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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #101 

Americans need to speak their minds

Mister Chambers says the American people have had enough with the assault on their first amendment rights. They just want to be left alone by their government and government-affiliated pressure groups. It is the establishment in both parties, who is on the take from these pressure groups, that prevent ordinary Americans from speaking their minds like the civilized people we are. People disagree, sometimes vehemently. That’s normal and healthy, and it shouldn’t be the job of the government to shut people up. That’s not American -- that’s totalitarian.

How do we fix this? It’s remarkably simple. We, the normal people, outnumber the control freaks by an enormous margin. 10-1? 50-1? 100-1? The normal people, who, for example, don’t lose their cool when someone raises a politically incorrect question, are in both parties. We are the dominant majority of this country. Yet many are disaffected and depressed by the chilling political climate.

Here are a few recommendations on how we can take back this country. If you’re a normal person:

  • Begin by acting like you have the rights you once had, before this chilling political correctness took hold. This is the simplest way to start. If someone doesn’t like what you say, tell them too bad -- you said it. They can disagree all they want, but you can keep saying whatever you want because you’re an American damnit, not a politically correct zombie.
  • Outnumber them and vote them out! Organize with other normal people, friend and family, and flood into local political groups. Use democracy -- which counts each individual as 1 vote -- to overcome the moneyed interests.
  • Attend town halls, bring cameras, ask questions, get people’s word on the record. Keep them accountable, and if they break their word, tell everyone they aren’t trustworthy and that your community can do better.
  • Publish the names of the crooks, liars, and totalitarians. Like they do to their enemies, if someone in a public capacity is derelict, publish their name. They are public figures and have voluntarily sacrificed part of their privacy. They were not born with a privilege to serve in public office, and our democracy provides the means to remove them if they are unfit to serve.
  • Ask the press to join you.The press love a good story. They like hearing citizens vociferously disagree with their representatives and hold their feet to the fire. And politicians hate the press.
  • Attend local Young Republican and Young Democrat events. Demand that the people who run these clubs put country first, not any sectarian agenda. Make them promise, on record, to support every facet of the first amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights.
  • Vote the establishment out. If the local establishment stinks, attend all their public meetings, demand more openness with the public, and use elections to vote in new blood. There’s no way that the control freaks outnumber the normal people. Just drown them with an influx of new members from the outside with a different, patriotic agenda.
  • Test their knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If they give an answer that is fascistic, wrongheaded, clueless, or along those lines, make it clear that they aren’t fit for public service.
  • Finally, don't ignore a book burning. This is beyond unacceptable behavior. Let friends and family know how the parties treat those who present critical information to the public.

We are suffering as a country because there is too much secrecy in government. They are enriching themselves and making your poorer. They can only do this when you are uninformed and demoralized, which so many Americans are today. They operate in the shadows, and it’s up to US, the normal people, to shine the light of day on their actions. Demand openness and accountability from your government! It is what made this country unique and great, and it will once again!

See the rest of the High Treason series…
Part I: Here’s what the GOP is Covering Up for Obama
Part II: The Book Burning


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #102 

Obama's rogue IRS strikes deal with atheists to monitor churches -- but not mosques

Investor's Business Daily, commenting on the First Amendment, says the government's assault on religious liberty has hit a new low as the IRS settles with atheists by promising to monitor sermons for mentions of the right to life and traditional marriage.

A lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) asserted that the Internal Revenue Service ignored complaints about churches' violating their tax-exempt status by routinely promoting political issues, legislation and candidates from the pulpit.

The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS's agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.

The irony of this agreement is that it's being enforced by the same Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS that was once headed by Lois "Fifth Amendment" Lerner and that openly targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups.

Among the questions that the IRS asked of those targeted groups was the content of their prayers.

Those who objected to the monitoring of what is said and done in mosques for signs of terrorist activity have no problem with this one, though monitoring what's said in houses of worship is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Can you say "chilling effect"?

Congress can make no laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. So it's not clear where the IRS gets off doing just that by spying on religious leaders lest they comment on issues and activities by government that are contrary to or impose on their religious consciences. Our country was founded by people fleeing this kind of government-monitored and mandated theology last practiced in the Soviet Union.

The FFRF cites as its authority the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which states that tax-exempt groups cannot endorse candidates. A 2009 court ruling determined that the IRS must staff someone to monitor church politicking.

The FFRF claims that the IRS has not adhered to the ruling and that the settlement amounts to enforcing both the Johnson Amendment and the court ruling.

But is the Catholic Church "politicking" when it proclaims its "Fortnight for Freedom" dedicated to opposing ObamaCare's contraceptive mandate and the government's forcing schools and charities it considers an extension of its faith to include it in insurance coverage or face crippling fines?

Are Protestant and evangelical churches "politicking" when they participate in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" this year on Oct. 5 to encourage congregations to "vote their faith," which they consider to be an exercise of free speech and freedom of religion?

The FFRF says that such events at "rogue churches" have "become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity," but doesn't the Constitution say that Congress can make no such laws?

Rather than "rogue churches," it's the rogue IRS that needs to be stopped.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #103 

FEC chair warns of chilling regulations, book ban on conservative publishers

Paul Bedard is reporting that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission today blasted Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed rules on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations -- or even a ban.

"By failing to affirm this publisher's constitutional right, statutory right, to disseminate a political book free from FEC conditions and regulations, we have effectively asserted regulatory jurisdiction over a book publisher," warned Chairman Lee E. Goodman, one of three Republicans on the six-person FEC.

"That failure reveals a festering legal uncertainty and chill for the free press rights of books and book publishers to publish and disseminate political books free from government regulation," he added.
 
His comments after the FEC OK'd Republican Ryan's request to promote his new book, "The Way Forward," were immediately and sharply rebuked by Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub. "No one is banning books," she said.

Weintraub also hit Goodman for suggesting "that we are motivated by partisan bias, which is really not appreciated and untrue. I want to categorically deny that."

The hard feelings continued after the morning session when Democrats on the commission refused to attend subsequent meetings, according to an insider.

And Goodman and the two other Republicans on the commission issued a six-page critique [below] of the commission's vote on the Ryan book that slapped the constraints imposed on the publisher and on how Ryan's re-election campaign and leadership political action committee, Prosperity Action, can promote the book on websites.

Since becoming chairman, Goodman has been pushing to expand protections for all media and has noted how Democrats on the panel have been eager to nick at freedoms for conservative media while Republicans have been voting for broader protections even for liberals like Democratic financier George Soros.

He recently warned that conservative online media, like the Drudge Report, could face regulation as Democrats move to tighten the so-called "media exemption" that lets the press cover politics any way they want.

In the case of the Ryan book, publisher Grand Central Publishing sought the broad media exemption from regulation, but Democrats rejected that and pushed for a different, commercial, exemption that imposes rules over the publisher's politics and book pricing. Republicans went along and the commission approved that 6-0.

The commission also ruled that while Ryan can have his campaign and PAC buy books to give out, the promotion on his websites has to be limited to two sentences. There were concerns raised by Weintraub that Ryan was trying to profit off sales of the book promoted on his websites. Republicans carried that to victory in a 4-2 vote.

