Category Archives: Conservatives

NRA may lose tax-exempt status due to internal corruption

A long article by Mike Spies, “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.,” in The New Yorker, April 17, 2019, describes the National Rifles Association (NRA) as being in serious trouble.

The Hill reports that the New Yorker article led gun-control group Everytown For Gun Safety (EFGS) to file an IRS complaint on April 19, claiming that the NRA is in violation of tax laws on charitable organizations and should be investigated. As EFGS says in a letter attached to their complaint:

The NRA is a purported charity and exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and we write today to alert you to what we believe are activities that clearly fall outside of the NRA’s charitable purpose and mission. We call on the IRS to commence an investigation into whether (i) the NRA has violated the federal laws governing 501(c)(4) charitable organizations, and (ii) if so, consider what remedies are warranted, including potential revocation of the NRA’s 501(c)(4) status.

For his New Yorker article, Mike Spies conducted interviews and obtained the NRA’s federal tax forms, charity records, contracts, corporate filings, and internal communications. Although the “vast majority” of contributions to the NRA come from “millions of small individual donors”, what Spies uncovered is an organization of secrecy, corruption, and grossly overpaid executives. Memos by a senior NRA employee describe a workplace distinguished by secrecy, self-dealing, and greed, whose leaders have encouraged disastrous business ventures and questionable partnerships, while marginalizing those who object.

Spies’ article, “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.,” begins with an admission by NRA top executive Wayne LaPierre that the organization is “troubled”. Here are the signs of financial trouble:

  • In recent years, the NRA has run annual deficits of as much as $40 million.
  • A financial audit from 2017 revealed that the NRA had nearly reached the limit of a $25 million line of credit.
  • According to minutes of a meeting of the NRA board’s finance committee in December 1996, “the NRA has been technically insolvent for several years” and “has incurred substantial debt.”

To raise money, the NRA:

  • Raised its dues for the second time in two years.
  • Liquidated more than $2 million from an investment fund.
  • Borrowed almost $4 million from its officers’ life-insurance policies, while the costs of insurance increased by 341% from 2018 to 2019.
  • Tapped another $4 million from its affiliated charitable foundation.

To cut costs, the NRA:

  • Eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters.
  • Froze its employees’ pension plan.
  • Reduced spending on its avowed core mission of gun education, safety, and training to less than 10% of its total budget.

The source of the NRA’s insolvency is a small group of executives, contractors and vendors who “extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the nonprofit’s budget, through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements“.

The small elite group who’s bleeding the NRA dry includes:

  1. LaPierre, who earns more than $1 million a year.
  2. Dana Loesch, NRA spokesperson and former Breitbart News editor, who earned close to $1 million in at least one year.
  3. Oliver North, NRA president and former Iran-Contra operative, is paid roughly $1 million a year.
  4. Kyle Weaver, former executive director of NRA’s general operations who was fired in the fall of 2016, nevertheless was paid $720,000 for that year. State filings show Weaver also received $150,000 upon his exit, and continued to be paid through 2018, receiving “a final lump sum” this past January.
  5. Weaver’s successor, Josh Powell, was paid nearly $800,000 in 2017. Powell came to the NRA after running two clothing catalogues that catered to men who enjoy adventure, venison, and fine wine. He was sued at least 20 times by businesses that had worked with him, for unpaid bills amounting to more than $400,000. In December, 2018, Powell was moved out of the job of executive director of general operations, and was “promoted” to the NRA’s legal team as  a “senior strategist” although he is not an attorney.
  6. Mike Marcellin was a senior NRA employee for almost 23 years who oversaw the NRA’s relationship with Lockton Affinity, an insurance administrator that worked on Carry Guard and other NRA-branded insurance products. Iin 2016, Marcellin retired from the NRA and started a private consultancy. Although he had worked only the first few weeks of January, the NRA paid him a full year’s salary — nearly $630,000, mostly in the form of a bonus. During the same year, Lockton paid him about $450,000. No one was aware that Marcellin was receiving income from both organizations—a situation that should have been disclosed on the NRA’s 2016 tax filings.
  7. Curiously, North and Loesch technically are not employed by the NRA, but are paid by Oklahoma-based public-relations firm Ackerman McQueen, which has shaped the NRA’s public identity for more than 30 years, wields great influence over the NRA’s initiatives, and is involved with nearly all of the group’s divisions. In 2017, according to tax filings, the NRA paid Ackerman McQueen and its affiliates $40.9 million, or about 12% of the NRA’s total expenses that year.

The NRA and Ackerman McQueen have become so intertwined that it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Top officials and staff move freely between the two organizations. For instance, Ackerman has worked closely with LaPierre’s wife, Susan, who maintains an Ackerman e-mail address and was briefly employed there in the mid-1990s.

Many NRA employees have long suspected Ackerman of inflating the cost of the services it provides. Aaron Davis, a former special-education teacher from rural South Carolina who spent a decade working in the NRA’s fund-raising department, told The New Yorker: “Most staffers think that Ackerman is too expensive. They think they’re just using the N.R.A. to make a massive profit.”

On April 12, the NRA sued Ackerman McQueen, claiming that the PR firm has denied the NRA access to basic business records, including the terms of Oliver North’s contract, and blaming Ackerman for the NRA’s financial insolvency.

Marc Owens, who was head of the Internal Revenue Service division that oversees tax-exempt enterprises for 10 years, recently reviewed the NRA’s records, said:

“The litany of red flags is just extraordinary. The materials reflect one of the broadest arrays of likely transgressions that I’ve ever seen. There is a tremendous range of what appears to be the misuse of assets for the benefit of certain venders and people in control. Those facts, if confirmed, could lead to the revocation of the N.R.A.’s tax-exempt status.

