Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

Who’s afraid of ‘Rocky Mountain Heist?’

by Michelle Malkin on Sunday, October 19th, 2014

This is article 72 of 72 in the topic Book & Movie Reviews

Who’s afraid of ‘Rocky Mountain Heist?’
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Free at last! I’m silent no more. Now, the story can be told.

Democrats here in my adopted state of Colorado did not want the new political documentary I hosted to see the light of day. They lost. This week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency injunction declaring that our movie deserved the same free-speech rights as a “traditional” (translation: old-guard liberal) news organization.

Rocky Mountain Heist,” produced by David Bossie’s Citizens United and directed by Jason Killian Meath, tells the story of how a wealthy quartet of liberal millionaires and billionaires in Colorado — known as the “Gang of Four” — took over the once-red state of Colorado in the course of a decade.

As a conservative journalist in both “old” and “new” media for more than two decades, I’ve used my First Amendment rights to follow the radical left’s money and connect the dots for readers and viewers. The media marketplace has been too long dominated by liberal corporate statists allied with Big Government, cloaked in the pretense of institutional objectivity.

The 10th circuit panel of three judges unanimously rejected speech-stifling arguments that our expose was somehow an “electioneering communication” subject to onerous disclosure requirements — from which the likes of the Denver Post or Colorado public radio are arbitrarily exempt. It’s “government putting its thumb on the scale,” Citizens United super-lawyer Ted Olson argued in court — treacherously elastic and prone to abuse.

A six-year resident of Colorado, you can imagine my amusement, sitting in court last week in Denver, listening to government officials capriciously attack our film (which they hadn’t seen) as a “drop-in attack ad” from nefarious, out-of-state interests.

Reality check: The nearly-hour-long film illustrates how the Gang of Four coordinated their campaign targets and spending behind closed doors. We report on how they drafted up elitist plans to “educate the idiots.” With commentary from journalists, local and state Republican lawmakers, and even one political science professor (who ironically testified against Citizens United’s right to equal media treatment!), “Rocky Mountain Heist” traces how the liberal scions and their “Colorado Democracy Alliance” captured the governor’s mansion, the state legislature, and two Senate seats.

As I’ve reported previously, CODA spawned the national Democracy Alliance. “Over the past nine years,” the organization brags to potential contributors, DA has “aligned leaders in the progressive movement and political infrastructure” to “achieve victories at the ballot box and in policy fights.” Their agenda spans “social justice,” “climate change,” “voting rights,” gun control, illegal alien amnesty, campaign finance and sustained “strategic investment” to turn red states blue.

Colorado activists in our movie inform voters how Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper pandered to his wealthy patrons and out-of-state special interests. Interviewees enlighten viewers on how Hickenlooper imposed radical laws and regulations restricting economic and personal freedoms on energy businesses, gun owners and entrepreneurs. The deep-pocketed progressive donors funneled gobs of undisclosed money to astroturf groups and a network of liberal non-profits — all while screaming about the need for “transparency” and the “people’s right to know.” “Rocky Mountain Heist” shows how the “Colorado model” is migrating to Texas and Virginia, and highlights how liberty-loving Coloradans have been fighting back.

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Concealed carry permit holder stops robber who was threatening to hit him with a large stick

by John Lott on Sunday, October 19th, 2014

This is article 580 of 581 in the topic Gun Rights
From Sylacauga, Alabama (Al.com):

. . . Police Chief Chris Carden . . . said in a news release that a man was walking near Beth Yates Park on West Spring Street Sunday at about 6:15 p.m. when he was approached by Hall, who threatened him with a large stick and demanded money.

The victim pulled out a handgun and aimed it at Hall, who then fled the scene, Carden said. The victim was unharmed, and he returned home to give a detailed description to police of the man who threatened him. Patrol officers located Hall near Ogletree Plaza, matching the man’s description.

Carden said . . . “I’m also extremely proud of the victim whom I spoke with today and thanked for his service.”

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Home owner shoots man who was breaking into home at 10:45 PM

by John Lott on Sunday, October 19th, 2014

This is article 581 of 581 in the topic Gun Rights
From Lake Elsinore, California (The Press Enterprise):

. . . About 10:45 p.m., a woman called 911 to report a burglary in progress, Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a news release. The woman said a man was trying to force his way into their home in the 100 block of South Torn Ranch Road and that her husband had armed himself with a handgun.

Sheriff’s officials said the husband, who is in his 40s, warned the man that he was armed and would shoot if he continued. The intruder did not heed the resident’s warning, breaking a window, and the homeowner opened fire, according to sheriff’s officials.

Sheriff’s officials said there is no known connection between the intruder and the residents. Sgt. Mike Manning said the intruder threatened the family and demanded to be let inside. He said the intruder was not armed.

“The Sheriff’s Department is not seeking charges against the homeowner at this time,” Manning said in the release. . . .

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Law vs Anti-Law

by Dr. Robert Owens on Friday, October 17th, 2014

This is article 185 of 185 in the topic US Constitution

America was founded upon the principles of Natural Law.  The Progressives led us into the realms of Legal Positivism.  The vast government apparatus they have constructed has progressed into a dystopian fantasy land beyond law where faceless bureaucrats in an alphabet soup of departments create regulations with the force of law from thin air.  Such is the journey from tyranny to tyranny in ten generations.  Such is the journey from law to anti-law.

