Word of God. Your attempt to cloak your opinion by distorting the Word of God is not only offensive but blasphemous. I encourage you to open your Bible and read what it says about false teachers and those who add to or take away from the Word of God.
I understand that your son is a homosexual. As a Christian you are called to love him but you cannot condone his sin and encourage others to do the same. Principles are higher than our individual circumstances. Principles do not change because the circumstances in our lives change.
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
Condoning the sin of homosexuality will not help your son to lead a “happy, meaningful” life. He cannot lead such a life in direct opposition to the Word of the Lord. You have taken the easy path and it will only lead to sin and death, error, and worse.
My prayers are with you and your family but Christians must not let your attempt to pervert the Word of God to fit your own personal life go unchallenged.
Do you know what you believe, and why? Have you actually thought through your position on certain issues, taking into consideration all the facts and core values before taking a position?
This is a very unique and insightful view from an openly gay man with adopted children.
I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.
The notion of same-sex marriage is implausible, yet political correctness has made stating the obvious a risky business. Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is characterized in the media, at best, as clinging to “old-fashioned” religious beliefs and traditions, and at worst, as homophobia and hatred.
I’ve always been careful to avoid using religion or appeals to tradition as I’ve approached this topic. And with good reason: Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.
Learning from Experience
As a young man, I wasn’t strongly inclined toward marriage or fatherhood, because I knew only homosexual desire.
I first recognized my strong yearning for men at age eight, when my parents took me to see The Sound of Music. While others marveled at the splendor of the Swiss Alps displayed on the huge Cinerama screen, I marveled at the uniformed, blond-haired Rolfe, who was seventeen going on eighteen. That proclivity, once awakened, never faded.
During college and throughout my twenties, I had many close friends who were handsome, athletic, and intelligent, with terrific personalities. I longed to have an intimate relationship with any and all of them. However, I enjoyed something far greater, something which surpassed carnality in every way: philia (the love between true friends)—a love unappreciated by so many because eros is promoted in its stead.
I wouldn’t have traded the quality of my relationships with any of these guys for an opportunity to engage in sex. No regrets. In fact, I always felt like the luckiest man on the planet. Denial didn’t diminish or impoverish my life. It made my life experience richer.
Philia love between men is far better, far stronger, and far more fulfilling than erotic love can ever be. But society now promotes the lowest form of love between men while sabotaging the higher forms. Gay culture continues to promote the sexualization of all (viewing one’s self and other males primarily as sexual beings), while proving itself nearly bankrupt when it comes to fostering any other aspect of male/male relationships.
When all my friends began to marry, I began to seriously consider marriage for the first time. The motive of avoiding social isolation may not have been the best, but it was the catalyst that changed the trajectory of my life. Even though I had to repress certain sexual desires, I found marriage to be extremely rewarding.
My future bride and I first met while singing in a youth choir. By the time I popped the question, we had become the very best of friends. “Soul mates” is the term we used to describe each other.
After a couple of years of diligently trying to conceive, doctors informed us we were infertile, so we sought to adopt. That became a long, arduous, heartbreaking process. We ultimately gave up. I had mixed emotions—disappointment tempered by relief.
Out of the blue, a couple of years after we resigned ourselves to childlessness, we were given the opportunity to adopt.
A great shock came the day after we brought our son home from the adoption agency. While driving home for lunch, I was suddenly overcome with such emotion that I had to pull the car off to the side of the road. Never in my life had I experienced such pure, distilled joy and sense of purpose. I kept repeating, “I’m a dad,” over and over again. Nothing else mattered. I knew exactly where I fit in within this huge universe. When we brought home his brother nearly two years later, I was prepared: I could not wait to take him up in my arms and declare our kinship and my unconditional love and irrevocable responsibility for him.
Neither religion nor tradition turned me into a dedicated father. It was something wonderful from within—a great strength that has only grown with time. A complete surprise of the human spirit. In this way and many others, marriage—my bond with the mother of my children—has made me a much better person, a person I had no idea I had the capacity to become.