Without its tax-exempt status, the NRA likely will not survive.

H/t truckjunkie and Guns & Gadgets

~Eowyn

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Chase Bank says they won’t do business with Trump supporters in Project Veritas undercover audio

In China, the Communist Party government keeps a “social credit” score on each citizen for reward/punishment. Depending on the score, citizens may find themselves unable to travel on plane or train.

Here in the United States, some privately-owned businesses — including banks — are doing that. Below are examples of politicized businesses that are actively against the Second Amendment and discriminate against gun-owners:

Chase Bank is going after conservatives and Trump supporters by closing their accounts.

Chase Bank is one of the Big Four banks in the United States, with more than 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs. (The other three big banks are Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.) Known as Chase Manhattan Bank until 2000 when it merged with multinational banking and financial services holding company J.P. Morgan & Co. Headquartered in Manhattan, NYC, Chase Bank is the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

On February 26, 2019, I reported on Chase Bank denying service to four conservatives & Trump supporters: Joe Biggs, Laura Loomer, Martina Markova, and Enrique Tarrio. This post is a follow-up on the case of Enrique Tarrio, a Cuban-black who is the chairman of a fraternal organization called Proud Boys, slimed by Wikipedia as “a far-right neo-fascist organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence.”

As reported by Big Leaque Politics, Tarrio received a letter from Chase Bank, dated February 4, 2019, that “After careful consideration, we have determined that we can no longer support your banking account(s) and will be closing it on April 01, 2019.” The letter came days after Chase Bank’s payment processor, Chase Paymentech, de-platformed Tarrio on 1776.shop — a website he runs that allows groups and charities to sell merchandise and raise money for causes. The website is most known for selling the “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” shirts which Stone was wearing during the late-night arrest at his home.

Tarrio says that before Chase terminated his account, he had asked the bank why, but phone operators for Chase were unable to explain why his business account was being terminated.

Two days ago, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released an undercover video of conversations with Chase Bank professionals discussing the closure of Tarrio’s account.

As described by Project Veritas, “Multiple Chase account and bank managers were unable to assist Tarrio, saying that inquiries regarding the closure of his business account would have to be directed to the ‘executive office.’” Chase banker Marcel Smith said the bank typically gives its customers a reason for account closures: “I see nothing that indicates any reason why the account should be closed, I don’t see any outstanding transactions or anything ridiculous. I’ve never seen them not give a response to someone whose account they had closed.”

An analyst from the Chase executive office, Nora, told Tarrio that his account was being closed for various clerical issues. But Tarrio, in a phone conversation with Nora which was published by Project Veritas, made clear there were no “clerical issues”.

But a Project Veritas (PV) undercover audio of a conversation with a Chase Corporate Global Media Relations employee reveals that Chase Bank does make political judgments about their customers:

PV JOURNALIST: I don’t want to do business with anyone who does business with Steve Bannon, or any of these alt right people, and that’s just one of my prerequisites.

CHASE: Right, right. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not connected with Steve Bannon.

JOURNALIST: Do you have standards in place that would preempt such relationship with anyone, um of Steve Bannon’s.–

CHASE: Oh definitely. Definitely, definitely.

JOURNALIST: That’s what I’m calling to inquire about. Tell me more.

CHASE: Right so I mean, Chase is not involved with any like, you know, alt right people or anything. I really can’t name names but it’s basically like we don’t get involved with any of that…

JOURNALIST: … I don’t expect for you guys, I’m not talking about who you guys give money to –

CHASE: No, just any business relationships, period.

JOURNALIST: Really? Okay… So I mean on my end I’m talking about people like Trump supporters for instance. The MAGA, whatever – make, whatever the hell they, those types of people, I mean individuals.

CHASE: Right, right. I know what you mean, but like I said the call is being recorded, monitored, so I can’t get too political. And say I don’t support these people, or this, but you know, any kind of business entity, people like that, no moral character or anything like that, the bank usually doesn’t get involved with that.

After Project Veritas released the undercover audio, Chase Bank issued a denial:

“We do not close accounts due to political affiliation. Despite what was described in the video, that was NOT someone from Global Corporate Media Relations.”

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe observes:

“Are there unwritten Chase policies that Mr. Tarrio and others were in breach of? ‘Debanking’ appears to be a new frontier in American politics.”

~Eowyn

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WordPress canceled FOTM’s Jetpack Premium software

Because WordPress terminated our Jetpack software, readers can no longer post comments. I’ve reblogged this post on Blogger, where you can post comments, at least for now: https://fotm2.blogspot.com/2019/04/wordpress-canceled-fotms-jetpack.html

Jetpack is the WordPress software that enables this blog, Fellowship of the Minds, to function.

In February 2019, I had purchased the Jetpack Premium plan for $99, which includes all kinds of features, including the powerful Askimet Anti-Spam.

I just received this notice that they’ve cancelled our account. See their email below.

What this means for FOTM I don’t know, nor do I know where we go from here.

TPTB are simply determined to kill FOTM. So if FOTM suddenly disappears, you are forewarned.

I have reached the point where I am bone-weary from fighting battle after battle, dealing with and overcoming attack after attack. This is to let you all know that I do have a limit.

I despair for our country.

God help us.

Keep safe and stay well.

-Eowyn

———-
From: TOS Reports <tosreports@wordpress.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:52 AM
Subject: Important information regarding your Jetpack connection
To: Fellowship OfTheMinds <fotm4ever@gmail.com

Apr 16, 14:52 UTC

Hello,

Upon review of your site, fellowshipoftheminds.com, we have determined that your content does not align with our Terms of Service. As stated in our Terms, we may choose to stop providing service to an account at any time, for any reason, or none at all.

