Archive for the ‘First Amendment’ Category
Is it possible that Betsy Hodges is the biggest airhead liberal big city mayor in the United States? It appears so. After the violent protests at last Friday’s Trump fundraiser, Keith Downey sent Mayor Hodges a letter, which I wrote about here. In response, Mayor Hodges replied “I expect everyone in Minneapolis to behave with civility and respect. Minneapolis has a long history of effectively balancing public safety with First Amendment rights. I continue to be confident in the ability of the Minneapolis Police Department to manage protests in accordance with these principles.”
What planet is she from? Expecting people in the Twin Cities to “behave with civility and respect” weeks after BlackLivesMatter threw concrete blocks and construction rebar at police officers on I-94 in St. Paul is like throwing a piece of meat between 2 hungry Dobermans and expecting them to behave with civility. Anyone with a brain knows that’s a foolish expectation. Anyone with common sense knows that expecting civility from thugs is as foolish as expecting Bonnie and Clyde to not rob banks that advertise that their vaults are open 24-7.
Let’s rewrite Ms. Hodges’ statement for honesty. Here’s what I’d write:
I expect most of the people in Minneapolis to behave with civility and respect. Unfortunately, there are thugs, in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, who have shown a propensity towards anarchy and violence. Minneapolis has had a lengthy history of effectively balancing public safety with citizens’ First Amendment rights. These anarchists and thugs threaten that reputation. Their acts of violence won’t be tolerated. We will do everything we can to apprehend these thugs and bring them to justice.
It’s time for DFL politicians to announce a zero-tolerance policy towards acts of violence and anarchy.
Based on what he tweeted this morning, Chris Bremseth sounds like a Dorholt supporter. Bremseth’s tweet insisted that Zach Dorholt had “signed a pledged to get big money politics out of St Cloud.” Actually, that isn’t what Dorholt pledged to do. Dorholt’s own communication tells a totally different story, saying “In an effort to reduce the negative influence of outside spending during the upcoming election season, Minnesota House of Representatives District 14B candidate Zachary Dorholt authored a pledge to issue a bipartisan call for outside groups to disclose their donors before spending in the district.”
This is part of the DFL’s political showmanship. It’s substantively meaningless because special interests can (and will) ignore Dorholt’s pledge. It isn’t a coincidence that the item at the top of Dorholt’s priorities page is titled “Political Climate.” Dorholt said “The 2016 elections will be a defining moment in Minnesota politics. We will decide not only who will lead our government, but the manner in which we select them. Are we going to allow shadowy organizations with millions of dollars select our leaders or will we stand up and make sure that all citizens have a proportionate share in our elections?”
That’s laughable and disgusting. Dorholt’s 2014 campaign finance disclosure report shows that he raised $37,709.00, of which $5,675.00 was contributed by Minnesota individuals. Of that $5,675.00 raised in Minnesota, a whopping total of $225.00 came from a St. Cloud resident. That means $32,034 came from contributors in Philadelphia, PA, West Hollywood, CA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL and other places. That means that Dorholt, as an incumbent DFL legislator, raised 0.6% of his money from the city he supposedly represents.
When it came to lobbyists and special interest PACs, Dorholt was well-funded, getting $5,175 in cash contributions from them. Let’s summarize these totals. During the 2014 election cycle, Zach Dorholt, the incumbent legislator, raised $225 from the city he represents while raising $10,875 from other Minnesotans, from lobbyists and special interest PACs.
Why should the people Mr. Dorholt supposedly represents think that he represents them while he raises the overwhelming percentage of his Minnesota contributions come from Twin Cities elites and from lobbyists and special interest PACs? The people Mr. Dorholt supposedly represents shouldn’t pay attention to this PR stunt of a pledge:
Based on how much money the special interests and the PACs support him and how Mr. Dorholt faithfully votes for their agenda, isn’t it safe to say that this pledge is a PR stunt?
This article highlights what’s wrong with the PC movement. It highlights what’s frightening about the tactics the PC Police use in silencing people. First, let’s highlight how this episode of political correctness started.
According to the article, “In Hood River, Oregon, the Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church is taking on Islamic ideology through their church’s message board, but local officials are not happy about it, according to a WND report.” That’s just the start of things.
Things started getting testy when Pastor Michael Harrington posted the following on the church’s roadside sign: “Wake up Christians. Allah is not our God. Muhammad not greater than Jesus.” The other side of the sign said “Only the Bible is God’s Word. ‘Holy Book’ Koran is just another book.”
