Category Archives: First Amendment

Pentagon bans Bible verses on dog tags, while Pres. Trump upholds right to pray in public schools

No Bible Verses on Soldiers’ Dog Tags

The Pentagon caved in to (((Mikey Weinstein))) of the atheistic Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) again.

Caleb Parke reports for Fox News, Dec. 3, 2019, that for the past 20 years, U.S. military members have been able to wear dog tags with Bible verses on them, giving them light and hope in some of their darkest times. For some Gold Star families, this is one of their most cherished possessions to remember their loved one who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Founded by Kenny Vaughan in 1998, Shields of Strength is a Texas-based company that makes Christian jewelry, beginning with a dog-tag with a Bible scripture which Vaughan had made for himself. The company now makes dog-tags with Bible verses for military members and their family, as well as other Christian-theme jewelry and apparel.

After Fox News reported on Shields of Strength last July, Weinstein complained to the Department of Defense (DOD), demanding the DOD ban the Bible verses dog-tags. “Soon after,” each military branch pulled or threatened to pull the trademark licenses that had been issued to Kenny Vaughan from Shields of Strength.

Berry, a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, told Fox News: “Just when I didn’t think Mikey Weinstein could stoop any lower, he pulled a stunt like that. He’d rather take it away from them just to raise his own publicity than support our service members … that’s pretty cowardly and that’s cruel.”

Vaughan said he’s seen soldiers, who have to leave their Bible behind, carry their Shields of Strength dog-tags with them; oftentimes, the soldiers would stand in line for hours just to get one: “The love of Jesus changed my life forever. It’s the most valuable thing I have to offer anyone is God’s Word. No one needs it more than a young man or woman fighting for our freedom and we’re going to fight for them.”

An acquaintance of mine who’s a Constitutional Law attorney, says:

“While I would absolutely oppose the military issuing such tags (even with a request from the servicemember) it is outrageous that servicemembers can’t voluntarily inscribe their own tags. From a legal point of view, if the military allows any inscriptions at all (like “I Love Mom”) then banning religious ones is content discrimination. That triggers strict (constitutional) scrutiny.”

Prayer in School

Meanwhile, on January 16, 2020, President Trump followed through on his promise to the Evangelicals for Trump rally in Miami on January 3 to “safeguard students’ and teachers’ First Amendment rights to pray in our schools” through a directive from the Department of Education.

As reported by the AP and Christianity Today, the Department of Education issued a guidance on school prayer, the first updated guidance since 2003. The directive orders states to verify that school districts have no policies limiting constitutionally protected prayer, refer violators to the Education Department, and provide ways for making complaints against schools.

From the Department of Education’s press release of January 16, 2020:

[F]or the first time since 2003, the Department will …issue today updated guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools. The Department is required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, to update this guidance every two years. The guidance explains the ESEA’s requirement that states report which local educational agencies have not certified that they do not have any policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer. The ESEA also requires states to report complaints against a local educational agency that allegedly denies a person, including a student or employee, the right to engage in constitutionally protected prayer. The guidance clarifies that the ESEA requires states to provide a clear process for students, parents, and teachers to report violations of their right to pray. Under the ESEA, states must fulfill these reporting requirements by November 1 of each year.

Christianity Today reminds us that public schools have been barred from leading students in classroom prayer since 1962, when the Supreme Court said it violated a First Amendment clause forbidding the establishment of a government religion. Later decisions extended the ban to school graduation ceremonies and, under certain circumstances, school athletic games.

Civil liberties groups say the firewall protects religious minorities and ensures fair treatment of all faiths. But many Christians say courts and schools have pushed too far against the right to free religious expression. Surveys find that Americans remain largely in favor of prayer in public schools:

  • According to General Social Survey data analyzed by political scientist Ryan Burge, just 20–35% of Christians support a ban against requiring reading the Lord’s Prayer or the Bible in public schools, and the religiously unaffiliated are evenly divided on the question.
  • A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found 41% of teens in public schools, including 68% of evangelicals, said they view teacher-led prayer in class as appropriate. A majority of teens in general (82%) and evangelical teens (64%) say there are no religious support or prayer groups that meet in their school.

