Islamic Society of North America conference in Tampa “to counteract different forms of extremism.”

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is holding a conference “to counteract different forms of extremism.”  It appears the extremism they are talking about is not the Jihadists of Islam that despise America and want to change its public policy.  The extremism that ISNA is referring to is the efforts by those who do not want Sharia law to have any place in American politics. Among those who have spoken out against ISNA is Dr. Zuhdi M. Jasser, Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Since 9/11 there have been over 21,000 deadly terrorist attacks conducted by Muslims, over 93,000 Syrians have died in a Sunni vs. Shia regional conflict, and sharia compliant Islamic regimes in Turkey and Egypt are clamping down on those petitioning their governments. The most recent Boston Bombing by two Muslim Americans adds to the growing distrust of shariah as both brothers were following its tenants while murdering fellow Americans.

According to the ISNA website the conference is scheduled for June 29, 2013 at the Sheraton Tampa East on 10221 Princess Palm Avenue in Tampa, Florida.  The Sheraton Tampa East is owned by Starwood.

Ahmed Bedier (right) in front of poster supporting terrorist fundraiser Sami al-Arian. For a larger view click on the image.

Ahmed Bedier is a featured speaker at the ISNA conference in Tampa.  Ahmed Bedier:

  • Is leading a national effort through United Voices for America to oppose federal legislation that would prohibit American courts from recognizing Sharia law.
  • As director of the Tampa office of the Council on Islamic-American Relations defended Sami Al Arian, who was indicted and pled to federal charges of raising support for a Palestinian Jihad organization.
  • As director of the Tampa office of the Council on Islamic-American Relations spoke on behalf of Youssef Megahed one of two University of South Florida students who were arrested for allegedly carrying pipe bombs near the Goose Creek, S.C a naval base and Megahed was arrested later for deportation.
  • Lobbying efforts as director of the Tampa office of the Council on Islamic-American Relations resulted in the Hillsborough County School Board removing Yom Kippur and Good Friday from the school calendar even after nearly sixty percent of the students (supported by parents) protested by staying home from school on subsequent Good Fridays.  See Note 4 with references below.

ISNA founder and former Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed said in 2006“Our job is to change the constitution of America.”  It is the Islamist mission to institute Sharia law as public policy in the United States.

The Clarion Project reported on May 30, 2013 in the article titled ISNA Redefines “Shari’a” for Western Consumption. The latest issue of the Islamic Horizons magazine of the Islamic Society of North America, a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, has an article with this message:

The U.S could learn from Islamic law if it weren’t for the “Islamophobes” bashing Sharia.  The theme of the article is that “Islamophobes” are twisting the meaning of Sharia, and it is up to Muslim-Americans to set the record straight.

 Some provisions of Sharia law are antithetical to the rights and liberties afforded under Article 6 of the United States Constitution, which states the US Constitution is the “supreme law of the land”. Under Sharia law the Quran supersedes any other laws, meaning the Constitution must conform to the Quran. Shariah requires the establishment of a single religion – Islam.

Email promoting ISNA conference in Tampa:

Date: Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM
Subject: ISNA Day in Tampa is June 29, look who will be there

Asalaamu Alaikum-

ISNA is proud to be hosting ISNA Community Day in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, June 29th (inshallah) featuring Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, Moutasim Atiya, country muslim singer Kareem SalamaWajahat Ali, Reverend Charles McKenzie and many more.

The event is from 3:00 PM – 10:30 PM at the Sheraton Tampa East (10221 Princess Palm Avenue). In light of recent events and frequent misconceptions about Muslims, the theme “The American Muslim Identity: Challenges to Opportunities” will focus on addressing the difficulties Muslims face and discussing practical and positive solutions to counteract different forms of extremism.

EDITORS NOTES:

Note 1.  Ahmed Bedier is President of United Voices for America.  The top issue at Unitedvoices.com is opposing federal legislation to prohibit American courts from recognizing Sharia law.  The headline issue on this web site states “If passed, this legislation will be disastrous…”  Click here to read top article titled “UV Policy Brief: Should Sharia Law Be Banned in America?” at United Voices for America.

Note 2.  “Ahmed Bedier, Tampa spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said Moffitt was wrong about the Al-Arian plea. Al-Arian did not agree to admit to any charges associated with terrorism, Bedier said.

“He stayed true to his convictions – he stayed true he wasn’t going to plead to those issues,” Bedier said. “There is no conspiracy to support terrorism.”

Bedier said he could not reveal what charge Al-Arian agreed to, and he refused to reveal the source of his information.

Bedier convened a 7 p.m. news conference, saying he hoped to have Al-Arian’s family there. They did not appear.

“Their lawyer would not allow them,” Bedier said. He later said Al-Arian’s family learned of the plea agreement Friday from a news report.

All of the above statements were reported by The Tampa Tribune on April 15, 2006.

