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Their America, and Ours

November 3, 2017

Patrick J. Buchanan

11/3/2017

Source …..

“Meet you at Peace Cross.”

In northwest D.C. in the 1950s, that was an often-heard comment among high schoolers headed for Ocean City.

The Peace Cross, in Bladensburg, Maryland, was a 40-feet concrete memorial to the 49 sons of Prince George’s County lost in the Great War. Paid for by county families and the American Legion, it had stood since 1925.

Before the Beltway was built, Peace Cross, at the junction of U.S. Route 1 and Maryland Route 450, was a landmark to us all.

Last month, two federal judges from the 4th Circuit ruled that Peace Cross “excessively entangles the government and religion” and must come down. A suggested compromise was to saw the arms off, so the monument ceases to be an offensive cross.

One wonders: At what moment did Peace Cross begin to violate the Constitution?

Answer: Never. No alteration has been made to the cross in a century. The change has come in the minds of intolerant judges and alienated elites where the dirty creek of anti-Christian bigotry now flows into the polluted stream of anti-Americanism.

Both are manifest in the rampage to rip down memorials to the men who brought Western Civilization to the New World and made America the great and good country we were blessed to inherit.

Monday, on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show, White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man,” who chose to defend the people among whom he had been raised.

“It was always loyalty to state first in those days,” said Kelly, when asked his view on Alexandria’s Episcopal Church taking down plaques to its greatest parishioners, Lee and George Washington.

An explosion of outrage greeted Kelly’s defense of Lee.

Yet, what has changed in half a century? As Ingraham noted, FDR, an icon of liberalism, referred to Lee as “one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen.”

Asked in 1960 how he could keep a portrait of a man who tried to “destroy our government” in his Oval Office, President Eisenhower wrote his critic back:

“General Robert E. Lee was one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history…

“To the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

“Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.”

Have some terrible new truths been unearthed about Lee we did not know in 1960?

No. The change has taken place in the poisoned minds of modernity.

Some will never concede there was principle or honor in the cause of a South that declared independence in 1860-61, emulating the 13 colonies that declared their independence in 1776.

In his tribute to Lee in 1960, Ike addressed what was at issue in 1860 that brought on the war.

“We need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.”

Ike refers not to a “Civil War,” but to the “War Between the States.” And correctly so. For the South did not seek to bring down the U.S. government, or overturn Lincoln’s election, or seize power in the capital — but to leave the Union, to secede, as Jefferson and John Adams voted to secede from Britain in 1776.

Asked on Fox News about what is happening today with the public insults to our national anthem and the desecration of our monuments, Justice Clarence Thomas raises questions being asked by many Americans:

“What binds us? What do we all have in common anymore? … We always talk about E pluribus unum. What’s our unum now? We have the pluribus. What’s the unum?”

The spirit that produced the war in the 1860s, and lasting division in the 1960s, is abroad again. A great secession of the heart is underway.

 

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America’s Hamiltonian Empire of Lies

November 3, 2017

Tom DiLorenzo

10/15/2017

Source …..

In his essay, “Anatomy of the State,” Murray Rothbard wrote of how states preserve their power with a number of tools, most notably an alliance with “intellectuals.”  In return for power, positions, and pelf, the “intellectuals” work diligently to persuade “the majority” that “their government is good, wise and, at least, inevitable.”  This is the “the vital stock task of the intellectuals.”  The “molding of opinion” is what “the State most desperately needs” if it is to maintain is powers, wrote Rothbard.  The citizens themselves do not invent theories of the benevolent state; that is the job of the “intellectuals.”

In his outstanding new book, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America (foreword by Ron Paul), historian Brion McClanahan explains with sterling scholarship how one “intellectual” in particular, Alexander Hamilton, invented out of whole cloth a mythical founding of the American state that bears no resemblance at all to the actual, historical founding.  His intellectual successors, most notably Supreme Court justices John Marshall, Joseph Story, and Hugo Black, cemented this myth of the benevolent, consolidated, monopolistic state through decades of legal opinions based on a mountain of lies.

This of course is exactly what John C. Calhoun observed during his time when he wrote in his 1850 Disquisition on Government that a written constitution would inevitably be “rewritten” by “the party of government” in a way that would neuter it as a source of limitations on governmental powers.

