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Archive for the ‘First Amendment’ Category

Saying that Jeff Flake is a legislative lightweight is to demean lightweights. It’s insulting that Sen. Flake compared President Trump with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. What’s worse is that he made the comparison on the Senate floor.

Sen. Flake is a wimp and an airhead. Anyone that thinks that a combative president should be compared with a brutal dictator who killed millions of people isn’t intellectually qualified to be a U.S. senator. Further, Sen. Flake essentially capitulated to the Democrats on border enforcement. Thankfully, that’ll make it easier for Arizonans who worry about border security and preventing cartel-related human trafficking to elect a serious senator who won’t cave like Sen. Flake just did.

Sen. McCain wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post (naturally) that criticized President Trump. In that op-ed, “Mr. McCain joined his fellow Arizonan in calling for the president to stop attacking the news media.” In the op-ed, Sen. McCain said “We cannot afford to abdicate America’s longstanding role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world. Without strong leadership in the White House, Congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment, and defending the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Coming from the man who wanted to gut the First Amendment, that’s rich. Further, Sen. McCain should know that the U.S. form of government isn’t a democracy. The Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic that said our rights come from “Nature’s God”, not from government. The difference between the 2 types of government is gigantic.

As President Reagan said in his farewell address, “‘We the People’ tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. ‘We the People’ are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ‘We the People’ tell the government what it is allowed to do.”

When Sen. McCain collaborated with Russ Feingold to write their campaign finance law, they wrote a law that told citizens involved in the political process when they could criticize politicians and what times were off-limits. Anyone who didn’t hesitate in telling ‘We The People’ how they can react is someone who isn’t morally fit to instruct presidents about right and wrong.

According to this article, “Edina Public Schools said in an e-mail that it can’t comment on litigated topics, but that the district respects student free-speech rights.” They issued that statement after students filed a lawsuit after “school leaders revoked the Young Conservatives Club’s status as a school-sponsored organization.” The school revoked this organization’s status because “members of the Young Conservatives Club” spoke out against a protest.

The article noted that school “policy mandates that students respect others who protest.” Attorney Erick Kaardal said that policy “violates the Flag Code. Ending the Young Conservatives Club because students spoke out against policies contradicts the free speech guarantee in the First Amendment.”

Mr. Kaardal will win this lawsuit for his student clients because they absolutely have the right to protest against protesters. The school’s policy of being respectful towards protesters is well-intentioned but unenforceable because anti-protesters don’t have to be respectful. As long as the anti-protest protesters aren’t violent or advocate violence, they’re protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment states “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.”

This is the constitutional equivalent of safe spaces, which is in keeping with the ‘snowflake code’. It’s one thing to wish for respect. It’s quite another to require it.

As for Edina Public Schools’ statement that they respect free speech rights, that’s nice PR fluff but it doesn’t have much to do with reality.

According to quotes from this article, the St. Cloud City Council doesn’t like the First Amendment. This isn’t an opinion. That sentiment comes through loud and clear when Jenny Berg quoted Carol Lewis as saying “People were extremely angry with me for limiting time and number (of speakers). Now what if I limited topic? My point is we would have had a riot on our hands.”

The City Council already limits what citizens can talk about during open forum. According to the article, the “council’s rules of order state residents can speak at open forums for two minutes on topics not on the agenda. Refugee resettlement became a topic on the agendas when council members Jeff Goerger and Jeff Johnson asked to discuss resolutions during the discussion portion of the meeting.” Having watched the Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 meetings, I can state with certainty that Council President Lewis indeed limited the citizens’ speeches to subjects not on the agenda.

That’s a violation of the First Amendment, which states “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.” It’s well-established fact that the Constitution is a limiting document written to restrict the federal government. There’s nothing in the Constitution that permits the government, whether it’s a city council or the US Senate or anything in between, to tell its citizens what subjects it will permit. The First Amendment says that people have “the right to peaceably assemble” and “to petition the government” about its grievances.

The government is prohibited by the First Amendment from telling its citizens what they can’t talk about. This is telling, too:

Council member Dave Masters said he is in favor of the open forum, but wants a civil discussion. “Some of the speakers we’ve had recently I felt went over that line,” Masters said, saying some speakers attacked the City Council or specific members. He said he has an issue with people “grandstanding” in front of the camera.

A politician who has a problem with citizens grandstanding. Seriously? That’s rich. It’d be nice if we lived in a society where all issues were solved through civil discussion. That isn’t the society we’re living in. Further, the government can’t limit speech, even if it’s grandstanding speech. Then there’s this:

City Administrator Matt Staehling suggested the council consider moving the open forum to the end of the meeting so residents can talk about whatever topic they want, even if it was on the agenda. “It might be easier to manage,” he said. Staehling said some other cities allow people to register to speak at the open forum ahead of time with the city clerk; those people then have priority at the meeting.