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem, 48, is also fighting back against the Left’s tyranny.

In March 2019, Noem signed a law requiring every public school throughout the state to display an “In God We Trust” sign on their premises beginning in the fall semester. The law went into effect last July. (H/t Tom Wigand)

~Eowyn

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Virginians form sanctuaries and militias against governor & state legislature gun grab

Virginia was a “swing” state in presidential elections.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2019, however, the state became a solid “blue”. With Democrats already holding the state’s three highest offices (governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general), after two years of Republican control of the state House and Senate by single-seat majorities, the voters of Virginia saw fit to give Democrats full control of the state government for the first time since 1994 by giving Democrats majority control of the state legislature as well. 

Gun control was the Democrats’ major theme in the November 6th elections. They received $2.5 million in funding from 2020 Democrat presidential candidate (((Michael Bloomberg)))’s Everytown for Gun Safety. The four Virginia prosecutors who won on Nov. 6 were also funded by another billionaire leftist, George Soros.

Virginia’s pro-abort Gov. Ralph Northam (D), 60, wasted no time in pushing his gun control agenda. The morning after the election, Northam told CNN he would reintroduce a package of gun control laws in January, including universal background checks, “red flag” laws, and bans on bump stocks and high volume magazines. Northam said: “I’m convinced, with the majority now in the House and the Senate, they’ll become law.” See “Elections have consequences: ‘Blue’ Virginia goes whole hog for gun control”.

Democrats in the Virginia State Senate also hit the ground running:

  • 12 days after the election, on November 18, 2019, 79-year-old pro-abort state senator Dick Saslaw (D) introduced a bill, SB 16, effectively to confiscate “assault firearms” and “certain firearm magazine” by outlawing their possession. See “‘Blue’ Virginia State Senate bill to confiscate ‘assault firearms’”.
  • Three days later, on November 21, 2019,state senator Louise Lucas (D) introduced a bill, SB 64, that violates the U.S. Constitution’s First and Second Amendments by criminalizing instruction and training in using firearms and in self-defense, “assembling” with others to target shoot, as well as march or parade while carrying a firearm. See “‘Blue’ Virginia senate bill to ban firearm and martial arts instruction”.

In response, Virginians who jealously guard their liberty, especially our Constitutional right to “bear arms,” are fighting back by forming Second Amendment sanctuaries and militias.

(1) Second Amendment sanctuaries

To begin, more than 80 counties in Virginia have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions declaring that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.

As examples, Halifax county overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing any new gun control legislation that might be passed in the coming state assembly. In southwestern Buchanan County, residents signed a statement demanding the resignation of Gov. Northam.

Sanctuary resolutions, however, have failed to gain support in the urban and densely-populated counties of Virginia, such as Roanoke, Richmond, Arlington, Loudon and Henrico. In Roanoke, as an example, a resolution was defeated at a meeting of the all-Democrat Roanoke City Council where more than 50 gun rights supporters had voiced concerns before Mayor Sherman Lea.

Virginia is not the first state where counties have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. Similar measures have found success in Illinois, Alaska, Wyoming, and Oregon over the past decade.

In response to the populist movement of Second Amendment sanctuaries, Virginia’s Democratic officials are resorting to threats and intimidation (Washington Examiner):

  • Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly threatens to prosecute county police who refuse to enforce future gun control measures, saying: “I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath. The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”
  • Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin suggests cutting off state funds to counties that do not comply with any gun control measures that pass in Richmond: “If the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorneys offices are not going to have the money to prosecute.” McEachin also said that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam could call the National Guard, if necessary: “And ultimately…the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law.”