Hamilton has become “the new hero of the Left,” writes McClanahan, for the Left has finally realized that he was “the architect of modern big government in America,” something that many conservatives have long failed to realize.  Hamilton’s voluminous writings formed the bedrock for generations of legalistic arguments that perverted the Constitution and created the “insane modern leftist legal world.”  It was Hamilton and his ideological heirs who invented the “loose construction” and “implied powers” theories of the constitution, which has so “screwed up” America.

McClanahan shows what a duplicitous liar Hamilton was, speaking out of both sides of his mouth, saying one thing in his Federalist Papers essays, and then spending the rest of his life doing exactly the opposite.  He defended states’ rights and federalism in these essays but when pressed by Jefferson and Madison, he “would often backtrack and advance positions he favored during the Philadelphia Convention, namely for a supreme central authority with virtually unlimited power, particularly for the executive branch.”  This was “the real Hamilton,” who “made a habit of lying when the need arose.”

It was Hamilton who first spread the outrageous, ahistorical lie that the states were never sovereign and that the Constitution was somehow ratified by “the whole people” and not by state conventions, as required by Article 7 of the Constitution itself.  It was Hamilton who Calhoun must have been thinking about when he warned of “intellectuals” reinterpreting the constitution in a way that would essentially destroy it.  Hamilton’s lifelong goal, as McClanahan demonstrates, was to subjugate the citizens of the states to the central government and render the states irrelevant and powerless.  The most Hamiltonian of all presidents, Abraham Lincoln, finally achieved this goal.

The Machiavellian Hamilton as Treasury Secretary assumed the state war debts as a means of creating a giant system of political patronage.  He put unemployed war veterans on the dole, thereby initiating the American welfare state.  He led an invasion of Pennsylvania with 15,000 conscripts to attempt to put down the Whiskey Rebellion.  Nothing came of his invasion since all the whiskey tax “rebels” were pardoned by George Washington.  Nevertheless, the invasion served Hamilton’s purpose of allowing him to denounce all resisters of state power as somehow being clones of the violent French Jacobins.

The subject of a national bank run by politicians out of the national capital was discussed at the constitutional convention and decisively rejected.  Hamilton rewrote that history, too, to make the case for the constitutionality of central banking. His worshipful disciple, Chief Justice John Marshall, would cement this idea into place in his McCullock v. Maryland decision.  Hamilton’s bogus arguments in favor of a central bank were “a turning point in American constitutional history” because that is where he invented the fantasy of “implied powers” of the Constitution.  Once this path was taken, the constitution had the potential of becoming nothing more than a rubber stamp of approval of anything the state ever wished to do, limited only by the imaginations of Hamiltonian members of the judiciary

John Marshall was a virtual intellectual clone of Hamilton who spoke favorably of federalism, but codified federal supremacy and “implied powers” in his Supreme Court decisions, described in clear-as-a-bell writing by McClanahan.

Even more destructive of constitutional liberty were the writings of that great Bostonian blowhard, Justice Joseph Story (“Marshall’s right-hand man”), whose Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, written while he was both a Supreme Court justice and a Harvard law professor, have exerted enormous influence on the American legal and political systems. Like Marshall and Hamilton, Story “suffered from historical amnesia” and “manufactured an image of the American founding and American government that did not match the historical record.”  He lied through his teeth, in other words, to advance the idea that the founding fathers created a consolidated, monopolistic, centralized state even more powerful and monopolistic than the British empire against which they had fought a war of secession.  His lies that the states were never sovereign, that the central government is “sovereign” in all matters, implied powers, and all the rest, were repeated by Abraham Lincoln, beginning with his first inaugural address, as he “justified” committing treason by levying war upon the Southern states (the exact definition of treason in Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution).  Hence, it is the Hamiltonian, nationalist myth, not Jeffersonian states’ rights and federalism, that made the “Civil War” inevitable.  All of this, McClanahan points out, was always thought to be necessary by generations of Hamiltonians if they were to ever implement their economic policy program that Hamilton himself labeled “the American System.”  This “system” of protectionist tariffs, central banking, corporate welfare, and a large public debt was anything but “American.”  It was the rotten, corrupt, British system known as “mercantilism” brought to America.