Note 3.  “We have faith in the American judicial system,” said Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “So far we’ve only heard and read about vague language describing an explosive device, but no actual evidence. Until that’s displayed it’s going to be unclear what’s going on.”

The above statements were reported by the Tampa Tribune on September 1, 2007.

Note 4:  CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) lead then by Ahmed Bedier placed intense pressure on the Hillsborough County School Board to include the Muslim day Eid Al-Fitr in the 2006-07 school year calendar.  The school board responded to CAIR’s pressure by removing Good Friday and Yom Kippur from the school calendar.

Allen West: “We need to beware judicial activism” #DOMA

Posted by allenwestrepublic on 

130327-Supreme_Court-DOMA_620x350

by Allen West via Facebook

I don’t believe when the 14th Amendment was passed to support the 13th amendment, the writers ever conceived it would be used as a catch-all for various special interest groups. And I am very concerned that special interest groups can challenge the referendum of the people and seek out their interest before the courts – and in fact overrule the democratic process by legislating from the bench.

America is facing immense issues that threaten our republic — economic, energy, and national security issues –and I shall not get caught up in debates at the federal government level on legislating sexual behaviors. The states will make the final determination….but then again, we need to beware judicial activism.

EDITORS NOTE: 

Florida in 2008 passed an amendment to the Florida Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  Amendment 2 added Article I Section 27 of the Florida constitution, which states:

Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wifeno other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.

RELATED COLUMN:

HOLD ON, DOMA WASN’T TOTALLY THROWN OUT: HERE’S THE PROVISION THAT COULD LEAD TO ANOTHER GAY MARRIAGE BATTLE

Rubio: Supreme Court made “serious mistake” striking down DOMA

Pro-gay marriage advocates celebrate at the US Supreme Court.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings:

“I believe the Supreme Court made a serious mistake today when it overstepped its important, but limited role.  I do not believe that President Clinton and overwhelming bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress acted with malice or intent to ‘demean’ a class of people when they adopted a uniform definition of marriage for the purposes of federal law.  The Court should not have second guessed the will of the American people acting through their elected representatives without firm constitutional justifications.  The sweeping language of today’s majority opinion is more troubling than the ruling itself as it points to further interference by the Court in the years to come.

“I recognize that the definition of marriage and the legal status of same-sex relationships is a deeply personal and emotional issue for Americans of a variety of viewpoints.  These types of disagreements should be settled through the democratic process, as the Founders intended, not through litigation and court pronouncements.

“For millions of Americans, the definition of marriage is not an abstract political question, or some remote legal debate.  It’s a deeply personal issue. It’s an issue that I have grappled with as well.

I believe that marriage is a unique historical institution best defined as the union between one man and one woman. In the U.S., marriage has traditionally been defined by state law, and I believe each state, acting through their elected representatives or the ballot, should decide their own definition of marriage. For the purposes of federal law, however, Congress had every right to adopt a uniform definition and I regret that the Supreme Court would interfere with that determination.

“I appreciate that many Americans’ attitude towards same-sex marriage have changed in recent years. I respect the rights of states to allow same-sex marriages, even though I disagree with them. But I also expect that the decisions made by states like Florida to define marriage as between one man and one woman will also be respected.

I do not believe there exists a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Therefore, I am glad the Supreme Court did not create one in the Proposition 8 case.

“Rather than having courts redefine marriage for all Americans, my hope is that the American people, through their state legislatures and referendums, can continue to decide the definition of marriage.  It is through debates like this that the brilliance of our constitutional system of democracy, and the inherent goodness of our people, is revealed.

“My hope is that those of us who believe in the sanctity and uniqueness of traditional marriage will continue to argue for its protection in a way that is respectful to the millions of American sons and daughters who are gay. It is also my hope that those who argue for the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriage will refrain from assailing the millions of Americans who disagree with them as bigots.” [Emphasis added]

EDITORS NOTE: 

Florida in 2008 passed an amendment to the Florida Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  Amendment 2 added Article I Section 27 of the Florida constitution, which states:

Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.

RELATED COLUMN:

HOLD ON, DOMA WASN’T TOTALLY THROWN OUT: HERE’S THE PROVISION THAT COULD LEAD TO ANOTHER GAY MARRIAGE BATTLE

Mother, two daughters murdered over video of them enjoying the rain

Column courtesy of Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch:

honor killingMuslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Saliko1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

In light of all this, until authorities get the courage to tell the truth about honor killing, there will be many more such murders.

“Two girls, mother killed over family video,” from Dawn, June 25 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

GILGIT, June 24: A family video showing two teenage girls enjoying rain in their house led to their murder in Chilas on Sunday night. Their mother was also gunned down allegedly by her stepson and his four friends. Five masked men barged into the house of retired police officer Rehmat Nabi and started firing, killing his wife and daughters, aged 15 and 16.

