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

Tag Archives: Constitution

Rubio’s Candidacy Challenges Dynasties of Bushes, Clintons, Obama

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 13, 2015: 

English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco...

On Monday morning an advisor to Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio told some of his donors to expect his announcement Monday night that he would formally declare his candidacy for the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 2016. He also told those donors that Rubio is “uniquely qualified” to lead the nation. 

The contrast between Rubio and Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat nominee, couldn’t be greater. She’s 67; he’ll turn 44 next month. She’s a tired warhorse hauling enough political baggage to stuff a 14-foot U-Haul trailer. Rubio has stumbled on some issues, but has regained his balance. Hillary lost a heartbreaker in 2008 to an upstart, while Rubio came from 20 points behind a popular Florida governor in 2010 to take his current Senate seat.

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ATF Reports Sea-Change in Attitude Towards guns

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 10, 2015:

No wonder ATF head Todd Jones bailed. With the monumental failure of his “framework” proposal to ban the popular “green tip” ammo in the US, he saw little reason to stick around. Surely he must have known that his agency would have to report, reluctantly at the very least, the firearms manufacturers’ data that came out earlier this week: those gun makers produced 10 million guns in 2013 (the latest year for which the ATF has reliable data), twice the number they produced just three years earlier!

What the ATF is facing is a “sea-change” in Americans’ attitude towards guns, defined by Collins as “a seemingly magical change as brought about by the action of the sea.”

There’s nothing magical about it. The shift was perceptible back in 2004 when

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Gun Makers Produced 10 Million Firearms in 2013, a Doubling in Three Years

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 9, 2015:

ATF inspector at a federally licensed gun dealer

The release of the latest data from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) showing that gun manufacturers doubled their output of handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the three years between 2010 and 2013 (the latest year for which data is available) caused both rejoicing and consternation among participants in the long war against guns.

In 2010, America’s firearms industry produced 5,460,000 guns while in 2013 that number jumped to 10,840,000. And this despite (or perhaps because of) pressure from the Obama administration to restrict gun ownership among law-abiding citizens. Efforts to impose new background checks, and ban “military-style assault weapons” and their “high-capacity” magazines all failed, even during years when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

The president, frustrated at his lack of success, moved to the use of his pen,

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O, the Irony! Sarah Brady Passes the Day after Kansas Adopts Permitless Carry law

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 6, 2015:

Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas.

Sam Brownback

Last Thursday Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a bill expanding Kansas’ permitless open carry laws to include concealed carry, adding Kansas to the ever-growing list of other states to do so.

Otherwise called “Constitutional carry” or “Vermont carry,” permitless carry satisfies most Second Amendment purists who believe that the phrase “…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means exactly what it says: one doesn’t need permission to exercise a right.

For years Kansans have enjoyed the right to carry a firearm openly, without permission. But if a coat or a jacket covers it, or if one wishes to carry it in a purse or satchel, he would need to obtain a concealed carry permit from the state to do so. And so he will, until the new law becomes effective July 1.

At the moment, Kansas will join numerous other states with similar freedoms, including

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Kansas is the Next State to Allow Permitless Open Carry

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 6, 2015: 

On April 2, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill into law expanding the state’s permitless open-carry laws to include concealed carry. The concealed carry permitting process will remain in place for citizens who wish to travel to other reciprocity states where that concealed carry permit allows them to carry concealed there.

Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association (NRA), declared, “This new law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding Kansans to exercise their fundamental right to self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”

Kansans already had the right to carry a firearm openly without a permit, but if that firearm was covered by a shirt or a jacket, or carried in a purse, the citizen would need a concealed carry permit. Effective July 1, no such permit will be necessary.

Last year, Kansas enacted a law

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It’s Not a Surrender but a Strategic Retreat

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 3, 2015:

 

Some in the media called the announcement by the District of Columbia’s attorney general that he was dropping the appeal over Judge Frederick Scullin’s decision (see Palmer v. District of Columbia) a victory in the gun wars. Even the usually sensible Washington Times called it a “surrender,” headlining: “D.C. Surrenders to 2nd Amendment, Gives up ban on Carrying Guns in Public.”

To be generous, that is an overstatement. What Attorney General Karl Racine really announced was a strategic retreat. The war against guns remains active:

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D.C. Drops Appeal of Court Ruling Against Its Handgun Ban

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 2, 2015:

English: A sign in rural United States adverti...

The announcement on Wednesday by Washington, D.C.’s attorney general was no surrender but rather a strategic withdrawal. The district has decided not to press forward on its appeal of Judge Frederick Scullin’s ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia last summer that the district’s total ban on handgun possession (except inside a home) was unequivocally unconstitutional. Wrote the judge:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.

