The Invaders: A Parable

Pulling into our driveway after a relaxing month long cruise, my wife Mary yelled, “What the?” Mexican flags, shirtless heavily tattooed men, barefoot children, women (many pregnant) old cars, discarded beer cans and trash were all over our property. I recruited my Spanish speaking neighbor. He yelled over the blaring Mexican music expressing my outrage to the group’s leader. The leader told me to go “f” myself. He said they have a right to a better life.

The invaders had an insane tangle of extension cords plugged into my electrical outlets. Sinking into the mud of my once beautiful lawn, I called the police. Sheriff Bob showed up to inform me that the mayor decreed ours a sanctuary community. He also conveyed the mayor’s zero tolerance for my hateful racist attitude.

Code enforcement cited me for various violations. I was ordered to clean up my property, add bathroom facilities and upgrade my electrical power to accommodate the daily influx of new residents.

Mary yelled from our bedroom, “Oh, my gosh!” Her jewelry including her 30th wedding anniversary diamond earrings, was gone.

A neighbor updated me on our community’s crisis. Beloved elderly, Mr Ben, was beaten and murdered, eight students were raped, numerous neighbors were assaulted and several homes were burglarized. Remarkably, not a word of the crime-wave was mentioned in our newspaper. Clearly, the mayor was behind the media blackout.

As a matter of fact, Community Times reporters flooded us with articles praising the invaders and our loving mayor for welcoming these saintly souls seeking a better life. Me and fellow neighbors who opposed the invasion and complained about the cost were branded haters, selfish and racists. The mayor made us owners responsible for providing food, health-care and education for the invaders occupying our properties.

Widowed Miss Shirley, the community gossip, gave Mary the scoop. She reported to Mary that many of the invaders worked for wealthy contributors to the mayor’s reelection campaign. The invaders were paid peanuts to work as domestics, janitors, laborers and maintaining properties.

My feisty Irish wife said, “One thing for sure, the mayor and his rich pals don’t have to worry about their estates being invaded. Their homes are protected behind 12 foot fences armed with barbwire, electric and cameras. Meanwhile, we’re forced to be their invader’s welcome wagon!”

Folks, the above tale is fiction; a parable I wrote years ago illustrating illegal immigration. I was stunned that so many readers thought my outrageous tale was true; a sad commentary on the insanity we have come to expect from government.

Both political parties have a vested interest in supporting the invasion. Big business gets cheap labor. Democrats have blacks on the path to aborting themselves into extinction. Illegals offer Democrats’ a fresh crop of future voters; an underclass unskilled, uneducated and dependent on government.

Insidiously, both parties and the mainstream media prey upon the goodness of the American people. Anyone opposing the invasion is branded racist, heartless and mean.

GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush calls embracing illegal aliens an “act of love.” Rush Limbaugh says this is not immigration. We are being invaded

For several years, I was honored to sing my original, “Celebrate America” at U.S. Naturalization Ceremonies in Maryland. I took pride knowing my song was the first thousands heard as new Americans after taking their oath of allegiance. Every ceremony was electric, the hall radiating with emotion and excitement; tears flowing down countless faces. Unbelievably, Obama decreed that new applicants will no longer be required to pledge their allegiance

A moving memorable scene. In his 80’s or 90s, family members raised the gentlemen from his wheelchair to his feet. A grandchild held up his right hand. His entire family was tearful as he recited the oath. Folks, these people truly wanted to be Americans. They studied, passed the test and were anxious to assimilate and contribute. After reciting their oath and hearing the emcee say, “Congratulations”, the hall always erupted in applause and cheers of elation.

Obama refuses to obey federal immigration law. Ordered to break the law, border security allows everyone to enter, including gang members, rapists and murderers

Obama is endangering and devastating American families, loved ones raped and murdered by invaders. Then, Obama showers the invaders with welfare and government checks. Yes, government checks

Under-reported (hidden) is the epidemic of strange diseases infecting our kids because Obama forced public schools to take-in invader’s children.

Obama rolling out the red carpet welcome-mat to invaders is a huge slap in the face to legal new American citizens and those respecting our laws following the legal immigration process.

As practically every Obama policy, his amnesty for illegals is another self-serving evil anti-American agenda item disguised as love. Thank God a few GOP presidential contenders have the backbone to firmly saying, “No!”

The Anchor Baby Tale is One Big Myth

blog_anchor_babiesLately the media has made a huge issue of immigration, especially illegal immigration and the whole Anchor Baby issue. This is only because Donald Trump has opened his big mouth numerous times on the subject and forced the other Republican Candidates for President to react and comment.  Often with the same fiery, hard line positions as Trump has espoused.

Let me first say that I am not against legal immigration. In fact, most Conservatives are not against legal immigration. We welcome LEGAL immigration. The simple fact is when it comes to the population of the Western Hemisphere, we are all immigrants including the Native Americans that were here before Europeans and others showed up. The USA is a beacon of hope around the world.  We stand for truth, justice, and a better way of life.  In short, America stands for opportunity and just about everyone on this planet knows that and this is why we have people from nearly every nation on earth living within our borders.  We are a great melting pot and we give those who are willing to work hard and work smart, the chance at a better life. They can even get rich if they so choose to.

I truly believe that America is humanity’s last hope for freedom and survival because we enjoy freedoms here that many around the world can only dream about.  We enjoy such freedom and opportunity that some people will try to subvert the very nation they wish to live and grow within. Those kinds of people are what we rightly call illegal immigrants or illegal alien and this is a huge problem because it is costing the legal citizens, the taxpayer a lot of money on an annual basis.  We are spending billions of tax dollars everywhere in our society, from local government, all the way up to the Federal Government level.

The truth is, we have lots of laws on the books currently to take care of this problem but we have a government that will not enforce those laws.  In fact, we have a Federal Government that even actively seeks to prevent local and state governments from enforcing the immigration laws.  We don’t need to change or add more laws.  We don’t need to give illegal immigrants a pathway to legal citizenship.  We don’t need to overhaul our immigration system because all’s we need to do is enforce the current plethora of laws already on the books that covers immigration into the USA.

We should not allow the so-called Anchor Baby method of getting into the USA on a legal basis.  In fact, the Republicans who are speaking out against this are on the right track.  Even the Constitution really states that you must come into the USA legally in order to have citizenship bestowed upon them or their children.  We are one of less than 5 nations on the entire planet that allows for this Anchor Baby scam.  And yes it is a scam.  A scam perpetrated by people illegally entering our nation for the purpose of making sure that their unborn child is born north of the Rio Grande River.

Oh, we have heard that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution allows for Anchor Babies.  Actually, if one READS that Amendment and the entire Constitution as well as the letters and speeches from the person who actually wrote the 14th Amendment, you would see and understand that this particular Amendment does not allow for Anchor Babies.  And even though the left leaning media keeps saying that there are lots of cases, including the Supreme Court ruling that “Anchor Babies” is the law of the land, it is not true because there are no major court cases that take this into account.

None.

The truth is that the Constitution including the 14th Amendment, states that the Congress shall be the sole determiner of who is a citizen and how people can become citizens.  We have a legal mechanism by which people can enter this nation legally, work legally, and become citizens legally.  Rhetoric is not a law, rhetoric is not a policy, and rhetoric is not the Constitution.  Rhetoric is nothing more than feelings and feelings have no merit when it comes to the law of the land. So is Donald Trump and some of the other Republican candidates correct?  Yes they are.  And it is pretty simple to fix our current immigration problems.  Build the border fence/wall which has already been approved because that will drastically cut down on the illegal invasion of our nation.  Then we need to find every single person here illegally and send them back to their home country. And if someone commits a crime within our nation, they get kicked out of this country and are banned for life from ever returning and if they return they shall face harsh penalty.  Just like other nation’s do.  And contrary to what some on the left claim, we can find them.  In fact we know who and where many of them are already.

