Race 2

We well know the evils of racism. Racial hatreds have been the cause, through oppression, persecution, discrimination, and attempted genocide, of extreme human suffering.

In the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination against Blacks in the public sphere illegal; and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed all legal barriers to Blacks voting in federal, state and local elections, so theoretically enfranchising all adult, sane, free Americans. Laws against “mixed race” marriages persisted in some southern states for a couple more years, but were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967.

Of course acts of law cannot root out irrational hatreds from people’s minds. It certainly cannot be claimed that after 1967 race differences went unnoticed, or that no one was disadvantaged in America by his or her race.

But it could fairly be said that between then and 2009, race was in general a less troubling issue than it had been.

Then in 2008 a vast number of Whites decided to vote Barack Hussein Obama into the presidency of the USA for no better reason than that he was black. By doing so, they wanted to prove that they were not racists. What they actually proved was that they were.  

And ever since the absurd election of Obama – a wholly unqualified candidate, but the son of a black African father and a white American mother – race has become a hugely troublesome issue again. President Obama consciously tried to make it so. He has succeeded. And the result is that Black racism has become a serious problem; interfering most disastrously with the administration of justice, most dangerously with the enforcement of law and order, and most vociferously in the universities.


For Obama’s  defense of the Black Lives Matter movement, see here.

For examples of Obama’s leaping to judgment and taking sides in disputed cases of Black arrests or deaths during violent confrontations: the Professor Henry Gates case, see here; the Trayvon Martin case, see here; his quick reactions to the deaths of the black men Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, and his ignoring of the shooting of the white victim Kate Steinle by an illegal Hispanic alien in San Francisco, see here.

For the refusal by Obama’s appointee, Attorney General Eric Holder, to allow the prosecution of the Black Panthers see here.

For a probable effect  of Obama’s biased attitude to the deaths of Blacks in confrontation with the police – ie. the murder of two policemen in New York after the death in custody of the black man Eric Garner – see here.

For the Black racist protests at the universities of Missouri and Yale, see here and here. Also see our own post, Our conspiracy theory, November 12, 2015.

For similar student protests at Dartmouth, see here, and Amhurst, here. And at Wright State University, see here. And at Johns Hopkins, see here.


This is from Campus Reform by the Dartmouth Review Staff:

Black-clad protesters gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall Thursday night, forming a crowd roughly one hundred fifty strong.

Ostensibly there to denounce the removal of shirts from a display in Collis, Dartmouth’s student center the Black Lives Matter collective began to sing songs and chant their eponymous catchphrase. The band then marched into Baker-Berry Library.

“F*** you, you filthy white f***s!”

“F*** you and your comfort!”

“F*** you, you racist s***!”

These shouted epithets were the first indication that many students had of the coming storm. The sign-wielding, obscenity-shouting protesters proceeded through the usually quiet backwaters of the library. They surged first through first-floor Baker-Berry, then up the stairs to the normally undisturbed floors of the building, before coming back down to the ground floor of Novak Café.

Throngs of protesters converged around fellow students who had not joined in their long march. They confronted students who bore “symbols of oppression” such as “gangster hats” and Beats-brand headphones. The flood of demonstrators opened the doors of study spaces with students reviewing for exams. Those who tried to close their doors were harassed further. One student abandoned the study room and ran out of the library. The protesters followed her out of the library, shouting obscenities the whole way.

Students who refused to listen to or join their outbursts were shouted down:“Stand the f*** up!” “You filthy racist white piece of s***!” Men and women alike were pushed and shoved by the group.

“If we can’t have it, shut it down!” they cried. Another woman was pinned to a wall by protesters who unleashed their insults, shouting “filthy white b****!” in her face.

In the immediate aftermath of the demonstration, social media was abuzz with comments condemning the protesters for their tactics. Many students who had experienced the protests took advantage of Yik Yak’s anonymity to air their grievances. Some students reached out toThe Dartmouth Review to provide additional details.

An anonymous member of the class of 2019 explained that while working on a group project in a private study room, his undergraduate advisor came in and expressed his disappointment that the he was not joining in the protest. The advisor then demanded that he and the other members of his group project to leave the room and join in.

Another member of the class of 2019 recalled clapping after a protester said, “let’s give a round of applause for the beautiful people of color who were here for this protest.” The protester then turned on her saying, “for all of you that are sitting down and applauding right now, we don’t care about you.”

Protesters have also spoken out in the aftermath of their march. One woman, who identified herself as one of the protesters in a lengthy post to Facebook, wrote, “we raised hell, we caused discomfort, and we made our voices heard all throughout this campus in the name of standing up for our brothers and sisters across the country who are staring terrorism and assault directly in the face.” She went on to accuse those she thought were insincere in their support for the movement of “faking allyship”

So if you are white, don’t try to pretend that you ally yourself with this Black racist movement. You won’t get away with it.

What can you do? Lie in the dust and apologize for your “white privilege”?

Or continue the long fight against racism of any kind, including this kind, in whatever way you can?

Posted under Commentary, corruption, education, Ethics, genocide, government, Law, Leftism, liberalism, Progressivism, Race, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 16, 2015

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In the US army kissing is far worse than desertion 1

Did you know that blatant heterosexualism is now considered one of the worst of crimes – arguably the worst?

A combat photographer faces harsher punishment for making passes at women than Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faces for desertion.

His name is Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon. He is accused of touching, kissing and making passes at women.

The pervert! The monster! He should be put away for a hunded years, says the Department of Defense.

This is from the Washington Times:

He is an award-winning combat photographer who stands accused of trying to pick up women in the public affairs office at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and for that prosecutors wanted to put him in prison for 130 years.

The prosecutorial zeal was so great that an Air Force officer appointed to investigate the case said the piled-up charges were combined to “artificially exaggerate the criminality of the accused”,  who often was simply “socially maladroit and crass”.

This is a glimpse into the new U.S. Armed Forces and its gender wars. …

The accused is Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon II. The 39-year-old arrived at Minot, a nuclear arsenal on the northern edge of the continental United States, to teach others as one of the Air Force’s best at capturing war in photographs.

What he witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan stalked him all the way to North Dakota, along with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse. He carries prescription drugs to fight off nightmares and excruciating back pain.

But he doesn’t deserve medical treatment because …

His supporters say the stigma of being an accused sexual harasser is so deep-seated that Minot top brass isolated him and deliberately tried to block medical care.

Brace yourself to hear what the swine did:

A Washington Times examination shows that, over a 14-month span, the women’s accusations, in total, amount to three kisses and six touches, plus a series of reported inappropriate comments of a sexual nature. If the married Sgt. Allmon did what the women said, he was tastelessly hitting on them.

Sgt. Allmon’s sister, Lisa A. Roper, does not believe the women. The business executive in San Antonio, Texas, is her brother’s fiercest defender. She estimates she will spend $200,000 on his legal defense, which includes a former sheriff’s deputy as investigator, a civilian lawyer and a former Army judge advocate who took the case pro bono. Sgt. Allmon is also represented by an Air Force judge advocate.

