Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Religion: Liberty!

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments and decide two cases brought against the ObamaCare law on the issue over whether private businesses, including corporations, can use religious objections to avoid a requirement in the law to cover contraception and birth control benefits for employees.

Lower federal appellate courts are split on the question; one holding that the government can force compliance with the mandates of ObamaCare even if the contraception provisions violate the religious beliefs of the company owners; the other court having struck down the mandate as unconstitutional.

Hobby Lobby Inc., company founder David Green, and his family, persuaded the lower courts to exempt his Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain from the ObamaCare requirement to provide 13,000 full-time employees with contraception benefits because forcing the company to do so would violate his religious rights under the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.

"This is a major step for the Greens and their family businesses in an important fight for Americans' religious liberty," explained Hobby Lobby’s attorney of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will clarify once and for all that religious freedom in our country should be protected for family business owners like the Greens."

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people making wood cabinets, on the other hand, was denied relief on its identical claims in the lower courts.

Churches and other not for profit religious organizations are already exempted from the contraception and birth control benefits requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

Naturally, the Obama Administration is defending ObamaCare and contending that its provisions as applied to business are constitutional.

"The health care law puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge," a statement issued by the White House declares. "We believe this requirement is lawful and essential to women's health and are confident the Supreme Court will agree."

My prediction: The majority of five Catholic Justices on SCOTUS will decide that religious liberty trumps any ObamaCare provisions to the contrary, therefore corporations, (which are legally deemed “persons”), and other private businesses owned by religious folks may not be forced by the government to provide contraception benefits to employees in violation of their religious beliefs.

So traditional religious people, particularly Catholics, who say that birth control and contraception is against their religion, will probably get a free pass from SCOTUS exempting them from a noxious provision in a federal law while the rest of us suckers will be stuck with all of it being forced down our collective throats.

Maybe that’s as it should be, but if so, why shouldn’t you and I and anyone else whose religion is liberty be exempted from laws which conflict with our sincerely held beliefs? One need not believe in a God or Supreme Being to hold religious beliefs. Buddhist’s, for example, don’t believe in gods.

That’s right! My religion is liberty! At least I believe in the concept of liberty just as much and just as fervently as any Catholics or Protestants believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. And I am just as offended an aggrieved as they are when the government forces me by law to comply with mandates which clearly violate my right to liberty.

I, and my fellow Libertarians, should therefore be exempted from the onerous requirement every April 15th to file a detailed report to the IRS disclosing our financial business matters. Why? -- Because that mandate violates our right to liberty under the Unite States Constitution. (The 16th Amendment doesn’t require annual reporting to the government; it just allows the government to collect taxes on incomes.)

If I owned a restaurant I should be exempted from the state and federal Civil Rights laws which require me to serve anyone, even statist bastards whom I would otherwise be inclined to turn away. Having to mingle with statist bastards violates my right to liberty.

You see where I’m going here. The federal government violates our right to liberty in many different ways and I think it is only fair then that those of us who religiously believe in the concept of liberty have a free pass from the Supreme Court to exempt us from such requirements.

My religion: liberty!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stealing Property is “Evil” -And All People Should Oppose It

Admittedly, I’m no expert on the subject of intellectual property and patent law like Houston Texas patent attorney and Libertarian Stephan Kinsella, who maintains that: Intellectual Property Is “Evil”-And Businesspeople Should Oppose It, (referenced in last week’s RRND), but as a lawyer and Libertarian myself, I know well enough that stealing property is evil and all people should oppose it.

Kinsella believes that the concept of intellectual property is one of the most dangerous threats to freedom and progress in the world today.  I get what he’s saying. But, as I have argued before on these pages in response to such spurious claims: Property includes intellectual property, and stealing it is just as wrong as stealing any other kind of property.

Kinsella acknowledges that intellectual property laws protect products of the intellect such as copyright (which gives authors a right in original works such as novels or paintings), patent (which gives inventors rights in practical inventions, like a mousetrap), trademark (which gives companies rights in names used to identify products, such as “Coca-Cola”), and trade secret.

Intellectual property laws give the owners of a copyright, patent, or trademark a limited or temporary monopoly with regard to the rights to their works, just as personal and real property laws confer upon owners a limited or temporary monopoly on the use of it.