Intellectual Honesty and Surprise Conclusions
Unfortunately, a few years later my marriage ended—a pain known too easily by too many. At this point, the divorce allowed me to explore my homosexuality for the first time in my life.
At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.
It took some doing, but after ten years of divorce, we began to pull our family back together. We have been under one roof for over two years now. Our kids are happier and better off in so many ways. My ex-wife, our kids, and I recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together and agreed these were the best holidays ever.
Because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses. Has this led to depressing, claustrophobic repression? No. We enjoy each other’s company immensely. It has actually led to psychological health and a flourishing of our family. Did we do this for the sake of tradition? For the sake of religion? No. We did it because reason led us to resist selfish impulses and to seek the best for our children.
And wonderfully, she and I continue to regard each other as “soul mates” now, more than ever.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found our decision to rebuild our family ratified time after time. One day as I turned to climb the stairs I saw my sixteen-year-old son walk past his mom as she sat reading in the living room. As he did, he paused and stooped down to kiss her and give her a hug, and then continued on. With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. My varsity-track-and-football-playing son and I can give each other a bear hug or a pat on the back, but the kiss thing is never going to happen. To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.
There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch “deprivation” on their hearts.
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage and turn a skeptical eye on similar prohibitions across the country.
The administration says unequivocally in a legal brief filed late Thursday that gay marriage should be allowed to resume in California, where it has been barred since the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008.
The Executive branch has no business telling the states and the Judicial branch how to do their jobs, not that he has much of a track record of respecting the separation of powers. Now the Legislative branch is following suit:
More than 100 prominent Republicans have signed an amicus brief supporting Gay Marriage, which will be submitted to the Supreme Court this week.
[...] The Supreme Court will hear back-to-back arguments in two pivotal gay-rights suits next month, which center on California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.
[...] While amicus briefs often do not have a significant impact on the Supreme Court, legal analysts say the sheer number of prominent conservatives backing gay marriage in this case may present an exception. Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a Web site that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the amicus brief “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”
When they can’t do it by vote, they seek to impose it by force through the judicial system. This may be the Roe v. Wade of our generation, and again, it will be innocent children who pay the price for it.
Some former officials in the Republican Party are urging the Supreme Court to redefine marriage for the nation. But support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.
As my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage?, and in the amicus brief we filed with the Supreme Court, marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes.
[...] Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. We know that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to grow even more.
In recent years marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Redefining marriage represents the culmination of this revisionism: Emotional intensity would be the only thing left to set marriage apart from other kinds of relationships. Redefining marriage would put a new principle into the law—that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.
Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. But marriage can’t do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened. All Americans, especially conservatives who care about thriving civil society capable of limiting the state, should be alarmed.
100 years of the federal government directly attacking the right to private property and to earn a living. 100 years of them skimming off the top before you even get paid what’s left of what you’ve rightfully earned. 100 years of politicians squandering your money and using it to bribe voters, expand their powers, grow the size of government and erode your liberties.
The saddest part is, there is not an American alive who can remember a time when the income tax did not exist, and therefore most do not even stop to consider whether it should exist at all.
Sunday, February 3, is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, which makes it the one hundredth birthday of the income tax. It has grown rather ill-tempered in its dotage.
Americans for Tax Reform commemorated the occasion by publishing a few fun facts about the income tax. Among other interesting statistics, the initial top tax bracket was only 7 percent, and it didn’t kick in until income reached a whopping $11.6 million in 2013 dollars. Only 358,000 people had to fill out 1040 forms at first, because the standard family deduction was an adjusted $93,000.
Over the past hundred years, the tax code has swelled from 400 pages to almost 74,000. The top rate is 39.6 percent; add in state and local taxes, and you’ve got the government soaking up over half of every marginal dollar earned by the Evil Rich. And the top bracket crashes down on those who earn over $450k, which is the new functional definition of a “millionaire.” Every new tax – from the income tax itself, to the Alternative Minimum Tax and its prospective stepchild, the “Buffett Rule” – is sold as a small levy on the vast wealth of millionaires. The AMT was only supposed to affect a couple of hundred people when it was implemented in 1969, but now it’s on the verge of grabbing 50 million taxpayers, if it’s not “fixed.” In the early years of the income tax, Americans were likewise assured that it would only slip a few dollars from the bulging wallets of the wealthy.
