Archive for the ‘First Amendment’ Category

Religious Freedom is Ours to Win or Lose
By Ramblin’ Rose

We mourn the torture and repression of Christians in other countries. Figures from the Pew Research Center reveal the horrific facts that more than 6 BILLION people in 83 countries experience high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practice or social hostilities due to religion.

We have felt safe in our nation…“One nation under God.”

But reviewing national polls about the precipitous decline in the number of professed Believers in the last decade, the warnings from Church leaders about the closing of numerous congregations, the proposals in Congress to force a leftist agenda on our nation, legalized abortion (infanticide), and the Supreme Court ruling last week that redefines “gender” as emotion and not biological identity, cut to the hearts of Christians.

Debates and concessions have grown in the last few weeks about the acceptance of “taking a knee” to protest our national flag. Who remembers how Tebow was ridiculed and humiliated by leftists for taking a knee to pray to God? How many recall the numerous high school and college coaches that have been fired because they prayed on the field—by themselves, with their team or allowed their teams to pray?

As the pandemic raged in our land and around the world, allegedly the most requested and purchased book was the Bible. Is there some hope? Have more turned to God or just purchased the Bible to hold it to their heart as hopeful students sleep with their textbook for a pillow before an exam?

Jeremy P. Barker, Director, Middle East Action Team and Senior Program Officer for the Religious Freedom Institute defined religious freedom with this statement: “As articulated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, core international covenants such as Article 18 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and contemporary research, religious freedom [emphasis added] is understood to be a fundamental human right, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a source of national and international security.”

WE cherish our First Amendment Rights. It is reassuring to know that religious freedom was a part of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, even though that fact was not a part of the school curriculum in the last 50 years, at least. Nor was/is the passage of the United States International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998 a part of traditional public-school teaching. That act brought attention to the status of religious freedom around the world. Through IRFA, the policy of the United States became one “to condemn violations of religious freedom, and to promote, and to assist other governments in the promotion of, the fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

Consequently, a new position, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, within the State Department mandates an annual report of religious freedoms in every country and an independent Commission on international religious freedom at the National Security Council.

President Trump’s Executive Order 13926 of June 2, 2020, mandates that “Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”

While the USA was the first country to enact the IRFA policy, now more than two dozen countries have similar positions and policies.

In July 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo initiated the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom to address religious freedom violations on a global level with foreign officials at the ministerial level and representatives from those societies, as well as victims of religious persecution and discrimination. The sole focus of the meeting was “the unalienable human right of religious freedom.” Vice President Pence addressed the gathering.

The second annual (2019) Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was the largest religious freedom event of its kind in the world, with more than 1000 civil and religious leaders from more than 100 invited foreign delegations.

The Trump Administration sets a priority on the protection of the unalienable right of religious freedom. In September 2019, President Trump hosted the first Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom at the United Nations General Assembly, with UN Secretary General António Guterres, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary Pompeo in attendance.

In 2020, Warsaw, Poland, is set to host the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

I do try to regularly follow the news, but I only recall media coverage of the “irregular” manner in which President Trump addressed the General Assembly of the UN last fall. Was there positive coverage of this event?

It has been gratifying to have speakers at the National Prayer Breakfast, in recent years, that laud Christian/Judeo beliefs, traditions and practices instead of spanking them publicly for past atrocities—in the name of religion.

While there is no guarantee that there is a movement to again embrace the universal unalienable rights of the freedom of religion, it is reassuring to know that the current administration is working to advance those opportunities.

In the words of another great leader of this country, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” (Ronald Reagan)

God bless America!!

This manifesto highlights the tactics used by the Minneapolis rioters. It’s part after-action report, part cheerleading document, part tactics manual. Mostly, it’s a long read. What’s obvious throughout is that the rioters and looters acted in opportunistic fashion to help advance the overall goal.

One thing that’s immediately clear is this wasn’t just a bunch of activists protesting. They didn’t start off as organized in the traditional sense. They morphed as the nights went along. One of the key groups were the “Medical Support.” According to the manifesto, this “included street medics and medics performing triage and urgent care at a converted community center two blocks away from the precinct. Under different circumstances, this could be performed at any nearby sympathetic commercial, religious, or not-for profit establishment. Alternatively, a crowd or a medic group could occupy such a space for the duration of a protest. Those who were organized as street medics did not interfere with the tactical choices of the crowd. Instead, they consistently treated anyone who needed their help.”

