Tag Archives: freedom

Contempt for Congress

This editorial in the Wall Street Journal summarizes very well the facts of Obama’s attempt to circumvent the Constitution yesterday: Contempt for Congress.

A President has the power to make a recess appointment, and we’ve supported Mr. Obama’s right to do so. The Constitutional catch is that Congress must be in recess.

The last clause of Section 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution says that “Neither House” of Congress can adjourn for more than three days “without the Consent of the other” house. In this case, the House of Representatives had not formally consented to Senate adjournment. It’s true the House did this to block the President from making recess appointments, but it is following the Constitution in doing so. Let’s hear Mr. Obama’s legal justification.

Democrats had used a similar process to try to thwart Mr. Bush’s recess appointments late in his term when they controlled both the House and the Senate. Prodded by West Virginia’s Robert C. Byrd, who has since died, Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the Senate in pro forma session. Some advisers urged Mr. Bush to ignore the Senate and make recess appointments anyway, but he declined. Now Mr. Reid is supporting Mr. Obama’s decision to make an end run around a Senate practice that he pioneered. [emphasis in original]

In other words, the Constitution is plain and Obama is consciously ignoring it, unlike Bush or any previous President. You can make excuses for this arrogant and unprecedented abuse of power, but an abuse of power it is, nonetheless.

As for sitting back and waiting for the courts to settle this, that’s a cop-out. The courts will almost certainly bow out, noting that this is a political battle between two other branches of government. The article above does note who will sue:

Private parties will have standing to sue if they are affected by one of Mr. Cordray’s rule-makings, and that’s when the courts may get a say on Mr. Obama’s contempt for Congress.

Thus, Obama’s actions will make any actions by his appointee legally suspect. It will create chaos in government and business, while simultaneously eroding the rule of law.

Is this the kind of government representation we want?

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Top 10 Worst Federal Rules of 2011

The top ten worst federal rules of 2011.

All are crippling, but this one is plain stupid:

4. The Equine Equality Rule. As of March 15 (the Ides of March, no less), hotels, restaurants, airlines, and the like became obliged to modify “policies, practices, or procedures” to accommodate miniature horses as service animals. According to the Department of Justice, which administers the rule, miniature horses are a “viable alternative” to dogs for individuals with allergies or for observant Muslims and others whose religious beliefs preclude canine accompaniment.

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The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that refusing to open your door does not allow the police to enter without a warrant

Stating the obvious: The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that just because you refuse to open your door to the police does not give them the right to break it down, without a warrant.

The Constitution is very plain about this, and that the police and prosecutors don’t understand it is very disturbing. Just because they want to enter does not give them the right to do it. Only if the police have reasonable cause they can get a warrant from a judge, but they need that warrant before entering.

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Why the establishment fears Newt Gingrich

Why the establishment fears Newt Gingrich.

When Newt became speaker, he was focused, disciplined and tough. He insisted on moving the Contract With America intact. He abolished committees and denied “old bulls” chairmanships. He insisted on using the majority to win conservative victories such as balancing budgets, achieving welfare reform and producing 11 million new jobs with tax cuts that spurred economic growth. He made some people unhappy when he pursued legislation that could win instead of pet bills that would have divided Republicans rather than uniting them. And he negotiated with a Democratic president to get the conservative legislation being passed signed into law. Some Republicans were left unhappy in the wake of all of that activity — some of them are still complaining today.

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Santa Claus Arrested Following Joint Investigation by IRS, INS, and FWS

Satire? Santa Claus arrested following a joint investigation by the IRS, INS, and FWS.

The United States Department of Immigration and the Internal Revenue Service have also had their eyes on Mr. Claus. An immigration official who also attended the raid said that they were able to obtain several dozen passports. He said, “It seems that this Santa Claus character has a different name in every country–his EU passport says, ‘Father Christmas’ and his Canadian passport says, ‘Père Noël’. We have, however, determined with certainty that Santa Claus is a United States citizen.”

