Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Americans Not Buying Billionaires’ Anti-gun Propaganda

This article was first published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 15, 2014:

Joyce Foundation Funding Patterns

Joyce Foundation Funding Patterns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite efforts by Michael Bloomberg’s group, Moms Demand Action (MDA), to pressure the Kroger Company into changing its firearms policy regarding its customers, most Americans aware of MDA’s attack on the grocery chain are supporting Kroger. Earlier this month, MDA, with Bloomberg’s money, bought a series of newspaper ads and billboards in an attempt to force Kroger to stop operating its stores under prevailing state laws regarding unlawful firearms carry, and instead ban them altogether. Almost immediately thereafter, MSNBC launched a public opinion survey, asking:

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Anti-gun Billionaires Now Targeting Kroger

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 15, 2014:

Kroger sign at North High Street and West Nort...

Kroger sign at North High Street and West North Broadway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a series of newspaper ads and billboards, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Moms Demand Action (MDA) hopes to embarrass or shame the Kroger Company into changing its policies regarding its customers carrying firearms into its 2,640 grocery stores in the United States.

At present, Kroger operates its stores under the prevailing state laws regarding lawful firearms carry. But Shannon Watts, the founder of MDA, wants to change that. In a clip on CBS This Morning on Friday, September 5, she said:

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Missouri Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Pro-gun Bill

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 12, 2014:

Scan of cover of Common Sense, the pamphlet. N...

During a special session called by the Missouri legislature specifically to consider Governor Ray Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656, lawmakers voted to override his veto on Wednesday. The new law will considerably expand Second Amendment rights for citizens of the state.

It prevents local municipalities from passing laws that ban open carry. In essence, the new law now makes open carry legal throughout Missouri.

SB 656 also lowers the age to obtain a concealed carry permit from

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Gadsden Flag Carries Clout in Ocala

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 12, 2014:

 

Illustration from High School textbook printed...

Illustration from High School textbook printed in 1885, titled “History of the US”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gadsden flag of a coiled rattlesnake on a bright yellow field with the words “Don’t tread on me” beneath it was designed by American General Christopher Gadsden in 1775 during the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin explained what the flag meant to Americans then:

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Display of Gadsden Flag Quashed by Ocala, Florida, Authorities

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 11, 2014:

The Gadsden flag

The Gadsden flag

When Keith Greenberg, the owner of a sporting goods store named the Gear Barrel, moved to Florida from Chicago in May, he said it was because he felt his rights were being “stomped on” in Illinois and preferred living and working in “freedom-loving Florida.” One of the first freedoms he decided to exercise was his First Amendment right to advertise his patriotism by hanging the Gadsden flag — a yellow banner with a picture of a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” — in front of his store. In August, he received a letter from the city claiming that

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Response to Uzi Accident Ignores Kids Who Use Guns Responsibly

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 3, 2014:

Brady Campaign

In their reporting on the recent shooting death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca at the Last Stop gun range by a nine-year-old girl firing a fully-automatic Uzi, the major media have been quick to emphasize the danger of kids using firearms. But absent from media reporting is the fact that kids across America for years have used firearms safely and responsibly, sometimes even in defense of their own lives.

For example, less than 24 hours after the tragic accident, the Washington Post reignited the gun control debate by quoting

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Nine-year-old Girl Accidentally Shoots Instructor: Should Our Freedoms Be Casualties, Too?

This article first was published at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 29, 2014:

Indoor Shooting Range at Sarasota, Florida, US...

Must every tragic and unusual gun death be accompanied by irrational calls for more government intrusion into our lives? Virtually all of us have heard about Arizona firearms instructor Charles Vacca, who was accidentally shot and killed Monday at the Last Stop gun range by a nine-year-old girl he was teaching to shoot a fully automatic Uzi. The incident was caught on video and, not surprisingly, has caught the nation’s attention. Unfortunately, though, it’s reason and reality that are caught in the crosshairs.

Many Internet commenters have seized the opportunity to place blame for this unfortunate accident on who they call “gun nuts”:

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Constitutional Sheriffs making NBC Nervous

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 27, 2014:

Wicomico County, MD sheriff's deputy patrol car

Wicomico County, MD sheriff’s deputy patrol car

In just the last five years, both Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) have reported increased numbers of members and influence. For instance, in February CSPOA announced that more than 480 of the country’s 3080 county sheriffs have signed up and enlisted in their campaign, promising to uphold their oaths to defend the constitutions of their states and the federal government. This has made NBC News nervous and, in their latest report, Gun Laws, four writers investigated the growing constitutional Sheriff movement.

Franklin Shook, a member of the board of Oath Keepers, explained that “What Oath Keepers is saying is:

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Sheriff Mack: “We’re Taking Back America One County at a Time”

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 27, 2014: 

English: Sheriff Richard Mack at the Nullify N...

