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David Ripley: President Trump’s New Budget Defunds Planned Parenthood

May 25th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The White House unveiled its budget blueprint today, even as the President continued his effort to rewrite American foreign policy.

As promised, Mr. Trump’s budget proposal ends the dark partnership between the federal government and the country’s largest abortion chain. Instead, low income women and girls would be encouraged to receive legitimate health care from actual doctors and institutions more interested in their health than in selling them an abortion.

The President’s budget director, in response to media questions, issued a big caveat to this great news:

The budget assumes that the Congress will pass the enabling legislation to shift money. That language is contained in the ObamaCare repeal and language now pending in the U.S. Senate.

President Trump continues to deliver on his promises. Now it is up to the Congress to do its part. Perhaps they can begin by cutting some of the vacation jaunts they’ve been enjoying and stay in session to get the Trump Agenda secured and implemented.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Historic Day of American Renewal

April 11th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Senate confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court is truly an important accomplishment for President Trump and the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. While the military action in Syria has deflected some of the attention which should properly be focused on this monumental victory, we predict the fruit of Gorsuch’s tenure on the Court will long outlast the day’s headlines.

Given the impact the Supreme Court has on modern American life, this appointment and confirmation will likely justify and commend the entire Trump presidency.

By every measure, Gorsuch is a very smart and qualified jurist. But the world is full of clever people. What makes his position on the court so important is that he is, apparently, a righteous person. Everything we have read about his previous work on the federal courts indicates that he has a profound respect for the traditional values which gave rise to the greatest nation in history – particularly the principle of religious liberty.

Trump and Gorsuch 2 A momentary reflection on the alternative reality of a Hillary pick joining the other leftists on the Court should be enough to bring every reasonable American to his or her knees in gratitude for God’s mercy.

We think it is also important to publicly commend the leadership and work of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He has not always been able to provide the kind of conservative leadership many of us have desired – but in this matter, he has performed magnificently. He protected the Court from Obama’s last minute attempt to pack the bench, and he quietly and courageously led his Caucus into a gun fight with the mindless Democrat minority. Unlike many such fights – the Republicans won and the nation won big.

It was McConnell’s finest hour. In fact, it may not be too much to say that he and President Trump helped save the Republic yesterday. At a minimum, the placement of Gorsuch on the Court has given us all the chance to continue our fight to keep it.

The pro-Life movement has suffered several set-backs since the death of Justice Scalia. So we are very hopeful that the years ahead will see a spring-like renewal of opportunities for the states to defend preborn children and their mothers from the evil seductions of Planned Parenthood.

May the Lord bless Justice Gorsuch and the United States of America.

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

David Ripley: America’s Long Winter Comes to an End

January 24th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

America has endured a long, cold winter. Some eight years long. But, by the grace of God, we have survived and there is promise of a vibrant spring.

Barack Obama has been relentless in his assault on America’s core values and conventions. He has rigidly pushed abortion, sexual perversion and illegal immigration. Obama has seriously damaged a once-premier health care system. He has freed drug lords, terrorists and traitors from prison – while fostering wide-spread hostility toward law enforcement. He has expanded the capricious power of the presidency while undermining the public’s appreciation for the rule of law. He has attacked free enterprise while greatly expanding dependency upon government. He has imported Muslim terrorists while turning his back on Christians around the world who are fighting for their very lives.

Like a very bad winter, the snow storms and cold snaps have continued to come. Americans have been shoveling, sanding and huddling around wood stoves praying for spring. Scraping the ice and snow off roofs, hoping we won’t see water spots in the ceiling. Eight very long years.

Obama has assaulted our Jewish friends in Israel while making nefarious deals with our Iranian enemies. He has refused to address the mounting violence and hopelessness of America’s greatest cities, while insisting that those Americans still pulling the cart accept greater responsibility. He has encouraged ignorance of, and contempt for, the Constitution.

Freezing rain, followed by subzero temperatures. Slick roads for the morning commute. Long nights of fatigue, afternoons of seething incredulity that another snowstorm has arrived.

Yet, today, America marks a time of renewal. The Republic has somehow survived the worst that Obama and his anarchist streetwalkers have thrown at Her. Winter has come to an end as Obama flies off to play more golf in Palm Springs.