Apparently Claus worked in Hollywood during the 1940s and 50s making autobiographical films, such as Miracle on 34th Street. During that time he applied for and received U.S. citizenship.

Read the whole thing. The scandal is shocking!

Update: In related news, the Occupied Wall Street movement is now targeting Santa as well.

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Hey, they still let us drive

Frank Fleming: “Hey, they still let us drive.”

Driving is basically a grandfathered freedom from back when people cared less about pollution and danger and valued progress and liberty over safety. They had different equations related to human life then: We could lose 10,000 men in a single battle in a war and call it a victory.

We’re talking foolhardy people who eventually sent men to the moon strapped to a giant rocket that had less computational power than it takes to calculate the trajectory of an Angry Bird. Their kids dangled from jungle gyms over pavement. [emphasis in original]

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An elementary school program which includes the singing of “Silent Night” will go on after Alabama school officials decided to ignore a complaint filed by a group that called the song “unconstitutional.”

Pushback: An elementary school program which includes the singing of “Silent Night” will go on after Alabama school officials decided to ignore a complaint filed by an anti-religion group that called the song “unconstitutional.”

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The lost decade

The lost decade.

At home, the American people are less free, less prosperous, more bitterly divided, and much less hopeful in 2011 than in 2001 because a decade of the War on Terror brought a government ever bigger and more burdensome, as well as “security” measures that impede the innocent rather than focusing on wrongdoers. Our ruling class justified its ever-larger role in America’s domestic life by redefining war as a never-ending struggle against unspecified enemies for abstract objectives, and by asserting expertise far above that of ordinary Americans. After 9/11, far from deliberating on the best course to take, our rulers stayed on autopilot and hit the throttles.

An fascinating and amazing essay. I don’t agree with everything in it, but can’t deny the strength of its general points. For example:

Because the Bush Administration took CIA director George Tenet’s snap judgment that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were responsible “game, set, and match” for 9/11 as a warrant for identifying them with America’s terrorist problem in general, it failed to ask the classic headwaters question: what is the problem? Had it done so, it might have noticed that the 9/11 hijackers were part of a wave of deadly disrespect for America that had been growing throughout the Muslim world—and not just there—for a generation. Had the Bush team focused on the realities that fed growing images of America as “the weak horse” (to use Osama bin Laden’s words), they would have had to consider who were the major contributors to that disrespect, what they and their predecessors had done to incur it, and then to decide what actions would restore it.

That would have pointed to the Middle East’s regimes, and to our ruling class’ relationship with them, as the problem’s ultimate source. The rulers of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority had run (and continue to run) educational and media systems that demonize America. Under all of them, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabi sect spread that message in religious terms to Muslims in the West as well as at home. That message indicts America, among other things, for being weak. And indeed, ever since the 1970s U.S. policy had responded to acts of war and terrorism from the Muslim world by absolving the regimes for their subjects’ actions. For example, when Yasser Arafat’s PLO murdered U.S. ambassador Cleo Noel, our government continued building friendly relations with Arafat, and romancing the Saudi regime that was financing him. Since then the U.S. government has given $2.5 billion to the PLO. Part of the reason was unwarranted hope, part was fear, and part was the fact that many influential Americans were making money in the Arab world.

I have always believed that when we went to war after 9/11, we needed to clean out all of the corrupt regimes in the Middle East, much as we did after World War II. Sadly, Bush did not. Had Bush fought World War II like he fought the “War on Terror” he would have stopped at the German border after Normandy and declared victory.

Read the whole thing. There is a lot more there, about freedom, government oppression, the TSA, and much else. The read is definitely worth it.

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A Maryland post office bans Christmas carolers

A Maryland post office bans Christmas carolers.

“He told them that they had to leave immediately because they were violating the post office’s policy against solicitation,” Duffy said. “He told them they couldn’t do this on government property. He said: ‘You can’t go into Congress and sing and you can’t do it here either.’”

I like this from the comments:

So our freedom of speech is suspended upon entering government property?