Goodman said the mixed decision for Ryan was another missed chance by the FEC to publicly show support for press freedom.

"This commission should stand up and recognize that books qualify for the media exemption and that book publishers can publish, market and disseminate their books on the same basis that the Washington Post, New York Times and Washington Examiner can," he said.

When I tried to link "The Way Forward" to Amazon, I received this notice:

    Excluded Product

We're sorry. This tool does not support direct linking to this product. Please direct customers to another product or the category for this product instead.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #104 

Orwell's Obama

Frank Marshall Davis as Obama's real father is a theory that's been floating around for years. It is unlikely, but possible.

The rest is accurate.


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Reply with quote  #105 

Democrats vote for partial repeal of the 1st Amendment

John Hinderaker says don’t worry, nude dancing and flag burning will still be secure. But supporting candidates for elective office will no longer be a constitutional right, if Senate Democrats have their way. Rather, your right to participate in the political process will be subject to the whim of Congress, which can make it essentially illegal to run against an incumbent. Every entrenched politician’s dream!

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8, along party lines, in favor of Tom Udall’s constitutional amendment, which would empower Congress to limit every individual’s participation in the political process. You can read the text of the proposed amendment here. A relatively new web site called Vox, apparently geared to low-IQ, low-information readers, reports on today’s vote and swallows the Democrats’ spin hook, line and sinker:

The proposal, sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), is intended to reverse recent Supreme Court rulings that have deregulated the campaign finance system, such as Citizens United and McCutcheon v. FEC.

Actually, the amendment goes much farther than reversing Citizens United and McCutcheon. It would give Congress unfettered power to limit or even prohibit participation in politics, a power that until now, no one imagined that Congress could constitutionally exercise. Nearly all Democrats now support a proposal that could easily be applied to terminate the electoral process by making it illegal to spend money to unseat incumbents. That tells you all you need to know about today’s Democratic Party, the party of the entrenched and powerful.

Thankfully, the Udall amendment has no chance of being enacted. It can’t get through the Senate, it would get hardly any votes in the House, and nowhere near 38 states would seriously consider repealing the First Amendment. Like pretty much everything else the Democratic Party does these days, the Udall amendment isn’t a serious proposal. It is merely another effort to raise money by riling up the party’s ill-informed base. There is, I suppose, a certain irony in that.


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Beckwith

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Why people don’t trust speech restrictions will be applied fairly to both sides

Hans von Spakovsky says the largest hearing room the Senate has in the Hart Building was standing-room only on Tuesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearing on the resolution proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that would amend the First Amendment and give Congress unlimited, plenary power to restrict political speech and political activity.

In a historic and unprecedented event, both majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared as the first two witnesses.  They had starkly different presentations, with Reid complaining about so-called "dark money" and corporations and special interests "meddling" in congressional races.  He clearly doesn't like the fact that Americans have the ability to criticize him and his policies.

McConnell went back to first principles, talking about the First Amendment and the fundamental importance of protecting political speech, as did Floyd Abrams, the well-known First Amendment lawyer who won the historic New York Times Co. v. Sullivan case.  As Abrams said, the purpose of this proposed amendment is clearly "limiting speech intended to affect elections."  He observed that the title of the amendment, "Restore Democracy to the American People," is based on the false notion that our democracy has already been lost.  According to Abrams, "the notion that democracy would be advanced -- saved, 'restored' -- by limiting speech is nothing but a perversion of the English language."

The Democratic witnesses in favor of the amendment seemed obsessed with the Koch brothers, including a state senator from North Carolina who made bizarre claims about supposed Koch-financed efforts to implement a voter ID law to "suppress" the votes of racial minorities.

It was almost funny -- Democrats can't even hold a hearing about the First Amendment without working in their talking points about voter ID and "vote suppression."  All of the Republican senators who spoke, including Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), made stirring statement about the importance of preserving the Bill of Rights.  I won't summarize their statements but they are worth watching (here and here).

What was most interesting was something that happened before the hearing started that shows just how dangerous it would be to give Congress the power Udall, Reid and 39 other Democratic senators are seeking (there are 41 cosponsors of this resolution) and how they don't believe the rules should apply to them.  I was standing in line outside the hearing room waiting to get in and get a seat.  There was a sign prominently taped to the wall where we were all standing that warned attendees of all of the things not allowed in the hearing room, like standing, shouting, applauding, and most importantly, "no signs."

Reminder.jpg

I was at the head of the line when a large cart loaded with boxes came down the hallway, accompanied by six or seven individuals, many holding protest signs like "Restore the First Amendment -- Get Oil Money out of Elections" and "Big $$ out of Politics."  The boxes had prominently pasted on their side the names of liberal advocacy groups and PACs including People for the American Way, the Daily Kos, Public Citizen, Wolf PAC, Moveon.org, the Coffee Party, and Common Cause.  The boxes were apparently full of petitions supporting Udall's censorship amendment.  As the cart headed into the hearing room with the protest signs held high, I reminded the Democratic committee staffer supervising entry that these individuals were violating the posted rules about no signs and no protests.  She just ignored me and looked away.

About thirty photographers and reporters facing the entry started snapping pictures of the advocacy group representatives the moment they came in as the cart was trundled up to the front of the hearing room.  Several of the advocacy representatives went to sit down, but not before standing up with their signs held high and posing for more photos from the media.

I have no doubt that if I had attempted to walk into the hearing room with signs protesting this amendment, as opposed to supporting it, I would have been stopped by the committee staffer, and if I had persisted, she would have called over the Capitol policeman who was also standing at the entrance studiously not seeing the liberal protestors violating the posted rules.

It is true that Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) warned the attendees after the hearing started about no sign waiving or protests and one individual was eventually ejected; however, Leahy only did that after the cameras were turned on for anyone watching the hearing on the committee website.  It was his committee staff who, after all, allowed their supporters to come in early with their protest signs and helped to stage-manage protests prior to the start of the hearing for the benefit of the photographers in the hearing room.  You can see one of those photos here -- notice there are no staffers or Capitol Police hurrying over to eject the CodePink demonstrators from the hearing room.

So it seems that some Democratic senators want to amend the Constitution so that the American people give them the power to set the rules for raising and spending money on political campaigns and independent expenditures that speak in support of, or opposition to, candidates.  However, at the very hearing at which this amendment was introduced, some of these senators were prepared to apply the Senate's own rules to only one side of the debate.  Not something that inspires confidence that any such rules on political activity and political speech would ever be enforced in a nonpartisan, unbiased, and objective manner.

Reid's and other democrat's attacks on the Koch brothers are laughable. 

The Koch brothers rank #59 in political donations behind 18 different unions -- and don't forget George Soros' funding of dozens (hundreds?) of left-wing organizations (list), and the liberal foundations that spend over 5 times as much as Koch Brothers but go largely unnoticed by the media.

Among the many Koch gifts to New York City alone are the recent $100 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a previous $15 million to New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, $30 million to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, $25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery, $20 million to a dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, $65 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and $100 million to the Lincoln Center theater that is home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

And they just gave $25 million to the United Negro College Fund.

The evil bastards!