The threat to sic the National Guard on sanctuary counties led to this defiant statement from a member of the Virginia National Guard. He told Law Enforcement Today, referring to Rep. McEachin:

If you and your fellow Constitution-hating hacks continue to push an agenda of gun banning, forfeiture and confiscation, I can almost assure you that you might meet more than one requirement for enacting martial law.

If you force local law enforcement to start violating peoples 2nd Amendment rights by taking their guns, you will wind up with temporary emergency due to an occupied territory.

There are people who will dig in. They will fortify their habitations. They will stand firm in their resolution to exercise their un-infringed right. And it will get ugly….

And oh, by the way, plan on seeing the vast majority of the Virginia National Guard become Conscientious Objectors. It will be really hard for them to arrest cops and confiscate guns when none of them will carry the necessary arms to enforce said arrests and confiscations.

How do I know this? I am one of them and will be one of the first to lay down my gun and walk away.

I will not be a pawn in a tyrannical game of human chess. Neither will most of the men and women I serve with.

(2) Militia

On December 20, 2019, Law Enforcement Today (LET) reports that a “growing number of people” have told LET they’re joining the militia. Significantly, these “growing number of people” aren’t just the traditional “three percenters,” but are “a melting pot of people who have had enough” — cops (both active and retired), military veterans, moms, blacks, whites, straight and gay.

For reporting on the “growing number” of Virginians who say they’re joining militias, LET received an anonymous threat from someone who claims to be a member of Congress. The note says:

“Your reporting about the growing numbers in the militia create a clear and present threat to America.  As part of Congress, I’m giving you fair warning that this is the equivalent of shouting ‘fire’ in a movie theater. If your reporting incites violence, or can even be tied to it, we will make sure to charge your editors with felonies.”

One of the militias being formed is in Tazewell County.

Law Enforcement Today (LET) reports that on December 10, 2019, by unanimous votes of its board of supervisors and to the cheer of more than 200 citizens, Tazewell County passed two resolutions. The first declared the county to be a Second Amendment sanctuary; the second resolution officially formed a citizens’ militia to defend the Constitution.

The resolutions also:

  • Remove funding for any law enforcement department that infringe residents’ right to keep and bear arms.
  • Call for concealed weapons training for any resident of the county who can lawfully own a gun.
  • Call for schools to adopt firearms safety training programs.

“Within hours” of reporting that Tazewell County’s formation of a militia, LET was “flooded” with thousands of emails from people across the state – police officers, veterans, and patriotic Americans – who said they are joining. “And it’s a movement that’s gaining traction across the state.”

Virginia is shaping up to be the place where the battle for our Constitutional rights will begin. Molon Labe!H/t CSM, Anon and John Molloy

~Eowyn

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Judge blocks enforcement of LA contract law that takes aim at businesses with ties to NRA

Another example of why it is good that President Trump has been on a roll with appointing judges.

From the AP (via SF Gate): A federal judge on Wednesday blocked enforcement of a Los Angeles law requiring businesses that want city contracts to disclose whether they have ties to the National Rifle Association.

The NRA’s request for a preliminary injunction was granted by U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson (appointed by Reagan) in Los Angeles. It temporarily prohibits enforcement of the measure while the case unfolds. The next step could be an appeal by the city or an NRA request to make the injunction permanent.

The judge also threw out part of the lawsuit on technical grounds and removed the city clerk and Mayor Eric Garcetti as defendants but he refused to entirely dismiss the lawsuit.

The ordinance that took effect in April was passed in response to mass shootings around the country, including a November 2018 attack that killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, northwest of L.A. It requires those wanting city contracts to disclose whether they have contracts or sponsorship from the gun-rights group.

“Public funds provided to such contractors undermines the city’s efforts to legislate and promote gun safety,” the law said.

The NRA argued that the measure violates the constitutional First Amendment right to free speech and association and the 14th Amendment right to equal protection. NRA attorney Chuck Michel called it “modern-day McCarthyism” that would force NRA supporters to drop their memberships for fear of losing their livelihoods.

