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 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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The Islam-coddling Left blames the victim of Islamic terrorism 3

First Pamela Geller was attacked by terrorists for holding a free speech event. Then she was attacked by the media for the same reason.

Ezra Levant of looks at the media’s twisted treatment of Geller after the foiled shooting in Garland, Texas.

The left-slanted media want sharia enforced in America rather than US constitutional law.

And not only the left-slanted media. Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, and Greta van Susteren of Fox News have also blamed Pamela Geller for exercising her free speech rights. Dhimmis all.

However, also on Fox News, the excellent Megyn Kelly argued with Bill O’Reilly and decisively showed him to be wrong – though he still didn’t seem to understand that he was.

Kelly told O’Reilly … the point [Pamela Geller and her organization] were making about free speech was a solid one. The First Amendment, she said, isn’t meant to protect popular speech; it’s meant to protect “the most outrageous, offensive, incendiary speech”. 

O’Reilly countered, “It’s always cause and effect… This is what happens when you light the fuse, you get violence.” Kelly was surprised to hear that, telling O’Reilly he sounds like he’s “attacking the event itself”.

When O’Reilly said he would “do it another way,” Kelly got really fired up and said this:

“You know what else the jihadis don’t like? They hate Jews. Should we get rid of all Jews? That’s the path we’re gonna go down if we don’t stop catering to the jihadis.”

Watch the video here.

Criminal offense 2

In the video below, Pat Condell, our fellow atheist, speaks eloquently about the many ways in which Islam is offensive.

The leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband, says he will ban and punish “Islamophobia” if he becomes Prime Minister, which he very well might if his socialist party wins the forthcoming general election. He is saying this in order to woo Muslim voters. Most Muslim votes go to the Labour Party, but some Muslims say that voting at all is wrong because only Allah must govern mankind. Also, Ed Miliband is Jewish. Are the Muslims who go to the polls likely to cast their votes for a Jewish leader?

If he gets into 10 Downing Street and has his Party make it a crime to criticize Islam, what will happen to Pat Condell? We are pretty certain he won’t stop making his videos, speaking freely, and expressing loud and clear the highly moral loathing and fully justified contempt he has for the criminal religion of Muhammad.


Speaking of free speech 5

We learn from Scott Johnson at PowerLine:

On April 15 the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale inaugurated its annual Disinvitation Dinner. … Keynote speaker was George Will … took up the subject of the parlous state of free speech. … This is a timely speech on an important subject as liberal fascism continues its march through the institutions.

Scott Johnson selects this extract:

Free speech has never been, in the history of our republic, more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. The Alien and Sedition Acts arose from a temporary, transitory fever and were in any case sunsetted and disappeared. The fevers after and during the First World War and in the early culture war era also were eruptions of distemper rooted in local conditions and local issues bound to disappear, which they did.

Today’s attack is different. It’s an attack on the theory of freedom of speech. It is an attack on the desirability of free speech and indeed if listened to carefully and plumbed fully, what we have today is an attack on the very possibility of free speech. The belief is that the First Amendment is a mistake. . . .

Yesterday the Democratic Party, the oldest political party in the world, the party that guided this country through two world wars and is more responsible than any other for the shape of the modern American state — the Democratic Party’s leading and prohibitively favored frontrunner candidate for the presidential nomination announced four goals for her public life going forward, one of which is to amend the Bill of Rights to make it less protective. It’s an astonishing event. She said that she wants to change the First Amendment in order to further empower the political class to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political speech about the political class — and so far as I can tell there’s not a ripple of commentary about this on the stagnant waters of the American journalistic community.

There is also a video of George Will delivering his entire speech. We cannot import it but we hope our readers will treat themselves to it. It is all meat. We assure you the hour passes very quickly.

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