Archive for Justice and Law

Actions have consequences

One of the problems in ‘modern’ debate is that of confusing correlation and causation. Trying to determine the consequences of actions can be difficult when it comes to expression of values, multiple contributing factors, and indirect paths of causation. The assault on cops provides a study. It correlates with the left’s obsession with racism over the last few years, the construction of outrages based on false narratives such as police racism, and the equality in criminality fantasies.

John Hinderaker takes up the situation in describing how The War on Cops Comes to San Antonio.

San Antonio police officer Benjamin Marconi was writing a traffic ticket outside police headquarters earlier today when a motorist pulled up behind him, got out of his car, approached Marconi and shot him twice in the head. The murderer got back into his car and drove away.

A law enforcement officer here in Minnesota sent me a link to an article in Police magazine titled “Why So Many Police Are Being Murdered.” The author, Dr. Ron Martinelli, describes the recent killings of police officers in Lancaster and Palm Springs, California. He recounts the perpetrators’ lengthy criminal records; as usual, the first question is why these men were not in prison.

The American educational system no longer teaches civics in school. Students no longer learn about our justice system and its components. They know nothing about what their civil rights are and, more importantly, are not. They have no knowledge of the important role of police in our society and therefore have not been taught proper behavior and respect for police authority during police encounters. This allows subversive groups such as Black Lives Matter to spew the false narratives of hate and to perpetuate the lie that police are the “bad guys” and armed recidivist offenders are somehow the “good guys.” This circumstance breeds resistance and exacerbates violent, armed and deadly encounters with police.


Martinelli identifies broader societal trends that underlie the War On Cops:

While a new administration in Washington won’t solve the problem overnight, Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions will not contribute to the undermining of law enforcement, as Barack Obama and Eric Holder have done. This may prove to be one of the greatest virtues of the Trump administration.

Even now, those who riot are not being condemned. Those who abuse their positions in the name of “free speech” are being lauded and not shamed. There continues to be stories about teachers making lesson plans for subversion and ideological propaganda that belie true history. These actions have consequences. Police assassinations are one but only a link in a chain. Baltimore and other leftist run cities face the conundrum of their support of an anti-police ethos and it is a downhill slide.

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Blowback: enough already. The ‘other’ side is gaining its voice.

There’s blowback. Whether it’s objection to lecturing by the cast of a Broadway play, to disputing the presumptions in news interviews, to cataloging misbehaviors, there is a fresh breeze in the public square. Feldman provides one example in the previous post. Here are two more.

Jazz Shaw reports that The time has come for the “Suck it up, Buttercup” bill

We’ve long since grown used to stories coming from the nation’s college campuses where “safe spaces” are set up for everything from Halloween costumes to the results of the presidential election. But some universities have taken it a step further, setting up special counseling sessions for “grieving” students and additional classes, much of it on the taxpayer dime. The Ivy League schools have gone so far as to consider making themselves miniature “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants on campus from anticipated increases in law enforcement efforts.

One GOP member of the Iowa state legislature decided earlier this week that the madness needs to stop and has introduced a bill being very appropriately nicknamed the Suck It Up, Buttercup Act.

There’s more to this legislation than meets the eye. The top line item is the obvious one, providing for cuts to funding for schools which could add up to double what they spend on all of this safe space and hand wringing activity.

But a second feature of this bill will, I’m guessing, garner a lot more popular support. It proposes to impose additional criminal penalties on people who intentionally block the highways as part of their “protests and free speech.”

David Rosenthal A New Defense for Religious Liberty: Going on Offense against Bad Laws

It is no secret that religious liberty is under attack. The wedding photographer, florist, and cake baker are no longer able to practice their faith at work without fear of retribution for refusing to fall in line with the new government orthodoxy.

One way to preserve the American conscience is for individuals to pre-emptively put unjust laws on trial by way of pre-enforcement challenges.

Pre-enforcement challenges have a long pedigree in free speech cases, which carries over into the religious liberty context.

ith the principle in mind, ADF recently launched a pre-enforcement challenge in support of religious liberty on behalf of clients in Arizona.

The culture war will rage on, but pre-enforcement challenges have the potential to provide refuge for conscientious objectors who want to live out their faith in the marketplace without fear of prosecution for doing so. It is time to put bad laws on trial before bad laws are able to do worse to conscientious objectors.