We built this Republic on the foundation of Natural Law:

The opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence is unarguably the most famous.  Countless American students have memorized it, regurgitated it for exams, and many can still recite it many years later.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

While many will point to this preamble as  a statement of why the Declaration was made few in our present generation can define what Thomas Jefferson was referring to, which was a common term and a common understanding at the time of its composition, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

In his book, The Five Thousand Year Leap, by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen,he  points out that “…the debates in the Constitutional Convention and the writings of the Founders reflect a far broader knowledge of religious, political, historical, economic, and philosophical studies.”  He also states, “The thinking of Polybius, Cicero, Thomas Hooker, Coke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, John Locke, and Adam Smith salt-and-peppered their writings and their conversations.  They were also careful students of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and even though some did not belong to any Christian denomination, the teachings of Jesus were held in universal, respect and admiration.”

The ancient Roman Cicero was a victim of turbulent power politics and eventually killed for writing against the dictatorship of Caesar, but in his writings On the Republic and On the Laws he spoke about Natural Law.  He spoke of it as True Law or Right Law. “True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting;…It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely.  We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people…one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law,…”

Introduced in 1766, Blackstone’s became the law book of the Founding Fathers.  In fact, political scientists have shown that Blackstone was one of two most frequently invoked political authorities of the Founders.  Like Cicero more than a thousand years before Blackstone recognized Natural Law as the sure foundation of human society when he stated, “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation (the law of nature’s God), depend all the human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”

In essence what all this means is that there are laws greater than any laws man can make therefore there are areas which are beyond legislation.  In America we attempted to safeguard those areas such as individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity with a constitution.  This Constitution was written to limit the power of government to those powers and only those powers which had been specifically delegated to it.

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Neighboring business owner stops credit union robbery by two armed men

by John Lott on Thursday, October 16th, 2014

This is article 579 of 581 in the topic Gun Rights
The fact that the individual who stopped this robbery was outside his business when he saw what was happening indicates that it is a concealed handgun permit holder who stopped this robbery.  From Phoenix, Arizona:

. . . Two armed suspects wearing masks entered the Desert Schools Credit Union near Cactus and Tatum around 3 p.m. and attempted to rob it, police said. A witness then opened fire on the suspects. It is not known if the suspects returned fire.

Authorities said one of the suspects was shot and transported to a local hospital where he died. The second suspect fled the bank and stole a vehicle from someone at gunpoint, damaging several cars as he fled.

That suspect struck a mini-van, which then ran into a wall near 44th Street and Thunderbird. Two people in the mini van were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was taken into custody.

The owner of the salon next door to the bank said it was another business owner who opened fire. . . .

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Black leaders slam Supreme Court’s ‘cowardice’ in marriage protection ruling

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

This is article 31 of 31 in the topic Marriage

A number of black Christian pastors and church leaders slammed the United States Supreme Court justices for turning down a case that would once and for all settle the dispute and divisiveness created by the issue of same-sex marriage. The National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders characterized the court’s decision — “not to hear the case” and send it back to the lower courts — as cowardice on the part of the nine members of the nation’s highest court.

Has the Supreme Court become just another politically-motivated body of black-robed lawyers?

Has the Supreme Court become just another politically-motivated body of black-robed lawyers?
SCOTUS Press Gallery

On Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court simply stated that it would not review cases which overturned state laws of five states defining marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman. The African American Christian group was disappointed that the court gave no explanation for its seemingly arbitrary decision.

The very next day, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguably the most far-left federal court in the nation, overturned two traditional marriage laws, one in the state of Idaho, the other in Nevada. In their press release on Thursday, the Christian group said, “As a result of the decisions this week, 32 states are potentially forced to recognize so called “same-sex marriage” by edict of unelected federal judges holding life-time appointments.”

However, the members of the National Coalition of Black Pastors and Christian Leaders, a client of the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, promised the news media and the American people that these African American church leaders would press on and fight for the traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

“While the mainstream news media — who act as the propaganda machine for gay and lesbian groups — attempts to portray opponents of same-sex marriage as being elderly, white Republicans, the truth is that a overwhelming majority of blacks and Latinos oppose anything but traditional marriage. It’s only in the white community in which you find most of the support for same-sex marriage,” notes political strategist and attorney Victor Rygardt.

Rygardt claims that one of the disturbing trends within much of the news media is the simplistic “good guys vs. bad guys” scenario. “Agenda-driven ideologues masquerading as journalists portray supporters of gay and lesbian marriages as the victimized good guys battling the evil and intolerant mob of Christians and Jews who oppose such concepts,” he said. “The fact is that the nation’s political leaders, the courts and the bureaucrats who run the country are supporters of same-sex marriage, so it is the Christian pastors who are David battling the all-powerful Goliath — the political leaders and their media mouthpieces,” he added.