Allowing the government to sink its feeding tubes into the veins of American income has fueled astonishing government growth. That first itty bitty tax levy brought in a paltry $16.6 billion in revenue, adjusted for the past century of inflation. Today the income tax brings in $2.7 trillion. Government inevitably grows to fill, and exceed, the space made available for it.
[...] The income tax is collected largely through payroll deductions, which makes the true cost of government almost completely invisible to the middle class. Uncle Sam quietly takes his cut before the first dollar lands in an employee’s bank account. If every worker was required to compute and pay his own taxes quarterly, in the manner of a small business, America would experience a taxpayer revolt that might sweep away a good deal of government bloat. Imagine the fortunes of tax-cutting small-government candidates if most of the electorate had to figure up quarterly local, state, and federal tax bills, and write checks to all three authorities, a few days before each election.
Instead, the government takes big, silent bites out of everyone’s take-home pay. The process has been made obscure and painless, in much the way that a mosquito numbs the skin of its victim before drawing blood. We might also add the bite taken by Social Security and Medicare, programs that no young person entering the workforce today will ever get to enjoy, not in any manner resembling the benefits paid to the current retirees they are supporting. Although taken for different purposes, that money has become fungible; it’s all part of the same river of cash, pouring into an irresponsible Leviathan that still borrows another 40 cents on top of every dollar it takes from us. When we gave the State first claim on our income, we conceded far too much.
Then you’ve got the nauseating spectacle of Tax Day, when some people do become momentarily conscious of the immense cost of government, and grow a bit irritable… while others dance in the streets waving their tax “refunds,” which they actually regard as a “gift” from the government. Free money! Yay! Thus are the citizens of this proud Republic made to dance like trained animals, as they celebrate the repayment of money the government unfairly took from them, without a penny of interest. And then you’ve got those who receive “tax refunds” exceeding anything they paid into the system, thanks to tax credits.
Unfortunately, two of my kids got sick so I had to miss it, but I’m glad to see so many people showing up to defend life, even in the liberal hotbed of Portland.
Two pairs of women flanked the stage in silent contrition, their large signs talking for them: “I regret my abortion.”
It was just one of the messages shared through signs, speeches, statistics and music Sunday, as nearly 1,000 people filled Pioneer Square for the Rally for Life, marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing abortion.
Organized by Oregon Right to Life, the Oregon Family Council and the Christian News Northwest newspaper, the hourlong event, which culminated with a march to the waterfront and back, attracted families with babies in strollers and in backpacks, members of the clergy, students, senior citizens and a handful of abortion-rights activists who gathered across the street.
[...] The Most Rev. John G. Vlazny, archbishop of Portland since 1997, opened the annual gathering saying he hoped to “promote public awareness of the fragility and value of unborn life and to offer real choices to women frightened by unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
“When all is said and done,” he continued, “we want to work to create a society where all life is welcomed and valued.”
Someday soon, we will!
This is what Agenda 21′s “sustainability” agenda looks like in practice: destruction of property rights and the legacy of generations of rural families.
Freedom Foundation: Montana Legacy Jeopardized By Federal Overreach
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A rancher friend once told me he was going to live a pauper and die a millionaire. Much like him, Montana is land rich and cash poor because we’re not allowed to responsibly use our lands and resources for our own benefit. Even as we sit on unimaginable wealth above and below our beautiful landscapes, we have the second lowest wages per job on the nation. We’ve been cut off from our wealth by people who either don’t understand or don’t care about the human toll of pressing their values on Montana families.
