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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Senator Larry Craig to Resign Today

Under enormous pressure from state voters and top Republicans at the national level, sources close to Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig indicated that the Senator intends to resign from his Senate seat on Saturday.

Craig had pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge when he was arrested in June in a police sex sting operation at an airport men's room. The particular men's room in question had been known to be a gathering place for homosexual men who were looking for sexual encounters.

With the 2008 election cycle drawing near, Republicans could ill afford a major scandal, particularly when it involves what many of Party's voting base consider to be a hot-button item.

Among the Party's national leadership and the grassroots rank-and-file back home, the overwhelming consensus was that Craig resign.

Immediately after news broke on Thursday that Craig's days in the Senate may be numbered, speculation ensued concerning who would be his replacement in the U.S. Senate. Quickly the name of Ryan Horsley, owner and manager of Red's Trading Post--the oldest gun store in Idaho--surfaced as a strong contender.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that in the case of a vacated Senate seat, the Governor of the state in question appoints a person to fill out the term of the person who vacated the seat.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has several potential choices--U.S. Representative Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Lieutenant Governor James Risch. and Ryan Horsley, among others.

If Otter chooses Simpson, the vacated House seat would be filled by a special election ordered by the Governor, according to the U.S. Constitution. Ryan Horsley has indicated interest in the House seat, but he would need to put together a campaign and win the majority of the votes in his district.

This should not be hard to do given Horsley's name-recognition and popularity within that House district.

However, Fox News is reporting that Governor Otter is leaning toward appointing Lieutenant Governor Risch to the Senate seat. In the past Risch had indicated he would be interested in running for the U.S. Senate should Craig decide to retire.

The Governor's office, however, is insisting that Otter has not come to any firm decision concerning Craig's seat and that no promises have been made to anyone. One source close to the Governor stated that all options are still on the table, and furthermore, it is inappropriate to discuss replacements before Craig has resigned.

Politics is a meticulous cat-and-mouse game with various nuances that color and influence choices. In the case of Senator Craig, while it is lamentable that hypocrisy seems to be so central to his political career, in many ways it is even more lamentable that the private lives of our elected representatives seem to be more important than their stance on the issues.

Larry Craig has been one of the most reliable and solid advocates for Second Amendment rights in America today. For that we can be very grateful.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/31/07

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Ryan Horsley at Red's Trading Post is considering an appointment to the U.S. House:

To contact Idaho's Governor Butch Otter concerning the appointment to the Senate and the House, click here:

Red's Trading Post also announces the Idaho premier of the film, 'In Search of the Second Amendment':

The McCarville Report says that Fred Thompson will formally announce his candidacy for President on September 6:

McCarville also has the scoop on the news that the aircraft carrying Senators Inhofe (Oklahoma), Shelby (Alabama), and Martinez (Florida) was fired upon by enemy rockets as they departed Baghdad:

Why is it that whenever something like this happens, i.e., a Republican who's life is in mortal danger, the extremist element that runs the Democratic Party laments that they did not die? They are doing it again over the incident in Iraq, and McCarville has the entire sickening story:

Gun Law News has the intriguing story of the 'new Zumbo'--Joaquin Jackson, who has volunteered to be an ex-board member of the NRA:

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership comments on several items of interest, including the Bill of Rights and Red's Trading Post:

John Lott has an example of a gun control picture supposedly drawn by a 6-year-old but the handwriting of which suggests someone much older:

The War on Guns posts an interesting read on the response of the so-called 'Amendment II Democrats' to the criticism they received over some fairly blatant hypocrisy:

The Ninth Stage informs us of a charity shoot in Nashville to benefit the Nashville area American Cancer Society:

The Bitch Girls have more information showing us why there is no such thing, from a simple economics standpoint, as paying too much for a gun:

Sebastian at Snow Flakes in Hell throws his support behind Ryan Horsley for Congress:

Say Uncle makes the excellent suggestion that Ryan Horsley disclose his stance on other issues besides the Second Amendment:

Of Arms and the Law posts a MUST-read on the fallacy of the argument that 'the government will protect you':

Cameron Bailey points to an interesting discussion on the case of an innocent physician who has been brought up on federal drug charges:

Alphecca provides the news that a gun store in Wisconsin is going to raffle an AK-47, much to the chagrin of the anti-gun bigots:

The Jet Pilot posts the full scoop on Fred Thompson's upcoming announcement on Sept. 6, including information on what activists can do to help:

UPDATE! Ryan Horsley May Be Appointed to House

The buzz out of Idaho today is that the resignation of Senator Larry Craig will be today. The Governor of Idaho will in all likelihood appoint a present member of the U.S. House of Representatives to fill Craig's seat in the Senate.