Again, the First Amendment already gives people the right to “talk about whatever topic they want.” That’s addressed by the clause stating that citizens have the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The definition of grievances is “a wrong considered as grounds for complaint, or something believed to cause distress.” The definition of redress is “the setting right of what is wrong.”

The government can’t tell citizens that they can’t address something that’s causing them distress or worry. Government might state its preferences but it can’t enforce their preferences if their preferences don’t agree with the Constitution.

This is troubling:

Johnson said he had concerns with the council not following its rules of order for the past month, and was frustrated with how Goerger’s resolution “in support of a just and welcoming community” was presented to the City Council at the beginning of the Oct. 23 meeting and then voted on that night.

The Council didn’t follow its rules that night. The City Clerk admitted that Councilman Goerger’s resolution wasn’t included in Councilman Johnson’s packet of information for the Oct. 23 meeting even though it was received on the Thursday before the Oct. 23 meeting. That means Councilman Goerger’s resolution was intentionally hidden from Councilman Johnson.

BTW, that’s a violation of City Council Rule # 6, which states “All items of business before the Council for the first time shall be listed as new business or on the Consent Agenda with a notation indicating the item is new business. Official action may not be taken if any Council Person objects to action being taken on the item.” Councilman Johnson certainly objected to voting on Councilman Goerger’s resolution because he said he hadn’t had time to read it.

The rules don’t mean anything with Council President Lewis or to most of the members of the Council. Most of the City Council members just care about winning. If they have to break the rules to win, they’re ok with that.

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Rather than being called the University of California-Berkeley, the school should be renamed the University of Censorship-Berkeley. This Campus Reform article highlights just how ridiculous things have gotten.

According to the article, “On Sunday, conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to follow through on his promise to speak at Berkeley despite the decision of the Berkeley Patriot, a student organization that had agreed to sponsor the Free Speech Week, to pull its support from the 4-day event, citing pressure from the university. In a letter to Berkeley’s Interim Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton posted online by Yiannopoulos, the attorneys representing the Berkeley Patriot threatened legal action against the university for allegedly failing ‘to protect our students from physical assault and vandalism,’ threatening students with a ‘hate crime’ investigation, and several other grievances. ‘The intent of the threat was clear: Cease speaking out or face criminal investigation,’ the attorneys wrote. ‘Well, our clients’ heard the Chancellor’s threat. They will be quiet, for now.’ You are further notified that our clients are contemplating initiating litigation against the responsible parties and the administration for violation of our clients civil rights,’ the attorneys also warned.”

That’s quite a story. The birthplace of the free speech movement now threatens people it disagrees with criminal investigations. If that doesn’t sound like the tactics of a fascist state to you, it’s time for you to hit the books. That’s definitely one of the tactics a fascist state would employ.

Berkeley isn’t part of the free speech movement. They’re just another mindless liberal institution that’s been infiltrated by anti-American thinking. How the mighty have fallen.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, is getting bent out of shape after President Trump trolled NFL players during a campaign rally in Alabama Friday night. First, President Trump said what thousands of NFL fans are thinking when he said “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a b***h off the field right now – he’s fired.” Republicans and independents everywhere cheered when he said that.

As the executive director of the NFLPA, aka the NFL players’ union, DeMaurice Smith had to say something, which he did when he said “Whether or not [NFL commissioner] Roger [Goodell] and the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks.”

Everyone gets it that players have the right to protest. It’s just that millions of people, literally, would prefer that they and other progressive celebrities, aka actors, would opt not to protest. Most fans just want to tune into a game to tune out the political world. DeMaurice Smith apparently hasn’t figured that out.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell chimed in, saying in this statement “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

What Commissioner Goodell omits from that statement is that the NFL gets a black eye when Commissioner Goodell initially treats domestic violence as a joke. When Ray Rice first struck his then-fiancé in a New Jersey casino, Goodell suspended him for 2 games. When Commissioner Goodell says that President Trump demonstrates “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL”, my reply is straightforward. The NFL’s tin-eared reactions to domestic violence and the players’ acceptance of disrespecting the National Anthem and the American flag has earned them tons of disrespect. If the NFL wants respect, they need to earn that respect. If they don’t learn that lesson, their TV and approval ratings will continue to sink.

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Al Franken’s anti-religious bigotry is getting more disgusting by the day. Last week, Franken criticized Amy Coney-Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, for being associated with a civil rights law firm that the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka SPLC, has designated as a hate group.