President Trump and Vice-President Pence have a daunting job before them. Rebuilding the Constitution’s institutions and restoring America’s core values to government will take time. Surely they will make mistakes and good-hearted Americans must be willing to forgive and lend them a hand. But spring has finally arrived. Hope has returned to the land.

That proud, tattered flag still stands.

Thank you Lord.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Historic Election Night for Pro-Life America

November 9th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The decisive victory by Donald Trump yesterday was, for those with the eyes to see, an historic gift of mercy to the nation by a loving God. By His grace, we did not get the government we deserve, but one which can foster an environment in which virtue can grow. A major issue in this campaign was abortion, as evidenced by the $30 million Planned Parenthood invested in Hillary Clinton.

Thankfully, the nation rejected Clinton’s corruption and deadly radicalism.

The results of Tuesday’s election present the Republican Party with a new lease on life, and an historic opportunity to protect preborn children. They must begin by ending the coercive partnership with the evil empire that is Planned Parenthood.

The pro-Life movement saw important victories in Idaho as well. Democrat House Leader John Rusche was defeated in Lewiston, after building a “perfect” record of support for Planned Parenthood and its agenda. Idaho Chooses Life made a concerted effort in this district, and we are pleased that Rusche will no longer be there to obstruct the advance of protections for Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens.

We are happy to report that Thyra Stevenson won a strong victory in the other Lewiston House seat. Her return to the Legislature is a boon to the pro-Life movement and sensible government.

Democrat Senator Dan Schmidt (Moscow) was also defeated in Moscow. He is another Democrat who voted regularly against pro-Life bills in the Legislature.

And pro-Life Representative Lynn Luker (Boise) won another term yesterday, following an all-out assault by the Idaho Democrat Party to extend their influence into the last Boise City district represented by Republicans in the Legislature.

Thankfully, Democrat Deborah Silver was defeated last night in her effort to unseat Sen. Lee Heider (Twin Falls). Ms. Silver is a Board Member of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest, which runs the abortion clinics in Alaska, Washington and Idaho.

In Ada County, pro-Life Republican Rick Visser won a rather surprising victory over liberal Democrat TJ Thomson in the contest to fill an open seat on the County Commission. Democrats invested something north of $130,000 into Thomson’s campaign, hoping to use him as a wedge in building a county-wide base of operations. No doubt Trump’s strong victory in Idaho helped Visser overcome his serious financial disadvantages.

There was one serious setback yesterday: Sen. Curt McKenzie, our endorsed candidate for the Idaho Supreme Court was defeated by Robyn Brody. She enjoyed the backing of the Idaho Trial Lawyers, who invested several hundred thousand dollars into her campaign. We will now have to await future events to see what kind of impact Ms. Brody will have on the high court.

All in all, there is a boatload of blessings in this year’s general election.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Taxes | No Comments »

Layne Bangerter: Defending Religious Liberties

October 31st, 2016 by Halli

by Layne Bangerter

As a Latter Day Saint with deep connections with people of other faiths, I share the common goal of bringing others closer to Christ. We live in a Country that permits us to exercise our faith and teach our doctrine to others. The opportunity to serve my fellow men and women is a privilege and right. This very freedom has been increasingly under attack by politicians and our current Executive Branch.

We’re being told that the Mormons are in a dilemma; they feel that they must choose between their moral compass as opposed to the decision of who is better fit to run our country. While the candidacy of Donald Trump might have pushed some Mormons to pause their support; the fact remains that he, along with Mike Pence, is the only valid candidate who will fight for our religious freedoms and uphold The Constitution.

I know Donald Trump, who can be summed up in just one word: Freedom.

America has never been in as dire position as it is now with our Constitutional rights and liberties under barrage from the current leadership in Washington DC. Democrats have continuously pushed through policies that lead our great nation further away from the principles on which it was founded. Americans are caught in the battle to retain our freedoms.

Recently the LDS Church presented a letter, signed with other faiths, to President Obama, with regard to the report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” Donald Trump stands by and endorses the aforementioned letter and will defend these policies as he has defended the core principle of the First Amendment – the “free exercise” of religion. In a Florida Rally, he stated “Without Religious Liberty, You don’t have liberty.” This is a powerful statement of solidarity aligned with our Christian values.