The judge then remanded the district’s council to “adopt … a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards to enable people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

Instead of continuing to press a battle they could not win, D.C.’s Attorney General Karl Racine said,

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Media Stirs Up Controversy Over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 30, 2015:

Mike Pence, member of the United States Congress.

Mike Pence

When a white policeman shot a black man in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer, it should have been a page two story in the local papers, and then forgotten. But the media saw their chance to promote their agenda, and Ferguson became front page news for months on end.

Indiana’s religious freedom bill, signed into law by Governor Mike Pence on Thursday, has unleashed a similar outpouring of angst by people who should know better: Hillary Clinton, grade B movie stars Ashton Kutcher and Miley Cyrus, CNN, and the New York Times. The word is out: Indiana now has legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians!

In reality the law adopts the same approach to the exercise of religious freedom under the First Amendment and government interest as the bill that Hillary’s husband signed into law back in 1993:

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The Freedom Fight’s First Premise Proven in New Jersey

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 25, 2015: 

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peal...

For decades it’s been an article of faith among those involved in the freedom fight that Jefferson was right: “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people [for] they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

The decision by New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie to sign a bill into law that prohibits the continued militarization of local police departments through free gifts of unneeded hardware from Iraq and Afghanistan unless approved by local authorities is simply the end result of years – no, decades – of efforts by many to educate citizens about the dangers such militarization is to their freedom. The fact that the bill passed both houses unanimously just made it easier for Christie to do so.

New Jersey is only the first. Even stronger bills are pending in

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N.J. First State to Ban Police Militarization Without Local OK

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 24, 2015:

Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into a law a bill (passed unanimously by both houses) that made his state the first to require local approval before any local law-enforcement agency can accept military equipment from the U.S. government. It won’t be the last.

Even stronger bills banning the practice, under the so-called “1033 Program” of local law-enforcement agencies dealing directly with the Department of Defense for free military equipment, are pending in Montana, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

It was touch and go in New Hampshire:

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The Cure for Political Insanity? Vote Them Out

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 23, 2015:

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

Albert Einstein. the alleged author of the world’s most overused cliche

According to the slick, sophisticated, progressive Salon magazine, the oldest cliché in journalism is Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. And there’s no proof that Einstein ever said any such thing! But if he had, it would certainly apply to Reps. Steve Israel and Eliot Engel.

Just days after the ATF came to its senses and decided that its proposed ban on “green tip” 5.56 M855 rifle ammunition was just a bridge too far, Israel unleashed a vitriolic barrage at the ATF, calling the decision “cowardly,” “reckless,” and a “cave-in” to the gun lobby. In his attack he dredged up old and long-discredited terms like “cop-killer” bullets and “armor-piercing” ammunition to round out his attack.

Facts don’t matter to Israel. In 38 years the FBI has not

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AG Holder Teaches Idaho Senator a Lesson

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 20, 2015: 

Mike Crapo, the senior senator from Idaho, has been around the block more than once. Before being elected to the Senate in 1999, he served as the state’s representative in the House for three terms prior. Before that he served as a state senator, and the state senate president from 1988 to 1992.

It’s safe to say that he’s run into his share of thugs, criminals, and ideologues so that nothing that Eric Holder, soon to be former Attorney General, does would surprise him.

Last fall Crapo and four other senators wrote Holder a nice, polite letter asking him to please

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Memphis Police, Firemen Quitting Following Pension Plan Reductions

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 16, 2015: 

English: Memphis, Tennessee skyline from the a...

Memphis, Tennessee skyline from the air

Last July more than half of Memphis’ police officers took sick days off to protest the reductions in the city’s contributions to their pension plan and increases in their contributions to the city’s health benefits plan. The national media was sympathetic with cases of “blue flu,” instead of recognizing the new economic reality: Because public pensions are underfunded, everyone expecting benefits from the city will now take a hit, not just new hires.

Some of those who took sick days in July now are quitting altogether, finding other better opportunities elsewhere. In fact, other departments from nearby states are advertising in local papers and setting up job fairs to entice the discontented to new positions.

In a word, those unhappy with the new reality are adjusting.

Most solutions proposed to bring underfunded pension plans back into balance have involved

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Wikipedia, ACLU sue NSA over Constitutional Violations

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 13, 2015:

On Tuesday Wikimedia (the foundation behind Wikipedia) joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) for violating the Constitution and exceeding authority granted to it by Congress. The lawsuit

challenges the suspicionless seizure and searching of internet traffic by the National Security Agency (NSA) on U.S. soil….

 

The NSA is seizing Americans’ communications en masse while they are in transit [in the network of high-capacity cables, switches, and routers that make up the internet], and it is searching the contents of substantially all international text-based communications – and many domestic communications as well – for tens of thousands of search terms.

