Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time for Congress to "REIN" In the Alphabet Soup

How come it took so long for someone to recognize the problem?  I have been on this case since...well...I can't really remember.  I even proposed a rule like the one Trump has made that says that for every new rule, two old ones must be repealed.  To find out what I am talking about, read Stephen Moore's post over at Townhall.com entitled Congress Must Stop Death-By-Decree. Moore writes:
Trump is off to a speedy start in rolling back the rule-making industry in Washington. He has signed an executive order that mandates that any agency wanting to implement a new business regulation must at the same time repeal two existing regulations. This should reverse the tide of regulatory burdens. Yet there's so much more to be done. And Congress, not just the president, will have to play a lead role.
Moore is right about the fact that Congress needs to get involved. First, it is the duty of Congress to make the laws that affect business, the people, and the economy. It is not the Executive branch's job. The Constitution firmly places making the laws in the hands of Congress, and executing the laws faithfully in the hands of the President. Some argue that the highly technical nature of such regulations makes it impractical for average citizen lawmakers to understand the myriad things over which they would be making laws. But the fact is that the people who generally make it to Congress are pretty sharp, and can quickly acquire knowledge enough of the subjects, and in any case, they can hire staff with knowledge of these matters to tutor and prepare them.

Second, it is the height of the meaning of "conflict of interest" to have the making of the law and the interpretation and enforcing of the law in the same agency.  Why can no one see this?  The possibilities for abuse are endless, and in fact have occurred under both Republican and Democrat administrations.  Since the courts tend to defer to the agencies in such matters, the chance for an ordinary citizen caught up in the byzantine red tape to receive justice is almost nonexistent.

Third, it is most undemocratic, which of course is the Progressive way.  While maintaining the forms of democratic governance, the Progressives have slowly piled one undemocratic law on another until our entire government is ruled by unelected bureaucrats and judges.  In point of fact, Betsy DeVos's statement that she wants to work herself out of a job should be on the lips of most of the cabinet positions and executive commissions created since the turn of the last century.  Most are not needed and do more harm than good.  Congress has slowly ceded so much power to these agencies, that at times it seems to have become irrelevant.
The solution is a law that requires congressional approval before a regulation takes place. If I had my way, each and every new rule would only take effect after a vote of approval by the House and Senate. If they have to stay up until midnight to do it, so be it.
That's what we pay these people for. At the very least, the Regulations in Need of Scrutiny Act (or the "REINS Act") would require congressional approval of any rule with a cost of $100 million to workers, employers or consumers.
At the very least, indeed.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Compelling Christians to Endorse Gay Weddings

In his most recent post, over at Townhall.com, entitled It Is Absolutely Outrageous for the Government to Force Christians to Violate Their Faith Michael Brown asks how this can happen. The answer I think is the unspoken assumption that these poor, confused folks have no choice in the matter of being gay. While the "gay gene" has not been discovered yet, and I doubt it ever will, belief in the "gay gene" is the over riding concept that makes violating the Constitution seem acceptable.  These people also view the Constitution as being written by old farts who could not possibly know what today's hip people know.  What arrogance.

Remember when the mixing of two different races, was viewed by some as against God's laws.  Never mind that the Bible never said a word about it.  These people, having no understanding of God's law, and view Christians who will not participate in gay weddings as being just like the bigots of old.  But there is a huge difference.  In the old days, people who viewed mixing the races as wrong or sinful often took action to murder couples of two races.  Nobody is murdering these people.  They are simply asking to be left alone.  The aggressors are now the ones supposedly discriminated against.

Michael Brown is right to cry foul here.  While discrimination because of race is, and was wrong, and there is no Biblical basis for it, discrimination against gay behavior is not in the same class.  I do not know if being gay is a choice or not, but engaging in gay behavior is.  It is the behavior, not the person that results in discrimination.  Say a gay person goes into a shop and wants to buy cookies.  Is anyone going to refuse?  No, of course not.  Even if a Christian knows that the person is gay, they are not going to refuse.  It is only when asked to participate in gay behavior that the Christian will refuse.  And being asked to supply cakes, flowers, or a venue for a gay wedding is asking participation.  In essence, the State is requiring Christians to endorse a gay wedding.  The State is compelling the expression of speech in favor of gay weddings,whether one believes in gay weddings or not.