I don’t doubt that the sign is offensive to Muslims and people who aren’t religious. That’s irrelevant. The First Amendment wasn’t adopted and ratified to protect speech everyone agrees with. There’s no need to protect that type of speech. The First Amendment was adopted to guarantee the right of people to say controversial things. The British don’t have anything resembling the First Amendment. There was a time when the King ruled what was permissible to be spoken and what wasn’t.
The Founding Fathers wanted this new nation to be founded on principles opposite of England’s principles. That’s why they codified the First Amendment’s protections into the Bill of Rights. What’s interesting is that the PC police are quick to defend Muslims but are quick to criticize the practice of Christian faiths. That’s part of the progressives’ do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mantra.
Here’s hoping that Pastor Harrington’s congregation continues being provocative for the right reasons.
Last night, Hugh Hewitt took the dramatic step of saying Republicans should adopt new rules and dump Donald Trump as their nominee. Hugh Hewitt has always been a ‘company man’ when it comes to presidential candidates. After Hewitt’s statements last night, the Trump campaign didn’t take long to express their disgust with Hewitt.
Late this afternoon, Dan Scavino Jr., one of Trump’s hatchet men, took to Twitter to say “Assume hater Hugh Hewitt will not be attending the @GOP Convention. If he is – the RNC should BAN him from attending.”
Scavino knows that Hewitt is a member of the media. He knows because Trump has appeared on Hewitt’s show multiple times. This begs the question of why Scavino and Trump hate the First Amendment. Previous nominees have gotten hounded by the press. They dealt with it. Trump has abolished reporters from his events. He’s protected Corey Lewandowski after Lewandowski attacked a female reporter. Now this. Why does Trump hate the First Amendment, which is the cornerstone of this republic?
Hewitt isn’t the only one calling for dumping Trump:
“Since the Indiana primary when my candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out, I’ve woken up every morning looking for reasons to support Donald Trump,” Lonegan admitted. But “it’s going in the other direction. What we’ve seen from Donald Trump — we all agree it’s racism, but worse than that, what you’ve seen is incredible poor judgment.”
“Our delegates have an obligation come July to do what’s right for the Republican Party, not just anoint Donald Trump,” Lonegan said. When CNN’s Kate Bolduan clarified by asking, “Are you calling for a revolt?” he responded, “I would love to see a revolt.”
Trump is a Hillary landslide waiting to happen. Trump’s shoot from the lip habit has turned large parts of the electorate off. (Think women and minorities.) Trump was too busy loving the sound of his voice to build a campaign organization. That means he’d lose any tight races to Hillary.
Here’s the video of Lonegan on CNN:
This LTE highlights some Muslims’ hypocrisy. Hudda Ibrahim’s LTE is filled with double standards, with none being bigger than when she said “Dakdok is known for preaching against Muslims in America. He claims Muslims are taking over America, which is far from the truth. Although the speaker exercised the right of speech, he was blithely unaware that the Constitution allowed everyone in the United States to practice their faith.”
I doubt that Ibrahim thinks that Usama Dakdok was cheerfully ignorant that the Constitution protects the rights of everyone to practice their faith. Later in the LTE, she wrote “The presence of an Islamophobic speaker like Dakdok is not the problem. Granite City Baptist Church, which invited him to St. Cloud, should shoulder most of the blame.” If Granite City Baptist Church believes as I believe, they have a moral obligation to speak out against things they don’t believe in. Sitting silently while another religion essentially preaches the opposite set of beliefs isn’t the free exercise of religion. It’s a capitulation to an opposing set of beliefs.
Muslims certainly haven’t preached tolerance of Israel. Even moderate Muslim nations like Jordan doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. There are certainly significant portions of Muslims who have preached death to Israel and death to the United States. That certainly isn’t a tolerant viewpoint.
Further, Ibrahim’s statement that Rev. Dakdok is Islamophobic is projection at best. The definition of Islamophobia is hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture. What proof does Ibrahim have of that? I can find proof that Rev. Dakdok passionately disagrees with Muslims. I can find proof that Rev. Dakdok wishes that Muslims would accept Christ as their Savior, though I’m certain he isn’t holding his breath waiting for that to happen. I can’t find proof that Rev. Dakdok is afraid of Muslims or that he hates Muslims.
