Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category
By Rebecca Leber
Almost 900 people are RSVPed for a July 4th march on Washington, D.C. where protesters plan to carry loaded rifles. In D.C., openly carrying guns is against the law. But the organizer of the event, libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh, says the march is an act of “civil disobedience” that attempts to prove gun advocates’ point in the “SUBTLEST way possible.”
The event’s Facebook invitation describes the march as a nonviolent demonstration, “unless the government chooses to make it violent”:
This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.
There’s a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
It is not exactly clear whether Kokesh will carry through with the event, since he says it needs to reach a critical mass of 10,000 RSVPs first. However, the National Rifle Association is newly reenergized after the Senate filibuster of background check legislation.
Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes that Kokesh has expressed increasingly radical views on his show and on Twitter. Just this week, he called for the abolishment of the U.S. government.
Generally, open carry demonstrations have occurred in places with weaker gun laws, as well as a litmus test for how far gun violence laws can be challenged. Most recently, a group of men brought their rifles to intimidate moms who rallied for action on gun violence. “Another group brought guns into a Virginia public library full of children, while demonstrators in Oregon brandished assault rifles in the State Capitol.
After a New York state judge on Monday ruled that Mayor Michael Bloomberg could not ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. at restaurants and other establishments, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweeted a simple message to politicians like Bloomberg who favor a nanny state: “Govt, stay out of my refrigerator!”
Palin called the ruling a “victory” in New York City for “liberty-loving soda drinkers.”
The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.
The fate of Uwe and Hannelore Romeikie – along with their six children – now rests with the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – after the Dept. of Homeland Security said they don’t deserve asylum.
Neither the Justice Dept. nor the Dept. of Homeland Security returned calls seeking comment.
“The Obama administration is basically saying there is no right to home school anywhere,” said Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. “It’s an utter repudiation of parental liberty and religious liberty.”
The Justice Dept. is arguing that German law banning home schooling does not violate the family’s human rights.
“They are trying to send a family back to Germany where they would certainly lose custody of their children,” Farris told Fox News. “Our government is siding with Germany.”
(Story continues below)
Farris said the Germans ban home schools because “they don’t want to have religious and philosophical minorities in their country.”
“That means they don’t want to have significant numbers of people who think differently than what the government thinks,” he said. “It’s an incredibly dangerous assertion that people can’t think in a way that the government doesn’t approve of.”
He said the Justice Dept. is backing that kind of thinking and arguing ‘it is not a human rights violation.”
Farris said he finds great irony that the Obama administration is releasing thousands of illegal aliens – yet wants to send a family seeking political asylum back to Germany.
“Eleven million people are going to be allowed to stay freely – but this one family is going to be shipped back to Germany to be persecuted,” he said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
The fear of persecution is why an immigration judge granted the family political asylum in 2010.
German authorities demanded the family stop home schooling. They faced thousands of dollars in fines and they initially took away their children in a police van.
German state constitutions require children attend public schools. Parents who don’t comply face punishment ranging from fines to prison time. The nation’s highest appellate court ruled in 2007 that in some cases children could be removed from their parents’ care.
“Families that want to have an alternative education can’t get it in Germany,” Farris said. “Even the private schools have to teach public school curriculum.”
After authorities threatened to remove permanent custody from the Christian couple – they decided to move to the United States.
Uwe, a classically-trained pianist, relocated their brood to a small farm in the shadow of the Smokey Mountains in eastern Tennessee.
“We are very happy here to be able to freely follow our conscience and to home school our children,” he told Fox News. “Where we live in Tennessee is very much like where we lived in Germany.”
Uwe said he was extremely disappointed that their petition to seek asylum was appealed by the Obama administration.
“If we go back to Germany we know that we would be prosecuted and it is very likely the Social Services authorities would take our children from us,” he said.
Uwe said German schools were teaching children to disrespect authority figures and used graphic words to describe sexual relations. He said the state believed children must be “socialized.”
“The German schools teach against our Christian values,” he said. “Our children know that we home school following our convictions and that we are in God’s hands. They understand that we are doing this for their best – and they love the life we are living in America on our small farm.”
Farris said Americans should be outraged over the way the Obama administration has treated the Romeike family – and warned it could have repercussions for families that home school in this nation.
“The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children has been at the pinnacle of human rights,” he said. “But not in this country.”
Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary, heard daily on more than 250 radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” His website is www.toddstarnes.com
There was a strong push in the last Arizona election cycle to disenfranchise political parties by turning the Arizona Primary election into a “round one general election” in which there would be a single ballot with all candidates listed on it without regard to party affiliation, but only the top two vote-getters from the Primary would be on the General Election ballot. Some very good political thinkers were involved at least in conceptualizing this ballot proposition. The proposition failed by a two to one margin
The main thing the proposition was designed to do was to give independents (voters not affiliated with any party) a greater say in the primary. There are certain good things about today’s party system; it allows people with common political views to identify their positions on issues (platform) and to select candidates who will run for office in the general election. The founding fathers were not fond of political parties; but parties in their times were specific special interest factions such as merchants, or lawyers, or veterans, or bankers, or planters. The political parties spoken of by Washington and his contemporaries were what we would now call lobbyists or political action committees (PACs).
Today’s parties are made up of voters with diverse professions, economic stations, races, educational levels, and lifestyle, and serve primarily as a vetting process for candidate selection. party) more say in Primary elections. To me that alone doesn’t make any sense because primary elections are elections in which political parties nominate their candidates. Independents are independents because they don’t support party politics. Arizona already does something that I think is very bad in that they allow independents to vote in one primary of any party they wish. To me nobody except party members should have a say in who the party nominates.. I’m glad it did because I think it was a very bad idea.
Even minor parties have played a significant role in shaping our politics. By presenting their views to the public they have caused the two major parties to adjust to attract those voters. Two examples are the Socialist Party who originated the idea of vast social programs and redistribution of wealth, and the Libertarian Party who has pushed for a more stringent compliance with the constitution and lest government involvement in the lives of citizens. Both of these minor parties have never reached the number of supporters needed to enact their policies, but the Democrats have adapted many of the aims of the Socialist Party, and the Republicans have adjusted to the right in response to the ideas of the Libertarian Party.
One problem with a top two primary is that it does not give the voter more choices but limits them to only two in the general election. A second problem is that in a district in which one party dominates, no other party has a chance to make it on the ballot, both general candidates could be from the same party. It would virtually illuminate all minor party candidates from ever getting on a general ballot.
Many independents say there is no difference between the two parties; however, even the most cursory review of their stand on issues reveals that as false. The main causes of independent discontent with the two major parties can be categorized as: 1) They are all professional politicians who are mostly concerned with feathering their own nest and being reelected, and 2) They can’t work together to get anything done.
I think Item one is partly true; I do believe that many people in congress have a genuine desire to do what’s right, but their view may differ from that of many of their voters. They have elevated themselves to a special class that is paid much more than the average voter, has amazing perks and benefits, and gives them special exceptions to things the rest of us live with every day. When congress was first given an annual salary in 1855 it was $3000; comparing the consumer price index of 1855 to 2012, that equates to under $12,000 per year in today’s dollar. Then, being in Congress was a part time job, they spent a couple of months a year mostly approving a budget.
This brings us to item two. As the founders intended, the federal government dealt with relatively few departments and programs, they didn’t enact many new laws every year, they took care of business and got back their farm, store, law officer, parsonage, etc. For the last 80 years congress has gotten along too well, they have passed way to many laws, creating way too much government, and spending way too much public revenue. Any congress that refuses to raise expenditures or increase taxes is a good congress. Democrats want to keep using the public revenue to buy votes, and Republics want to reverse that process. In a nutshell that is the difference between the two parties. I will vote for the senator or representative who refuses to go along with government programs, trillion dollar deficits, and forever increasing taxes. A “do-nothing” congress is better than a “do-something” congress unless the something being done is cutting spending, cutting government, and cutting taxes.
So since the main accusation is that Democrats and Republicans are the same, you better look again. And if you want to save the country you better hope the “do-nothings” outnumber the “do-everythings”.
By Javier Manjarres
Republican Congressman Dennis Ross has started off his second term in office by introducing five legislative bills, one of them being the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act, guest worker program for farm labor that is proposed under the authority of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), not the Department of Labor. According to Ross, the program allows participants to work for 10 months at a time, essentially making it a 10 month work visa. When asked about the real problem of these guest workers overstaying their visas, Ross stated the following-
“One of the things we talked about was paying into a fund, instead of paying FICA, which we don’t pay anyways, but pay that amount so when they finish their ten months they collect it when they go back. Which Ross adds it’s “even better, because then there is an incentive to want to go back and then there’s an incentive to want to come back because they’ll have a job when they come back.