Sheriff Richard Mack

In an exclusive interview with The New American, retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), highlighted the successes that members of his organization are having in resisting unconstitutional challenges by the federal government and declared that with these successes, “We are taking back America one county at a time!”

It’s not just rhetoric. CSPOA members have pledged to

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What Happened to the rule of law in Ferguson?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 22, 2014:

Jay Nixon at the Missouri AFL-CIO State Convention

Jay Nixon at the Missouri AFL-CIO State Convention

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s remarkable rush to judgment on Tuesday was breathtaking. In a video-taped statement concerning the shooting in Ferguson, Nixon said that “vigorous prosecution must now be pursued” in the case. Any who thought he meant to say “investigation” was disappointed when he continued:

We have a responsibility to … do everything we can to achieve justice for [Brown’s] family … justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly and correctly.

Justice? What about justice for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson? Doesn’t he deserve justice, too? What about his family? More fundamentally, what about the fundamental rule of law that says Wilson is innocent until proven guilty?

That apparently doesn’t concern Nixon, the governor responsible for

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Armed Business Owners Scare Away Looters in Ferguson

English: The exterior of a QuikTrip convenienc...

A QuikTrip store before it gets burned down

The night after Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, some business owners realized that their stores — their very livelihoods — were in danger. They also discovered that the police were busy elsewhere, or had been ordered to “stand down” in the wake of the looting that followed the shooting. They had two choices: run away and leave the fate of those businesses to the tender mercies of the looters, or stand and defend them.

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Pro-gun Sheriff Reelected Despite Bloomberg Funding Opponent

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke won his primary election on Tuesday over Bloomberg-supported Chris Moews, a Milwaukee police lieutenant, 52 percent to 48 percent. Because there is no Republican candidate running for the position, Clarke’s win virtually assures him of another four-year term in November.

Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association, which had been helping Clarke’s campaign, offered his congratulations:

On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to congratulate Sheriff David A. Clarke on his hard-fought victory in yesterday’s Primary election for Milwaukee County Sheriff. Sheriff Clarke’s outspoken commitment to the Second Amendment earned him the admiration of NRA members and gun owners nationwide.

Cox then noted one of the main reasons that Clarke won and Moews lost:

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Judge: New Mexico 10 Commandments Monument Unconstitutional

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Bill of Rights Pg1of1 AC

Bill of Rights

James Parker, Senior District Court Judge for New Mexico, ruled last Thursday that the five-foot-tall, 3,000-pound monument inscribed with the 10 Commandments (shown) placed on the lawn in front of the Bloomfield, New Mexico, City Hall is unconstitutional. He ordered it to be removed by September 10.

Parker also expressed reservations about his decision, calling the case

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Philadelphia Mother Headed to Jury Trial for Carrying a Gun in N.J.

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 11, 2014:

 

English: Bersa Thunder 380 pistol with nickel ...

English: Bersa Thunder 380 pistol with nickel finish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By declining a plea bargain offered by Atlantic County, New Jersey, prosecutor Jim McClain to spend the next 3 ½ years in jail, Shaneen Allen assured herself the best chance to vindicate herself in a case that has drawn national attention: a jury trial. She is hoping that common sense will prevail — something that has not been evident in the proceedings until now.

Early in the morning of October 1, 2013, Allen was driving from Philadelphia to Atlantic City when

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Incorporation Doctrine Leaves District Court Judge in Never-Never Land

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659)

Judge James A. Parker of the District Court of New Mexico ruled against the tiny town of Bloomfield, New Mexico, last week, giving the city until September 20th to remove a five-foot-high, 3,000-pound monument celebrating the 10 Commandments from in front of its city hall.

The judge admitted that, thanks to incorporation and the resulting judicial confusion emanating from rulings that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government, he was on his own:

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Celebrating James Brady’s Monumental Infringement

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 6, 2014:

Brady Campaign

When James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s former press secretary, passed away on Monday at age 73, the media predictably crowed about the success of the Brady Bill, giving him credit for pushing it through a reluctant congress back in 1993. Brady was shot during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, resulting in massive brain damage and putting him into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The New York Times called him

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James Brady’s Legacy: More Guns, Less Crime

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:

James Brady in August 2006

James Brady in August 2006

On Monday the national media and the president noted the passing at age 73 of James Brady, the man who served briefly as President Reagan’s press secretary before being grievously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president nearly 33 years ago.

The New York Times called Brady “a symbol of the fight for gun control,” while President Obama declared, “An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, agreed, saying that the law named to honor the former press secretary, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, has blocked about two million sales of firearms “to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people.” Echoing the president, Gross added that there are

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Latest Bloomberg Anti-gun Ad Backfires

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 31, 2014:

English: New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Former mayor Michael Bloomberg

In order to ramp up support for Senator Amy Klobucher’s (D-Minn.) gun-control bill, Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and now the founder and prime funder of his latest anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, paid for a video that has gone viral. Unfortunately for the former mayor, for all the wrong reasons.