We’ll find out later in the manifesto that the looters resupplied the medics with water by looting stores in the neighborhood near the Third Precinct. There were some looters out for personal gain. It’s just that lots of looters took the opportunity to steal what they needed to escalate the violence.

Peaceful Protestors

The non-violent tactics of peaceful protesters served two familiar aims and one unusual one:

  1. They created a spectacle of legitimacy, which was intensified as police violence escalated.
  2. They created a front line that blocked police attempts to advance when they deployed outside of the Precinct.
  3. In addition, in an unexpected turn of affairs, the peaceful protestors shielded those who employed projectiles.

The supposedly peaceful protesters were used like human shields. In the future, police and national guards shouldn’t let these protesters go unpunished. If they simply protest, that’s protected. The instant that they’re used as human shields to protect rioters, they aren’t protected. The First Amendment protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

Whenever the police threatened tear gas or rubber bullets, non-violent protesters lined up at the front with their hands up in the air, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” Sometimes they kneeled, but typically only during relative lulls in the action. When the cops deployed outside the Precincts, their police lines frequently found themselves facing a line of “non-violent” protestors. This had the effect of temporarily stabilizing the space of conflict and gave other crowd members a stationary target. While some peaceful protestors angrily commanded people to stop throwing things, they were few and grew quiet as the day wore on.

According to their own words, these protesters were complicit in the violence. This isn’t police speculation. This is a manifesto written by the people who carried this out. While it’s true that this wasn’t organized in the traditional sense, it’s equally true that these ‘troops’ were well-trained in street warfare. Lots of people were capable of doing multiple jobs. This is displayed here:

After the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, the ballistics squads also began to employ rocks. Elements within the crowd dismantled bus bench embankments made of stone and smashed them up to supply additional projectiles.

It’s difficult to picture how the entire crowd wasn’t complicit in these riots. With different groups moving from station to station, why shouldn’t we anticipate them getting into the action?

The manifesto is a lengthy read but it’s important reading. We shouldn’t think of these mobs as being poorly trained or ill-equipped. Clearly, they’re well-trained and properly equipped. Most importantly, they’re trained in restocking the shelves to sustain the rioting.

Finally, it’s important to state that the vast majority of protesters/rioters have never for a Republican in their life. These people don’t think the police serve a worthwhile function. These people are DFL mainstream in Minneapolis.

Each year, it’s easier to make the case that the Democrat Party is aligned with hate-filled organization. What’s worst is that the most hate-filled people are academics at elite universities. I wish it was surprising to know that Ivy League schools hate diversity of opinions. Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising whatsoever.

Jonathan Turley’s post highlights how disgusting the censorship movement has come. Though he didn’t say it in his post, it must break a constitutional law professor’s heart to see this type of censorship happening on college campuses.

At one point, Prof. Turley highlighted the fact that “What is most striking for me is the inclusion of Professors Mark H. Jackson and Cortelyou Kenney, who teach in the Cornell First Amendment Clinic. They are in fact the Director and Associate Director of the First Amendment Clinic, which is presumably committed to the value of free speech even at private institutions. So these professors teach free speech and just signed a letter that people who question the BLM movement or denounce the looting are per se or at least presumptive racists.”

I’ve written here multiple times that the First Amendment still protects hate speech. The First Amendment isn’t needed to protect popular or noncontroversial speech. The First Amendment is essential if you want controversial speech protected. While I don’t like hate speech or the burning of the American flag, I’ll defend to the death the right of people to say controversial or hate-filled things.

Congratulations to Professor Jacobson for eloquently defending himself in this interview:

Democrats only like free speech when the people speaking are saying things that they agree with. That isn’t free speech. That’s approved speech, which means someone is approving what’s getting said. That’s what happens in fascist countries. It isn’t what happens in the United States.