“I want you to understand how women can destroy a man,” said Ms. Roper. “It was out and out vindictiveness set up to destroy a man who didn’t do what they wanted. A group of young women who are brand new in the military and because they didn’t get their way they set out to destroy a man of 19 years in the Air Force.”

But the US Air Force knows right from wrong. Its thirst for justice demands that such villainy be punished with no less than 100 years imprisonment.  

Maj. Jamie Humphries, a Minot public affairs officer, said the Air Force does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.

When the Air Force convened a pretrial hearing, known as an Article 32, in December, the government had stacked so many charges against the enlisted man that, if convicted, he faced over a century in prison.

“I cannot fathom how this got to the level this got to,” Ms. Roper said.

On Sgt. Allmon’s legal team is Jeffrey Addicott, a former Army judge advocate who is now a law professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. The lead civilian defender is Virginia Hermosa, who practices law in Austin and has served as a prosecutor for the Texas attorney general.

Mr. Addicott is also director of the school’s Center for Terrorism Law from which he goes to bat for service members, pro bono, who he believes are treated unfairly by the military justice system.

What is desertion and endangering fellow soldiers compared to kissing, touching, and making comments of a sexual nature?

In the Allmon case, he expresses astonishment that the Air Force is trying him in a felony court instead of seeking other administrative or lesser judicial options. As a comparison, he notes that the hearing officer in the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is charged with the serious offense of desertion for abandoning his buddies on the battlefield, recommended a special court-martial, the lowest level, for misdemeanors.

“The full weight of the military chain of command has come down on Aaron because the chain of command has abandoned justice and elected expediency,” Mr. Addicott said. … “The Air Force … has overreacted against Aaron in a manner that is absolutely an injustice but is also degrading the esprit de corps of unit cohesion all across the military. Even assuming all the charges are true, which they are not, this conduct as charged would warrant nonjudicial punishment, not the highest level of action at a general court-martial where Aaron could lose all his retirement benefits and go to jail. … The role the Article 32 officer is to make objective findings and recommendations to the convening authority putting aside all the inevitable ‘noise’ associated with any given criminal charge. … Sadly, he succumbed to the noise, which in this case involves the shrill screams of expediency. If nothing else, even a cursory review of the 32 officer’s report demonstrates how deep the insidiousness of political correctness has penetrated our military and its justice system.”

Who is this scoundrel Allmon? What is known about him?

Sgt. Allmon arrived in Minot in 2012 as one of the military’s most recognized combat photographers. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he worked with a joint unit in Hawaii tasked with recovering the remains of U.S. war dead in Asia. …

[His] previous stops seemed to have prepared him for anything. He hooked up with special operations warriors, fighter pilots and Army brigades to capture in pictures the horrors and glories of Iraq and Afghanistan.

He deployed with an Army regiment that took part in the battle for the town of Tal Afar, Iraq, on the Syrian border in 2005.

The regiment’s citation for January and February 2006 said he “demonstrated technical expertise and his efforts to preserve the legacy of the regiment was critical to completing the regimental history project and documentary. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the regiment of riflemen, and the United States Air Force”. 

Sgt. Allmon had accompanied troops during the U.S. invasion’s earlier days. In 2004, he posted at the huge air base in Balad, Iraq, leaving 14 times to snap photos of American troops.

“He demonstrated exceptional composure by continuing to photograph, while receiving direct small arms fire and mortar rounds during combat patrols,” said a citation for an Air Force Achievement Medal. “He entered a tent moments after it was hit by mortar to ensure all occupants were out, and he assisted with the care of injured airmen.”

In 2008, he was named “military photographer of the year” for photographs titled “Solitude” of an F-16 jet fighter.

A war hero then?  Maybe. But –

At Minot, Sgt. Allmon’s tenure quickly started going bad. In early 2013, he and a co-worker got into a dispute over a work product and she filed a complaint that he hit on her. That complaint was handled administratively.

What exactly did he do?

The master sergeant who conducted the investigation said that in an office, with other airmen present, one knocked into her knee and Sgt. Allmon then touched the point right above the kneecap to show what had happened.

The master sergeant said he interviewed others in the public affairs office and none complained about Sgt. Allmon. The master sergeant could not substantiate the woman’s accusations of inappropriate remarks. …

Nevertheless …

The Minot personnel treated Sgt. Allmon as a malingerer. They resisted the PTSD diagnosis for fear of turning him into a sympathetic figure.

They tried to prevent him having back surgery at the San Antonio Military Medical Center:

Army doctors [admitted him] for emergency back surgery. … Minot officials immediately tried to get him back. …

[But]  Army doctors stood firm, and Minot backed off. Sgt. Allmon had his second back surgery, to widen the spinal canal, on Aug. 13 and is now recuperating at his sister’s home. His medical chart shows he has chronic cauda equina, which damages nerves and disrupts bladder function and lower-extremity movement.

But he will still be tried in a felony court for kissing, touching and making comments of a sexual nature.

May this story be a warning to us all.

Against doing what exactly? Well, …

Posted under Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 6, 2015

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Atheism, science, and the law 9

Any idea that needs a law to protect it from criticism is ipso facto a bad idea.

That is our own maxim. We repeat it often. It cannot be repeated often enough.

There used to be laws, in Western secular states, protecting religious ideas; usually the ideas of a particular religion favored by the state. The crime was called “blasphemy”.

Such a crime, carrying severe punishment, including the death sentence, still exists in Islamic countries.

And the crime still exists in Communist countries. As Communists do not acknowledge their ideology to be a religion, they do not call it blasphemy. It is called an offense against the state, or “dissidence”. It was often treated as a mental illness in the Soviet Union. It was also often punished by execution, not only in Russia but wherever the iron fist of the Soviet regime was the law.

In America the First Amendment to the Constituion, as everybody knows, enshrined freedom of belief and freedom of speech. Yet there lingers in the mores of the American people, generation after generation, the notion that religious beliefs should not be publicly criticized. Such criticism is felt to be a discourtesy at best, and at worst an actual defiance of the First Amendment itself!

Even some scientists respect this social taboo.

We quote a good article on the subject from the New Yorker, by Lawrence M. Krauss:

As a physicist, I do a lot of writing and public speaking about the remarkable nature of our cosmos, primarily because I think science is a key part of our cultural heritage and needs to be shared more broadly. Sometimes, I refer to the fact that religion and science are often in conflict; from time to time, I ridicule religious dogma. When I do, I sometimes get accused in public of being a “militant atheist”. Even a surprising number of my colleagues politely ask if it wouldn’t be better to avoid alienating religious people. Shouldn’t we respect religious sensibilities, masking potential conflicts and building common ground with religious groups so as to create a better, more equitable world?

