Tag Archives: Bill of Rights

U.S. tech giants are waging a war against free speech

Our Founding Fathers were learned men who founded the newly independent American Republic on a particular — and correct — view of human nature. They believed that humans have a dual nature, both good and bad, and that we are self-interested but rational, being each capable of discerning what is in our own interests.

That humans are fundamentally selfish accounts for why the Founders fashioned a government that is limited and constrained in its exercise of power, instead of unlimited and totalitarian. As James Madison so eloquently stated in The Federalist Papers:

What is government but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the greatest difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Among the constraints that our Founders placed on government to prevent it from abusing political power are the Bill of Rights or the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which collectively delimit government’s power by specifying the rights and liberties of the people which no government can abridge. The Founders also created other constraints on government, one of which is a free press (or media).

A free press also serves another function. Since humans are endowed by the Creator with the capacity to reason, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that we be given a pluralism and variety of information and knowledge — the “market place of ideas” — which we can utilize to make the “right” choices in the ballot box and away.

Surveys have found that journalists of the Mainstream Media are overwhelmingly partisan in favor of one political party. For example, a poll found that Washington media correspondents voted Democratic 93% to 7% (see Professor Tim Groseclose’s Left Turn, How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind).  As a result of the MSM’s partisanship, the First Amendment’s freedom of the press no longer delivers pluralism of information and ideas.

Happily, with the rise of the Internet, social media and alternate media are doing what the MSM whether willingly or by coercion no longer do. A recent Pew Research Center study found that some 14% of Americans have changed their minds about an issue because of something they saw on social media. But the voice of both social and alternate media is now being silenced, one by one, by privately-owned high-tech corporations acting in the interest of and in cahoots with the Democratic Party and the Deep State.

The social media tech giants — Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Disqus — are all owned and operated by liberals/Democrats/Progressive, i.e., the Left. Although they are separate corporations, their similar political partisanship and ideology make them a virtual monopoly. When they each act to censor and stifle the American people’s freedom of speech in social and alternative media, their collective reach approaches totalitarian in scope.

See Edwin Vieira Jr.’s “Censorship by Internet Corporations Is Still Censorship

Think of those tech giants as private enterprises with deceptive smiles but razor-sharp teeth.

Having unexpectedly lost the 2016 presidential election, in which social and alternative media played a significant role in electing D.C. outsider Donald Trump, Democrats and the tech giants have learned a lesson. To ensure against a repeat of 2016, the cabal of tech giants are silencing dissenting voices on social media and blogs before this November’s mid-term election.

See “The Coming Democrat Vote Fraud: dead voters in Ohio; non-citizen voters in Texas; Pelosi tells Dems to be unscrupulous

The cabal first went after a giant AltMedia target — Alex Jones and his InfoWars. Next is the 21st-century digital version of book-burning when web-host WordPress began, abruptly and without warning, shutting down (“suspend”) blogs, including Fellowship of the Minds, ostensibly because they had violated WordPress’ Terms of Service (TOS).

Other blogs and voices that are silenced include (incomplete list):

  1. WordPress-hosted blogs American Everyman (Willy Loman), Harold Saive‘s ChemTrailsPlanet, Dutchsinse’s blog, Jay’sAnalysis, and Jeff Fenske‘s 11-year-old ToBeFree.
  2. Twitter terminated many accounts, including that of anti-war activist Caitlin Johnston @caitoz (see “Twitter purges accounts across the platform again“).
  3. Facebook is blocking ads for pro-Trump Diamond & Silk’s upcoming movie Dummycrats.
  4. The internet browser Mozilla Firefox is pushing an “Information Trust Initiative” to block independent media sources at the browser level while favoring corporate media giants like fake news CNN (Natural News).
  5. All 37 of Stewart Ogilby‘s columns on veteranstoday.com, including a dozen about 9/11, as well as his bio and photo, were removed without explanation.
  6. From a FOTM reader: “A priest who has a website in Europe told me that a liberal priest from the United States sent someone from Europe to shut down his website. This good priest was exposing Obama’s and other liberals’ agenda.”