It’s obvious that Gen. Jim Mattis was upset. It’s equally obvious that he wasn’t in touch with reality. In an op-ed, which I won’t link to, Gen. Mattis wrote “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

What’s disgusting is that the police are protecting the protesters’ right to protest. Where politicians let them, the police have protected civilians, businesses and property. When idiots like Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo, Jacob Frey and Tom Wolf have tied law enforcement’s hands, rioters have controlled this nation’s major cities after sunset.

Police officers were run over, shot in the head or murdered by rioters. Private property was demolished by the insurrectionists/terrorists. Minority businesses were burned to the ground after they were looted. Does Gen. Mattis think that we’d be better off letting these local officials make decisions that destroy minority neighborhoods while the liberal politicians give rioters room to riot?

Let’s not overlook Gen. Mattis’ statement about “those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.” Sending in military troops is constitutional. Article IV of he Constitution gives the commander-in-chief that authority. That isn’t making a “mockery of our Constitution.” That’s obeying the Constitution.

Mattis also wrote this:

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

With all due respect, Gen. Mattis, you’re relying on faulty intel. President Trump didn’t divide this nation. Antifa, Occupy Wall Street and other Democrat-aligned organizations have been dividing this nation for over 10 years. That’s a verified fact. According to this article, Antifa doesn’t hide its disgust for governance:

We spoke to secret Antifa groups in Oregon. They said they come from a variety of political backgrounds but they were united in their opposition to fascism, and they have an anti-government streak. They said they see creeping authoritarianism in the current American administration that they are looking to build “a movement that really insulates us from the policies of Donald Trump”.

That’s what division sounds like. Antifa/anarchist organizations have existed since the 1920s. That’s before President Trump was born.

It isn’t difficult to make the argument that the Obama administration abused the Constitution far more than the Trump administration has. Lois Lerner used the IRS to prevent TEA Party organizations from fully participating in the 2012 election. Lerner’s actions stripped these citizens of their First Amendment rights. The Obama FBI lied to the FISA Court to spy on Carter Page, thereby denying Page the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment rights.

In his op-ed, Gen. Mattis wrote this:

I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

That’s sour grapes. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution says “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” President Trump isn’t overstepping his constitutional authorities. He’s thinking about exercising his constitutional authorities. To date, he hasn’t utilized the authority of Article IV, nor has he used the authority of the Insurrection Act of 1807.

President Trump let Gen. Mattis have it in this statement:

It’s time for Gen. Mattis to fully retire. It’s apparent that he isn’t a constitutional scholar. It’s apparent, too, that he didn’t figure it out that the commander-in-chief has an affirmative responsibility to protect the people of this nation.

Finally, would Gen. Mattis utilize the tactics and strategies that civilian Mattis is advocating for? I wouldn’t bet on it.

In case Republicans haven’t figured it out, protesting at state capitol buildings is fun but it isn’t effective. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t protest Gov. Walz’s questionable decisions. What I’m saying is that GOP activists shouldn’t limit themselves to just protesting. Saturday afternoon, the DFL issued this statement criticizing Kurt Daudt:

Today, Minnesota House Republicans have made it clear that they would rather play politics than help Minnesotans get back to work. By pledging to block Governor Walz’s Local Jobs and Projects Plan, Representative Daudt and House Republicans are standing in the way of thousands of hardworking men and women in the construction industry building our critical infrastructure throughout the state. Once again, Minnesota Republicans say one thing and do another – they say they want to pass an infrastructure bill but when the time comes to actually get it done, they stick it to working people who desperately need these jobs.

Representative Daudt’s foolish temper tantrum goes against the advice of public health experts, the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, and the guidelines for reopening states issued by the President of Daudt’s own party. Representative Daudt’s gambling with the health and economic well-being of Minnesotans everywhere proves just how unfit Minnesota Republicans are to lead, especially during times of crisis.

It’s time for the gloves to come off. It’s time to expose the DFL as the party who shut down Minnesota’s economy based on a model put together by our DFL governor and Jan Malcolm, his clueless commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health and the U of M. That model was off by orders of magnitude. Gov. Walz tried frightening Minnesotans by telling us that 74,000 Minnesotans would die if we did nothing. That’s an outright lie. As of Saturday night, May 2, there were 6,228 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota and 395 deaths related to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

It’s time for Kurt Daudt and Paul Gazelka to step off the sidelines. They’re playing defense. They should play offense by filing a lawsuit that ends Emperor Walz’s reign of autocracy. Question the constitutional validity of Walz’s shelter-in-place orders. There’s nothing worthwhile about any of them. How many people lost their life savings thanks to Gov. Walz’s autocratic decisions? How many people lost their jobs thanks to Gov. Walz’s autocratic decisions?

