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Richard Larsen: Latest Assault on Our Civil Liberties, the NDAA

December 21st, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Fundamental individual liberty and rights are central to our Constitution, and protection of the same from governmental infringement. Yet we see on a nearly daily basis, attempts by sometimes well-intentioned politicians, locally and nationally, to trample those fundamental rights in the name of a “greater good.”

The latest case in point, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed Congress with broad bi-partisan support, (proving once again that there is little difference between the two major political parties), and will reportedly be signed into law this week by President Obama.

The Act states, “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons pending disposition under the law of war.” And just who are those “covered persons” that can be so detained? Section 1031 seems innocuous enough by identifying anyone who had a part in the 9/11/01 attacks or “A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities,” against the U.S. But then this Trojan Horse language follows, “including any person who has committed a belligerent act.”

A broad interpretation of “belligerent” includes “hostile and aggressive,” and is not limited to the more specific acts of war, which the drafters of the legislation may have intended. This language swings the door of interpretation wide open to include any threatening, antagonistic, contentious, or confrontational conduct perceived to be a threat to the nation. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to see this president or any future president use this provision as justification for military detention without due process of Tea Party protestors or Occupy Wall Street activists.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution has served to enforce due process and habeas corpus by preventing unlawful arrest and detention, yet this one Act (NDAA) grants virtually unlimited power to the president to detain potential “terrorists” indefinitely, with all the ignominy of a military Guantanimo-like detention. And one of the most striking components of the legislation is that the “battlefield” of the “War on Terrorism” is expanded to include the homeland of the United States of America.

The Act, itself a violation of law since it was drawn up, debated, and passed in closed committee sessions without a single hearing, is clearly a violation of posse comitatus, established in 1878 which proscribes the use of the military on domestic soil to enforce the laws of the land.

While I rarely find myself in agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on this issue we’re of one accord. In their write-up of the NDAA they averred the Act “will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians.” They continue, “The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.”

Section 1031 of the Act concludes with an attempt at assuaging civil libertarian concerns by stating, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” It may not be “intended,” but the act does precisely that.

Section 1032 further attempts to mitigate the far-reaching affects of the legislation by stating that the, “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” While not “required,” it clearly leaves the door wide open for the possibility of military detention of citizens.

For students of history, this legislation eerily has a parallel in the Enabling Act of 1933 in Germany, where rights enumerated in the Weimar constitution were repressed or precluded by expanded central government control. The subsequent staged attack on the Reichstag or parliament building, led to the Reichstag Fire Decree, finalizing the transition of Adolph Hitler from Chancellor of the Republic, to Fuhrer. Is that all it would take to make that final transition here?

At what point do we as citizens reject and stand up against such trampling of civil liberties? There was so much disapprobation over the Patriot Act, and this goes so much further. It’s impossible to not see another parallel from 20th century Germany in the words of Martin Niemoller, “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me?and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Republican Candidates Look Great, Comparatively

December 21st, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Liberals can find absolutely nothing positive about the remaining slate of Republican candidates for president. That shouldn’t surprise us; after all they have their messianic figure. I have a neighbor who still has a picture of him in their living room like most of us have a picture of Christ. I guess once you’ve been duped it’s hard to admit it.

What is surprising is the abject hatred displayed by some over the Republican candidates. Playing into the most predictable stereotyping, they’re portrayed as not just wrong, but evil. To one local columnist, Republicans are insultingly portrayed as either a Frankenstein-like amalgam that only people who “can’t think for themselves” would vote for, or as “kooks” in a reality cooking show, claiming none of them have any substance except a “Mormon waffle.” The attempt at humor does nothing to shroud the obvious disdain, which leaves all objectively thinking people wondering what precipitates such hate and anger!

While few Republicans may be totally enthralled with the available choices, any of the candidates would be far better than what we currently have in the Oval Office. I’ve heard it said that the only way to have a candidate that you agree with 100% of the time, is for you, yourself, to run. There’s a lot of truth to that aphorism.

Sometimes we have to take a little different perspective on candidates for public office, and this is a perfect time to employ such a paradigm shift. Let’s look at what none of the remaining Republican or even third party candidates have done, or any of the people that work for those candidates.

None of them have brought the nation to the brink of insolvency by nearly doubling federal spending in three years creating a “national security risk,” according to Hillary Clinton, by racking up so much debt that we’re left little wiggle room for dealing with any other threats to the republic.

None of them ramrodded an ideologically motivated health care takeover bill through Congress, virtually eliminating Medicare to make the CBO scoring look better, and got away with it.