First, the name of the civil rights group is the Alliance for the Defense of Freedom, aka ADF. ADF represented Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, MO in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer in the Supreme Court. According to that ruling, the Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center ran a “preschool and daycare center.” The Center applied to “replace a large portion of the pea gravel with a pour-in-place rubber surface by participating in Missouri’s Scrap Tire Program.” ADF not only won the case. They won by a 7-2 margin, meaning it was a pretty clear-cut case.

After Ms. Barrett’s confirmation hearing, “ADF president, CEO and general counsel Michael Farris” issued this statement. The statement said “It is deeply regrettable that Sen. Franken is misinformed about our work on behalf of religious freedom, something so ‘extreme’ that even seven justices of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with our position three months ago in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. There is a real danger of conflating genuine hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan, with mainstream religious beliefs that are shared by millions of Americans and people from all walks of life across the world. As a member of Congress, Sen. Franken needs to fact-check before parroting discredited attacks by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-proud civil rights organization that is now a left-wing smear machine known to incite violence. Alliance Defending Freedom is the largest religious liberty legal advocacy organization in the world and advocates for the freedom of all people—including Sen. Franken’s constituents—to peacefully live, speak, and work consistently with their convictions without fear of government punishment.”

Greg Gutfeld summed up the SPLC perfectly in this segment:

This week, Sen. Franken’s credibility as a legislator took a major hit. You wouldn’t know that by the Twin Cities media but it’s there. Franken is still pouring through the handful of Minnesota Supreme Court rulings that Justice David Stras participated in but the SPLC has gotten a total pass by Franken. Sen. Franken accepts the SPLC’s hateful statements as though they were carved on stone tablets without examining their principles but he criticizes organizations he knows nothing about because they don’t share his warped ideology.

Sen. Franken is a shill and ideologue. He isn’t a serious legislator. His accomplishments are virtually nonexistent. He reflexively rejects opinions held by people he ideologically disagrees with. This is consistent with the alt-left’s practices. Sen. Franken and the alt-left don’t believe in compromise, discussion or coming together based on principle. This is the end result:

Based on Sen. Franken’s affiliation with Antifa’s thugs, it’s fair to ask if we have more to fear from Sen. Franken and Antifa than we have to fear from Prof. Coney-Barrett and ADF.

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Last night, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters sat during the National Anthem in an all-too-familiar display of ingratitude. First, let’s clear up the misconception that players can protest the Anthem because it’s protected by the First Amendment. The football pundits that have said that, aka Trey Wingo, don’t know what they’re talking about.

When they’re in uniform, their team has the undisputed right to dictate behavior. That’s because the team controls work product. From the time an employee punches in until that employee punches out, that employee’s employer can dictate to them what they shall do and how they must behave. But I digress.

Later in the article, it says “Peters’ protest comes days after Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett – who has also sat for the anthem – accused Las Vegas police of unfairly targeting him because of his race. Vegas police have pushed back on the accusation, saying officers chased down Bennett because he ran from an active shooting scene.”

NFL teams go out of their way to emphasize how they “give back” to their communities. It’s a little disingenuous for them to say they’re giving back while displaying such anti-patriotic behavior. It gives fans the opportunity to question whether NFL teams understand their fans.

When Commissioner Goodell first suspended Ray Rice for 2 games for physically assaulting his then-fiancé, people were rightfully outraged. People, including me, accused Goodell of being out of touch. I suspect that NFL teams’ PR departments came up with the “giving back” spin to somewhat mitigate their players’ negative reputations. Peters is one of those players whose reputation requires, putting it charitably, mitigation.

One retired player whose reputation is solid is Burgess Owens. Check out what he said on Fox & Friends this morning:

That’s what an adult with integrity sounds like.

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Berkeley’s mayor is getting called out in Allahpundit’s post. In his post, AP quotes Mayor Arreguin as saying “I don’t want Berkeley being used as a punching bag. I’m very concerned about Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter and some of these other right-wing speakers coming to the Berkeley campus, because it’s just a target for black bloc to come out and commit mayhem on the Berkeley campus and have that potentially spill out on the street. I obviously believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line between freedom of speech and then posing a risk to public safety. That is where we have to really be very careful; that while protecting people’s free-speech rights, we are not putting our citizens in a potentially dangerous situation and costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing the windows of businesses.”

Actually, it isn’t obvious that Mayor Arreguin believes in free speech. I’d argue quite the contrary, in fact. It’s obvious that Mayor Arreguin is letting thuggish rioters like Antifa cast a ‘rioters veto’, thereby chilling the exercise of free speech.

