Error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -- Thomas Jefferson
As long as man's beliefs, or any part of them, are based on error, he is not completely free, for the chains of error bind his mind. -- Bruce R. McConkie
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. -- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. -- Napoleon Bonaparte
I just signed the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) petition regarding anti-Christian bigotry. Now, I want to know what ACLJ intends to do about bigotry aimed, primarily by self-proclaimed Christians, at a member of the Christian community -- the "Mormon" church. One good example of anti-Mormon bigotry is what has happened to courageous and principled Mormons as a consequence of the Mormon effort to support California Proposition 8 (to proclaim marriage as the union of a man and a woman). Not one Christian organization has stood up to condemn this attack on fellow Christians who are also called Mormons. (27 Oct 2008)
Civil asset forfeiture is government seizure of property or cash owned by individuals who are only charged with a crime. Law enforcement agents can seize a piece of property if they merely suspect it was used in a crime, whereas its owner must prove innocence to get it back. This is an inversion of justice and a gross violation of the Bill of Rights. Congress must immediately:
Require full Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment protection for all federal proceedings against owners of personal property.
Permit seizures of criminal profits only upon criminal conviction of its owner.
Permit seizures of legally-owned property only if its owner is convicted of a crime, to pay for fines, court costs, or restitution.
Withhold federal funds to all state and local law enforcement agencies that engage in civil asset forfeiture.
Enforce the 14th Amendment's requirement that no person shall be deprived of ... property, without due process of law by allowing victims of state and local seizures to contest forfeitures in federal court. Courts have failed to protect the property of persons who have never been convicted or even charged. Law enforcement agencies have even taken exploited asset forfeiture for profit and to fund/equip their departments. Congress must ensure civil asset forfeiture is immediately abolished. (24 Jul 2008)
The right of law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm is of supreme importance. After all, the criminals carry concealed firearms anywhere they please regardless of the law and are more likely to use those firearms where gun laws are most restrictive. Roughly half a million citizens use their weapons outside their homes to defend themselves every year against those crooks. This constitutionally protected right enables citizens to defend themselves and their families. This right should not stop at an arbitrary line such as a state or county boundary. That's why HR-5782, introduced by Rep. Boozman, is so important. HR-5782, the SAFE Act, expands the reciprocity rights of law-abiding gun owners to carry their firearms across state lines. I urge every member of Congress to cosponsor HR-5782 and ensure it becomes law immediately. (28 May 2008)
Today's prosecutors and legislators seem to like the imposition of felonies primarily as a tool to circumvent the right of the people to own firearms -- not because a given crime is extremely serious. As a taxpayer, I say that putting epoxy in a few door locks, for example, is not a serious enough crime to warrant taking away a teen's gun rights for the rest of his life. But, that is what many politicians are wont to do. There are far more reasonable (and adult) ways to punish these kids. That said, what's happened to the values of our nation and the leadership in our homes when our youth have such a low regard for public or private property that they'd deface or vandalize or paint graffiti? This costs the taxpayer or property owner (that's you, in the future, kids) real money! (26 Apr 2008)
We no longer have a government "of the people, by the people and for the people". It has become a government of the atheistic bureaucrats, by the atheistic bureaucrats, and for the atheistic bureaucrats! The National Park Service has arbitrarily censored a phrase referencing God from a plaque at the Washington Monument. This plaque gives information concerning the Washington Monument. This action by an agency of the federal government not only denies the God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed religious freedoms of Americans, but also helps to establish and encourage anti-Christian bigotry. Congress must immediately pass legislation which prohibits government agencies and employees from censoring the religious heritage or our nation. The National Park Service must immediately replace the current, censored, plaque at the Washington Monument with one that has the full text of the inscription atop the monument. (30 Oct 2007)