It’s time to fight against Gov. Walz and the DFL’s autocratic rules. There’s nothing reasonable about how the DFL is infringing upon our rights to earn a living. Gov. Walz’s decisions has triggered a Minnesota deficit that’s likely to exceed $5,000,000,000 next year. That’s hiding the costs of draining the Rainy Day Fund and a multi-billion-dollar federal bailout.

Gov. Walz, if we save one life but destroy families upon families’ life savings, will it still be worth it? If you say yes to that question, then you’re a bleeping idiot.

Finally, We The People have the right to representation on the biggest issues of the day. When it comes to COVID-19 matters, we don’t have a say in any matters. That’s because Gov. Walz insists on making all of the decisions himself. That isn’t a constitutional republic. That’s a monarchy. 244 years ago, patriots stood up and fought against tyrants that insisted on controlling our lives. It’s time we started our own revolutionary war. This time, though, let’s use the courts instead of using muskets.

The SC Times isn’t a newspaper anymore. It’s just a mouthpiece for progressive causes. This Our View editorial is proof of that. It starts by saying “Agree with him or not, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz deserves credit for matching his actions to what he’s been saying all along about the state coming out its COVID-19 quarantine. His message: It isn’t going to happen fast, it’s going to be based on science, and it’s going to prioritize saving lives over reviving the economy.”

What the Times doesn’t address is Gov. Walz’s unconstitutional decisions. For instance, the Times highlights “Walz’s Executive Order 20-48 requires non-critical businesses ‘to develop a written COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for each of their work places.’ Each plan must address key health and worker protection components laid out by the state, and they also must comply with CDC and OSHA guidelines.” The minute that EO is challenged in the Eighth Circuit is the minute it becomes a dead-man walking proposition. That EO isn’t legislation that would have the force of law. In courts, executive orders have the authority of suggestions. They don’t have the force of laws.

That’s because the people haven’t had their say. An EO is the voice of the autocrat. A law is the voice of the people because it’s voted on by the people’s representatives. EOs is the voice of a single autocrat, which means that it doesn’t pass constitutional muster. Why doesn’t the Times recognize that? Are they that constitutionally illiterate? Built into the Constitution are checks and balances. Also built into the Constitution is the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment.

When autocrats like Gov. Walz overstep their authorities via EOs, the only check is via the judiciary. If the House has a partisan DFL majority, then checks and balances effectively disappear.

The DFL can stifle the will of the people to a point but it can’t last forever. If Republicans won’t react, then small businesses and other citizens will start filing lawsuits saying that their voices haven’t gotten heard. In federal court, that’s all that it’ll take. 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.” With an EO and a partisan DFL, there isn’t a path to redress our grievances.

This says everything:

Businesses also are required to sign their plans, share them with staff and post them throughout the workplace. And employers must do health screenings of employees upon entry each day and keep that data confidential. Even the governor himself noted the state will not be inspecting nor enforcing its expectations of businesses and consumers. Rather, the state is trusting all Minnesotans to do the right thing.

If Gov. Walz won’t inspect or enforce his EOs, then isn’t it true that they’re utterly meaningless? Why would a business pay attention to Gov. Walz whatsoever? If I owned a business, I’d thumb my nose at Gov. Walz. Either that or I’d flip him the finger. He isn’t worthy of my respect. He’s disrespected our Constitution so why should I respect him?

Then again, why should I respect Republicans like Tim O’Driscoll, who wrote “As we continue to use social distancing and other common sense safety measures, we also need to begin looking at how to gradually and carefully re-open our main street businesses.” I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t GOP legislators in the House and Senate push bills that require Gov. Walz and the DFL to either say no to reopening businesses immediately while requiring social distancing and wearing masks in public or to cave to GOP demands? The GOP’s passive response while our rights are taken away isn’t ok.