As such, your site has been disconnected from Jetpack and you will no longer be permitted to use these services.

We have cancelled your Jetpack Premium subscription and returned the funds. Note that it may take up to a week for the funds to return to your account.

Regards,

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Boston Globe op/ed urges waiters to contaminate food of Trump officials

We are told a democracy can only work and get things done when political parties and opponents compromise because in a democracy, winners are only temporary victors until the next election. And so political opponents each gives up something, in order to gain something. It’s not all or nothing.

But in the (dis)United States of America today, Democrats and the Democrat Party have neither interest nor disposition to compromise. Even worse, they openly call for and inflict violence on those who disagree with them. Some examples:

  • Remember Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot by a Democrat — Bernie Sanders supporter James T. Hodgkinson — on June 14 2017?
  • Last July, America’s premier newspaper, the New York Times, actually published an editorial calling Democrats to go to war and deploy mafia tactics against President Trump.
  • Americans, including an 81-year-old man, are assaulted for wearing MAGA hats.
  • Hollywood actors and rappers make open or veiled threats to assassinate President Trump.
  • Prominent Democrats, like Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder, openly call for violence.
  • Congressman Eric Swallwell (D-CA) threatens to “nuke” us if we resist gun-confiscation.

The latest is a Boston Globe op/ed, penned by former waiter Luke O’Neil, calling on waiters to poison (“tamper with”) the food served to Trump administration officials.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the Boston Globe published the op/ed by Luke O’Neil — a one-time waiter who free-lances for the Guardian, The New York Times, New York magazine, and other publications.

Soon after the op/ed was published, Boston Globe scrubbed the op/ed’s first sentence, “One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon,” and appended a prominent editor’s note saying “A version of this column as originally published did not meet Globe standards and has been changed. The Globe regrets the previous tone of the piece.” A day later, the Globe removed the op/ed entirely from its website, with the excuse that “the column did not receive sufficient editorial oversight.” (Fox News)

Incredibly, after spending two hours scouring the web, I cannot find any website, even AltMedia ones, that re-published the entirety of O’Neil’s poison-food op/ed, not even Internet archives. I could find only these excerpts of the op/ed:

Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink

By Luke O’Neil • April 10, 2019

One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon. I was waiting on the disgraced neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader about 10 years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge and to my eternal dismay, some combination of professionalism and pusillanimity prevented me from appropriately seasoning his entree. A ramekin of blood on the side might have been the better option, come to think of it. He always did seem really thirsty for the stuff.
I was reminded of that episode this week when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the purportedly reluctant triggerman for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies of ethnic cleansing, announced she would be stepping down from her post at the president’s request. The news comes a little over a year since she took the job, and about nine months since she was infamously shame-marched out of a restaurant — a Mexican one of all things — in Washington, D.C., by a group of protestors just as the news of our official policy of separating families at the southern border was first being reported on. What a delight it was to see.
Around the same time, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others in the administration or associated with Trump — such as Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Mitch McConnell, and white nationalist and dirty coward from the zombie movie who gets everyone else killed Stephen Miller . . . . .

Living in Boston, we’re no strangers to visitors from any administration, whether they’ve been given a lecture role at a school like Harvard — which doesn’t seem to have any compunctions about welcoming literal comic book-style villains to campus — or of any of a number of other prestigious tech or academic institutions in the area. Invariably the bad guys, like the rest of us, will have to eat. And when they show up in our restaurants, you have my permission, as an official member of the mainstream media, to tell them where to go and what they can do with themselves when they arrive there, but, you know, said in a more specific and traditional Boston colloquialism.

As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble. You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.

Some years ago, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that the differences between Conservatives and the Left — in fundamental values, world views and goals — are so divergent, they are irreconcilable.

How can conservatives compromise with people like Luke O’Neil?

As for defeating the Left in the ballot box, there have been so many instances of Democrat voter fraud that I no longer trust the results of elections.

So what are we to do?

See also “Transgender Starbucks employee Lauren Walker brags about spiking conservatives’ drinks with estrogen“.

~Eowyn

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Democrats file legislation to force all Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi March 13 introduced the so-called Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

The legislation, known as the Equality Act would specifically include all LGBTQ definitions and would penalize everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way.

While liberal Democrats and some liberal Republicans in the House of Representatives are lauding the proposed legislation, some conservatives are calling it a “frontal assault on religious liberty.”

If the Equality Act becomes law, it would impact essentially every part of American life. It would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs. It would force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for these therapies against any moral or medical objections. It would force parents to provide sexual reassignment treatments for their children who are confused about their sexual identity. It would force religious institutions that provide adoptions to permit same sex couples to adopt children, and the list goes on.

Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, in a critique of the proposed legislation noted that most Americans “don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them.”

Burke’s critique in The Daily Signal:

Nancy Pelosi delivered . . . on her promise to introduce the so-called Equality Act, which would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law.

Although that may sound nice in theory, in practice sexual orientation and gender identity policies at the state and local level have caused profound harms to Americans from all walks of life.

How might a sexual orientation and gender identity law on the federal level, as introduced in the House and Senate, affect you and your community? Here are seven ways:

1.   It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

Jack Phillips’ case went all the way to the Supreme Court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission accused the bakery owner of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when the self-described cake artist declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, but left the law in question, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, intact. Until last week, Phillips was in court again defending himself against the same agency under the same law.