If this is the case, that will create a vacancy in the House. It so happens that the district in question is Ryan Horsley's House district.

Horsley has indicated that if politics is in the works for him at the present time, he would prefer to serve in the House rather than the Senate.

We feel that either one would be great for our community and for the citizens of Idaho.

Remember, all of this is speculation at present. We still do not know how the whole thing will play out, and the Governor may appoint Idaho's Lieutenant Governor to the Senate seat, which would mean that there would be NO vacancy except for Lieutenant Governor.

In order to support Horsley's bid to be appointed to either the Senate or the House seats, go to the Red's Trading Post site and click on the link to the Governor's office in Idaho. Let the Governor know that appointing Ryan Horsley to one of these seats would be a great decision.

Click here to go to Red's Trading Post:

Idaho's Ryan Horsley for U.S. Senate?

The mounting woes of U.S. Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, stemming from his arrest in a sting operation at an airport restroom, has fed speculation that the Senator's resignation may be imminent.

In the event of such a resignation, the name of Red's Trading Post owner/manager Ryan Horsley has surfaced as a possible replacement.

Horsley has risen to both state and national prominence in his ongoing battle with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The BATFE has targeted Red's for unprecedented and unnecessary harassment as part of its modus operandi to drive gun shops out of business.

As reported on The Liberty Sphere, the BATFE often uses something as minor and insignificant as a misspelled word on a license application form to revoke the sales licenses of gun dealers.

The gestapo-like tactics of the BATFE was visited upon Red's in a series of clearly oppressive raids designed to 'catch' the gun shop in some violation of regulations.

Shockingly, the BATFE claimed harassment on the part of Red's during its last gestapo raid due to the fact that citizens who were present at the time began to video record the actions of the agents. The case is now in court, and Red's faces upwards of $100,000 in legal defense fees.

Not to be outwitted or oppressed into silence by a rogue arm of the Department of Justice, law-abiding gun owners across the nation came to Red's defense. Gun rights groups such as the NRA, the GOA, and the JPFO have stepped up to the plate in fine fashion to give Ryan Horsley a national platform from which to describe the unlawful harassment conducted by the BATFE.

The GOA even started a legal defense fund for Horsley.

Horsley has also appeared on several national radio talk shows. The national publicity given to Horsley and his fight against the BATFE has even caught the attention of several in the U.S. Congress who are now demanding an accounting on the part of the Department of Justice and the BATFE.

So what, exactly, does all of this have to do with the scandal surrounding Idaho's Senator Larry Craig? Craig has been caught in a hypocrisy scandal that the GOP can ill afford in the year prior to a national election. Clearly Craig is a liability since he has made public statements denouncing the very behavior for which he was arrested.

Several of the GOP Presidential candidates have denounced Craig. Some GOP Senators and Congressmen are openly calling for his resignation.

Word was received late Thursday that if Craig refuses to step down, the Republican National Committee itself may demand that Craig relinquish his Senate seat.

Enter Ryan Horsley. Despite the BATFE's attempts at character assassination in its vendetta against lawful gun dealerships, Horsley has garnered a stellar reputation among the residents in his local area of Idaho. He has been active in local government, serving on various committees, and is known to be an honest, reliable, and trustworthy public servant and private citizen, as well as a reputable businessman.

No doubt the fact that Horsley has become a major figure in Idaho in his fight against a very unpopular federal bureau is the impetus leading to calls for Craig to be replaced by Horsley.

It is our view that if Horsley feels that becoming a U.S. Senator is the best way for him to fight for his beliefs, then his ascension to the U.S. Senate would be an excellent turn of events.

The Department of Justice and its gestapo unit, the BATFE, could hardly continue to conduct its vendetta against gun owners, gun shops, and gun manufacturers with a member of the U.S. Senate who knows first-hand the underhanded and illegal tactics of the feds.

