Revere the Constitution -- Yet Repeal the Second Amendment?

by Will

Liberty Minute November 21 2013

Professor Mary Penrose of the Texas A&M University School of Law claims that she is “extremely passionate about” the U.S. Constitution – except for that vexatious Second Amendment, which she says proves that the document is  archaic and badly in need of drastic revision.

During a symposium on gun control and the Second Amendment at the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Professor Penrose insisted that the Second Amendment should be repealed. Despite her professed devotion to the Constitution, Penrose said that it is odd that Americans cling to what she described as a document “driven by 18th Century concerns” – such as the “fear of a standing army,” which is what she describes as the primary motivation behind the Second Amendment.

Insisting that gun violence must be addressed through “drastic measures,” she says the Second Amendment should be repealed and replaced by a “states’ rights” model that will allow states to decide whether personal firearms ownership should be restricted.

The right to armed self-defense would exist even if the Second Amendment did not. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to impose on that right – and any government that would disarm the citizenry is eminently worthy of being overthrown.

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

When Cops are Sore Losers, Innocent People Get Hurt

by Will

Liberty Minute November 20, 2013

A California Highway Patrol officer avenged a courtroom loss by stealing three years of an innocent man’s  life.

In January 2007, CHP Officer Mark Magrann stopped a driver who was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour. The driver, who had a United Kingdom driver’s license, disappeared. At a trial six months later, Magrann claimed he was “98 percent sure” that Kendell Wilkinson was the driver. Wilkinson produced a driver’s license documenting that he was not the speeder, and was acquitted.

Magrann, offended by what he called Wilkinson’s “arrogance,” obtained a search warrant for the man’s home, determined to find the UK driver’s license. The search proved fruitless – but the officer and his comrades didn’t relent. They persuaded the Orange County DA to charge Wilkinson with perjury. In the second trial, Wilkinson was able to prove that he wasn’t in California on the date of the incident, and that the driver was actually a distant relative. But Magrann brow-beat a credulous jury into believing that Wilkinson must be guilty because of previous traffic tickets on his record. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years’ probation.

The verdict was eventually reversed on the grounds of double jeopardy – but only after a lengthy, expensive, and unwarranted ordeal.

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

"Officer Friendly" Opens Fire on a Minivan Full of Kids

by Will

Liberty Minute November 19, 2013

Rihanna Ferrell, who was driving a minivan in the company of her five children, was stopped by a New Mexico State Police trooper for violating the speed limit. After the officer returned to his car, Ferrell drove away for a short distance, then stopped again. When the officer attempted to arrest her, the oldest of her children — her 14-year-old son — came to his mother’s aid when an armed stranger violently laid hands on her.

Several other officers arrived and laid siege to the family’s vehicle, breaking windows and terrorizing the children. Ferrell took off again, prompting one of the officers to fire several shots into the rear of the vehicle. Following an extremely dangerous chase, Ferrell eventually pulled over and surrendered. She has been charged with child abuse. The officer who shot her vehicle should be charged with attempted criminal homicide.

The actions of the mother may be considered intemperate and irresponsible. However, the behavior of the police in this episode was close kindred to that of occupation forces in Iraq who would often fire indiscriminately into vehicles that refused to stop at checkpoints. Nothing Ferrell did justified the use of deadly force that put her children at risk.

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

Recall -- and Prosecute -- Ada County's Criminal Sheriff

by Will

Liberty Minute November 18 2013

Last May 21, Idaho State Legislator Mark Patterson sent a letter to Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney demanding information on the sheriff’s potentially illegal lobbying efforts against a gun rights bill he opposed. The following day Raney sent Patterson a letter revoking his concealed carry license, claiming that Patterson had lied on his application by failing to disclose a withheld judgment on a felony charge nearly 40 years ago.

A withheld judgment is not a conviction, and once a term of probation ends the charge is expunged from the record. An applicant who has a withheld judgment is eligible to receive a concealed carry license, and is not legally required to disclose the matter in any case.

Patterson was accused of serious crimes four decades ago, but he was acquitted. Now 61 years old, Patterson is a successful businessman and a devoted family man.

Raney’s revocation of Patterson’s permit was clearly retaliatory. He disclosed confidential information obtained through an FBI background check to the Idaho Statesman newspaper – which is illegal.

Ada County cannot have a sheriff who behaves like a commissar. Gary Raney must be recalled from office and prosecuted for his crimes.

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

Turning the National Guard into an Engine of Subversion?

by Will

Liberty Minute November 15 2013

Following a recent Supreme Court decision that supposedly legitimized the novel institution called homosexual marriage, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a directive extending marriage benefits to individuals identified as same-sex spouses of National Guard soldiers.

Most states still do not recognize the validity of so-called same-sex marriages. However, only six states – Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia – have refused to implement the Pentagon directive. Officials in those states maintain that extending benefits to same-sex couples is impermissible under state laws, which apply to their respective National Guard units.

As Dr. Allan Carlson of the Howard Center points out, the United States military could be considered the single greatest source of cultural subversion in American society. It is, in his phrase, "an engine of social change," including radical alterations of conventional mores and the structure of the traditional family.

Although the National Guard is still considered a select state militia, it has been fully subsumed into the federal military, and nearly all of its funding comes from Washington.  This means that the Guard, rather than defending states against federal encroachments, could be used as a weapon against the states by radical social engineers.