Later in her LTE, Ibrahim writes “To dispel prejudice and prevent further division in the community, there’s an urgent need for a ‘dialogue of life.'” The definition of prejudice is “an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.” What proof does Ms. Ibrahim have that Rev. Dakdok or Pastor Campbell disagree with Islam blindly? Why can’t Ms. Ibrahim believe that they’ve formed their opinions based on what they’ve learned by studying the Bible? Why doesn’t Ms. Ibrahim think that they’ve formed their opinions about Islam based on what the Koran says? Finally, there’s this misguided paragraph:
I urge our communities, regardless of their faith, skin color and language, to learn to practice tolerance. Faith leaders should not allow controversial speakers coming to our city to drive a wedge between our communities. Our religious leaders should preach love and tolerance, but not hate.
When Granite City Baptist welcomed Rev. Dakdok to their church, their doors were filled with foul-mouthed graffiti, including the F-word. We still haven’t found the criminals who committed this crime but police are certain that it wasn’t a member of Granite City Baptist.
It’s interesting that Ms. Ibrahim likes Christians who don’t question her religion but criticizes Christians that question her religion’s principles. I’d call that hypocritical.
While writing this op-ed for Trumpbart, David Horowitz slipped back into his fascist-progressive habits that he learned from his parents growing up.
That’s when Horowitz learned that the fastest way to shut down a debate was to call the other person a racist or a bigot or some other pejorative. In this instance, Horowitz insisted that Bill Kristol’s argument that Trump isn’t equipped for the job is proof of Kristol’s betrayal of America. With that fascist taunt, Horowitz must hope he isn’t challenged. I’ll just say this: dreams die hard. I’m perfectly willing to challenge Horowitz’ thinking, if it can be called that.
For example, Horowitz wrote that David Brooks’ column was proof of Trump Derangement Syndrome, adding that “This is a perfect instance of ‘Trump derangement syndrome,’ the underlying animus that motivates Kristol and his destructive cohorts. Dismissing Trump as an ignoramus and a stunted twelve-year-old is the stuff of schoolyard put-downs, not a serious critique of someone with Trump’s considerable achievements. Yet this is typical of Trump’s diehard opponents on the right.”
Frankly, Trump’s understanding of public policy and his utter disrespect for this nation’s laws and our Constitution make him a constitutional crisis waiting to happen. Candidate Trump has repeatedly frozen out media outlets who haven’t praised him sufficiently. When Trump questioned Sen. McCain’s patriotism, the Des Moines Register wrote an editorial calling for Mr. Trump to resign. The next time he was in Iowa, his campaign wouldn’t permit the Des Moines Register’s Katie Obradovich into his event.
The Founding Fathers, the greatest collection of political leaders in the history of the world, wrote that free speech was essential to society and that political speech was to be the most protected speech of all. Trump thinks it’s more important for the press to stroke his ego.
That trait alone disqualifies him from office. That’s why I’m still #NeverTrump. Some things, like brushing aside the Constitution, aren’t just about politics. It’s about saying political victories aren’t sufficient when a tyrant wants to destroy the things that made America the greatest nation on earth.
Is Trump more unprepared than Barack Obama whose qualification for the presidency was a lifetime career as a left-wing agitator? And how did that work out? Despite the lacunae in his executive resume, Obama is now regarded as “one of the most consequential presidents in American history” by reasonably qualified experts.
At best, Trump is just as unqualified to be president as President Obama was. Further, saying that President Obama is “one of the most consequential presidents in American history” isn’t praising him. There are lots of despots who’ve been consequential. That doesn’t make we should elect another despot to replace him.
Can Trump be reasonably criticized, and is he something of a loose cannon? Of course he can, and yes he is. But criticisms that focus exclusively on the candidate miss the larger reality of this election, which is not merely a contest between two candidates but a clash between two parties and constituencies with radically differing views of what this country is and should be about, and even more importantly about the threats we face and how to deal with them.
What BS. Trump vs. Hillary isn’t “a clash between two parties and constituencies with radically differing views of what this country is and should be about.” They’re opposite sides of the same coin. They both think that the rules don’t apply to them. They both think that they’re entitled to ignore this nation’s laws and our Constitution because they’re entitled.
Finally, useful idiots like Laura Ingraham, Charles Hurt and Eric Bolling have been telling us about how America is going through a populist moment. That’s true. They insist that Trump is the right man for the job. They never talk about Trump’s qualifications, though. Their silence is deafening. Mr. Trump’s understanding of policy really is like a 12-year-old’s.
In my post titled “Human rights in a Shari’ah world”, I highlighted a document titled “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” Kevin Johnson had the temerity to tell the truth about what’s in “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam during his presentation, which is titled “Shariah 101.”