Such outrageous court rulings can not be allowed to stand.  Eventually, one or more such cases will reach the Supreme Court, and it will be imperative that a strict originalist like Neil Gorsuch is on the court.  In the meantime, Christians should cry out about this as often as people will listen.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Christians Finally Getting Priority in Refugee Program

Uzay Bulut has a good article on the plight of Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS. The article is over at the Gatestone Institute entitled The West's Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians. Bulut writes:
Finally, after years of apathy and inaction, Washington is extending a much-needed helping hand to Middle Eastern Christians. U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.
Christians and Yazidis are being exposed to genocide at the hands of ISIS and other Islamist groups, who have engaged in a massive campaign to enslave the remnant non-Muslim minorities and to destroy their cultural heritage.
Without dwelling on the indifference of the previous administration to the fate of these people, who are the true refugees as the word is defined, u us gratifying to see that the Trump administration is finally doing something about it. The United States is a nation founded by Christians, based upon Christian law and values, and we should prioritize Christians in our refugee program. Let Muslim countries take in Muslims.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch

President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia has been praised by conservatives including some Never Trumpers like Glenn Beck.  Overall, I agree.  The Second Amendment is very important to me, but not at the expense of the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Gorsuch does not really have a Second Amendment record, so getting at how he might rule on a Second Amendment case has to be done by looking at other rulings that have some reasonable bearing on the Second Amendment.  Andrew F. Branca has that article over at National Review today entitled What Justice Gorsuch Might Mean for the Second Amendment.

Branca is correct that we in the 2A community are often quick to cry wolf because we have been burned so frequently. And while we have lately been gaining ground, for too long we have been losing it by the trick of "compromise" in which the gun grabbers propose something, and we feel we have won because we talked them out of going the whole hog. But make no mistake, we have lost a little piece of our rights, and they will be back for more. The gun grabbers are never satisfied. So it is reassuring that an attorney who has been in the thick of gun rights for 30 years says that Gorsuch can (probably) be trusted.  There are no guarantees that we will not get another David Souter.

I am inclined to let Trump run with things, as long as he acts withing his authority under the Constitution.  So far, so good.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thanks, Obama, For Another Injustice

It is shocking to me that a Federal Court of Appeals could find that the mere act of going armed for self defense constitutes automatic suspicion on the part of the police.  But, according to David French writing for National Review Online, in an article entitled Fourth Circuit Takes Aim at Gun Owner Rights, that is exactly what the Fourth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals 0did. French writes the article from the point of view of gross judicial activism, which it of course is. The judges literally wrote new law. But it is also a civil rights issue with little in the way of evidence to back it up. The judges went way beyond the facts to strike at concealed carry permit holders, lawful gun owners all.

The case in question was a frisk of a felon in possession of a gun, of whom the police had a reliable tip that he was  carrying a weapon.  Ok, so far so good. But then the judges go further as French reports:
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just suffered from an outbreak of bad judging. In an en banc opinion, the court ruled that after a lawful traffic stop, the police may frisk any person who they believe may possess a firearm, regardless of whether that person possesses a concealed-carry permit. The court actually typed this sentence: “The danger justifying a protective frisk arises from the combination of a forced police encounter and the presence of a weapon, not from any illegality of the weapon’s possession” (emphasis added.) The implications were clear: Even lawful gun owners are by definition “dangerous” and can be broadly treated as such by the state.
This is nothing short of an open invitation to the State to treat all gun owners as criminals in possession of arms, whether they are actually carrying or not.  Since any time a police officer stops a car for any reason, the existence of a concealed carry permit comes up on his computer, he knows before he confronts the individual that he has such a permit.  By law, we in North Carolina must also tell the officer that we have a permit and whether or not we are armed.  But even if not armed, the police do not have to believe us, and can prone us out on the side of the road on the mere suspicion that we might be dangerous.  This opinion gives them the right to suspect anyone who might be carrying a firearm.

This kind of reasoning, and judicial activism belongs more in the Ninth Circus...er...Circuit than in the Fourth.  According to David Codrea at the War on Guns, we have Obama to thank for this abortion of justice.