To date, it’s been the riots, the over-riding of individual liberties, the libel and slander, and the destruction of culture that has dominated the news. It is about time that the opposition to such efforts stands up for its day in the ‘debate.’

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About that election: the why on display

The ugliness, the hate, the narrow-mindedness, the violence, the authoritarianism of the liberal left unleashed by the election of Donald J. Trump (R), despised by the self-proclaimed dealers of peace, tolerance, love, and open-mindedness, as documented here by Carol Brown and other right-thinking media (and minimized by the so-called mainstream media), is revealing.

Remember, this isn’t the alt liberal-left – the fringe. These are the feelings, the attitudes, and the beliefs of a substantial proportion of liberals.

Ethel C. Fenig says Threatening to assassinate the president has consequences.

Dominating the culture for so long, these lefties thought they could do anything and get away with it. But they can’t.

For instance, Matt Harrigan, CEO of cyber-security firm PacketSled, is, like most of the Silicon Valley executives, bright but arrogant and condescending to those who disagree with him. Despite Harrigan’s wishes, Trump was elected. And so Harrigan publicly announced he would assassinate Trump.

Not surprisingly many of the liberal left, in all its non-peace-loving, narrow-minded glory, approved.

But others didn’t, so Harrigan offered a weak apology, blaming those offended for being offended at his mighty, superior self.

The question is that these rioters, called “protestors” to minimize their extreme and unseemly behavior, are demonstrating just what the election was about. It is related to the LA Police saying they won’t enforce the law in regards to immigration or the mayor of Chicago claiming his city will maintain a pledge of diversity and remain a ‘sanctuary city’ for illegals despite its soaring crime.

Even ‘friends’ on social media talk about Republicans the way the KKK used to talk about blacks. They prognosticate about evil deeds yet to come despite no evidence or history that could be extrapolated to validate such fears.

It has been noted that many of rioters are paid – advertisements for hiring have been noted on Craig’s List. The rioters in Portland appear to be mostly folks who did not vote in the election. Some Democrats in leadership positions remain quiet and muted in objection but many praise the riots. Again, the law means nothing if it gets in the way of the left. That is why the voters spoke out they way they did. 

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Why the electoral college?

Allahpundit picks up on Eric Holder: C’mon, let’s get rid of the electoral college. The topic comes up every time someone’s candidate for president loses, it seems. There is good reason for the electoral college and it is related to the distinction between the House and the Senate. Nevada provides an example of what can happen as the city of Las Vegas can swamp the desires of voters in the rest of the state.

The point of the Electoral College is simple: to restrict the power of the majority. There’s a tendency to forget that majority rule is only half of a free country — the other half is the protection of the rights of the minority, of the dissenters. This is why our federal government has two legislative houses instead of one. The House of Representatives is filled on the majority-rule principle, with greater power given to larger states; the Senate, on the minority-protection principle, with equal power given to each state no matter its size…

Remember: The constitution intends that most laws be made on a scale much smaller than the federal government, where the individual voter has, proportionally, a much greater say, and where local problems can be dealt with without affecting unconcerned strangers. The federal government is the federation of one level of distinct law-making units — the states — and a direct presidential election would mean that problems unique to sparsely populated parts of the country would be irrelevant to the president.

This time the election was won by people who want government out of their lives. The riots and angst is in the crowd that wants to get into other people’s lives by imposing regulations, taxes, and restrictions on defined rights. Which was the minority is not quite clear as the vote difference was in the noise. Either way, the national election at least gave the minority in flyover country a voice and that is very likely a better situation than those in the wilds of Nevada got. 

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Can the protests

The news is full of stories about rioters who encountered reality in election results. As per usual, for example the Dakota pipeline standoff, there is little to condemn the destruction and violence. There are other actions of ‘protest’ that can be more easily dropped. These are actions being defended in the courts. Stephen Dinan says Trump can eviscerate Obama’s policies by dropping lawsuits, revoking memos.

Forget about waiting for Congress — Donald Trump can eviscerate Obamacare and cripple President Obama’s global warming framework all on his first few days in office by directing policy from the White House and ordering his Justice Department to drop lawsuits that the current administration is pursuing.

There is precedent for making those kinds of decisions. Mr. Turley pointed to the Obama administration’s refusal to defend in courts the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton.