The hypocrisy of WordPress is particularly galling. As Dr. James Tracy points out in his Memory Hole Blog, after silencing those it has identified as violating its TOS, WordPress nevertheless continues to host blogs “that are in demonstrable violation of the company’s TOS,” including the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer and blogs by Antifa, whom the Obama administration’s FBI and DHS had identified in April 2016 as “domestic terrorists”.

Explanations as to why WP-hosted blogs are being taken down include the following:

  1. Because the blogs are conservative and/or Christian (see WND; Breitbart).
  2. Because the blogs posted on the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting being a false-flag hoax (see Phibetaiota.net; Techcrunch). As an example, Cinderella’s Broom, a relatively small blog that mainly posted on Sandy Hook, was taken down. WordPress is so vindictive that they also took down Cinderella’s three other blogs, none of which has political content.
  3. Because those blogs posted on other false flags, e.g., 9/11 and the 1985 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, which suggests it is the Deep State that’s engineering the take-downs (see Natural News; All News Pipeline). That in turn has an ominous implication: Is the Deep State silencing bloggers who write about false flags because either a massive false flag or a diabolical conspiracy is in the works, such as an attempt to assassinate President Trump?

An email I just received from Stewart Ogilby lends strength to the #3 explanation. Ogilby had re-published my April 2015 post that the Challenger astronauts may be alive. He writes:

“The situation is worse than we fear. This morning the file that previously loaded  your page intact (challenger.htm), including the graphics, not only
no longer loads from my server, but the file itself has been corrupted. I do not use WordPress or any other webpage ‘wizzard’.”

See also Ogilby’s “Owners of America’s Media Lie“.

The tech giants do what they do because they are sanctioned and shielded by the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), specifically Section 230’s “Safe Harbor” provision, which allows social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to censor at will any content they don’t like. Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wireless bureau chief Fred Campbell is on a mission to repeal that provision. (Read more about this on Thought Police.)

As if the Safe Harbor provision isn’t bad enough, Virginia Democrat senator Mark Warner means to restrict our free speech even further. In a policy paper obtained by Axios and in the name of combating “fake news,” Warner would have our freedom of speech be even more abridged by:

  • Requiring web platforms to label so-called fake and bot accounts or do more to identify “authentic” accounts, with the threat of sanction by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to do so.
  • Making web platforms legally liable for claims of “defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, and public disclosure of private facts”.

Axios observes that “Warner, who made his fortune in telecommunications before running for office, has been a prominent critic of major social media platforms from his perch as top Democrat overseeing the intelligence committee’s investigation of Russian election interference.” Although Warner’s proposal for now is just that, a “Democratic wave in November could put more momentum behind these ideas”.

To the tech giants must be asked the same question that I’ve asked Sandy Hookers who harass, attack, terrorize, successfully get YouTube and WordPress take down videos, posts and entire blogs, and send hateful and life-threatening emails to Sandy Hook researchers who are simply exercising our First Amendment right to free speech and free press:

If you have truth on your sidewhy would you stifle our voices? What are you so afraid of?

H/t Big Lug, CSM, Greg Holt, Harold Saive, Kelleigh, and Matthew S.

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Bill Whittle- Bill of Rights Freedoms Have Been Taken Away

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgrktRgjBXk]
LTG

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140 U.S. Sheriffs meet to take back America

Something extraordinary and historic took place mere days ago in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For three days, from January 29 and 31, 2012, in the Tuscany Hotel & Casino, more than a hundred county sheriffs from across the United States of America met in a first annual Constitutional Sheriffs Convention.
This is what Wikipedia says about U.S. sheriffs:

“In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of a person to serve as a police leader is an almost uniquely American tradition.”

The first Constitutional Sheriffs Convention is the brainchild of the County Sheriff Project of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). Here’s a video describing the CSPOA:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7aUrtroSk0&feature=player_embedded]
The convention’s objective is two-fold:

  • To increase the understanding and awareness for all sheriffs and peace officers regarding the true power of our constitutional authority and duty to serve and protect the people for whom we work;
  • To unite in a concerted effort to uphold and defend the United States Constitution.