Then there is the twentieth-century Hamiltonian Justice Hugo Black, FDR’s favorite Ku Kluk Klansmen.  Nominated to the Supreme Court in 1937, Black had been a member of the KKK ever since the early 1920s.  He used his association with the KKK, and its “nationalist agenda” of ridding America of “immigrants, blacks, and Jews,” and its “anti-Catholic agenda,” to become prominent in Alabama politics.  His rabid support for FDR’s presidential bids won him a seat on the Supreme Court.

Hugo Black’s main demolition of constitutional liberty came in the form of his opinions regarding the “incorporation” of the Bill of Rights to include the states.  This was never intended by the founders, who said nothing in opposition to the state-sanctioned “official” religions that existed at the time, among other things.

Thanks to Hamiltonian Hugo, virtually every issue facing Americans today is a federal issue.  His “incorporation doctrine” was the final nail in the coffin of American federalism, as McClanahan explains.  This is why the federal judiciary claims “sovereignty” over almost everything, from same-sex marriage to “transgendger bathrooms,” all aspects of the welfare state – everything and anything.  This is Hamilton’s America – a leftist lawyereaucracy hell bent on imposing totalitarian rule on the rest of us.

Don’t waste your money on that stupid New York City play about “Hamilton.”  Spend a tiny fraction of that theater ticket money on How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America instead, and educate yourself and all of those around you about their real American history.

 

The Tip of a Prosecutorial Iceberg?

November 3, 2017

Andrew P. Napolitano

11/2/2017

Source …..

Earlier this week, the government revealed that a grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., indicted a former Trump presidential campaign chairman and his former deputy and business partner for numerous felonies.

Both were accused of working as foreign agents and failing to report that status to the federal government, using shell corporations to launder income and obstruction of justice by lying to the federal government.

The financial crimes are alleged to have occurred from 2008 to 2014, and the obstruction charges from 2014 to 2017. At the same time it announced the above, the government revealed that a low-level former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and become a government witness.

Does any of this relate to President Donald Trump? Here is the back story.

At the same time that Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates were guiding the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, Russian agents were manipulating American social media sites so as to arouse chaos in general and animosity toward Hillary Clinton in particular. The Department of Justice appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as independent counsel to determine whether any Americans had criminally helped the Russians.

The alleged crimes of Manafort and Gates appear to have nothing to do with Trump, nor have they any facial relationship to the Russians. So why were these two indicted by a grand jury hearing evidence about alleged American assistance to Russian interference with the 2016 presidential campaign?

When prosecutors confront a complex series of potentially criminal events, they often do not know at the outset of their investigation where the evidence will lead them. Sometimes they come upon a person who they believe has knowledge of facts they seek and that person declines to speak with them. Such a refusal to speak to the government is perfectly lawful in America, yet it often triggers a prosecution of the potential witness so that prosecutors may squeeze him — not literally, of course — for evidence to which they believe he can lead them.

The ultimate target of Mueller’s investigation is President Trump. It is standard operating procedure when prosecutors have a high-level target to charge those below the target with something just to get them to cooperate. Though the charges against Manafort and Gates need not be related to the Russians or to Trump, they must be real. It’s clear they are, as each is facing more than 20 years in prison. Mueller believes that that prospect is enough to dispatch their lawyers to make deals with him.

The danger of such a deal is that Manafort and Gates may offer to tell Mueller what they think he wants to hear — even if it is not truthful — so that they can have their prison exposure lessened.

There is more danger in the seemingly smallest of this week’s Mueller-generated events. Papadopoulos was interviewed voluntarily by the FBI on Jan. 27. He was arrested on July 27 for lying to FBI agents during that interview. In a secret federal court proceeding on Oct. 5, he pleaded guilty.

In a profound miscarriage of justice, federal law permits FBI agents to lie to us but makes it a crime for us to lie to them. Nevertheless, why was the Papadopoulos guilty plea kept secret? What was he doing between his arrest and his plea and between his plea and its revelation?