One of the Black Coalition members, Pastor Danny Holliday, of Victory Baptist Church in Alton, Illinois, told the news media: “Just as the Supreme was all wrong on slavery, which resulted in the Civil War, it is all wrong on legalizing same-sex marriage. I have seen prayer removed from schools, Christmas Nativity Scenes removed from public property. I have watched as the words Merry Christmas have become taboo.

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A Supreme Court, Not Supreme Wisdom

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, October 12th, 2014

This is article 61 of 61 in the topic Courts

By Alan Caruba

I am not a lawyer, but I have read the Constitution and I cannot find any indication that the Founding Fathers intended the guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” in the 14th Amendment to include same-sex marriage.
The idea would have been regarded as an abomination to the men who created the Constitution. To many who regard the institution of marriage a sacred bond between a man and a woman, the decisions of lower courts that have facilitated same-sex marriage are deeply offensive
When the Supreme Court decided not to decide upon appeals from seven states regarding lower court rulings that their bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, they essentially endorsed same-sex marriage. It is now legal in 25 states, paving the way for a total of 30 states that recognize it, but only by popular vote in three of them; the rest had it imposed through the courts.
The same can be said of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that permitted abortion as a legal right. Here again, the 14th Amendment was cited. As one source noted, “The Court summarily announced that the ‘Fourteen Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action” includes “a right to personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy and that “this right of privacy…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
As this is being written, there have been more than 57,245,810 fetuses aborted since 1973 and, this year, there have been 840,045. Thus, decisions that the Supreme Court makes can literally result in life or death.
One of the most dramatic decisions of an earlier Supreme Court was the 1857 Dred Scott case that ruled that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and thus had no standing to sue in federal court, nor that the federal government had any power to regulate slavery in the territories acquired after the creation of the nation. The Civil War would follow in 1861 and last until 1865, resulting in more than 600,000 casualties, but finally ending slavery in America. Even some of the Founding Fathers had predicted that conflict.
When the Supreme Court has wandered into the area of social policy and culture, it has made decisions that were contrary to the majority of the population. The decision about slavery was about property—the slave–but many regarded slavery as an institution that must be ended.
The Supreme Court, of course, is not one long list of bad decisions. It has done much good and one man is credited with setting it on its course as a co-equal brand of the federal government. That man was John Marshall. I doubt that his name and deeds are  even taught in the schools of America.
As a brilliant and very entertaining biography by Harlow Giles Unger, “John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Save the Nation”, reveals, “Marshall’s pronouncements would ensure the integrity and eminence of the Constitution and the federal government and catapult him into the pantheon of American Founding Fathers as the father of the American federal justice system.”
“He would become the longest serving Chief Justice in U.S.

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CNN interviews me on "Why blacks should have more guns"

by John Lott on Friday, October 10th, 2014

This is article 578 of 581 in the topic Gun Rights
CNN’s John Blake has a new article on how race and guns.  Bob Cottrol is also interviewed for the piece.  Here is part of the discussion where he discusses my work:

Some gun rights advocates say contemporary black communities could learn from that tradition of self-defense.

Restrictive gun control laws often victimize black people more than any other group because they suffer disproportionately from violent crime, says John R. Lott Jr., author of “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.”

A black person is 6.5 times more likely to become a murder victim than someone who is white; and 92% of black murder victims are killed by members of their own race, Lott says.

“Given the anger about police in many black communities, it might make more sense to let the law-abiding citizens in those communities have a greater chance to defend themselves,” says Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a group that examines the links between gun control and crime.

There are some who say that gun laws actually discriminate against poor blacks by making it more difficult for them to buy guns for protection, he says. He says states do this by raising the costs of concealed gun permits, training and other fees that price out poor minorities.

And gun restrictions don’t help black people living in violent neighborhoods, he says. Every time guns have been banned, Lott says, murder rates have increased. When the state of Massachusetts increased the costs of gun ownership, the number of registered gun owners in the state plummeted — and the state’s murder rate rose. Other academics say Lott’s research is faulty.

“The big problem,” Lott says, “is that law-abiding good citizens, not criminals, obey the gun control laws.”

But are gun proponents like Lott really promoting safety or, as one scholar says, are they selling fear?

Gallagher, the sociologist, says gun producers and the NRA create a perpetual state of fear so that people can buy their products. An NRA spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, was repeatedly contacted but declined to answer questions submitted for this article. . . .

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Actor Dean Cain speaks out on how a personal experience shaped his views on guns

by John Lott on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

This is article 576 of 581 in the topic Gun Rights
From Fox News:

The actor is particularly vocal about gun rights. He said a frightening experience at his home in Los Angeles helped shape his opinion on the topic.

“I was terrified. I’m a big, strong guy and my knees were buckling like ‘Oh my gosh,’” Cain said of a night when he awoke to a stranger pounding on his door. “I’m armed to-the-teeth now. At 4 o’clock in the morning come bang at my door, my knees won’t buckle.” . . .

This provides a contrast with recent news that Liam Neeson opposing guns.  On the other hand, you have people such as Jerry Lewis and Robert De Niro who are gun owners.

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Pennsylvania state government moving to protect gun owners from local government regulations

by John Lott on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

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