Thanks, Obama.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Someone who truly "gets it"

David Codrea at the War on Guns point to this site: All Federal Gun Control is Unlawful - Plubius Huldah I do not know if Plubius Huldah is her real name, probably not, but she certainly understands the law. Go have a listen. Its 25 minutes long, but well worth it.

 As I have noted before, among Constitutional Conservatives, the eventual goal is to repeal all Federal gun control. States can, of course, impose gun control, but would be wiser to impose gun regulation in accordance with their duty to develop and train a functioning militia.  Plubius Huldah makes all these points in her speech: that our right to arms comes from God, not the Constitution; that all Federal gun control is Unconstitutional, therefore null and void; that the Federal government is the creation of the States, and therefore the States sovereignty is higher than that of the Federal government; that the Federal Constitution list 21 powers, none of which is to regulate or control guns.

People tell me that I just don't "get it," that in today's complicated and highly sophisticated world we can be ruled by an ancient document written by slave holders.  But if you read the contents of text messages and tweets, one can be forgiven for thinking that we have actually become less sophisticated in our present day.  Then people were educated, today they are trained for jobs.  In the end, I don't buy the hype.  I believe we can still be ruled by the Constitution, and that the closer we cleave to it, the more free and prosperous we will be.

Wynton Marsalis has Class to Go Along With a Towering Talent.

As someone who has played the trumpet, and someone who loves to hear well played trumpet and brass music, I have long respected the ability of Wynton Marsalis to play the instrument with seeming superhuman ability.  His classic recording of Baroque Music for Trumpet sets new standards for the interpretation of music, and includes a moving version of Pachelbel's Canon in D that my Wife considers the absolute greatest recording of that piece ever done, bar none. I have gone to Wolf Trap twice to see Mr. Marsalis perform, as well as Dizzy Gillespie, and I have attended the Lincoln Center on two occasions to see performances of the original Canadian Brass.  Of course while his great classical recordings set new benchmarks, his jazz recordings are incredible.  I have Standard Time vol. 1 and 2.  I see there is a 3 that I need to obtain at some point.

One thing that has impressed me about Wynton Marsalis is that he has kept his political opinions to himself. Marsalis is a towering talent, putting to shame many lesser lights who sound off really just to get attention. He works with young students extensively, and as noted, performs occasionally as well. So, it was with interest that I read Clarice Feldman's blog on American Thinker entitled Wynton Marsalis Nails It on Performers Boycotting the Inauguration. There was a time when if a President asked someone to perform at a function, if that someone could arrange to do so, he did. It didn't matter whether he was the one for whom you voted. Respect for the office compelled even the loyal opposition to accede to such demands.  After all, if the President wants you to perform, he clearly finds you talented and accomplished enough to showcase for his guests.  Can one not feel honored for that?

With the election in 2008 of Barack Obama, I did not cry, or throw a fit, or riot, or do any of the things Leftists have done.  I knew what Obama was, and I considered McCain to be really no better.  My one nod to protest was to take down the flag that I have flown in the yard.  It is still folded up, by the way.  When people ask why I no longer fly my flag, I point out that we no longer live in the United States of America.  We now live in the territory once occupied by the United States of America.  It is true, Barack Obama and his minions have turned the once great USA into a banana republic.  None of the things he believes about this country are true.  We were not colonial powers, we did not steal the resources that made us the biggest economy on the globe.  It was, after all Texas oil, not Middle Eastern oil that fueled much of our industrial expansion, and we bought the Middle Eastern oil, we didn't steal it.  And the steel used to fight WWII, that came from the Great Lakes region.

 When the same people came out in support of Obama in 2012, I was again appalled, but I still did not protest beyond keeping my flag down.  I have watched as Obama and his administration have torn the fabric of this nation, starting with the rule of law, and the Constitution.  But they did not do it alone.  No, it was more a case of Gulliver being tied down by the Lilliputians.  Now that the Lilliputians are on the run, we must finally destroy them (not literally) or drive them out.

I read a lot or enthusiastic things about Trump's agenda from people that, as far as I know, have little knowledge of it,   Truth be told, however, it Trump puts good and decent Supreme Court Justices in place, honors and defends the Constitution, and brings back the rule of Law, it will be enough.  I will be able to fly my flag again..  In the meantime, I think I will put on my copy of Baroque Music for Trumpets once again.  Good on ya, Mr. Marsalis.