Judges are very reluctant to close their courtroom doors in any criminal proceeding, even if both the prosecutors and the defense counsel request it. The public has a right to know whom the government is prosecuting and what deals or punishments it may be obtaining. Yet if prosecutors can convince a judge that public knowledge of the existence of a guilty plea might harm an ongoing criminal investigation, the judge can keep the plea secret.

That is apparently what happened here. It appears that Papadopoulos was gathering evidence for Mueller, probably by talking to his former Trump campaign colleagues while wired — a process that would have been fruitless if his guilty plea had become public.

Because Papadopoulos admitted under oath that he lied to FBI agents, the courts will treat his guilt as certain. That gives Mueller great leverage with him. It also gives Papadopoulos great incentive to help Mueller — truthfully or not — because he knows he is going to federal prison. He also knows that if Mueller likes what he hears, a five-year prison term could be reduced to six months.

Hence, Papadopoulos could be a treasure-trove for Mueller on the production of any evidence linking the Trump campaign and the Russians and any evidence of Trump’s personal knowledge or acquiescence. Papadopoulos has already produced a wild tale about meetings with a Russian professor and a female Russian government agent in London that the FBI apparently believes.

Is this any way to conduct a prosecution?

I have argued for years that squeezing defendants and witnesses by threats and promises to get them to spill the beans is a form of extortion or bribery — not much different from the extortion and bribery that the government regularly prosecutes. “You tell us what we want to hear and we will ask a judge to go easy on you. If not, you will suffer great losses.” It is bad enough that the feds can legally lie to us and get away with it, but can they also legally threaten and bribe witnesses to testify against us and get away with it? Can they do this to the president?

In a word, yes. My arguments have fallen on deaf ears. Squeezing witnesses and defendants is a way of life for federal prosecutors. For the president, it is the tip of a dangerous iceberg.

 

Report: Former Democrat FEC Chairman Calls for Americans Sharing ‘Fake News’ to be Fined

October 22, 2017

Charlie Nash

10/19/2017

Source …..

Former Democratic FEC Chairman, Ann Ravel, is pushing for the introduction of fines for individuals sharing “fake news,” according to a report.

In the proposal, citizens of the United States could face libel penalties for sharing “fake news.”

“After a social media user clicks ‘share’ on a disputed item (if the platforms do not remove them and only label them as disputed), government can require that the user be reminded of the definition of libel against a public figure,” Ravel proposed. “Libel of public figures requires ‘actual malice,’ defined as knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth. Sharing an item that has been flagged as untrue might trigger liability under libel laws.”

According to the Washington Examiner, the proposal could affect “users of platforms and news feeds, from Facebook, to Twitter, to the Drudge Report and even New York Times.”

“She would include ‘fake news,’ not just paid ads, to be regulated, though it’s never defined other than the Democrat’s description of ‘disinformation.’ And anybody who shares or retweets it could face a libel suit,” they reported. “She would also use regulation to ‘improve voter competence,’ according to the new proposal titled Fool Me Once: The Case for Government Regulation of ‘Fake News.’”

In response to Ravel’s proposal, former FEC Chairman Lee Goodman claimed, “Ann’s proposal is full blown regulation of all political content, even discussion of issues, posted at any time, for free or for a fee, on any online platform, from Facebook to the NewYorkTimes.com.”

“A fatal flaw of Ann’s proposal is that it cannot define what is, or is not, ‘disinformation’ in a political message,” he continued. “Nevertheless, it proposes to tag threats of libel lawsuits and liability to thousands of American citizens who might want to retweet or forward a message that somebody else subjectively considers to be ‘disinformational.’ I call that the big chill.”

“Americans should not be required to sign a national registry everytime they post a political video on YouTube,” Goodman concluded.

Elections lawyer Andrew Woodson mirrored Goodman’s concerns, adding, “Any proposal built on intimidating Americans from sharing news stories on social media is headed in the wrong direction.”

 

Five Criminal Illegal Immigrants Arrested after Releases from New York Sanctuary Cities

October 22, 2017

John Binder

10/20/2017

Source …..

Five criminal illegal aliens, some accused of sexual abuse and forcible touching, were arrested by immigration officers after being released due to New York City’s sanctuary city policy.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) located five criminal illegal aliens previously released under New York City sanctuary guidelines, which bar local law enforcement from handing over criminal aliens for deportation.

