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When it comes to presidential acceptance speeches, Hillary Clinton’s speech was as devoid of vision as it was devoid of honesty. When she recognized Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Hillary was in full pander mode. People shouldn’t believe Hillary when she said “You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong. And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.”

Translation into Hillary-speak: I need your votes and if I have to pander a little, it’s worth it. I’ve wanted this office so long and I’ve broken so many promises. What’s one more?

Hillary was back in pander mode again when she said “Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall. Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.”

Q1: If we’re so clear-eyed, why can’t this administration admit that Islamic jihadist terrorists are killing people in Orlando, San Bernardino and Nice, France? If we’re so clear-eyed, why do Democrats insist that the solution to these terrorist attacks can be solved with stricter gun control laws? If Democrats are so clear-eyed, how could Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton say that Philando Castile would still be alive if he’d been white?

This is another jaw-dropping statement:

We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.

It isn’t that I can’t believe Hillary would say this. It’s that I don’t believe that her administration is serious about defeating terrorists. If there’s anything that we’ve learned about Democrats and terrorists, it’s that they pull their punches far too often.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world. We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had. We have the most powerful military. The most innovative entrepreneurs. The most enduring values.

Mrs. Clinton, if we have the most powerful military, which I think is true, why couldn’t US military assets get there to rescue Christopher Stevens? Mrs. Clinton, our military is the most powerful military in the world but it’s been getting ripped apart by the administration you served in. Why should we trust you to fight for our military when you won’t fight for our diplomats?

This part is jaw-dropping:

Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do. And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.” Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.

Remember this?

Then-candidate Obama sounded awfully narcissistic in saying this:

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.

Now Hillary is preaching the gospel of collectivism. Why didn’t she speak out against President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty executive action? Isn’t our Constitution worth fighting over? After all, she spoke passionately about the Founding Fathers earlier in the speech.

If I wanted to critique Hillary’s entire speech, I’d need to write a Part II, which I’ll do in the morning. Check back then.

Early in this video, Alan Dershowitz lavishly praised Megyn Kelly’s opening monologue defending the First Amendment:

First, here’s a partial transcript of Megyn Kelly’s opening monologue:

MEGYN KELLY: Well, last night we had a thoughtful discussion about free speech and American values and why our commitment to liberty as a nation requires everyone to stand up for the rights of those speaking, even if they’re using the most offensive of words. It’s not about aligning ourselves with the words. It’s about defending a core American principle. First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh explained how, not only did the people organizing a “Draw Muhammad” event down in Texas have the right to do it, which some had questioned, but how what they did was actually important and of real value because it was an act of defiance. Defiance towards those radical Muslim fanatics who mean to impose their radical moral code on us, namely that certain figures may not be drawn or parodied upon pain of death. What happened in Texas is that a group said no, you don’t get to control speech in this country, even if a religion finds it offensive. Sure enough, the jihadis showed up with AK-47s and tried to murder everyone there. Now some suggest that the risk from the event is that some of our Muslim nation coalition allies might be less inclined to fight the jihad if they see some private group like this one hold a private event. So private citizens shouldn’t do things even behind closed doors now, lest they cause offense? Because our friends in Egypt might get ticked off. But the fact is we don’t compromise America’s bedrock principles just to make other nations like us more just as we don’t require them to change their values before we fight a common enemy. Otherwise, Egypt’s “We will kill you for leaving Islam” might be a deal-breaker. The bottom line here is that some in this country have been so busy trying how to figure out how to avoid causing any religion any offense, they have forgotten what is offensive to Americans, namely those who would trample on our core ideals. In America, we stand for liberty and freedom to offend, to provoke, to persuade and to defy.

Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard Law Professor Emeritus and author of the book “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law.” Alan, let me start with you…

DERSHOWITZ: Let me start with you first and applaud your statement. It was fantastic. It is the paradigm for how Americans have to look at our freedoms and our First Amendment. Jefferson would have been proud of you.

That led Professor Dershowitz to make this important historical observation:

DERSHOWITZ: Now, look, everything that the critics of Geller have said could be said about Martin Luther King. Now, I don’t want to make any comparisons between the two of them morally but, from a constitutional law standpoint, there is no difference. Martin Luther King picked some of the cities he went to precisely to provoke and bring out the racists and show what type of violent people they are so the world could see what was wrong with Jim Crow. It’s part of the American tradition to provoke so the world can see.

Here’s one of the things I wrote in this post:

It’s worth noting, though, that radical adherents of Islam react violently when confronted with objectionable depictions of Muhammad but that the vilest representatives of Christianity, aka the Westboro Baptist Church, show up at funerals with disgusting signs. Another thing worth noting is that universities are told to establish “an inclusive and welcoming environment” for Muslims but aren’t told to establish that type of environment for Christians.