When Laura Bassett at Huffington Post viewed it, she didn’t see the irony in it, and played it straight:

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Detroit is Proving John Lott Correct After all

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 1, 2014:

Cover of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understa...

John Lott’s updated version of More Guns, Less Crime confirms what his previous editions already showed: an increasing number of people familiar with, skilled at arms with, and willing to defend themselves with, sidearms, results in a safer, more secure and lower crime environment. Without saying as much, Detroit’s Police Chief James Craig’s announcement on Wednesday proves the point: more guns, less crime.

Craig’s only been there a year but his three decades of law enforcement experience in places as diverse as Maine and California are already beginning to be felt. Since he came on board last July, Detroit has seen a

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Leahy Offers Weak Bill to Curb NSA Eavesdropping on Americans

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 30, 2014:

English: Official photo of Senator Patrick Lea...

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (shown, D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced his version of the USA Freedom Act intended to strengthen a similar bill passed by the House last May. It’s scarcely an improvement and likely won’t be taken up before November, if at all in this congress.

But Leahy was optimistic nonetheless, saying that his bill, if enacted, “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since … the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” That was easy for this hard-left Democrat to say, as there has been no reform of the unconstitutional Patriot Act since it was passed. In fact, without revelations provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, even these modest “reforms” would never have been presented. Without Snowden, the NSA would have continued collecting every last piece of communications data it could and storing it for future reference at one or more of its vast collection facilities around the country. Since the bill was presented so late in this Congress, it is virtually certain no action will be taken on it.

The House bill that was passed back in May was so full of loopholes and modifications by last minute amendments as to make the effort essentially ludicrous. Although offered jointly in October 2013 by Leahy and his House counterpart, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin (the author of the Patriot Act), only the House bill ever saw the light of day. At the time, Sensenbrenner expressed great hopes for his bill:

Following 9/11, the USA Patriot Act … has helped keep Americans safe by ensuring information is shared among those responsible for defending our country and by enhancing the tools the intelligence community needs to identify and track terrorists.

But somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost…. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government. The USA Freedom Act [I am offering] is an essential first step.

That first step was more like a stumble. Under the bill, according to The Guardian, “the government will still be able to collect phone data on Americans, pending a judge’s individualized order based on ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ — the standard preferred by the NSA (National Security Agency) — of wrongdoing.” This is a far cry from the “probable cause” requirement demanded in the Fourth Amendment, but that’s only the beginning.

The bill purports to modify Section 715 of the Patriot Act while saying nothing about Section 702, which allows worldwide surveillance by the NSA. The bill allows for the continuous collection of Americans’ telephone records, according to the Open Technology Institute. Most grievously, the bill extended the Patriot Act until December of 2017.

Once the House passed its USA Freedom Act, 303 to 121, those opposed, including Republicans Darrell Issa, Ted Poe, and Raul Labrador and Democrat Zoe Lofgren expressed their disappointment with it. Said Lofgren, “[This] bill will actually not end bulk collection, regrettably.” It shifts collection responsibilities from the NSA to the telephone companies to which the NSA has virtually unlimited access, so it’s a cosmetic change only. The bill requires the NSA to get permission from the FISA Court, but FISA is not known for having a high regard for the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) saw what the House had wrought, he said he was “gravely concerned that the changes that have been made to the House version of this bill have watered it down so far that it fails to protect Americans from suspicionless mass surveillance.”

Not surprisingly, the White House endorsed the watered-down version of the bill:

The Administration strongly supports … the USA Freedom Act…. The Administration applauds and appreciates the strong bipartisan effort that led to the formulation of this bill, which heeds the President’s call on this important issue.

The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected.

Especially grievous is the power that continues to be granted to the so-called FISA “court.” This is the secret court that first came to light when Edward Snowden in 2013 leaked a top-secret order issued by the court requiring a subsidiary of Verizon to provide a daily, on-going feed of all call detail records — including those for domestic calls — to the NSA. As Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School, explained,

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long as they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.

Leahy’s bill allegedly will tighten up the House bill somewhat, creating a “special advocate” for liberty at the FISA courts, and limiting the NSA from vacuuming up data from an entire zip code or all the records from a communications service provider. It also declassifies some of those FISA court orders which have remained sealed and protected from public view. In its tentative support for Leahy’s new offering, Nadia Kayyall of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said,

The legislation may not completely end suspicionless surveillance … it allows the NSA to get a second set of records (a second “hop”) with an undefined “direct connection” to the first specific selection term.

Because the “direct connection” standard is vague, the government may seek to construe that phrase to mean less than reasonable suspicion.

Translation: The NSA, under Leahy’s new stronger, tighter, more restrictive language, may continue to do whatever it pleases in collecting and storing for later use all private communications from Americans.

Leahy’s bill will probably never see the light of day in this congress and will have to be reintroduced in the next session if anything is to be done to rein in the NSA’s collection of data. In the meantime, the NSA’s vacuuming of innocent Americans’ private communication continues unabated.

 

 

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.