Ryan Horsley's selection to fill the vacated Senate seat of Larry Craig, if and when Craig resigns, could well be the very first nail in the coffin of an unfortunate and dangerous chapter in the history of the U.S. Government.

We may actually live to see the BATFE de-funded, dismantled, and buried for good.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/30/07

Scroll down for the news:

Images and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Snow Flakes in Hell blogs on the NRA and feuding within the gun-rights community. A timely read!:

Snow Flakes in Hell also catches the Chicago Sun-Times on a point of semantics, with regard to the loose manner in which the word 'civilian' is used when describing gun-fire:

Red's Trading Post makes the excellent observation that the acting director of the ATF should NOT be confirmed as permanent director:

Uncle's blog (Say Uncle) is five years old today. Happy Anniversary, Uncle:

Say Uncle says that the New York Times doesn't care much for the rights described in the Bill of Rights:

The Bitch Girls point out that after years of the dominance of the anti-gun message in the mainstream media, some media outlets are actually beginning to allow the other side of the argument to be heard:

The War on Guns comments on the Virginia Tech report that was released just yesterday:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone follows up with more commentary on the Virginia Tech report here:

Our favorite intellectual, Dr. Walter Williams, has this MUST-read on the Pope's recent condemnation of 'tax avoidance':

Pamela Geller over at Atlas Shrugs has a great post concerning Hillary's latest problems with dirty campaign contributions, as well as a list of scandals, corruption, and convictions tied to those closest to the Clintons:

Cap'n Bob and the Damsel post a video of a Glock 18 in full automatic mode:

Alphecca opines on Joe Biden's latest comments on the Second Amendment:

Alphecca points to a major article appearing in a Boise, Idaho newspaper yesterday on the ATF harassment of Red's Trading Post:

Finally, Alphecca's comments on the banning of the game of tag by a school in Colorado is essential reading for anyone concerned about our rights and the creeping crawl of government control over every minute detail of our lives:

Couric/CBS Goes Bonkers Over Craig Scandal

Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News went bonkers over the Craig scandal, showing a graphic containing pictures of all of the Republicans in Congress who have been implicated in scandals over the past several years.

Never has CBS done a similar thing to highlight Democrats in Congress who have been implicated in scandals. And there have been plenty.

As most Liberty Sphere readers know by now, from time to time we do a quick survey of what and how news gets reported on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Couric's years at the NBC Today Show solidified her credentials as one of the most liberal talking heads in the business.

And with the new evening news producer, who made a name for himself at CNN as one of the most unreliable, biased, and agenda-driven news producers in the business, we wanted to see just how far CBS would go to slant the news it presents on its evening broadcast.

Rarely has CBS News given a fair shake to Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and others who adhere to traditional American values. A perfect case in point is the Craig scandal.

When Couric reported the news that Senator Craig from Idaho had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in an airport bathroom sting operation, the graphic shown behind her contained the pictures of all of the Republicans in recent years who have had their difficulties with scandal.

Yet when Democratic Congressman William Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in cold cash in his freezer, along with charges that he peddled his influence in Congress to benefit foreign governments--for a price, of course--there were no graphics or pictures of all of the Democrats who have been implicated in scandal over the past few years.

And the names of these Democrats read like a Who's Who among the most powerful and influential persons in Washington--Harry Reid, John Conyers, Dianne Feinstein, John Murtha, Ted Kennedy, and Nancy Pelosi.

In fact, not a single outlet of the mainstream media even bothered to mention that Dianne Feinstein engaged in awarding lucrative government contracts to her husband's businesses--a practice that directly benefited Feinstein and her husband, which is against the law.

This major scandal was swept under the rug by the Democratic leadership in Congress and the mainstream media. The closest the story ever came to being reported in a major media outlet was when the Capitol Hill newsletter called 'The Hill' ran the story a couple of months ago.

Does this excuse Senator Craig's hypocrisy and behavior? No way. But it does provide yet one more example of how the liberal mainstream media machine attempts to portray Republicans as those dastardly poor examples of ethics while casting the Democrats as the innocent little angels.