In the end, this sort of hard line policy will cost the American taxpayer less money.  It will make our nation and our citizens safer from all kinds of foreign threats and criminals and it will allow for a more robust economy because jobs will not have this downward wage pressure due to illegals getting jobs at below market prices.  A strong, legal, and robust immigration policy can be a boon to the United States again just like it was not so long ago.  But instead we have politicians and leaders and statesmen who will not do the right thing and protect the Constitution and the American People.

Do we really need comprehensive reform to do that?  Of course not.  All we have to do is follow the Constitution and the immigration laws already on the books.

When Judges Quit Protecting Liberty by David S. D’Amato

How do we decide if a government action is legitimate?

When courts are asked to determine whether a government action has violated an individual’s rights, they apply one of several different “standards of review” or “levels of scrutiny,” ranging from “strict scrutiny” (reserved for a very narrow category of cases) to “rational basis scrutiny.”

Rational basis tests erect the lowest possible legal hurdles for the government, yet they are applied in cases that implicate some of our most important liberties, such as the right to earn a living, simply because they were not listed by name in the Bill of Rights.

For example, a law requiring an expensive permit to arrange flowers will only merit a rational basis review. And while rational basis review is a test for constitutionality, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Constitution or its history.

As Timothy Sandefur pointed out in the Cato Unbound issue on judicial activism, such rational basis tests have “no foundation whatsoever in the Constitution of the United States.” Rather, they were simply made up, fashioned by judges out of whole cloth during a period when courts were increasingly willing to defer to legislators and bureaucrats and their arbitrary and needless interference with private enterprise.

Rational basis review amounts to carte blanche for petty tyrants in legislatures, city councils, and regulatory agencies. Since the New Deal, courts have refused to give any real constitutional protection to the basic right to choose your profession and earn an honest living.

The 1934 Supreme Court decision in Nebbia v. New York is an important episode in the creeping evolution of rational basis. Leo Nebbia, a grocer, was convicted of the heinous crime of selling milk at a price that was too low, according to the bullies at New York’s “Milk Control Board.”

Writing for the Court, Justice Owen Roberts declared that as long as a law has “a reasonable relation to a proper legislative purpose,” the courts have no authority to strike it down.

Though he admitted that “the reasonableness of each regulation depends upon the relevant facts,” Roberts still maintained that, once a law is enacted, “every possible presumption is in favor of its validity.” If a “policy may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare,” judicial review is basically over.

As a practical matter, this strange, circular reasoning means that a legislative body determines for itself whether its bills are constitutional. Merely by passing the law, the legislature settles the question and obliges the courts to accept any explanation offered for it. Such a theory eviscerates meaningful judicial review and leaves the individual defenseless, without any legal recourse against the nearly omnipotent modern state. And, since the Nebbia decision, the courts have only become more deferential.

Conservatives mistakenly associate judicial “activism” with the progressive left, but the New Deal-era progressive judges were actually the architects of the judicial “deference” that reigns today. Traditional common law protections were discarded in favor of expedience: the desire to get out of government’s way as it systematically planned, monitored, and regulated society as it saw fit.

The liberalism of the previous century was likewise treated with an arrogant and imperious contempt. Quaint notions of individual liberty and inviolable natural rights gave way to the irresistible march of modernity and “scientific” progress, shepherded by their natural steward, the state.

Rational basis tests invert legitimate due process. The burden of proof should be on the government to prove that a law or regulation serves the general welfare. The government should have to factually demonstrate the connection between the law and public health and safety, not merely assert that one mightexist.

But, instead, judges have decided that person challenging a law must confront and rebut every possible argument and hypothetical that the government (or judge) might conjure up in support of its law.

The rational basis test demands that a victim of government overreach prove the impossible, refuting an infinite universe of possible scenarios and rationales that could justify the law. Forget the actual empirical facts — rational basis has no time for such distractions.

On the contrary, the test requires judges to help the government by inventing counterfactual stories that could have justified the law. Even if the law has nothing to do with community health or safety, even if it is openly protectionist, it must be upheld if any flight of fancy could justify it.

Thus, the rational basis “test” is no test at all. It is a hollow, perfunctory gesture as the court abandons its duty of judicial review and leaves the hapless individual at the mercy of capricious government officials and special interests.

The right to choose your occupation is as fundamental a liberty as the right to speak, an indispensable aspect of self-ownership and self-determination. The freedom to make important, personal decisions about your career and your property is the bedrock of peaceful cooperation and civil society. In any society even moderately committed to freedom and legitimate due process, the rational basis test would be inconceivable. The presumption of liberty, like the presumption of innocence, would be the individual’s default position under the law.

Sadly, judges have abandoned their posts, doing the bidding of arbitrary governments and politically powerful economic interests who use the law to prevent competition. To fulfill the Constitution’s guarantee of due process, and to restore our lost liberties, we must scrap the rational basis excuse.

David S.  D'Amato

David S. D’Amato

David S. D’Amato is an attorney and independent scholar whose writing has appeared at the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Future of Freedom Foundation, the Centre for Policy Studies, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

The Sinking of the USS America

Illegals streaming across the United States borders and then vanishing into our country is a huge, ugly truth the professional politicians do not want to talk about other than to point their fingers at the “other guy,” and launch into a speech about how hard they work to secure our borders. Heck…Senator John McCain pulls this trick every election cycle here in Arizona! The professional politicians, and their handlers, are absolutely appalled and pissed-off that Donald Trump is talking about the carefully crafted agenda to re-colonize our country away from the America we have all known, and into a third-world status nation dutifully taking our place in the New-World Order. We are purposefully being redesigned as Europe has with millions of illegals who absolutely have no intention to accept our culture, our values, our American principles and heritage. Heck…the professional politicians have no intention to make them accept our culture, values, or American heritage.

This message is not an endorsement of Mr. Trump, or even political; it is warning!

Mr. Trump has pulled the lid back on a can of worms known as the “Rush the Border Campaign” successfully being waged by Marxist countries to off-load their poor, their tired, their huddled masses of non-productive people from the alleys and jails within their countries, and even helping to ship them to the southern border of our country so they may skillfully be led across to quickly disperse in the United States. Donald Trump has bluntly talked about this well-developed campaign, and the professional politicians, and their handlers along with the Elites have been stunned! You see…Donald Trump’s blunt talk has been heard by the “silent majority” of Americans who themselves do not have a platform, but have waited and prayed for someone to come along and lead. Trump is leading the conversation, he is exposing what the politicians have known, but have winked and agreed to politely disagree without promoting any significant change whatsoever! Trump is exposing just how much in collusion the professionals really are, and just how much the political establishment does not want the American public to know. This is shameful!

We are well on the way to losing our country, but the Elites, their media cohorts along with the political handlers are counting on this truth being simply too difficult for Americans to accept. So…keep the Starbucks coffee flowing, Monday Night Football glowing, and even stir some political intrigue and theatre in for good measure; just do not let the American People wake-up to the reality that is flowing in all around them like the water on the Titanic did to those on board. “We won’t sink…we cannot sink…we are too big to sink!” After-all we are the USS America, and we are meant to stay afloat no matter what iceberg we hit!!