That old expression: “You can’t take it with you,” for example, refers to the fact that your rights to control the use and disposition of your property evaporates when you die.

But Kinsella insists that intellectual property laws “distort the creative and innovative fields, and lower the total amount of innovation in society.” “Not only does it impose costs and slow down progress and impede freedom: but that it is a blatant case of infringement of property rights,” he maintains.

“These rights are types of negative servitudes. A copyright holder can stop you from printing a given pattern of words on your own paper with your own ink and printer. A patent holder can stop you from using your own materials to shape them into certain arrangements,” he continues.

“The state simply grants it to them by fiat. So in effect, the state makes patentees and copyright holders co-owners of everyone else’s property, without the property owners’ consent. It is basically an erosion of property rights, a taking of property, a redistribution. It is a limitation on competition and learning and emulation,” he concludes.

But wait a minute; that’s essentially nonsense.

I can print out a given pattern of words, i.e., copyrighted materials on my own paper with my own ink and a printer. Nothing stops me from doing that. But what I can’t do is take what I’ve done to the marketplace and sell it as though I owned the valuable creative ideas actually owned by the copywriter.

No law prevents me from using my own materials to shape them into certain arrangements, but I can’t take what I’ve copied to the marketplace and sell it as though I owned the patent.

Governments don’t just pass out intellectual property laws by fiat. An applicant must prove entitlement under certain standards and rules or the monopoly on his creation will properly be denied.

Patent, trademark and copyright laws don’t impede my freedom any more than laws which prohibit my liberty from the commission of all other kinds of theft and fraud regarding any other kind of property. They simply prevent me from stealing other people’s creative ideas and profiting from them as though they were my own.

Am I missing something here?

I’ve studied his arguments closely and it appears that if Mr. Kinsella has his way then you or I or anyone else could simply print up millions of our own copies of all the Harry Potter books, complete with text, matching dust jackets, original author’s name, and all of it; then sell them in the marketplace for a fraction of the author’s price, thereby reaping millions in profits from intellectual creations we had nothing to do with.

If intellectual property laws were abolished, as Mr. Kinsella advocates, then I could sell, with absolute legal immunity, my own syrupy concoction of cola as “Coca Cola” in the same bottles with the exact same trademark, and reap the profits even though I had nothing to do with the original creation.

If Mr. Kinsella’s scenario prevails, then anyone including me could become a super rich marketplace troll in the thieving business of copying all the ideas, works, and products of others and selling them as our own thereby cutting the original creator out of the process completely. And why not – it’s our own paper, printer and ink; our own materials and ingredients, right?

Mr. Kinsella doesn’t satisfactorily answer these questions.

So, why should property laws include intellectual property?

Because stealing any property is evil and all people should oppose it. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nuking the Filibuster

These days it appears that President Obama and his less than 60% majority of Democrats in the U.S. Senate will resort to just about anything to have their way in matters of partisan politics. They did it with ObamaCare and now they’re doing it by throwing out centuries of fundamental Senate tradition.

They’ve decided to take the unprecedented step of un-checking the checks and unbalancing the balance to time honored Senate rules of procedure which have prevailed in that chamber for 225 years.

Yesterday they triggered, by a slim wholly partisan margin vote of 52 to 48, the so-called procedural nuclear option for the sole purpose of eliminating filibusters on presidential nominees for appointed government positions.

They’re nuking the filibuster.

The filibuster is a well reasoned political tactic which has saved this nation many times from the foolish machinations of the majority party in Congress. It is a necessary check and balance mechanism against unbridled majority rule.

The minority party in the Senate, (now the Republicans), will no longer enjoy any political leverage against the majority party in matters of involving their traditional constitutional role of advise and consent when it comes to steamrolling the confirmation of most nominees, particularly for sensitive judicial appointments.

Congress has the power to make and enforce its own procedural rules. In the Senate, all the way back to 1789, a majority vote of 60% was required to end debate on any confirmation issue. Thus a minority party could filibuster the debate and thereby effectively block a nominee’s appointment unless the majority could gather the necessary 60 votes to end it.

The Republicans of late have been using the filibuster tactic to successfully block President Obama’s left leaning partisan judicial nominees to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That’s the court which enjoys jurisdiction over most of the regulations formulated by the federal executive branch of the government.