Perhaps, though, the public simply isn't buying it. With public approval of the Democratic-controlled Congress at the all-time low of just 16%, maybe the public has wised up to the underhanded, slanted tactics of CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN to sway voters with one-sided news stories.

All I can say is, it's about time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/29/07

Scroll down for the news:

Images and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

The McCarville Report says that the Oklahoma Democratic Party is in dire financial difficulty:

JR at A Keyboard and a .45 reports on what he did for National Exercise Your Rights Day:

Alphecca comments on the very poor showing for the Jessie Jackson-initiated gun protests across the country yesterday:

Blogonomicon opines on the anti-gun media culture:

Blogonomicon also has a neat vintage 1950s-era gun ad:

Cameron Bailey reports that the Chinese Communists are alive and well as they have launched a web-based patrol to squelch dissent:

Of Arms and the Law has some interesting news about atheist billionaire and Democratic political operative George Soros. One of his front-groups set up to push his extremist liberal agenda has been fined three-quarters of a million bucks by the FEC:

Red's Trading Post shares the good news about brisk sales yesterday:

Say Uncle provides VERY important commentary on the so-called 'gun culture':

Snow Flakes in Hell says that taking a newbie to the shooting range is one of the best things we can do for our cause:

The Bitch Girls point to one of the reasons incumbents seem to be able to gain the upper hand against grassroots opponents:

The War on Guns submits a VERY important request concerning the upcoming Republican YouTube debate on CNN:

John Lott reports that he will be on Glen Beck's show TONIGHT on CNN to talk about concealed handgun laws:

Blonde Sagacity alerts us to the latest example of there being something mighty fishy in the Hillary Clinton campaign when it comes to campaign contributions. This is not the first time serious charges have been made concerning her fundraising activity:

A Nationwide Ban on Smoking?

Conceivably one could have nightmarish visions of a new role for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives--that of enforcing a national smoking ban. After all, tobacco is one item that falls within the broad purview of the bureau.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Mike Huckabee, R-Arkansas, stated Tuesday that they would support a national smoking ban.

Obviously Huckabee's opposition to smoking is based upon religious conviction. Many ministers believe smoking to be sinful. Perhaps they never heard that for over a century countless Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian ministers in North Carolina not only disagreed with that assessment but supported the tobacco industry since it was the state's largest cash crop.

As for Hillary's support for such a ban, it would be hard to imagine the Democratic candidate believing anything at all to be 'sinful' except for what evil capitalists do to the planet and the poor.

Hillary's support for the ban on tobacco arises from the modern liberal mindset, which views government as the ultimate nanny and guardian of our health, our diet, our lifestyle, lest we imbecilic peons make choices that are not for our own good.

After all, only government can know what is for our own good.

The New York Post reported that Hillary is very pleased with local and state laws forbidding smoking in public. She praised New York City in particular for its stringent restrictions on smoking, and further sarcastically quipped that the nay-sayers were predicting hard times for bars and restaurants, when in actuality those businesses continued to flourish after the ban.

It is not at all difficult to determine why restaurants and bars continue to do well in NYC. The desire for food and drink is greater than the desire for tobacco.

When put up against food and booze, tobacco loses every time.

Other cities and towns have not fared so well with smoking bans. Some have even turned down proposals to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

The thing that is particularly troublesome about the notion of a nationwide ban on public smoking is that once again the long and intrusive arm of government reaches into private lives and attempts to regulate individual choice.

And with the BATFE on the loose, looking for ways to continue to justify its existence, it would not be difficult to imagine the day when the agency would be called upon to enforce anti-tobacco laws.

Want to light one up on the street corner after a meal at a fine restaurant? Better resist that urge, or your butt's going to jail, bud!

Surely government has better things to do than to watch citizens for signs of tobacco use. But then again, since when did government ever resist the temptation to seize more power to rule over the lives of citizens?

This is precisely why the words of the Framers are just as relevant today as they were in the 18th century. They warned about this very thing.

And if we are not careful, their very worst fears will come true. As Jefferson warned, 'From time to time liberty must be preserved by the blood of tyrants and of patriots.'