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #107 

The right to speak in the Age of Obama

Anarcho-Syndicalists protest/get protested at their own conference. A panelist by the name of Kristian Williams was scheduled to speak at the annual Law & Disorder conference, but was thwarted by a protest. No one could actually articulate what their issue is with Mr. Williams.

Campus police were eventually called in as the panelists fled.

These pukes need a good ass-kickin'.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #108 

"Re-education" comes to the NFL

Dave Urbanski is reporting that Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was fined an undisclosed amount Sunday and will undergo "educational training" after sending a negative tweet about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft.

Shortly after the St. Louis Rams took Sam in the seventh round Saturday, Jones tweeted "OMG" and "Horrible." The tweets were taken down a short time later.

Jones apologized for his comments Sunday and described them as inappropriate. The Dolphins said Jones has been excused from all team activities until he completes training related to his comments.

"We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets," coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. "They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program."

My edit:  "Jones was forced to apologize for his comments."

But it was perfectly OK to attack Tim Tebow for being a Christian:

The Scripps Howard News Service didn’t mince words. "Should Tim Tebow be so flamboyant about his faith?" read Sunday’s headline.

Columnist Joel Mathis spoke on behalf of the Almighty and declared that Jesus wants the Denver Broncos quarterback to take it down a notch, saying "most of us have learned to live with boundaries -- to avoid thrusting our religion into arenas where it is unexpected or unwelcome."

Stephen Tullock, a linebacker for the Detroit Lions, personified the anti-Christian attacks when he mocked Tebow after sacking the quarterback. As Tebow picked himself up off the gridiron, Tullock started "Tebowing" -- a mocking prayer on bended knee.

Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer told the Daily Mail, "I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates."

It goes on and on . . .

From the Sodomist-in-Chief:

"The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are,"

Related:  Three of Sam's siblings have died, including an older brother he saw die from a gunshot wound. Two of his brothers are serving prison sentences.

Clearly, a real asset to the NFL . . .


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #109 

Obama unleashes the Left

Danniel Henninger says in the U.S., the politics of the Left versus the Right rolls on with the predictability of traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge. It's a lot of honking. Until now. All of a sudden, the Left has hit ramming speed across a broad swath of American life -- in the universities, in politics and in government. People fingered as out of line with the far Left's increasingly bizarre claims are being hit and hit hard.

Commencement-speaker bans are obligatory. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew as Rutgers's speaker after two months of protests over Iraq, the Left's long-sought replacement for the Vietnam War. Brandeis terminated its invitation to Somali writer Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam violated the school's "core values."

Azusa Pacific University "postponed" an April speech by political scientist Charles Murray to avoid "hurting our faculty and students of color." Come again? It will "hurt" them? Oh yes. In a recent New Republic essay, Jennie Jarvie described the rise of "trigger warnings" that professors are expected to post with their courses to avoid "traumatizing" students

Oberlin College earlier this year proposed that its teachers "be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression." The co-chair of Oberlin's Sexual Offense Policy Task Force said last month that this part of the guide is now under revision.

I think it's fair to say something has snapped.

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich was driven out as CEO for donating money to support California's Prop. 8. An online protest tried to kill Condi Rice's appointment to the Dropbox board of directors over Internet surveillance. Incredibly, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston didn't cave.

Earlier this year, faculty and students held a meeting at Vassar College to discuss a particularly bitter internal battle over the school's boycott-Israel movement. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue "would not be guided by cardboard notions of civility."

In the Harvard Crimson, recently, an undergraduate columnist wrote: "Let's give up on academic freedom in favor of justice." How would that work? "When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue." She explicitly cited for suppression the work of conservative Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield.

It's obvious that the far Left has decided there are no longer constraints on what it can do to anyone who disagrees with it. How did this happen? Who let the dogs out?

The answer is not university presidents. The answer is that Barack Obama let the dogs out.

The trigger event was an agreement signed last May between the federal government and the University of Montana to resolve a Title IX dispute over a sexual-assault case.

Every college administrator in the U.S. knows about this agreement. Indeed, there are three separate, detailed "Montana" documents that were signed jointly -- and this is unusual -- by the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education Departments. Remarked DoJ's Joceyln Samuels, "The government is stronger when we speak with one voice."

That's real muscle. But read the agreement. It is Orwellian.

The agreement orders the school to retain an "Equity Consultant" (yes, there is such a thing) to advise it indefinitely on compliance. The school must, with the equity consultant, conduct "annual climate surveys." It will submit the results "to the United States."

The agreement describes compliance in mind-numbing detail, but in fact the actual definitional world it creates is vague. It says: "The term 'sexual harassment' means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature." But there are also definitions for sexual assault and gender-based harassment. All of this detailed writ is called "guidance." As in missile.

No constitutional lawyer could read this agreement and not see in it the mind of the Queen of Hearts: "Sentence first, verdict afterwards!" Indeed, the U.S. Education Department felt obliged to assert that the agreement is "entirely consistent with the First Amendment."

First Amendment? It's more like a fatwa. The Obama administration has issued a federal hunting license to deputize fanatics at any university in America. They will define who gets accused, and on what basis.

The White House enabled these forces again last week, releasing an Education Department list of 55 colleges that are "under investigation" for possible Title IX violations. Not formally cited but "under investigation." The list includes such notorious Animal Houses as Catholic University, Swarthmore, Knox College, Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Law School. In truth, every school in America is effectively on the list.

Make no mistake, universities under constant pressure from Team Obama and the most driven members of its "communities" will comply and define due process downward. If the liability choice falls between the lawyer brigades at the Holder Justice Department or some 19-year-old student or an assistant professor who didn't post the course's "trigger warning," guess who will get tossed to the Marcusian mobs at Harvard and Vassar?

If it's possible for the Left to have its John Birch moment, we're in it. Wave goodbye to cardboard civility.


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Reply with quote  #110 

SPLC Urges Amazon and PayPal to blacklist "haters"

Bob Unruh says for many years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled groups with values it doesn’t tolerate as “hate groups” – but now the organization is taking its attacks a step further, demanding Amazon and PayPal blacklist bloggers and websites that don’t fall in line with its leftist agenda.

Headlined “Financing Hate” in the group’s Intelligence Report publication, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, listed 91 “hate groups” ranging from those clearly on the fringe to mainstream bloggers and websites such as Catholic Family News, Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, WND and the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Clearly stating its opposition, it describes how some of those organizations utilize Amazon, PayPal and other online services to sell products.

SPLC said the Intelligence Report contacted Amazon in September about the participation of “hate groups” and “hate sites” in Amazon programs that earn the groups commissions.

Amazon, according to the report, said it would assign “appropriate teams to investigate, review applicable policies, and take appropriate action.”

But the SPLC lamented that some of its targets “were still earning commissions through Amazon.”

Several of the targeted organizations have criticized the “thuggish” behavior of SPLC, charging the organization is “somewhere to the left of Karl Marx.”

Renowned Islam expert Robert Spencer, whose Jihad Watch monitor on Islamic radicalism was targeted, said it shows “the desperate insecurity of the left: even at a time when they control the government, the media, and the entertainment industry, they have to strike out against the small, under-financed voices of truth that challenge their hegemony.”