“At-large criminal alien arrests are among the most dangerous types of enforcement actions ICE officers are engaged in on a daily basis,” New York ICE official Thomas Decker said in a statement. “These arrests also represent the greatest risk to the community. This level of unnecessary risk can be mitigated in many instances.”

The five criminal illegal aliens include:

  • Gurnam Singh, a 21-year-old illegal alien from India, who is accused of assault, forcible touching, harassment and sexual abuse. Singh was first arrested by New York law enforcement in December 2016. After being released, Singh was re-arrested days later, but released on bond shortly after. In June, Singh was arrested for a third time by New York law enforcement on assault and harassment charges but was quickly released again. ICE officials say that because New York City shut down the ICE Criminal Alien Program office on Rikers Island, criminal illegal aliens are no longer interviewed by deportation officers before they are released. In September, Singh was arrested for the fourth time, prompting ICE to file an immigration hold on him, but the request was ignored by local law enforcement and Singh was released once again. A month later, ICE agents located and arrested Singh.
  • Marco Freiire, a 42-year-old illegal alien from Ecuador, was arrested by ICE after being released in July, despite a pending immigration hold. Freiire was arrested on assault, criminal possession of a weapon, harassment, and menacing charges at the time. Months later, ICE located and arrested the criminal illegal alien at his residence in Brooklyn.
  • Steven Anthony Beswick, a 42-year-old illegal alien from Jamaica, was arrested by ICE after their immigration hold was ignored by Westchester County law enforcement officials. At the time of his arrest, Beswick was released from police custody. He was also previously arrested in New York City on drug charges.
  • Jonathan Aparicio, a 20-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, was arrested by ICE after being released from Westchester County law enforcement, despite a request to hold the criminal illegal alien. In September, Aparicio pleaded guilty to charges in Yonkers City Court but was released against the request of ICE officials. A month later, ICE arrested Aparicio.
  • Omar Castro, a 31-year-old previously deported illegal alien from Mexico, was arrested by ICE after being released by New York City officials. In July, the criminal illegal alien – who served a year in prison for drug charges and was deported from the U.S. in 2010 – was arrested in Brooklyn. At that time, ICE requested that Castro be held until federal immigration officers could take over custody. That request was ignored, however, and Castro was released. Now, the criminal illegal alien is facing deportation and felony charges for re-entering the U.S.

Most recently, as Breitbart News reported, Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned against the dangers of sanctuary city policies, reiterating how the release of criminal illegal aliens creates dangers for local American communities.

“When somebody’s arrested in the jail that’s due to be deported, we just simply ask that they call us, so we can come by and pick them up if they need to be removed,” Sessions explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “That’s not happening, and we’ve got to work through it some way.”

 

Illegal Minor Gets Abortion Rights Even Americans Don’t Have

October 21, 2017

Jordan Candler

10/19/2017

Source …..

Democrats are making up rules and creating an inviting atmosphere that rewards lawlessness.

Oregon lawmakers aren’t the only ones promoting taxpayer-subsidized death for illegals looking to abort their babies. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan is trying to set an incredibly dangerous precedent in Texas and elsewhere by insisting that illegal immigrant minors can terminate pregnancies at their own discretion and, even worse, at taxpayers’ expense. The baffling ruling was handed down this week in a case involving a 17-year-old minor who entered the U.S. last month and is currently situated in an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter.

According to Judge Chutkan, “Despite the fact that she’s in this country illegally, she still has constitutional rights.” The judge also claimed: “Plaintiff … will suffer irreparable injury in the form of, at a minimum, increased risk to her health, and perhaps the permanent inability to obtain a desired abortion to which she is legally entitled.” And in a direct effort at stifling the opposition, she exhorted: “Failure to comply with the terms of this Order may result in a finding of contempt.”

According to The Washington Post, “Late Wednesday, however, the Justice Department appealed the case, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton countered Judge Chutkan’s ruling by noting, “No federal court has ever declared that unlawfully-present aliens with no substantial ties to this country have a constitutional right to abortion on demand. If ‘Doe’ prevails in this case, the ruling will create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally.”