We all want and should welcome a sustainable and diverse economy; but industries that aren’t based on some underlying value can pack up and leave overnight. A sustainable economic base must leverage the things that are unique and lasting. In Montana those things are natural resources. You can’t harvest Montana timber in Indonesia, raise Montana wheat in Australia or pump Montana oil in Saudi Arabia. They’re what we have and businesses have to come here to get them. But we’re being increasingly cut off from what makes Montana the Treasure State.
Imagine if the federal government stepped in and outlawed gambling in Las Vegas, tanning in Florida, or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Those are the local engines of economic growth. Businesses and families depend on those things to prosper and pursue happiness. But here in Montana we’re being cut off from our economic engine. It’s both unfair and unsustainable to have barriers erected by far away special interests and bureaucrats that seem to think that the families and lifestyles of those who live here are expendable.
They can do this because the federal government oversees so much of our land. Nearly 30 percent of Montana is controlled by the federal government. Getting access to those federal lands, whether through grazing, drilling, digging or harvesting is getting more and more difficult and expensive because of federal meddling in what used to be state responsibilities.
THIS is how it’s done, ladies and gentlemen: stand your ground, make the argument, force the Left to defend their nonsense, and NEVER APOLOGIZE for our principles. Watch and learn:
What I find especially ironic about this exchange is how Piers, the snobby British transplant, incredulously dismisses the possibility of citizens needing guns to protect themselves from government tyranny. Apparently he forgets that it the entire reason the 2nd Amendment was written was because Americans had just got done freeing ourselves from HIS COUNTRY’s tyrannical oppression.
The 237 years since then have seen more than their share of tyrants and dictators attacking unarmed populations, which just goes to show that human nature hasn’t changed one iota.
Piers also dismissed the pocket constitution Ben gave him as just a “little book.” That “little book” is the law of the land that preserved our unalienable rights after we ran your tyrannical countrymen out on a rail, Piers.
The night before his debate with Ben Shapiro, Piers had an on-air exchange with conspiracy nut Alex Jones.
A local news anchor decided to double check Piers’ facts, and (shocker!) found some discrepancies:
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If you think Obama’s cabinet appointments are bad, wait until you see what he has in store for the Supreme Court
When it comes to the Supreme Court – Valerie Jarrett intends to go gay to get her way…
Now here’s the deal with the possible gay appointment. The administration, Democrats, they don’t really care about the gay issue. They don’t care about protecting them. The gay issue is just like the minority issue, it’s simply a way to cower Republicans so Democrats get their way on using government to control people. That’s it. And the thing is, these last four years, they have become very good at it. What the White House wants is the most radical SC appointment in the history of the court. That appointment will then be insulated from attack because of the gay issue. Republicans don’t want to appear “insensitive” and know the media will be ready for an all out offensive against them. This in turn could roll into the 2014 elections very similar to the trumped up rape comments by Mourdock and Akin ended up damaging the entire party in 2012. (I don’t know Akin, but Richard Mourdock is a good man and the media unfairly tore him apart. What else is new though, right?)
Now many inside the party fear the same treatment if they word something less than perfect and having to review an openly gay Supreme Court appointment during televised hearings in this current political climate would place Republicans in a very dangerous position public relations wise if they were to aggressively challenge that appointment just a year out from the Midterm Elections. The White House and Democrats would use the hearing to again paint Republicans as anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-gay, basically anti-everything and everyone, and the media will do double duty to push that portrayal 24/7 for them. The whole “gay” issue of the nominee will be the Trojan Horse to get this radical appointment approved during confirmation. The Democrats get the most radical justice ever on the court, and set up momentum for the 2014 election. I know WHI has said often that Barack Obama is stupid. That may be true, but the people running him are incredibly smart, and very devious and dangerous.