I found myself thinking about those questions this week as I followed the story of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who directly disobeyed a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and, as a result, was jailed for contempt of court. Davis’s supporters, including the Kentucky senator and Presidential candidate Rand Paul, are protesting what they believe to be an affront to her religious freedom. It is “absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties”, Paul said, on CNN.

The Kim Davis story raises a basic question: To what extent should we allow people to break the law if their religious views are in conflict with it? It’s possible to take that question to an extreme that even Senator Paul might find absurd: imagine, for example, a jihadist whose interpretation of the Koran suggested that he should be allowed to behead infidels and apostates. Should he be allowed to break the law? Or — to consider a less extreme case — imagine an Islamic-fundamentalist county clerk who would not let unmarried men and women enter the courthouse together, or grant marriage licenses to unveiled women. For Rand Paul, what separates these cases from Kim Davis’s? The biggest difference, I suspect, is that Senator Paul agrees with Kim Davis’s religious views but disagrees with those of the hypothetical Islamic fundamentalist.

The problem, obviously, is that what is sacred to one person can be meaningless (or repugnant) to another. That’s one of the reasons why a modern secular society generally legislates against actions, not ideas. No idea or belief should be illegal; conversely, no idea should be so sacred that it legally justifies actions that would otherwise be illegal. Davis is free to believe whatever she wants, just as the jihadist is free to believe whatever he wants; in both cases, the law constrains not what they believe but what they do.

In recent years, this territory has grown murkier. Under the banner of religious freedom, individuals, states, and even — in the case of Hobby Lobby — corporations have been arguing that they should be exempt from the law on religious grounds. (The laws from which they wish to claim exemption do not focus on religion; instead, they have to do with social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage.) The government has a compelling interest in insuring that all citizens are treated equally. But “religious freedom” advocates argue that religious ideals should be elevated above all others as a rationale for action. In a secular society, this is inappropriate.

The Kim Davis controversy exists because, as a culture, we have elevated respect for religious sensibilities to an inappropriate level that makes society less free, not more. Religious liberty should mean that no set of religious ideals are treated differently from other ideals. Laws should not be enacted whose sole purpose is to denigrate them, but, by the same token, the law shouldn’t elevate them, either.

In science, of course, the very word “sacred” is profane. No ideas, religious or otherwise, get a free pass. The notion that some idea or concept is beyond question or attack is anathema to the entire scientific undertaking. This commitment to open questioning is deeply tied to the fact that science is an atheistic enterprise. “My practice as a scientist is atheistic,” the biologist J.B.S. Haldane wrote, in 1934. “That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career.” It’s ironic, really, that so many people are fixated on the relationship between science and religion: basically, there isn’t one. In my more than thirty years as a practicing physicist, I have never heard the word “God” mentioned in a scientific meeting. Belief or nonbelief in God is irrelevant to our understanding of the workings of nature—just as it’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not citizens are obligated to follow the law.

Because science holds that no idea is sacred, it’s inevitable that it draws people away from religion. The more we learn about the workings of the universe, the more purposeless it seems. Scientists have an obligation not to lie about the natural world. Even so, to avoid offense, they sometimes misleadingly imply that today’s discoveries exist in easy harmony with preëxisting religious doctrines, or remain silent rather than pointing out contradictions between science and religious doctrine. It’s a strange inconsistency, since scientists often happily disagree with other kinds of beliefs. Astronomers have no problem ridiculing the claims of astrologists, even though a significant fraction of the public believes these claims. Doctors have no problem condemning the actions of anti-vaccine activists who endanger children. And yet, for reasons of decorum, many scientists worry that ridiculing certain religious claims alienates the public from science. When they do so, they are being condescending at best and hypocritical at worst.

Ultimately, when we hesitate to openly question beliefs because we don’t want to risk offense, questioning itself becomes taboo. It is here that the imperative for scientists to speak out seems to me to be most urgent. As a result of speaking out on issues of science and religion, I have heard from many young people about the shame and ostracism they experience after merely questioning their family’s faith. Sometimes, they find themselves denied rights and privileges because their actions confront the faith of others. Scientists need to be prepared to demonstrate by example that questioning perceived truth, especially “sacred truth”, is an essential part of living in a free country.

I see a direct link, in short, between the ethics that guide science and those that guide civic life. Cosmology, my specialty, may appear to be far removed from Kim Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, but in fact the same values apply in both realms. Whenever scientific claims are presented as unquestionable, they undermine science. Similarly, when religious actions or claims about sanctity can be made with impunity in our society, we undermine the very basis of modern secular democracy. We owe it to ourselves and to our children not to give a free pass to governments — totalitarian, theocratic, or democratic — that endorse, encourage, enforce, or otherwise legitimize the suppression of open questioning in order to protect ideas that are considered “sacred”. Five hundred years of science have liberated humanity from the shackles of enforced ignorance. We should celebrate this openly and enthusiastically, regardless of whom it may offend.

If that is what causes someone to be called a militant atheist, then no scientist should be ashamed of the label.

We have said it is a good article. And what we have quoted, we heartily agree with.

But we left out one paragraph (where the dots are).

Here it is:

This reticence can have significant consequences. Consider the example of Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers are calling for a government shutdown unless federal funds for Planned Parenthood are stripped from spending bills for the fiscal year starting October 1st. Why? Because Planned Parenthood provides fetal tissue samples from abortions to scientific researchers hoping to cure diseases, from Alzheimer’s to cancer. (Storing and safeguarding that tissue requires resources, and Planned Parenthood charges researchers for the costs.) It’s clear that many of the people protesting Planned Parenthood are opposed to abortion on religious grounds and are, to varying degrees, anti-science. Should this cause scientists to clam up at the risk of further offending or alienating them? Or should we speak out loudly to point out that, independent of one’s beliefs about what is sacred, this tissue would otherwise be thrown away, even though it could help improve and save lives?

Either the author did not watch the videos that recorded Planned Parnethood personnel talking about their trade in the body parts of aborted fetuses, or he did not hear, or chose to forget, some statements they made. The videos make it perfecty clear that the organization was not just selling the parts in order to cover costs, but carryng on the trade for profit.

Now we have nothing against trade for profit. On the contrary, we think the making of profit is the morally best and most socially useful reason for selling anything and providing any service.

But it happens that the selling of the body parts of aborted fetuses for profit is against the law.  So exactly the same objection that Lawrence Krauss makes to Kim Davis’s action – that she broke the law – applies to Planned Parenthood’s action.

What seems to cloud his judgment in the case of Planned Parenthood – if he did watch the videos and take in what was said –  is the fact that the body parts went to scientists for the great cause (and we do think it is a great cause) of scientific research.

But however good the cause that the illegal trade was serving, it was still illegal.