In his ruling, the judge said the city contends that granting contracts to those “with business ties to the NRA invariably creates more NRA membership, which leads to more pro-gun advocacy, laxer gun laws, and inevitably more mass shootings.”

“Even if this chain of logic was supported by fact, the city is not permitted to restrict political speech as a means of achieving its goal of safer cities,” Wilson ruled.

Messages seeking comment from an NRA spokesperson and attorneys for the city were not immediately returned.

The NRA has been battling a number of challenges to its operations in recent months, including an investigation by the attorney general in New York, where its charter was formed, and the attorney general in Washington, D.C., where authorities are questioning whether its operations are in violation of its nonprofit status. Several corporations also have cut ties to the group.

The NRA sued the city of San Francisco earlier this year over a September resolution by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that declared the group a “domestic terrorist organization.” The NRA alleged the resolution, which had no legal weight, violated the group’s free speech rights. However, it withdrew the suit in November.

DCG

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Twitter to ban all political advertising

Jack Dorsey, CEO of  Twitter and self-appointed censor of free political speech, announced on the eve of Satan’s holiday that ALL political advertising  on Twitter is now banned.

In addition, the ban extends t0 election advertising and political issues. Think anti-abortion, pro second amendment, and global climate change skeptics. In addition, it does not take an Einstein to figure out that this policy is aimed directly at President Trump, who uses Twitter to inform citizens of important issues that Twitter and the rest of the left wing, libtard, socialist/communist media cabal ignore.

From: The Guardian-US Edition

by Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco

Wed 30 Oct 2019 18.19 EDT

First published on Wed 30 Oct 2019 16.05 EDT

 

Twitter will ban all political advertising, the company’s CEO has announced, in a move that will increase pressure on Facebook over its controversial stance to allow politicians to advertise false statements.

The new policy, announced via Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account on Wednesday, will come into effect on 22 November and will apply globally to all electioneering ads, as well as ads related to political issues. The timing means the ban will be in place in time for the UK snap election.

jack 🌍🌏🌎

@jack

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵

384K

4:05 PM – Oct 30, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

111K people are talking about this

Twitter had previously implemented rules and restrictions for political advertising.

The announcement comes as Facebook is embroiled in a controversy over its decision to exempt ads by politicians from third-party fact checking and from a policy that bans false statements from paid advertisements. Dorsey explained the motivations behind the change in a lengthy Twitter thread that appeared to include several references and responses to the convoluted arguments that Facebook has put forward in recent weeks.

The organic spread of political messages online “should not be compromised by money”, he wrote. The advanced state of digital advertising technology, including “machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting” and deepfakes – fake or manipulated videos that appear real – combined with the pollution of the online information ecosystem with misinformation, “present entirely new challenges to civic discourse”.

“This isn’t about free expression,” he added, in a seeming riposte to the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent defense of online political advertising in a speech billed as a “stand for voice and free expression”. “This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”

Dorsey tweeted another counter-argument to Facebook with an accompanying winking emoji, writing: “It’s not credible for us to say: ‘We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, but if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want!’”

jack 🌍🌏🌎

@jack

Replying to @jack

For instance, it‘s not credible for us to say: “We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well…they can say whatever they want! 😉”

 48.6K

4:05 PM – Oct 30, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

7,398 people are talking about this

That argument appears to mock Facebook’s recent attempts to justify its decisions to exempt posts by politicians from its third-party factchecking program, and ads by politicians from a policy that bans false statements from paid advertisements.

Together, the policies have created a situation in which Facebook is simultaneously asserting its commitment to reducing misinformation while allowing incumbent politicians and political candidates to lie in paid campaign ads.

Dorsey called for “forward-looking political ad regulation”, noting that transparency requirements that have been proposed by US lawmakers are “progress but not enough.”