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Second Amendment New Roundup for 8/28/07

Scroll down for the news:

Images and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

David Codrea at The War on Guns has a contest going with a prize to be given to the winner on this National Exercise Your Rights day:

Traction Control has more on the 'buy-some-ammo' day:

A Keyboard and a .45 has news on a brand new gun store called 'Second Amendment Family GunShop.' Hope they sold plenty of ammo today:

Alphecca has the scoop on Jessie Jackson's whereabouts and antics on this national gun protest day he started, which led to the counter-protest called 'National Exercise Your Rights Day':

Blogonomicon shares with us what he bought today to participate in the 'buy some ammo' day:

Cap'n Bob and the Damsel post a great piece entitled, 'Four Truths About Gun Laws':

Random Ramblings of a Republitarian has some good news and shares with us his shopping list for ammo day today:

Say Uncle has this on 'protesting the protest':

Say Uncle also blogs today on one of my favorite subjects--chicks and guns. A group of hot chicks went to the firing range for the first time, pics included:

Keep and Bear Arms has these important news items and editorials for today:

Cameron Bailey has this MUST-read today, entitled, 'Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, totalitarians all':

Of Arms and the Law has the latest comment by Jessie Jackson on the the ATF. He says it is 'underfunded.' What a complete jerk:

Snow Flakes in Hell points to yet another hypocrite who has turned up among the anti-gun bigots:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone has written a letter to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington to complain about her anti-gun views:

Xavier Thoughts has info on a registered Magnum at auction:

The Volokh Conspiracy points to a profile of the man who will become the Acting Attorney-General once Gonzalez exits:

The Bitch Girls raise the question as to whether or not racial preferences have had the effect of reducing the number of black lawyers:

A Conversation Between John and Hillary

The following is a fictitious encounter. Any slight resemblance to the actual characters is purely intentional.

Setting: A back corridor on Capitol Hill
Characters: John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman

McCain: Uh, Hill, you know, ever since that incident in Europe several years ago, you know, when you and I had that contest to see who could drink the most booze without either giving up or passing out?

Hillary: Yeah, John, I remember the first part of it, but the end of it is a bit fuzzy.

McCain: Well, I don't remember a thing about the end of it, ahem, but that is besides the point.

Hillary: (Laughing) Yeah, you little twerp, I beat the socks off ya!

McCain: (Not laughing) As I said, that is not the point, but maybe, in a way it IS the point.

Hillary: Just what IS your point, John?

McCain: Well, Hill, ever since that time, I have been quite know, about your ability to consume a copious amount of alcohol and never miss a beat, until you've had enough to fill the Atlantic Ocean.

Hillary: So I can hold my liquor and you can't! You jealous?

McCain: Hillary, please. I'm trying to be serious here as your friend.

Hillary: Ok, think I have a drinking problem, don't you.

McCain: Well, it did cross my mind.

Hillary: And you are just now bringing it up? This must have something to do with that deal I offered you the other day...ya know, you switch over to the Democrats, and I will offer you the opportunity to be my running mate?

McCain: Oh, no no. I'm not too keen on that offer, Hill, as much as I appreciate the thought. I want to be President. I have the experience and the maturity. I would not be interested in being Vice President. I'm just concerned about your health more than anything.

Hillary: (Rolls eyes) Ohhh, John, get over it. I have had a drinking problem on and off. I get help. But sometimes I relapse. You know Bill and me. We both have our problems. When HE relapses, though, he buries his head under the a manner of speaking...with the nearest bimbo he can find.

Uncontrolled laughter breaks out among the two.

Hillary: When I relapse I only hide and hibernate for about three or four days, then everything is back to normal. Well, hell, it only happens three or four times a year, I swear.

McCain: Hmmmmm. Well, glad to hear it isn't so bad, after all, Hill. Hey, I have a meeting to attend. Talk to ya later.

McCain: (Walks down the corridor thinking to himself) 'Three or four times per year' least four weeks out of the year I will be President, maybe even more! Hmmmm. Making mental note to reconsider that offer.....

Hillary: (Walks in other direction down the corridor thinking to herself) Ha! Now I've got him! Worked like a charm. Now, let's see what that vast freakin' rightwing conspiracy and the rest of the Republicans do with my dream ticket! (Snickers) I STOLE one of their own candidates! What complete clowns!