One of the things that Johnson highlights in his presentation is Article 22 of “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” Article 22 states “Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.”
Let’s compare that with the First Amendment.
The text of the First Amendment says “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 difference between human rights in Islam vs. the civil rights in the Constitution is dramatic. The Constitution, specifically the First Amendment, doesn’t put qualifiers on the exercise of free speech. According to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, everyone has the “right to express his opinion freely” if it isn’t “contrary to the principles of Shari’ah.” That’s a pretty big qualifier.
This part of Dr. Johnson’s presentation drives that point home powerfully:
It’s apparent that being Shari’ah-compliant is important to St. Cloud’s Islamic leaders. It’s apparent because Dr. Johnson was terminated less than 2 weeks after he signed a contract with CentraCare and after he was told that CentraCare advised him they’d need him to work “as much as possible for the next six months” and less than a week after Dr. Johnson had given his presentation.
The chief point to take from this is that CentraCare put a higher priority on being politically correct than it’s putting on living according to the Constitution. If businesses like CentraCare are willing to trash the First Amendment and become Shariah-compliant, then the First Amendment will have been seriously undermined.
If you want to only be able to speak your mind when you aren’t contradicting Shariah, do nothing. If you think that the Constitution and the First Amendment are right, however, then it’s imperative that you join the fight against the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.
When I first read this article by Alpha News, it caught my attention for all the wrong reasons. Before we get into the specifics of Alpha News’ article, it’s important to know that the person who has been criticized by various Muslim organizations, including the Central Minnesota chapter of CAIR MN, asked Alpha News to not use his real name. Alpha News agreed, causing them to refer to the person getting criticized as Kevin Johnson. Additionally, it’s important to know that Johnson is a licensed physician.
Johnson put together a presentation titled Shari’ah 101, which he presented in January of 2016. Shortly after giving his presentation, Johnson’s work at CentraCare was terminated. One of the things from Johnson’s presentation was Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. Follow this link to read the entire document. It’s part of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Library.
This is Dr. Johnson’s letter explaining what happened to him:
It’s important that people know what Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam says. Here’s what it says:
All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.
It’s equally important to know what Article 22 says:
(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.
1. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.
(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.
(d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.
In other words, all rights are tied to whether people speak ill of the Prophet or whether they speak well of the Prophet. The key principle to take from one of Islam’s foundational documents on human rights is that human rights aren’t extended to people who don’t accept the Prophet’s teachings.
The key point to take from this ‘human rights document’ is that it doesn’t square with the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Specifically, it doesn’t square with the First Amendment. Finally, the key point to take away from Kevin Johnson’s story is that he was terminated by CentraCare less than a week after he’d given this presentation.
Never forget Dr. Johnson’s final admonition:
CentraCare has decided to value political deference to Islam over patient access to health care. That should frighten everyone.
That’s political cowardice on CentraCare’s part.
Walter Hudson’s Facebook post is a brilliant call-to-arms for principled conservatives and Republicans. At a time when the thoughtful center-right are despondent, Walter’s battle cry is inspiring. I can’t recommend Walter’s post enough. If you aren’t a Trump cultist, it’s today’s must reading.
Walter’s post starts with him laying out the stakes, saying “Civil war has broken out within the Republican Party. Long-standing divisions have led us to this point.” While that paragraph defines what’s at stake, what follows is a brilliant battle plan. For instance, Walter rightly said that “In war, the rules which govern in peacetime go out the window. In war, the object is the destruction of the enemy and the preservation of our way of life. These are the metaphorical stakes we face now. That is why the traditional expectation that Republican officers and delegates fall in line behind Trump will not be met. We will not cede our party to a leftist authoritarian pretender. We’ve worked too hard to build it. We’ve fostered too many relationships. We’ve created too much value to let it all disintegrate on account of one man.”
Let’s be clear about something. Trump’s supporters made it exceptionally clear that their primary goal is to blow the GOP up and rebuild it in Trump’s own warped image. Constitutionalists and principled conservatives like Walter Hudson and, to a lesser extent, me have gotten accused of being part of the GOP establishment. That isn’t a joke. That’s proof of the Trumpians’ own intellectual dishonesty.