Mr. Kobach said a Trump administration could also put an end to sue-and-settle practices. That is when agencies essentially collude with interest groups, inviting them to sue to force action. The agency then agrees to a settlement that ends up writing rules that the interest groups want.

“The Trump administration is going to have to clean out the Justice Department from top to bottom because of the complete politicalization by [Attorney Generals Eric H.] Holder and [Loretta E.] Lynch that destroyed the professionalism and ethics of the department — it will be a monumental task as difficult as Hercules having to clean out the Augean stables,”

The (mis)use of the legal system is a hallmark of the left. It avoids Congress to put validity of lawmaking on the courts. It is this sort of dictatorial action that the current riots fear will happen while they ignore what has happened. Dinan describes a number of issues that can be resolved simply by an administration dropping the case. This includes cases currently being promoted, like the bathroom demands, to cases currently being defended. like questionable spending.

There is a lot of talk about “compromise” and getting ‘buy in from the other side of the aisle’ no matter principle. One thesis for the election of 2016 is that the people have said enough of this. Republicans falling back into that mode of presumed civility and honest debate – again – is a fear of those who realize just how the left operations. It is time to draw the line and put legislation back into the hands of Congress and keep its formation out of the hands of the executive. 

Right now, The President’s Diktat is soft, a matter of executive order and administration policy. It has not been set in concrete by courts and custom as has happened with many un-constitutional ideas of the 20th century (see Charles Murray’s books). It may be this that those promoting the riots fear. They have a lot invested in putting their ideas forward and they have not set, yet. A new president could easily dismantle the molds before they set and set their efforts back.

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Tit4Tat

Trump has made election fraud an issue in this campaign. That was stimulated by court rulings favoring Democrat efforts to fight voter ID laws, the Holder DoJ dropping campaign intimidation campaigns by Democrat ethnic groups, and the many stories of the dead voting and other irregularities at the voting booth. What’s a Democrat to do? How about nuisance lawsuits? In several states, Democrats have filed for injunctions about Republican voter intimidation and other misbehavior. Andrea Noble reports: Courts dismiss Democrats’ claims of ‘vigilante voter intimidation’ efforts.

In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi found that the Arizona Democratic Party had not provided enough evidence to support the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the Trump campaign and Mr. Stone, noting that several of the campaign’s public statements that were cited as evidence of intimidation were taken out of context.

“One can seriously question the wisdom of stirring up supporters about a controversial issue, encouraging them to go to a precinct that is not their own, and telling them to look for ‘voter fraud’ without defining what it is, leaving individuals to their own devices to figure out how to go about that task,” Judge Tuchi wrote in an order issued Friday. “But whatever the shortcomings of the Trump campaign’s statements on this issue might be, simply arguing there is voter fraud and urging people to watch out for it is not, without more, sufficient to justify the extraordinary relief that an injunction constitutes.”

While early voting was underway in the state, the judge found that Democrats failed to provide evidence of “any attempts at voter intimidation, or any voter reporting they felt intimidated, during this cycle.”

Of course, if the Democrats hold true to form for the left, losing a few nuisance lawsuits isn’t going to deter the effort. They will keep at it until they find some irregularity they can trumpet as a “see! I told you so!” or until they find some judge who will let them proceed. It is like on report on the Watergate comparisons being flawed because Nixon put the country first and resigned. That sort of thing isn’t very common with Democrats as the country does not hold much value to them which is why Trump’s “make America great again” slogan resonates.

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Trump keeps coming up right.

An IBD editorial wonders: Clinton Foundation Scandal: A Justice Department Cover-Up Exposed?. Of course, it is Trump’s money that has been subject to allegation but also, as usual, investigation in that direction does not find anything. Looking the other direction is a different matter. The State Propaganda Machine spends more time lambasting Trump’s crude and vulgar and ugly and demeaning and so on comments about the election being rigged or the Russian influence or the other problems he sees that everyone with eyeballs can see too.

One report has it that there are at least five FBI investigations into Clinton related corruption. One of them is has roots going back to the Holder decision to not worry about Black Panthers guarding a voting station. It is about the corruption in the DoJ itself.

Now it appears that Justice has successfully sidelined a critical investigation into the corrupt Clinton Foundation purely for political reasons. If so, then the Justice Department itself is guilty of obstructing justice.

This is the very definition of a “rigged system.”