Senate Democrats have been seething over this situation ever since Obama took office. They desperately want left leaning patrician judges on that court. So they’ve now made good on their threat to trigger this dreaded nuclear option.

From now on only 51 votes will be required to end a filibuster and the Democrats presently have more than a 51% majority. It’s going to fundamentally alter the way the Senate has functioned since the birth of or nation and drastically fuel the fires of partisan politics in the future.

Saying that “enough is enough,” President Obama welcomed the end of what he called the abuse of the Senate’s advise and consent function, which he said had turned into “a reckless and relentless tool” to grind the gears of government to a halt.

Of course, that is precisely the opposite of what his opinion was when he was running for president in 2008. Both he and now Senate majority lead Harry Reid were extolling the virtues and the absolute necessity of the filibuster then.

“The American people deserve better than politicians who run for election telling them how terrible government is, and then devoting their time in elected office to trying to make government not work as often as possible,” Obama hypocritically continued.

But that’s exactly what any self respecting politician should do if he sincerely thinks that the government is terrible. He should introduce gridlock. He should block bad legislation and unsavory appointments. He should filibuster. He should try to make government not work as much and as often as possible. That’s the American way.

“We’re not interested in having a gun put to our head any longer,” snorted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Some of us have been around here long enough to know that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot.”

“You may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell warned the Democrats. “The solution to this problem is at the ballot box. We look forward to having a great election in 2014.”

When Republicans retake the Senate in 2014 they’ll probably broaden the no filibuster rule to include procedure on U.S. Supreme Court nominees said Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Then the Democrats could not filibuster a Republican pick for the nation’s highest court.

The nation will surely suffer from all this bullshit but those Democrats will certainly get what they deserve for nuking the filibuster. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

They’re Baaaak!

U.S. military experts are now candidly admitting that Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cells are regrouping and working together not only in Iraq but in the entire Middle East region thereby undoing and putting to waste everything our war mongering government has tried to accomplish over the last ten years.
Whatever the United States has gained in Iraq and Afghanistan, (and I submit it has been far less than nothing); all is completely unraveling now as the violence continues to escalate.
In short, Iraq was better off and so was the U.S. when Saddam Hussein was in power.  
Trillions upon trillions of American taxpayer dollars, and thousands of precious American lives, have been flushed down the military toilet yet the situation in the Middle East has become far worse in terms of our national interests than it ever was before George W. Bush and his ambitious cadre of neocon buffoons started the mess.
Not only have average Americans gained nothing from the debacle, we’ll be paying interest and principal on that enormous debt far into the future, if not forever.
“Al Qaeda as an entity is coming back strong within the region and is doing things to destabilize governments, which, at this point in time, are still friendly to us." says Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a former military intelligence officer.
They’re baaaak!
Iraq’s parliament speaker painted a grim picture of a crumbling country that is taking another beating by terrorists. "The situation is grave," Osama al-Nujaifi said during a press conference. He believes that the recent spikes in sectarian violence and political instability could ultimately lead to another bloody civil war.
Armed militants have set up their own checkpoints across the country and are executing motorists at will. Bombs are going off in places like crowded cafés killing scores of innocent people.
A large scale prison break at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison – now under Iraqi government control – has let loose on the streets as many as 250 terrorists linked prisoners.
Thousands of people are being killed every month.
Following the Abu Ghraib incident, another 250 or so inmates were freed from a second prison in Baghdad. Twenty guards and 21 prisoners were killed. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a coalition of Al Qaeda affiliates in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility.
None of this should come as any surprise to anyone. Five years after Bush started his infamous war in Iraq and toppled Saddam’s government; chaos returned to the region which prompted the fool to send 20,000 more Marine and Army soldiers into Baghdad as part of a troop surge.
Supporters like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., applauded the move as a “turning point” in the war but any moron could have successfully predicted that it wouldn’t work. And, sure enough, today Iraq as returned to a sorry state of distrust, confusion, and despair.
This has a bunch of Washington lawmakers thinking about what they can do to turn the situation around. They’re actually itching to sacrifice even more American lives and throw away more good money after bad.
“As the Middle East becomes even more volatile, it is very important for the U.S. and Iraq to remain partners, declared Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We can help maintain our influence in Baghdad by providing appropriate assistance to the government of Iraq in its fight against Al Qaeda, which is largely responsible for the spike in sectarian violence.”
They just never learn.
It’s starting all over again.