“It also demonstrates their true totalitarian colors, in their absolute unwillingness to tolerate the smallest dissent. This is Goliath striking out against David. But we all know who wins,” Spencer said.

William Gheen, whose organization, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, opposes illegal immigration and amnesty, said it was all too much.

In an open letter to SPLC posted online and to be “delivered to your offices by certified mail and then turned over to our attorney for further action,” Gheen said SPLC’s claims are “demonstrably false.”

“This letter is to inform you that we have Internet posts and emails containing threats and death threats against my life and the lives of my family members in reaction to your false claims that we are a hate group,” he said. “The threats we have received specifically cite SPLC claims that suggest we are somehow motivated by racism and advocating violence against minorities, both of which are demonstrably false.”

The issue of “hate,” “hate crimes” and “hate speech” has moved back into the headlines now because of a proposal in Congress to evaluate online speech for “hate” and then take action based on that assessment.

Continue reading here . . .

Related:  Democrats have their doubts about this whole 1st Amendment thing


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Feds want to scour Net, media for "hate speech"

HateSpeech.jpg

Aaron Klein is reporting that Barack Obama’s Justice Department will submit a report for action against any Internet sites, broadcast, cable television or radio shows determined to be advocating or encouraging hate speech, if two Democratic lawmakers have their way.

This according to the text of a new bill from Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y:

The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 "would create an updated comprehensive report examining the role of the Internet and other telecommunications in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and create recommendations to address such crimes."

The one-page bill calls for the Justice Department and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to "analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate."

The bill does not define which actions by broadcasters would be considered to have encouraged violence, seemingly leaving that open to interpretation.

Once the report is compiled, the bill calls for "any recommendations" for action "consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" that is determined to be an "appropriate and necessary" way to address the purported encouragement of violent acts.

The Boston Herald took issue with the bill, calling it "frankly chilling" that Markey is seeking to "empower an obscure federal agency to begin scouring the Internet, TV and radio for speech it finds threatening."

"Perhaps he could crack a briefing book on the crisis in Ukraine rather than looking for his own extra-constitutional methods of punishing speech he finds unacceptable," added the Herald editorial.


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Hawaii students sue for being ordered to stop distributing U.S. Constitution pamphlets

Leslie Eastman says college administrators are slow to learn.

We reported that California’s Modesto Junior College (MJC) agreed to settle a First Amendment lawsuit filed by student, whom the college prevented from handing out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day. The videotaped incident drew national media attention.

Now, a group of students in Hawaii are suing for similar reasons.

A University of Hawaii at Hilo student filed a lawsuit against her school on Thursday, alleging she was ordered to stop handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Merritt Burch is suing the public university for violating her constitutional right to free speech.

She is represented by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit educational and free speech advocacy group, which reports that:

 … on January 16, 2014, plaintiff Merritt Burch, who is president of the UH Hilo chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), and a fellow student YAL member were participating in an outdoor event where student groups set up tables to distribute literature. Observing other students walking around and handing out items, Burch and her friend walked out from behind YAL’s table to likewise hand out Constitutions and YAL information cards. A UH Hilo administrator ordered Burch and her companion to stop approaching students and get back behind their table, dismissing Burch’s protest about her constitutional rights.

A week later, in an orientation meeting for student organizations, another administrator reiterated the rule against passing out literature. Burch and (her friend) were told that if they wanted to protest, the proper place to do so would be in UH Hilo’s “free speech zone,” a sloping, one-third acre area on the edge of campus. The “free speech zone” represents approximately 0.26% of UH Hilo’s total area and is muddy and prone to flooding in Hilo’s frequent rain. The administrator further observed, “This isn’t really the ’60s anymore” and “people can’t really protest like that anymore.”

Burch and (her friend) are challenging the denial of their right to hand out literature and policies restricting the distribution of literature. The suit also challenges UH Hilo’s “free speech zone,” a separate policy requiring students to request permission seven working days prior to engaging in expressive activity in two central outdoor areas on campus, and the failure of UH Hilo officials to adequately train administrators on the rights of college students.

Administrators at the University of Hawaii at Hilo would do well to read the U.S. Constitution, rather than forbidding patriotic students from handing copies of it out.


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Congress' surprising definition of hate-speech

Kevin Jackson says if you think there's a magical force field like in the movie, "Men In Black," protecting our Constitution from alien attack, sorry Slick, but we need to talk.

The Constitution doesn't defend itself, and we don't get to cruise along on the momentum of the people who fought before us. Liberalism, Collectivism, Marxism, Socialism, or whatever the kids these days are calling the cancerous tumor on society that is at its core Statism, does…not…sleep.

The only cavalry is you and me, standing up, shouting "Molon Labe, MoFo!"

The left wing is so emboldened, that they now are attack in broad daylight. This is not the 'intellectual elite', hawking Marxist pretzel-logic in Ivy League poli-sci courses. This is mainstream media and retail politics stealing your crap right from under your nose.

There are two bills currently moving though Congress right now, whose purpose is toe criminalize "hate speech."

Spoiler alert: it's not the "kill cracker babies" uttered by the New Black Panther Party, nor is it Guy Cimbalo's piece on "Conservative women I'd love to rape."

No the "hate speech" Congress wants to kill is more the "marriage is between a man and woman" type.

Hate-speech is not when New York governor Andrew Cuomo declares the 2nd Amendment invalid, and openly discusses confiscating firearms. Nor is it hate-speech when a Seattle Socialist politician called for workers to "take over the Boeing factory."

It's not hate-speech, when  Obama made it clear that he doesn't care about the people and our silly laws: Congress makes the laws; he may enforce some of them.

It's not in the mainstream media's Liberal DNA to even recognize these stories, much less consider them hateful.

To recognize such utterances is to acknowledge the disease. If you don't discuss the problem, it doesn't exist. The infringement on your freedom of speech doesn't exist, nor is there an attempt to take your guns. SHHHH…

Leftists like to quiet people (who disagree with them).

Quiet people don't question why freedom of speech only applies to people who think the way they do. Quiet people don't ask why gun control cities are the most dangerous cities in the world. Quiet people don't ask how we're supposed to 'COEXIST' with someone who thinks homosexuality is a death-penalty sin.

QUIET. So they can go on about the business of making us equal. Equally poor. Equally obedient. Equally defenseless. They can and do punish dissidents who step out of line.

Even still. Let's get to steppin' -- or you can just go back to tiptoeing…quietly.

Magic doesn't protect the Constitution and our rights. We do!


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New "hate speech" attack targets Internet

WND says that Barack Obama, when he was new in the Oval Office, signed a "hate crimes" law that created a two-tier system of punishment, increasing the punishment for a Christian pastor who attacked a homosexual but not for a homosexual who attacked a Christian pastor.

The reasoning was simple. The homosexual is in a protected class of U.S. citizens, but the Christian pastor is not.

The next step in that agenda now is being proposed by a Democrat in Congress, who said he wants a report submitted that investigates how technology is used to advance "commission of crimes of hate."

The original law, called the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was signed by Obama when Democrats strategically attached it to a "must-pass" $680 billion defense-appropriations bill in 2009.

