Sunday, July 18, 2010

Obama Legacy-Erosion of American Personal Rights

The consistent theme in the Obama administration is the reduction of American exceptionalism, which is framed in personal freedoms. Obama is not unique in his agenda, but he is the most successful leftist American leader in terms of the rapidity and expansiveness of the federal grab of personal freedoms.

Obama is putting in play and adding federal bureaucratic teeth to a whole host of mechanisms that reduce Americans’ personal rights. He is now signaling that an American foundational concept, religious freedom, is in jeopardy.

“Words matter - listen carefully to our current administration.” This quote is from the article, “Minor Changes in Language Could Mean Major Changes in Religious Freedom.”

“The change in language was barely noticeable to the average citizen but political observers are raising red flags at the use of a new term "freedom of worship" by President Obama and Secretary Clinton as a replacement for the term freedom of religion. This shift happened between the President's speech in Cairo where he showcased America's freedom of religion and his appearance in November at a memorial for the victims of Fort Hood, where he specifically used the term "freedom of worship." From that point on, it has become the term of choice for the president and Clinton.”

"To anyone who closely follows prominent discussion of religious freedom in the diplomatic and political arena, this linguistic shift is troubling: "The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It's about the right to dress according to one's religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don't go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves-yet "freedom of worship" would protect none of these acts of faith."
Wake up Americans! Your president and the leftist political leaders are intent upon structurally transforming America with an expansive federal government power grab that diminishes personal freedoms. It is happening in a myriad of ways: from healthcare; to voting rights; to mining rights; to the public access of public lands, and it has been going on for a long time. The trend diminishes when Republicans control the government and rapidly accelerates when the Democrates wield the power.

You should be feeling a little European socialist by now. When do we become fascist?

Links in this Blog:
American exceptionalism

Minor Changes in Language Could Mean Major Changes in Religious Freedom

Thursday, July 1, 2010

“Alien Rule”

A Stranger in Our Midst,” is an article that I wish that I had written. I didn’t. It was authored by Robert Weissberg, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana. I borrowed his characterization for the title to this piece.

Professor Weissberg wrote,

“I finally realized that the Obama administration and its congressional collaborators almost resemble a foreign occupying force, a coterie of politically and culturally non-indigenous leaders whose rule contravenes local values rooted in our national tradition. It is as if the United States has been occupied by a foreign power, and this transcends policy objections. It is not about Obama's birthplace. It is not about race, either; millions of white Americans have had black mayors and black governors, and this unease about out-of-synch values never surfaced.”

Recent national polls show that nearly half of Americans not only distrust our government, they see government as a threat to individual rights. Least we focus exclusively on the federal government, recognize that the distrust extends downward to local government and law enforcement. In other words, the public distrusts from top to bottom the institutions entrusted with protecting the citizens’ Constitutional rights.

Thomas Sowell wrote in “Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?”
“In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.”
American democracy is diminished by the disregard and willful failure to uphold Constitutional rights guaranteed to American citizens.

I’m willing to bet that every law enforcement officer on the job over ten years has witnessed or knows of incidents wherein law enforcement has knowingly violated the rights of citizens. Often, it is a “little person,” someone not likely to challenge authority, who has his rights violated. Here’s an example.

A drug abuser with likely damaged mental faculties probably took off his clothes on a public street in the dark of the predawn hours. That is all the subject apparently did. A motorist called and notified the local police department. Officers responded and located a subject fully dressed. The subject was neither under the influence of alcohol nor drugs, and he had no outstanding warrants for his arrest. Finding no other mechanism to arrest the subject, officers arrested him for indecent exposure under a California penal code statute. The trouble with the arrest is that the law stipulates that the subject must have drawn attention to his genitals in an effort to arouse a sexual response in another person. The law is a misdemeanor, and there must be a witness who will affirm that he observed the subject commit the violation. The notifying motorist made no mention of any sexual activity and at any rate he was not available to make an assertion one way or the other. The officers did not observe a violation, and in truth there is no evidence, other than an anonymous assertion, that the subject had been naked on a public street. Mere nakedness by California statute is not a violation. The alleged perpetrator wasn’t talking. Maybe he was not so mentally impaired after all. He knew better than to talk to the police. The police Watch Commander, a lieutenant, was advised of all the circumstances and couldn’t care less about the niceties of the law. The arrest and booking was approved. Unlawfully depriving a man of his freedom is not a trivial matter. I know the story is true because I am the one who apprised the lieutenant of the officer’s unlawful arrest.

A glaring example of law enforcement’s major violation of Constitutional rights were the Louisiana orders for warrantless and lack of probable cause confiscation of firearms from law abiding citizens during the Katrina disaster.

Alarmed by the firearm confiscation and other rights violations, individual law enforcement and military personnel, who honor their oath to uphold the Constitution, formed a national organization called the Oath Keepers. When individual police officers find it necessary to declare publicly that they will not obey orders which violate individual’s Constitutional rights, there is trouble brewing. It is a warning that violations of personal rights are likely rampant. The Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey these ten orders.

“We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.”
“We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects -- such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.”
“We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.”
“We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.”
“We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.”
“We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.” “We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.”
“We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war. “
“We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.”
“We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.”
Values alien to the Constitution and American democracy are definitely in play from top to bottom. Thomas Sowell is correct,
“Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the "useful idiots" of our time.”
Links in this Blog:
Robert Weissberg -A Stranger in Our Midst

48% See Government Today As A Threat to Individual Rights

Thomas Sowell-Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

Oath Keepers