Hillary bumps into Senator Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman: Oh hi, Hillary, glad I bumped into you. I wanted to tell you that I am seriously considering switching to the Republican Party. They are practically making me an offer I can't refuse.

Hillary: Joe, I trust your judgment. Just carefully think it through before deciding. Now, I gotta run...have one of those damn meetings, ya know.

Hillary mutters to herself as she walks away: Asshole.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/27/07

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

The McCarville Report has news from the Oklahoma Rifle Association. They even give a media award named after our own Mike McCarville:

Mike McCarville also reports that Fred Thompson leads the latest GOP poll in Oklahoma, but Mike Huckabee is gaining a lot of ground:

A Keyboard and a .45 has this story of an 18-year-old woman who fought her way out of the clutches of a kidnapper:

Alphecca reports that citizens of Missouri will no longer need a Sheriff's permit to buy a concealable gun:

Alphecca also points to a new report that confirms media bias against gun rights:

In addition, Alphecca comments on the inability of gun control groups to raise funds:

Blogonomicon points to a great article on the collectivist agenda when it comes to gun control:

Cameron Bailey found a great political article entitled, 'Private Lives of Public Men':

Cap'n Bob and the Damsel post this timely reminder that tomorrow is the big day--the guns and ammo purchase blitz to commemorate National Exercise Your Rights Day:

Syd over at Front Sight, Press requests prayer for a family member who is in deep trouble. You got it, buddy!:

Of Arms and the Law has some great info on a collection of pamphlets and articles that were written during the period of the ratification of the Constitution. Great insight into the thinking of the Founders and citizens:

Random Ramblings of a Republitarian makes an excellent point about open carry:

Red's Trading Post suggests that there is a strong possibility that the ATF is creating gun registration all on its own. We would not be a bit surprised. The jackbooted thug unit of the DOJ would do such a thing without the authority or permission to do so:

Say Uncle has an important message to 'Snuffy' Pfleger who is putting up anti-gun billboards:

Snow Flakes in Hell says exactly what we were thinking about the resignation of Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez:

The Bitch Girls provide more commentary on the Gonzalez resignation:

Nicki at the Liberty Zone has the latest stats from Utah, which permits college students to carry firearms on campus:

The War on Guns makes a VITAL point about the so-called 'Amendment II Democrats' in Texas. And we fully agree:

Traction Control posts an EXCELLENT piece entitled, 'Why Blog?':

The Volokh Conspiracy has this piece that will shock your socks off--a contributor to the Huffington Post and former BBC reporter is calling for a military coup in the U.S.:

Priorities for the DOJ Without Gonzalez

Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez has resigned. Perhaps now the Department of Justice can set about to clean itself up and streamline its operation, that is, if President Bush is of a mind to salvage what remains of his tainted reputation.

Gonzalez presided over what may well be the most corrupt era in the history of the DOJ. That corruption has absolutely nothing to do with the firing of the eight Federal Prosecutors, which the Democrats seem the think is of grave national importance.

Rather, the DOJ has been grossly negligent in enforcing the nation's immigration laws and protecting our borders. A rogue Federal Prosecutor by the name of Johnny Sutton has been allowed to conduct what amounts to a reign of terror at the southern border against our Border Patrol agents.

Two of those agents were falsely charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned for merely doing what their country called upon them to do. But they are not alone. Countless other local law enforcement officials have been forced to endure the Sutton witch-hunts against ANY officer of the law who dares enforce the nation's laws against illegal aliens.

Of course, nothing has been done about it. Sutton is a Bush crony from Texas. Gonzalez was a Bush crony from Texas. Both have come close to permanently and irreparably soiling the President's reputation.

In addition to the DOJ's failure to bring under control the nation's lamentable illegal alien problem, it has also failed to reign in one of the most dangerous, corrupt, and oppressive operations within the federal government, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Formerly known as the ATF, the BATFE, to put it bluntly, is simply not needed. It should be discontinued and buried quickly.

This wing of the Department of Justice has been the source of some of the nation's most memorable and unnecessary tragedies, such as Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian compound.

Today, their reign of terror is being conducted against gun shop owners and gun and ammo manufacturers.

Granted, these travesties of justice did not begin with the Bush Administration. Many of the present policies were initiated under George the First and exacerbated by the Clinton Administration. The problem under George the Second has been ineptitude and the failure to correct misguided policies of the past.