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An update on the climate treaty talks in Durban

An update on the climate treaty talks in Durban.

I gather from this article that the talks appear to be going nowhere. (The reporter desperately wants a deal, and you need to read between the lines to sense how unlikely the deal is.) Not only is the U.S. reluctant to sign anything, so is India, China, and Brazil. Furthermore, even if the Obama administration agreed to something, it is highly unlikely any treaty could get through the Senate.

Also, it appears that the $100 billion Green Climate Fund is is in trouble as well.

All good news, as far as I am concerned. None of these deals have anything to do with climate or science. Instead, they are designed to redistribute power and wealth, by fiat, from one set of countries to another.

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U.S. military has rescinded its policy that banned bibles at Walter Reed hospital

U.S. military has rescinded its ban of bibles at Walter Reed hospital.

[Congressman Peter] King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.

I suspect the original intent of the policy was to prevent the proselytizing of patients by outsiders. However, even this is a violation of the First Amendment, as the government has no right to say where and when people can discuss religion.

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Occupy Richmond stands up for the Richmond Tea Party

Pigs fly! Occupy Richmond stands with the Richmond Tea Party against the city government.

After the city accused the Richmond Tea Party of being overdue on tax filings,Occupy Richmond issued a statement saying “it would not surprise us” if the move was “retaliation” for the Tea Party’s criticism of Mayor Dwight Jones. […] “The Tea Party and Occupy movements disagree on many, many issues,” Occupy Richmond’s Thursday statement said. “This should not stop all Americans from proudly standing together against government abuses.” [emphasis mine]

Kudos to Occupy Richmond for understanding that an attack on freedom is an attack against everyone, even if the attack happens to be aimed at your opponents.

This also once again illustrates how completely stupid and politically tone deaf the city’s action is against the Richmond Tea Party. It will garner the mayor and his minions nothing but grief.

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Senate passes bill allowing military to hold US citizens indefinitely, even within the US borders

Fools and tyrants: The Senate today passed a bill allowing the military to hold US citizens indefinitely, both inside and outside the US borders. The vote was 61-37, with 44 Republicans and 16 Democrats voting in favor.

To me, this is more proof that we need to throw out as many Senate incumbents as possible, with Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) being the first to go. These bastards don’t give a hoot about freedom. What good does it do us to defeat Al Queda if we destroy the very rights and freedoms that makes the United States different from Al Queda?

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Lame-duck Barney Frank joins effort to repeal Obamacare “death panels”

A bit late, ain’t he? Lame-duck Barney Frank joins the effort to repeal Obamacare’s “death panels.”

Note also that Frank has now essentially admitted that Sarah Palin was right about these panels (though he of course hasn’t come out and said it). Rather than be partisan back when she first brought this issue up, why couldn’t Frank have acted more responsibly and voted against the bill in the first place?

Update: I reworded the above paragraph because the original language gave the impression that Frank had actually said he now agreed with Palin, something he has not done.

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Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party complained about the city government’s double standard about protests and demanded a refund for its costs, they received a letter that they are being audited.

Leftwing oppression: Two weeks after the Richmond Tea Party complained about the city government’s double standard about protests — requiring the tea party to pay $8,500 in order to demonstrate but letting Occupy Richmond demonstrate for free while trespassing — they received a letter from the city announcing that they are being audited.

What amazes me is how tone deaf the Democratic Party officials running Richmond are, somehow thinking this is going to help them politically.

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Senate bill would allow the military to arrest and hold US citizens at home or abroad indefinitely

Madness: A Senate bill, to be voted on today, would allow the military to arrest and hold US citizens indefinitely, both at home and abroad.

Termed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and drafted behind closed doors by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) the NDAA would:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

For any elected official to consider this kind of legislation acceptable is only clear evidence that they should be put out of office immediately. Fire them all!

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Why Climategate 2 is important: a close look at a full email thread, and how it tried to squelch knowledge

Why Climategate 2 is important: a close look at one entire email thread, and how it proves these global warming scientists were trying to suppress knowledge.

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