He’s right. But that’s not stopping leftists from advocating abortion on demand, though the Texas case is alarming on a whole new level. As Family Research Council president Tony Perkins points out, “Part of [the government’s] duty is ensuring that our tax dollars don’t fund the taking of innocent human life. After all, this mother’s case is under the care of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which means that every cent flows through the pro-life Hyde Amendment.”

Not only would a ruling upholding Judge Chutkan’s verdict for illegal minors set an incomprehensible precedent, it may force taxpayers to fund it. Even citizens don’t have that “privilege.” And it’s all because Democrats are making up rules and creating an inviting atmosphere that rewards lawlessness. As of Friday morning, the initial ruling has been stayed pending another hearing. How this plays out will have profound effects.

 

Fourth Circuit: 90-Year-Old Cross-Shaped Monument to WW1 Dead Is Illegal

October 21, 2017

Ian Mason

10/20/2017

Source …..

Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered the removal of a Bladensburg, Maryland, World War I memorial because its 40-foot tall cross shape violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, reversing a lower court ruling that would have preserved the monument and drawing impassioned reactions from litigants and observers throughout the week.

Bladensburg’s “Peace Cross” was erected by the American Legion in 1925 to honor the 49 men from Prince George’s County who fell in the Great War. In 1961, a Maryland state agency took possession of the land on which the monument sits.

Two of the three judges hearing an appeal led by atheist non-profit the American Humanist Association (AHA) agreed that the cross being allowed to stand was a violation of the “separation of church and state,” regardless of the monument’s stated purpose of honoring the war dead. Defendants, including the American Legion, argued that the cross shape and the inclusion of references to “God” in the memorial’s dedication did not amount to a government “endorsement” of Christianity.

“[T]he sectarian elements easily overwhelm the secular ones,” the majority opinion by Barack Obama-appointed Judge Stephanie Thacker reads.

“We also cannot ignore the American Legion’s affiliation with Christianity,” Thacker notes later, concluding, “The display aggrandizes the Latin cross in a manner that says to any reasonable observer that the Commission either places Christianity above other faiths, views being American and Christian as one in the same, or both.”

A dissent by Bill Clinton-appointed Judge Roger Gregory took issue with the majority’s characterization. “The Establishment Clause was intended to combat the practice of compelling individuals to support and attend government favored churches,” (internal quotes omitted) he argues, adding, with citation to the 1963 Supreme Court decision Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, that it “does not require the government ‘to purge from the public sphere’ any reference to religion.”

Rogers, referencing the dedication plaque on the memorial, concludes:

This Memorial stands in witness to the VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE, and DEVOTION of the forty-nine residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland ‘who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.’ I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very Constitution these heroes died to defend.

Several amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs, including one in the name of eight bipartisan members of Congress, argued that ordering the cross removed could eventually justify taking away the crosses at sites like Arlington National Cemetery. “The American Humanist Association and its members … advocate what amounts to a per se rule that the display of crosses on government property violates the Establishment Clause,” the brief endorsed by the likes of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) claims.

Judge Thacker saw no such danger, writing:

They raise concerns that siding with Appellants here would jeopardize other memorials across the Nation displaying crosses, laying waste to such memorials nationwide. Any such concern is misplaced. Establishment Clause cases are fact-specific, and our decision is confined to the unique facts at hand.

AHA Legal Director David Niose, also was skeptical. On Thursday, he told Breitbart News:

The Arlington National Cemetery scare is totally without merit. Almost all the crosses in Arlington are on the individual gravestones of soldiers, and there’s nothing wrong with Christian gravestones having Christian crosses. It’s a totally different context. Jewish, Muslim, and other religious beliefs are represented on gravestones as well (including humanists with the Happy Humanist symbol). To suggest that we are out to purge cemeteries of crosses is a gross deception.

In fact, there are several large cross-shaped monuments at Arlington National Cemetery including the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice, a 24-foot cross dedicated to American citizens who were killed in Canadian service in World War I, and the 13-foot Argonne Cross.

“Today’s decision sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history, and it threatens removal and destruction of veterans’ memorials across America,” Hiram Sasser, general counsel of First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty public interest law firm representing the American Legion in the case, said in a press release.