There is a mad scrambling to defend against the light of day. Trump is getting more of those ‘he was right about that’ judgments as more see that he was talking about the shape of the forest and his detractors are trying to put his comments as talking about individual insect eaten leaves. That only goes so far. Maybe.

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That rug is getting awfully lumpy

Trying to sweep things under the rug can make things look OK for a while but then it makes the rug lumpy so it is hard to walk on and some of that stuff swept under the rug starts to fester and smell. After 30 years, this seems to be happening in the Clinton Camp.

Thomas Lifson says The presidential race has changed because The Awful Truth about the Clintons is sinking in. “Here is the logical chain of four shocks that I think a big enough (10%?) share of Democrats have pondered

For one of those dirt piles under the rug, see the FBI Release 100 Clinton Investigation Pages: “Quid Pro Quo”, “Shadow Government”, and More…. “Much of this will not be covered by MSM because it exposes an aspect of Hillary Clinton that is well beyond self-serving. In addition to including the full pdf below – we’ve pulled out some important pages via screen grab to pay particular attention to

Then there’s VDH on The Clintons as Farce — :Should we laugh or cry at the latest developments in a madcap campaign?”

Hillary Clinton was resting, running out the clock, sitting on a supposed large lead, and hoping that the election was sooner than later. Now after the latest Weiner disclosures, she is crisscrossing the country, terrified of collapsing polls, and wishing that she had three more weeks rather than just one. With the Clintons, farce is the desert to scandal: the profiteering Clinton Foundation as a humanitarian treasure; Hillary the former corporate attorney as child and little-guy crusader; Bill Clinton, both sexual predator and feminist hero.

Yet no one thought discredited deviant Anthony Weiner could much harm Hillary—except of course “conspiratorial” Donald Trump. He warned months ago that Clinton aide Huma Abedin might have been passing on classified materials to her dissolute husband. Because Weiner couldn’t repress his electronic libido with young girls, he ended up on the FBI’s radar—and by extension his smartphones, tablets, computers, and by further extension supposedly his estranged wife’s confidential communications.

Should we laugh or cry when Barack Obama’s Department of Justice warns about mixing politics with the Weiner investigation, after Attorney General Loretta Lynch had stealthily met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton while her office was supposedly investigating his spouse?

Thomas Lifson has another item on the Blockbuster report on internal FBI conflict over investigating Clinton machine. “Devlin Barrett of the Wall Street Journal has apparently mined many sources at the FBI, DoJ, and other “people familiar with the matter,” and put together a remarkable piece that is providing a lot of new information.”

There is a lot of controversy being genned up that Comey should have kept quiet about FBI investigations to avoid tainting the election. The problem is, as usual, that it’s happened before. Consider Weinberg when the ‘apologies’ didn’t come until after the election. There is a conflict between proper legal niceties in criminal investigations and the need of the public to know about their choices in an election. The investigation wouldn’t be an election problem if the partisans had not nominated someone with such a known and threatening scandal issue. As with Nixon, what wasn’t known before the election raised a crisis later and the Watergate scandals don’t hold a candle to what is being revealed now about the Clinton scandals.

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Blind eye

Take a look at the Bundy protests. Consider the case of a sheriff sentenced to 6 months for contempt of court because he refused to stand down in enforcing established law. Now take a look at the South Dakota Pipeline protests. Obama steers clear as North Dakota pipeline protests veer out of control.

Having lent support to the North Dakota pipeline protesters, the Obama administration is stiff-arming requests for more federal assistance as the situation on the ground at the massive encampment grows increasingly volatile.

The conflict shows signs of intensifying. Protesters set up tipis and tents Sunday in the path of the pipeline about two miles from the Cannon Ball River, declaring it “unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land under the control of the Oceti Sakowin.”

Negotiating with demonstrators has also been difficult because the tribe appears to have lost control of the protest. A group of about 200 to 300 activists is driving the lawbreaking, while the protest’s leadership is split among different camps, according to law enforcement.

Rob Port, a North Dakota conservative radio talk show host who runs the Say Anything blog, warned that more federal involvement could come back to haunt the community.

“If the feds get involved, I hope it is to stand up for property rights and the rule of law, which have been trampled by the protesters,” Mr. Port said. “I’m afraid if they get involved, it will be to take up the cause of the tribe and protesters against state law enforcement, which would only further inflame this situation.”