If they wanted to stay here, they would leave their money here, but they send their money back home because that’s where their families are. They don’t necessarily want to come here as a citizen, they want to come here because of the economic opportunities. This program recognizes their desire to use this country as a source, to do jobs that domestic workers don’t want to do, and it allows them to go back home to their family and meet our needs here.” – Congressman Dennis Rosss
When asked about Senator Rubio’s recent immigration reform ideas, Ross said that he “lauds him for doing that” but like many conservatives, wants to see “the details.” Ross stresses that we need to be careful not to create a “new pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. The congressman didn’t hold back on expressing his frustration about the lack of immigration reform messaging as well as the broader issue of Republican outreach to the growing Latino community, a problem that was apparent long before last year’s wipeout with Hispanics-
We didn’t’ even have the conversation, and my party wonders why we suffered in the polls in November. -Congressman Dennis Ross
There are things that make schools particularly attractive targets for evil men or crazies who want to inflict harm on others or who want to hurt society: Schools contain large numbers of helpless children and a few adults who can pose no threat to an attacker; Being gun-free zones, schools guarantee that the will be no armed person in a school, with the possible exception of a school resource officer; and, once the slaughter starts, the attacker knows that it will take several minutes for the police to be called and to respond. The attacker also knows that if there is a single policeman assigned to the school, he could get rid of that threat to him by simply removing the officer or distracting him in some way; and even if the officer is not disabled the attacker would simply have to begin his attack in one of the more remote classrooms. For these reasons our children are like lambs in a slaughterhouse
The only real protection against a terrorist (and no matter their motive, the people who stage these attacks are terrorists) is to have numerous people in all parts of the school who can be first responders to an attack. The outcome at Sandy Hook Elementary School would have been very different had the first teacher who confronted the attacker, and the Principle who confronted him had done so with a gun.
Schools should be Attack Free Zones; meaning that if an unauthorized person enters a school they are considered a deadly threat and if they do not immediately surrender, they will be shot. This means that schools would have to have the ability to control all access to the school and to identify and control visitors or those on authorized business.
The two most rational objections to arming school personnel are 1) that they would create a confusing battlefield for police who respond- it would become difficult for the officers to identify the perpetrators as opposed to the armed school personnel; and, 2) School personnel are not trained in the needed skills and procedures. I think there is some valid concern on both points. However, if the arming of school personnel is done properly both these points become moot.
First the personnel would have to pass the normal gun ownership background checks, second, they would have to pass the concealed carry class, and third they would be required to be trained and sanctioned by the local police department, and would operate under direction of the police department as a reserve unit of the police. This takes away the concern about qualification.
There are probably several employees at most schools who are already competent marksmen and trained in gun safety. There are likely military veterans or reservists, concealed carry permit holders, reserve officers, or shooting hobbyist on the school staff. These people would be the obvious first class of trainees. The goal would be to have most employees, including administrators, teachers, classified staff, custodians, and bus drivers qualified and armed. Since the reasons schools are such enticing targets for evil or crazy people is because they know they will easily be able to do great harm, having this type of reserve protection would take away that primary attraction as a target.
The second valid concern is identification of school police reservists. First, since they are under the direction of the police, trained by them, and mingle face to face with officers they would be known by sight to the police. Second they would be provided with a recognizable police vest which they would don in the event of an attack anywhere on the school. The teachers in classrooms would lock down their classroom, direct the children to take cover, and then take a defensive position to stop the attacker from entering.
Teachers involved in other activities with students would move them to designated safe areas and take up a defensive position to protect the children. Administrators and other non-teaching personnel would don their vests and move quickly to the trouble area, firing on an attacker at the moment they are encountered.
The reserve officer school personnel would be organized into rank leadership based on competency and training and the senior officer (who might be a teacher or a janitor rather than an administrator) would assume command of the crises until a ranking police officer is on the scene.
Chances are, that in most cases based on this scenario by the time police arrived all school reservists would be “in uniform”’ the threat would be neutralized, and all arms would be holstered, avoiding the chaos envisioned by detractors.
Chances are good that this would prevent injury or loss of student life; or at the worst would limit the number of such casualties.
I will cover reestablishing a healthy American gun culture in Part 3.