The Western States Revolt Begins

by Will

Liberty Minute April 14 2014

After a week-long standoff in the southern Nevada desert, the BLM announced that it would return cattle that had been confiscated from rancher Cliven Bundy. Mr. Bundy, whose family has operated cattle ranches in southeastern Nevada since the 1870s, insists that the federal government has no constitutional authority to own grazing lands in Clark County. For more than 20 years Bundy has refused to pay fees to the BLM, maintaining that the agency had usurped county and state authority.

Whatever else can be said about Bundy’s business practices, his constitutional analysis is unassailable.  Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution specifies and limits the purposes for which the federal government can acquire public land. There is no grant of power for Washington to claim vast expanses of territory within the western states. In spite of this, the federal government owns roughly half of the aggregate acreage in the 11 coterminous western states.

Since the 1990s, federal regulatory agencies like the BLM have been driving ranchers, loggers, miners, and other entrepreneurs from so-called “public” lands in the name of protecting the habitat of threatened species. Cliven Bundy is the only rancher in his part of Nevada to stand up to the federal land grab. And his struggle isn’t over.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Imposing Involuntary Servitude in the name of "Tolerance"

by Will

Liberty Minute April 11

 

Elane Huguenin, a wedding photographer from New Mexico, was arraigned before that state’s “human rights” soviet for politely declining to provide her services to a lesbian couple planning a “commitment ceremony.”

The couple had no difficulty finding another photographer willing to accept payment for that service. Thanks to their punitive impulses – and the totalitarian “public accommodations” law in that state – they were able to use money extracted from Huguenin in the form of fines in order to pay for their photographs.

In declining the couple’s business, Elane Huguenin did not injure or defraud anybody. The same is true of Antonio Darden, a gay hairdresser from Santa Fe who earned nation-wide publicity a couple of years ago when he announced that he would not accept business from New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez because she is an opponent of same-sex marriage.

Both Huguenin and Darden sought to exercise their property rights by declining proposed business transactions. Only Darden was permitted to do so, because he – unlike Huguenin – belongs to a “specially protected” class, one that can compel others to provide services to them.

The US Supreme Court has declined Hugeunin’s appeal, tacitly ratifying involuntary servitude in the name of “tolerance.” 

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

The State's All-Seeing Eyes

by Will

Liberty Minute April 10 2014

 

Sheriff's deputies in Kootenai County, Idaho detained a teenager from Arizona at a rest stop on suspicion of being a runaway. The girl managed to slip free of her handcuffs and commandeer the vehicle, leading police on a brief chase before being stopped in a dead-end road and being taken into custody once again.

 

The most interesting – and ominous – aspect of this story is the way the girl was identified by the officers: According to Lt. Mike McFarland of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, a license plate reader along Interstate 90 identified a plate that was “associated” with two juveniles from Chandler, Arizona who had gone missing.

 

Automatic License Plate Recognition systems are widely in use by police nation-wide. These passive devices, which are tied in to comprehensive databases, routinely scan the license plates of every car they encounter, and produce detailed information about people connected to the vehicles. Motorola, which manufactures one such system, boasts that they are a “force multiplier that helps generate revenue, enhance officer safety, and improve intelligence capabilities.”

 

They also accelerate our country's already-rapid descent into a surveillance society.

 

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

America Emulates Our Worst Enemies

by Will

Liberty Minute April 9 2014

After former Vice President Dick Cheney reiterated his claim that waterboarding isn’t torture, Independent Senator Angus Young of Vermont offered a perfectly reasonable suggestion.

Speaking in an interview with MSNBC, Senator King exclaimed: “If [Cheney] doesn’t think that was torture, I would invite him anywhere in the United States to sit in a waterboard and go through what those people went through…. That was torture by anybody’s definition. John McCain said it’s torture, and I think he’s in a better position to know that than Vice President Cheney.”

Senator McCain, who was shot down over North Vietnam, was tortured by his captors. The North Vietnamese contended that the US war was one of aggression, and claimed that this meant all American POWs were unlawful enemy combatants deprived of protection under the Geneva Conventions.

Decades later, the Bush administration – headed by two men who avoided combat in Vietnam – appropriated essentially the same argument made by the North Vietnamese Communists and applied it to terrorism suspects who were subjected to waterboarding, a torture method later used by the Communist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Edmund Burke warned that “Criminal means, once tolerated, are soon preferred.” Unless the criminals who tortured in our name are punished, the evil they did will continue to metastasize.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

How Does a Citizen Protect Herself from a Uniformed Stalker?

by Will

Liberty Minute April 8 2014

Sherri Watson is a 48-year-old mother of two who lives with her husband and children in the tiny town of Genola, Utah. With great reluctance, Sherri and her family are selling the house her father built and leaving the state. It’s the only way she can protect her family, which faces a constant threat of violence from the local police.

A few years ago, Sherri was targeted for harassment by a police officer named Chad Black, who is employed in the nearby city of Orem. The harassment apparently was punishment for a reckless driving complaint she filed against a friend of Black who is now a member of the Orem PD. Although Sherri has never committed a criminal act or threatened anybody, Black persuaded a judge to issue a protective order treating her as a stalker.