Donald Trump may not be the right person to sit behind the Resolute Desk (made from the timbers of the British ship HMS Resolute and given by Queen Elizabeth to President Rutherford Hayes in 1880 as a gift of friendship between our countries) in the Oval Office. Yet from the moment of his announcement to run for the presidency, Donald Trump has talked straight, has not played the Washington game or by the rules of the belt-way crowd inside Washington – Georgetown for instance. Donald Trump like any successful businessman knows when a business is in trouble, and unless direct and quick leadership steps are initiated the business will fail – or worse! America is on the verge of failing, and at least Donald Trump is saying this truth. The business of unchecked illegals streaming into America is promoting a disaster of epic proportions. Where are the leaders; where are those in positions of public trust willing to stand and do what is difficult, what is even ugly, but what is right? We have managers in public office, not leaders. We have professional politicians who make nice to their constituents back home, and wring their hands and commiserate about how awful the political systems is, but then hop back on their plane and return to their position of power making sure no one really rocks the ship of state. After-all the decisions about America are not for the people to make or even know about, they are for the few who have captured their place on the first-class section of the Titanic from which they are sure they will remain safe and dry. The warning Donald Trump is sounding and daring to speak about in public does not apply to the Elites or their cohorts. They will shout, “USS America cannot sink no matter what iceberg is hit.” And if in some peculiar way America does sink, well, what they won’t shout is that the professionals have already taken care of themselves with an escape route not available to the masses. Trump is right. Look at the figures below:

$22 Billion spent on welfare yearly to illegals by state government across America; $22 Billion per year on food assistance; $30 Billion spent on illegal children in our elementary schools who cannot speak a word of English, and do NOT need to learn! 30% of all Federal prisoners are illegals; well over $3 Million per DAY spent to incarcerate illegals in our local county jails. In 2006 alone, over $45 Billion sent to illegal’s home country. And what is even worse if you can imagine is that these figures are several years old!

Sound the Alarm!! We have hit an iceberg and we are taking on water below deck even though many are still enjoying another cup of coffee and entertainment on the upper decks. The Silent Majority are listening to Donald Trump, and are beginning to find their own voices. The Silent Majority are angry and scared, they have a very good idea we have hit and iceberg and are taking on water. This is exactly what the Elites and professional politicians don’t want to have happen.

Does Your Butt Dial Have a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy?

Ever get a call when a friend accidentally dialed your number from their pocket? Ever make the mistake yourself: “pocket-dialing” (aka “butt-dialing”) a friend?

Such calls can be annoying when you are on the receiving end, and potentially exposing when you’re the one making the call. (My teenage daughter can attest to the latter after one accidental call to her mother when she was out with her friends.)

As a legal matter, does someone who pocket dials an acquaintance have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the content of the call? Does the recipient of such a call violate laws against intercepting electronic communications if they stay on the line and record its contents?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit confronted some of these questions in Huff v. SpawHere’s the court’s brief summary of the case:

This case requires us to consider whether a person who listens to and subsequently electronically records a conversation from an inadvertent “pocket-dial” call violates Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968…

James Huff inadvertently placed a pocket-dial call to Carol Spaw while he was on a business trip in Italy. Spaw stayed on the line for 91 minutes and listened to face-to-face conversations that James Huff had with Larry Savage, James’s colleague, and with Bertha Huff, James’s wife.

Spaw transcribed what she heard and used an iPhone to record a portion of the conversation between James and Bertha Huff (the Huffs). The Huffs brought suit against Spaw for intentionally intercepting their private conversations, in violation of Title III.

The relevant statute (“Title III”) makes it unlawful to “intentionally intercept … any wire, oral, or electronic communication.”

For purposes of this provision, “intercept” means “the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device,” and a covered communication consists of “any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.” Title III also makes it unlawful to intentionally disclose the contents of a communication that was unlawfully intercepted.

The question for the court in Huff was whether Spaw’s action constituted unlawful interception of Huff’s communications, even though it was Huff — and not Spaw — who initiated the call. This aspect of the case was key to the Sixth Circuit, which concluded Huff could not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his conversation because he exposed his communication to Spaw by calling her, even if he did so inadvertently.

The same could not be said for Huff’s wife, however, as she did not make the call, and did have a reasonable expectation of privacy in her conversation with her husband. On this basis, the Sixth Circuit concluded that Huff’s wife might have a claim (assuming the other statutory requirements were met).

Having a private cause of action against someone who records your call after a pocket dial may be small consolation if the contents of the call are sufficiently embarrassing. So this is a good reminder to lock your phone before putting it in your pocket.

EDITORS NOTE: This post first appeared at the Volokh Conspiracy (©).

Could the Jig Finally Be Up for Huma Abedin?

In FrontPage this morning I explain why the current mini-controversy over Huma Abedin bespeaks a much larger problem with America’s contemporary political culture.

They got Al Capone for tax evasion, and they may get Huma Abedin for “violating rules regarding vacation and sick leave” and for the “possible exchange of unsecured, classified data.” To be sure, these are serious charges, and the available evidence makes it abundantly clear that there is ample warrant to investigate and perhaps even charge Abedin. However, it is a sign of a serious problem with today’s political culture that even more serious allegations regarding Abedin have never been investigated, and almost certainly never will be.

Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood connections have been fully exposed by Andrew McCarthy and bruited about for years. The facts are quite public, albeit largely ignored: Abedin’s parents are both members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but her links to the organization are not just familial. Abedin was for twelve years the assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), which was founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef, a Muslim Brotherhood operative and al-Qaeda financier. Naseef and Abedin both appeared on the JMMA’s masthead from 1996 to 2003.

Consider that Abedin worked closely for seven years with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who financed al-Qaeda in light of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy during the years that Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State. Everyone acknowledges that Abedin and Clinton are extremely close, and that Abedin controls access to Clinton and has tremendous influence over her. Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department was distinguished by the remarkable sight of Egyptian anti-Muslim Brotherhood protestors holding signs denouncing the President of the United States for supporting terrorism, and by the Benghazi debacle, when the Secretary of State sat back and did nothing as jihad terrorists murdered four Americans, including an ambassador.

Then there was the Benghazi cover-up, during which Clinton vowed to have a man who made a video criticizing Muhammad arrested and imprisoned for supposedly provoking the riots, thereby placing herself firmly in opposition to the freedom of speech and aligning herself with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s efforts to compel Western governments to criminalize criticism of Islam (under the guise of “incitement to religious hatred”).

Is it at all possible that Huma Abedin, whose parents were active in the Brotherhood and who worked for twelve years for a journal closely linked to the Brotherhood, had anything to do with the pro-Muslim Brotherhood orientation of the Obama/Clinton State Department? In today’s poisonous political culture, it isn’t possible even to ask the question without incurring charges of “Islamophobia” – as we saw in 2012, when Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had the temerity to call for an investigation of possible Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government.

Bachmann explained: “The concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position. For us to raise issues about a highly-based U.S. Government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin.  In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. Government of anyone seeking a security clearance.” And that was to say nothing about Abedin’s association with Naseef and work with the JMMA.

Now that Abedin is suspected of mishandling classified material, Bachmann’s questions about Abedin’s security clearance are piquant in retrospect. But when she first raised them, Bachmann was ridiculed and vilified, even earning a denunciation from John McCain: “These sinister accusations rest solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members of Huma’s family, none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the United States in any way. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.”

It was actually about more than just Abedin’s family, and a perfectly sound case could be made, in light of Obama’s foreign policy disasters, that Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood links possibly did harm and threaten the United States. But Bachmann’s name was dragged through the mud in 2012 for talking about all this, and now none of the new allegations against Abedin raise any issue with her possible Muslim Brotherhood connections.