In this case, the Indian tribe is being used by leftist activists and rioters. They lend an aura built by propaganda from the left of the peaceful native nobility such as also drives the contempt for Columbus Day. “For those living and working in Morton County, North Dakota, however, waiting for the administration to research a project already approved by state and federal regulators comes at a cost.” The citizens don’t seem to matter much to the federal government and that may be stimulating some bite. Perhaps the government’s blind eye will turn into a black eye. If not now, eventually. Think Venezuela. Then again, that might be depressing as former middle class citizens digging in the garbage for food is still not enough for people like that football quarterback to rethink their holding the heroes of the Venezuela and Cuba revolutions up on a pedestal. Yes it is happening here, the blind eye. 

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How can you fix government?

Charles Murray has written a book: Author, “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission” [Amazon link]. He describes his ideas in a talk at Hillsdale College on YouTube. First up he points out that the government no longer adheres to its original principles and there is no realistic way to bring it back into line. He cites SCOTUS decisions, for instance, that have become accepted and account for such a major part of the government’s budget and the voters expectations that trying to reverse them would create too much upheaval.

So what do you do? He thinks he has a plan. Take an hour and attend the Conservative Civil Disobedience?” – Charles Murray talk on YouTube! (or buy the book – or both)

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Venezuela. It’s happening here.

What happens when justice is corrupted by politics? This is a concern in even the U.S. courts. It can be seen in the number of split decisions where the split is easily predictable as an outcome of known political leanings of the judges. John Sexton describes how this is done in a report on how the Venezuelan supreme court rules President Maduro can approve his own budget.

Venezuela’s slide toward dictatorship continued this week when the country’s Supreme Court, which was stacked with socialist party loyalists, ruled the nation’s congress no longer had a say in the budget process.

The Venezuelan opposition took control of the National Assembly during elections last December. In response, President Maduro’s loyalists stacked the court with judges loyal to him who have been undoing every reform effort made by the National Assembly ever since. Meanwhile, the country’s economy continues to deteriorate with the nation’s inflation rate the highest in the world this year.

Meanwhile, the only hope for stopping this downward spiral is a recall referendum that President Maduro and his cronies have done everything they can to stop.

Stopping the spiral is becoming a concern in the U.S. The feckless Congress, due in part to solid partisanship by Democrats, has not been able to hold the Executive branch accountable.  Venezuela shows how it happens and the results that can occur. Just how far it will go and how it will be resolved remains to be seen. Trump is one result of the people’s frustration and an attempt to stop the corruption and lawlessness before extra-governmental procedures become the default.

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Racism! (or something else?)

Walter Williams mentions a suit filed last month against the state of Michigan, claiming a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

The departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students’ behavior, not educators’ racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration’s conceptual universe. Black people ought to heed the sentiments of Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minnesota, school who abhors the idea of different behavioral standards for black students. He says: “They’re trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this ‘let-them-clown’ philosophy could have been devised by the KKK.” Personally, I can’t think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

Here’s my prediction: If the Michigan lawsuit is successful, it will line the pockets of Detroit’s teaching establishment and do absolutely nothing for black academic achievement.

Rationalizing destructive behavior and then going after the victims for relief used to be ridiculed. Now, it seems, it is an honored and socially accepted tactic.

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The Pentagon Papers: remember that case?

Andrew P. Napolitano asks Can the media reveal stolen truths? – “The Supreme Court has confirmed that the First Amendment says yes.”

Moreover, the high court ruled, it matters not how the documents came into the possession of the media. The thief can always be prosecuted, as Mr. Ellsberg was, but not the media to which the thief delivers what he has stolen. In Mr. Ellsberg’s case, the charges against him were eventually dismissed because of FBI misconduct in pursuit of him — misconduct that infamously involved breaking in to his psychiatrist’s office looking for dirt on him.

The USOC is saying that the ends justify the means only at the risk of the path between them. There are issues and complications and complexity in these waters. The Snowdon case was one of espionage. The Clinton case one of avoiding FOIA that prompted a theft that illustrated why there was concern about state secrets. The Trump case was a theft of private papers, tax return information, that was sought only to serve prurient interests.

What is comes down to is the demands of the market. As long as there is a demand for goods, somebody will find a way to deliver. In current times, the costs of delivery are low and the demand might only be a niche market but it is a strong one. That means: watch out for your shorts as you don’t know who is going to be trying to prowl around inside them!