Every time Black or a family member sees Sherri, a police complaint is filed that could lead to imprisonment. Her home has been raided by police several times. Although Black is forbidden to have any contact with Sherri, he goes out of his way to drive by her house every day, as if to taunt and torment the innocent woman he has made a prisoner in her own home.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

The Reign of "Repressive Tolerance" Begins

by Will

Liberty Minute April 7 2014

Forty years ago, Marxist academic Herbert Marcuse devised a doctrine called “Repressive Tolerance” in which the concept of tolerance was weaponized in the service of cultural revolution. While revolutionaries were out of power, Marcuse taught, they should demand tolerance from those who defend traditional values and institutions. Once in power, however, the revolutionaries were to abolish tolerance for those with whom they disagree.

As Marcuse wrote: “Liberating tolerance … would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the left.” Officially sanctioned intolerance would include suppression of “discussion and propaganda, of deed as well of word.” That is to say that there would be no freedom of speech for those who peacefully express opinions now deemed to be reactionary.

Marcuse’s doctrine of “repressive tolerance” was put on display recently when Brendan Eich, the former CEO of the Mozilla computer technology company was forced to resign because of a small donation he made several years ago on behalf of California’s ballot Proposition 8. That measure defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Eich was targeted as a thought criminal by a revolutionary clique that left-wing entertainer Bill Maher calls the “gay mafia.” He won’t be the last.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

The Regime's War on Natural Food

by Will

Liberty Minute April 5 2014

About five years ago, I suffered a very serious gastrointestinal disorder that came respectably close to killing me. This condition, which made me pass nearly my entire blood volume over the course of about five days, was produced by an imbalance in my intestinal flora that often results from the use of antibiotics.

During a recent trip to Utah, I started experiencing symptoms suggesting a relapse of that condition. To treat them, I asked a friend to obtain a quantity of raw – that is, unpasteurized – milk, which contains natural bacteria that can help restore the balance of intestinal flora. Within a few hours the symptoms disappeared.

My friend told me that to purchase raw milk it was necessary to provide detailed personal information and sign a lengthy disclaimer. This is because the FDA treats this this natural, wholesome food as if it were a harmful substance. The Feds have been actively persecuting farmers who sell raw milk to willing, informed customers.

The same totalitarian presumption that brought us the War on Drugs has led to the Regime’s war on unapproved natural food. Both of those tyrannical campaigns assume that government can prohibit something that informed people freely choose to consume.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Perverting Judgment on behalf of a Predatory Pervert

by Will

Liberty Minute for April 4 2014

Rape is a violent crime, and child rape is among the most abhorrent acts found within the compass of fallen man’s depravity. Assuming that prisons should exist, men who sexually molest children deserve to fill them, and judges generally aren’t reluctant to send them there.

Delaware resident Robert H. Richards IV pleaded guilty several years ago to raping his three-year-old daughter. The presiding judge in that case, Jan Jurden, decided not to send Richards – a 47-year-old man who stands six-feet, four inches tall and weighs roughly 275 pounds – to prison, insisting that he “will not fare well” in that environment. Instead, he was placed on probation and assigned to undergo sex offender treatment. Now Richards’ ex-wife accuses him of molesting his son.

The sentence, which was recently made public by attorneys for Richards’ ex-wife, stunned the legal community in Delaware, given that Judge Jurden is regarded as hawkish and inclined to impose maximum penalties. One likely explanation for this uncharacteristic leniency is the fact that Richards is an heir to the DuPont fortune, and is supported by an immense trust fund.

Innocent poor men suffer in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the crimes to which this wealthy man pleaded guilty.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Perverting Judgment on behalf of a Predatory Pervert

by Will

Liberty Minute April 3 2014

Two years ago, Chicago-area voters reelected a criminal court judge named Cynthia Brim despite the fact that she was declared legally insane. Her state-certified mental illness was the only thing that kept Brim from being sent to jail for assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.

Judge Brim, who shoved the deputy during what was described as a manic episode, was found not guilty of battery by reason of insanity. The day before that incident, she indulged in a lengthy, incoherent rant during a session of traffic court.

Suspended after the battery charge was filed against her, Brim was reelected two weeks later. And given the character of Chicago politics, it’s not surprising that she continued to receive her $182,000 salary during the two years she has been suspended from the bench.

Brim spent several hours on March 28 arguing to a Judicial Inquiry Board that she is fit to serve as a judge, despite her diagnosed condition and the fact that she is on several strong prescription medications.

While wishing Cynthia Brim well, she should not be allowed to reclaim a job that requires sober judgment. And her campaign for reinstatement illustrates that she, like too many others in her profession, sees her position as an entitlement, rather than a duty.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

Justice Should be Blind, Not Crazy

by Will

Liberty Minute April 3 2014

Two years ago, Chicago-area voters reelected a criminal court judge named Cynthia Brim despite the fact that she was declared legally insane. Her state-certified mental illness was the only thing that kept Brim from being sent to jail for assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.

Judge Brim, who shoved the deputy during what was described as a manic episode, was found not guilty of battery by reason of insanity. The day before that incident, she indulged in a lengthy, incoherent rant during a session of traffic court.

Suspended after the battery charge was filed against her, Brim was reelected two weeks later. And given the character of Chicago politics, it’s not surprising that she continued to receive her $182,000 salary during the two years she has been suspended from the bench.

Brim spent several hours on March 28 arguing to a Judicial Inquiry Board that she is fit to serve as a judge, despite her diagnosed condition and the fact that she is on several strong prescription medications.

While wishing Cynthia Brim well, she should not be allowed to reclaim a job that requires sober judgment. And her campaign for reinstatement illustrates that she, like too many others in her profession, sees her position as an entitlement, rather than a duty.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 166 >>