If Mayor Arreguin wants to restore free speech to Berkeley, he should take a page out of President Trump’s immigration handbook. Before President Trump took office, Fox News interviewed Sen. Schumer. One of the topics discussed was building the wall. Sen. Schumer insisted that Democrats wouldn’t budge on building the wall, that they’d insist on “comprehensive immigration reform” instead. I said at the time that Schumer was blowing smoke because Jeff Sessions could stop Sen. Schumer in his tracks simply by enforcing the law.

The point is that Gen. Sessions’ enforcement and President Trump’s belligerent tone on immigration, illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle. The point Mayor Arreguin should take from this is simple: If you’re willing to enforce the law and dangle the possibility of stiff prison sentences in front of Antifa, the conditions on the ground shift pretty dramatically. BTW, forget about expensive fines. They won’t work because Soros is willing to pay the fines.

Enforcement is the only way to restore free speech in Berkeley or any other place where Antifa threatens to cast a rioter’s veto. If they know you’re serious, they’ll stop. If they don’t stop, then they’ll be thrown in prison for a lengthy stay. According to this TV segment, there was a standoff between law enforcement and Antifa:

The reporter then said that law enforcement “withdrew.” If Mayor Arreguin wants to be seen as a wimp who won’t defend his citizens’ civil rights, then he should be impeached, then immediately thrown out of office without his pension. When rioters threaten citizens’ civil rights, it’s time to take action.

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Apparently, the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett thinks he’ll affect positive racial change by acting like an idiot.

The article starts by saying “Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat on the bench during the national anthem before the team’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. The rest of the Seahawks continued last season’s ritual, linking arms during the anthem.”

When asked later what he was trying to accomplish, Bennett is quoted as saying “I’m hoping that I can activate everybody to get off their hands and feet and go out into the communities and help each other. Sit down with somebody of the opposite sex. Sit down with somebody who’s the opposite race, different religion and understand that people are different.”

Later in the article, Bennett said that “he knows there will be a backlash for his actions but, this is bigger than football. ‘This is about people. This is about bringing opportunities to people. Giving people equality. This is bigger than a sport.'”

Bennett apparently thinks he’s letting America in on a profound life perspective. This sort of thing works in Seattle because it’s fashionable to be a leftist that hates the principles that this nation was built on.

What’s astonishing to me is that Bennett hasn’t understood that he isn’t helping his cause. He said in that interview that he wants to affect change. Then he sits on the bench during the playing of the National Anthem before the game. Afterwards, Bennett admits that there likely will be a backlash to his actions.

Hasn’t he figured it out that pissing people off isn’t the way to uniting people? Whether it was Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem last year or Michael Bennett or Marshawn Lynch sitting on the bench this preseason, the message is the same. These athletes, who should be grateful for the opportunities that professional football has given them, look totally ungrateful.

Finally, before a sportscaster says that these athletes have the right to do this because of the First Amendment, it’s time for these sportscasters to read what the First Amendment protects and doesn’t protect. The First Amendment protects against the federal government censoring people. Employers, however, have every right to tell their employees what they can or can’t do while they’re at their place of employment.

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Wednesday morning, Chris Cuomo essentially bragged about threatening a Reddit user with violence if this Reddit user didn’t apologize to CNN. Forget about Big Brother chilling speech. Now, big multi-national corporations are getting into the act. I’m not here to defend the man who created the now-infamous Gif of President Trump clotheslining CNN at a WWE event. I’m here to criticize big corporations who use their position to bully people that mock them. I’m also here to criticize them for not being smart journalists.

Friends know I’m not a Bill O’Reilly fan. Still, I agree with pretty much everything in this op-ed. That’s especially true of when O’Reilly said “On live TV during the campaign, Donald Trump told me I should see a psychiatrist because I was too “negative.” So what? I continued to cover him fairly and retained access, even though I criticized him when I felt it necessary. But I based my analysis on facts, did not cheap-shot him, and did not quote anonymous sources that made him look bad. I was straight with Trump and, in return, he was straight with me.”

Let’s be clear about this. CNN hasn’t been straight with President Trump. In fact, they haven’t tried to be straight with him. They’ve seemingly tried to undercut him at each time they’ve had the opportunity. They aren’t a news network when it comes to President Trump. They’ve looked like the DNC Network most of the time.

PS- Their chief anchors aren’t too bright, either. Check this video out as proof:

Hint to Chris Cuomo: Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. Popular speech doesn’t need to be protected.

Finally, on a serious note, it’s worth asking whether CNN is capable of setting aside their Trump hatred and report the news on a consistent basis. At this point, it doesn’t seem possible. As long as they have Chris Cuomo as an anchor, it’s difficult to take them seriously.

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