In fact, what emerges from those videos is criminal action more morally outrageous than just selling the parts of aborted fetuses. (Note, please, that we are calling them fetuses, not “babies”, in order not to use controversial language.) It is revealed, in an interview with an employee of a firm that bought the body parts, that Planned Parenthood was urging pregnant women to have an abortion – even when they were uncertain that they wanted one, and even in one case when the woman was inclined NOT to have one – so that Planned Parenthood could sell the fetus’s body parts and so make a profit. 

That is iniquity.

Now scientists like Lawrence Krauss might argue persuasively that there should not be a law forbidding the selling of fetuses, whole or in parts, for profit. Just as Kim Davis might argue that there should not be a law that compels her to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. But there are such laws. And if it is wrong for Kim Davis to break the law on the grounds that it does a disservice to her idea of a higher good, so it is wrong for Planned Parenthood to break the law even if by doing so it is serving the genuinely higher good of science.

We have said that Lawrence Krauss’s judgment may be clouded by his belief in the supreme goodness of scientific research. We will not go so far as to say that he holds that end to be “sacred”, because we agree with him that the word has no place in the vocabulary of atheism. So we toss the accusation aside.

It could be said that our moral judgment of Planned Parenthood – accurate though our allegation is that the organization broke the law – may be clouded by our extreme distaste for their abortion services. (Note that we call them “services”, firmly resisting the temptation to call them “abuses”.) It  is true that we have an arguably irrational prejudice in favor of human life. We very much dislike abortion – while acknowledging that there are reasonable grounds for it in certain cases, and on no account arguing for it to be made wholly illegal. But obviously our objection to it is not on religious grounds. We do not believe that it frustrates “God’s purposes”. We are against it because we are against the deliberate destruction of human life - unless the human in question has forfeited his or her life by taking someone else’s.

Those who are for abortion on demand accuse those of us who are against it of being inconsistent when we call ourselves “pro-life”, because many of us are for the death penalty. By the same token, we can accuse them of inconsistency when they are for the destruction of life in the womb, but against putting convicted murderers to death. We are for saving the innocent and punishing the guilty, while they are for destroying the innocent and saving the guilty.


(Hat-tip for the article to our reader, Stephen)

The grandstanding martyrdom of a government clerk 6

A Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, has been jailed for contempt of court. She refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though ordered to do so by a US District Court Judge.

She is against same-sex marriage because, she says, her Christian faith teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Which it futilely does.

(But by saying that fobidding homosexuality is futile we do not mean to imply “same-sex marriage” makes sense. It doesn’t. It’s a farce. However many people of whatever sexual proclivities decide to form a union, there has to be at least one man and one woman among them for it to be marriage in the universal historical meaning of the word. It would be best to leave marriage to the religions, and for the state – or rather the states – to recognize Contracts of Union for all sorts of voluntary conjugal relationships.)

Kim Davis should issue the licenses whatever her thoughts and feelings about same-sex marriage, because it is her job to do so. The principle of “separation of Church and State” must apply to her case. She is as free as everybody else to express her opinion of same-sex marriage, homosexuality, Christian doctrine, and this horrible government with its ever more foolish laws and regulations that America is now groaning under; but not to refuse to do the job she is paid to do. 

What is wrong is that she has tenure. The proper reward for her refusal is dismissal.

Nobody should ever be unsackable. Most particularly, government employees should not be unsackable. Tens of thousands of them need to be sacked – urgently, The head of government, Barack Obama, needs to be sacked – urgently. Like Kim Davis, he doesn’t obey the law.

Government employees should not have trade unions: government negotiating terms of employment with itself is absurd.

Government employees should not have the vote (as some of our commenters have recently compellingly argued).

Bureaucrats all too easily get uppity and dictatorial. In Britain they are called “civil servants”. They may forget to be civil, but at least their job description defines their place as servants, not masters. Governments shoud be servants, not masters.

If Kim Davis cannot bring herself to do her job, she should leave it. She’s no doubt enjoying being a Christian martyr at present. Martyrdom is the non plus ultra of Christian virtue; best if it entails death, and best of all if it entails agonizing death. We hope Ms. Davis won’t go that far. We’re very much against it.

Posted under Christianity, Ethics, government, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 4, 2015

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Obama’s race war 8

The first – arguably the only – duty of government is to keep the people safe. Safe from foreign attack. Safe from criminal depredation. Safe in title to property. Safe in entering into contract.

It must do this by guarding borders well; and by keeping a well trained and well quipped military, and being ready to use it against  foreign enemies.

And within its borders, by enforcing the rule of law, for which it must keep well-trained and well-equipped police forces.

The police are the strong arm of government.

What can the people do if the government demoralizes and weakens its police? Where shall they turn for protection?

If people are armed, they may survive, but insecurely.

Rebellion, riot, chaos, bloodshed is to be expected – which will allow a tyrannically minded government to give itself emergency powers and impose ever more oppressive rule.

The Democratic Party, still oppressively in power as the executive branch of government in the US, now openly demands the weakening and demoralizing of the forces of law and order, and cheers on those who defy the law and call for the killing of police officers.   

Matthew Vadum writes at Canada Free Press:

The Democratic National Committee has officially endorsed the increasingly violent Black Lives Matter movement whose paranoid radical left-wing members accuse police nationwide of systemic anti-black racism and brutality against black suspects.

Throwing their lot in with black racists and radical Black Power militants who have openly expressed support for the murder of police officers, Democrats embraced a statement that slams the U.S. for allegedly systemic police violence against African-Americans. The statement is not extreme enough for the Black Lives Matter movement whose leaders quickly rejected it. Last month members of the movement unveiled a list of policy proposals they claim will help to bring about “a world where the police don’t kill people.”

What’s especially interesting about the resolution that hundreds of delegates at the DNC meeting in Minneapolis on Friday approved is that it accuses American police of “extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children.”

In other words, it is now official Democratic Party policy that there are roving death squads manned by police officers who specifically stalk and execute without trial black men, women, and children across America. Police in the United States today, says the DNC, are no better than the Sturmabteilung and Einsatzgruppen of Nazi Germany, the Soviet-era Cheka and NKVD, and the (Democrat-led) Ku Klux Klan, all of which used extrajudicial killings for political repression.

A copy of the draft resolution obtained by BuzzFeed News before the grotesque anti-American pander-fest Friday uses the same kind of inflammatory, dishonest wording Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground comrades used to endorse the Black Power movement and condemn the U.S. during their bombing sprees that wreaked havoc on American society.

The full wording of the resolution as approved by DNC delegates does not appear to have surfaced online but the draft states:

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party believes in the American Dream and the promise of liberty and justice for all, and we know that this dream is a nightmare for too many young people stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy; and WHEREAS, we, the Democratic National Committee, have repeatedly called for race and justice — demilitarization of police, ending racial profiling, criminal justice reform, and investments in young people, families, and communities — after Trayvon Martin, after Michael Brown, after Tamir Rice, after Freddie Gray, after Sandra Bland, after Christian Taylor, after too many others lost in the unacceptable epidemic of extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men, women, and children at the hands of police …

WHEREAS, without systemic reform this state of unrest jeopardizes the well-being of our democracy and our nation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming “Black lives matter” and the “say her name” efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children …

(The Say Her Name campaign is an offshoot of Black Lives Matter that claims not enough attention is being paid to black female victims of police brutality.)