According to police, the crime was motivated by a video clip circulated on mobile phones and showing the girls overjoyed by rain in the lawn of their bungalow.

The video, recorded six months ago, was circulated in the area four months later probably after a relative sent it to his friends.

Police believed that the girls’ stepbrother Khutore took it as an “assault on the honour of his family” and tried to “restore the family’s honour” by killing the girls.

Khutore escaped when police tried to get in touch with him for investigation. But, his four friends were arrested and, according to a senior police official, they have confessed to the crime. A case has been registered against the five.

Read more.

Florida Parents Against Common Core preparing legislation for 2014 session

Florida Parents Against Common Core (FPACC) are putting together draft legislation to stop the implementation of the program in Florida.

In an email to WDW – FL Laura Zorc, FPACC SE State Coordinator, states, “What is happening in other states is what we are looking to do here in Florida. However, in our bill we will add a third review that would encompass a legal review to determine if violation with  state and federal constitution.  We have team of attorneys  working on establishing the need for review based on their findings.  Our intentions are to have this a back up support for our bill sponsor.”

Fifteen states have filed bills in their state legislatures to stop CCSS.

Below are of examples and actual legislation that addresses issues related to the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by delaying the implementation of the standards or assessments, not funding implementation, or withdrawing completely from using the CCSS.  These vary considerably in the scope of what is addressed.  Links have been provided for the History, Download, and Alternate.  Original bills as introduced are often stronger in nature before being subjected to changes as it is considered during the legislative process in each state.

  • History—link to official state legislative page or other page with bill history and info
  • Download—link to download the legislative bill
  • Alternate—an alternate download link in event official link is broken

Sample Legislation

Comprehensive Legislative Package Opposing the Common Core State Standards  Download

Actual Legislative Bills

2011 Texas HB 2923  An Act relating to the state sovereignty over curriculum standards assessments, and student information.  History   Download   Alternate

2011 New Hampshire HB 164 Requiring legislative approval for the adoption of the common core state standards in New Hampshire.  History   Download   Alternate

2011 South Carolina S. 604  A bill to provide that the common core standards may not be imposed on South Carolina.  History   Download   Alternate

2011 Washington HB 1891 Delaying adoption and implementation of the common core standards.   History   Download   Alternate

2012 Utah S.C.R. 13 Urges the State Board of Education to reconsider the board’s decision to adopt the Common Core standards and, in reconsidering the board’s decision, evaluate the cost, control, and quality of Utah standards and assessments compared to the cost, control, and quality of the Common Core standards and SBAC assessments.  History   Download   Alternate

2013 South Carolina H. 3943 To provide the State Board of Education may not adopt and the Department of Education may not implement the common core standards.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Georgia SB 167 To declare certain actions void ab initio relating to adoption of certain curricula; to prohibit state education agencies from entering into any commitments relating to the federal Race to the Top program; to require hearings and public input prior to adoption of state-wide competencies and content standards; to limit the compilation and sharing of personal student and teacher data; to prohibit the expenditure of funds for a state-wide longitudinal data system except for administrative needs and federal grant compliance; to provide notice to students or teachers if certain student or teacher data are provided to the United States Department of Education as a condition of receiving a federal education grant; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Alabama SB 190 Relating to education and core curriculum standards; to prohibit the State Board of Education from adopting and the Department of Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative; to prohibit the State Board of Education, the Department of Education, and other state bodies from compiling or sharing data about students or teachers, except under limited circumstances; to prohibit the State Board of Education from entering into an agreement or joining a consortium that would cede any control to an entity outside the state; and to require notice and public hearings before the State Board of Education adopts or implements any statewide standards.  History   Download   Alternate

2013 Alabama SB 403 Companion to SB 190.  History   Download   Alternate

2013 Alabama HB 565 Relating to curriculum standards; to clarify that the State Board of Education retains the sole authority to develop and adopt curriculum standards independent of the federal government or other agency or entity outside of the state. History   Download   Alternate

2013 Oklahoma HB 1907 An Act relating to schools; creating the Common Core Task Force; providing termination date; stating purpose of the Task Force; providing for membership; providing date for appointments and organizational meeting; providing for selection of officers; stating duties; exempting the Task Force from certain acts; providing for meetings; providing for travel reimbursement and staff assistance; requiring completion of the study by a certain date; providing for non codification; and declaring an emergency. History   Download   Alternate

2013 Kansas HB 2289 No school district, nor the department of education nor the state board of education shall expend any moneys to implement the set of educational curriculum standards for grades kindergarten through established by the common core state standards initiative.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Indiana SB 0193 Provides that the state board of education may not adopt as standards for the state any common core educational standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Voids any action taken to adopt common core educational standards. History   Download   Alternate