“The internet provides entirely new capabilities, and regulators need to think past the present day to ensure a level playing field,” he said.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called Twitter’s decision “another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives” while Hillary Clinton called it “the right thing to do for democracy in America and all over the world” and the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deemed it “a good call”.

Daniel Kreiss, an associate professor of journalism and media at the University of North Carolina, argued that companies should focus on restricting the use of personal data in ad targeting rather than banning all political ads, which he said “favors incumbents and media appointed elites vis-a-vis challengers”.

J Nathan Matias, an assistant professor of communication at Cornell University, said that the ban could have a number of unintended consequences, including pushing campaigns to use more bots and “hybrid human-software coordination on Twitter”.

“It’s very hard to define ‘political’ things from non-political discourse,” he added. “If their policies are too loose or their enforcement too clumsy, Twitter could do real damage to public health, the uptake of government services and civic life.”

~ Grif

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51% of Americans believe First Amendment should be rewritten

This is scary. But not surprising.

The rights and freedoms previous generations fought for are under attack (think Second Amendment). They always will be by progressives who want to silence those who disagree with them. That’s the only way they can apparently win an argument.

And that’s the only way to ensure that feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings are not hurt.

The Campaign for Free Speech released results of a recent poll that show the following:

51% of Americans think the First Amendment is outdated and should be rewritten. The First Amendment protects your right to free speech, free assembly, and freedom of religion, among other things.

48% believe “hate speech” should be illegal. (“Hate speech” is not defined—we left it up to the individual participant.) Of those, about half think the punishment for “hate speech” should include possible jail time, while the rest think it should just be a ticket and a fine.

80% don’t actually know what the First Amendment really protects. Those polled believed this statement is true: “The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.”

Go here for their full survey results.

DCG

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There are satanists in the U.S. Naval Academy

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative and a published author of four books. (Read more about him here.)

In an October 9 post on The American Conservative, Dreher alerts us to the alarming news that there are organized satanists in the U.S. Naval Academy.

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) is the second oldest of the United States’ five service academies, and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

Dreher reports that an American Conservative “reader affiliated with the US Naval Academy said that people there received this e-mail” on October 8, 2019. Below is a screenshot of the email.

In the interest of legibility, here’s a text of the email that I transcribed from the above image:

Good Afternoon Brigade,

Starting this Thursday, Satanic services will be offered on the yard.

Who: Caters to people who prescribe to the Satanic Temple’s philosophy, however all people of any faith background are welcome to attend!
What: Satanic religious services, discussions of Satanic Philosophy, discussions of literary history of Satan.
When: Every Thursday at 1900.
Where: The Media Room at the back of Stein Hall in the Levy Center
Why: To promote critical thinking and discussion on Satanic values as they pertain to our lives.
How: Just show up!

Please contact Chief [name redacted] with any questions.

Very respectfully,

Dreher continues:

The reader said that e-mail set off a firestorm. A few minutes later, the Chief who authored that e-mail sent this follow-up:

Dreher apologizes for the blurry screenshot of the email: “If you are having trouble reading it, the gist is that the Chief is a confessed Satanist, and is inviting others at the USNA to participate in a Satanic ritual.”

The reader who sent Dreher the information wrote that “the Chief” admits he’s a member of the Satanic Temple and gave links to a website that “talks about Black Masses and ‘unbaptisms’.” The reader said that the command chaplain, a Catholic priest, had no idea any of this was going on, and is furious.

On October 11, 2019, Task & Purpose, a military and veteran-focused digital media company, reports that USNA spokeswoman Cmdr. Alana Garas said the Satanic service would not take place because “that email was sent prematurely…without the review and approval of the Naval Academy’s Command Chaplain, as required by command policy.”

Garas said that a group of midshipmen “with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple” had requested a space for a “study group” to discuss their satanic beliefs — and not, as the email in question indicated, for holding satanic religious services.