I could care less if a Justice is gay or not and most of us in the party feel the same way. Even the more social conservatives among us don’t place that issue near the top of the list. I do care a greatdeal if a potential justice is the most radical leftwing socialist to ever be considered for the SC. When I received the information, I was instantly reminded of the remarks Jarrett made before the election where she indicated they had “two judges ready to go”. It seems pretty clear that the first of those two is being positioned right now. If the word given to Judiciary is correct, and one of the conservative leaning judges steps down, I have no doubt the White House will move ahead with what Jarrett said earlier, and the socialists will have control of the White House, the Senate, near control of the Supreme Court, and will then use the momentum to take control of the House in 2014. They will have the country locked up tight. People who think things can’t get worse for America need to stop and think a bit more on that. They could get a whole lot worse.
Take that, Democrats!
Dec. 14 has come and gone, and President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — has received a stunning blow.
State governments had until Dec. 14 to decide whether they would build their own health-insurance exchanges, online services that allow individuals to purchase private health insurance if it wasn’t provided by their employers.
The exchanges now have been rebuked by half the states, which have refused to participate in this critical component of Obamacare.
Their refusal won’t stop exchanges in their states. Under the law, states that don’t create an exchange can have the federal government deal with this expensive task.
Only 18 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to build and manage their own exchanges. Seven others have taken a middle course and will partner with the federal government to create their exchanges.
Why have so many states opted out when it comes to the exchanges? Part of the reason undoubtedly is political.
Most of the states carried by Mitt Romney in the Nov. 6 election are those now refusing to build their own exchanges. That is no coincidence. These are states with populations that, generally speaking, would vote by clear majorities to repeal Obamacare if they were permitted to do so.
The elected governments in these states were plainly listening to their citizens when they decided to say no to a state-run health-insurance exchange.
This is going to leave the feds with a crushing financial burden, Tony Lee writes at Breitbart:
Healthcare analysts have estimated it would cost each state $10 million to $100 million per year to run a health insurance exchange. The Obama administration cannot afford to absorb these costs, hoping instead to pass the burden down to the states.
[...] Writing in the Wall Street Journal, James Capretta and Yuval Levin wrote that the “idea that creating state exchanges would give states control over their insurance markets is a fantasy” because states would simply be “enforcing a federal law and federal regulations, with very little room for independent judgment.”
“By declining to build exchanges, the states would pass the burden and costs of the exchanges to the administration that sought this law,” they wrote. “And it is far from clear that the administration could operate the exchanges on its own.” [...]
They determined that if enough states “refuse to create their own exchanges,” they could, in effect, “be repealing a large part of the law,” especially since doing so would exempt businesses from Obamacare’s employer mandate.
Federalism is NOT dead!
Politics is always downstream from culture, and it’s an undeniable fact that whoever controls the language shapes the culture.
The Democrats are masters of political language, and as you may have noticed, they just won. Basically, they have two tricks. They concoct a simple negative label for anything they want to defeat and then relentlessly shriek it in unison. You know the drill: “racist,” “homophobe,” “bigot,” “right-wing lunatic,” etc.
Then, they sanctify with positive language whatever lunacy they’re in the mood to shove down our throats today. Consider the irrefutable beatific glow of “economic justice” and “social justice.” Once something is defined as “justice,” you’re automatically the bad guy for resisting. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want justice?
Thus, tomorrow if we all wake up and discover that Democrats are now demanding that squirrels be allowed to vote in the name of animal justice, you can be sure that in a few years time, squirrels will be voting. After several thousand screeching editorials, marches, rallies, rap songs, videos and Oscar-winning movies starring Tom Hanks as Bushy-tailed Ben, we’ll all agree that animal justice is the next great frontier in civil rights and go nuts for squirrels.
So what can we do about it? Now that the regime is firmly entrenched and we’ve all been downgraded from citizens to dissidents, one of the few weapons that we may have left is our language. How about if we try using it and give them a taste of their own nasty medicine?
To start, my modest proposal is that we rebrand the Democratic Party as the Destructive Party. As you’re about to see, this simple device is remarkably effective at changing the dynamics of a conversation. Immediately, the Destructive Party member is put on confused defense while you look benign and wise. Intrigued? Watch how it’s done.