2013 Indiana HB 1427 This is the bill that passed and has been signed by the governor.  It pauses the implementation of the CCSS while a the standards are evaluated and hearings are conducted.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Missouri SB 210 The state board of education and the department of elementary and secondary education shall not implement the Common Core State Standards.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Michigan HB 4328 Budget approved.  Sec. 230. Prohibit Funding for Common Core and Smarter Balance – House adds language stating that funds shall not be used to fund the Common Core State Standards Initiative or Smarter Balanced Assessments, and that funds shall not be used to implement programs or assessments created by these organizations.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 Michigan HB 4276 Prohibits implementation of common core standards. History   Download   Alternate

2013 Texas HB 462 Prohibits school districts from using the common core state standards.   History   Download   Alternate

2013 South Dakota HB 1204 An Act to require the Board of Education to obtain legislative approval before adopting any further Common core standards.   History   Download   Alternate

Supreme Court ruling on marriage eminent

This week the United States Supreme Court will hand down landmark decisions on whether or not citizens of this country can define marriage as the union of one man and one woman through the legitimate legislative and state constitutional amendment process.

There are two cases, both on appeal at the same time.  The first case is Hollingsworth v. Perry – which is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as one man and one woman in their state constitution.  California passed this on the same day that Florida passed Amendment 2, which also defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman in its state constitution.

Florida Amendment 2 is an amendment made to the Constitution of Florida in 2008. It added Article I, Section 27 to the constitution, which defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman, and thus bans the creation of similar unions, such as civil unions or same-sex marriage.

The second case is U.S. v Windsor – which is a challenge of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) passed by congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, which defines marriage in all areas of federal law.

The primary legal question that will be answered is:  Does a law that defines marriage to be only between a man and a woman deny homosexual couples the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “Equal Protection of the Law?

Some, like the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) say that would “take a raw act of judicial activism to find an affirmative answer to such a question requiring the creation of new rights out of thin air.”

While American have different opinions on how far the court might go, no one knows how the court will rule.

John Stemberger, President of FFPC, in an email states, “As a nation, we are at a critical point in history, very similar in magnitude to the weekend before the Roe v Wade decision was announced, which declared that an unfettered right to abortion was somehow constitutional.”

All are awaiting the SCOTUS decision and its impact on the state of Florida and of marriage.

HHS Tweet: We are committed to improving the well-being of “LGBT individuals”

The Department of Health and Human Services on June 19, 2013 posted the below on its official Twitter account:

HHS.govVerified account‏@HHSGov

We are committed to improving the health and well-being

of all Americans, including #LGBT individuals. http://go.usa.gov/bymQ 

The Bureau of HIV/AIDS, Florida Department of Health, in 2007 issued a report titled “Man Up: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS Among Florida’s Men“. The report states, “The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to impact individuals in Florida and throughout the United States. Men, women, young, old, black, white, Hispanic, rich, poor, gay, bisexual, lesbian, or straight — no group is wholly exempt from contracting HIV. In Florida, 1 in 209 white men, compared to 1 in 44 black men and 1 in 117 Hispanic men are living with HIV/AIDS (reported cases). Males account for the majority of HIV/AIDS cases in Florida.” [Emphasis added]

The Bureau of HIV/AIDS in 2012 reports, “At the end of 2010, 95,335 Florida residents were known to be living with HIV/AIDS. In 2010, 5,022 adults and 20 young (age <13) Floridians were newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Florida. Florida ranked second among states in the estimated number of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases diagnosed in 2009 (most recent year available for US data). That year, a total of 4,799 (14% of total US) AIDS cases were diagnosed in New York, followed by 4,392 (13%) in Florida and 3,760 (11%) in California. Cumulatively, Florida ranks third behind New York and California.” [Emphasis added]

The 2012-2014 Florida Jurisdictional HIV Prevention Plan reports, “Racial and ethnic minorities in Florida are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Minorities account for 70% of Florida’s HIV epidemic, but only account for 40% of the state’s population. Florida ranked second among states in the estimated number of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases diagnosed in 2009 (most recent year available for US data). That year, a total of 4,799 (14% of total US) AIDS cases were diagnosed in New York, followed by 4,392 (13%) in Florida and 3,760 (11%) in California … In 2010, at least one AIDS case was reported in all but eight [of 67 counties] counties. [Emphasis added]

Man Up reports:

Men should begin engaging in frank discussions about the seriousness of HIV/AIDS and include women and adolescents in the discussions.

“All over the world, on average, men have more sex partners than women, which places them and their sex partners at increased risk. HIV is more easily transmitted sexually from men to women than vice versa, which has caused increasing rates of HIV infection among women.

There are sound reasons why men should be fully involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. As leaders, protectors, providers, husbands, grandfathers, fathers, sons, brothers and friends, men have much to offer. The time is now to start seeing men not as the problem, but as part of the solution. Safer and more responsible behavior should be encouraged. It is time for men to put an end to a disease that is 100% preventable. It is time for men to “man up” and start protecting their wives, significant others, partners, family, friends and communities. Dialogue must begin to occur among men, women and their partners. We must begin to break the silence in our homes, our schools and our places of prayer, work and play.

