The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings July 20 on a possible repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 15-year-old law that defines marriage in federal matters as between a man and a woman, and allows states the option of not recognizing the same-sex marriage laws of other states. The hearings highlighted the stark difference between the views of homosexual activists, who testified that the foundations of marriage are personal happiness and financial security, and those of pro-family advocates, who explained that traditional marriage is crucial to the stability and survival of society. Over the past months, President Obama has subtly taken the lead on dismantling DOMA, passed in 1996 by his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton. On July 19, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Obama is “proud” to support the Respect for Marriage Act, the legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) that would effect the repeal of DOMA. “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” explained Carney. As reported by The New American, in February the President called DOMA unconstitutional and ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal court.
Over the years, The John Birch Society — the organization of which The New American is an organ — has been besmirched by its ideological rivals for all manner of evil, most prominently of which is the sin of “racism.” More specifically, given that its membership has always been and remains predominantly white, it is “white racism” with which it has been charged.
However, it is difficult to see how this charge can be made to fit once it is recognized that as far back as the 1960s, one of the most notable black writers in the country — George S. Schuyler — became a member of JBS. Actually, Schuyler was among the most astute, courageous, wittiest, and impassioned writers, black, white, or other.
Of course, that Schuyler was a conservative and a member of JBS is not recognized by many because, regretfully, Schuyler himself is no longer remembered.
If you aren’t already convinced that judicial robes cloak the biggest set of fools and tyrants outside Congress, a decision last week from the DC Court of Appeals should finish the job.
At issue was the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) carcinogenic porno-scanners at the nation’s airports — contraptions so evil that the TSA has repeatedly, constantly lied about their dangers to both our health and modesty as passengers who submissively shed their shoes and bag their liquids revolt against this final indignity.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul was interviewed Tuesday on Fox Radio's Tom Sullivan Show and took the opportunity to restate his position that the naked body scans and enhanced pat-downs by employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are unconstitutional. He declared that the TSA is “invasive, unnecessary, and ineffective,” and said it should be replaced by private security forces.
The Blaze notes that Paul "rejected the underlying premise of the TSA wholesale — that federal bureaucrats will keep us safer than private enterprises with direct interest in the safety (and satisfaction) of their customers."
Paul observed that those at the TSA who are performing the enhanced pat-downs are not "the most reputable people.” He also noted the double standard concerning behavior by the TSA which is considered acceptable, commenting, “We would be arrested if we did this.”
Now that the Minnesota state government shutdown has ended, details of the compromise between Governor Mark Dayton and the Republicans are now public — and no one is happy.
At issue was the $5-billion shortfall between revenues and spending. Liberal Governor Mark Dayton had his own plan for bringing in more revenue: “I believe the wealthiest Minnesotans can afford to pay more taxes,” he commented. Conservative Republicans in the state House and Senate, including House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, dug in their heels on any tax increase whatsoever. In the end, both sides lost. As noted when the Minnesota state government shut down, the real bottom-line question had little to do with taxes and spending, and everything to do with the proper role of government. Political science professor David Schultz at Hamline University in St. Paul observed: “There’s just a huge gulf here basically between Dayton and the Republicans over their view of government. This is a … dispute over what the role of government should be.” In other words, is government the servant, or the master? Can spending actually be cut? Will legislators stick to their guns?
While it is true that the majority of black Americans lean leftward, and while it is no less true that the majority of black American intellectuals are full blown leftists, there are black American thinkers who have decidedly — and decisively — repudiated leftist ideology.
Thomas Sowell is one such thinker.
Sowell is a conservative in the classical or traditional sense of that term. That is to say, Sowell’s thought is located squarely within the intellectual tradition of which Edmund Burke is widely recognized as the inspiration.
Restricting the freedom of movement is a commonly cited example of a tactic used by despotic governments to exercise absolute control over their citizens. Soon Americans may experience this brand of paternalism more than ever before.
The U.S. government now requires a passport in order to travel to Mexico or Canada. While such rules may seem a minor inconvenience, even such an arguably minor abridgment of the liberty of movement could become the first step of an incremental decline into increasing subjection.
While obtaining a passport is neither unusual nor particularly burdensome, there is a fee involved (and it increases annually), and every application must be approved by the State Department; typically one waits weeks to receive this essential document.
A conservative legal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of high school students in Roswell, New Mexico, charging that the Roswell Independent School district retaliated against members of a Christian club after they distributed doughnuts with Bible verses to members of the faculty. According to a press release by Liberty Counsel, in addition to giving away doughnuts to teachers, members of the Christian group Relentless in Roswell had, in the past, distributed chicken salad, hot chocolate, and candy canes to both faculty and students. In an effort to use their faith to reach out to others the club had been involved in such projects as assisting teachers with trash in their classrooms, helping fellow students with their trays during lunch, and distributing rocks with encouraging messages such as “U are wonderful” painted on one side and the Bible reference “Psalm 139” on the other.
But members of the group had also made bold statements about their moral and pro-life beliefs by “distributing abstinence wristbands and plastic models of babies at 12 weeks gestation, bringing attention to the life of the unborn,” noted Liberty Counsel. Those actions prompted school officials to give some of the students school suspensions, and to bully other students into toning back their witness, the press release related.
The Constitution and the early organization of the federal executive branch properly limited the scope of government activities to a few areas. Education was left to the states or to individual Americans. The Northwest Ordinances, originally adopted under the Articles of Confederation, did set aside some land for the support of education, but that was minimal and that was all. Energy, which then meant wood, coal, and water power, was entirely in the hands of private citizens and companies. No funds were used to fight a “war on terror” or to spy on other nations or to try to bribe other nations with foreign aid. America participated in no international organizations at all.
Welfare did exist, but not public welfare, and what public help for the poor government gave came from state, county, or city governments. There was no such thing as drug enforcement (although taxes were imposed on alcohol) and no warning labels required on tobacco. Public health, like public welfare, existed at the local level and it was typically confined to matters such as quarantine of infectious diseases.
Those raised overseas can testify as to how comforting it is to be able to go on American military installations and eat pizza at Pizza Hut or eat a burger at Burger King. While the Pentagon has certainly done a good job taking care of its troops' gastronomical needs, many feel it has done a very poor job of taking care of their fundamental right to vote.
According to a new report, fewer soldiers and their dependents cast absentee ballots in the 2010 midterm congressional elections, despite attempts by the legislature to alleviate some of the difficulty associated with the process. There is some evidence that the assist from Congress is being blocked by the inept implementation of the applicable laws by the Obama administration.