As of 2017, the U.S. military recognized 221 distinct “faith groups” from major religions like the Roman Catholic Church and Islam to more arcane and esoteric affiliations like Druid, Troth, Heathen, and Pagan. In January 2019, a group of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis conducted religious services based in Norse Heathenry with the approval of their commanding officer. In May 2019, the U.S. government officially recognized the Satanic Temple as a tax-exempt religion.

Rod Dreher raises these fundamental and very troubling questions about our polity and society:

The matter of Satanists meeting at the USNA raises the broader question of the limits of tolerance in a liberal society. Is Satanism a religion like every other? Theologically, I would say no. But as a matter of public accommodation in a pluralist polity, a liberal one in which there is a formal separation of Church and State, it is hard to see how lines can be drawn to defend society against this evil. The phenomenon reveals the instability at the heart of classical liberalism…. At what point does liberalism cross the line from being a tool that can be used to defend the Good when it has become unpopular, and becomes instead a clear and present danger to the Good?

H/t John Molloy

~Eowyn

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Because of Trump, American Federation of Teachers union lost 76,000 members and $18M in dues revenue

Founded in Chicago in 1916, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the second largest teacher’s labor union in America, the largest being the National Education Association (NEA). 

Members’ dues underwrite much of AFT’s political activities.

Since 1980, AFT and the NEA have contributed nearly $57.4 million to federal campaigns, an amount that is about 30% higher than any single corporation or other union. About 95% of political donations from teachers unions have gone to Democrats:

  • In 2008, AFT donated $1,997,375.00 to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and $1,784,808.59 to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
  • The AFT endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race — Hillary and AFT president Randi Weingarten are longtime friends. Some AFT members felt the endorsement did not reflect the wishes of rank-and-file AFT members because they supported socialist Bernie Sanders.

According to Department of Labor filings, Weingarten, 61, earned nearly $560,000 in total compensation during the 2013-2014 school year.

On June 27, 2018, in a landmark but narrow 5:4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court ruled that public sector union dues violate the First Amendment by compelling nonmembers to “subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern”. Unions will, subsequently, need to gain the affirmative consent of individual teachers before enrolling them in the AFT and NEA.

The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling led directly to the cancellation of membership by a substantial portion of teachers in the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Sean Higgins reports for Washington Examiner, Oct. 9, 2019, on the effects of the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME ruling in the year since:

  • AFT lost 76,000 members and $18 million in dues revenue.
  • AFT membership declined 4% to 1.7 million members, and would have declined even more if AFT had not made a grassroots outreach to build up its membership by adding 8,000 full-time teachers and 8,000 retiree members.
  • In a recent Labor Department filing, AFT reported having lost some  82,000 “agency fee” payers — from more than 85,000 the previous year to just 3,000. Agency fee payers are people who are not members of a union but are covered by a collective bargaining contract which requires them to pay a union a regular fee. The Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, however, means agency fee payers no longer are required to pay a fee to the AFT. The remaining agency fee payers are all at private-sector schools, because the Janus ruling doesn’t cover private-sector employment.

Conservatives must remember this when you find yourself unhappy with President Trump:

The narrow majority of five justices are Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Gorsuch.

The landmark Janus v. AFSCME ruling and the American Federation of Teachers’ loss of members and $18 million in revenue were made possible entirely because of President Trump’s nomination and the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, who replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia, joined the four justices (Alito, Roberts, Kennedy and Thomas) in the majority ruling.

~Eowyn

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Are We Being “Auto-Enrolled” into the Mark of the Beast?

Revelation 13:14 – 13:18

14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

This piece does not aim to provide certainty of conclusion(s), but food for thought.  Over time, as one observes seemingly unrelated or spontaneous developments, a pattern can become discernable.  This writer is “discerning” that we may slowly be being corralled into a “Mark of the Beast” regime – not necessarily by force, as many assume – but through a form of “auto-enrollment” by means of that corralling. Many have opined that the “Mark” will manifest itself in the form of microchips implanted underneath the skin – whether voluntarily using deception, or by force – there’s even a movie about this titled Rumors of Wars. And that may well occur.  But …

Continue reading

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President Trump is drafting executive order on social media’s censorship of conservatives

About three months ago, in May 2019, President Trump finally heeded the cries of conservative bloggers (including Fellowship of the Minds) and users of social media of being censored, blacklisted and abused by the tech giants. The White House created a webpage for us to relate our travails — as individuals, websites, and blogs.