DESTRUCTIVE: Well, I guess Rush Limbaugh and all the other right-wing loonies were wrong. Obama crushed Romney just like we said.
YOU: Yeah, you’re right. That was a brilliant victory for the Destructive Party.
DESTRUCTIVE: Limbaugh is eating dirt today!…Wait…The what party?
YOU: The Destructive Party. You know. The one that always destroys the economy. As soon as Obama won, the stock market crashed 400 points and 35,000 people were laid off.
DESTRUCTIVE: Come on. That had nothing to do with Obama winning. That’s just a few rich employers trying to squeeze more profits by punishing their poor workers.
YOU: Well, that’s what the Destructive Party always says, so that’s why they always destroy the economy – and a lot of people’s lives, too. Great going, Destructives!
Let’s try another topic and see how it goes. Here you inject it into the conversation with a known Destructive, in order to mimic the Destructives’ policy of politicizing everything.
DESTRUCTIVE: I’ve decided to put off knee surgery till after my sister’s wedding.
YOU: Big mistake. Call your doctor right now and get the surgery on the books.
DESTRUCTIVE: You really think so? What’s the hurry?
YOU: Obama and the Destructive Party won! That means ObamaCare is coming and they’re about to destroy the best medical care system on the planet.
DESTRUCTIVE: No, they’re not. They’re not destroying anything; they’re giving poor people access to care.
YOU: Then how come 45% of doctors say they’re quitting or retiring early? I’m telling you, the Destructives won and they’re about to destroy your knee, if you don’t move quick. Get a surgeon while there’s still a surgeon to get.
It’s crucial that Americans understand the Left’s strategy of incrementalism: they only take an inch at a time, attacking their opponents for not giving an inch and making them feel foolish for fighting over a sliver so small, so that we eventually cede the territory and consider it not important enough to fight to get back. Once the Left gains that inch, however, they NEVER give it back, and move right on to gain the next inch of ground, while Republicans are insisting that they’re not “extreme” enough to want to repeal that lost inch (the New Deal, the Great Society, the Dept. of Education, and multiple other unconstitutional power grabs).
The Left has been using this strategy effectively for over a century, and now look at us: most Americans have no idea how much freedom we’ve lost or what a constitutional republic really looks like. They passed Medicare and Medicaid insisting they didn’t want socialized medicine, but that’s what their end goal was all along. They passed Obamacare without the public option because it’s just the next step to single-payer. Americans MUST understand how dangerous it is to even give an INCH to these people!
The progressives of both parties have known all along that their agenda was too radical to be achieved all at once, but that they could continually push new incremental measures, “steps in the right direction,” until their full agenda is achieved. They successfully practiced a strategy of positive incrementalism. This means they incrementally move in a positive direction toward their agenda, taking what they can get at the time while setting a goal of reaching more of their goals in the future. When the losing side repeatedly compromises to lose a little rather than more ground, that side is practicing the politics of negative incrementalism.
For decades our two party system has been great at giving us worthless choices. When Republican establishment promoted the moderate Nelson Rockefeller for president in 1964, supporters of conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater called for, “a choice, not an echo.” Moderate Republicans, who dominate their party, have a 70-year long history of being on the losing side of negative incrementalism. At every crisis-driven point of ratcheting up the big government agenda, their response has been “can’t we have just a little less progressivism than the Democrats want” rather than debating the merits of big government and standing strongly for the alternative vision of freedom and Constitutionally-limited government.
Moderate Republicans never disputed the basic principles behind the progressive agenda of activist, big government. They only demanded a little bit less, little more gradual transition to socialism then the Democrats wanted. Sensing this mush, the Democrats have charged on, and over the last 70 years have achieved most of the major goals of socialism. Karl Marx called for, and we now have: government run schools, largely state controlled health care, more money taxed or controlled by the government than by private hands, minimum wage laws, in many places rent control laws, gun control laws, welfare and other income re-distribution programs, social security, etc. [...]