Gradually dying economically still leads to a depression. That’s there thanks mainly to Gov. Walz and the DFL. If Republicans won’t start fighting like its citizens, then they shouldn’t expect the voters’ help.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin’s Democrat governor, now has to deal with a lawsuit brought by Republican lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos filed the lawsuit in Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court. If the court sides with the Republican leadership, which seems likely, it will be a stinging political defeat for Gov. Evers.

The GOP leaders are seeking to take away Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm’s ability to make unilateral decisions during public health emergencies and instead require her to gain their approval before taking action. They say the Evers administration’s actions are outside the bounds of the law. “Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers, unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration, over the people of Wisconsin,” the complaint reads.

First, let’s see what the evidence is before making judgment. That being said, if the Republicans’ description is right, then Gov. Evers and Secretary Palm would likely be heading for a defeat.

All state constitutions must meet the US Constitution’s provisions on separation of powers and checks and balances. It isn’t likely that the Democrats’ Great Lakes governors’ shelter-in-place orders would meet constitutional muster. With a single person making the decisions, it’s impossible to legitimately say that there’s a check on that person’s balance.

These Democrats (Walz, Whitmer and Evers) have overstepped their authorities. It’s just a matter of time before someone questions Gov. Walz’s authority. If nothing else, some GOP House member should challenge Walz’s authority. It isn’t a matter of whether the judge likes or doesn’t like Gov. Walz’s intentions. The only thing that matters is whether Gov. Walz has the authority to strip Minnesotans’ constitutional rights from them.

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.” One way that the people petition the government is through our representatives. Taking away their policy-making authority for an extended period of time strips the people of that essential right.

These protests and lawsuits aren’t going away until these governors stop acting like autocrats. Whitmer, Walz and Evers think they’re above the will of the people because they want to do good as defined by them. The Constitution limits what governments can do, not what people can do.

Montclair State University is getting sued for allegedly violating their students First Amendment rights:

On Sept. 10, 2019, Mena Botros and two fellow students dressed in orange jump suits and held up signs voicing their support—as pretend criminals—for gun-free zones. The purpose was to express their belief that laws creating gun-free zones only benefit criminals and harm law-abiding citizens. Despite peacefully expressing their ideas in a common outdoor area of campus, a campus police officer forced them to stop. He told the students that anyone who wants to speak on campus has to obtain permission at least two weeks in advance and that the dean’s office would assign them a time and place to speak. The students, affiliated with Young Americans for Liberty, are challenging the two-week requirement because it unconstitutionally suppresses all speech and because it allows the university to deny or delay a student’s request for permission for any reason.

Nowhere in the First Amendment does it give government the right to schedule free speech events. The text of 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.” The University will lose this lawsuit because they prohibited students from peaceably assembling on their campus and because their demonstration highlighted a public policy disagreement with the government. Further, the thought that any presentation might be rejected by the powers-that-be flies in the face of the principles of the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that government can’t tell people what they can say. Government of any sort can’t tell when people or corporations when they can talk. It’s worth noting that Citizens United “arose after Citizens United, a conservative non-profit organization, sought to air and advertise a film critical of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shortly before the 2008 Democratic primary elections.” The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, aka McCain-Feingold, prohibited that. Ultimately, the Supreme Court prohibited McCain-Feingold.

The policy, called the Demonstrations and Assemblies Policy, stated that anyone, especially groups or organizations, should give two weeks of advance notice to the dean of students with their “planned objective” of the event. The dean would then review the application and either approve or reject the application or, the suit alleges, modify the demonstration of “any reason …. within any set timeframe.”

According to the text of the First Amendment, nobody has the authority to reject applications to speak freely. Nobody, whether we’re talking about the President of the United States or the Chief Justice of the United States, is allowed to restrict political speech.

Unlike the first time the St. Cloud City Council voted to censure George Hontos, this time they had the courage, if you can call it that, to vote in public. Nonetheless, it still was a disappointing display of bruised egos.

The good news is that the Council didn’t hide their vote. Now we know that the “ballots indicated Masters, Goerger, Paul Brandmire and Mike Conway voted ‘yes’ to censure Hontos; Steve Laraway and Lewis voted against censuring Hontos.”