The day after the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a lawyer who identifies as transgender, requested that he create a “gender transition cake.” After Phillips declined, the state Civil Rights Commission found probable cause under the law that the baker had discriminated on the basis of gender identity.

Thankfully, the commission dropped the case, and Phillips agreed to drop his own lawsuit accusing the state agency of harassing him for his Christian beliefs.

Phillips is just one of many Americans who have lost income because of their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Others cases involve florists, bakers, photographers, wedding venue owners, videographers, web designers, calligraphers, and public servants.

These cases are just the beginning. The same policies used to silence disagreement over marriage can be used to silence disagreement over the biological reality of sex.

2.  It would compel speech.

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say.

A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

Vlaming did his best to accommodate the student without violating his religious belief that God created human beings male and female, using the student’s new name and simply refraining from using pronouns altogether.

Unfortunately, the school still considered this a violation of its anti-discrimination policy.

Incidents like these would increase under federal policy proposed in the Equality Act. Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3 . It could shut down charities.

Foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers already face challenges under state and local policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Philadelphia, just days after the city put out an urgent call for 300 additional families to foster children, the city halted child placements by Catholic Social Services because of the organization’s belief that every child deserves both a mother and a father.

Although same-sex couples have the opportunity to foster children through the state or every other agency in Philadelphia, the city canceled its contract with Catholic Social Services. The agency’s approved foster homes remain available while children languish on the waiting list.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make this situation a national phenomenon, which would spell disaster for the 437,500 children in foster care nationwide.

Other charities would be affected, too.

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law could force any social service organization to open up private facilities—including single-sex bathrooms, showers, and sleeping areas—to members of the opposite sex.

4.  It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily defeated all of their female competitors in an event at the Connecticut State Track Championships. Transgender athlete Terry Miller broke the state record in the girls’100-meter dash. Andraya Yearwood, also transgender, took second place.

Selina Soule, a female runner, not only lost to the biological males in the championships but also lost out on valuable opportunities to be seen by college coaches and chosen for scholarships.

Soule said about the 100-meter event: “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would defeat the purpose of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is supposed to guarantee women equal educational and athletic opportunities.

Under radical gender identity policies, female athletes have sustained gruesome injuries at the hands of male competitors. In high school wrestling, female athletes have forfeited rather than compete against transgender athletes on testosterone.

A federal law could set girls’ and women’s sports back permanently at every level.

5.  It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

The Obama administration tried to coerce medical professionals into offering transition-affirming therapies through a regulation in the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

That move was stopped in the 11th hour by a federal judge. However, that could all be set back in motion if a national law imposes a nationwide health care mandate regarding gender identity.

6.  It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

The politicization of medicine according to gender ideology will create more conflicts among parents, doctors, and the government. A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would jeopardize parental rights nationwide.

In fact, the current issue of the American Journal of Bioethics includes an article arguing that the state should overrule the parents of transgender children who do not consent to give them puberty-blocking drugs.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

Meanwhile, studies show that 80 to 95 percent of children no longer experience gender dysphoria after puberty. Politicizing medicine could have serious consequences for children who are exposed to the unnecessary medical risks of drastic therapies.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make these cases more common.

7.  It would enable sexual assault.

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents.

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination.

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.

This extreme and dangerous legislation would create unprecedented harms to businesses, charities, medical professionals, women and children, and entire families.

Texas fights back

Meanwhile, as congressional Democrats are advocating for the hamstringing of religious belief, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom—in Texas, at least. From Christian Ellis, CBN News, March 25:

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

“They strengthen our support for life, liberty and Texas values, increase protections for taxpayers,” wrote Patrick.

SB 17’s section on religious freedom reads:

“State agency that issues a license or otherwise regulates a business, occupation, or profession may not adopt any rule, regulation, or policy or impose a penalty that:

(1) limits an applicant’s ability to obtain, maintain, or renew a license based on a sincerely held religious belief of the applicant; or

(2) burdens an applicant’s or a license holder’s:

(A) free exercise of religion, regardless of whether the burden is the result of a rule generally applicable to all applicants or license holders;

(B) freedom of speech regarding a sincerely held religious belief; or

(C) membership in any religious organization.”

Conservatives across the state expect the bill to pass as the Republican party has control over the state’s House, Senate, and governorship. However, opponents like the National Association of Social Workers Texas have stated they will argue against the bill in the hearing, calling it “discriminatory”.

The organization states the bill runs “counter to the NASW Code of Ethics for all professionals, and will deny services to already marginalized persons in the LGBTQ community or women seeking access to reproductive care and services.”

SB 17 comes at a crucial time when religious freedom faces ongoing threats across the country, and as a new threat emerges in the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives. This month, Democrats introduced an updated version of their Equality Act that elevates protections for sexual orientation over protections for religious liberty. The bill could threaten ministries with legal consequences if they denied an LGBTQ individual from working for their institution.

“Every American should be treated with dignity and respect, but our laws need to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights that we have,” Greg Baylor from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) told CBN News.

“Now under the Equality Act we will have a nationwide law,” continued Baylor. “We will see a proliferation of instances where Christians and others are being coerced to violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law.”

While Democrats are indicating the Equality Act is a big part of their agenda, they do not currently control the US Senate, so the measure is not expected to pass unless they gain control of both houses of Congress in the 2020 election.

While Democrat liberals are planning an assault on religion, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom.

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

~ Grif

Note from Eowyn: H.R. 5 – Equality Act was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) on March 13, 2019. See also “Coming to America: Canadian man fined $55,000 for ‘misgendering’ a ‘transgender’“.