Negative incrementalism is both short-term and long-term defeat. Freedom fighters will never achieve freedom practicing the politics of negative incrementalism. Never fall for the allusion that we just cooperate and compromise, accepting partial socialism today, that the other side will somehow magically go along with incremental moves toward freedom tomorrow. It will never happen, they’ll come back to the table tomorrow asking we compromise in their direction yet again. And again and again and again, until their agenda is achieved. Until they’ve established the socialist workers paradise.
We have to vigorously debate and win the debate against socialism, and oppose it in all it forms, and in all it’s sub-agendas, including gun control, state-run education, etc. We need to turn change the direction of public policy, by winning that debate, and make the statists compromise by accepting parts of the pro-freedom agenda. We never compromise on principle and should only compromise when freedom is increased by the passage of any proposal with our support.
So where do we go from here? We take our country back the same way: inch by inch, law by law, regulation by regulation, bureaucracy by bureaucracy, until the leviathan is completely dismantled and nothing remains but a federal government that stays within the jurisdiction of the enumerated powers granted by the constitution, and NO FURTHER.
How? I’m glad you asked.
First, get involved with a grass-roots conservative activist organization like FreedomWorks or Americans For Prosperity. Unlike Leftist organizations, they rely mostly on unpaid volunteers, but they can keep you informed and give you valuable tools to fight back. What better cause can you spend your volunteer time than preserving liberty for the next generation?
Second, consider running for a local office, like city council, school board, or land use board. Many of these races go uncontested, and we desperately need conservative in those seats!
Third, become a Precinct Committee Person (PCP) and help us take over the GOP from the inside and select their candidates.
Fourth, PRAY like your nation depended on it, because it does.
It took us over 100 years to get where we are now, and there is so much ground we have to take back in order to restore our constitutional republic: eliminate the Case Study method and restore the Common Law based on the constitution and Natural Law. Reverse Cloward-Piven strategy and phase out the welfare state. Defund, defang, dismantle every federal department, program, and agency that doesn’t belong under the enumerated powers of the constitution, and return 10th Amendment powers to the states. Eliminate federal control over education, support school choice and privatization, and decertify the unions one by one. Revive the private social welfare system that was in place before the welfare state took over. Repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, add a parental rights amendment, establish term limits, and require that congress live under the same laws that they pass (equality under the law – no ruling class privileges) Defund and withdraw from the corrupt, power-grabbing United Nations, and ratify NO UN treaties. NONE.
As you can see, we have a LOT of work to do to restore our constitutional republic. It will be long and hard, and the Left will fight us every step of the way with their Alinsky playbook, trying to discredit, discourage, and defeat us. WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO LOSE.
Our family has been without health insurance for three years. We simply couldn’t afford it. We’ve been paying out of pocket to see our naturopath or a private urgent care instead. Now we’re going to be forced into a government exchange, waiting on long waiting lists to see hurried doctors and receive substandard care. So much for “quality” and “choice.”
Tuesday night’s win in the presidential contest for President Obama was a win for ObamaCare, the president’s signature legislation from his first term. ObamaCare will now continue to be implemented.
This future means that we will continue to be faced with rising insurance premiums, as our current insurance expands to cover all patients regardless of pre-existing condition, age, or how many times they’ve already used the policy.
Insurance will continue to follow a one-size-fits all model, where it is easy to overuse but may not cover our latest expensive technology which offer more personalized solutions.
Federal regulations in the form of Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board as well as ObamaCare’s many other committees will restrict my choices for my patients. I will have more patients with more red tape and less time to spend with them.
[...] Medical care will be shifted more and more to the hospital and medical center, which are more equipped to preserve their bottom line profits despite increasing federal regulations.
[...] Doctors will cherry-pick their patients, staying away from those who are too sick to allow them to apply for financial incentives.
[...] If the current economic climate continues, small businesses will be reluctant to add more employees and large businesses will prefer to pay the ObamaCare penalty than pay the increasing premiums.
More and more people will get their health insurances at the state exchanges, where taxes pay for federal stipends in states which have created their own exchanges.