In the document the DNC also “renews our previous calls to action and urges Congress to adopt systemic reforms at state, local, and federal levels to prohibit law enforcement from profiling based on race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, to minimize the transfer of excess equipment (like the military-grade vehicles and weapons that were used to police peaceful civilians in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri) to federal and state law enforcement; and to support prevention programs that give young people alternatives to incarceration.”

The DNC delegates approved the resolution on the same day a white sheriff’s deputy in Texas was shot to death allegedly by a black suspect in an unprovoked attack. The next day Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched near the Minnesota state fair chanting violent anti-police slogans and carrying signs reading “End White Supremacy.” Activists shouted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” while walking (protected by police) on a highway south of the fair grounds.

We do not think the militarization of the police is a good thing. And we have observed that sometimes recently police have acted without due care and with unnecessarily intimidating and destructive violence. (See here, for instance.) But such  incidents do not justify a campaign against the police.

And have the Democrats ingratiated themselves with the cop-killing movement by declaring its support for them?

Apparently not:

The Black Lives Matter Network released a statement with a distinctly Leninist flavor pooh-poohing the DNC resolution of support:

A resolution signaling the Democratic National Committee’s endorsement that Black lives matter, in no way implies an endorsement of the DNC by the Black Lives Matter Network, nor was it done in consultation with us. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.

Some conservatives have loudly criticized the movement saying it is based on anti-American lies and that it fuels violence against police officers.

On Fox News Channel Monday, outspoken law-and-order advocate Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., a black man elected as a Democrat, blamed President Obama for the rise of Black Lives Matter.

Look [said the excellent Sheriff Clarke], President Obama has breathed life into this ugly movement and it is time now for good law-abiding Americans to rise up like they did [at a memorial] in Houston around that Chevron station [where a white sheriff’s deputy was shot], an outpouring, but it can’t just be symbolic. We now have to counter this slime, this filth coming out of these cop-haters.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Channel, responded, “Well, Sheriff, a lot of people listening right now will say, no, President Obama has shed light on a problem and that’s the way blacks are treated by law enforcement in this country for too long.”

[Clarke replied:]

That is a lie. President Obama didn’t shed light on anything. This is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the institution of policing. If there’s anything that needs to be straightened out in this country it is the subculture that has risen out of the underclass in the American ghetto. Fix the ghetto and then you’ll see a lesser need for assertive policing in these areas and then you’ll see less confrontation. Stop trying to fix the police. Fix the ghetto.

Kilmeade asked, “So, Sheriff, what is it like on the street for the cop? … Are things changed right now for a cop at any level when they go to do their job?”

Sure, they’re beleaguered right now and they’re beleaguered not out of fear of what’s going on on the street. Look, we take this on willingly. We volunteer for this service here. But what we’re beleaguered by is the fact that we don’t have any support from the political class. … I’m not going to stay off of this and I’m not going to leave it alone and stick my head in the sand about it. The problem isn’t the American police officer. Barack Obama won’t admit that these failed liberal urban policies have destroyed these great cities.

To recap, the DNC resolution was approved the same day sheriff’s deputy Darren H. Goforth, a 47-year-old white man, was gunned down near Houston, Texas, allegedly by 30-year-old Shannon J. Miles, a black man. Miles was apprehended the next day and is now charged with capital murder. … Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman (R) … said that his deputy was targeted “because he wore a uniform”. He pointed to Black Lives Matter for ramping up rhetoric “to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers” happens.

Miles allegedly killed Goforth execution-style, shooting him first in the back of the head and then standing over him and shooting him repeatedly. This is the same way two black heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement murdered cops. Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Wesley Cook, shot white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner to death in 1981 as he tried to arrest the perpetrator’s brother during a traffic stop. Abu-Jamal shot the policeman once in the back and then stood over him and shot him four more times at close range, once directly in the face. Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1973 killing of Werner Foerster, a white New Jersey State Trooper. During a traffic stop, Shakur shot Foerster once, and then as he lay helpless on the ground, shot him twice in the head with his own gun. She escaped from prison in 1979 and was granted political asylum in Communist Cuba where she remains to this day.

A rally by the New Black Panther Party in Texas two weeks before Deputy Goforth was murdered may have emboldened Miles to target the deputy. … Armed armed Black Panthers stood outside the Waller County jail where troubled young black woman Sandra Bland committed suicide this summer after being arrested for erratic driving and assaulting a police officer. The leader of the rally yelled at Harris County deputies through a megaphone:

You think we’re not pissed off a bunch about y’all killing our sisters? You think it’s okay? … You’re gonna stop doing what you’re doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness. …

The revolution is on… Off the pigs … Oink Oink, Bang Bang!

Cop hatred, threats to kill police, the deterioration of law and order and the rule of law, and black nationalism: This is the new normal in Obama’s America.

And it’s now officially endorsed by the Democratic Party.

And things are bound to get worse before Barack Obama leaves the presidency at noon on January 20, 2017. 

Border? What border? 1

The International Left – of which Co-Presidents Jarrett and Obama are passionately committed members – want the breakdown of all national borders, the dissolution of nation states, and world communist government. They do everything they can to further these ends.

The Democratic Party cheers them on.

The Republican Party has not taken any effective measures to stop them.

Here is a video showing what is happening on the US-Mexico border.

And this is from  an Investor’s Business Daily editorial, ascribing yet another motive to the Dual Presidency:

The open borders movement has long been suspected as a scheme to turn red states blue to ensure permanent Democratic rule. A slew of new reports shows that the plot is real — and may be succeeding.

Democrats have long had trouble selling undisguised socialism to the voters, but are not without ideas. If U.S. voters won’t buy the bigger government programs they seek, well then importing new voters from elsewhere might just work. After all, socialism is attractive to many poor people from less-developed nations, and that’s who gets visas these days.

That’s why immigration is rapidly emerging as a trump card for Democrats. No party has benefited as much from the million or so visas issued to new residents from third world countries each year — 29.5 million from 1980 to 2012 — nor has any other party fought so hard to extend amnesty to millions more illegals. …

Mass immigration has turned Virginia, long a conservative bastion, into a Democrat stronghold… with votes from immigrants, legal or illegal, cancelling out the votes of the native born. It’s clear …  that mass immigration is a major boon to Democrats.

“The bottom line is that more immigration favors Democrats,” wrote Byron York in a 2014 Washington Examiner column. “There is no prediction of Democratic electoral ascendancy that doesn’t rely on demographic factors as the main engine of the party’s dominance.”

This calls for a re-examination of what’s going on and whether it’s in the broader U.S. national interest, outside of party politics.