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Ohio considers approving “constitutional carry”

 

Ohio is set to become the 17th state to approve “constitutional carry,” a law that would allow all law-abiding Ohioans to carry a concealed weapon without obtaining a permit — a measure that Republican Gov. Mike DeWine supports. If approved, Ohio would become the 17th state to approve connotational carry.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 150, making Kentucky the 16th state to allow “constitutional carry.” The Kentacky law states that “Persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed firearms or other concealed deadly weapons without a license in the same locations as persons with valid licenses issued under KRS 237.110.”

Ohio House Bill 174 was introduced Wednesday by GOP Reps. Ron Hood of Ashville and Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati. The measure immediately attracted 27 co-sponsors from among the 61 majority House Republicans. Hood and Brinkman have introduced the same legislation for years without winning passage. Prospects for approval now, however, prospects for passage seem favorable. Almost half of Ohio House Republicans are pushing for passage of this bill.

Chris Dorr, director of Ohio Gun Owners, posted a YouTube video featuring comments from Hood and Brinkman after the bill was filed in the clerk’s office.

“Gun owners are law-abiding citizens who follow the rules, and we need to let them be able to protect themselves. That’s what this is all about,” Brinkman said, noting that sixteen states now permit the carrying of weapons without permits.

The proposed Ohio bill would permit anyone age 21 or over, who is not disqualified by federal law due to a felony conviction or other offense from obtaining a weapon, to carry a hidden gun — without obtaining a concealed-carry permit. The bill also would repeal a current requirement that concealed-carry owners notify police officers they are carrying a gun when stopped. It also would authorize the expungement of the misdemeanor offense of anyone previously convicted of failing to inform an officer that he or she had a gun.

Currently, Ohioans can only carry a concealed weapon after obtaining a $67 permit from a county sheriff upon passing a criminal background check and completing eight hours of training by a certified instructor, including two hours of range time and live-fire training.

DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney said of the bill: “Gov. DeWine supports protecting Ohioans’ Second Amendment rights. We are reviewing the recently introduced proposal and look forward to following its movement through the legislative process.”

The legislation would not be restricted to handguns — it also would allow Ohioans to conceal and carry long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. Ohioans already are allowed to openly carry firearms without a permit.

Democrats, predictably, are taking a stand against the measure. Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, lamented what he portrayed as the Republicans’ obsession with guns when issues such as health care and education demand legislative attention.

“It’s going the exact opposite direction of what most people want,” he said of the bill. “If more guns make more people safer, we would be the safest country in the world. Yet, our gun violence exceeds most every other country on this planet.

Dorr, in an email to supports, countered Leland, saying, “We already know there will be efforts by anti-gun Democrats and Rino-Republicans to block, stop and KILL Constitutional Carry. And as we saw last General Assembly, there’s always a lily-white coward willing to cut a deal and water down these pro-gun bills.”

The Republican state representatives co-sponsoring the constitutional carry bill are Niraj Antani of Miamisburg; Brian Baldridge of Winchester; John Becker of Union Township in Clermont County; Louis Blessing III of Cincinnati; Speaker Pro Tem Jim Butler of Oakwood; Sara Carruthers of Hamilton; Jon Cross of Kenton; Bill Dean of Xenia; Kris Jordan of Delaware; Candice Keller of Middletown; Kyle Koehler of Springfield, and George Lang of West Chester.

Also, Scott Lipps of Franklin; Susan Manchester of Waynesfield; Don Manning of New Middletown; Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky; Derek Merrin of Monclova Township in Lucas County; Jena Powell of Arcanum; Craig Riedel of Defiance; Mark Romanchuk of Ontario near Mansfield; Tim Schaffer of Lancaster; former Speaker Ryan Smith of Bidwell; Todd Smith of Farmersville; Nino Vitale of Urbana; Scott Wiggam of Wooster; Shane Wilkin of Hillsboro; and Paul Zeltwanger of Mason.

Before the 19th century, there were no state laws regulating the carrying of firearms or other weapons by law-abiding residents. Then, states began to restrict the carrying of firearms and require a permit for those who wanted to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms,” ignoring the fact that that right “shall not be infringed.” By the 20th century, the only state that did not pass laws infringing the right to keep and bear arms was Vermont.

The constitutional-carry movement began to gain ground in 2003, when Governor Frank Murkowski of Alaska signed House Bill 102 into law. That law marked the first time a state rescinded its laws requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon. No other state followed suit until 2010, when Arizona passed Senate Bill 1108.

The trend began to catch on, slowly at first, then picking up the pace more recently, with Wyoming (2011), Kansas (2015), Maine (2015), Mississippi (2016), Idaho (2016), Missouri (2016), West Virginia (2016), New Hampshire (2017), North Dakota (2017), Arkansas (2018), Oklahoma (2019), South Dakota (2019), and now Kentucky passing constitutional carry in one form or another.

Many of those states have kept concealed-carry permits on the menu to allow residents who wish to do so to take advantage of reciprocal agreements with other states, allowing them to carry concealed weapons when they travel to those states.

The path to constitutional carry has not been an easy journey in every case. For instance, in Mississippi, the implementation was incremental. The initial law passed in 2013 allowed for “a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case.” That was expanded in 2016 to include holsters (whether worn on the belt or shoulder) and sheathes.

The passage of constitutional carry in Arkansas could best be described as evolutionary. In August 2013, Arkansas enacted Act 746, making two important changes to the existing law, which previously prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person” and allowed an exception if the person carrying the weapon was “on a journey.”