The report, which was submitted to the United States Coalition of Civil Rights in September of this year, has alarmed many with how harshly it condemned our modern day religious liberties. In the Report Democrat Martin R. Castro, appointed “USCCR” chairman by president Obama, makes the statement:

“The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”

He goes on to threaten our modern day practices by adding: “Today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”

With the threat of a Hillary Clinton presidency, comes the loss of religious freedoms as we know it. A recent article by The Washington Post reveals Clintons feelings toward what many of us hold so dear. “Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

The overwhelming media bias has shown it’s willingness to support a Clinton presidency which will allow our rights and privileges to be stripped away. As a Latter Day Saint, it is my obligation to stand with other faiths in promoting our ideals and values and I have done so as a citizen and as an ecclesiastical leader. I have found that I do not stand alone in these convictions. My fellow Christians have stood strong by my side. The Evangelical leadership and their patrons are supporting the Trump presidency in historical numbers. We are now being watched by all denominations to see if we stand as strongly to defend religious liberties as other Christians. We are now down to one choice if we are to retain our religious liberties and that is by supporting the Trump Presidency and his associated policies and resolve to defend us. I know the love he has for this country, his desire for America to become prosperous again; to become safe again; and to become united again. Donald Trump’s message is the great message of our time.

Society has been consumed by an overwhelming need to judge and condemn others for their past. I believe it is the path that we are currently on and the future ideals that we strive toward that sing the true character of a person. Human redemption and forgiveness is of the utmost importance.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”

-Robert Muller

Layne Bangerter

-Layne Bangerter is an LDS bishop in Idaho and serves as a senior policy advisor for Trump/Pence Campaign.

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

David Ripley: The Most Dangerous Man in America

August 28th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

George Soros’ wide and deep role in funding and directing the American Left have come under some media scrutiny in the past couple of weeks, as a treasure trove of email traffic and documents from his “Open Society Foundation” have been made public.

Documents show that he is a primary financier of the Black Lives Matter group fomenting violence as well as lethal attacks on police officers across America. Other documents show his fingerprints on the movements to free violent felons from federal prisons, erase the nation’s border, revolutionize voting procedures and undermine America’s economic strength through a radical environmental agenda.

Despite a criminal record for insider trading, Soros continues to amass greater wealth and controlling influence within the Democratic Party. Reports indicate that he is now worth some $25 billion – the very personification of the “One Percent”. Yet he exercises a magnetic force on the politics of Hillary Clinton and many members of Congress – from both parties.

But among the many revolutionary/anarchist movements that Soros continues to spawn in a mad strategy of destroying western civilization, none is more troubling than his funding of the legalized abortion movement.

A recent report in LifeNews shows that Soros is spending millions of dollars to overturn pro-Life protections for preborn children in a number of nations – including Ireland, Tanzania, Mexico and Nigeria. His strategy in Ireland is to funnel millions into Amnesty International to promote the notion that abortion is a fundamental “human right”.

In America, Soros has donated more than $18 million to Planned Parenthood in the past five years. He then made an emergency allocation to Planned Parenthood in the wake of their baby-body-parts scandal to help them finance a public relations effort aimed at calming the consciences of most Americans. That kind of money and powerful influence is part of the reason that the Congressional inquiry into Planned Parenthood’s sordid practices has faded from the media’s attention, despite the panel’s irrefutable evidence of the darkest evil within America’s largest abortion chain.

This is but a brief overview of the dark influence of George Soros on modern American politics. But it is sufficient to confirm the worst fears that Soros is a one-man conspiracy to cripple America. The extent of his influence and effectiveness is truly horrifying.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: The Democrat Convention – A Spectacle of Duplicity

August 12th, 2016 by Halli

by Richard Larsen

Ronald Reagan once memorably stated, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Seldom do we get such a grand stage to prove the veracity of his statement, as we did at the Democrat Convention last week. Here are just a few of the numerous examples that were liberally uttered during their confab.

Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood said on the first day of the convention, “Planned Parenthood was founded 100 years ago, giving women the care they need to live their lives and chase their dreams — no limits, no ceilings.” Apparently she’s forgotten that PP founder, eugenicist Margaret Sanger, held the conviction that blacks and minorities should be “weeded out” from the populace. That sounds like a pretty significant “limit” and “ceiling,” to me!

Michelle Obama said, “We explain [to our girls] when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to that level. No. Our motto is: When they go low, we go high.” Apparently the First Lady is unfamiliar with how Barry has bullied his progressive agenda onto the nation, bypassing congress, which has the only authority to create laws. As the president has said, “I have a pen and a phone,” and he presumed that gave him all the authority necessary for him to create new law by simply and dictatorially declaring it. There has never been a bigger bully in the Oval Office.

She also said, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great — that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth.” Hmm. I seem to recall her saying in 2008, “For the first time in my adult lifetime I’m really proud of my country.” She must not have thought it was too great then. Oh, maybe that’s because her husband hadn’t yet completed his “fundamental transformation” of America. Now that the government has eviscerated so many of our individual rights, and so many socialistic programs imposed on the populace, maybe it’s now great to her.

Senator Elizabeth Warren declared, “Look around. Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat. Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up. Housing, health care, child care — costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans. Working people are in debt. Seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics. And even families who are OK today worry that it could all fall apart tomorrow. This. Is. Not. Right!” Well what do you expect, Senator? Those are the predictable results of seven years of Obama Administration policies. Since Hillary would be the heir apparent to perpetuate those destructive policies, the Senator has unwittingly provided the very evidence why Clinton should not be elected!

Warren also said, “People get it: the system is rigged.” That couldn’t be more true for Bernie Sanders supporters, who saw the DNC rig the system to ensure Hillary’s coronation. And perhaps not coincidentally, the economy is now “rigged” against the middle class, as they shoulder the immense costs associated with the redistributive policies of Obama, and the increased costs of onerous regulations imposed on small business over the past seven years. Yes, it is rigged. And Obama, Clinton, et al did most of the rigging!

Erstwhile presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said, “Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution — our revolution — continues.” One can only wonder if he didn’t get Michelle Obama’s memo that America is already great. And if perpetuation of that “revolution” means more of what the past seven years has dumped on the nation, heaven help us if his revolution is not yet over! The middle class can’t take much more of his idea of “transforming America.”

Khizr Khan, a Gold-Star Father and an immigration attorney specializing in Muslim immigrants, said, “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’” Well, apparently Khizr Khan hasn’t read the Constitution himself. The word liberty only appears in the preface explaining the purpose of the document, and “equal protection of law” is nowhere to be found. Granted, the 14th Amendment assures “equal protection under the law” for citizens, but not for those whom Khan was promoting. Further, when he said Trump’s proposal to limit Islamic immigrants was “unconstitutional,” he obviously didn’t know about the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 which allows the president to “bar migration of any alien or class of aliens the president sees as a threat to the United States for any reason at any time.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said on day two, “As the brother of a retired police officer, I am profoundly aware that an attack on a police officer anywhere is an attack on our entire society. So it is not enough for us to praise law enforcement after cops are killed. We must protect them, value them…” Holder has arguably been at the helm of the nationwide war on policemen. Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke has said of Holder, that he is “the most race-obsessed attorney general in the history of the United States… Everything he does is put through the racial lens. He’s had Ferguson, Missouri and its police department in his crosshairs ever since he went down there with that tragic situation with Mike Brown.” He and his boss are most culpable for the threats to our law enforcement officers resulting from the Black Lives Matter movement.

Former Senator and presidential candidate Howard Dean declared, “We need a president who will defend our interests around the world — not with ignorant bluster and bombast, but with toughness and resolve.” He’s exactly right! Obama certainly hasn’t done that, even with Clinton at his side. Electing the one most responsible for the chaos in Libya, abandoning Americans there to die, and then lying about it, hardly fits the bill!

And finally, from outgoing President Barack Obama, “While this nation has been tested by war and recession and all manner of challenges — I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your president, to tell you I am even more optimistic about the future of America. How could I not be after all we’ve achieved together?” According to the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73% of registered voters say the country is on the wrong track, while just 18% said it is headed in the right direction. I’m not sure he has any ground to brag from. And Hillary represents just more of the same.