The law cracks down on any acts that could be linked to criticism of homosexuality or even the "perception" of homosexuality. Obama boasted of his accomplishment:

"After more than a decade, we've passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are"

But the criticism was vocal and pointed. American Family Association President Tim Wildmon warned the new law "creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in nonnormative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American."

He pointed out that the legislation also creates possible situations in which pastors could be arrested if their sermons on sexuality can be linked in even the remotest way to acts of violence. For example, if someone hears the biblical description of homosexuality as a sin and uses that message as a reason for acting.

The Alliance Defending Freedom also blasted the "hate-crimes" bill, calling it "another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment."

"All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice," ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. "This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe."

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, testified before Congress against the hate-crimes bill:

"It is fundamentally unjust for the government to treat some crime victims more favorably than others, just because they are homosexual or transsexual. This bill is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state law-enforcement authority, and it is an unwise step toward silencing religious and moral viewpoints."

Now Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is calling for a specific review of how such "hate speech" finds its way onto the Internet, television and radio.

The goal, he said, is to "better address such crimes."

His plan would create "an updated comprehensive report examining the role of the Internet and other telecommunications in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and create recommendations to address such crimes."

Markey, of the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said he wants to know "the current prevalence of hate crimes and hate speech in telecommunications."

He referenced the recent shootings near Kansas City that left a couple of people dead. The alleged perpetrator is suspected of having longstanding racist leanings.

"We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States, which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment. Over 20 years have passed since I first directed the NTIA to review the role that telecommunications play in encouraging hate crimes. My legislation would require the agency to update this critical report for the 21st century."

"The Internet has proven to be a tremendous platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. However, at times it has also been used as a place where vulnerable persons or groups can be targeted," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

"I commend Sen. Markey for his longstanding leadership with respect to combating hate crimes in America. He understands that in the digital era it is important to comprehensively evaluate the scope of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of First Amendment protection. With the introduction of Sen. Markey's bill, we have taken a substantial step toward addressing this issue."

The focal point of criticism, however, is that "hate speech" has such a wide definition, even including references in the Bible that are critical of homosexuality. The Bible, for example, calls homosexuality an abomination, and homosexuals frequently object to that characterization.

The original law drew widespread opposition from conservatives, whose speech could make them targets.

"If this law is used to silence me or any of these preachers for speaking the truth, then we will be forced to conscientiously defy it," Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, declared at the time. "That is my calling as a Christian and my right as an American citizen."

Janet Porter of Faith2Action called it a "sad day for America." She added:

"While a small minority of homosexual activists are celebrating, thousands of pastors, priests and rabbis are lamenting their loss of First Amendment freedoms. I for one refuse to bow before this unjust and unconstitutional law, and I intend to continue to preach the whole counsel of God as revealed in the Scriptures."

"But this law doesn't just affect pastors; it will criminalize the beliefs of millions of ordinary people who may now be afraid to speak even their pro-marriage positions lest it spark a federal 'hate crime' investigation."

The bill signed by Obama was opposed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which called it a "menace" to civil liberties. The commission argued the law allows federal authorities to bring charges against individuals even if they've already been cleared in a state court.

Liberty Counsel litigation counsel Matt Krause told WND when the law was passed: "It's a very sad day for America and for religious liberties in general."

He said the law will not deter crime or help the law-enforcement system.

"The only thing it will do is silence and scare Christians and religious organizations," Krause said. "It will penalize thoughts and actions, and it will not stop crime. It should be called the 'thought-crimes' bill."

Related:  New battle for Obama's Benghazi scapegoat


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The champions of censorship win again

Jeff Crouere says one of our cherished rights in this country is our 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech. Throughout our history, Americans have been allowed to speak their mind no matter how controversial the topic. Unfortunately, over time, this right has been steadily diminishing and the forces of censorship are winning. For example, on college campuses today, liberal speakers are welcomed, while conservatives are ignored and labeled too reactionary for young audiences.

In the corporate world, beliefs in traditional marriage are considered homophobic and antiquated. In June of 2012, Dan Cathy, the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, expressed support for traditional marriage in an interview. This led to boycotts and protests from gay rights activists.  Even though a counter protest was launched in support of the chain, the damage had been done. Eventually, the restaurant executives decided to refrain from commenting on the marriage issue and their charitable foundation stopped giving financial support to pro-traditional marriage organizations. In effect, the protests silenced this corporation and their executives.

In the last two years, the intimidation from gay rights activists has only increased. Almost all Democrat politicians are now supporters of gay marriage. Included in this number are Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, all of whom previously opposed the legalization of same sex marriage. In fact, Bill Clinton even signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which allowed states to refuse to recognize same sex marriages sanctioned in other states. Today, 33 states still ban gay marriage, even though some courts are trying to override the will of the people in many of these states.

One state that has seen a reversal is California. In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that legalized same sex marriage even though 52.2% of the voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008. The initiative banned gay marriage and was supported by a vast array of donors and volunteers. One of the donors was Brendan Eich, a technology innovator credited with inventing JavaScript and co-founding Mozilla, which operates web browser Firefox. He had the audacity to give $1,000 to support Proposition 8 and for that decision he is now unemployed.

An online dating website discovered his donation and launched a boycott of Firefox. This led to Eich's swift resignation as CEO of Mozilla and an apology from the company, which asked for forgiveness from activists for not moving "fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started." 

This is very disturbing for a number of reasons. Namely, Eich did nothing wrong in financially supporting a political cause. In fact, donating to a voter initiative should be applauded not condemned. It is the right of every American to get involved in political activity by donating or volunteering.

Eich's support of Proposition 8 is also totally irrelevant to his duties as CEO of Mozilla. He is credited as a leader in the industry who has played a major role in the growth of his company. According to venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, Eich "made a profound contribution to the Web and to the entire world."

Despite his technology track record, Eich was forced to resign due to his views on marriage. This is a victory for the forces of censorship who have claimed another victim. It seems no one can oppose gay marriage. If so, their business will be attacked and their jobs will be threatened. Fortunately, not all gay rights activists support this type of censorship. Commentator Andrew Sullivan lamented that "if we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."

Yes, the tables have certainly turned.

Related:  Nun faces backlash for criticizing homosexuality to Catholic school students

The Homo-NAZIs are emboldened because they know they have an ally in the Oval Office.


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NYT reporter says Obama administration "the greatest enemy of press freedom" in a generation

Brendan Bordelon is reporting that New York Times reporter James Risen called the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation” on Friday, explaining that the White House seeks to control the flow of information and those who refuse to play along “will be punished.”

Poynter reports that Risen made the remarks while speaking at Sources and Secrets conference -- a meeting of journalism, communication and government professionals held in New York City. The foreign policy reporter, who is currently fighting a fierce court battle with the federal government over his protection of a confidential source, warned that press freedom is under serious attack in today’s America.

In a speech kicking off the conference, Risen claimed that the Obama administration wants to “narrow the field of national security reporting” and “create a path for accepted reporting.” Those who stray from that path, he cautioned, “will be punished.”

The result is a “de facto Official Secrets Act,” Risen explained, making the current White House “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” And the media has been “too timid” in pushing back against the onslaught.