Given the importance of the convention, it is curious to say the least that the media have chosen to totally ignore it. Curious, too, is the fact that I scoured the Internet yesterday but could find scant news on the convention, much less a report — not even on the website of the County Sheriff Project.
But I did find an audio of a 1.5 hr Revolution Radio broadcast on the convention, interviewing several sheriffs who attended the conference, as well as other attendees, mainly Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. To listen to the audio, click here.
I listened to all 93 minutes of the Revolution Radio broadcast. Here are my notes and summary:

Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes said the sheriffs “are working on a series of resolutions” at the convention, among which is a “Resolution of the Sheriff Against NDAA 2012“, drafted by Rhodes and constitutional attorney Richard Fry, for the sheriffs to sign. NDAA is the notorious National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which effectively nullifies the Bill of Rights by making it lawful for the U.S. President and the military to arrest and detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial. From the Oath Keepers’ website, it appears the sheriffs at the convention did not sign the Resolution as a collective body. Rhodes is asking the sheriffs to sign the Resolution as individual sheriffs.
Rhodes opined that political party labels don’t mean much anymore, referring in particular to how the NDAA is “a bipartisan assault on our civil liberties,” which was spearheaded by Republican John McCain and Democrat Carl Levin.
Rhodes emphasized that a second American Revolution has already taken place under our noses and our Constitution’s been overthrown. “We have had people who are determined to destroy our Constitutional Republic to create a tyranny.” But this revolution is not fully recognized by the American people, who must be informed and educated. He calls for Americans, especially the military and the police, to emulate the “peaceful revolution of 1800” when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rose up against the Anti-Sedition Act to sweep federal oath-breakers out of office.

The Sheriffs

Rhodes was followed by several sheriffs, who spoke one by one. They included:
1. Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County in Northern California (see a YouTube video of him here)

Sheriff Dean Wilson


2. Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County, Colorado. (Here’s a video of Cooke giving the keynote address at the Union Colony Marines’ 2011 Ball).

3. A sheriff identified as from Northern California’s Siskiyou County. I looked it up, and he should be Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Sheriff Jon Lopey


4. Sheriff Greg Hagwood of Plumas County in Northern California. Here he is on YouTube.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood


Instead of presenting what each sheriff said, I’ve grouped what they said under categories of issues. Words between quotation marks are straight-forward quotes of the speaker.
How many sheriffs attended convention:
120 to 140 sheriffs from all across America. Many (“a great showing”) from California and the western states, but also from Texas, Florida and the eastern seaboard. Some sheriffs also brought their second-in-charge to the convention. A list of the names of the sheriffs who were at the convention will be published.
What they did:

  • There was a Sheriffs Panel in which 8 sheriffs spoke.
  • There were presentations by various speakers who “spoke powerfully” on Agenda 21 and the Bill of Rights. Even though some of the sheriffs didn’t know about some of the issues, “they are listening” and “have a humility about them.” “They really want to know and are sticking their necks out by coming here.”