And then on the final night it was the candidate herself. In one paragraph in her speech, she lamented the horrible condition of the economy, and yet claimed Obama and Biden didn’t get enough credit for it.

It’s little wonder that a party whose core principles move ever farther from the republic’s foundational values, would display such detachment from reality. These observations should be universally acknowledged, yet inexplicably they get lost in the spin of the media and partisan myopia. If indeed 73% of registered voters believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction, the last thing we should do is to add another four years to the Obama legacy of economic malaise, regulatory overreach, redistributive policies, and foreign policy ineptitude.

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

Richard Larsen: Brexit – A Portent for the EU and Possibly for America

July 9th, 2016 by Halli


by Richard Larsen

Bigger is rarely better. Especially when it comes to governance. The “bigger” government is, the more detached from the governed it becomes; the more onerous its regulations and taxes become, and it becomes more susceptible to the ideologically motivated cause célèbre of the ruling elite. We have seen that verity over the past several years in America, and apparently the United Kingdom (UK) has come to the same conclusion.

Last week UK citizens voted by a narrow majority to withdraw from the European Union (EU), the amalgam of 28 nation states who joined the collective 23 years ago. The EU was to provide member nations more clout and influence by being part of the politico-economic entity that comprised the 2nd largest economy in the world, based on gross-domestic product (GDP).

The result of the vote created a veritable tempest in a teapot for financial markets, as most global stock exchanges dropped by 8-12% over the next two trading sessions. The stock selloff resulted in a predictable flight to safety, as traders moved to treasuries and the metals, spiking bond values and dropping yields. U.S. markets have recovered most of that volatility-induced loss, while most European markets have only somewhat recovered.

The tempest in a teapot metaphor is apropos since it would appear the vote to exit (British Exit, hence, “Brexit,”) was significantly influenced by a planned regulation of the top selling teapots and toasters in the UK. Tea and toast are staples to Britons, as they consume six times the tea their mainland counterparts drink. In April European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accidentally revealed that there would be new restrictions on the devices based on new “ecodesign” models, over concerns with anthropogenic global warming. The new regulations would have banned eight of the best selling teapots and nine of the best selling toasters in the UK. In short, don’t mess with the Brit’s tea and toast!

They were also planning on banning six of the top 10 selling vacuum cleaners in the UK, including immensely popular British manufactured Dyson models. The move was seen as more “nanny state” meddling in the minutia of daily life. And their proposals were seen by Britons, apparently, to be as inane and idiotic as when the U.S. congress outlawed incandescent light bulbs as one of the first “accomplishments” of Nancy Pelosi’s 110th Congress in 2007. Ideologically driven regulatory meddling – the “nanny state” personified!

Brexit is perhaps the first of a series of antiestablishment votes, protesting the perceived disparaging effects of globalization. British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will resign in October. After a new PM is selected at the Conservative Party conference, the new PM will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will initiate the formalities of divorcing the UK from the EU, which are predicted to take about two years to implement.

MFS, the Boston-based mutual fund company, explained in a research piece this week, “To sum up, it looks as though the UK’s decision to leave the EU could be the beginning of a large, protracted process in which dissatisfaction with the effects of three decades of globalization is being expressed in ever more impactful ways.”

Theodore Bromund, senior research fellow in Anglo-American Relations at the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, expresses little concern from the Brexit vote. He argues that the benefits to both the U.S. and the U.K. are much greater than staying with the EU.

“The upside, economically, is that the UK would have the ability to sign genuine free trade agreements with whichever nation or nations that it could negotiate satisfactory agreements. The U.K. has a much wider financial role than just trading with the United States, as important as that is, and the city of London could continue its worldwide financial role, unrestrained by Euro related concerns. So that’s the economic side.”

Marian L. Tupy, senior policy analyst at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute, thinks the effect on the U.S. will be negligible. “I don’t think that British involvement in Europe will have any consequences for America’s economic growth, not at all.”

Professor Tim Congdon of the University of Buckingham, has highlighted the high costs of regulation from the EU. He maintains that EU membership costs the U.K. over 10 percent of GDP, and that long-term they’ll be much better off.