Not one right is granted by the US Constitution. Not one. The Constitution does nothing more than describe our form of government and delegate to it certain rights and powers from the people. The Constitution need not list a right in order for that right to exist. It does, however list a few of our rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, to ensure everyone understands the rules. But, the Constitution does not grant those rights -- it simply guarantees the rights we were born with, and prohibits the government from infringing them. The founders based the Constitution on the concept that all personal rights exist inherently and are granted by "the Creator" -- not the king. This is opposite to the principle on which most other governments are based where rights are presumed to be gifts from the king (or the government). Only in those other governments are the rights of the people restricted to those that are listed. For example, the right to drive a car is in the Constitution is in the 9th (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.) and 10th (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.) amendments. It is not up to the citizen to prove the Constitution grants him a right, but rather up to the state to prove where they were granted a "certain power". Where does one find the "power" of the state to license travel or any mode of travel as regards a private citizen? If you cannot find it there, that means the state is illegally licensing privileges that they have no power to do, but are usurping, illegally, the rights of the citizen. Licenses and permits turn the Constitution on it's head making the rights of individuals into privileges that flow from the State rather than the other way around. This concept of rights makes many people (most notably, liberals) uncomfortable, since they don't understand it or prefer a system where they can be the king and control every aspect of people's lives. (21 May 2007)
I am appalled by the disgusting display of censorship at this year's Foothill High School graduation in Henderson, Nevada wherein Valedictorian Brittany McComb was silenced for refusing to read a speech that had been censored by school administrators and the ACLU. Principal Gretchen Crehan must immediately be terminated for her egregious violation of a student's First Amendment rights and for conspiring with the ACLU to restrict the civil rights of a student. All employees of Clark County School District must be given thorough instruction in all aspects of the First Amendment annually. Clark County School District employees must be permanently restricted from imposing their own, or ACLU, interpretation of the First Amendment on students. Clark County School District employees must be permanently prohibited from submitting any student work to the ACLU for approval or to otherwise be politically cleansed. (22 Jun 2006)
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the group that serves up scares about the food we eat, is suing the parent company of KFC over the type of cooking oil the fast-food chain uses to fry its chicken. The Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." To me, happiness is a good piece of fried chicken. The Declaration of Independence says I have a right to that happiness. The Declaration of Independence says I have a right to the "liberty" to make that choice. I am a fairly intelligent person and feel like I can make an informed choice on the matter. And that's the key: We all know that fried foods are unhealthy. The lawyers and judges need back off and let us make that informed choice -- for ourselves! By the way, I haven't had a decent french fry since the do-gooders made fast-food restaurants stop cooking fries in lard. What's the point of living a healthier life for an extra 6 months if I get no happiness in what I'm eating? The CSPI should go back to eating its tofu and leave my fried chicken alone! (15 Jun 2006)
Due to the failures of government schools combined with a conscious effort by some people to distort the truth, few Americans understand that the US Constitution was established by "we the people," that
we granted to the government certain limited powers, and that WE retained our rights while delegating a few to the government. Our founding fathers worked under the concept that our rights are inherent and inalienable and come from our "Creator," not from the king, as in most other governments. The US Constitution does NOT grant rights to us. The Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) does NOT grant us rights. They only clarify that the government is prohibited from infringing on our rights. Chief among the ignorant on this issue are lawyers, educators, politicians, and journalists -- generally well-educated people who clearly ought to know better. (8 Jun 2006)
Some seem to think that banning flag-burning deprives us of freedom of speech. Based on that logic, so does banning cross-burning in the front yards of blacks. Freedom of speech, as envisioned by our founding fathers, is intended to ensure free political discourse and the unfettered exchange of opinions, ideas, and philosophies contributing to the betterment of mankind -- not vandalism or pornography or desecration of sacred objects or political indoctrination of children in government schools. The idea that a handful of activist judges have twisted the US Constitution does not change that fact. (25 Mar 2006)
For most of its history,
the federal government had all the money necessary to perform its
constitutionally-limited role. Since 1942 we have had a steadily growing
corporate (which is ultimately paid by the consumer) and personal income tax.
Why, if the nation did fine with no income tax during most of its history, do we
need an income tax now? It is not because our constitutionally-limited
government needs the money. It is because, as Meyer Jacobstein, of the Brookings
Institution, testified to a Senate subcommittee, it is necessary to mop up the
excess purchasing power of the community...because of its effect on the price
situation.... In other words, it is to ensure that the successful don't have
too much money and to redistribute their surplus to government bureaucrats and
to the non-productive. (26 Mar 2009)