What the sheriffs got out of the conference:
1. A renewed knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and “how it’s related to county sheriffs who are sworn to defend and protect the Constitution.”
2. “A good idea and understanding of what’s been going on” in the sheriff’s own county and in other counties. Sheriff Wilson’s county, as an example, is on the border between Northern California and Oregon. 74% of the county is federal and state land. The county’s agriculture and timber industry are under “attack” by the federal government’s Interior Department and BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Sheriff Cooke described how the federal government wanted to burn some grassland in his county which was adjacent to farmers’ and ranchers’ property. So he issued a warning to the feds not to burn, which was ignored. But the county stood firm — and the federal government backed down and decided not to burn. Sheriff Cooke also said that the federal government tells the sheriffs how to run their jails, although Washington D.C. has no authority over this.
3. The realization that many of the problems experienced by separate counties are common to all sheriffs across the nation, “all part of a larger picture.” Sheriff Cooke calls the conference “awesome”: “We sheriffs tend to live on an island, but the conference makes us realize we have common problems.” Those common problems are the federal government’s over-regulation; “overreach” of its authority on matters such as forest land in Northern California; and “infringement against the Constitutional rights of our citizens.” The sheriffs “heard absolute horror stories on what’s going on from one coast to the other — especially in Connecticut and Delaware.”
4. Not only are these problems common to the counties of all the states, these issues also “affect all the citizens of America.” “The problems we’re facing are universal.”
5. One of those issues that affect all the citizens is the NDAA. The sheriffs at the convention learnt how the NDAA “blatantly strips authority from sheriffs into the hands of the military and the President” as well as stripping “the rights from citizens.”
6. Learning about the limits of the sheriffs’ own authority, even in “little things.” Sheriff Cooke gave an example of a Sheriff Akita who said he “did away with DUI checkpoints because they are unconstitutional” and sheriffs “shouldn’t tolerate it.” Why? Because “it is not right to stop people when they haven’t done anything wrong.”
What is needed:
The sheriffs said an organization “like this” (i.e., the convention) is needed “on a national level” to help county sheriffs across America. “The time has come for a nationally recognized organization” of America’s county sheriffs. In the meantime, there are already plans for Northern California’s sheriffs to meet again, scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, February 25, 2012. There are also plans for other events in Northern California to discuss land management, land use, water issues, the declining timber industry (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued yet another spotted owl protection), and threats against mining, agriculture, and recreational use. California’s State Sheriffs Association has formed a policy committee to deal with common problems, especially those in Northern California.
What most impressed the sheriffs:
1. Sheriff Hagwood: It’s an “eye opener” that the same issues are being dealt with across the country. That’s “disturbing”. At the same time, it’s “good to know that distinguished sheriffs are taking steps to safeguard our Constitution.” They are willing “to stand up, stand tall, to serve the People and stand for the Constitution.”
2. They now feel emboldened: Sheriff Wilson: “Just having an organization like this and meeting sheriffs from across America who are like-minded, emboldens you to take steps that are necessary to stand up for the rights promised in the Constitution, because now you know other sheriffs have his back” and will “stand beside me.” Cooke: “There’s strength in numbers, not fighting it alone.”
What the sheriffs promise:
“The U.S. Constitution was founded by devout Christian men and they got it right. Now it’s up to us — sheriffs and peace officers — to keep it.”
“The problems we’re facing are universal. But sheriffs bound together have real strength to push back.”
“Sheriffs all over are going to fight back.” The number of sheriffs who will attend next year’s convention will probably be double the number as this year. Sheriffs are learning “how to fight back with an organization like this.”
“The only thing I’ve ever sworn to is my oath of office and my marriage vows. When sheriffs take a leadership role, the people will also be inspired. We realize that our freedoms are being threatened” on “county, state, and national” levels. “We must energize and educate citizens and officials.”
“Sheriffs are beginning to recognize the responsibility they have to citizens is much larger than upholding the law. We now appreciate the gravity” of the situation. We recognize our larger responsibility is “to protect the liberties [that are] absolutely essential to our way of life.”
The 2012 election is “make or break”. We must realize that “the enemy is within, not without.” We must “demand that the federal government behave.”

“It won’t be easy but we’ll do it.”

+++
That’s when my vision got blurred by the tears streaming down my face….
God bless the county sheriffs who attended this convention. May their numbers multiply.
Pray for our sheriffs! Pray for America!
~Eowyn

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Obama Signs US Citizens Detention Bill


On the last day of 2011, with a flick of his pen, Obama shredded our 224-year-old Constitution with its Bill of Rights that protect and preserve our individual liberties.
On December 31, 2011, while still on vacation in balmy Hawaii, Obama signed into law a bill — approved by both houses in Congress — which now makes it legal for the military to detain — indefinitely — any and all U.S. citizens without charge or trial. The bill has the innocuous bureaucratic name of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). I’ve warned you about this bill under its previous guise as Senate Bill 1867. Read here, here, and especially here.
Do you think I exaggerate? Then read what Obama himself said in his signing statement issued by the White House (h/t PrisonPlanet):
————-

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2011

Statement by the President on H.R. 1540

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed….

The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists….

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary….

I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law….