The event in Texas verified what I wrote here, namely, that Muslim terrorists react violently whereas the nastiest Christians get is they show up at funerals with disgusting signs.

Thanks to the event in Texas, it’s now clear that the vilest Christians react dramatically differently than Muslim terrorists.

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This video shows how little provocation it takes to get progressive totalitarians in a tizzy:

This week’s big flashpoint moment came from Indiana, when a progressive ‘reporter’ played into the storyline that Indiana’s RFRA law was horrible. John Hinderaker’s post is must reading on the subject:

Yesterday Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, joined the chorus of denunciation: “‘I abhor the actions taken by the Legislature and governor of Indiana,’ Dayton told the Star Tribune.” Dayton, like a number of other governors, says he is considering a ban on official travel to Indiana. So Minnesota’s bureaucrats may no longer be able to take junkets to Terre Haute.

The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).

Today, Michael Barone’s article offers this explanation for what’s at stake:

The Indiana law is substantially identical to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress by a near-unanimous vote in 1993 and signed with brio by Bill Clinton. It was a response to a Supreme Court decision upholding an Oregon drug law against members of the Native American Church who had claimed their religion requires drug use.

RFRA sets up a balancing test, to be employed by courts. Government cannot enforce a statute requiring people to violate their religious convictions unless it can demonstrate a compelling interest in doing so, and proceeds to do so by the least restrictive means possible.

This is in line with longstanding American tradition. The First Amendment, ratified in 1790, guaranteed Americans the “free exercise” of religion. The Framers knew that their new republic included Quakers, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, even perhaps a few Muslims. They wanted all to be free to live, not just worship, but live, according to their beliefs.

There’s little doubt that this week’s firestorm is purely political. These LGBT organizations know the laws on the books, though I can’t say the same about Gov. Dayton. As Barone says, RFRAs impose “a balancing test” for the judiciary to follow in determining whether the government can limit a person’s right to live out their religious beliefs. What RFRAs do, too, is tell government that they must use the least most intrusive remedy if they can demonstrate a “compelling interest” in limiting a person’s right to practice their religion.

This isn’t new. As Mr. Barone highlights, this “is in line with longstanding American tradition.” I’d hope that the judiciary wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to people’s religious rights. Apparently, that’s the remedy these LGBT activists want.

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Al Franken and Sherrod Brown are just 2 of the Democratic senators that want to limit political speech. Truthfully, all 55 senators that caucus with the Democrats think that political speech should be regulated by the Senate. Here’s Sen. Brown’s latest attack on the First Amendment:

Dear ,

Where to start with Citizens United?

It’s brought unprecedented outside spending into our elections. It’s undercut the public’s faith in their elected officials. And it’s cowed Congress by putting a target on the back of any member who tries to stand up to special interests — like they did with me, when special interests spent $40 million against me in 2012.

Corporations are not people. The Declaration of Independence doesn’t say that “all corporations are created equal.” And there’s no good reason to pretend that corporations have the same rights as real, flesh-and-blood people.

But that’s exactly what Citizens United does, and in the process, it allows corporate cash to flood our elections and distract voters from issues that really matter.

Citizens United has done major damage to our democracy. Today, we start undoing that damage. Add your name to mine and demand an end to Citizens United.

Thank you.

Sherrod

First, I’d love hearing Sen. Brown, or Sen. Franken for that matter, explain where in the text of the First Amendment it says that corporations don’t have the right of political speech. Here’s the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Founding Fathers meant for there to be robust debate of the issues. Notice, too, that they mentioned that “people”, not individuals, should have the right to peaceably assemble or petition their government “for a redress of grievances.”

Further, I’d love hearing Sens. Franken and Brown explain how a union is a group of individuals but a corporation isn’t a group of individuals.

The truth is that the Democrats’ attempt to amend the Constitution is all about election year politicking. The Democrats should be forced to explain why pro-Democrat political organizations should have the right to participate in the political process but pro-Republican organizations shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the political process. Finally, I’d love hearing Sens. Franken and Brown explain why incumbents should have the right to regulate anti-incumbent political speech. Why should I think incumbents are honest arbiters of what is and isn’t acceptable political speech?

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Friday turned out to be a fantastic celebration in St. Cloud, thanks in part to the fantastic fireworks display. Thanks to Brad Veenstra’s excellent photography, LFR is able to share some of the best fireworks. First, there’s this picture:

This was one of my favorites:

Brad, Thanks for sharing these photos with LFR. They’re a job well done.