As a middle-class taxpayer, I oppose the proposed economic stimulus package, especially any middle-class taxpayer tax rebate. The best way for Congress to stimulate the economy is to get out of the way of the economy. Congressional actions and inactions defy logic and impede development of natural resources such as petroleum, coal, and timber. Simultaneously, Congress stifles job creation in the private sector through over-regulation, over-taxation, and excessive bureaucracy. Instead of issuing bogus "rebate" checks to Americans, Congress must instigate immediate, substantial, constant, and permanent cuts in taxes, bureaucratic size and power, and take control of the regulatory process from the bureaucrats. Congress must immediately allow and encourage safe and clean development of our natural resources including timber, oil, coal, and minerals. Congress must cease to use subsidies to underwrite non-viable efforts such as welfare and other income-redistribution programs, ethanol, solar and wind power, and hybrid and electric cars. If Congress will simply respect, follow, support and defend the Constitution as written and intended by the founders, all this will be accomplished and the nation will get all the "economic stimulus" it needs. I urge Congress and the Whitehouse to aggressively oppose the proposed, so-called economic stimulus package, especially any middle-class taxpayer tax rebate. (22 Jul 2008)
Thanks to Democrat Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and even GOP Senator Richard Lugar, the globalists who support the United Nations are at it again -- and this time, they may actually succeed in imposing UN taxes directly on the American people! The "Global Poverty Act" (S-2433/HR-1302), sponsored by Senator Barack Obama, was quickly passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 13. If enacted this bill will commit the US to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal $65 billion over and above what the US already spends each year! This global tax is a small part of the "United Nations Millennium Declaration" which commits nations to banning "small arms and light weapons" and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty (to try American soldiers for "war crimes"), the Kyoto Protocol (the global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity (to give the UN power over US land), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (to force the feminist agenda on the US), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (to take away the parental rights of American moms and dads). The "Millennium Declaration" also affirms the UN as "the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development." The "Global Poverty Act" (S-2433/HR-1302) must not pass! I expect my congressmen to vote no on the anti-American "Global Poverty Act". (19 Feb 2008)
HR-3818, the "Taxpayer Choice Act," will prevent automatic tax increases by immediately and completely repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and to establish a highly simplified alternative to the current individual income tax. When the AMT was created in 1969, as a mandatory add-on to the existing tax code, it was aimed at preventing just 155 wealthy taxpayers from exploiting loopholes in the tax code to escape their legitimate tax obligations. However, partly because it was never indexed for inflation, the AMT next year will subject close to 30 million more taxpayers to an automatic tax increase -- ensnaring many middle-income Americans who dutifully pay their taxes with a stealth tax increase that was never intended! If left unaddressed, over the next ten years the AMT will impose $841 billion in higher taxes, largely on middle-income families. Under current tax law, for instance, in tax year 2007, about 70 percent of married taxpayers (with children) earning $75,000 to $100,000 will be subject to AMT. A substantial portion of congressmen say they agree the AMT is unfair and needs to be repealed. But, since so many of those same greedy politicians don't want to give up this windfall revenue, nothing is being done. We need congressmen with the courage to do what is right for the people! Congress must immediately pass HR-3818, the "Taxpayer Choice Act," to prevent automatic tax increases by immediately and completely repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). (3 Jan 2008)
As a retired career military veteran, I support HR 5881, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Marshal on 25 Jul 2006. This legislation would be included in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act to be negotiated this month. Among other things HR 5881 would:
Repeal the 11 year phase in of CRDP (Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay) such that everybody receives full benefit. This would benefit some 85,000 retirees with rated disabilities between 50 and 90%.
Extend CRDP to those with less than 50% disability. This would benefit some 375,000 retirees now receiving no benefit from CRDP.
Extend CRDP (but apparently not CRSC) to Chapter 61 retirees. This would benefit some 188,000 Chapter 61 medical disability retirees. Chapter 61 ranks are now being filled with many young retirees from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Extend CRSC (Combat Related Special Compensation - 10 USC Section 1413a) to TERA retirees.
Repeal the 4 year phase in of CRDP for IU (Individually Unemployable) such that everybody receives full benefit. This would benefit some 28,000 retirees with disabilities between 50 and 90% who are compensated by the VA at the 100% level.