They’re baaaak! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Statism: The Endgame

Eighty North Korean people in seven separate cities were summarily executed by firing squad earlier this month. Their “crimes” involved watching foreign films, videos of South Korean television programs or possessing a Bible.
Witnesses saw eight people tied to stakes in the Shinpoong Stadium, in Kangwon Province, before having sacks placed over their heads and being executed by soldiers firing machineguns. In one instance, the local North Korean authorities rounded up 10,000 people, including children, and forced them to watch.
“I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were so riddled by machinegun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards,” said one witness. After the carnage Relatives and friends of the victims were sent to prison camps as a reminder of the consequences for breaking the law or showing the least bit of discontent against the rule of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s newest “Dear Leader.”
“Reports on public executions across the country would be certain to have a chilling effect on the rest of the people,” explained a North Korea analyst in Seoul South Korea. “All these people want to do is to survive and for their families to survive. The incentives for not breaking the law are very clear now.”
Where is the outrage?
This story should be occupying front page headlines for weeks in every major news organization on the planet, but it’s already been forgotten; swept into the statist oriented dustbin of history; ignored even by the enemies of statism.
What’s happening in North Korea represents the endgame of statism.
This is statism, collectivism, government control run amok and taken to the ultimate extreme. It happened in communist Russia under Joseph Stalin, and in fascist Germany under Adolph Hitler. Tens of millions of innocent human beings were slaughtered in the pursuit of the statist collective ideal.
Mao Zedong alone is estimated to have caused the deaths of up to 70 million innocent souls – all of them his own countrymen -- through starvation, forced relocation, hard labor camps, and summary executions during his thoroughly statist murderous reign of terror in communist China after 1949.
This statist murderer, who singlehandedly ruined China, placing that nation in the dark ages for over a half century, even in death is still held in high regard within the Chinese Communist Party as a great political mastermind, military strategist, visionary and savior of the nation.  
Similarly, the crazed Cambodian dictator, Pol Pot, presided over a Khmer Rouge statist communist revolutionary dictatorship which, in only four years time, from 1975 to 1979, led to the homicidal demise through starvation, forced relocation and summary executions of approximately 25% of the entire Cambodian population in the cause of the greater statist good.
The examples above represent only the tip of the iceberg. Examples of the endgame of statism abound throughout recorded history. At its extremes statism always ends in chaos, terror, mayhem and genocide among peaceful, honest innocent people whose only “crimes” are just trying to survive on this Earth.
Sadly, the vast majority of the people occupying planet Earth today has forgotten the perils of statism. They don’t believe its end game can happen again, at least not to them personally. They’re complacent in allowing their governments to take control over their lives, take their property, and even sacrifice some of their fellow citizens in the cause of the “greater statist good.”
There is no outrage.
This very week, Venezuelan soldiers, on President Maduro’s orders forcibly took over a chain of electronics stores, slashed prices, and declared henceforth that "fair prices" would be enforced around the country. Now Venezuelan businesses large and small are waiting for the next hammer to fall on them.
It’s all part of a planned "economic offensive" against the capitalist “hoarders and saboteurs stealing from the people. President Nicolás Maduro says they are attacking Venezuela's economy and robbing its people. So he sent the nation’s military into the retail stores forcing the businessmen to sell their merchandise at drastically discounted prices.
Long queues formed and scuffles broke out as people waited to get their hands on a bargain, guarded by soldiers. Other electronics stores voluntarily slashed prices or shut down awaiting government inspection.
And the takeover of electronics retailers is just the beginning. Next there will be price inspections and military seizures of mobile phone, computer retailers and car dealerships, declared Maduro.
Those retailers who resist will no doubt be dealt with severely. If not imprisoned or executed, at least they will be forced to give up their wealth to the clamoring statist mobs. 
Very soon now there will be no more free enterprise in Venezuela. There will be no wealth at all; no products; no services; no nothing -- just crushing poverty, hardship and human suffering.
And once again there will be no worldwide outrage.
That is statism: the end game.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Punch Pressing the Press

The First Amendment unambiguously provides that: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Unambiguously means that there are no exceptions; no ifs, ands or buts. Federal, state and local governments therefore have zero authority to violate this crucial provision in the Bill of Rights protecting news reporters doing their jobs.