Perhaps the single most important preventive measure is for people to know their own HIV status. If they are uninfected, this knowledge helps them protect themselves; if they are infected, the information helps them to protect their partners and to seek care and treatment for themselves.

In Florida, the Bureau of HIV/AIDS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed reliable estimates of HIV incidence for the state in 2006. Adult men (13+ years) accounted for 72% (approximately 3,990) of new infections, and women accounted for 28% (1,560) of new infections, for a total of 5,550 new infections in 2006. Nationally, 56,500 new infections occurred in 2006. The HIV incidence rate equals the number of new infections divided by the population. The rate enables direct comparison of the incidence in two or more groups, regardless of population size. In 2006, the HIV incidence rate per 100,000 population was 53.7 among Florida men and 20.0 among Florida women. The rate among men was 2.7 times that of women (53.7 divided by 20.0).” [Emphasis added]

Brian Camenker, founder of MassResistance.org, is concerned the “health and well-being” of LGBT men is getting worse not better. He fears that men are not becoming more responsible and accountable but rather are a growing part of the problem. They are becoming in ever larger numbers “players”.

Camenker writes, “Besides “gay marriage,” a major goal of the homosexual [LGBT] movement is normalizing “transgenderism” throughout society, including changing our basic foundations such as the family structure. Make no mistake: This movement is well organized and focused. We all see it through the intense lobbying to push “non-discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity” through legislatures and court rulings. It’s also pushed hard in schools, large corporations and government bureaucracies. On the federal level, the Obama administration has brought it into most top federal agencies.” [Emphasis added]

Camenker is the author of “What same-sex “marriage’ has done to Massachusetts“.

If the Department of Health and Human Services is truly interested in improving the “health and well-being of LGBT individuals”, perhaps it needs to “man up”?

Federal Court Refuses to Protect Florida Citizen’s Speech

Institute for Justice Client Nathan Worley

Arlington, Va.— Grassroots political groups in Florida suffered a setback last Friday when the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to Florida laws that require small groups to comply with a host of burdensome regulations simply to speak to the public about ballot issues.  The lawsuit, Worley v. Florida Secretary of State, involved a challenge to “political committee” requirements, regulations that the U.S. Supreme Court has held are unconstitutionally burdensome even for corporations and unions.

Friday’s ruling upheld applying these laws to plaintiffs Nathan Worley, Pat Wayman and John Scolaro, a group of friends from Sarasota, Fla., who in 2010 wanted to spend $600 on radio ads urging the defeat of a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution.  Because Florida’s political committee requirements apply to groups that spend as little as $500 on speech, the three were unable to run their ads.  The ruling also upheld a requirement that political committees include a lengthy disclaimer in their political advertisements.

Paul Sherman, Institute for Justice attorney and lead counsel in the case said, “The 11th Circuit’s ruling means that speech by grassroots groups in Florida remains subject to greater regulation than speech by ExxonMobil or the AFL-CIO.  This is yet another example of how complicated, unnecessary and unconstitutional campaign-finance laws are pushing ordinary people out of the political debate.”

Key to the 11th Circuit’s decision was its rejection of the plaintiffs’ argument that Florida’s campaign-finance laws cannot constitutionally be applied to small groups like Nathan, Pat and John.  The court refused to rule on that claim, citing the hypothetical possibility that the group of three friends might receive million-dollar contributions in a future election.

IJ client Nathan Worley said, “The idea that we could have raised $1 million is just crazy.  We didn’t have the time or the ability to figure out Florida’s campaign-finance laws, let alone raise that kind of money.  We’re just ordinary people who wanted to pool a small amount to get our message out there.”

Friday’s ruling does not discuss evidence—including statements by the government’s own expert—showing that Florida’s laws produce few, if any, benefits for the public.  The ruling also made no mention of evidence that Florida’s campaign-finance laws are subject to abuse.  The Florida Elections Commission testified during the case that 98 percent of the complaints they receive are “politically motivated,” and are often filed by people seeking “to punish their political opponent.”

“The 11th Circuit simply ignored the overwhelming evidence that Florida’s political committee laws produce no public benefits and serve mainly as weapons to be used against political opponents,” said Sherman.  “The cost of this judicial abdication is that ordinary Floridians are far less likely to get involved in the important issues of the day.”

IJ Senior Attorney Bert Gall said, “This ruling shows the critical need for judicial engagement, a willingness on the part of the judiciary to look at the facts and see how these laws silence grassroots speech by ordinary people.  It’s appalling that the court would ignore those facts and uphold laws that threaten citizens with civil and criminal penalties simply for speaking out.”