In other words, Obama is telling us: “I now have the perfectly legal authority and power to detain American citizens, but trust me, I won’t!”
Yeah right….
This piece of sh*t is talking with forked tongue.
Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) who is the sponsor of SB 1867, has revealed it was the Obama administration itself that lobbied to remove language from the bill which would have protected American citizens from being detained indefinitely without trial. (h/t PrisonPlanet)
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jHaJrnlqCgo#!]
For that matter, more than two years ago, on May 21, 2009, in a speech at the National Archives, flanked by copies of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, Obama had proposed a new policy of preventive detention, without trial, for people he suspects might commit crimes in the future.
Of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates, only Ron Paul recognizes the lethality of NDAA. He correctly states that the new law means the imposition of martial law on the United States.
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6pnSHyOG-Y&feature=player_embedded]
Here’s a good video on NDAA:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW-e7z7S6VI]
H/t our beloved May and Tina.
~Eowyn

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Homeowner faces manslaughter charges for detaining thief

Charge may be filed in death of suspected thief

Everett (WA) Herald: A man could face a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a suspected thief he confronted on his property south of Everett last summer.
Detectives have forwarded the results of their investigation to prosecutors and are recommending a manslaughter charge, said Kevin Prentiss, a bureau chief with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.  Prosecutors are reviewing the file, which details how a man died after he allegedly attempted to steal a boat motor, and was restrained by the owner.
“No charging decision is imminent,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler said. “A charging decision is probably going to be made shortly after the first of the year I would guess.”  Stemler said prosecutors will evaluate the case. They also have people they need to talk to before making a decision.
Dylan Thomas Jones, 23, of Everett, died July 19 in the 400 block of 117th Street SE. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office listed the cause of death as asphyxia due to compression of the neck, and the manner of death as homicide.
Jones reportedly was held down in a driveway by the man, 67, who said he caught him attempting to steal an outboard motor from his boat, which was parked outside his house on a dead-end street.  When deputies arrived, Jones was lying on the ground near the house and was not breathing. Despite attempts to revive the suspect, he died at the scene.
The boat owner said he held down Jones to detain him for police after the two exchanged punches.  The older man said he wrapped an arm around the younger man’s neck and tried to stay on top of him. He said he recognized Jones as a friend of his nephew. “I was scared to death he was going to get up,” he told The Herald the day after the confrontation. “Truthfully, I’m not fighting. I’m hanging on … I hung on because I was scared.”
The homeowner said back in July, “As a parent, I really empathize with his parents,” the man, 67, said while sitting on his concrete front porch Wednesday morning. “Our kids, right or wrong, they are our kids.”  The retired carpenter, who said he lives with arthritis and has two artificial hips, spoke about the fatal encounter on the condition his name and photograph were not used for this story. The man was stiff and sore from the ordeal the day before, and still had a bruised and swollen lip.  “I had no intent for this to escalate to this extent,” he said.
At the time of the incident, the homeowner went to the front yard, he said the younger man was trying to remove an outdoor motor from his boat.  “You don’t expect trouble in the middle of the afternoon,” the man said. “I let him know he was going to face the cops. At that point I was not going to let him leave.”  The younger man made it clear he had no plans to stick around, the retiree said.  Punches were exchanged.  “I remember being on the losing end of slinging fists,” he said. “…I was taking a real shellacking.”
The older man, who stands about 5 foot 10 and weighs around 220 pounds, said he eventually was able to get on top of the suspected thief. His foe was about his height but probably about 50 pounds lighter.
The manner of death was listed as homicide?  Exactly what kind of homicide (in legal terms) – justifiable, excusable, or criminal.  Wouldn’t this be important in justifying a manslaughter charge? And how can the coroner make the homicide determination without a trial before a court of law?
What about the Bill of Rights – don’t we have personal rights and freedoms when it comes to protecting our homes and property?  The homeowner clearly told the young man he was going to call the cops after he caught him in the act.  And the thief engaged  in a fight with the homeowner. 
This is not the first time that a homeowner protecting his property is facing charges and/or time for doing so.  I wrote of a Washington State man who was sentenced to five years in prison for killing a burglar on his property.  And I wrote of another man who was cited for violating gun laws after he shot a prowler on his own property. 
More rights for the criminals than the property owners.  This is what has become of our Amerika today.
DCG

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Remember the Constitution!