The evidence that conservatives are being censored is overwhelming. See:

It is, of course, in President Trump’s self-interest to do something about this censorship. See “Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent ‘Trump situation’ in 2020“.

In July, at a White House social media summit, President Trump decried the censorship and directed his administration to explore all “regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans.” Last Tuesday, citing the case of a Google engineer who says he had been fired for his conservative views, Trump warned that he is “watching Google very closely.”

Now, it is reported that the Trump White House is preparing an executive order to address the anti-conservative bias of the tech giants.

Tech giants’ love-fest with Barack Obama

Politico reports, August 7, 2019, that according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter, the Trump White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order to address social media companies’ anti-conservative bias.

The unnamed White House official said: “If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system. But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role. They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent.”

The executive order, which deals with other topics besides tech bias, is still in the early drafting stages and is not expected to be issued imminently. None of the three individuals would describe the contents of the executive order or what penalties, if any, would be visited on companies deemed to be censoring political viewpoints. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the Trump administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.

The Trump White House faces many obstacles in crafting a policy against the censorship:

  1. The federal government’s options on combating online bias are limited by the First Amendment. Before he left his job in May, John Morris, who handled internet policy issues at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), said: “There’s very little in terms of direct regulation the federal government can do without congressional action, and frankly I think that’s a positive thing. Although the government may be able to support and assist online platforms’ efforts to reduce hate and violence online, the government should not try to impose speech regulations on private platforms. As politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have historically urged, the government should not be in the business of regulating speech.”
  2. Another obstacle is Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which both protects online platforms from liability for content their users post and empowers the companies to remove content without fear of liability. Section 230 has increasingly come under fire from lawmakers of both parties frustrated with tech companies’ content moderation practices.
  3. A crackdown on social media companies would involve at least four federal agencies: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),  Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice, and Department of Commerce. However:
    1. Although the Justice Department has announced a sweeping antitrust review of whether tech giants are harming competition or stifling innovation, antitrust cases have not traditionally been used as tools to address complaints about online speech.
    2. Republicans at the FCC and FTC already have said publicly that they don’t see a role for their agencies in policing companies’ online content:
      1. Republican FCC Commissioner and Trump appointee Brendan Carr tweeted: “Outsourcing censorship to the government is not just a bad idea, it would violate the First Amendment. I’m a no.”
      2. Republicans at the FTC, which punishes companies for unfair or deceptive acts, also have said they don’t see a role for the agency in policing allegations of social media bias. During an FTC oversight hearing in the Senate last year, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) argued that a tech company could be considered “actively deceptive” if it appears to be a neutral public platform and then engages in censorship. But Republican FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips said the FTC’s antitrust and consumer protection authorities are “not authorities to police the First Amendment itself.”
  4. Conservatives, such as the Heritage Foundation, have also spent decades opposing any attempt to revive the FCC’s old Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to be balanced in their programming on controversial issues.

What the Trump White House can do:

  1. One potential approach could involve using the government’s leverage over federal contractors, a tactic the Obama administration used to advance LGBT rights via a 2014 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Trump did just that last March when he signed an executive order to promote free speech on college campuses by requiring schools to agree to promote free inquiry (which they are already supposed to do, but many don’t) in order to receive federal research funding.
  2. The administration could have the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which handles communications policy, to convene interested parties to explore the issues.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Finally

Somehow I FINALLY managed to trick my way back in.

Every time I have tried before, it threw me completely off the net, regardless of which computer I was using.

Sorry I have been away so long, but it wasn’t my fault.

– Dave

 

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