The plaintiffs have until July 5 to seek rehearing by the full 11th Circuit, or until September 12 to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

IJ Research report, Keep Out: How State Campaign Finance Laws Erect Barriers to Entry for Political Entrepreneurs

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE

Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As the national law firm for liberty, we stick to a clear mission engaging in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government.  Our four pillars of litigation are private property, economic liberty, free speech and school choice. Simply put, we seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.

Is ABC’s “The Fosters” pushing a political agenda?

While sitting  in a movie theatre recently a WDW reader noticed an on screen ad promoting the new ABC Family series The Fosters. The ad states the Fosters are the “new American family”.

But is it and is ABC Family pushing a political agenda?

The Fosters is an American drama series on ABC Family that premiered on June 3, 2013. Produced by Jennifer Lopez and her production company Nuyorican Productions, the series follows the lives of the Foster family, an interracial lesbian couple who are raising biological and adoptive children together.

A June 14, 2013 Investor’s Business Daily editorial states:

Nearly half a century after the 1965 Moynihan Report on black family disintegration, a prominent liberal think tank finds things “have only grown worse.” Its clueless recommendation: more government.

The Urban Institute, working with the Albany-based Fathers Incorporated, last week released “The Moynihan Report Revisited.” It re-examines the black family since LBJ Labor Department sociologist and eventual Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan analyzed the “tangle of pathologies” afflicting black America.  The institute’s report laments that “the statistics that so alarmed Moynihan in the 1960s have only grown worsenot only for blacks, but for whites and Hispanics as well.”

White illegitimacy has reached the rate of black illegitimacy of the 1960swhile black out-of-wedlock births “tripled between the early 1960s and 2009, remaining far higher than the percentage of white children born to unmarried mothers.”

Read more.

Is ABC Family redefining the black family in its new series? Is it beneficial for the black community to have the main character a black lesbian as a role model? Will the series lead to black, Hispanic and white children growing up believing that two lesbians are better than a biological father and a mother (already a serious and growing problem in minority communities)? Is ABC Family pushing a political agenda wrapped in a “ABC Family” prime time television series?

We report, you decide.

Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez campaigns at Gay Pride Week event

Mass Resistance reports:

Gabriel Gomez is the GOP candidate for the US Senate in the June 25 special election to replace John Kerry. In the primary, he was the big favorite of the national GOP establishment. They said Gomez represents the future of the Party. Gomez’s slogan is that he’s going to be “a new kind of Republican.”

No Republican candidate for US Senate has ever (to our knowledge) campaigned for office by having a booth at a Gay Pride festival.

Republican US Senate Candidate Gabriel Gomez (pictured above third from left) stands outside of his booth at the “Gay Pride” Celebration.  Seated at the booth getting his photo taken by woman is Gomez’s 8-year-old son. [MassResistance photo]

This past weekend’s Gay Pride Parade went through downtown Boston and ended at City Hall Plaza, where, as in past years, a huge “Gay Celebration” was held with numerous booths.

Not many politicians of any party buy a booth at this event. But Gabriel Gomez not only had a booth, but he was there to greet people personally. And he brought his eight-year-old son to help run the booth, along with at least one very pro-GLBT campaign worker.

Diversity? No problem. Not too far away was the booth for the Bisexual Resource Center. [Mass-Resistance photo]

This “Celebration” has a very “diverse” atmosphere. Gomez’s booth was not far from a booth featuring gay sex toys, a sado-masochism booth, and several booths giving out condoms and anal lubricant.

Earlier in the week, Gomez released a statement saying that he if elected he intended to be considered “a pain in the butt” to the Republican Party, and that he “will go to work on them” to “support allowing two people to get married, whether they are gay or straight.

This is not surprising given that Gomez had supported Obama in 2008 and had donated $500 to the Obama campaign, and said he supported Obama’s positions on immigration and gun control. Gomez also gave $1,000 to ultra-liberal U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei. (Alan Khazei hired gay activist Kevin Jennings to run his non-profit group.)

On the abortion issue, Gomez claims to be “personally pro-life” but says that Roe v Wade is “settled law” and he would do nothing to take away a woman’s right to an abortion.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on MassResistance.org.

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Police Shut Down the Clinic of Late-Term Abortionist James Pendergraft in Orlando

Column courtesy of LIFENEWS.COM – authored by Steven Ertelt

Police today shut down a late-term abortion clinic in Orlando, Florida and seized and removed property from the building as a helpless abortion practitioner could only stand by and watch.

James Scott Pendergraft, whose medical license has been suspended a fifth time, stood in the background (right) as police and other officials taped off his abortion clinic with crime tape and locked him out of the building.

Operation Rescue, a pro-life group that has closely monitored Pendergraft, provided LifeNews with more details on the closure of the Orlando Women’s Center abortion clinic:

We have also confirmed that the abortion clinic, the Flagship office of James Scott Pendergraft IV’s five office abortion chain, has been closed.