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The sea of the better good

Roger Simon is worried about Turning the USA Totalitarian for the ‘Better Good’.

With each passing day it becomes clearer the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal was such a sham that it did far more than merely tarnish the reputations of the FBI and the Department of Justice. It distorted our legal system beyond recognition.

The FBI and Justice Department have apparently been used by one political party to keep the other out of power by covert manipulation of our system. That means these institutions have been turned on their heads into instruments of state oppression extraordinarily close to those used by totalitarian regimes.

Where will this end? The casual acceptance of this travesty by significant portions of the electorate and an even greater percentage of our media means that the chances of a return to the rule of law and an even-handed legal system are remote.

I would like to remind those people that many of the greatest despots in history were initially convinced they too worked for the “better good.” We know the results of that.

There is the old tale about boiling a frog slowly so he doesn’t notice what is happening until it is too late. He is a water creature after all and it is a comfortable environment. For the people, that environment is the ‘better good’ and, man, is it getting hot in here.

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Voter integrity problem? What problem?

Opponents of measures to improve ballot integrity like to deny that voter fraud exists. “Voter fraud is very rare, [and] voter impersonation is nearly non-existent,” asserts a statement by NYU law school’s Brennan Center entitled “The Myth of Voter Fraud.” That claim, so common on the left, is based on an assumption that election officials are on the lookout for fraud and mistakes. But incidents in states from Virginia to Pennsylvania to New York show that too many election officials are ignoring or even covering up the systemic problems brought to their attention. One way not to find something is simply not to look.

John Fund says When Election Officials Ignore Voter Fraud, We Need More Oversight — “Those who pretend that fraud doesn’t exist are a threat to the integrity of our elections.”

According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey, one out of eight American voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date, or a duplicate. Some 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead.

J. Christian Adams, who previously worked in the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Section and attended the 2009 Fernandez meeting, now heads the Public Interest Law Foundation. He has forced several counties in states such as Mississippi and Texas to clean up their voter rolls. But in many other states, his efforts have run into outright obstructionism. He was able to get voter-registration records from eight of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, and found 1046 illegal aliens who were illegally registered to vote. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, a number of those aliens had voted some 300 times. Their presence on the voter rolls was only discovered if, in renewing their driver’s licenses, they corrected their past false claims of citizenship.

Obstructionism? That particular tactic is a common political weapon often accompanied by accusing the other side of doing the obstructing (think federal budgeting).

What is worrisome is that the courts overturn reasonable voter assurance laws based on the idea that there is no problem. First, obstruct and deny and then use the lack of overt evidence as support to avoid corrections.

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Lawless left? Where’s the outrage?

Kelly Riddell: No outrage for the lawless left — “The left’s bad behavior generates little national condemnation.”

Felon voting, illegal program funding, targeting of political enemies with government agencies, illegal document disclosure, attorney generals using their office to persecute political opponents, cronyism, withholding of public documents, …

response? a big yawn.

worried, yet?

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Reality loses to pandering. Again

It’s about safety on the roads this time. Richard Berman says it’s Blowing smoke over road safety. “Politicians target alcohol offenders while ignoring distracted driver carnage.”

California’s legislature and governor overlooked their own Department of Motor Vehicles’ recommendation against adopting the ignition interlock mandate. In its pilot program, the DMV found that crashes increased by up to a sixth after interlocks were installed because they distracted drivers. This is partially a result of their “rolling retest” requirement that makes drivers blow at random intervals while driving. Query: Why do we pay for research if it’s ignored?

Instead, Golden State lawmakers followed the advice of the activist group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which has a mission to increase interlock use.

Meanwhile, interlock compliance rates among hardcore drunk drivers (a BAC of 0.15 or above), who are already subject to them under existing law, are low. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 80 to 85 percent of offenders mandated to use interlocks don’t install them.

The threat from drugged driving has also grown significantly in recent years as states experiment with legalizing marijuana. According to a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10 million people admitted to driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year.

Targeting low-BAC and first-time offenders like California’s new law does is a poor use of the scarce resources available to keep the roads safe. Traffic safety officials should instead target the hardcore drunk drivers, distracted drivers and drugged drivers who pose an overwhelmingly greater threat to road safety. Atmospherics and optics may be good for re-election but they won’t save lives or make our roads any safer.