It’s long gone undiscussed that impact of current immigration policies, dating from the days of Ted Kennedy and his claims to prioritize family reunification, has had the actual effect of importing Democrats.

Now with President Obama extending amnesty to 664,607 illegals by executive order, including many with links to crime, terrorism and gangs, excluding virtually no one, it’s clear that it’s a vote-gathering game.  


(Hat-tip for the video to our Facebook commenter Jared Huggins)

Posted under communism, immigration, Law, Leftism, Mexico, United States, world government by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 2, 2015

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No more rule of law 6

There can only be liberty under the rule of law.

When government is unconstrained by law, everyone is a potential victim of confiscation of property, imprisonment, or any other arbitrary action of the dictators.

We quote from an article at Townhall, by Kurt Schlichter.

Trigger warning: sarcasm coming up.

We conservatives have spent far too long playing by the old rules when liberals have completely changed the game. There was a time when laws meant what they said, when individual rights were important, when the government did not make it its business to oppress the executive’s ideological opponents, and when principles mattered. But that time has passed.

There’s a new set of rules, and while we don’t have control in Washington right now, we do have control most everywhere else – and someday a conservative will be president again. So there is no reason not to get going right now playing by the same rules the liberals do!

Of course, first we need to understand the basis of the new rules – it’s about having the moral courage to obtain and keep power. Until now, we conservatives have been guided by “principles” and “values” that only serve to distract us from what’s really important. Under the new rules, we will no longer let arbitrary ideas about how America should work get in the way of maximizing our ability to exercise our authority over others. After all, our supremacy is a moral imperative.

We will step beyond obsolete notions about process and embrace the primacy of results. We will stop treating “means” and “ends” like they are distinct and different – as 1984 (Read it – lots of great tactics, techniques and procedures!) teaches, “Power is not a means; it is an end.” Means and ends will flow together seamlessly, and we will stop getting hung-up on how we do things and focus on the real goal under the new rules – consolidating our power for the greater good.

Take the law. Under the old rules, judges were constrained by the plain meaning of the text, but that is far too restrictive. Words must mean what we need them to mean, no more and no less. We have to appoint judges who won’t prattle on about “judicial restraint” and “not legislating from the bench,” and who will reliably rule exactly how we need them to rule on each and every case. Let’s appoint judges, who understand that their purpose is to rationalize rulings that support our policy priorities, not seek some “legally correct” decision that might not. The law of the land is whatever we want it to be!

We should celebrate Judge Roberts’s recent Obamacare decision – it was liberating! He made it clear that when we want a different result, we don’t have to be deterred by the fact that the law means exactly the opposite. He affirmed that judges should interpret statutes – and the Constitution too – based upon a subjective desire for a particular outcome. Think of the possibilities for conservative progress if we aren’t hamstrung by some inconvenient text in a statute or the literal meaning of the words on some ancient parchment!

Where we have control of law enforcement, we have another great opportunity to play by the new rules. There are all sorts of liberal organizations out there shamelessly advocating policies and ideas we disapprove of. As we have learned, we can turn the power of the government upon them to root out this wrongdoing. We do not need to bother with accusing them of any kind of specific crime – why should we restrict our investigations to clear violations of laws? Instead, we can launch fishing expeditions to see what we can dig up – and even if there’s nothing, well, remember that the process is the punishment. Regardless, it’s important to establish that our political opponents will pay a price for presuming to oppose us.

And, naturally, when our allies are accused of breaking the law, we just ignore it. There needs to be two sets of laws – one for us, and one for everyone else. Otherwise, we might be constrained from doing what we please.

And there are other opportunities a huge government can provide us. Beyond audits and blocking vital certifications, the IRS has plenty of juicy information on every American – we can selectively release it to intimidate those who do not support us. And when we get a hold of everyone’s medical records under Obamacare – wow! What an opportunity!

Of course, there will not be any Obamacare. Oh, technically it might be hard to repeal (though getting rid of the filibuster entirely will make it much easier!), but who needs to repeal it when we can just choose not to enforce it? Our next president simply has to instruct the rest of the executive branch that they will not be taking any action with regard to implementing Obamacare, not collecting any of its taxes (they are taxes this week, right?) and not enforcing any of its mandates. Understand that we won’ be refusing to carry out the law – we’ll just be focusing on different executive priorities!

Perhaps the mainstream media will speak up, at least at first. But, you know, the New York Times, NBC and the rest really seem to have way too much power over our national conversation. It just isn’t fair how these big companies drown out the voices of regular people. Heck, these corporate entities are not even people and certainly should not have rights like people do to speak freely and so forth. They are more of a public utility, and frankly, they have not been serving the public good. That’s why we will use the FCC to take charge and oversee the shamefully deregulated mainstream media. …

A 40% surcharge on all Hollywood and Silicon Valley windfall profits would go a long way towards making things fairer – and this has nothing to do with the fact that most Hollywood and Silicon Valley political money goes to our opponents. But don’t worry about our conservative allies in those two fields – if they don’t pay we just won’t prosecute them! But if you’re liberal, watch out! …

This is only the beginning – the new rules liberate us from the constraints that for so long kept us from truly making conservative progress. All those “principles” and “ideals” about right and wrong and all that only served to take our eyes off of the real prize – our power, which we would only use for the common good.

Sure, we were all sad to see the old rules go, but gone they are. Our liberal friends made sure of that. So let’s make the best of it!

Posted under Law, Leftism, Progressivism, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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Why only heterosexual marriage is rightly the state’s concern 18

Justice Scalia, in his dissent from the Supreme Curt’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States (see our post immediately below, Who rules America?), so despised what five of his fellow justices ruled – because they had no right to – that he wrote this :

The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

His chief concern is that the Supreme Court was exceeding its powers and disastrously changing its proper function as a checking and balancing branch of government. Also, he declared it wrong to shut down the democratic process of debate within the states.

He firmly stated that the issue of same-sex marriage itself was not important to him.

Much as we like his dissenting opinion on the whole, on this point we disagree. While we take no position on any sexual preferences, practices, or proclivities (as long as there is no exploitation or corruption of children involved), we think that the issue of same-sex marriage is important. Its legalization throughout the United States has profound consequences.

Far from augmenting individual freedom, the ruling is radically destructive of it.  

Here is an article that explains why that is the case, by Stella Morabito at The Federalist:

Same-sex marriage is a notion that contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. I doubt many have thought this through, with the ironic exception of the elites who have been pushing the agenda the hardest.

Most people are weary of it all and going along to get along, especially since dissent has become such a socially expensive proposition, almost overnight. That in itself should deeply concern anyone who values freedom of expression.

Sure, true believers scattered across the land really do think the entire project ends with allowing same-sex couples to marry. Most persist in the blind faith that a federal ban on the standard definition of marriage will have no negative effect on family autonomy and privacy. That’s a pipe dream.