Those changes were (1) the term “journey” — which had had previously not been defined — was at long last defined as “travel beyond the county in which a person lives” and (2) the addition of the phrase “attempt to unlawfully” to the existing statute, making it read that the law prohibited “carrying a weapon … with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”

That seemed to make the law say that unless a person was carrying the weapon for the purpose of carrying out a crime, it was lawful to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. But, as the well-known saying goes, the law is an ass. In July of 2013, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued an opinion stating that Act 746 did not authorize open carry. To add to the confusion, current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge disagreed. Rutledge issued a statement in August 2015 saying that it would be within the law to open carry a weapon under Act 746 as long as there is no intent to unlawfully use the weapon.

The issue was finally settled in an Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling in August 2018, when the court declared that carrying a concealed weapon is not — in and of itself — a crime. That court decision ended the debate, allowing Act 746 to mean that Arkansas allows for constitutional carry.

In 2013, Utah’s legislature passed constitutional carry, only to have it vetoed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert. Though the law had passed with a two-thirds majority in both houses, Herbert’s veto was not overturned, and residents of Utah are not afforded the “privilege” to exercise their right under the Second Amendment to “keep and bear arms” in a concealed manner without first asking the state’s permission.

One element that seems important in the growing trend toward constitutional carry is the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court case. Though the Heller ruling did leave open the idea that some controls over the right to keep and bear arms could be enacted by state and local governments, the court’s interpretation of the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment were further explained in light of Heller in the 2010 Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago. The court ruled that the Second Amendment is “fully incorporated” and the “right to keep and bear arms” is not “watered down,” but “fully applicable.” The court went on to rule that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments from passing laws that restrict the “individual” and “fundamental” right to “keep and bear arms” in “self defense.”

As the trend hopefully continues to grow and more and more states remove the shackles that have bound the hands of the law-abiding, America may see a return to the time before the passage of restrictive anti-gun laws of the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps, in our lifetimes, we will see the right to keep and bear arms no longer infringed.

~ Grif

 

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Lock him up: Ex-DC demorat staffer admits to doxing republicans, threatening witness

The “democratic political professional student” worked for U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and previously worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). He also previously worked or was an intern with the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

As reported by NY Post: A former Democratic congressional staffer pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges after he posted leaked personal information about Republican senators on Wikipedia, then threatened a witness who caught him.

Jackson Cosko, 27, of the District of Columbia, pleaded guilty to five offenses related to his “doxing” the senators — uploading their personal information online — including computer fraud, making public restricted personal information, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors said he went after the lawmakers after one senator fired him and he got upset with the others while watching testimony on sexual assault allegations during Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

His targets included GOP Senate Judiciary Committee members Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, as well as Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

He faces nearly five years in prison when he is sentenced June 13.

DCG

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Whoopi Goldberg defends Creepy Joe Biden (of course); doesn’t want him to change his ways

From Yahoo (via HuffPo): Whoopi Goldberg defended former Vice President Joe Biden following an allegation that he inappropriately touched and kissed a former Nevada assemblywoman, saying she doesn’t want the likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to change his behavior.

Goldberg, a co-host on ‘The View,’ was irked when colleague Sunny Hostin predicted during Monday’s program that Biden would curb his tactile tendencies with women after Lucy Flores said she felt uncomfortable when Biden placed his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissing the back of her head at a 2014 campaign event. Flores was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada and Biden was appearing on her behalf.

“I don’t know that we will see any more smelling of hair and kisses on the forehead,” Hostin said of the controversy, eliciting a strong rebuke from Goldberg.

“That pisses me off,” she said. “I don’t want Joe to stop doing that.”

Meghan McCain, another “View” co-host and daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), agreed, suggesting Biden’s behavior was simply part of his brand.

“There’s a certain type of retail politician that loves people,” she said. “I would put Bill Clinton in that category, I would put my father in that category, I would certainly put Joe Biden in that category. When he came on this show, he was the only politician other than my father to go into the crowd and shake everyone’s hand.”

Bill Clinton…a “hands on kind of guy”

Goldberg also noted that Biden is known to be “a hands-on kind of guy,” which is evident from photos of his interpersonal interactions spanning years, some of which show him touching shoulders and at least one in which he is pictured holding a reporter’s waist.

“In the old days, we would call Joe ― some folks of a certain age would say he’s a little overly familiar,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said that she took Flores’ account seriously. But she also argued that Flores, who lost the lieutenant governor’s race, should have directly told Biden to stop.

“My point is, I want women to get to the place where they can say, ‘Hey, you just made me uncomfortable.’ This idea that you have to tippy-toe away from this or you have to carry [it] ― you do not have to carry it. If someone makes you uncomfortable, tell them.

On Sunday, moments before Flores appeared on CNN to discuss the allegation that she first detailed in a New York magazine article published Friday, Biden released a statement saying he would “listen respectfully” to women alleging he had displayed inappropriate affection toward them but that it had never been his intention to do so.

He also said that “not once ― never ― did I believe I acted inappropriately.

During her CNN interview, Flores suggested that Biden’s comments indicate he lacks awareness of how women ought to be treated. She also said that her experience wasn’t the first time he crossed boundaries.

Biden’s defense of himself was bolstered on Sunday by Stephanie Carter, whose husband served as defense secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Biden, as vice president, attended the swearing-in ceremony for Ash Carter, and a widely circulated photo showed him resting his hands on her shoulders from behind and whispering into her ear.

Questions were raised at the time about Biden’s action. But in an essay in Medium, Stephanie Carter disputed that Biden had acted inappropriately. “The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful,” she wrote.

DCG

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Missouri bill will ban all federal gun-control laws

I thank God that our Founding Fathers, whose greatest fear was a tyrannical government, had the wisdom and foresight to institute curbs on government power in the form of numerous checks and balances.