The humanist advocates celebrating Wednesday’s win were displeased with how the case has been portrayed. “The current news coverage is painting The AHA as anti-Christian and anti-veteran. The truth is we aren’t anti-veteran or even anti-religious,” AHA Spokeswoman Amy Couch told news outlets Thursday.

Roy Speckhardt, AHA’s executive director, added, “Instead of a Christian-only memorial, we want a universal monument that reflects the patriotic contributions of all our fallen heroes and heroines” and, in a separate press release, “government war memorials should respect all veterans, not just those from one religious group.”

When Breitbart News pointed out that the Blandensburg cross was erected to memorialize 49 specific Prince George’s County soldiers, the AHA changed tack. The demand for a universal pluralistic tribute to veterans and respecting non-Christian soldiers became secondary to the removal of crosses from public property.

Asked if a monument to just these soldiers, all men – not “heroines” – and, given the demographics of Maryland in 1918, overwhelmingly Christian men – was, in and of itself, inappropriate, Niose, the AHA legal director, replied, “[O]f course not. We only object to the religious nature of the monument.”

The AHA was unable to cite a single humanist or non-Christian among the dead.

“We do not know the actual religious beliefs of the 49 soldiers in question,” Noise told Breitbart News, “but their religious beliefs are irrelevant to the issue of whether the government should maintain a 40-foot cross on public property to honor them. It would be very easy to construct a war memorial that honors the 49 soldiers without utilizing a Christian cross to do so.”

First Liberty Institute may petition to the Supreme Court, which, while usually reluctant to take up Establishment Clause cases, has done so several times in recent years. As of Friday, First Liberty and international law firm Jones Day, also representing the American Legion, had yet to announce their decision on which option to pursue. A petition for an “en banc” hearing, where all the judges of the Fourth Circuit would rehear the case, is another possibility.

“The American Legion’s commitment to preserving the Bladensburg Memorial has been unwavering,” Kelly Shackelford, president of the firm, stated on the First Liberty Institute’s website. “We are exploring all of our options on behalf of the American Legion, including an appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The case is American Humanist Ass’n v. Maryland-Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n, No. 15-2597.

 

Roy Moore: NFL Protesters Are ‘Breaking the Law’

October 21, 2017

Dylan Gwinn

10/18/2017

Source …..

We’ve heard arguments that NFL protesters shouldn’t kneel for the anthem. We’ve heard people say that they’re not right to protest the anthem. Heck, we’ve even heard someone say that they should “get those SOB’s off the field!” What we haven’t heard much of, is that those players are breaking the law by protesting the anthem. That is, until now.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, is arguing that NFL players who protest the anthem are breaking the law. In an interview with TIME, Moore cited a section of U.S code which governs conduct during the anthem. It’s that section, that he says, the players are violating.

Moore said, “It’s against the law, you know that? It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”

President Trump played a large role in bringing the anthem debate to the center-stage of public debate, while speaking at a rally in Alabama for Roy Moore. At that rally, Trump lashed out at protesting players. The president called them “SOB’s” and said he wished that their team owners would fire them.

Roy Moore falls right-in with that line of thinking.

“I back the President in upholding respect for the patriotism for our country, on two grounds,” he said. “One, it’s respect for the law. If we don’t respect the law, what kind of country are we going to have? Two, it’s respect for those who have fallen and given the ultimate sacrifice. I’m surprised that no one brought this up.”

Moore emphasized that it’s, “the rule of law.”

“If they didn’t have it in there, it would just be tradition. But this is law,” he said. “If we disobey this, what else are we going to disobey?”

Moore could be more right than he knows. The players who have protested the anthem have some of the most extensive criminal histories in the NFL.

Report: FBI Uncovers Confirmation of Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt Uranium Deal with Russia

October 20, 2017

Breitbart News

10/17/2017

Source …..

New evidence has emerged to confirm Peter Schweizer’s account in his bestselling book Clinton Cash about the corrupt tactics behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of Russia’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium.

John Solomon and Alison Spann report in The Hill:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

Read the rest here.