The Philadelphia Convention 1787


Today, September 17, is America’s Constitution Day.
224 years ago, on September 17, 1787, our Founding Fathers at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, making it the highest law of the new American Republic and the foundation document of our political system and institutions.
George Washington presided over the Convention. James Madison wrote the document that formed the model for the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was serving as ambassador to France at the time of the Convention but kept abreast of the proceedings in Philadelphia via correspondence with Madison. John Adams was Ambassador to Great Britain at the time and wrote “Defense of the Constitution of the Government of the United States of America.” Patrick Henry was initially opposed to the very idea of the Constitution because he wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor to the Constitution. However, when an agreement was made to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, Henry fought hard for its ratification.
It is the Constitution that ensures we are a rule of law.
It is the Constitution that spells out and ensures that the governed have inalienable rights and liberties which no government can abrogate.
It is the Constitution that ensures we are not reduced to the “nasty, brutish, and short” lives of the Hobbesian state of nature.
The Left are trying to co-opt and subvert the Constitution by making this their “Day of Rage” with protests on Wall Street and at least five major cities across the United States, so as to bring down capitalism and with it government as well.
Don’t let them.
Fly your flag! — Proudly!
~Eowyn

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We Live in a Country Governed by Evil Men and They Hate Us

Doug Parris Laid It On the Line in 1994

This is vintage Doug Parris of  The Reagan Wing.  He’s been battling Rinos in Washington State Politics for 30 years.  At the time he gave this talk, the Clintons were in power and Hilarycare was in the pipeline.  Now Obama is in power and Obamacare is the law of the land.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw4HqPhMgAU]
~LTG

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Free Cell Phone Is a Civil Right!


What amazing men the Founding Fathers were. They were so prescient that they included the right to a free cellphone in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights!
Abby W. Schachter reports for the New York Post, August 1, 2011, that as a result of a federal government program called the Universal Service Fund, Pennsylvanians on public assistance now have a new ‘civil right’ — free cell phones.
Through Assurance Wireless and SafeLink from Tracfone Wireless these folks get a handset and 250 minutes a month for free — all paid for by cellphone users like you and me.
How this scheme works is as follows:
The telecommunications companies like Verizon and AT&T are funding the Universal Service Fund to the tune of $4 billion a year because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says they have to. In order to recoup their money, the companies turn around and hike their fees to paying customers.
Those of use paying for the free service for “the poor” should just suck it up.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski


The FCC, whose chairman Julius Genachowski is Obama’s ol’ law school classmate, says: Between 14 million and 24 million Americans lack access to broadband. “The goal of reform is to provide everyone with affordable voice and broadband.”
For his part, Gary Carter, manager of National Partnerships for Assurance Wireless, tells us the Universal Service Fund “program is about peace of mind.” Free cell service means “one less bill that someone has to pay, so they can pay their rent or for day care…it is a right to have peace of mind,” Cater explained.
Assurance is a Lifeline Service Program powered by Virgin Mobile USA; A Division of Sprint. Assurance Wireless is free to eligible customers, offering a free phone and 250 minutes of nationwide wireless voice service each month.
The telecommunications companies aren’t happy about this and are trying to renegotiate the deal with the FCC.
I use one of those cheapo pre-paid cell phones with no doodads. How stupid of me. I can have one free! You can, too! Just send an e-mail to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski by going HERE.
You can also file a consumer’s complaint with the FCC here.
H/t beloved fellow Tina.
~Eowyn

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62% of Americans Flunk US Citizenship Test

We all know what happens to sheep....


In his letter to Edward Carrington, 1787, Thomas Jefferson warned: “If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.”
In other words, self-government is and can be only as good as the people. If the people choose to be uninformed and, worse still, ignorant of the founding principles and highest law of their country — the Constitution — then democracy is in jeopardy. 
That is exactly what Newsweek found: as much as 70% of Americans do not know what the Constitution is; 6% don’t even know when Independence Day falls.
As reported by Racehl Quigley of the UK’s Daily Mail, “How ignorant are Americans? An alarming number of U.S. citizens don’t know basic facts about their own country,” March 21, 2011:

Newsweek recently gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship test and found that their knowledge of the history and running of their own country was seriously lacking. 
In the U.S. citizenship test, only 38 per cent of Americans passed and some didn’t know answers to basic questions like who is the vice president? Although the majority passed, more than a third – 38 per cent – failed, and some of the basic questions surrounding citizenship were answered incorrectly.
The U.S. citizenship test is administered to all immigrants applying for citizenship. It is comprised of 100 questions across five categories – American government, systems of government, rights and responsibilities, American history and integrated civics.
Newsweek found that there were huge discrepancies in the kinds of civic knowledge Americans collectively possess.
A mark of 60 per cent was needed to pass.
The questions that Americans could not answer went from the more challenging – how many justices are in the Supreme Court? (63 per cent did not know) To the most basic – who is the Vice President of America? (29 per cent did not know)

SAMPLE QUESTIONS

Q. What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
A. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
Q. Who did the United States fight in World War II?
A. Japan, Germany and Italy.
Q. What did Martin Luther King Jnr do?
A. Fought for civil rights and equality for all Americans.
Q. Circle Independence Day on the map.
A. July 4.

An alarming number of Americans did not know basic information about the Constitution, namely that it was the supreme law of the land, that it was set up at the Constitutional Convention and that the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.
Newsweek reported that civil ignorance is nothing new. Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators for as long as they have existed.
And their ignorance is only highlighted by the knowledge of their European peers. In March 2009, the European Journal of Communication asked citizens of Britain, Denmark, Finland and the U.S. to answer questions on international affairs.
Europe came out on top. Around three quarters of British, Finnish and Danish people could, for example, identify the Taliban but just over a half of Americans could, despite the fact they led the charge in Afghanistan.
Many blame it on the complexity of the U.S. political system. Michael Schudson, author of The Good Citizen, said: ‘Nobody is competent to understand it all, which you realize every time you vote. You know you’re going to come up short, and that discourages you from learning more.’
Others blame it on economic inequality in the U.S. as the top 400 households have more money than the bottom 60 per cent combined. NYU socioloist Dalton Conley told Newsweek: ‘It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Unlike Denmark, we have a lot of very poor people without access to good education, and a huge immigrant population that doesn’t even speak English.’

So sociologist Conley blames American people’s know-nothingness on “a lot of very poor people without access to good education, and a huge immigrant population.” Whose fault is that?
Every child in America, rich or poor, native-born or alien, has access to a free education. Why aren’t schools held accountable for graduating students who can’t read and write? Why are our schools teaching students about “Mary has two mothers, and Johnnie has two dads,” instead of the Constitution of the United States? Why do incompetent teachers have lifetime tenure? Which political party is supported by teachers’ union dues? The Democrats!
Who are those who have consistently and persistently ignored the opinions and wishes of the American people by persistently and consistently refusing to do something about the millions of illegal “immigrants” who strain our socioeconomic infrastructure? The bipartisan Political Ruling Class!
~Eowyn

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How Elected Officials Scored On American Civics Literacy

Yesterday, I did a post on the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s (ISI) American Civics Literacy Quiz. Many of you took the quiz. This blog’s regular commenters all did spectacularly well, scoring much higher than both the average American (49% right) and college educators (55% right).

One commenter, James Habermehl, wondered how America’s politicians would do on the quiz.

Before you read further, if you haven’t taken the quiz, PLEASE DO SO NOW!!

Note (June 13, 2019): For some reason ISI took down the quiz and the results. But you can take the quiz and calculate your score by going here.

The answer surprised even ol’ cynical me:

Elected officials scored lower than the general public

This is from the ISI website (Note on June 13, 2019: ISI had taken down that page, but you can find both the quiz and the results here):

The ISI civic Literacy survey was not designed to test the civic knowledge of elected officials, but it did discover evidence of an interesting pattern that may merit further exploration.

All survey respondents were asked whether they have ever engaged in any of 13 different political and civic activities. These included, for example, registering to vote, signing a petition, contacting a public official, publishing a letter to the editor, and whether they have ever been elected to a government office.

Among the 2,508 respondents, 164 say they have been elected to a government office at least once. This sub-sample of officeholders yields a startling result: elected officials score lower than the general public. Those who have held elective office earn an average score of 44% on the civic literacy test, which is five percentage points lower than the average score of 49% for those who have never been elected.