Some of that timidity was on display at the conference. Jeffrey Toobin, a writer for The New Yorker, denied that any constitutional protections for his profession even existed. “It won’t take me long to alienate everyone in the room,” he declared. “For better or worse, it has been clear there is no journalistic privilege under the First Amendment.”

Robert Litt, the administration’s top lawyer for the national intelligence community, agreed with that statement. At the same conference, he likened reporting on national security leaks to drunk driving, arguing that we ban the practice despite the fact that there isn’t always a victim.

“Not every drunk driver causes a fatal accident,” he explained, “but we ban drunk driving because it increases the risk of accidents. In the same way, we classify information because of the risk of harm, even if no harm actually can be shown in the end from any particular disclosure.”


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 A rebuttal to Michelle Obama's claim that they welcome criticism

Debra Heine responds to Michelle Obama's bullshit: 

Uh-huh.

They sure have a strange way of showing their "welcome."

What was the IRS scandal but a project to "shut up conservative voices" that criticize Barack Obama?

The IRS is now in the process of codifying the rules they used to illegally target conservative 501 (C) (4) groups.

Obama has been at war with Fox News since the early days of his administration, and has called out Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by name. 

Obama is the author of "Fight the Smears," "Attack Watch," "Truth Team," and Linda Douglass's ghastly "snitch network" which was set up to squelch "misinformation" (aka "the truth") about ObamaCare.

And just last month the FCC had to shelve their plans to have "news police" monitoring newsrooms, only because of the huge public outcry.

The best rebuttal to Michelle Obama's nice-sounding but ludicrous claim actually came from Senator Mitch McConnell in a speech he made, last June. 

Say what you will about Mitch McConnell -- he is a longtime First Amendment hawk, and he didn't hold back in this AEI speech in which he called out in a very striking and memorable way, the tyrannical Obama and his willing accomplices for attempting to silence his critics. McConnell said, "this administration has institutionalized the practice of pitting bureaucrats against the very people they’re supposed to be serving, and it needs to stop."

Last June, I stood here and warned of a grave and growing threat to the First Amendment. That threat has not let up. Our ability to freely engage in civic life and to organize in defense of our beliefs is still under coordinated assault from groups on the Left that don’t like the idea of anyone criticizing their aims, and from a White House that appears determined to shut up anybody who challenges it.

On the outside, there’s a well-documented effort by a number of Left-wing groups like Media Matters to harass and intimidate conservatives with the goal of scaring them off the political playing field and off the airwaves.

An internal Media Matters memo from January 2010 showed the extent to which these tactics have been turned into a science. In it, we learned of the group’s plan to conduct opposition research into the lives of on-air news personalities and other key decision makers at Fox News, and to coordinate with 100 or so partner groups to pressure the network’s advertisers and shareholders, get this, “by the threat of actual boycotts, rallies, demonstrations, shame, embarrassment and other tactics on a variety of issues important to the progressive agenda.”

Its multiple databases could also be used, the memo said, to remove what it describes as “chronically problematic media figures,” or “to preempt programming” … altogether.

Then, of course, there’s the widespread effort to stifle speech from within the government itself, something the Obama Administration has been engaged in from its earliest days.

Some have traced this back even further, to the 2008 campaign. But my central point last June, and my central point today, is this: the attacks on speech that we’ve seen over the past several years were never limited to a few Left-wing pressure groups or the DISCLOSE Act, which I’ll turn to in a minute. They extend throughout the federal government, to places like the FEC, the FCC, HHS, the SEC, and as all Americans now know — even to the IRS. These assaults have often been aided and abetted by the administration’s allies in Congress. And they’re as virulent as ever.

As for the IRS, my own concerns trace back to a phone call I got from a constituent early last year, who said he’d been subjected to excessive questioning and unreasonable deadlines from the IRS. When similar complaints followed, I sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Shulman asking for assurances that there wasn’t any political targeting going on. I said public confidence in the IRS depended on it. Six weeks later I got a lengthy response from the Deputy Commissioner, Steven Miller, in which he basically told me “move along, nothing to see here.”

Well, now we know that wasn’t the case.

Now we know that the IRS was actually engaged in the targeted slow-walking of applications by conservatives, and others who were, get this, criticizing “how the country [was] being run.” It overwhelmed them with questions and paperwork, and in some cases initiated audits on folks that had never been audited before.

In one case, an IRS agent allegedly demanded that the board members of an Iowa pro-life group sign a declaration that they wouldn’t picket Planned Parenthood. Several pro-Israel groups have said that they were singled out by the IRS for audits after clashing with the administration over its policy on settlements.

Then there’s the story of Catherine Engelbrecht.

Catherine says that after applying for tax-exempt status for a voter-integrity group called True the Vote, she and her husband were visited by the FBI, the ATF, OSHA, and an affiliate of the EPA. When all was said and done, OSHA told the Engelbrecht’s they had to cough up $25,000 in fines. The EPA affiliate demanded they spend $42,000 on new sheds. And three years after applying for tax-exempt status, True the Vote is still awaiting approval.

The list of stories like these goes on and on. And so now we have an administration that’s desperately trying to prove that nobody at the top was involved in any of this stuff, even as they hope that the media loses interest in this scandal and moves on.

But we can’t move on.

The full transcript and video from that speech are here.


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16-Year-old student suspended for refusing to turn NRA shirt inside out

AWR Hawkins is reporting that on March 11th the parents of 16-year-old Shane Kinney confirmed "their son was recently made to serve a one day in-school suspension" for refusing to turn his NRA shirt inside out or change shirts altogether.

Kinney is a sophomore at Grand Island High School in New York.

NRAShirt.jpg

According to WGRZ.com, Kinney and his parents are members of the NRA. The shirt he wore "[depicted] his support of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

His dad said Kinney had worn "the same shirt" to school before without incident. However, this time a gym teacher took offense "to the NRA emblem over crossed rifles adorning the shirt" and Kinney was told to "either change shirts, or turn the one he had on inside out."

Kinney refused, saying "he'd rather not turn the shirt inside out," and received one day of in-school suspension for violating dress code.

Kinney's parents said the important lesson in all this "is to stand up for what you believe in."



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Judgment day for Marine handcuffed and confined over Facebook post

BrandonRaub.jpg

Bob Unruh says, let's suppose you write something on Facebook that someone in the government doesn't like. The result? You're in handcuffs and taken to detention in a mental institution.

No charges, no rights, no freedom.

Not in America, you say?

But that's almost exactly the scenario that is being defended by a federal judge, who now has dismissed a complaint filed over a veteran's treatment.

A federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Brandon Raub, a decorated Marine. The nonprofit legal group said in a statement Monday that Raub "was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page."

As WND reported, Raub filed the lawsuit after his detention by police and others based on an opinion from a counselor who had never met him but believed he might be a danger.

The officers had confronted Raub after he expressed criticism of the U.S. government on a social networking page.

They arrested Raub and kept him in custody for an evaluation based on the long-distance opinion from Michael Campbell, a psychotherapist hired by the local county.

But a judge ruled the concerns raised by the officers were "so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy."

Raub then sued the officers for taking him into custody.

But the federal court now has said any concerns over the government suppressing speech were "far-fetched" and dismissed the lawsuit.