That few people care about those connections, and that those who do are dismissed as “far-Right bigots,” shows how myopic and foolish our contemporary political culture is. If Huma Abedin had a hand in the pro-Muslim Brotherhood tilt of the Obama/Clinton State Department, that would be a far graver offense than anything she is accused of now, just as old Capone was guilty of far greater crimes than tax evasion. But on the other hand, those tax evasion charges ended Capone’s operations for good, and so if Hillary’s infamous email server does the same to Huma Abedin, no one who values America’s historic role as leader of the free world will have any reason to complain.

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VIDEO: What’s A Constitution Among Friends? by Stephen Limbaugh

In the much-anticipated new installment to the “new voices” video series from D’Souza Media, Stephen Limbaugh gives a whimsical take-down of how liberals read the Constitution.You must see this musical satire on liberal jurisprudence!

Watch now:

Keep an eye out for more “new voices” videos on DineshDSouza.com in the coming months. In the meantime, watch some more of Stephen’s videos and connect with him on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

AMERICA book in paperbackDinesh D’Souza’s latest #1 New York Times best selling book is “America,” a rebuttal of the progressive shame narrative of American history, now available in paperback for the first time!

Miami-Dade School Board: Tax Payers will Pay over $250,000 for Attorney Fees in Landmark Case

On July 28, 2015, a judge awarded over $250,000 in attorney fees to employees who were victims of “unlawful reprisal” on the part of the School Board of Miami-Dade County in a landmark case.  The plaintiffs worked at Neva King Cooper Educational Center, a special school for students with significant intellectual disabilities.  The plaintiffs included Dr. Alberto T. Fernandez, Principal; Mr. Henny Cristobol, Assistant Principal; and Mrs. Patricia E. Ramirez, Staffing Specialist. They had impeccable reputations and outstanding evaluations.  In May 2012, they were adversely and unlawfully transferred to alternate work locations for their participation in the school’s efforts to explore converting the school to a charter school. Their participation in the school’s charter school exploration was in accordance with and protected by Florida charter school law.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the district’s actions, and on November 16, 2012 the OIG issued a Fact-Finding Report unfavorable to the district.  Subsequently, the Commissioner of Education sent Superintendent Alberto Carvalho a letter notifying him that there was reasonable grounds to believe that “unlawful reprisal” against the employees had occurred, and that the case would be referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) for a hearing to take place.  The judge, Edward T. Bauar, held the hearing from January 27-31 and February 14, 2014.  He questioned the district’s reasons for the transfers.  On June 30, 2014, he issued a recommended order in this unprecedented case: that the FDOE enter a final order finding that the school board violated Florida Statute (FS) 1002.33 (4) (a), Unlawful Reprisal, with respect to each plaintiff.  The judge’s order also stated that the school board pay for plaintiffs’ attorney fees and pay Dr. Fernandez $10,590 for lost bonuses and other reasonable costs.  The judge, however, did not rule that the plaintiffs be returned to the school, as they had been reassigned to comparable positions.  FS 1002.33 (4) allows the district to place prevailing plaintiffs in “similar” positions.  On November 6, 2014, the FDOE entered a final order which reiterated the judge’s recommended order: the school board violated Florida law when it retaliated against employees for their involvement in the conversion of the school to a charter school.

Ms. Milagros Fornell, Associate Superintendent, played a major role in the district’s actions.  She was a member of the superintendent’s cabinet and reported directly to Superintendent Carvalho.  Ms. Fornell has recently retired from the district.

On May 20, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in Federal court for violations of First Amendment rights for their involvement in the above-mentioned conversion charter school exploration.

The judge’s recommended order and his ruling over the attorney fees can be viewed at https://www.doah.state.fl.us/ROS/2013/13001492.pdf. The documents from the hearing can be viewed at www.DOAH.org, case number 13-1492.  The final order can be obtained from the FDOE, case number 2014-3055.

Will “Happy Birthday” Finally Be Liberated? by Jeffrey A. Tucker

The silliness and corruption of current copyright law in one story.

You have been there, at the restaurant, and it’s someone’s birthday. Here come the wait staff, and they start to sing the song. Except that it is not the song. It is some other song, often with the same lyrics but with a different tune. The new song can be creative and fun, to be sure. But the weird reality is that these waiters are not allowed to sing the song, unless the restaurant is willing to cough up a licensing fee to the owners of the song.

Of all songs that seem to be part of the common cultural experience of humankind, this one tops the list. So it is something of a shock to learn that one company, Warner Music Group, claims to own and control it, and thereby has a right to wet its beak with every performance. Warner rakes in millions every year. It has long enforced its copyright claim with its deep pockets, effectively intimidating everyone with the threat of government coercion.

Warner claims that its copyright dates to 1935. Then it was renewed, and it won’t expire in the United States until 2030, at which point it will be legal to sing it, free of charge. Unless you are in Europe. The copyright there expires at the end of 2016. There will be roughly a decade and a half during which time you can sing the song in a cafe in Paris but not at the Hotel Paris in Las Vegas.

What a lovely example of how rights created by statute differ so dramatically from authentic rights!

Now, to be sure, the whole basis of this claim is very shaky. In the music world, if you can find an edition of words and music on an edition published before 1923, the music in question is considered by the legislation to be part of the commons. This convention came about with the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act of 1998, or better known as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.” It was a blatant case of industrial protection, forcing copyright on all works for the lifetime of the claimant, plus 70 years.

Still, and thank goodness for it, there is still a strong role for the commons. Most of the music we think of as foundational to high culture is untethered by such absurdities. This is true for Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rossini, you name it. It’s also the same with folk music. “Old Dan Tucker” can be sung by anyone anytime.

Ownership to all this is shared by the whole of humanity. This does nothing to harm the commercial currency of the music: People still pay for marked editions, performances, recordings, and so on.

The lesson here is that you don’t need copyright to foster vibrant commerce in music. But you do need copyright if you are a company that wants to pillage people for innocently doing a peaceful thing like publicly singing a celebratory song in a restaurant.

For those who imagine that copyright is there to protect the property of creators, the case of “Happy Birthday” is an excellent case to the contrary. It’s been part of popular culture dating back to the 19th century. The melody is well documented as “Good Morning to All” and appeared in songbooks. What really happened is that a mega-big corporate monopoly pillaged the commons and took exclusive possession of a non-scarce good, solely to gain monopoly rents.

Well, perhaps they pushed too far. Finally, a consortium of performers and attorneys, fed up with the nonsense, is challenging the “Happy Birthday” monopoly. And the litigators have a smoking gun, and it is rather devastating. They found an edition of the song dated from 1922. It says it is published with special permission. But as regards copyright law, the point is that the in-print existence of this song from that period puts it squarely in the public domain.

Everyone in the industry has smelled a rat regarding Warner’s claims. This little document shines the spotlight on it. It seems like the jig is up, but we shall see.

The significance of the case goes far beyond revealing a conventional case of the abuse of the system. It is indeed abusive, but the problem is deeper: It is the system itself. Authentic property rights are not established by positive legislation, forever tweaked according to lobbying pressure and turning on tiny details of dates and intricacies of publishing history.

Authentic property rights extend from the physical nature of things: this is mine, this is yours, this is his and this is hers. Property is based on exclusive control. Such a thing is not possible as regards a tune. Once a tune is heard, it belongs also to the hearer.

For this reason, the reform of the system needs to go far beyond reducing the influence of predatory rent seekers. It must question the existence of supposed “rights” that only exist due to government intervention, “rights” that actually amount to a fundamental attack on free-market competition.