I wish I was surprised that Masters and Goerger voted to censure Councilman Hontos but I’m not. Those 2 are the biggest disappointments on the Council. By far. I’d trade both of them for a bag full of Val’s French Fries and a chocolate shake. I’d consider the Val’s package a significant upgrade.

I’m most disappointed with Councilman Conway’s and Councilman Brandmire’s votes. Voting against the First Amendment is always wrong. A vote to censure Councilman Hontos was a vote against the First Amendment. It isn’t often that I agree with the ACLU but this time, I totally agree. It’s time the Council got back to governing by first principles. This vote was a vote on worst principles.

Rules 6-8 should be abolished ASAP. If the Council doesn’t vote to abolish those rules, then I wouldn’t be surprised if a court struck them down. Silencing the people’s representatives can’t be justified. That’s what the Council did last night. This shouldn’t shame Councilman Hontos. He did the right thing in speaking out. This vote should shame Councilmen Masters, Goerger, Brandmire and Conway.

Speaking of Councilman Hontos, he sent me this statement:

It was very evident this was an orchestrated action. I found it not surprising that some Councilmembers were aided by our City Attorney. I will look forward to the reaction from the ACLU. One important clarification Council member Conway misspoke in describing the open forum process. Here are the actual details, the meeting is adjourned, there are no minutes taken of what is said, there is no camera, and the individuals who speak are not listed in the minutes. That is different than what he stated.

On the deeper issue of turning off the cameras and adjourning the meeting before the public forum, I don’t know who’s hairbrained idea that was but that’s another thing that’s got to stop immediately. If the Council actually listened to the people, then they’d keep the cameras on, extend the speaking time from 3 minutes to 5 minutes and restore the forum to being part of the meeting. Finally, if it’s to have a meaningful impact, councilmembers should be allowed to respond.

At this point, I’m disgusted with the Council. They aren’t listening to their constituents. It’s time they started.

Like most DFL-affiliated organizations, CAIR-MN has a history of publishing one thing, then doing another. That’s quickly proven with a visit to CAIR’s mission page. A list of CAIR-MN’s principles reads like this:

  1. CAIR supports free enterprise, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
  2. CAIR is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans, regardless of faith.
  3. CAIR supports domestic policies that promote civil rights, diversity and freedom of religion.
  4. CAIR opposes domestic policies that limit civil rights, permit racial, ethnic or religious profiling, infringe on due process, or that prevent Muslims and others from participating fully in American civic life.
  5. CAIR is a natural ally of groups, religious or secular, that advocate justice and human rights in America and around the world.
  6. CAIR supports foreign policies that help create free and equitable trade, encourage human rights and promote representative government based on socio-economic justice.
  7. CAIR believes the active practice of Islam strengthens the social and religious fabric of our nation.
  8. CAIR condemns all acts of violence against civilians by any individual, group or state.
  9. CAIR advocates dialogue between faith communities both in America and worldwide.
  10. CAIR supports equal and complementary rights and responsibilities for men and women.

I’d start by saying that the first 3 bullet points aren’t what CAIR practices. I quoted Jaylani Hussein, CAIR-MN’s Executive Director, in this post as saying “St. Cloud residents cannot allow for a small fringe group of haters to dominate and take over the narrative of what St. Cloud is and who it is. There should be concern about these hate groups who are creating a very unsafe environment to the point where talks like these are not taking place. More people, more residents need to shun and call these people for what they are — hate groups who are trying to create fear.”

Hussein insists that a group of people peacefully protesting and another group of people praying for the Persecuted Church.

  1. Mr. Hussein, please explain how CAIR can support freedom of expression while calling for an entire city to call a group of people praying for the persecute church a hate group. In fact, forget the please. I demand that you explain how those 2 principles fit together.
  2. Mr. Hussein, I’d love hearing how CAIR can oppose “domestic policies that limit civil rights” while accusing an organization that’s praying a hate group. Since the First Amendment guarantees our right to practice the religion of our choice, including not practicing any religion, CAIR apparently doesn’t understand the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Forgive me if I don’t take it seriously when CAIR insists that it’s a civil rights organization. This video is ridiculous:

Comparing the SJW movement with MLK’s civil rights movement is beyond ridiculous. They fit together like oil and water.