One of those checks is the creation of a federal republic, in which the constituent geographic states have their separate powers — a founding principle that is enshrined in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which spells out the powers of the constituent (geographical) states and of the people.

Unlike centralized polities like the UK and China wherein the central or national government holds all power, and whatever powers regional/local governments have are delegated to them, in a federation the powers of regional/local governments are not derived from the central government and, therefore, cannot be taken away by the central government. In the U.S. federal republic, as stipulated in the U.S. Constitution, it is the American people who grant separate powers to the federal government in Washington, D.C., and to the 50 state governments.

There is a bill in the Missouri state legislature (General Assembly) which, if passed, will ban all federal gun-control laws by preventing all state agencies and their employees from enforcing any federal law that infringes the Second Amendment in any way, including gun registrations, fees, fines, licenses and bans.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Pogue (R), 37, a Christian and a contractor/carpenter by profession, and co-sponsored by 4 other Republican representatives, House Bill 786: Second Amendment Preservation Act was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives on January 31, 2019.

HB 786’s companion bill in the state Senate is SB 367, which was introduced by Sen. Eric Burlison (R) on February 7, 2019.

HB 786 begins with a powerful ringing reiteration of states’ rights and the limits on the federal government’s power which moved me to tears. The entire bill deserves your reading, and should be recommended to the legislatures of the other 49 states.

HB 786 states:

2. The general assembly finds and declares that:

(1) The general assembly of the state of Missouri is firmly resolved to support and defend the United States Constitution against every aggression, whether foreign or domestic, and is duty bound to oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the basis of the Union of the States because only a faithful observance of those principles can secure the nation’s existence and the public happiness;

(2) Acting through the United States Constitution, the people of the several states created the federal government to be their agent in the exercise of a few defined powers, while reserving to the state governments the power to legislate on matters which concern the lives, liberties, and properties of citizens in the ordinary course of affairs;

(3) The limitation of the federal government’s power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the United States Constitution is reserved to the states respectively or to the people themselves;

(4) If the federal government assumes powers that the people did not grant it in the United States Constitution, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force;

(5) The several states of the United States of America respect the proper role of the federal government but reject the proposition that such respect requires unlimited submission. If the government, created by a compact among the states, was the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers granted to it by the states through the United States Constitution, the federal government’s discretion, and not the United States Constitution, would necessarily become the measure of those powers. To the contrary, as in all other cases of compacts among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself as to if infractions of the compact have occurred, as well as to determine the mode and measure of redress. Although the several states have granted supremacy to laws and treaties made under the powers granted in the United States Constitution, such supremacy does not extend to various federal statutes, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, or other actions which restrict or prohibit the manufacture, ownership, and use of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition exclusively within the borders of Missouri; such statutes, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, and other actions exceed the powers granted to the federal government except to the extent they are necessary and proper for governing and regulating land and naval forces of the United States or for organizing, arming, and disciplining militia forces actively employed in the service of the United States Armed Forces;

(6) The people of the several states have given Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states”, but “regulating commerce” does not include the power to limit citizens’ right to keep and bear arms in defense of their families, neighbors, persons, or property, or to dictate as to what sort of arms and accessories law-abiding Missourians may buy, sell, exchange, or otherwise possess within the borders of this state;

(7) The people of the several states have also granted Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the United States Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or office thereof”. These constitutional provisions merely identify the means by which the federal government may execute its limited powers and shall not to be so construed to grant unlimited power because to do so would be to destroy the carefully constructed equilibrium between the federal and state governments. Consequently, the general assembly rejects any claim that the taxing and spending powers of Congress can be used to diminish in any way the right of the people to keep and bear arms;

(8) The people of Missouri have vested the general assembly with the authority to regulate the manufacture, possession, exchange, and use of firearms within the borders of this state, subject only to the limits imposed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the Missouri Constitution; and

(9) The general assembly of the state of Missouri strongly promotes responsible gun ownership, including parental supervision of minors in the proper use, storage, and ownership of all firearms, the prompt reporting of stolen firearms, and the proper enforcement of all state gun laws. The general assembly of the state of Missouri hereby condemns any unlawful transfer of firearms and the use of any firearm in any criminal or unlawful activity.

1.420. The following federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations shall be considered infringements on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Article I, Section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri, within the borders of this state including, but not limited to:

(1) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories,or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(2) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(3) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;

(4) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and

(5) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories,or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

1.430. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, and regulations, regardless if enacted before or after the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Article I, Section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

1.440. It shall be the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies of this state to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms within the borders of this state and to protect these rights from the infringements defined under section 1.420.

1.450. No person, including any public officer or employee of this state or any political subdivision of this state, shall have the authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances infringing on the right to keep and bear arms as defined under section 1.410.

1.460. 1. Any entity or person who knowingly, as defined under section 562.016, violates section 1.450 or otherwise knowingly deprives a citizen of Missouri of the rights or privileges ensured by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States or Article I, Section 23 of the Constitution of Missouri, while acting under the color of any state or federal law, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

2. In such actions, the court may award the prevailing party, other than the state of Missouri or any political subdivision of the state, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

3. Sovereign, official, or qualified immunity shall not be an affirmative defense in such actions.

1.470. 1. Any person while acting as an official, agent, employee, or deputy of the government of the United States, or while otherwise acting under the color of federal law while within the borders of this state, who knowingly, as defined under section 562.016:

(1) Enforces or attempts to enforce any of the infringements identified in section 1.410; or

(2) Gives material aid and support to the efforts of others who enforce or attempt to enforce any of the infringements identified in section 1.410 shall be permanently ineligible to serve as a law enforcement officer or to supervise law enforcement officers for the state or any political subdivision of the state.