 

The surveillance exceeds the scope of the authority that Congress provided in the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) and violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

Because Wikipedia serves as an anonymous source of information for more than 500 million readers every month, and because its content is continually being updated by an estimated 75,000 contributors from around the world every month, such unrestricted and blatant invasion of privacy is having a dampening effect on Wiki and its customers, according to the lawsuit.

For example,

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ATF Drops Proposed Ammo Ban; Agency’s Very Existence Threatened

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 11, 2015:

English: Badge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobac...

The groundswell of public and congressional opposition against the ATF’s proposed ban on 5.56 M855 rifle ammunition was so swift and strong that the agency announced on Tuesday that it was backing down. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was not only bombarded with more than 80,000 negative responses to its latest anti-Second Amendment maneuver, but it also was blasted in Congress, where 238 House members and 52 senators signed letters opposing the ammo ban. Not only that, but legislation has been introduced to abolish the agency.

One of those signing the letter of opposition in the House — the one circulated by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) — was none other than the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative John Culberson (R-Texas). Culberson is a Tea Party favorite and no friend of the ATF, and his committee has jurisdiction over funding for the ATF.

Goodlatte was pleased that the ATF backed down: 

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Wiki Lawsuit Highlights NSA’s All-Inclusive, Unconstitutional Spying

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 11, 2015:

Official portrait of NSA director Keith B. Ale...

Official portrait of NSA director Keith B. Alexander

As reported by The New American on Tuesday, Wikipedia has joined forces with the ACLU in representing itself and other groups violated by the NSA’s unrestrained data collection by suing the agency.

The lawsuit holds that the NSA has — by its relentless, warrantless, and suspicionless secret acquisition of Wikipedia’s private customer information — not only infringed on the precious freedoms of those customers guaranteed in the First and Fourth Amendments, but also exceeded authority granted to it by Congress under the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act.

Early in President George W. Bush’s first term, the NSA was given essentially carte blanche to

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ATF’s Ammo Ban Ignores Facts and Common Sense

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 9, 2015:

English: Colt AR-15 A3 Tactical Carbine. Used ...

Colt AR-15

President Obama’s official mouthpiece, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, had scarcely uttered his support of the ATF’s pending ban on M855-type AR-15 “green tip” ammunition when much of his statement was exposed as lies and propaganda. Last Monday Earnest told reporters:

[The president] has long believed that there are some common-sense steps that we can take.… This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets available that can fit into easily-concealed weapons, that puts our law enforcement [officers] at considerably more risk.

But Obama’s “beliefs” have little to do with logic or history or experience or support from those law-enforcement officers the ATF’s measure is allegedly supposed to protect. It’s a belief, an ideology, with consequently little support coming from those involved in or closely related to law enforcement.

When asked if any law-enforcement officers had been killed or even wounded by the M855 round fired from a handgun, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sheriff David Clarke responded,

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Barely Half the House Opposes the ATF’s ammo ban

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 9, 2015:

When the 114th Congress was sworn in in January, each member of the House took this oath:

I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

By failing to sign Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s letter to the chairman of the ATF, could one assume that a member of the House is violating his oath of office? After all,

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Politics and Mathematics Collide in Chicago

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

English: Downtown Chicago, Illinois at night. ...

Downtown Chicago, Illinois at night.

Chicago is a microcosm of Illinois: it has a determined unwillingness to face reality. Even Moody’s, in its latest downgrade of Chicago debt, has failed to grasp the enormity of the shortfalls facing the city and the state.

Moody’s tried to be realistic, using unrealistic numbers:

[Our rating] incorporates expected growth in Chicago’s already highly-elevated unfunded pension liabilities and continued growth in costs to service those liabilities, even if recent pension reforms proceed and are not overturned….

The “expected growth” will likely surprise to the downside even the realists at Moody’s, as the real shortfall in the five pension plans the state is funding is vastly greater than even the $100+ billion the state faces. A “special pension briefing” performed back in November by the state’s Commission on Forecasting and Accountability showed the accrued liabilities on those plans to be

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Moody’s Downgrades Chicago Again

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 3, 2015:

English: in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Downtown Chicago, Illinois

Within hours of Moody’s Investors Service announcing another downgrade to Chicago’s general obligation bonds last Friday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration responded, saying that Moody’s was out of touch with reality:

We strongly disagree with Moody’s decision to reduce the city’s credit rating and would note that Moody’s has been consistently and substantially out of step with the other rating agencies [Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings], ignoring progress that has been achieved.

At the moment those other two agencies rate Chicago’s debt at A-plus or A-minus, each with a negative outlook. But in light of an imminent court ruling that could invalidate efforts to cut pension benefits, along with the crushing and increasing burden of those benefits, observers are just waiting for the next two shoes to drop.

As Moody’s noted, its downgrade will stand even if the court validates those pension modifications: 

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