The same-sex marriage agenda is more like a magic bullet with a trajectory that will abolish civil marriage for everyone, and in doing so, will embed central planning into American life. And that, my friends, is the whole point of it. Along with Obamacare, net neutrality, and Common Core, genderless marriage is a blueprint for regulating life, particularly family life.

The Rainbow’s Arc
Unintended consequences usually come about when we are ignorant or maybe lazy about a course of action. But we usually crash land after following an arc of logic, which in this case has gone largely undiscerned and unaddressed in the public square.

Americans are in a fog about how marriage equality will lead to more central planning and thought policing. This is partly because the media and Hollywood only provide slogans to regurgitate while academics and judges push politically correct speech codes to obey.

Let’s explore the fallout of that arc of faulty logic. Included below are some 15 of the gaping holes in the “marriage equality” reasoning that Americans have not thought through.

1. The Kids Are Not Alright
Last month, six adult children from LGBT households filed amicus briefs opposing genderless marriage …

Whenever a parent is missing — for whatever reason — a child feels a primal wound. In this respect, parents belong to their children more than children belong to their parents. We ought to recognize that privileges of civil marriage should ultimately exist for children, not for adults. Children have the right to know their origins and not to be treated as commodities. Same-sex parenting — which increasingly involves human trafficking, particularly with artificial reproductive technologies (see number eight) — deliberately deprives a child of a mother and/or a father. The “marriage equality” agenda requires that such children bear that burden alone and repress their primal wound in silence.

2. Love’s Got Nothing to Do with State Interest in Marriage
“Love is love” is an empty slogan when it comes to state interest in marriage. How two people feel about one another is none of the state’s business. The state’s interest is limited to the heterosexual union because that’s the only union that produces the state’s citizenry.

And it still is, whether the union happens traditionally or in a petri dish. Each and every one of us — equally and without exception — only exists through the heterosexual union. In any free and functioning society, there is a state interest in encouraging as much as possible those who sire and bear us to be responsible for raising us.

3. The Infertility Canard
Just as the state has no litmus test for feelings or motives, it has no litmus test for any heterosexual couple who do not produce children because of intent, infertility, or age. Conflating same-sex couples with childless or elderly heterosexual couples seems to be the fallacy of composition: claiming something must be true of the whole because it’s true of some part of the whole.

Sorry, but the heterosexual union, no matter how it takes place, is the only way any citizen exists, including intersex and transgender citizens. So recognizing that union without prejudice remains the only reason for state interest in marriage.

4. Same-Sex Marriage Will Settle Nothing
It’s only the starting point for a glut of philosophically related demands for state recognition and approval of many other types of relationships, including polygamy and incest. This will mark the sudden beginning of an even more sudden end for same-sex marriage, not so much because those other types of relationships prove immoral, but because they serve as exhibits for the argument that all civil marriage — including same-sex marriage — is unsustainable and discriminatory.

5. “Marriage Equality” Opens the Path for “Unmarried Equality”
There’s a movement waiting in the wings called “unmarried equality,” which argues that all civil marriage should be abolished because it privileges married people over singles. If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, it will set the precedent for abolishing marriage. Far from getting the state out of the marriage business, it will invite the state to regulate all familial relationships, particularly those with children. Once the state doesn’t have to recognize your marriage, it is freer to treat your spouse and children as strangers to you.

6. Transgenderism Is a Big Part of This Package
Americans have not thought through the implications of same-sex marriage and how it is logically a big step to erasing all sex distinctions in law. If we become legally sexless, the implications are vast when it comes to how or whether the state will recognize family relationships such as mother, father, son, or daughter. There’s already a push to eliminate sex identification at birth, which could mean removing sex distinctions on birth certificates. This will seem logical because all gender identity non-discrimination laws already presume that everybody’s sex is something arbitrarily “assigned” to them at birth.

7. It’s an Open Invitation for State Licensing of Parents
If we allow the abolition of sex distinctions and civil marriage — both of which are written into the social DNA of same-sex marriage — we logically allow the state to gain greater control over deciding familial relationships. Civil marriage so far has presumed that a child born into a heterosexual union has the default right to be raised by his biological parents together. How can the presumption of maternity or paternity survive in a legal system that recognizes neither sex distinctions nor a marriage relationship?

The bellwethers are out there. MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry did a “Forward” spot for the Obama administration in which she stated that all children “belong” to communities, not families. Another friend of the Obama administration, gender legal theorist Martha Fineman, calls for state-subsidized care-giving units to replace marriage and the family.

8. Same-Sex Marriage Commodifies Children
You may think artificial reproductive technologies (ART) are fine as an avenue to obtain children for those unable to conceive. But in the context of genderless marriage, ART ramps up the potential for human trafficking. Check anonymousus.com to read testimonies of grief and loss felt by children who were conceived in this manner. Check the movies Eggsploitation and Breeders by the Center for Bioethics and Culture to hear stories of the exploitation of women in the industry. There is definitely an element of human bondage in all of this, particularly because human beings are being deliberately separated from their mothers and fathers, in a way that echoes the wounds of slavery’s separations and the search for one’s roots.

About the next section (9): we are leaving it in, although we care not a jot about any church’s teachings about anything, because freedom of religion must mean freedom to have no religion. The important points this author makes above and below are matters of reason and common sense .

9. It Sets a Head-On Collision Course with Freedom of Religion
The handwriting is on the wall. You need only reflect on how a screaming mob managed to conjure up total surrender from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence so he would reject that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Catholic Charities is closing its adoption services where same-sex marriage laws pressure them to reject their church’s teachings about marriage and family. Owners of businesses that serve the wedding industry are being forced to either scrap their consciences or shut their doors. Anti-discrimination lawsuits against churches that don’t perform same-sex marriages will undoubtedly increase.

10. It Sets a Collision for Freedom of Speech and Press
Campus speech codes. Social punishment. Firing Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla for discovering his thought crime of privately believing in marriage six years prior. The utter compliance of virtually every big business in America, every media outlet, every pundit who is permitted to have a voice in the public square.

11. It’s Especially On a Collision Course with Freedom of Association
I already mentioned that abolishing civil marriage, along with legal sex distinctions, puts the government in a better position to regulate familial relationships, and probably to license parents. If we think deeply about these things, it’s hard to avoid the fact that freedom of association begins with family autonomy, a place where the state is supposed to leave you alone in your most intimate relationships. It’s hard to see how freedom of association is not affected, especially when PC speech codes have everyone constantly checking their chit chat with neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. At Marquette University, staff were told that any conversation or remarks construed to be against same-sex marriage were to be reported to Human Resources, even if just inadvertently overheard.

12. Same-Sex Kills Privacy by Growing Bureaucracy
With the erosion of family autonomy practically guaranteed by the rainbow arc of same-sex marriage, private life will tend to evaporate, just as it always does in centrally planned societies. Distrust grows because people fear punishment for expressing dissenting views. The emphasis on political correctness in the name of equality, coupled with an ever-growing bureaucracy, is a perfect environment in which to percolate a surveillance society.