F.A. Hayek, who consistently opposed copyright as a government imposition, saw this clearly, writing in 1948 that:

The problem of the prevention of monopoly and the preservation of competition is raised much more acutely in certain other fields to which the concept of property has been extended only in recent times. I am thinking here of the extension of the concept of property to such rights and privileges as patents for inventions, copyright, trade-marks, and the like.

It seems to me beyond doubt that in these fields a slavish application of the concept of property as it has been developed for material things has done a great deal to foster the growth of monopoly and that here drastic reforms may be required if competition is to be made to work.

Commerce without IP 

But how can industry work in the absence of legislatively created monopolies? Here is where real-life experience outsmarts all the blinders of the intellectual classes. There are many goods over which copyright is not enforceable, and yet they work just fine.

The fashion industry exists without it. Every new design in every season can be copied by anyone. And it happens all the time. The expectation is baked into the sales model. Instead of government-protected monopoly, we get a highly competitive, fast-moving industry that serves all classes and tastes.

Another fascinating case is the perfume industry. Scents cannot be copyrighted and patented. They can all be reverse engineered and sold for a fraction as much as the cosmetic counter and Bloomingdale’s are trying to sell them. This happens every day. And yet, somehow and seemingly miraculously, the industry is gigantically profitable ($30 billion a year), and plenty of people still pay $70 per bottle — just for the guarantee of quality and the prestige that comes with using the original.

It’s been 16 years since Napster was taken down in the interest of protecting the music monopoly. The take down did nothing to stop file sharing and piracy. In fact, as a result of it, the industry has come around to see the commercial advantages of sharing. Most artists today put their music up at zero-cost on YouTube, and see commercial sales through advertising, digital purchases of albums and songs, plus performance contracts and swag that come with it.

At every stage of technological advance in the music industry, voices of doom warned of the coming apocalypse when new music would be no more. And yet, at every stage — records, radio, tapes, digital file sharing — the result has been the opposite. The industry as a whole is more profitable than ever. And there has never been a time in history when such a variety of music has been available to so many at such low prices.

Copyright was invented in the analog age, and its utility has been systematically undermined in the digital age of ubiquitous information sharing. Nearly every dance party and nightclub in the country (and nearly every individual, for that matter) stands in violation of the law, and everyone knows it. The industry uses the prevailing restrictions and privileges to selectively plunder people whenever they get the chance, sort of like agents from liquor control at the height of Prohibition.

Somehow, the comical scene of servers at restaurants trying to sing something, anything, to celebrate the birthday of customer underscores the absurdity of the entire racket. If the “Happy Birthday” monopoly falls, and it surely will, we’ll have taken a giant leap toward a future without government-created art cartels. Music can be free like speech without being free like beer.

Maybe by this time next year, your waiter will be permitted to sing you a song that celebrates your birthday. No one is hurt. As they say, anything peaceful.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Florida: A Day in Court for Marise London, an Elderly Jewish Woman

Marise London

Marise London

It was much better than a breath of fresh air or a refreshing swim in the sea; for I could see real jurisprudence.  Dissecting the word into its meaningful units, “juris” means judging, and “prudence” means with wisdom; but how often are the two actually combined into one?

Today, sitting in a Sarasota County, FL court as a spectator and an elder advocate for a lonely Jewish woman locked in guardianship in Florida year after year without due process that it rightfully due to her, I heard her new Probate judge press and press the battling lawyers in her case, drumming up thousands of dollars per hour in legal fees, to put her fate into perspective.  While the lawyers, at least seven of them in the courtroom on August 6, 2015, were preoccupied with rules and laws, the presiding judge kept a keen eye on the greater purpose of the hearing, that being what best serves the needs of Marise London, artist, mother, and beloved elder to so many advocates who stand with her in her ardent quest for dignity and freedom from the human bondage of guardianship.

What else could you call a system in which precious human beings are deprived of their most basic rights in life and to life?  A Ward of the State of Florida, where guardianship has become a major asset to the State and a tragic liability to the lives of its elders, is mentally, physically, and emotionally trapped in a network of professionals loyal to their livelihoods often more so than to the lives they are sworn to protect.

Guardianship is, in many respects, human trafficking, in which an elder is most commonly isolated from family and deprived of her rights to move and communicate freely according to her own choices.  She cannot marry or write a check.  She cannot contract or decide where she wants to live.  She cannot select her doctor or refuse a specific medical treatment, psychotropic, or narcotic.  She lives in isolation, subject to the will of her guardian, not of herself.

In a courtroom packed with Marise’s supporters, some of whom traveled hundreds of miles to advocate for her with their feet, a patient judge listened to lengthy proclamations of law for over an hour and then rightfully turned the entire focus of the hearing to Mrs. London, asking three crucial questions, the only ones that really matter: “Does Marise really need a guardian at all?” “Is there a less restrictive circumstance instead of guardianship that will meet Marise’s needs?” “Is there a better guardian available for Marise’s needs than the one she has had for years?”

The questions repeated by the judge a number of times were songs in my head because they were judging the fate of Marise prudently that she may face her future as the free woman she so truly deserves to be.

Miami, FL: Remembering the First Anniversary of a Jewish Death

Joseph Raksin

Rabbi Joseph Raksin

What if a rabbi clad in black with a long beard and hat to match his identifiable Jewish appearance were executed on his way to synagogue at 9:00 AM on Saturday in front of his little grandchildren on a lovely Miami Beach street? Why, of course, the Jewish and non-Jewish outrage would be irrepressible, relentless, insatiable until justice was accomplished.

The Rabbi – Joseph Raksin His age – 60 His family – wife, six children, and seven grandchildren

Date of death – August 9, 2014

Murderers – two young Black men on foot and bicycle

Where is the Jewish outrage when Jewish blood is spilled? On the first anniversary of his cold-blooded murder, who will utter from the pulpit the name of “Joseph Raksin,” executed on his way to pray with his grandchildren on a perfect Miami Beach day in a perfect Florida neighborhood except for the relentless hate crimes numbering dozens and continuing?

Miami Beach anti-Semitic hate crimes involve numerous swastikas and hateful words and symbols spray-painted on Jewish buildings, a youth center and bus, neighborhood Publix, Jewish-owned cars, and synagogues. On July 28, 2014, during the Gaza War, a synagogue two blocks from Rabbi Raksin’s future place of death was defaced with swastikas painted in red across its stately white columns and front façade.

Where is the Jewish outrage when Jewish blood is spilled and synagogues are defaced with Nazi symbols and slogans? In one year’s time, who has made the Rabbi’s horrific broad-daylight execution a cause for speeches and news articles? Where are the suspects now?

Without your voice, our extended Jewish Florida family waits in fear of more crimes inflicted upon them and their property. Where is your voice? Where are the suspects, who could be planning more mayhem against the quiet Jews?

In honor of Rabbi Raksin, his family, the Jews of Miami Beach, and all the Martyrs of Israel, we ask you to observe this first anniversary of a Jewish death with words and deeds to protect all Jews from anti-Semitic hate crimes.

Please copy and paste the below petition and email it to: The AL KATZ Center at helpelders@hotmail.com.

May Rabbi Raksin’s memory be for blessing.

PETITION FOR HATE CRIME PROSECUTIONS OF RABBI’S MURDERERS

We, the undersigned, strongly call upon all relevant authorities, including the U.S. Justice Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to conduct a thorough investigation of and to pursue prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law as a hate crime for the assassination of Rabbi Joseph Raksin.