But the entire Bill of Rights has been shredded in the United States of America of late and freedom of the press has been punch pressed with gaping holes right along with the rest of our fundamental constitutional rights.

Witness the outrageous example involving veteran reporter Jana Winter, who has been ordered by a Colorado court to reveal her source for a true story about James Holmes, the criminal defendant accused of perpetrating the infamous Aurora Colorado movie theater massacre in July, 2012.

It goes without saying that news reporters cannot do their jobs without sources and there would be no sources if reporters could be required by the government authorities to reveal their identities in spite of confidential agreements between the parties.

The First Amendment freedom of the press provision is supposed to protect that crucial relationship between reporters and their sources.

Apparently Ms. Winter’s source violated a gag order imposed by the trial judge directed at the cops and anyone involved in the criminal investigation. The source told Ms. Winter about a chilling and incriminating notebook the gunman had sent to his psychiatrist, a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people,"  before the shooting.

(Gag orders of this nature are yet another dubious abridgement of First Amendment rights, but that is another story for another time.)

Ms. Winter duly reported the facts, which she attributed to “law enforcement sources, “in a bombshell story appearing on Fox, which is a New York State based publisher. The notebook contained “drawings of what he was going to do in it -- drawings and illustrations of the massacre," as well as “gun-wielding stick figures blowing away other stick figures.”   

Holmes’ defense attorneys claim that the leaked information in violation of the gag order, which led to the incriminating revelation on national news, amounts to a violation of their client’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. Their efforts to identify and punish the leaker failed so they directed their aim against the reporter to try to force her to reveal her source.

The Colorado trial judge agreed with defense counsel and issued a subpoena against Winter to force her to testify concerning the identity of her source. Since Winter is from New York the defense, with authorization from the Colorado court, took the matter to a New York court to enforce the subpoena and the New York court did just that.  

The issue is now on appeal in the New York Court of Appeals.

Both Colorado and New York have so-called “shield laws” designed to protect the activities of news reporters, but the Colorado law would force Winter to reveal her source in this circumstance while the New York law would protect her with immunity.

Since the incident occurred in Colorado Holmes’ defense attorneys have so far successfully argued that the New Your law doesn’t apply.

If the New York Court of Appeals affirms the lower courts, Ms. Winter will ultimately be forced to either reveal the identity of her source to the Colorado court or face being thrown into prison for criminal contempt.

While the attorneys argue on and on about which shield law should apply, I say that there can be be no law or statute which might be interpreted to nullify the First Amendment. If this reporter is forced to either reveal her source or be thrown in prison her constitutional rights will be cruelly violated.

The First Amendment prohibits the Colorado judge from issuing a subpoena against any reporter under these circumstances; the First Amendment prohibits the New York courts from enforcing any such subpoena, period, regardless of which shield law applies. The shield laws have no bearing upon the validity of First Amendment which is the supreme law of the land.

If the defendant Holmes’ Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial by an impartial jury has been violated, that is another and separate matter altogether. The Colorado trial judge has plenty of alternatives available to protect the defendant’s rights without violating Ms. Winter’s First Amendment rights. She is certainly not the criminal here.

The defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights do not trump a reporter’s First Amendment rights.

The government authorities here are the ones who are guilty of unlawfully punch pressing the press. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Our Municipal Father in Heaven, Part 2

Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”
I hope you weren’t sensing contempt from me. It wasn’t your belief that surprised me so much as how boldly you expressed it.
“I was offended by that. I really was.”
(From the New York News & Politics Interview: In Conversation: Antonin Scalia)

So Justice Antonin Scalia, a devout Catholic Christian deciding cases on the United States Supreme Court, was mightily offended by a non-believer expressing mild surprise about his religious beliefs.

It just goes to show us how easily people’s tender sensibilities can become offended when it comes to matters of religion, even in a private setting, and, of course, that much more so in a government context when the government is actually promoting religion.

If I were a devout Christian, (like Justice Scalia and the vast majority of my fellow Americans), one who fervently believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ, that He is God, was born of a virgin, sent by God the Father as the only savior of mankind from eternal damnation, crucified as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins, resurrected from death and ascended into heaven, I would likewise be offended if my municipal government sponsored religious prayers at town meetings which were not Christian prayers.