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

Jury Nullification vs. The Prison Industry

by Will

Liberty Minute November 14 2013

America’s prison industry has reached another thoroughly regrettable milestone.

Commentator Saki Knafo observes: “If sitting in a prison cell was a job, it would be one of the most common jobs in the United States. In 2012, there were some 1,570,000 inmates in state and federal prisons in the U.S., according to data from the Justice Department. By contrast, there were about 1,530,000 engineers in America last year, 815,000 construction workers, and 1 million high school teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

This comparison omits those who are in county jails, as well as on probation and parole. Once these groups are included, the total, as of 2009, swells to an estimated 7.1 million Americans – one out of every 31 people living in this country.

The most significant factor abetting the growth of the prison population is the so-called war on drugs. It is also quite common for prosecutors to pursue punishment for trivial infractions – such as the recent case of Texas resident Jory Enck, who was arrested and jailed for an overdue library book.

Perhaps the only thing that can arrest the growth of the prison industry would be fully informed juries who understand, and exercise, their authority to nullify the application of unjust laws.

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

Political Racketeering in New Jersey

by Will

Liberty Minute November 13 2013

Mark Halper and his 14 children once ran a dairy farm on 75 acres outside of Piscataway, New Jersey.

In 1999, a clique of local political officials and well-connected business interests staged a brazen land grab in the name of “eminent domain.” The town issued a “taking” in 2004, which led to the family being driven off their farm.

One member of that clique, David D’Amiano, approached Halper in 2005 and tried to extract a $40,000 bribe in exchange for using his influence with then-Governor James McGreevey to increase the amount paid for the farm. Halper recorded the conversation, which was used as evidence by then-US Attorney Chris Christie. D’Amiano was a major fundraiser for McGreevey, and his trial and conviction helped bring down the incumbent governor – and propel Christie into the governor’s mansion.

The amount paid to the Halper family – which has spent millions in legal fees -- was a fraction of what the land was worth. After being seized the property was used as a dumping ground. Cleaning it up will cost at least $1.5 million. Halper says that the family has been abandoned by  Christie, who used them as one of many rungs on his political ladder as he climbs to the White House.

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

Shouldn't the Government Pledge Allegiance to Us?

by Will

Liberty Minute November 12 2013                                  

A teacher in Spring Hill, Florida, was recently suspended for trying to force a fourth-grader to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance against his religious convictions. This is a case where the teacher needed to learn from the student.

The term “Liege” is a noun describing a lord or ruler. When one professes allegiance, that individual is submitting to a Liege.

In America, Thomas Paine famously said, the law is king. Many who fought in the War for Independence embraced the slogan, “No king but King Jesus.” In a constitutional republic founded on “the laws of nature and Nature’s God,” citizens are not subjects. This is one reason why many genuinely patriotic Americans object to the Pledge of Allegiance – the original version of which was written by a socialist-leaning nationalist who wanted to institutionalize loyalty to the central government in Washington.

Many atheists object to the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge, which in the absence of that phrase would make the government the central focus of the citizen’s devotion.  But honorable people of many backgrounds take issue with the way in which the Pledge seems to make the citizens subordinate to a government that is supposed to be their servant, rather than their master.

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

Ten Days in Jail -- for Stealing 25 Years from an Innocent Man

by Will

LibertyMinute November 11 2013

Michael Morton spent a quarter-century in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Former Williamson County, Texas District Attorney Ken Anderson deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence during Morton’s trial. His successor in the prosecutor’s office, John Bradley, spent years obstructing attempts to conduct the DNA tests that eventually led to Morton’s exoneration.

By the time Morton was set free, the corrupt DA who had prosecuted him had become a District Judge.  Last week,Andersonwas forced to resign as judge and surrender his license to practice law. He was also required to spend ten days in jail as punishment for the crime of withholding evidence.

Ten days in jail is a sentence of the kind imposed for the most trivial misdemeanors. By imprisoning an innocent man,Andersoncommitted fraud upon the court, perjury, subornation of perjury, kidnapping, and torture. He should spend the rest of his life in prison, and surrender all of his assets to make restitution to his victim.

The trivial sentence imposed on Andersonillustrates the gap separating the privileged punitive class from the rest of society. Even more infuriating is the fact that Anderson is the first prosecutor to be punished in any way for wrongfully convicting an innocent victim.

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

Benjamin Franklin, Terrorist Lover

by Will

Liberty Minute November 8 2013

According to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Benjamin Franklin was an irresponsible extremist for placing a higher value on liberty than security.

In an interview with NewsMax, Dershowitz declared:

“Benjamin Franklin was wrong when he said those who give up any privacy or rights in the name of security deserved neither. That’s nonsense. That’s hyperbole. That’s extremism.”

Actually, the perspective Dershowitz finds so objectionable is Americanism, something both incomprehensible and offensive to him. Professor Dershowitz accuses those who share Franklin’s perspective of being “extreme radicals who hate America and love terrorism” – a charge that, presumably, would make defending the Bill of Rights a form of seditious treason.

Over the past several years, Dershowitz has promoted a doctrine called “pre-emption” in which the government can do pretty much anything it pleases in the name of fighting an open-ended war against an amorphous enemy. He has loudly supported the practice of torture, which he wants to institutionalize, and expounded a doctrine of collective guilt in which the population of any nation targeted by the U.S. or Israel is considered combatants unless they actively oppose their country’s government.

It would be comforting to think that Professor Dershowitz is an anomaly, but his deranged views are very much in line with official policy.

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

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