Rabbi Raksin was identifiably Jewish by his manner of dress. While he was walking to synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 9:00 AM, he was shot dead. Prior to his cold-blooded murder and after, there was a continuing string of hate crimes against the Miami Beach Jewish community, including, among other crimes, defacings of synagogues with swastikas, carving Nazi symbols into Jewish-owned cars, defacings of other Jewish buildings and the Publix in the Jewish neighborhood, threats against Jews, and defacings of a school bus and youth center in the area.

At this time, no one has been arrested, and aggressive tireless investigations need to be conducted to find the perpetrators of this obvious anti-Semitic hate crime and the other associated anti-Semitic hate crimes in the area.

Man High on Synthetic Marijuana Decapitates Wife and more…

Breitbart reports:

A Phoenix man who authorities say decapitated his wife and two dogs and gouged his own eye out let out a moaning howl in court after a prosecutor told a judge what the man had allegedly done, according to video released Monday.

Kenneth Wakefield appeared in court Saturday after being released from a hospital and booked into jail on suspicion of murder and animal cruelty. He had a large bandage in place of a missing hand, which police said he had cut off.

A judge set bond for Wakefield at $2 million after a prosecutor called the 43-year-old, who has a history of mental illness, a danger to the community.

In the video, Wakefield raises his right hand to his face, lowers his head and emits a two-second howl after the prosecutor said Wakefield repeatedly stabbed and decapitated Trina Heisch.

In a court document released Monday, police say 49-year-old Heisch was stabbed multiple times in her torso and had “defensive wounds to her hands and arms.” Investigators also found several bloody knives and a large amount of blood throughout the couple’s central Phoenix apartment.

Wakefield acknowledged stabbing her multiple times before decapitating her, police said. He also told investigators he smoked marijuana and synthetic marijuana about an hour before the attack on Heisch.

“He said he was trying to get the evil out of Trina,” police said in the probable cause statement.

Wakefield did not have an attorney when he appeared in court, but the judge, Commissioner Alysson Abe, said one would be appointed for him before his next scheduled appearance on Friday.

Read more.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of WPTV Channel 5 in West Palm Beach, FL.

Supreme Court: No More Lifetime Appointments by Doug Bandow

Democrats and Republicans alike have turned Supreme Court appointments into a partisan slugfest. No wonder: while the judiciary has long been described as the least dangerous branch of government, the court has become instead a continuing constitutional convention. Just five votes can turn the Constitution inside out.

The latest Supreme Court term was seen as a shift to the left. The high court rewrote Obamacare to save the president’s landmark legislation to socialize American health care and completed a social revolution by nationalizing gay marriage. These decisions set off a flurry of promises from Republican Party presidential candidates to confront the judiciary.

Extreme Measures

Jeb Bush said he would only appoint judges “with a proven record of judicial restraint,” even though previous presidents claiming to do the same chose Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and John Roberts, among many other conservative disappointments.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for judicial retention elections. Such a change at the federal level would require a constitutional amendment, though it would mimic the practices of some 20 states. Even more controversially, Cruz suggested that only those whose case was brought before the justices had to respect Supreme Court rulings.

Extreme measures seem necessary because a simultaneously progressive and activist judiciary has joined the legislature and executive in forthrightly making public policy.

Should Justices Serve for Life?

The influence of judges has been magnified by their relative immunity from political pressure. Although the courts sometimes follow the election returns, in many cases — such as abortion and gay marriage — judicial decisions have short-circuited normal political discourse.

That fact alone makes judicial appointments important. Their significance is magnified by judges’ life tenure.

Lose the battle over filling a Supreme Court slot and you may suffer the consequences for decades. Gerald Ford’s unelected presidency merits little more than a historical footnote, but his Supreme Court legacy long persisted through Justice John Paul Stevens, a judicial ideologue hostile to liberty in most forms. Republicans going back to Dwight Eisenhower publicly lamented the evolution of their appointees, and every one of them made at least one choice that ultimately advanced a big-government agenda. Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts fill that role today.

Lifetime tenure has other consequences. The appointment process is endlessly arbitrary, as judges hang on, irrespective of advancing age. Although instances of obvious infirmity are few — the last clear Supreme Court case was William O. Douglas, who served more than 36 years before retiring in 1975 — outcomes should not be affected by actuarial tables. A gerontocratic court differs dramatically from the society on behalf of which its members purport to speak. The lack of turnover also may deaden court debate, reinforcing established patterns of thinking.

Life tenure is enshrined in the Constitution and rooted in history. The justification for lifetime appointment is to insulate the courts from transient political pressures. Some such protection is necessary if judges are to feel free to make unpopular decisions upholding the nation’s fundamental law.

Yet, judicial independence does not require lack of accountability. Judges are supposed to play a limited though vital role: interpreting, not transforming, the law. The dichotomy of activism versus restraint is the wrong prism for viewing judges. They should be active in enforcing the law, striking down legislation, and vindicating rights when required by the Constitution. They should be restrained in substituting their policy preferences for those of elected representatives.

When jurists violate this role, as do so many judges, they should be held accountable. Unfortunately, many of the proposed responses are more dangerous than the judges themselves. For instance, limiting court jurisdiction or impeaching errant jurists, oft proposed in the past, provides obvious opportunities for abuse. Worse is Cruz’s idea that most people should ignore the Supreme Court. Where government branches collide, someone must have a final say, or else the result will be enduring political conflict and limited legal legitimacy.

Ignore the Court?

More important, Cruz would presumably not want politicians to ignore court rulings with which he agreed. After all, as originally conceived, the judiciary was tasked with the critical role of holding the executive and legislative branches accountable, limiting their propensity to exceed their bounds and abuse the people. For instance, Alexander Hamilton imagined independent courts playing a “peculiarly essential” role to safeguard liberties and being an “excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body.” Indeed, he contended, the judiciary would “guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals” from “the people themselves.”

Thomas Jefferson argued that judges would provide a “legal check” on political majorities. James Madison, often viewed as the father of the Constitution, predicted that

independent tribunals of justice will consider themselves in a peculiar manner the guardians of [Bill of Rights guarantees]; they will be an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive; they will be naturally led to resist every encroachment upon rights expressly stipulated for in the constitution by the declaration of rights.

Of course, all too often the judiciary fails to fulfill this role today. No less than the presidents and congressmen, judges have become avid advocates of statism. Jurists as well as politicians should be held accountable. Unreviewable power is always dangerous.

Throw the Bums Out?

Some 20 states have implemented Cruz’s second idea, of retention elections. Few judges are defenestrated, but on occasion, the results are dramatic. Three decades ago, California voters ousted three state supreme court jurists who had effectively repealed the death penalty. In 2010, Iowa voters defeated three state supreme court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage.

National judicial elections, however, would be far more problematic. Should the decision be made via national vote or by a majority of state votes? Moreover, it is hard to believe that Americans who today choose their president based on 30-second television spots would pay serious attention to esoteric legal issues and make the fine distinctions characteristic of legal and constitutional analysis. Worse, judicial votes might reinforce the reigning political consensus, allowing majorities to remove justices most prepared to enforce the constitution against those in power. Unfortunately, further politicizing the judiciary would be an uncertain means of counteracting the problem of a politicized judiciary.

There is a better alternative.

The Solution: Fixed Terms

The Constitution should be amended to authorize fixed terms for federal judges. Perhaps one term of 10 or 12 years for Supreme Court justices, though Federalist Society founder Steve Calabresi suggested 18-year terms. Another option would be a renewable term of 6 or 8 years. Staggering terms would ensure every president at least a couple of appointments. Mixing short and long terms would expand diversity.