If I were like most Christians in America, I would welcome government sponsorship, promotion and support of monotheistic religion in general and Christianity in particular. But -- I would take particular offense to any government sponsored prayer that failed at a minimum to recognize Jesus Christ as God. If I were a Catholic, I might be offended by Protestant style prayers. If I were a Protestant, Catholic prayers might offend me.

Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan or Mormon prayers would definitely offend my religious sensibilities even though I know that many of those folks probably believe in the same God I do.  I would think that the government has no business promoting those kinds of religions because doing so plainly violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause. 

Moreover, I’d be profoundly offended, enraged to put it mildly, if the town mayor invited an atheist to deliver a government sponsored invocation which called upon those in attendance to stand, bow their heads, and give thanks for the fact that all gods are imaginary and therefore we must steadfastly rely upon logic and reason alone to guide our important government decisions.

Well, of course, anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m not a Christian; they know that I’m a fierce defender of the Establishment Clause because I’m convinced that government is public and religion is private therefore neither should be allowed to interfere with the other. There must be judicially enforced separation between Church and State for the proper constitutional protection of both.

Unfortunately our United States Supreme Court doesn’t quite see it that way. In 1983 it held, for example, (6-3) as a matter of historical context that it is perfectly proper, and not violative of the Establishment Clause, for a state legislature to hire a Christian chaplain at taxpayer expense whose job is to conduct sectarian Christian prayers at every opening session of that government body.

The United States Congress has been doing exactly the same thing for well over 200 years now reasoned the majority. The very first Congress that made the Establishment Clause the law of the land promptly hired a Christian chaplain to conduct sectarian Christian prayers at legislative sessions. Apparently no one was offended by that then so the practice continues to this day with the explicit sanction of the highest court in the land.

We all know, however, that the First Amendment Establishment Clause is hardly the only provision in the Bill of Rights that Congress and the government have been violating repeatedly from day one.

The Fifth Amendment, for instance, supposedly guarantees equal protection of the law and that no person shall be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law. Tell that to the slaves and the blacks who didn’t fully own and enjoy the rights to equal protection and due process until more than 150 years after the Bill of Rights became law and nearly 70 years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.

In Part 1 of this essay, Our Municipal Father in Heaven, I boldly predicted citing several compelling reasons why the five current Christian Catholic Justices on SCOTUS will once again throw the Establishment Clause under the constitutional bus for the purpose of sanctioning government sponsored sectarian Christian prayers at the municipal level of American government.

I’ve just now read the transcript of oral arguments before the court in the current case. As a libertarian and defender of the First Amendment it offers me no reason for optimism. SCOTUS is probably going to use the same reasoning above – 5 to 4 this time I predict -- to stamp its judicial seal of approval for government sponsored Christian prayers at municipal sessions.

After all, the President of the United States, Congress, and prominent members of both major American political parties have each filed legal briefs with the Court formally requesting SCOTUS to sanction municipal government Christian prayers.

Of course they have. They represent the vast majority of Christians who want the government to support, promote and sponsor their religion. They don’t give a damn about the minorities which the Constitution was written to protect. All they care about is placating their constituents.

Even the lawyer who argued my side of the case, to my utter astonishment, caved in almost completely conceding that government sponsored prayer is permissible – “as long as the prayers aren’t overly sectarian in nature” – he lamely argued.

Too bad though that the conservative Justices plainly indicated that they aren’t especially inclined to involve themselves in the business of censoring or determining the content of government prayers.

This lawyer even went so far as to concede that the Court can ignore the sensibilities of non-believers or pantheistic believers when fashioning their rationale allowing government sponsored prayers.

Yes, the Court understands and will perhaps try to formulate a decision allowing government sponsored prayers which might mitigate any potential offence to Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and other monotheists, but a substantial non-believer minority in America will be forced to endure a clear violation of their constitutional First Amendment rights in perpetuity.

That’s because, in spite of the Establishment Clause, we Americans have an establishment of monotheistic religion and an official government God in America. He’s engraved on all of our coins, our currency, in our national motto and pledge of allegiance.