Michelle Herzog of Pro-life Action Ministries told Operation Rescue she witnessed authorities removing one of the abortion tables and other abortion equipment and loading it into a large moving truck.

Pendergraft was hit with a massive In 2011, Pendergraft was hit with a whopping civil medical malpractice judgment of $36,737,660.16 in compensatory and punitive damages in a case involving a botched 20 week abortion that resulted in the live birth of a child physically damaged by Pendergraft’s incompetent abortion process amid what was described as “third world conditions” with virtually no counseling. He has refused to pay the judgment.

It is thought, but not yet confirmed, that the seizure may be related to that judgment.

A clinic receptionist is telling callers the Orlando Women’s Center is “closed for maintenance” and are unsure whether the clinic will reopen at this time.

In April, the Florida Board of Medicine took action to suspend the medical license of late-term abortionist Pendergraft after he failed to pay the Board fines from a previous disciplinary action that totaled over $120,000.

The settlement agreement reached between the Board and Pendergraft orders that his medical license “shall be indefinitely suspended until such time as [Pendergraft] complies” with the order to pay his fines.

This is the fifth time that Pendergraft’s medical license has been suspended by the Florida Board of Medicine. He continues to operate five abortion clinics in Florida, primarily in the Orlando area.

The fines resulted from a 2010 case where Pendergraft was heavily fined and placed on suspension related to a 2006 botched elective 19-week abortion.

Patient S.B went to Pendergraft for the second trimester abortion on Feb. 3, 2006. He prescribed doses of Cytotec, a drug that is known to cause severe and unpredictable uterine contractions and sent her home for three days to take the medication on her own. Pendergraft did not have a valid DEA number at the time.

When S.B. returned to the clinic, he further illegally administered doses of Cytotec, Demerol, and Phenergan. He attempted the abortion before the patient was adequately dilated, lacerating her cervix and sending her to the hospital where she underwent an emergency hysterectomy.

At the hospital, staff delivered the remains of S.B.’s baby and found that it was missing a lower limb. Efforts were made to locate the limb in the abdominal cavity to no avail. There were no indications on the patient’s chart. Later, it was discovered that the limb had been removed at the clinic. This lack of documentation caused issues in providing the patient with proper emergency care.

Pendergraft was suspended and ordered to pay fines in excess of $122,000. Pendergraft failed to pay, resulting in another disciplinary case attempting to seek payment. Finally, Friday’s action suspended his license until further notice.

The US Air Force declares war on Christianity

It appears that Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley has created the most hostile anti-religious environment in the history of the United States military. Recent events impacting those serving in the US Air Force amounts to a declaration of war against Christianity according to the American Family Association.

Is the Air Force mimicking the IRS attack on Christians and Jews?

Tim Wildmon, President American Family Association, notes, “Under Donley, Air Force leaders have repeatedly submitted to the demands of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF). Behind MAAF leader Mikey Weinstein’s malevolent demands, the Air Force can’t seem to rid itself of anything religious fast enough.”

The most recent evidence of this came just last month. Within one hour of hearing from Weinstein, the Air Force caved to his demand to remove an inspirational painting from a base dining hall because it included a reference to Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Wildmon states, “By taking his orders from Weinstein, Secretary Donley’s anti-religious actions clearly demonstrate that his leadership style undermines the moral fitness of our nation’s Air Force.”

The following are examples of anti-Christian actions provided by AFA:

• June 2013 – Air Force personnel received a memo ordering them to not look at news stories related to the rash of President Obama’s recent scandals. Although not specifically religious, it does infringe on liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
• May 2013 – An Air Force Base was ordered to remove a video tribute to First Sergeants because it mentioned the word “God.”‘ You can see the video below.
• April 2012 – The Air Force removed the word “Bible” from its list of items to be provided in Air Force-approved lodging facilities. This will almost certainly result in the eventual removal of Bibles themselves from Air Base hotels or any hotel that does business with the Air Force.
• February 2012 – The Air Force removed the word “God” from the logo of its Rapid Capabilities Office after receiving a threatening letter from MAAF.
• November 2011 – The Air Force Academy dropped “Operation Christmas Child after a single complaint from an atheist group. The Air Force apologized to the atheists and ordered chaplains to no longer use official mail to promote the charity.

“Under Secretary Donley, the Air Force has become an easy target for atheists, because they know he and the Air Force will submit to their anti-religious, anti-Christian demands without a fight,” explains Wildmon.

US War Games target Christians and Evangelicals as “The Enemy”

Todd Starnes from Fox News Radio reports, “A War Games scenario at Fort Leavenworth that identified Christian groups and Evangelical groups as being potential threats.” Fort Leavenworth is home of the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). The CGSC is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, inter-agency representatives, and international military officers.

The college prepares US Army Majors and Lieutenant Colonels for battalion and higher command assignments and division and higher level staff positions.