This is in the same family as the gun control effort to “close a background check loophole” and many other sound good fruitless efforts. Someone is aggrieved and wants to do something about it. What they want to do is to restrict and regulate and control others despite human nature, reality, cost, benefit, or implications of their demanded solution. They never learn, the never listen, and they never sit down to consider the consequences, implications, and reality of their desires.

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An example for why it’s often argument rather than debate, gun control edition

Herschel Smith takes apart a proposition that Self Defense Is A Shaky Basis For Gun Ownership Rights as argued by “David DeGrazia who is a professor of philosophy at George Washington University.”

DeGrazia takes the idea of self defense as his theme: “There is no absolute right to self-defense; the right is qualified or limited. When the limits to this right are in view, the ground beneath gun ownership rights appears shakier.” Smith deconstructs this argument but the title of his piece also indicates that there is another right at play as well. It is the right of property ownership. On the matter of the right of self defense, Smith says “Regular readers know the true foundation of the Western principle of self defense, and it extends beyond mere self defense. The basis for this principle is found in the Decalogue.” That means the Ten Commandments and, specifically, the implications in the “shall not murder”

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries. Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them. God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse. He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.

This goes deep into philosophy which might be appropriate in response to a professor of philosophy. On another level, though, one only has to consider the matter of intellectual integrity. DeGrazia starts out with a proposition concerning an “absolute right.” That means a complex issue of self defense with many factors has been converted to a binary argument. That is a logical fallacy as the basis for the position.

The philosophy can be educational when properly founded and Smith illustrates just what properly founded means in a philosophical discussion. The matter of integrity can be a less laborious means to determine quality of argument and that is something you can use to determine who has the upper hand here.

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Road to perdition

Edwin Meese III and Kelly J. Shackelford describe How the lawyers plan to stifle speech and faith — “The American Bar Association’s new code must be rejected.”

Frighteningly, the ABA leaders’ statements verify that they understand — and intend — the ramifications of Model Rule 8.4. President Paulette Brown advocates that the ABA must prevent “bias” in ways that go far beyond current law. Committee member Drucilla Ramey insists bar authorities go “to the top of the legal profession” to “incentivize” attorneys to change their views and speech on these issues, views and speech often informed by attorneys’ religion. All this, despite committee testimony that such a rule has “little relation to concerns” arising in most lawyers’ offices, could be “used tactically against someone inappropriately,” and will “have a chilling effect on something that has always been in the best traditions of the bar: representing minority views and unpopular positions or clients.”

The purpose of our legal system is to ensure freedom. Popular speech rarely needs legal protection. The law protects dissenters’ right to disagree with governmental orthodoxy. It must not become a weapon to oppress those dissenters.

The ABA’s un-American censorship regime is beyond draconian; it coerces conformity regarding religious and political beliefs on a level unprecedented in American history. It borders on fascism, and must be explicitly repudiated.

Silence the opposition. Squash any debate. Maintain conformity by bringing everyone down to the pablum level. Tolerate no divergence from the ideal and spew hate and contempt on those who dare question the orthodoxy of correct politics. The road to perdition begins here.

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Jay Stalien on Facebook 

The more I listened, the more I realized. The more I researched, the more I realized. I would ask questions, and would only get emotional responses & inferences based on no facts at all. The more killing I saw, the more tragedy, the more savagery, the more violence, the more loss of life of a black man at the hands of another black man….the more I realized.

All of my realizations came to this conclusion. Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm”, and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter”.

I realized that some of these people, who say Black Lives Matter, are full of hate and racism. Hate for cops, because of the false narrative that more black people are targeted and killed. Racism against white people, for a tragedy that began 100’s of years ago, when most of the white people today weren’t even born yet.

I realized that some in the African American community’s idea of “Justice” is the prosecution of ANY and EVERY cop or white man that kills or is believed to have killed a black man, no matter what the circumstances are.

I realized the African American community refuses to look within to solve its major issues, and instead makes excuses and looks outside for solutions. I realized that a lot of people in the African American community lead with hate, instead of love. Division instead of Unity. Turmoil and rioting, instead of Peace.

I realized that they have become the very entity that they claim they are fighting against.

I realized that the very reasons I became a cop, are the very reasons my own people hate me, and now in this toxic hateful racially charged political climate, I am now more likely to die,… and it is still hard for me to understand…. to this day.

hard to understand indeed. go read the rest as it is a powerful plaint.

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