The latest clandestine interviews with Planned Parenthood officials publicized by the Center for Medical Progress revealed the worst attitudes yet toward abortion. The abortionists joked about the difficulty of dismembering a baby, especially when trying to fill an order for intact body parts. Having a baby’s eyeball fall into the abortionist’s lap was laughingly described as “gross.” One ghoul described pulling “off a leg or two” to prevent having the abortion be classed as a “partial birth abortion.” The moral level of the discussions was worthy of Joseph Mengele. The videos published on the internet have been reviving the movement to defund Planned Parenthood.
The federal courts have long practiced legislating from the bench in violation of the Constitution. Lately, they have pushed the envelope in their rulings against every action attempted by President Trump. But this all pales almost to insignificance compared to the action of one federal judge in this abortion interview video case. William Orrick III, a judge in California, has ruled that the videos must be removed from any place they occur on the internet, and that news media may not even quote the abortionists’ comments heard on the video. This open defiance of the First Amendment’s recognition of freedom of the press must not be tolerated. Here is the message that I emailed to Luke Messer, my Representative in the House.
Federal Judge William Orrick III has ruled, in defiance of the First Amendment, that evidence against Planned Parenthood be removed from the internet, and that news media be prohibited from quoting the incriminating statements by Planned Parenthood officials. This ruling is the most blatant action against the First Amendment that I’ve ever heard of. You need to introduce articles of impeachment against Orrick as soon as possible, preferably tomorrow, May 27. If Orrick is allowed to get away with this, Americans will have to conclude that the federal government considers the Constitution to be null and void. Where that would lead is scary to contemplate. Please honor your oath of office to defend the Constitution.
I recommend that all who read this post contact their US Representatives with a similar message. If we want any part of our Constitution to survive, we must make an example of this worst ever offense against it. If our federal government can’t or won’t protect the First Amendment, the alternatives are grim indeed.
One of the common defenses that opponents of illegal immigration use to defend against the charge of xenophobia is that “I’m only against illegal immigration; legal immigration is fine.” As a rule, that’s a good thought, and I mostly agree with it. But now, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seems to be calling that into question. Earlier this month, Walker went on radio and TV to promote the idea of slowing legal immigration when needed to protect American workers from competition with immigrants willing to accept sub-standard wages.
The Establishment news media and liberal politicians predictably rage against Walker’s proposal. After all, isn’t accepting immigrants a fundamental American idea, as expressed in the inscription on the Statue of Liberty? Don’t we all want to offer America’s blessings to those who give up their old lives to start anew in our country; pursue the American dream?
Just what is the American Dream? I would say that it is the opportunity to live in a place where one’s God-given rights to life, liberty and property are respected, even protected. That liberty also makes it possible to get ahead financially and socially to forge a better life for one’s family. It allows us to worship as we see fit, to live as our faith dictates, and to do what is necessary to defend liberty. I want everyone on Earth to live that dream, starting of course with those of us who live in America, and spreading the opportunity through the world by our example.
The problem that Walker perceives is that the glut of immigration threatens the well-being of those who are already in America as either native-born or immigrants, through excessive competition for limited employment opportunities, driving wages down and unemployment up. It takes time for a new immigrant who may not start out with a good financial foundation to become productive and contribute to the economy that supports us all, including new immigrants. We need time to assimilate, or digest, any influx of immigrants, to let the supply and demand of jobs and workers re-equilibrate. I support Governor Walker in this.
Another aspect of the problem not mentioned by Walker is the time it takes new immigrants to really become Americans. Most of the world suffers under governments that have little or no respect for the rights of their citizens. Immigrants from those countries are accustomed to bowing the knee to tyrants. They tend to be attuned to the political ideas that are most like what they are accustomed to: those promoted by the left. They need time to absorb American ideas and attitudes that tend to perpetuate liberty. A too rapid influx of such immigrants produces an unbalanced political climate that will end with an erosion of liberty for native born citizens and immigrants alike.
To counter this problem, we need to admit immigrants at a measured pace that doesn’t disrupt either the economy or the political climate. We should also support organizations that help to spread ideas of liberty among Americans and prospective Americans.
The Declaration of Independence contains a long list of violations of the rights of the American colonists by King George III. But even that tyrant didn’t create laws allowing police to confiscate properties without convicting or even charging the owners with a crime: known in America today as civil asset forfeiture. Both the federal government and most states have these laws on the books, and they are used with abandon to seize the property of innocents for the benefit of law enforcement agencies.
The financial attack on Carole Hinders is just one example. She owns a Mexican restaurant that does business only in cash, so naturally she makes a lot of cash deposits to her bank account. Without charging her with a crime, the IRS confiscated the entire $33,000 in her account using civil forfeiture, because they claimed she was “structuring” her deposits to avoid the requirement that the bank report any deposits of $10,000 or more. She is forced to prove her innocence in order to try to get her property returned. It is easy to find many more instances of this abuse at both the federal and state/local levels.
There are signs that these atrocities are being noticed and dealt with in a limited way already. North Carolina and New Mexico have reduced or eliminated civil forfeiture in their states. Even Attorney General Holder has announced that the federal government will reduce its cooperation with the states in sharing the loot from confiscations. Best of all, Rand Paul has introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act, which would require proof that property was used in commission of a crime before federal agents could confiscate it.
These are all moves in the right direction, but I think we need a comprehensive solution that applies to all levels of government. Civil forfeiture violates the Bill of Rights of the Constitution in several ways. The Fourth Amendment bans not only warrantless searches, but also seizures. The Fifth Amendment requires just compensation for property taken for government use, and prohibits deprivation of property without due process of law. The Seventh Amendment preserves the right to a trial by jury in civil cases; civil forfeiture denies even a trial, let alone a jury. The Eighth Amendment disallows excessive fines. Application of the Fourteenth Amendment means that state and local governments are limited in the same way by all of these Constitutional provisions.
Since the Supreme Court has apparently supported civil forfeiture in past cases, Congress needs to act to abolish this heinous practice nationwide. Thanks to Rand Paul for his efforts, but let’s see a comprehensive national ban on confiscation of the property of Americans who have not been convicted of crimes.