The Brexit vote could be the beginning of the unravelling of the EU. Other countries considering their own “Brexit” are Czechoslovakia (“Czechout”), Finland, (“Finnish”), Italy (“Italeave”), and Netherlands (“Nexit”). As the anti-globalization sentiment grows, there could be a domino effect, which could see the unraveling of the EU and their currency, the Euro. Since the UK retained their Pound Sterling, at least they won’t have to worry about a currency reversion.

Nigel Farage, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), gave some of the credit for the successful Brexit campaign to President Obama. “Threatening people too much insults their intelligence. A lot of people in Britain said, ‘How dare the American president come here and tell us what to do?’ It backfired. We got an Obama-Brexit bounce, because people do not want foreign leaders telling them how to think and vote.”

Presidential candidate Donald Trump was not surprised. “The world doesn’t listen to him.” Trump said he wholeheartedly backed Britain’s decision to leave the EU and once again forge its own path. “You just have to embrace it,” he said. “It’s the will of the people. What happened should have happened, and they’ll be stronger for it.”

Farage explained further, “People power can beat the establishment if they try hard enough.” It worked for the UK, and may carry over to other EU members with their upcoming votes. The U.S. could join that same anti-globalism and anti-establishment wave with a Trump victory in November. Time will tell.

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

Richard Larsen: No-Fly List Gun Control – Denying Citizens Rights Without Due Process

July 9th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The latest efforts to enact gun-control by Democrats in congress are either strictly symbolic, since they would not have stopped the San Bernadino or the Orlando Islamic extremists, or a Trojan horse to abolish the 2nd Amendment. Their proposal is to deny 2nd Amendment rights to anyone on the Transportation Safety Administration’s (TSA) “no-fly list.”

The murderers in San Bernadino and Orlando were not on the no-fly list, so even if such a law were in place, those acts of domestic terrorism would not have been prevented. So from that standpoint, such legislation would be mostly symbolic, and solve little to nothing.

It is much more likely, however, that the legislation is a Trojan horse to literally abolish 2nd Amendment rights of all, or more likely, select citizens. The no-fly list is created by bureaucrats of the Executive Branch, and is so secretive that people don’t even know their names are on it until they attempt to board a flight. We have no idea exactly how many people are on the no-fly list, but an FBI factsheet uncovered by PolitiFact in 2013 indicated there were 47,000 names on the list at that time.

Not only do citizens not know if they’ve been added to the list, they have no way of preventing themselves from being added, since the government maintains it in secrecy, and has provided no clear criteria or rationale for names being added to it. As Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU Nation Security Project has said, “The government puts people on the no-fly list using vague and overbroad standards, and it is wrongly blacklisting innocents without giving them a fair process to correct government error.”

The ACLU has filed suit against the government over their seemingly arbitrary and spurious addition of names. As Shamsi explains, “Our no-fly list lawsuit seeks to establish a meaningful opportunity for our clients to challenge their placement on the list, which is error-prone and has had a devastating impact on their lives.”

And since the list is maintained by the Executive branch, and in secrecy, the potential for abuse is massive. Just look at how the IRS, which is also administered by the Executive branch, has politically targeted purported enemies of the Obama administration, and conservative political activist groups. Such abuse has tyranny and fascism written all over it!

Especially in light of what the Obama administration did just after it came to power in 2009. In an Agency Assessment from Obama’s Department of Homeland Security, titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the “enemies of the state” were clearly identified, and it was entirely based on ideology.

According to the, communiqué the issues qualifying citizens for “enemies of the state” status include opposition to gun control, government infringement on civil liberties, abortion, hate crime legislation, anti-illegal immigration, and opposition to same-sex marriage. In a footnote, the document states, “[Rightwing extremism] may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” In other words, everyone who is not a left-wing radical was identified officially an enemy to the Obama Administration and accused of being a potential domestic terrorist! By their own admission, however, they had no evidence of potential threats, so the assessment was nothing but a political hatchet-job against those who don’t agree with them.