A decision on whether or not to appeal hasn't been made yet.

"What may sound far-fetched to the courts is a grim reality to Americans who are daily being targeted for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to speak their minds, worship as they please, criticize the government, defend themselves and their families against over-reaching government surveillance and heavy-handed police tactics," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.

"Ultimately, Brandon Raub's case tests our tolerance for free speech and those dissidents who keep the First Amendment relevant, because if we cannot proclaim our feelings about the government, no matter how controversial -- on our clothing or to passersby, or to the users of the worldwide web -- then the First Amendment really has become an exercise in futility."

Raub was detained Aug. 16, 2012, by Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI. The veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan was accused of being "mentally ill."

Shortly after he posted criticisms on Facebook, officers arrived at his home.

"Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law-enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will," Rutherford said.

"In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub's Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a special justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment."

Just three days later, however, Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharratt ordered Raub released, stating the prosecution was "so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy."

The lawsuit on behalf of the Marine was filed shortly afterward.



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Our shredded Constitution, Part I: Free Exercise of Religion

Ben Shapiro says Americans take justifiable pride in the freedoms given to them by nature or God and enshrined in the Constitution's Bill of Rights. As we seem to be finding out day after day, however, those rights are no longer of any real value; they are, as James Madison suspected they would be, "parchment barriers" against the encroachment of government and a population conditioned to believe that rights originate with that government, not from a higher power.

Founding philosophy believed that the legitimacy of government sprang from defending rights inherent to human beings; if the government were to violate those rights, it would undermine its entire raison d'etre. Too many Americans today do not ask whether government defends our rights; instead, they ask, why government should allow Americans to exercise their rights.

The result has been a complete shredding of American rights altogether. The Bill of Rights is now a relic of what it once represented, a Swiss cheese of liberty. In this series, we will be examining the Bill of Rights and determining just how much is left of those rights after government has shredded them. We begin with the most controversial provision of the week: freedom of religious exercise.

The Meaning of the Free Exercise Clause

The First Amendment contains this provision: "Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]." This seems clear on its face; Congress cannot ban a religion. But there is play in the joints here. Is religion just something in your head, or something you practice? And if so, how do we reconcile general laws with specific religious practice?

To answer that question, let's look at the writings of James Madison, the creator of the Bill of Rights. He helped write the Declaration of Rights in Virginia, insisting that rather than the language of George Mason, which seemed to suggest that freedom of religion existed only thanks to the kindness of government; his text suggested instead that "all men are entitled to the full and free exercise," meaning that the right to freedom of religion preceded government. He wrote in 1785 that religious exercise was "precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society."

Madison's original First Amendment language read this way: "the civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship...nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed." Conscience, Madison wrote elsewhere, "is the most sacred of all property."

In other words, government was designed to preserve the right of religious practice. Barring some other countervailing right -- for example, your right to life, or your right to property, or your right to religious practice -- religious exercise cannot be infringed.

How The Supreme Court Perverted The Free Exercise Clause

The battle at the origin of the republic was not over secular government ramming its values down the throats of religious individuals, but over religious sects using the government to harm other religious individuals. And the Supreme Court's perversion of Madison's principle to accommodate such efforts began with Reynolds v. United States (1879), which allowed federal law banning consensual polygamy to trump early Mormonism. Not state law, which would have been perfectly legitimate under the Constitution -- federal law. In 1940, the Supreme Court applied the free exercise clause to the states under flawed incorporation theory.

The worm, for a brief while, began to turn. In Sherbert v. Verner (1963), the Supreme Court found that it was unconstitutional to deny benefits to Seventh Day Adventists for taking Saturdays off; in Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), the Court found that Amish families could school their children at home. But then, in Employment Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources v. Smith (1990), the Supreme Court found that a Native American tribe could not use peyote in religious rituals, because drug laws are "neutral law of general applicability." In other words, free exercise only stretches as far as government says it stretches.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had also established a line of cases striking down laws enshrining traditional morality -- laws that were secularly-based, but coincident with religious values. In Roe v. Wade (1973), for example, the Court suggested that it would be unconstitutional for states to regulate abortion. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the Court decided that states could not prohibit sodomy. And a series of appellate cases all over the country have now suggested that state laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman violate the Constitution.

Where We Stand

The combination of these toxic rulings leads to a perverse outcome: religious Americans cannot avoid neutral laws of general applicability, and yet religious Americans also cannot have a say in the laws of their communities, lest they violate separation of church and state. The natural effect is that laws are passed coercing religious people into violating their religious precepts.

The only question now is how far courts will go in directly undermining the free exercise clause. Courts across the country are now deciding on whether the federal government can force religious Americans -- whose religious practice extends to their personal lives and their businesses -- to fund insurance covering abortion and take part in same-sex weddings. It is only a matter of time before the anti-religious movement in the country insists that non-profit status be removed from churches that refuse to practice same-sex weddings. After all, neutral laws of general applicability in some states suggest that discrimination against gays and lesbians by private parties -- defined broadly by some courts already to include discrimination against gay and lesbian behavior -- is illegal.

The right to free exercise has been turned on its head: instead of a right to exercise your religion free of the bounds of government, the government now gets to decide just how much of your religion you are allowed to exercise.


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Court finds school can ban US flag shirts during Mexican holiday

Paul Elias is reporting that officials at a Northern California high school acted appropriately when they ordered students wearing American flag T-shirts to turn the garments inside out during the Mexican heritage celebration Cinco de Mayo, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the officials' concerns of racial violence outweighed students' freedom of expression rights. Administrators feared the American-flag shirts would enflame the passions of Latino students celebrating the Mexican holiday. Live Oak High School, in the San Jose suburb of Morgan Hill, had a history of problems between white and Latino students on that day.

The unanimous three-judge panel said past problems gave school officials sufficient and justifiable reasons for their actions. The court said schools have wide latitude in curbing certain civil rights to ensure campus safety.

"Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the panel. The past events "made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real," she wrote.

The case garnered national attention as many expressed outrage that students were barred from wearing patriotic clothing. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based American Freedom Law Center, a politically conservative legal aid foundation, and other similar organizations took up the students' case and sued the high school and the school district.

William Becker, one of the lawyers representing the students, said he plans to ask a special 11-judge panel of the appeals court to rehear the case. Becker said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if he loses again.

"The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating a holiday of another country over U.S. student proudly supporting this country," Becker said.

Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops defeated a French army of Napoleon III, then considered the mightiest military in the world. It is considered a bigger holiday in the U.S., celebrating Mexican heritage with parades and revelry in many major cities.

If this doesn't piss you off, nothing will.

The regime is clearly using the dodge of "safety" to deprive us of our God-given rights.

The government is electronically collecting and analyzing our communications in the name of "safety."

The government can strip-search us at the airport in the name of "safety."

The government wants to seize our firearms in the name of "safety."

Benjamin Franklin famously said:

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security."


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Obama's FCC placing government monitors in newsrooms to police media

Matthew Clark is reporting that The Obama Administration’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is poised to place government monitors in newsrooms across the country in an absurdly draconian attempt to intimidate and control the media.