Of the 2,508 People surveyed, 164 say they have held an elected government office at least once in their life. Their average score on the civic literacy test is 44%, compared to 49% for those who have not held an elected office. Officeholders are less likely than other respondents to correctly answer 29 of the 33 test questions. This table shows the “knowledge gap” for each question: the difference between the percentage of common citizens who answered correctly and the percentage of officeholders who answered correctly.
Theme of Question Citizens Elected
Politicians
Knowledge
Gap
1. U.S. – Soviet Tension in 1962 70.09% 56.51% -13.58%
2. Declaration of Independence 83.09 69.78 -13.31
3. Sputnik 74.1 62.82 -11.28
4. Definition of Free Enterprise 41.45 32.08 -9.37
5. M. L. King’s “I Have a Dream” 80.5 71.5 -9
6. Electoral College 65.88 57.31 -8.57
7. Scopes “Monkey Trial” 67.76 59.21 -8.55
8. Susan B. Anthony 80.84 72.98 -7.86
9. Power to Declare War 53.6 45.82 -7.78
10. Business Profit 49.11 41.38 -7.73
11. International Trade 37.47 30.45 -7.02
12. FDR’s Government Programs 66.63 59.73 -6.9
13. Abortion 50.77 43.94 -6.83
14. Federal Branches and Foreign Policy 54.71 48.39 -6.32
15. First Amendment Freedoms 79.58 73.32 -6.26
16. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas 29.49 23.29 -6.2
17. FDR and the Supreme Court 25.07 19.24 -5.83
18. Taxes and Government Spending 27.7 22.12 -5.58
19. Free Markets vs. Centralized Planning 16.25 10.71 -5.54
20. Action Prohibited by the Bill of Rights 26.41 21.24 -5.17
21. Commander in Chief 79.04 74.46 -4.58
22. Anti-Federalists and the Constitution 38.22 33.82 -4.4
23. Source of phrase “a wall of separation” 18.92 15.07 -3.85
24. Policy Tool of the Federal Reserve 43.12 40.48 -2.64
25. Powers of the Federal Government 75.01 72.69 -2.32
26. World War II Enemies 68.76 66.58 -2.18
27. The Puritans 19.1 17.32 -1.78
28. Definition of a Progressive Tax 51.26 49.97 -1.29
29. Three Branches of Government 49.65 49.32 -0.33
30. Definition of a Public Good 27.6 28.03 0.43
31. Gettysburg Address 21.06 22.95 1.89
32. Fiscal Policy for Economic Stimulus 36.07 39.93 3.86
33. Lincoln–Douglas Debates 19.06 23.62 4.56

The elected officeholders come from the ranks of Democrats (40%), Republicans (31%), Independents (21%), and those who say they belong to no party or indicate no affiliation (8%). None were asked to specify what office they held, so the proportion in which they held local, state, or federal positions is unknown.

Not all officeholders do poorly, of course. Some elected officials rank among the highest scorers. But the failure rate on the test among those who have won public office is higher (74%) than among those who have not (71%). Officeholders scored lower on all sub-themes of the test: political history, cultural institutions, foreign relations, and market economy.

In each of the following areas, for example, officeholders do more poorly than non-officeholders:

79% of those who have been elected to government office do not know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits establishing an official religion for the U.S.

30% do not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

27% cannot name even one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.

43% do not know what the Electoral College does. One in five thinks it either “trains those aspiring for higher political office” or “was established to supervise the first televised presidential debates.”

54% do not know the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. 39% think that power belongs to the president, and 10% think it belongs to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Only 32% can properly define the free enterprise system, and only 41% can identify business profit as “revenue minus expenses.”

On some questions, Americans who have held elected office do better than Americans who have not. They are a little more likely, for example, to recognize the language of the Gettysburg Address (23% to 21%) and to know that the question of whether slavery should be allowed to expand into new territories was the main issue in the Lincoln–Douglas debates (25% to 20%).

Officeholders and non-officeholders find it equally difficult to identify the three branches of government. Only 49% of each group can name the legislative, executive, and judicial.

All of which suggest that too many of America’s elected officials run for office for all the wrong reasons. Now we know why our government is so incompetent and corrupt. We are so screwed….

What do we do about this?

Good people who love America and are informed and knowledgeable about this country’s history, government, and most importantly, the Constitution, must answer the call and run for political office ourselves.

Instead of cursing the darkness, let us be the light!

~Eowyn

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