After passage of the Democrat’s bill denying 2nd Amendment rights to those on the no-fly list, all that would need to be done by an unscrupulous and tyrannical president, is put all citizens with political leanings identified by the 2009 Agency Assessment on the no-fly list. From the Democrat’s perspective, problem solved. But for the nation, nothing solved, since leftists perpetrate most mass killings.

Once on the no-fly list, it’s nearly impossible to get off of it. The ACLU has declared, “The government denies watchlisted individuals any meaningful way to correct errors and clear their names.” Eleven term congressman John Lewis (D-GA), has been trying to get his name off of the list for five years.

There is no process by which a citizen can be prevented from being added to the no-fly list, or the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List. Which means, if a citizen were added to one of them, they would be deprived of their constitutional rights without due process, which is guaranteed by the 5th and 14th Amendments. This would be just one step away from the government denying 1st Amendment (freedom of speech, etc.) rights by placement on a government watch list, or “no speak” list, again denying due process, and violating rights assured by our most foundational document. This would be tyrannical and fascistic, and as antithetical to American values as one could get!

This argument was brilliantly illustrated in a House Government Oversight Committee hearing exchange between chairman Trey Gowdy and DHS Deputy Director Kelli Burriesci in December. That two minute video should be watched by every American, and can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wrxmaMLXLE.

And while we’re on this subject, why is it that the ire of the anti-gun left is invariably targeted against the National Rifle Association? Founded in 1871, the NRA is the oldest continuously operating civil rights organization in the country. Their objectives are protecting our 2nd Amendment rights and teaching responsible and proper gun use. Blaming them for abuse of those rights is like blaming the ACLU for 1st Amendment abuses, like hate speech! Can’t get much more illogical and inane than that!

Gun control is a key issue for the left, since it can be so easily fomented emotionally. But it does nothing to address the underlying social and cultural issues which are the cause of violence and domestic terrorism. And using vague government controlled lists as the basis to deny fundamental rights is a violation of our constitutional rights, which define what it means to be an American citizen.

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

Richard Larsen: Solution to Domestic Terrorism is NOT More Gun Control

June 29th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

In the face of the horrible terrorist attack in Orlando this week, Senate Democrats filibustered, holding the floor of the Senate hostage in order to enact more gun control legislation. What they seem incapable of acknowledging, is that it’s not further diminution of our 2nd Amendment that needs correction, but rather a complete overhaul of the Obama Administration’s policies that enable and facilitate such heinous attacks on our own soil.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2010. Obama vowed Tuesday to fight to overturn tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in 2012, just a day after reaching a compromise with Republicans to extend the cuts for two years.

In response to the attack, President Obama showed anger and emotion, something rarely seen from him. But his rage was not directed to the homegrown terrorist who perpetrated the massacre in Orlando, rather it was aimed at his political critics, and Donald Trump, for criticizing Obama’s apparent inability to correctly identify and name the jihadist zealotry that has brought Islamic extremism to the homeland.

Obama angrily lashed out, claiming that calling such terrorism “radical Islam” is not a strategy. He is correct, it is not a “strategy.” But it is the basis for creating a strategy. Sun Tzu, the 6th century Chinese general and military strategist, perspicaciously declared, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles… if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” Obviously, from a strategic standpoint, it’s critical to know not only yourself and your strengths and weaknesses, but also those of your enemy. And your strategy is incapacitated and fundamentally flawed if you refuse to even properly or accurately identify your enemy, especially their motivation.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, correctly identified this fundamental flaw of Obama’s this week when he said to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, “Telling the truth about violent Islam is a prerequisite to a strategy – a strategy you [Obama] admitted you don’t have. It is the Commander-in-Chief’s duty to actually identify our enemies and to help the American people understand the challenge of violent Islam.”

ralph-peters1Lt. Col. Ralph Peters echoed that verity in an interview on Fox News this week. “Using the correct terminology, jihad, & radical Islam, they have legal, strategic, military, and no end of important meanings as applied to the strategy.”
He went on to provide examples of how the Obama administration has weakened our ability to address the threat, not just abroad, but even more significantly, here at home. “We’ve censored our law enforcement, the pentagon and the military. They can’t teach certain things. They can’t teach the history of jihad honestly. They can’t use these terms. The FBI is restricted from using certain terms. How does that help us?”