The President could do himself and the rest of us a big favor by cleaning up the Department of Justice, bringing to a fitting end the travesties of justice cited above--now that Gonzalez is out.

Upon hearing the news about the resignation of Gonzalez, one pundit quipped, 'This will have Democrats dancing in the streets.'

My friends, if Democrats are dancing in the streets over this, then Republicans and Libertarians are doing cartwheels.

Misconceptions on What Constitutes a 'Right'

In my last column on The Liberty Sphere I wrote about the principle of expansion of rights inherent in the 'originalist' or 'strict constructionism' method of Constitutional interpretation.

This brings us to the question of what, exactly, constitutes a 'right' as designated in the U.S. Constitution.

The question is of extreme importance, for it is clear that in modern society there are common misconceptions as to what constitutes a right.

Ask some of the neighbors in a 'planned community' what constitutes a right, and some may well tell you that they have the right to limit how many trees you can plant on your own property. In some inner-city communities, some may well state that they have the right to tell their neighbors they cannot possess a firearm due to the fact that they must feel 'safe.' Still others may state that they have a right to healthcare through the federal government, funded by taxpayers.

Each of these is an example of a gross misconception as to what constitutes a right.

Yet there is no small number of American politicians, who should know better, who are known to say the very same things. John Edwards, for example, when asked what he thought were the most important basic human rights, failed to mention a single issue delineated in The Bill of Rights but instead insisted that every single human being has a right to healthcare, to Internet access, and to American citizenship, among other such ridiculous and dangerous notions.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have said similar things. So have Senators Obama, Dodd, Reid, Kennedy, and Kerry.

So what, exactly, is a 'right' within the context of the U.S. Constitution?

A right is a specific expression or example of being free, of living in a state of liberty. In addition, something cannot be considered a 'right' if it deprives one's neighbors and fellow countrymen of liberty or of being able to live free.

You do not, for example, have the 'right' to tell me that I cannot plant but one tree on my property, unless, of course, I have willingly signed away my rights in a legally binding document, such as the Covenants and Restrictions of a 'planned community.'

You do not have the right to tell me that I cannot own a handgun simply because it may give you the willies to think of your neighbors being armed. For you to be able to do such a thing deprives ME of my liberty.

You do not have an automatic right to healthcare or healthcare insurance. Everyone in this country already has access to healthcare in any emergency room in the nation, and through various and sundry other services provided to those who lack insurance or the means to pay for their care.

But to claim you have a 'right' to healthcare means that you are depriving someone else of their liberty. They must pay your bill if you cannot afford it. Taxes must be raised on the masses to cover the fact that the care you receive will not be paid for by you.

A society or nation may well decide through its elected officials or through a public vote that it wishes to pay for the healthcare of the poor and uninsured. But this is NOT a basic human right. To take something from someone else in order that you might have something you would not normally have does not constitute a 'right.'

When the electorate, politicians, and governments decide that taxpayer-funded freebies constitute rights, they are immediately engaging in double-speak. It is practically and rationally impossible to secure a right by infringing on the rights of others. The one automatically negates the other.

Thus, for the nation to implement socialized medicine that puts everyone on a waiting list that may well mean death to those who are very ill, is not securing a 'right' but imposing tyranny. Such a plan will cost you and me plenty in terms of money, swift and timely care, and the right to make medical decisions solely between patients and their doctors.

It is vital, therefore, that we not allow liberal politicians to scam us into believing these things are inherent 'rights.' A right doesn't cost anyone anything. The only cost incurred is to the individual who must take responsibility for the exercising of those rights and the willingness to pay the price to keep them.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Interesting Constitutional Question

Liberal jurists have often referred to the principle of 'strict constructionism' with regard to Constitutional interpretation as 'old hat.' The notion that 21st century Americans must be bound by a document that was written within the context of the 18th century seems to them to be stale, antiquated, and unsuitable for modern times.

Thus, 'liberal' or 'progressive' jurists coined the term 'the living document' to designate their viewpoint that the process of Constitutional interpretation must be given the broadest leeway possible in order to make the document relevant to our times.