Such an approach would offer several advantages. While every appointment would remain important, judicial nominations would no longer be as likely to become political Armageddon. The new justice’s service would be bounded with his exit from office already set, and another appointment would be due a couple of years later.

Term limits also would ensure a steady transformation of the court’s membership. New additions at regular intervals would encourage intellectual as well as physical rejuvenation of the court. No longer would justices attempt to desperately hang on in order to outlast a president of another party. Law rather than health would determine the pace of judicial appointments.

Most important, fixed terms would establish judicial accountability. Justices still would be independent, largely immune to political retaliation for their decisions. Thus, if so inclined, they still could “resist every encroachment upon rights expressly stipulated for in the constitution by the declaration of rights.”

Nevertheless, abusive judges would no longer serve for life. Elective officials could reassert control over the court without destroying the judicial institution. There would be no court-packing, a la Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as transformation would take time, over two or three presidencies.

The Supreme Court has become as consequential as the presidency in making public policy. Indeed, contrary to their originally envisioned role, judges have become as likely as politicians to push to expand state power and limit individual liberty. It is necessary to find a way to impose accountability while preserving independence. Appointing judges to fixed terms would simultaneously achieve both objectives.


Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of a number of books on economics and politics. He writes regularly on military non-interventionism.

Exposed: America’s Enemies Within

PARTIAL BIRTH

Partial birth abortion.

My 87 year old black Dad called to say he wanted to congratulate me for my perseverance. “You finally have me and all your siblings (4) agreeing with you.”

My deep desire is to alert my son, daughter and other non-political hard working Americans of the moral, spiritual and cultural evil threatening to overtake our great nation. No longer are we simply engaged in a battle of ideas – republican vs democrat – liberal vs conservative. America’s choice of governing has become far more daunting – light vs darkness – good vs evil. “Choose ye this day, whom you will serve.”

Despite Leftist merchants of evil using big words and arrogant condescension to convince us that morality is relative, we instinctively know some things are good and some things are bad. Equally annoying is Leftists’ air of superiority – claiming to care more than us commoners about equality, saving the planet and all life; their evil intentions hidden beneath a shroud of faux compassion.

Leftists have what I call their no-pictures-please policy. They get fuming mad whenever anyone accurately describes, visualizes or shows pictures of procedures and behaviors the Left has demanded that Americans embrace. For example: Leftists want women to freely kill their babies all the way up to moments before birth. The last thing they want the public to see is video of the partial birth abortion procedure

Yes, I am unequivocally saying liberals/Democrats (Leftists) are forcing their evil agenda down America’s throat. “Forcing” is exactly what the Left is doing. Americans typically vote against Leftists’ desire to make abhorrent behavior mainstream and transforming America into a welfare state. Leftists send in their activist judges to overturn the will of We the People. After verbally slapping us around calling us racist, sexist and homophobic, Leftist judges make what the people voted against into law.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, …, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” As I lay out the facts, you judge for yourself.

stemexpress logoVideos exposing Planned Parenthood’s inhuman thriving baby-body-parts-are-us business have horrified the nation. Americans are demanding that government stop giving PP $500 million a year of taxpayers’ money. 

Well, guess where the majority of PP chop shops are located? Black neighborhoods. PP founder Margaret Sanger pulled no punches. PP was started to deal with “the negro problem.” Sanger believed blacks were inferior and bred too often. Black abortions are disproportionately higher than whites.

Blacks who have not been seduced by the dark side are sounding the alarm letting blacks know they are aborting themselves into extinction. A billboard in a black neighborhood read, “The Most Dangerous Place for An African-American Is in the Womb.” Guess who was outraged and demanded the billboard be taken down? Al Sharpton and other assorted Leftists who claim to be advocates for blacks.

Sharpton is leading the charge in the hate inspired “Black Lives Matter” movement; founded on the lie that white cops routinely murder blacks. I guess black baby lives do not matter to Sharpton when they are killed by his Leftists homeys at PP.

Here’s another thing that causes one to scratch their head. Leftists are fanatical about protecting the rain-forest. They say it may hold a cure for AIDS. And yet, most Leftists are obsessed with killing babies. Even after a baby survives a failed abortion, Leftists demand that medical staff let the baby die. Amazingly, a law had to be passed to end this barbaric practice. Why haven’t Leftists considered the possibility that the doctor or researcher with a cure for cancer, AIDS and other diseases may have been among the 55 million babies aborted in America since 1973

Leftists are defending PP black marketing baby body parts. And yet, these same Leftists are tearfully outraged over the death of a furry animal and fight to their death to protect trees and imprisoned cop killers. There is something seriously wrong in people who possess such a mindset.

Good morning Ma’am. We appreciate your patronage over the years. However, our religious conscience prevents us from baking a wedding cake for your marriage to a woman. I imagine this is pretty much how the conversation went. Well, all heck broke loose. Christian bakers Aaron and Melisa Klein had to close down their shop and state ordered to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 in absurd damages.

Check this out folks. America rallied behind the Kleins and started a donations account. When the account reached $100,000, homosexuals pressured Go-Fund-Me into shutting down the account – claiming Go-Fund-Me was supporting hate.

Okay, so first homosexual activists fined the Kleins $135k. Then, they attempted to block efforts to pay the fine. So, the fine is not about paying the lesbian couple, it is about destroying the Kleins. In essence, Leftists want to hang the Kleins’ economically bloody carcass in the public square as a warning to Christians who refuse to betray their faith. Can you say an assault on Christians’ constitutional “free exercise of religion”, boys and girls?

Scripture says “no weapon formed against us shall prosper” and “what they meant for evil, God meant for good.” The Kleins’ account has reached $372,000, thus far. Praise God!

The Kleins have five kids with whom they planned to leave their business. Leftists have other plans for the Klein family.

Dad calling me about his and my siblings’ conversion was really cool. However, I am constantly thinking and praying for wisdom to awaken fellow blacks and other Americans continuously played by Leftists. I rest in the knowledge that surrendering to evil is the only way we fail.

Interviewers have asked on numerous occasions, “How do you endure the name calling and hate you receive as a black conservative Republican?” I reply, “It is easy because I know I am on the right side….God’s.”

RELATED ARTICLE: REPORT: Aborted Baby Parts Being Used to Grow Human Organs in Rodents

How to Overturn the Iran Nuclear Pact

July 28th, Secretary Kerry was asked at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing by Wisconsin, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) why the Iran nuclear deal wasn’t subject to advice and consent by the Senate as a treaty. Kerry suggested emphatically “that you can’t pass a treaty anymore.” As evidence that you could, it was pointed out that Kerry himself, acting as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman in 2010, secured the approval of the Start 2 nuclear treaty with Russia. Testimony, both at last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) and at the House Foreign Affairs Committee INARA hearing, raised questions about several options to overturn the Iran nuclear pact. We refer to proposals raised by former US prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, Caroline Glick, David Rivkin and Lee Casey as well as Robert Sklaroff.

McCarthy and Glick suggested Congress reassert its review prerogatives, ditch INARA and pass a resolution to treat the JCPOA as a treaty and schedule a vote. Rivkin and Casey further suggest asserting individual state Iran sanction laws to effectively nix the deal, should the President successfully override a vote under INARA. Sklaroff suggests that the Congressional intent under INARA was violated due to the dropping of sanctions on conventional arms. He cites as a precedent the 1912 B. Altman v US case which allowed for direct SCOTUS appeal if there is any possibility an agreement is a “treaty.”