Before you dismiss this assertion as utterly preposterous (we all know how that turned out when the Tea Party complained that it was being targeted by the IRS), this bombshell of an accusation comes from an actual FCC Commissioner.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai reveals a brand new Obama Administration program that he fears could be used in "pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories."

As Commissioner Pai explains in the Wall Street Journal:

Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about "the process by which stories are selected" and how often stations cover "critical information needs," along with "perceived station bias" and "perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."

In fact, the FCC is now expanding the bounds of regulatory powers to include newspapers, which it has absolutely no authority over, in its new government monitoring program.

The FCC has apparently already selected eight categories of "critical information that it believes local newscasters should cover."

That’s right, the Obama Administration has developed a formula of what it believes the free press should cover, and it is going to send government monitors into newsrooms across America to stand over the shoulders of the press as they make editorial decisions.

This poses a monumental danger to constitutionally protected free speech and freedom of the press.

Every major repressive regime of the modern era has begun with an attempt to control and intimidate the press.

As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently said, "our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."

The federal government has absolutely no business determining what stories should and should not be run, what is critical for the American public and what is not, whether it perceives a bias, and whose interests are and are not being served by the free press.

It’s an unconscionable assault on our free society.

Imagine a government monitor telling Fox News it needed to cover stories in the same way as MSNBC or Al Jazeera. Imagine an Obama Administration official walking in to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and telling it that the American public would be better served if it is stopped reporting on the IRS scandal or maybe that reporting on ObamaCare "glitches" is driving down enrollment.

It’s hard to imagine anything more brazenly Orwellian than government monitors in newsrooms.

Is it any wonder that the U.S. now ranks 46th in the world for freedom of the press? Reporters Without Borders called America’s precipitous drop of 13 places in its recent global rankings "one of the most significant declines" in freedom of the press in the world.

Freedom of the press is proudly extolled in the First Amendment, yet our nation now barely makes the top fifty for media freedom.

We cannot allow the unfathomable encroachment on our free speech and freedom of the press to continue.

We’ve seen, and defeated, this kind of attempt to squelch free speech before in the likes of the Fairness Doctrine and the Grassroots Lobbying Bill (incidentally one of my first projects at the ACLJ). Each one of these euphemistically named government programs is nothing more than an underhanded attempt to circumvent the Constitution and limit free speech -- speech that the government finds inconvenient. They’re equally unconstitutional, and they each must be defeated.


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Obama is here to destroy America


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The continuing battle for free speech 

Joe Trotter is reporting that the battle for free speech did not start or end with Citizens United. Four years ago, that Supreme Court decision reaffirmed the right of corporations, including nonprofits, to independently spend money urging voters to elect or defeat candidates. Ever since, those opposed to the First Amendment have explored every conceivable avenue to limit corporations from doing so.

The efforts began almost immediately after the decision. Barack Obama publicly lambasted Citizens United in his 2010 State of the Union address, suggesting that nefarious characters would exploit it at the expense of our democracy. Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced his intent to introduce legislation that would force corporations to publicly disclose their political expenditures, noting that the "deterrent effect [of disclosure] should not be underestimated" and that it would make corporations "think twice" about engaging in politics.

Within four months of the decision, the Internal Revenue Service began flagging conservative groups for additional scrutiny. Unable to target money at its source, members of Congress and activist groups actively pressured the IRS to investigate right-leaning organizations, hoping that by harassing the recipients of corporate support, they can mute the effects of Citizens United.

Eight months after the ruling, Obama began publicly suggesting that organizations that accepted corporate support were engaged in foul play, and calling politically engaged nonprofits "destructive to our democracy."

By 2011, the war on corporate speech had taken a decidedly personal turn, with the IRS singling out donors to the conservative nonprofit Freedom's Watch for audit. The IRS also decided to impose gift taxes on the donors' contributions, something the agency hadn't done with such groups in over 20 years. The agency backed off of this course only after an outcry from a bipartisan group of nonprofit tax lawyers.

With the assault against recipients of donations in full swing, other groups of anti-speech activists decided to attack political money on another front.

Though they are unable to impose legislative limits on corporate nonprofit donors, coalitions of investors, academics, and activists use a stick-and-carrot approach to discourage public corporations from engaging in politics. It goes like this: Groups go to corporations with the message that engaging in political activity can be harmful to shareholder value, and therefore the corporation should disclose its political activities to the public. The more the corporation complies with the request, the higher it ranks in studies of political accountability and the more it is publicly lauded by activists. If the corporation does not comply, it ranks lower in the studies and is subjected to a negative media campaign by the activists.

But even if a corporation complies with the initial demands, the campaign doesn't end there. The studies change their criteria year to year in order to gradually draw greater concessions from previously targeted companies.

This is hardly a comprehensive list of avenues explored by the pro-regulation community in its quest to clamp down on political spending since Citizens United. Activists have mounted a letter-writing campaign asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to enact intrusive, unnecessary disclosure requirements on public corporations. Others have focused on pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt unprecedented and extensive disclosure regulations, such as requiring television stations to name donors who provide 10 percent or more of an advertisement's funding. Thus far the agency has rejected these rules.

Americans trying to speak about candidates and issues, as is their First Amendment right, have faced a government uninterested in ensuring that our political debate is robust, diverse, and wide-open, and activists intent on pressuring them into silence. But despite all these efforts and political abuse by the IRS, free-speech advocates have so far emerged mostly victorious, and all of us who prize vigorous participation in the public square should be thankful.


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How the Obama IRS plans on limiting conservative free speech

Jim Hoft is reporting that the TEA Party Patriots released this video on the Obama Administrations attempt to formalize censorship against conservative groups.

The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:

The Obama IRS gave preferential treatment to liberal groups during the same period.

And, now the Obama IRS is hoping to institutionalize their discrimination against conservative groups.
In December 2013, the IRS (not so) quietly proposed new regulations governing non-profits, specifically, 501(c)(4) organizations.  IRS Reg-134417-13 will forbid conservative groups from holding voter registration drives, advertising, promoting, and prohibits any kind of political activity including rallies, mailings, teas, and forums.

In short, the Obama Administration wants to, as National Review explains, “effectively prevent many so-called 501(c)(4) organizations from engaging in political activity.”

The newly proposed rules would change the status not of the donors’ income taxes but those of the organization. If a political group is eligible to use section 501(c)(4), then under current rules, it is tax-exempt. If you take away that tax exemption, as the new rules threaten to do, it will have to pay taxes on its income, which includes the donations it receives.

Why would the Obama Administration do this? The National Review piece continues:

It has been argued that the proposed rules are justified as a way to force political groups to organize under a different tax-exemption provision, section 527, which requires them to disclose their donors.

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal today says it best:

“The current rules governing 501(c)(4)s have existed, unchanged, since 1959. Prior to 2010 the IRS processed and approved tax-exempt applications in fewer than three months with no apparent befuddlement.”

To be clear, Congressional Republicans understand why they are doing this, and are trying to stop it. House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has introduced H.R. 3865, the “Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014,” which would prohibit Treasury and the IRS from finalizing the proposed rules for one year in order to allow for the completion of the IRS targeting investigation and a thorough public discussion, including a review of public comments related to the proposed regulations.


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