For example, since the Framers could not have possibly envisioned a time in the future when large, heavily populated areas would be overrun with handguns, often obtained illegally, then they could not have possibly meant that the Second Amendment should provide an unconditional cover for bearing arms.

Thus, using the 'living document' method of interpretation, such jurists would be in support of 'reasonable restrictions and limitations' on a Constitutional right.

The problem, of course, with such a view is that the principle can be applied to any of our guaranteed rights, including First Amendment rights. The Framers could not have envisioned a time when society would be dominated by media coverage, including peering into the private lives of citizens, complete with outlandish charges and accusations we have come to expect from tabloid journalism.

Thus, a case could be made that utilizing the principle of the 'living document' school of interpretation, progressive jurists and politicians could claim that reasonable restrictions and limitations on free speech and freedom of the press are entirely appropriate.

Clearly those who have espoused the living document method of interpretation have a history of supporting restricting the rights delineated in the Constitution. Thus, we do not actually have complete freedom of religion in this nation due to the numerous restrictions placed upon religious expression in the name of 'diversity.'

The same could be said for freedom of speech.

And we know that the Second Amendment right to bear arms has been attacked and restricted relentlessly by those who adhere to the 'living document' method of interpretation.

Perhaps the only individual right that has escaped such limitation and restriction is the freedom of the press. One can surmise that the press has been granted a pass because so many who adhere to the 'living document' school of thought work within the media.

It is always more expedient to restrict someone else's rights than your own.

Thus, an interesting Constitutional question comes to the forefront of the debate. What principle should be used to interpret the Constitution in modern times, when clearly times have changed drastically since the 18th century?

Originalists, or 'strict contructionists,' are often mischaracterized. Of course, strict constructionism does, indeed, mandate that the original intent of the Framers is the single most important consideration in arriving at a correct interpretation of a Constitutional issue. But this method of interpretation goes beyond merely the words printed on the pages of the original documents.

For example, when one truly wishes to discover the meaning of the Second Amendment, one must go to the original intent of the Framers. What did those words mean to them at the time?

Fortunately for us, they told us. The Federalist Papers, the writings of Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Franklin, and others spell out in detail the exact meaning of the Amendment. They feared tyranny above all and its inherent attempt to remove God-given rights.

Firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens were viewed as a means of empowering the people against the power of oppressive government.

Any serious consideration of the meaning of the Second Amendment must start here and come to terms with this basic philosophy of the Founding Fathers.

But the process of originalism doesn't stop there.

One must look at the underlying principle that provides the foundation for all future attempts to interpret Constitutional issues. And that principle is expansion of rights.

The Constitution itself states that there are many other rights that belong to human beings which are not spelled out specifically in the document itself, but which are valid nonetheless. The absence of specific references to those unnamed rights is in no way to be construed as implying that those rights are not guaranteed as well.

This very statement provides the foundation of the principle of expansion of rights, which for a century and a half was an important precedent in Constitutional interpretation. Those matters that the Founders did not or could not specify at the time must be judged by the general principle of expansion of rights rather than restriction of rights.

How important has this principle been to Constitutional interpretation? Without it, slaves would have never been freed or given the right to vote. Women would not have been given the right to vote.

The nation has sometimes strayed from this basic Constitutional principle, much to its peril. Prohibition is an example. Individual rights were restricted and removed rather than expanded and protected.

The result was rampant crime and a lucrative black market for criminals.

The nation learned its lesson and repealed Prohibition. Yet those who espouse the so-called 'living document' method of interpretation still seek to limit individual rights. What they have not been able to do at the national level they have succeeded in doing at the local and state levels.

The creeping crawl of government expansion leads to oppression. In Europe, for example, we see governments so afraid of the people that laws have been passed that prevent individual citizens from owning firearms. Our own federal government in the U.S. apparently has been afflicted with the very same disease. We see increasing signs year by year that our own government is just as afraid of its own citizens as it is the terrorists, to the point that government has sought at every hand to remove every means of self-protection the citizens have at their disposal.

This is precisely what the Founding Fathers feared more than anything else.

Thus, it is absolutely essential in these strange and interesting times that we appoint to the bench only those jurists who live by the Framers' principle of expansion of rights. As it stands now there are far too many who would restrict every single right guaranteed and protected by the Constitution.