Trump has already abandoned conservatism from a policy standpoint. He’s backing away from his own tax plan. This week, he’s come out in favor of raising the minimum wage. He’s always opposed entitlement reform. In all the talk about party unity, activists have never been told what they’d be uniting behind. Uniting behind a left-leaning vulgar authoritarian isn’t appealing to me. Based on the fact that Trump still has only garnered 40% of the primary vote, uniting behind Trump isn’t appealing to a huge part of the GOP.
It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. After a tragedy like the massacre at Columbine High School, anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution. This is another issue where you see the extremes of the two existing major parties. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.
Trump, Coking and the casino authority pounded away at one another in court. Then, one day in the summer of 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey put an end to the conflict. The court ruled that the casino authority and Trump were wrong. The government couldn’t take Coking’s house and let Trump have it.
The widow had won.
She lived there for about another decade, happy to boast about her triumph over a man she despised. From across a parking lot, she saw Trump’s casino fizzle. Last year, Trump Plaza closed its doors, another in a long line of casualties in the precipitous decay of a once-sizzling casino strip.
In addition to supporting eminent domain abuse, Trump’s fight with Vera Coking highlighted another thing conservatives should run from. Trump’s casino went bankrupt. It’s virtually impossible to bankrupt a casino but Trump ‘accomplished’ it.
These cries for party unity ring hollow in light of the fact that Trump’s flip-flops happen at a faster rate than Mitt Romney’s happened. Trump’s supporters don’t care because, apparently, a significant portion of them want to blow the Republican Party up. Thanks to principled conservatives like Walter Hudson, the Branch Trumpidians will have to fight to win that battle.
Every 4 years, the same people argue that we have to unite around the GOP presidential standard bearer. They’re doing it again this year. In the past, I’ve been guilty of uniting around the GOP standard bearer. I won’t be guilty of that this time.
Mitch Berg wrote this thoughtful piece explaining why he will support Trump. I’ve known Mitch to be a thoughtful, principled conservative with a strong libertarian streak in him for over a decade. That’s why this discussion deserves to be done in a respectful, point-counterpoint fashion.
I can relate to Mitch when he started with saying “I’m sick of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils.” We’ve all heard that too often lately. We’ve been there, done that, especially in 2008. Mitch made a legitimate point when he self-replied “And I’m sick of people wishing things would get better on their own. They don’t. They won’t. They never will. Sack up. This is life. The best thing that happens is the conservative ‘movement’ will grow up and realize that it can’t win by speaking to the echo chamber any more than the Paulbots could.”
Honestly, I’m not into talking only to the echochamber. While I write posts for LFR, LFR isn’t the only tool I use to influence people. I write articles for Examiner. I frequently write LTEs and op-eds for the St. Cloud Times, the Duluth News Tribune and the Mesabi Daily News. Further, I don’t just pontificate on the latest political happenings. I write about important reports that highlight the things that happen when progressive/socialist policies are implemented.
Most importantly, I won’t vote for Trump because he’s a pathological liar who’s questioned John McCain’s patriotism, who’s accused Ted Cruz’s father of being part of the team that assassinated JFK and who’s bragged that a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson) had endorsed him. I won’t vote for someone that’s quite possibly the most immoral presidential candidate in my lifetime. And remember, I followed Nixon’s fall in Watergate and I watched Bill Clinton try explaining away a stained blue dress.
The difference between a leader and a bully is about the same as the difference between a bank robber and a police officer. They both carry guns but that’s where the similarities end. Trump’s bullying of the press is frightening for any First Amendment- and Constitution-loving person. Overlooking a person’s squishiness is one thing. Ignoring a tyrant’s actions are unforgivable. It’s the line I won’t cross. Period.
I’m not interested in being a loyal Republican if all I get from it is aggravation. If the GOP machine isn’t interested in my ideas, then it doesn’t get my vote or activism, either. As for the bad things that will happen if Hillary’s elected, I’ll simply say that that’s what needs to happen. An addict doesn’t turn their life around if they don’t hit rock bottom. A call to unity is a call to not let the GOP hit rock bottom.
Finally, Trump has bought into more conspiracy theories than Ron Paul. Remember that Dr. Paul once said during a debate that he didn’t want a wall built on the Tex-Mex border because he was afraid it would be used to keep people in the United States. Based on the things that Trump has said about Sen. Cruz’s father, Dr. Paul looks virtually sane compared with Trump.
What won’t change is that I’ll work hard to keep Republicans in control of the Minnesota House, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. I’ll work tirelessly to flip the Minnesota Senate, too.
As for my presidential vote, I’m wholeheartedly opposed to Hillary and Trump. It’s that simple. They can both go to hell.