He concluded, “We’ve got to quit saying that this isn’t Islam. It’s part of it. Jews and Christians have no authority to say what is and isn’t Islam. Muslims have that authority, and hundreds of millions of Muslims have declared that this is it. We have to call it what it is, and what they’re telling us it is.”

Then, addressing the political component of this failure to identify the enemy, he pointed out, “The administration has allowed Muslim activists here to block certain lecturers from speaking at military schools or the FBI Academy. We have allowed radical Muslim activists here in the United States to control the curriculum at our law enforcement and military training schools. It is a phenomenal error. If we can’t teach or have an open and honest debate, hear from both sides, about the history of jihad, about radical Islam, about Wahhabism, what have we come to? This is Orwellian doublespeak: peace is war, war is peace. You’ve got to use language precisely. It has legal, military, cultural implications, and it matters to the strategy.”

751bfb15177cf32c640f6a7067003688In the middle of all of this extremist mayhem, and with the worst domestic terrorist attack since 9/11 serving as a backdrop, the Obama administration quietly announced this week that it’s “fast-tracking” the number of Syrian refugees coming into America. According to Avril Haines, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor this week, “We’re speeding up the admissions process. So far, we’ve admitted about 3,500 Syrian refugees – more in the last five weeks than in the past seven months.”

National Intelligence Director James Clapper said just a few months ago, “We don’t obviously put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees, so that is a huge concern of ours.” And the FBI Director James Comey said just a few months ago in a House hearing, that the government has no way to adequately screen these refugees for jihadist leanings. “We can only query against that which we have collected,” Comey said. “And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.” In other words, there’s no way to adequately vet them.

Chaffetz-428-ThumbnailTo make matters worse, if they could possibly be worse, the Obama administration’s Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) has released over 86,000 illegal immigrant criminals, who committed over 231,000 crimes, just since 2010. This data was made public at a House hearing last month by Rep. Jason Chaffetz. These were aliens who illegally entered the United States, were convicted of crimes here, and then simply released upon the unsuspecting public. We have no breakdown on the nations of origin of those criminals, but considering how porous our southern border is, the odds are great that many could have extremist leanings.

There is ample evidence that Obama’s convoluted and warped ideology carries over to domestic law enforcement. Retired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent Philip Haney had been running a special investigation into a worldwide Islamist movement originating from Pakistan known as Tablighi Jamaat. In the course of his investigation, Haney uncovered numerous connections between several mosques and individuals in the U.S. with known terrorists and terrorist organizations, including Al Qaida and Hamas, among others.

In an open letter to Congress just last year he explained how his program was cancelled. “Almost a year into this investigation, it was halted by [Hillary Clinton’s] State Department and the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. They not only stopped us from connecting more dots, the records of our targets were deleted from the shared DHS database. [Which included over 300 suspects.] The combination of Farook’s involvement with the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque and Malik’s [the San Bernardino jihadist] attendance at al Huda would have indicated, at minimum, an urgent need for comprehensive screening. Instead, Malik was able to avoid serious vetting upon entering the United States on a fiancé visa and more than a dozen Americans are dead as a result.”

He then offered this poignant observation. “The investigation was not stopped because it was ineffective, it was stopped because the Administration told us the civil rights of the foreign nationals we were investigating could be violated.” He then asked this compelling question, “When did foreign nationals gain civil rights in the United States, especially when they are associated with groups we already know are involved in terrorist activity?”

A meme circulating in social media indicates that during Ronald Reagan’s terms, there were 11 mass shootings. Under George H.W. Bush, 12. Under Bill Clinton, 23, and under George W. Bush, 16. But under the accommodating and acquiescent policies of Barack Obama’s administration, there have been 162, most of which they don’t recognize because of their diluted definition of a “mass shooting.”

More gun control is not the answer to these domestic terrorist attacks. The solution is to enforce existing laws against those who conspire to perpetrate terrorist attacks on Americans. Unleash law enforcement to employ profiling and all other effective tools go to the root of the jihadist organizations that have set up shop here at home. Take guns away, and they’ll simply change their weapon of choice, to IEDs or suicide vests. Solve the problem by going to the root, not by thrashing ineffectually at the branches.

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