Our elected government officials, bureaucrats, agents and employees at every level of government bow their heads in prayer to this God every day and ask us all to do the same during the performance of government functions. They don’t care who is offended or whether anyone has a right to be offended.

Justice Scalia can be offended but atheists cannot. As far as he and his SCOTUS are concerned we are all, believers and non-believers alike, expected to bow our collective heads and pray to our government God: Our Municipal Father in Heaven. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

US Constitution Illegal in Modesto

What better evidence is there today that America has morphed into a statist police state than this example of a California college which actually bars its own students from exercising free speech on campus, including handing out free copies of the United States Constitution?

That’s right. On September 17, 2013 – Constitution Day in America – a student interested in starting an organization called Young Americans for Liberty at Modesto Junior College was accosted by the campus police for the “crime” of peaceably passing out pocket-size pamphlets of the Constitution to fellow students.

The cop escorted 25-year-old student Robert Van Tuinen to a school administrative office where an official showed him a binder with “rules governing free speech” on campus. He was admonished that that there is only one small designated place “in front of the student center, in that little cement area,” where free expression is allowed, but that two people are already using it.
“You’d have to wait,” croaked the statist. “You could go on (Sept.) 20th, the 27th or you can go into October.” Then he was advised to make an appointment with the vice president of student services for further explanation of the “rules.”
"It was a tense situation," recalls Van Tuinen. "To be told I can't do something as basic as handing out the Constitution was frustrating."
“Watching the video [that Van Tuinen recorded of the entire incident] is a combination of depressing and nauseating, to see what rigmarole students have to go through just to express themselves on campus,” declared Robert Shibley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has taken on campus speech codes around the nation.

“They [the rules] are imposed in an attempt to sanitize the public space of anything that might offend somebody.” Shibley added. “The fact is, no school specifically needs a speech code. They have the ability keep order on campus. Of people are too loud, harassing people, or blocking traffic they have the means to address that.”
This sad story just makes me wonder out load about to what part of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights which guarantees free speech do these statist college campus administrative officials not understand.
The government “shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech,” period. No law literally means no law; no rule; no prohibition; no abridgment; no infringement; no exception; no nothing.
No means no!
But in a police state, like we have in California and the rest of America today, no means no constitutional rights because the:
US Constitution is illegal in Modesto.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


When Adolph Hitler and his homicidal gang of Nazi thugs transformed Germany into a noxious police state there were still a tiny minority of the oppressed German citizens who covertly resisted the outrage with heroic acts of defiance, sabotage, and outright murder.

Yes, there were many instances in which Nazi party officials, SS officers and Gestapo goons were brutally assassinated by disgruntled Germans who hated what they were doing to their beloved nation. Hitler himself narrowly missed death at the hands of his own countrymen on several occasions.

Today we immortalize those brave resisters in our history books as heroes, and our admiration for them is well deserved. They stood up to the parasitical monster’s oppressing them and risked their lives for any opportunity to take them down. Few people today will recall any sympathy for the Gestapo. They lived by the sword and deserved to die by it.

There is no safe refuge for hated monster political oppressors of this world. They might as well display targets on their backs as they go about conducting their nasty business. Sooner or later someone who hates them, someone who doesn’t care about the consequences, will find an opportunity to strike back.

It’s called blowback.

That’s exactly what we saw last Friday at Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 3, when a 23-year-old man, identified by the FBI as Paul Anthony Ciancia, armed with an assault rifle, went on a murderous rampage targeting TSA officers.

“Why did he do it?” says the headline.

It really doesn’t take a genius to figure that out in my humble opinion.  

This was blowback.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning what this guy did. I don’t believe in solving problems with violence. But I can certainly understand why he did it. He hates the United States government – especially the TSA -- and he was looking for revenge.

He had enough ammunition to "have literally killed everyone in that terminal," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti observed. But he apparently wasn’t after everyone or just anyone. He was targeting only TSA officers.  

Witnesses described how the gunman was asking people: "Hey, are you TSA?" If they said "no," he would move on. One man said that he had just seen the gunman "calmly" shoot a TSA officer and then walked toward him asking: "TSA?" "I just shook my head," said the witness, "And he kept going."

Gee, why would anybody hate the United States government?

Why would anybody hate and want to target the TSA?

Why would anyone hate Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich?

Why would anyone hate and want to target the Gestapo?