The argument that the Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay for all disable veterans it too expensive is hogwash. No retired disabled veteran, even those with only a 10% disability, should be asked to shoulder a larger portion of the national budget than a disabled retiree who is not a veteran. It's all about simple fairness. (11 Sep 2006)
It is my understanding that over 50 law-enforcement agencies have been created since 1900. Why do we need dozens of different Federal law enforcement agencies (i.e. FBI, Secret Service, US Marshals, DEA, ATF, Border Patrol, etc.)? Many of these agencies have overlapping responsibilities and jurisdictions as well as redundant bureaucracies. It seems to me that most or all of these agencies could, and should, be consolidated to achieve significant improvement in efficiency and savings to the taxpayer. (7 May 2006)
The only truly fair tax I can think of would be a 100% tax on all forms of income, perks and benefits in excess of $200,000 from any source received by members of Congress. This tax on members of Congress must not be indexed, must continue after the Congressman leaves office, and must not be altered without the concurrence of 75% of registered voters. Failing that, Congress must immediately replace the entire present multi-layered conglomeration of corporate and personal taxes with a single, easy-to-understand tax that is fully transparent and visible. (6 May 2004)
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God." The Judicial Oath, USC Title 28, Section 453. By her actions, past judicial rulings, past public statements, and current statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has made it clear that she is unwilling and unable to live up to her oath as a judge. Therefore, she is unfit to be a judge at any level. Judge Sotomayor likes to say she bases her judgments on precedents (but ignores the law of the land -- the US Constitution). She is very selective about which precedents she cites -- she seems to prefer pick precedents that conflict with individual rights and with the US Constitution. This woman is profoundly lazy and sloppy in the performance of her judicial responsibilities -- even the Supreme Court has ruled several times that her judgments are poor. She was evasive and vague even when asked to articulate basic constitutional issues. Being vague is hardly unique to Judge Sotomayor in a confirmation hearing, but I can remember Justice Roberts being able to cleanly articulate constitutional principles without too much trouble and could even differentiate between the roles of politicians and judges. Judge Sotomayor is apparently incapable of even that. To me, she appears to be so grossly uniformed that I am surprised she even passed the bar exam. For example, when Senator Tom Coburn asked her, "Is there a constitutional right to self-defense?" Judge Sotomayor said that was an "abstract question" and that she couldn't think of a Supreme Court case that addressed that issue. When pressed, she equated self-defense with vigilantism! She is extremely dangerous on so many levels -- but, especially, on basic human rights. How can the Senate confirm a judge to the US Supreme Court who does not believe in rights that are explicitly stated and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights? If I, an airline captain, were to do my job as poorly as Judge Sotomayor does hers, I'd be dead. Is this really the best judge that Obama can find to sit on the Supreme Court? Incredible! She must be removed from the bench -- not promoted! (15 Jul 2009)
Any judge who uses the terms "empathy" and claims the court "is where policy is made" to describe his or her role is unfit for the job. Any judge who does not understand, respect, and follow the concept of "rule of law" and make judgments based on the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land is unfit for the job. Her judgment is so poor, that a majority of her decisions that have gone on to the US Supreme Court have been overturned (including a recent case on racial discrimination)! This further indicates that she is has a shallow understanding of, an low regard for, the US Constitution and is apparently incapable of the depth of thought and study necessary to be a good judge. I urge you to aggressively oppose the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice. Instead, I urge you to demand the president nominate only "originalist" judges who will not impose their own (or the president's) agenda on their decisions. Compromise is giving in to the enemies of liberty. There must be no compromise! (7 Jul 2009 )
I am deeply concerned by the direction in which the federal judiciary has gone in recent decades. Far too many judges have been nominated and confirmed based on some divisive "litmus test" such as gun rights or abortion rights. The only correct "litmus test" that should be applied is a deeply-held respect for the US Constitution and those laws that fully comply with the original intent of the Constitution. I urge the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate to expedite confirmation of judicial nominees who have a solid record of applying the original intent of the Constitution and halt consideration of all pending judicial nominees from any administration who are hostile to any individual liberty guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (29 May 2008)
I am deeply disappointed that several Dumocrat senators chose to vote against Judge Leslie H. Southwick to fill a seat on the Fifth Circuit. As they well know, Judge Southwick is perfectly qualified for the position and has a record of fairness and respect for the law and the Constitution. I am aware that of a couple of the thousands of decisions he has made were, in the opinion of the politically-correct crowd, controversial. However, I'm sure any reasonable person will agree that his judgment in those two cases was correct and fair to the parties involved. At least the Dumocrat vote was consistent with the infamous Schumer comment about Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito: "He's qualified, but he's out of the mainstream....He's stuck in the past. He believes the Constitution means what it says." Senators must make all decisions regarding judicial nominees based on the judge's professional qualifications and his/her respect for the Constitution -- not on whether he is politically correct (politically cleansed). (30 Oct 2007)
Several months ago, a woman was hired to dance at an off-campus party thrown by a Duke University lacrosse team. Members of the team have been charged in the alleged rape of that stripper -- even though there is no evidence that links them or any other of the 46 white team members (the intoxicated black stripper said her three attackers were white) or even that an assault actually happened! Even DNA failed to link the men to the alleged attack. All members of the team have cooperated with the investigation. In spite of the complete lack of evidence, the prosecutor continues to hound these young men. This ordeal has forever changed the life of each team member, especially those who have been charged, no matter what happens from here on out. One of the accused said the accuser "has destroyed everything I worked for in my life" and "split apart a community and a nation on facts that just didn't happen and a lie that should never have been told." This case clearly points out the need for stiffer penalties for making false allegations. The penalty for a false charge should be equal to the penalty for the charge itself. Likewise, the penalty for knowingly pursuing a false prosecution should be equal to the penalty for the charge itself. If an innocent Duke student has the chance of going to jail for life, his accuser and the prosecutor should be willing to face the same penalty for a false accusation. (16 Oct 2006)