As Breitbart News has previously reported, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was one of eight agencies to review and sign off on the sale of U.S. uranium to Russia. However, the then-Secretary of State Clinton was the only agency head whose family foundation received $145 million in donations from multiple people connected to the uranium deal, as reported by the New York Times.

 

Trump and Obamacare

October 20, 2017

Andrew P. Napolitano

10/19/2017

Source …..

Late last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the secretaries of the treasury and health and human services to cease making payments to health care insurance companies in behalf of the more than 6 million Americans who qualify for these payments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Obamacare is the signature legislation of former President Barack Obama, enacted in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. Its stated goal was to use the engine of the federal government to make health insurance available and affordable to everyone in America.

It seeks to achieve that goal by regulating the delivery of health care, giving federal bureaucrats access to everyone’s medical records, compelling everyone in America to acquire health insurance and providing financial subsidies for those people whose household incomes are below certain levels and who do not otherwise qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Under President Obama, the subsidies were regularly paid, and they had been paid under President Trump, as well, until he decided to cease paying them last week.

Here is the back story.

How is it up to the president to decide whether to spend federal dollars when the law requires him to do so? The answer to that question depends on whether Congress has authorized the specific expenditure of the tax dollars.

Under the Constitution, when Congress passes legislation that directs the president to spend federal tax dollars — or, as is likelier the case today, dollars borrowed by the federal government — Congress must appropriate funds for the expenditure. So for every federal program that spends money, Congress must first create the program — for example, building a bridge or paving an interstate highway — and then it must pass a second bill that appropriates money from the federal treasury and makes it available to the president for the purpose stated in the first law.

When Obamacare was drafted in 2009 and 2010, one of the many compromises that went into it was the gradual rollout of its provisions; different parts of the law became effective at different times. The law was enacted with all Democratic votes. No Republican member of either house of Congress voted for it, and only a handful of Democrats voted against it.

By the time the subsidy provisions took effect, the Republicans were in control of Congress, yet Obama was still in the White House. When Obama asked Congress to appropriate the funds needed to make the subsidy payments required by the Obamacare statute, Congress declined to do so. Thus, Obama — who, as the president of the United States, was charged with enforcing all federal laws — was denied the means with which to enforce the subsidy portion of his favorite legislation.

So he spent the money anyway. He directed his secretaries of the treasury and health and human services to take appropriated funds from unstated programs and to make the subsidy payments to the seven largest health insurance carriers in the United States from those funds. Of course, by doing so, he was depriving other federal programs, authorized and funded by Congress, of the monies to which they were entitled. But Obamacare was his legacy, and he was not about to let it die on the vine.

Can the president spend federal dollars, whether from tax revenue or borrowing, without an express authorization from Congress, even if he is following a law that requires the expenditures? In a word, no.

That’s because the drafters of the Constitution feared the very situation confronted by Congress and Obama in 2013 — a law that is no longer popular, is no longer supported by Congress and costs money to enforce, with a president eager to enforce it and a Congress unwilling to authorize the payments. To address this tension between a president wanting to spend federal dollars and a Congress declining to authorize him to do so, the drafters of the Constitution put the power of the purse unambiguously in the hands of Congress. The Constitution could not be clearer: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

It follows that where the appropriations have not been made by Congress, the funds may not be spent by the president. When Obama declined to recognize this constitutional truism, the House of Representatives sued the secretary of health and human services in federal court, seeking to enjoin her from making the subsidy payments, and the House won the case. The court underscored the well-recognized dual scheme of the Framers whereby two laws are required for all federal expenditures — one to tell the president on whom or on what the money should be spent and the second to authorize the actual expenditure. Without the second law — the express authorization — there can be no lawful expenditure.

President Trump, after making the same unlawful expenditures for nine months, decided last week to cease the practice. Whether he did so to bend Congress to his will on health care or he did so out of fidelity to the Constitution, he did the right thing, but he should have done it on his first day in office.

Let’s not lose sight of the whole picture here. President Obama has triumphed over President Trump and the Republicans who control Congress, because all but a handful of those who are faithful to the Constitution are behaving as if there were a constitutional obligation on the part of the federal government to provide health insurance for everyone in America. According to a plain reading of the Constitution — and even as articulated by the Supreme Court in the case that upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare — there isn’t.

 

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