Let’s review what happened at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. A CNSNews.com, report on the Hearing by Patrick Goodenough, reported the Administration’s justification for treating this as a political agreement, Kerry: Iran Deal Not a Treaty ‘Because You Can’t Pass a Treaty Anymore’. Witness these exchanges between Kerry and Republican Ribble and Democrat Brad Sherman (D-CA):

Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) recalled Kerry saying earlier in the hearing that if Congress rejects the JCPOA, other countries will in the future not trust the U.S. since rather than negotiating with an administration they will in effect be doing so with 535 members of Congress.

“For 228 years the Constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties to be with the advice and consent of 67 U.S. Senators,” he said. “Why is this [Iran deal] not considered a treaty?”

“Well Congressman, I spent quite a few years ago trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate,” Kerry replied. “And frankly, it’s become physically impossible. That’s why.”

[…]

“Let’s say Congress doesn’t take your advice, and we override a veto,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) put to Kerry. “And the law that’s triggered then imposes certain sanctions. Will you follow the law, even though you think it violates this agreement clearly, and even if you think it’s absolutely terrible policy?”

Kerry said he would need to consult with President Obama before answering such a question.

“So you’re not committed to following the law?” Sherman asked.

“No, no, I said I’m not going to deal with a hypothetical, that’s all,” Kerry retorted.

Watch this MRC video of Kerry’s remarks at the House Foreign affairs Committee Hearing:

Now let’s review briefly the various proposals suggesting means by which Congress and others might endeavor to overturn the Iran Nuclear pact.

Andrew C, McCarthy in a July 17th, NRO Corner article suggested:

While the administration is refusing to yield, the Congress can get busy enacting a Constitution-tracking resolution: one that affirms that Congress has the power to insist that international agreements be treated as treaties, or at least regular legislation, if they are to be legally enforceable. If they are not thus approved by a two-thirds super majority of the Senate or an act of Congress, they have no standing as binding law — they are mere executive agreements that can be abandoned at any time by either the president who makes such an agreement or by a future president. The Democrats would be expected to fight this, of course, and Obama would veto it (just as he would veto a Corker “resolution of disapproval”). But especially now that we know what is in the Iran deal, many Democrats may not want to be seen as carrying not just Obama’s water but the mullahs’. Moreover, Congress would not be rejecting Obama’s deal; it would be saying that the deal needed to comply with the Constitution to become enforceable — a proposition that should not be controversial. There has to be a better chance of overriding an Obama veto on a resolution that asks Democrats simply to endorse their own indisputable Constitutional powers than on a resolution that asks Democrats to reject their president’s deal.

Following the President’s end run of Congress submitting the Joint Plan of Action to the UN receiving a resounding Security Council endorsement, Caroline Glick, published her jeremiad in Real Clear Politics and other outlets on How to kill the Iran nuclear agreement, basically affirming McCarthy’s proposal:

As former US federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued in National Review last week, by among other things canceling the weapons and missile embargoes on Iran, the six-power deal with Iran went well beyond the scope of the Corker-Cardin law, which dealt only with nuclear sanctions relief. As a consequence, Congress can claim that there is no reason to invoke it.

Rather than invoke Corker-Cardin, Congress can pass a joint resolution determining that the deal with Iran is a treaty and announce that pursuant to the US Constitution, the Senate will schedule a vote on it within 30 days. Alternatively, Congress can condition the Iran deal’s legal stature on the passage of enabling legislation – that requires simple majorities in both houses.

Dan Darling, foreign policy adviser to Republican Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul wrote July 20th that senators can use Senate procedure to force the Foreign Relations Committee to act in this manner. Darling argued that House Speaker John Boehner can either refuse to consider the deal since it is a treaty, or insist on passing enabling legislation under normal legislative procedures.

David B. Rivkin and Lee Casey in a Wall Street Journal Op-ed offered possible relief via existing state Iran sanctions laws directed at barring companies from investing or doing business with the Islamic Republic.  A proposition that Breitbart News had earlier promoted:

On July 22, Breitbart News was the first to point out that the states have the power to block significant portions of the Iran deal, whether or not it passes Congress. That is because most states have enacted legislation divesting from Iran, and some, like New York, have even harsher legislation that prevents the state from doing business with the regime or with companies that do so.

In an op-ed in the July 27th Wall Street Journal, constitutional lawyers David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey agree: the states are “free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions.”

Rivkin and Casey review the various ways in which the Iran deal skirts both U.S. Constitutional and international law. They then note: “The administration faces another serious problem because the deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but his executive-agreement approach cannot pre-empt the authority of the states.”

Rivkin and Casey agree: “The Constitution’s Commerce Clause prevents states from imposing sanctions as broadly as Congress can. Yet states can establish sanctions regimes—like banning state-controlled pension funds from investing in companies doing business with Iran—powerful enough to set off a legal clash over American domestic law and the country’s international obligations. The fallout could prompt the deal to unravel.”

Regardless of whether they add new sanctions, states are unlikely to unravel their sanctions any time soon. (Notably, many of the states that have Iran sanctions are not “red” states, but are actually “blue” states where Democrats have taken a firm line against the Iranian regime.)

Robert Sklaroff in an article published July 29 in The Hill raises the alternative of possible litigation on the basis of executive overreach:

A lawsuit must be based upon the “legislative intent” criterion that was determinative when the SCOTUS validated Obamacare. This filing would jointly seek a temporary restraining order, for the lawsuit reasonably could prevail and, otherwise, implementation of the pact would render it moot. Disapproval of any component of the pact would invalidate the entire agreement because neither the bill nor the pact contains a “severability” clause.

Thus, based upon public statements issued by the executive branch, the legislative branch adopted this bill–emasculating black-letter limitation of presidential hegemony–under the pretense that it would only deal with nuclear-warfare, and not conventional-warfare.

Therefore, just as the House’s litigation challenges Obama Care’s overreach, the Senate should restrain a lawless POTUS. The judicial branch must ultimately issue a landmark decision that will rebuke Obama’s autocratic “legacy.”

While each of these options have both merits and daunting thresholds for implementation, the reality is that the Administration has played a weak hand in conducting less than rigorous due diligence on representations and concession demands by the Iranian negotiating team between the adoption of the Framework on April 2nd, the announcement on July 14th and the preemptive UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the JCPOA on July 22nd.

Evidence of further cupidity by the Administration emerged from a trip to Vienna by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.). Their discussions with representatives of the IAEA revealed secret side deals with Iran that demonstrated that the systemic verification, inspection and monitoring regime will unlikely reveal conclusive information on previous military developments. Nor will those side deals address external covert nuclear weapons development with rogue partner North Korea.

It will be impossible to conduct rigorous due diligence on many aspects of this political agreement with Iran in exchange for release of upwards of $150 billion of sequestered funds. Hence, while these ways to override the nuclear pact have intriguing aspects, the question arises as to whether Congress has the will to do what McCarthy and Glick propose, or default to state Iran sanctions as a last resort. Independent Congressional litigation on demonstrable Constitutional legal grounds regarding executive overreach may be an alternative solution. If the Senate was granted standing on direct appeal, based on the B. Altman SCOTUS ruling, it might result in a predisposed SCOTUS rendering a positive ruling thus quashing the Iran nuclear pact. Further, the ruling might unfetter the hands of any successor to President Obama on inauguration day in 2017 to undertake remedial actions. Such actions might reduce the current existential threats to both the U.S. and Israel. However, Norman Podhoretz contends, in his July 29th Wall Street Journal op-ed, there is only a Hobson’s choice for Israel: either a conventional war against Iran now or a possible nuclear war with Iran later.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Secretary of State Kerry testifying before House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 28, 2015. Source: AP/Andrew Harnik. Also see Jerry Gordon’s collection of interviews, The West Speaks.