None of them have taken over entire sectors of the national private sector economy, like the financial services sector and the auto industry. None of them have not run anything before. Yes, I know, it’s a double negative. Think it through.

None of them have proven for the past three years that they know absolutely nothing about basic economics. None of them have egregiously expanded government regulatory control over all components of the economy stymying economic growth and job creation.

None of them have presided over an economy that has lost 7.5 million jobs and has had 6.5 million people just stop looking for work. None of them have bailed out Wall Street firm after Wall Street firm, and bank after bank, claiming they’re doing right for the American people for doing so.

None of them have presided over an economy with runaway inflation, with gas 115% higher, corn up 78%, sugar up 164%, unemployment up 25%, food stamp recipients up 35%, long-term unemployed up 146%, poverty rate up 8.3%, and the highest misery index since Jimmy Carter.

None of them have claimed to be constitutional law experts while displaying complete ignorance of that document’s contents. None of them have hired a cadre of known socialists to run important components of the government and called them czars.

None of them shut down oil production in the gulf or prohibited domestic drilling and oil exploration contributing to record high gas prices nor did any of them ignore court orders to lift that ban. None of them have been using some guy’s social security number from Vermont. None of them have hoodwinked the mainstream media into portraying everything they do as successful.

None have run illegal gun operations over the Mexican border only to have the same contraband weaponry show up at the murder scenes of U.S. law enforcement agents.

None of them have jetted around the world apologizing for America. None of them showed up ostentatiously at G8 meetings in Europe during austerity talks due to excessive government spending, with an entourage of 500 people.

Not one of them promised to “bring everybody together,” and then violated that promise by engaging in the most divisive rhetoric of class warfare ever employed by a national leader. Not one of them have been implicated in making shady half-a-billion dollar loans to questionable “green energy” companies which went broke, and connived with them on layoffs to manipulate unemployment numbers.

See how a paradigm shift improves ones perspective? All of those “accomplishments” by the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue make any and all of those remaining Republican candidates look awfully appealing. Unless you’re an ostrich.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Andi Elliott: Actions Have Consequences

December 10th, 2011 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

Today I received the copyright notification from US Copyright Office regarding my book, And None Would Help…The Story of Barbie…the Mother Dog With Broken Legs. You might remember that last year Raul Torres of Jefferson County filed charges against me for trespassing and against Troy Jackson of Boise for helping Torres’ dog with broken legs that he refused to provide veterinary care for. Both sets of charges were dropped months later as there was no basis in fact and it became the #3 top story on local Channel 3 TV for the year.

On the 3rd of December, I had Torres served with a summons and I have also filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office requesting that they take action against Torres for filing a false police report. Torres never spent one day in court throughout the entire six month ordeal. Many times I thought about how unfair that was…especially since I had been sent out to his home by the Sheriff’s department to offer help with the dog. All Torres had to do was to sign a citation. When the deputy served me with the paperwork, he told me that Torres was upset about the media attention.

Now I’m learning just how serious filing a false police report can be and the consequences for doing so. In Idaho, the filing of any type of false report with law enforcement is a misdemeanor and depending upon the situation, the charges can even be elevated to a felony. Penalties can include fines and even jail time. Additionally, civil charges can be filed and the time period to do so extends for years. You know…it’s time that folks learn that actions have consequences.

Andi Elliott

Tea Party Patriots Idaho State Co-Coordinator
President of For the Love of Pets Foundation

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Lightning Strikes in DC

December 8th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

It seemed all but certain that women and girls would be able to get “Emergency Contraception” straight from the grocery store shelves after intense lobbying by drug makers seeking to expand their profits. They were partnered with the Abortion Industry, which blindly seeks to increase the number of babies killed in the womb.
And the heck with those girls and babies who may be destroyed in the process.

Under regulations adopted during the Clinton Administration, Emergency Contraception can be obtained by women “behind the counter”, at the local pharmacy. Girls under 17 need a doctor’s prescription.

Responding to the long-term lobbying campaign, the FDA approved changes in regulation of the deadly drug – treating “Emergency Contraception” essentially like Tums or aspirin.

This drug regimen contains super-doses of the hormones contained in “The Pill” – which, by the way, requires a prescription. The reasons that normal contraceptive pills need professional involvement are known to anyone watching television commercials, in which drug manufacturers list many potential serious complications stemming from the use “The Pill”. (We have also seen many lawyers trolling for clients in lawsuits against those drug companies).