13. It’s Meant to Be Global
The United States is already punishing countries and threatening to cut off aid if they don’t accept the LGBT agenda. This is especially true of developing countries, in which the whole idea is foreign to over 95 percent of the population. According to a report by Rep. Steve Stockman, corroborated by a Pentagon official, the administration held back critical intelligence from Nigeria which would have aided in locating girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The new National Security Strategy recently released by the White House makes clear that the LGBT agenda is a global agenda. And it looks a lot like cultural imperialism of the worst kind.

14. It Promises a Monolithic Society of Conformity
In the past year or two, everyone with something to lose by opposing same-sex marriage — with the honorable exception of Eich — seems to have scuttled their principles. Five years ago, the American Psychological Association voted 157-0 — that’s right, ZERO — to support genderless marriage. For an excellent assessment of what this sort of conformity means for a free society, read Brendan O’Neill’s article in Spiked, entitled Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism. The agenda was imposed by elites, entirely due to a methodical blitzkrieg of programs and enforcement dictated from above. Same-sex marriage simply could not come about without suppressing dissent in all of our institutions.

15. Expect More Severe Punishment for Dissent
If you think the bullying of businesses, churches, and individuals who don’t get with the LGBT program now is bad, it promises to get much worse once codified. Is this really the sort of society you wish to live in? Where expressing an opinion from your heart on faith [or lack of it – ed], family, marriage, relationships, love, or the very nature of reality — is routinely attacked as hate speech? Because that is exactly what you need to expect.

Justice Anthony Kennedy made it very clear in his words of the Windsor decision that any dissent on same-sex marriage was tantamount to animus. It is but a short step from presuming animus to punishing dissent.

So perhaps the biggest question hanging in the air is this: What will the authorities decide to do to dissenters?

Who rules America? 1

On Friday the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution permits same-sex marriage, in that its guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban it.

The ruling makes it legal in all 50 states.

There were four dissenting opinions: those of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

Here is most of Justice Scalia’s dissent. (The whole of it, and the other dissenting opinions – as well as the entire “opinion of the court” –  can be found here.)

I join the Chief Justice’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.

The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, from tax treatment to rights of inheritance. Those civil consequences — and the public approval that conferring the name of marriage evidences — can perhaps have adverse social effects, but no more adverse than the effects of many other controversial laws. So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage.

It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules meToday’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.

The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact — and the furthest extension one can even imagine — of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention.

This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to. Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work. The Constitution places some constraints on self-rule — constraints adopted by the People themselves when they ratified the Constitution and its Amendments. Forbidden are laws “impairing the Obligation of Contracts,” denying “Full Faith and Credit” to the “public Acts” of other States, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing the right to keep and bear arms, authorizing unreasonable searches and seizures, and so forth. Aside from these limitations, those powers “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” can be exercised as the States or the People desire.

These cases [on which the ruling has been given] ask us to decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment contains a limitation that requires the States to license and recognize marriages between two people of the same sex. Does it remove that issue from the political process? Of course not. It would be surprising to find a prescription regarding marriage in the Federal Constitution since, as the author of today’s opinion reminded us only two years ago (in an opinion joined by the same Justices who join him today):

“[R]egulation of domestic relations is an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States.”

“The Federal Government, through our history, has deferred to state-law policy decisions with respect to domestic relations.”

But we need not speculate. When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so. That resolves these cases. When it comes to determining the meaning of a vague constitutional provision — such as “due process of law” or “equal protection of the laws” — it is unquestionable that the People who ratified that provision did not understand it to prohibit a practice that remained both universal and uncontroversial in the years after ratification.

We have no basis for striking down a practice that is not expressly prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment’s text, and that bears the endorsement of a long tradition of open, widespread, and unchallenged use dating back to the Amendment’s ratification.

Since there is no doubt whatever that the People never decided to prohibit the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue. But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law.

Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its “reasoned judgment”,  thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.

That is so because “the generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions …” One would think that sentence would continue: “…  and therefore they provided for a means by which the People could amend the Constitution”,  or perhaps “… and therefore they left the creation of additional liberties, such as the freedom to marry someone of the same sex, to the People, through the never-ending process of legislation”.  But no. What logically follows, in the majority’s judge-empowering estimation, is: “and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning’. The “we,” needless to say, is the nine of us. “History and tradition guide and discipline [our] inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries.” Thus, rather than focusing on the People’s understanding of “liberty” — at the time of ratification or even today — the majority focuses on four “principles and traditions” that, in the majority’s view, prohibit States from defining marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman.

This is a naked judicial claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment”.

A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy. …

The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis; they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation.

But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. They see what lesser legal minds— minds like Thomas Cooley, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, and Henry Friendly— could not. They are certain that the People ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to bestow on them the power to remove questions from the democratic process when that is called for by their “reasoned judgment”. These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago,21 cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinions’ showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.) Rights, we are told, can “rise . . . from a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives define a liberty that remains urgent in our own era.”(Huh? How can a better informed understanding of how constitutional imperatives [whatever that means] define [whatever that means] an urgent liberty [never mind], give birth to a right?) And we are told that, “in any particular case,” either the Equal Protection or Due Process Clause “may be thought to capture the essence of a right in a more accurate and comprehensive way,” than the other, “even as the two Clauses may converge in the identification and definition of the right.”(What say? What possible “essence” does substantive due process “capture” in an “accurate and comprehensive way”? It stands for nothing whatever, except those freedoms and entitlements that this Court really likes. And the Equal Protection Clause, as employed today, identifies nothing except a difference in treatment that this Court really dislikes. Hardly a distillation of essence. If the opinion is correct that the two clauses “converge in the identification and definition of [a] right,” that is only because the majority’s likes and dislikes are predictably compatible.) I could go on. The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop-philosophy; it demands them in the law. The stuff contained in today’s opinion has to diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.

Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. The Judiciary is the “least dangerous” of the federal branches because it has “neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm” and the States, “even for the efficacy of its judgments.” With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them — with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court — we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.

One of the footnotes reads:

If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,” I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

Civil liberties versus national security 5

The Washington Post reports:

Senators left Capitol Hill early Saturday morning without taking action to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program set to expire at month’s end, paralyzed by a debate over the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.

Our tentative answer to the dilemma: As there’s an administration in power that believes government should control our lives, we would vote for civil liberties over national security; if there were an administration that knows it’s first duty is to protect our freedom, we would trust it not to overstep the mark, so we would vote for national security.

And yet …

Trouble is,  even if we were so lucky as to get a reasonably trustworthy administration, it could all too easily be replaced by another statist gang such as we have at present.

Readers are invited to give their own views on this difficult conundrum.

Posted under Commentary, government, Law, Leftism, liberty, Terrorism, Totalitarianism, tyranny, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 23, 2015

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