Starnes also reports:

  • A 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security memorandum that identified future threats to national security coming from Evangelicals and pro-life groups;
  • A West Point study released by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center that linked pro-lifers to terrorism;
  • A senior military official at Fort Campbell sent out a lengthy email officially instructing officers to recognize “the religious right in America” as a “domestic hate group” akin to the KKK and Neo-Nazis because of its opposition to homosexual behavior.

According to Starnes, “The House Armed Services Committee is considering a religious liberty amendment  to the National Defense Authorization Act Wednesday over fears the military is punishing soldiers for expressing their religious faith.”

marines-praying-630x286

Marines praying on battlefield

“The men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms should not have their own religious freedom jeopardized during their military service,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), who authored the amendment.

Other incidents reported by Starnes include:

  • A service member received a “severe and possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog.
  • An enlisted service member received a career-ending punishment for sending personal invitations to his promotion party which mentioned that he would be providing Chick-fil-A sandwiches due to his respect for the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • An Air Force officer was told to remove a Bible from his desk because it might offend someone. The officer had kept the Bible on the desk for 18 years;
  • A chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because, consistent with DOMA’s definition of marriage, he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the chapel.
  • An enlisted service member was threatened and denied promotion by a senior NCO for expressing – during a personal conversation – his religious belief in support of traditional marriage.
  • Last month Rear Admiral William Lee told a National Day of Prayer audience that religious liberty was being threatened by Pentagon lawyers and service members are being told to hide their faith in Christ.“Leaders like myself are feeling the constraints of rules and regulations and guidance issued by lawyers that put us in a tighter and tighter box regarding our constitutional right to express our religious faith,” he said.

Read more by clicking here.

Governor Scott Signs “Infants Born Alive” Legislation

Cantonment, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 1139 to grant infants who survive abortion procedures the same rights as infants born naturally.  Governor Scott was joined by First Lady Ann Scott and pro-life supporters from across the state to sign this bill at Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Cantonment.

Governor Scott said, “As a father and grandfather, there is nothing more precious or special than welcoming a new child into this world and by signing this bill, we are protecting the most vulnerable among us and affirming their rights as individuals. This legislation ensures common-sense measures are taken to help care for the babies who survive abortion procedures and grants those infants the same rights as infants who are born naturally.

“I also want to applaud bill sponsors Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Cary Pigman for their commitment to ensuring this bill became law. Representative Pigman is a U.S. Army reserve lieutenant colonel who is currently deployed in Kuwait and proudly serving our nation.  I was pleased he was able to join our event today via Skype so we could recognize his hard work on this legislation and for his selfless service to our nation.”

Senator Anitere Flores said, “This legislation is about protecting the sanctity of life, and with the signing of this bill today, Governor Scott is fighting for those most vulnerable-this is a victory for Florida.”

Representative Cary Pigman said, “I was pleased to sponsor this important legislation this year and proud that Governor Scott is protecting the lives of those most vulnerable.”

Representative Clay Ingram said, “Governor Scott is committed to protecting those most vulnerable, and with the signing of today’s legislation, he is making sure all babies are treated fairly and with dignity.”

Representative Matt Gaetz said, “I applaud the Governor for standing up for children. It’s amazing to me that something like this needed action by the Legislature, but I’m glad we took important steps forward in protecting life.”

Sheila Hopkins, Director for Social Concerns/Respect Life of the Florida Catholic Conference said, “The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops applauds Governor Scott for protecting the life and human dignity of children born alive during or after an abortion.  It is our duty to protect the weakest and most vulnerable in society and this legislation does exactly that.  Thank you Governor Scott.”

Dr. Jerry Haag, President of Florida Baptist Children’s Home said, “On behalf of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, we applaud Governor Scott’s commitment to protecting the unborn.  Our children are our most sacred treasures and it is imperative that all children- those born and unborn- are valued and treated fairly.”

John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council said, “The Florida Family Policy Council supports Governor Scott’s commitment to life and applauds him on signing this legislation.  We affirm with Governor the first principle that all life, born and unborn, has intrinsic worth and value and deserves to be protected. This is a great human rights victory for the Sunshine State.”

Florida Atheists Dedicating Courthouse Monument to Atheism

bradford reports:

“A Florida atheist group is planning to unveil a 1500-pound granite bench at the Bradford County courthouse praising atheism.  This action comes in response to the large sculpture of the Ten Commandments that was placed at the courthouse last year. Community Men’s Fellowship donated that monument and atheist groups instantly went on the attack, saying it made them feel like second-class citizens.  The group won the right to erect their own monument in a settlement.”

Read more.

According to American Atheists, “The unveiling is scheduled for June 29 at noon. It is the first atheist-sponsored monument on government property in the United States. American Atheists President David Silverman will deliver the dedication.”

“The monument features an excerpt from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, which declares “The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”; and excerpts from the Bible, quoting the biblical punishments for breaking each of the Ten Commandments–many command death,” states Silverman.