The point is that “Emergency Contraception” pills are potentially dangerous to both girls and the babies who may be killed by their use. It is unbelievable that the FDA would ignore the dangers and obvious opportunity for abuse. We have heard direct testimony from counselors at Idaho pregnancy centers regarding the prevalent abuse by teenage girls of the “Morning After Pill”. (Readers should also know that the FDA has NEVER conducted research on the long-term impact of EC on the health of teenage girls who avail themselves of the drug).

Imagine how much worse it could be without any kind of hurdle to obtaining the drugs!

And that says nothing about the ease with which predators could buy supplies of the drug to enable their continued abuse of teenage girls.

So – how to explain the completely uncharacteristic decision by Kathleen Sebelius to overrule the FDA? This rabid abortion champion has gone to unseemly lengths over her public career to advance abortion-on-demand; going so far as to facilitate the shredding of Planned Parenthood records during her tenure as Governor of Kansas.

One can only say that some sort of miracle has taken place. There may be more mundane explanations available – but we can say with certainty that the Abortion Industry must be as stunned as we at Sebelius’ intervention.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Subordination of Parental Rights

December 6th, 2011 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Parents in Nashville, Tennessee were concerned about their minor son’s health condition, including the possibility that the doctor was over-medicating him. The doctor recommended administration of drug tests to see if there were other factors contributing to his discomfort. The doctor made it clear, however, that he would not be able to release the drug test results to the parents, but only to the child. After all, as the doctor erroneously explained, the child had a right to privacy based on federal law that trumped the parental rights to care for, nurture, and protect their child.

Parents of a kindergarten age child in Massachusetts were shocked to find some of the books and materials being sent home with their 5-year-old were sex education materials and books that normalize and promote homosexual activity. After visiting with the teacher and getting nowhere on an “opt out” agreement for their child, the parents met with the principal, who in turn sent the parents to a “diversity” workshop to increase their acceptance of the indoctrination of their child.

After their disturbing experience at the workshop, the parents met again with the principal, begging for prior notification of sexual content instruction and for an opt out for their child. The principal responded to their request by having a police officer handcuff and forcibly remove the concerned parents for trespassing. Parental rights to protect, teach, nurture, and inculcate fundamental values were trampled by the education establishment intently motivated by an ideological agenda.

A child in Washington state complained to a school counselor about his parents making him go to church too much. Without notifying the parents, the counselor contacted a state social worker who took the 13-year-old boy directly from school and placed him in a foster home until a judicial hearing could be set for the parents to argue their case before a judge.

These are not isolated cases. Through legislative and judicial overreach, an increasing amount of power is given to the state over our children. As with the examples provided, all parents who fail to comply with a certain ideology are assumed to be bad parents, and the state’s intentions pristine. These efforts are methodically replacing parental discretion in all areas of child rearing and development with governmental and bureaucratic dominion over our minor children.

Karl Marx, in chapter 2 of The Communist Manifesto, said that in order to establish a perfect social state you have to destroy the family. You have to substitute the government for parental authority in the rearing of children. Whether intentional or not, the current trend of erosion of parental rights and refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act are perfectly facilitating the socialist agenda.

In 1989 the United Nations adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a human rights treaty that delineates the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. Nearly all UN member nations have adopted the protocol, and are subject to review, sanction, and enforcement by the UN. The U.S. is one of two that have not.

While ostensibly appealing in its protection of children, the document codifies the supremacy of government over parental rights in the rearing of children. This grants government bureaucrats the ability to prosecute parents or remove children from homes where parents are suspected of being out of compliance with the UN’s objectives. In short, rather than being a proactive protection for the rights of children, it is an instrument to strip the rights of parents in child rearing.

A website dedicated to this issue, says of the UNCRC, “Despite the claims of its supporters, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is more than an international ‘wish list’ – it is an instrument of societal action. The evidence is clear in the nations that have ratified it, like France, Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Member-states are expected to incorporate its provisions into their own laws, and failure to do so is met with intense international censure and pressure to conform. The United Nations, and its Committee on the Rights of the Child, tolerate nothing less.”

Even without adopting the UNCRC, the threat is real for American parents. Federal judges, who take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution and our laws, increasingly rule on cases relying on customary international law. International precedence and code often align more closely with those judges ideology, and drawing from international rather than U.S. law grants them the justification necessary for “legislating from the bench.” This is facilitating a judicial creep of the tenets of the UNCRC and laws from other nations that have adopted it en toto.

All parents need to be aware of this insidious process that is slowly yet methodically subverting the rights of parents, and granting increasing authority to government to control and govern the rearing of our children. All parents should be prepared and knowledgeable about this stealthy trend, and is a superb starting point.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

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