2. Neither the state nor any political subdivision of the state shall employ as a law enforcement officer or supervisor of law enforcement officers any person who is ineligible to serve in such capacity under this section.

3. Any person residing in or conducting business in a jurisdiction who believes that a law enforcement officer or supervisor of law enforcement officers of such jurisdiction has taken action that would render that person ineligible under this section to serve in such capacity shall have standing to pursue an action for declaratory judgment in the circuit court of the county in which the action allegedly occurred, or in the circuit court of Cole County, with respect to the employment eligibility of the law enforcement officer or the supervisor of law enforcement officers under this section.

4. If a court determines that a law enforcement officer or supervisor of law enforcement officers has taken any action that would render him or her ineligible to serve in that capacity under this section:

(1) The law enforcement officer or supervisor of law enforcement officers shall immediately be terminated from his or her position; and

(2) The jurisdiction that had employed the ineligible law enforcement officer or supervisor of law enforcement officers shall be required to pay the court costs and attorney’s fees associated with the declaratory judgment action that resulted in the finding of ineligibility.

5. Nothing in this section shall preclude a person’s right of appeal or remediation, as provided under chapter 590.

1.480. For the purposes of sections 1.410 to 1.485, the term “law-abiding citizen” shall mean a person who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm and shall not be construed to include anyone who is not legally present in the United States or the state of Missouri.

1.485. If any provision of sections 1.410 to 1.485 or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such determination shall not affect the provisions or applications ofsections1 .410 to 1.485, which may be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and the provisions of sections 1.410 to 1.485 are severable.

Republicans control both the Senate and House of Representatives of the Missouri General Assembly, so HB 786 stands a good chance to pass:

  • 24 Republicans vs. 10 Democrats in the Senate.
  • 116 Republicans vs. 47 Democrats in the House of Representatives.

According to Max Headroom of The Sentinel, a former version of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, SB 613, was passed by the state legislature in 2014, but vetoed by then Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Demonrat.

Headroom notes that the current Second Amendment Preservation Act (HB 786, SB 367) faces heavy opposition from two surprising groups:

  1. Missouri’s law enforcement community, “which should be no surprise, as Missouri law enforcement agencies raked in $34,462,153 in forfeitures from 2001 to 2008, according to a report by the Institute of Justice.”
  2. The National Rifles Association (NRA) because anti-gun Sen. Jamilah Nasheed had tried to sneak language into SB 367 that would require gun owners to report a stolen firearm to police no more than 72 hours after the discovery of the theft, or face a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor charge. However, the stolen firearm reporting clause was removed from the actual text of the bill.

See also “Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that Second Amendment applies to individuals, not militias, and may include military weapons”.

H/t truckjunkie

~Eowyn

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Alyssa Milano and 50 Hollyweirdos sign letter threatening to boycott Georgia for prolife ‘heartbeat’ bill

There is a pro-life bill in Georgia’s state legislature, HB 481: Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, aka fetal heartbeat bill, which recognizes unborn children as “natural persons” and that the “full value of a child begins when a heartbeat exists” — typically at six weeks’ gestation.

The source of the GIF is this YouTube video.

Accordingly, the bill requires physicians performing abortions to determine the existence of a detectable human heartbeat before performing an abortion. “No abortion is authorized or shall be performed if an unborn child has been determined in accordance with Code Section 31-9B-2 to have a detectable human heartbeat”.

The bill defines a detectable human heartbeat as “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the heart within the gestational sac.” HB 481 furthermore states that “unless otherwise provided by law, any natural person, including an unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat, shall be included in population based determinations.”

The bill allows for some exceptions to the prohibition against aborting an unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat:

  1. “when a physician determines in reasonable medical judgment, that a medical emergency exists”.
  2. when “the probable gestational age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or less and the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest in which an official police report has been filed alleging the offense of rape or incest.”
  3. If the physician determines the “pregnancy is medically futile.”

On March 22, 2019, by a vote of 34-18, the Georgia Senate passed HB 481. The bill now goes to Georgia’s House of Representatives for agreement before making its way to the desk of Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, who had promised his support on the campaign trail and has reiterated his position since. With his approval, Georgia will join Kentucky and Mississippi in recently approving such legislation. Iowa did so last year. A heartbeat bill in Tennessee has passed the House of Representatives. (Christian Index)

Georgia’s fetal heartbeat bill so incensed blood-thirsty Hollyweirdos that about 50 of them signed a letter threatening to boycott the state if Governor Kemp signs the bill into law.

The letter was written by actress Alyssa Milano, 46, the has-been, rode-hard actress who wore a cleavage-bearing low-cut blouse to SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing last October.

The letter was sent to Governor Kemp and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R), yesterday, March 28. The letter says:

As actors, our work often brings us to Georgia…. We’ve been glad to bring millions of dollars in revenue to support Georgia’s schools, parks and communities.

But we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law.

This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill…would…force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.

We can’t imagine being elected officials who had to say to their constituents, “I enacted a law that was so evil, it chased billions of dollars out of our state’s economy.” It’s not the most effective campaign slogan, but rest assured we’ll make it yours should it come to pass….

We want to stay in Georgia…. But we will…do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law.

According to Deadline and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the actors who signed the letter  include Uzo Aduba (who’s dat?), Christina Applegate, Essence Atkins (who’s dat?), Alec Baldwin, Don Cheadle, David Cross, Mia Farrow, Colin Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sean Penn, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Amber Tamblyn, Gabrielle Union, and Bradley Whitford.

~Eowyn

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