Category Archives: Liberty

DO The-Shoe-Is-On-The-Other-Foot-Test, Says Dershowitz

Constitution, Criminal Injustice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Liberty

“There are no more civil libertarians left,” warns celebrated attorney Alan Dershowitz, on “Tucker,” May 30, 2018.

Dershowitz, a life-long liberal and civil-libertarian, has refused “to allow partisan politics to preempt his views on the Constitution,” in the matter of Grand Inquisitor Robert Mueller and his tribunal.

The ACLU (The American Civil Liberties Union) has supported the FBI’s manifestly unconstitutional raid on Michael Cohen’s offices, asserting that the removal of his client-attorney privileged files was a good thing.

“… all indications thus far are that the search was conducted pursuant to the rule of law, and with sign-offs from Trump appointees,” [which is] a stunning rebuke to the basic concepts behind the ACLU’s mission. ”

“The left is less interested in civil liberties.” Much less.

“The ACLU is dead in the water when it comes to defining the civil liberties of people they don’t agree with.

Do “The shoe is on the other foot test” says Dersh. Everyone has to pass it. “If the shoe were on the other foot, would you be taking the same position you’re taking today?” Then you’ll grasp civil libertarians or libertarians.

For us, it’s about justice for all, so that each one of us is safe. Simple. Defend the rights of all to be “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” so that each and everyone of us can live free of unconstitutional raids on our businesses or bedrooms.

“Too many on the right and the left do not pass the shoe-is-on-the-other-foot” test, averred Dersh: Conservatives fail the test. Liberals fail the test.

“We need neutral principles. We need standards of constitutionality,” Dershowitz inveighed.

We have them, sir. We don’t abide them. We’ve ditched them.

This is why civil libertarians like Alan Dersh and creedal libertarians (check) will always be on the fringe, annoying partisans on both sides.

UPDATED: Kippah Or Hijab, The Statue of Liberty Is NOT A Symbol Of Immigration Or Immigrants

America, Conservatism, Free Speech, History, IMMIGRATION, Liberty, Logic

Some Democrat, Rep. J. Luis Correa, hung a painting in his office of the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab.

Conservatives are outraged. Some, like Ms. Pamela Geller, say the “Painting Is Offensive to Every Immigrant Fleeing Sharia Oppression.”

But consider: Would the Statue of Liberty wearing a kippah be more correct, less offensive? What about the Statue of Liberty draped like a Buddhist monk?

The philosophically correct point should be that the Statue of Liberty isn’t a symbol for immigrants or of immigration; it’s an American symbol. It should take on no foreign garb, however philosophically appropriate an immigrant may think his traditional dress is.

Of course, freedom of speech means you draw whatever floats your boat.

UPDATE (8/11): Facebook thread.

The Declaration Of Independence Has Been Mocked Out Of Meaning

America, Britain, English, History, Liberty, Multiculturalism

The Declaration Of Independence Has Been Mocked Out Of Meaning” is the current column, now on Townhall.com. It toasts The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson and the Anglo-Saxon tradition, from which Jefferson drew.

An excerpt:

For most Americans, Independence Day means firecrackers and cookouts. The Declaration of Independence—whose proclamation, on July 4, 1776, we celebrate—doesn’t feature in the celebration. Contemporary Americans are less likely to read it now that it’s easily available on the Internet, than when it relied on horseback riders for its distribution.

It is fair to say that the Declaration of Independence has been mocked out of meaning.

Back in 1776, gallopers carried the Declaration through the country. Printer John Dunlap had worked “through the night” to set the full text on “a handsome folio sheet,” recounts historian David Hackett Fischer in Liberty And Freedom. And the president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, urged that the “people be universally informed.” (They were!)

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, called it “an expression of the American Mind.” An examination of Jefferson’s constitutional thought makes plain that he would no longer consider the collective mentality of contemporary Americans and their leaders (Rep. Ron Paul excepted) “American” in any meaningful way. For the Jeffersonian mind was that of an avowed Whig—an American Whig whose roots were in the English, Whig political philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Come to think of it, Jefferson would not recognize England as the home of the Whigs in whose writings colonial Americans were steeped—John Locke, Algernon Sidney, Paul Rapin, Thomas Gordon and others.

The essence of this “pattern of ideas and attitudes,” almost completely lost today, explains David N. Mayer in The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson, was a view of government as an inherent threat to liberty and the necessity for eternal vigilance. …

… READ THE REST. The complete column is “The Declaration Of Independence Has Been Mocked Out Of Meaning,” now on Townhall.com.

Libertarians Looking For Trump To Reverse Or Nullify Bad Law

Constitution, Donald Trump, Law, libertarianism, Liberty, Regulation

Trump has signed 15 resolutions reversing Obama-era regulations. Kate’s Law—very important—has passed in Congress. Alas, the so-called Muslim ban is insignificant, unless followed up with something much more meaty.

The media are looking for “major pieces of legislation” from Donald Trump to properly asses him. To take the measure of the man as a president, I was looking for him to nullify lots of laws via Executive Orders. As said in “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June 29, 2016):

“Should Mr. Trump deliver on his promises, consider nullification his political power tool, used by a benevolent Executive to pry the people free. Nullification should be properly considered as Justice’s Jaws of Life. As I said in the Opening, in this post-constitutional era, correctives to the corrosive actions of the State will reduce to action and reaction, force and counterforce.” (The Trump Revolution, p. 233, By ilana Mercer.)

In any case, when you read the convoluted and impenetrable legalese in which legislation is written, you wonder whether implementing change The People want is at all possible in post-constitutional American (a question asked and answered in the book aforementioned). You realize, too, that dismantling any aspect of the Administrative State is pie-in-the-sky (a thing for which the book mentioned had hoped).

Here’s a list of Trump laws, so far, courtesy of NPR. The words “Disapproving the rule” seem very musical, but who knows?

  • H.J.Res. 67: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by qualified State political subdivisions for non-governmental employees”
  • H.J.Res. 43: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients”
  • H.J.Res. 69: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to ‘Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska’ “
  • H.J.Res. 83: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to ‘Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness'”
  • S.J.Res. 34: “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to ‘Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services’ “
  • H.J.Res. 42: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants”
  • H.J.Res. 57: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to accountability and State plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965”
  • H.J.Res. 58: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to teacher preparation issues”
  • H.J.Res. 37: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration relating to the Federal Acquisition Regulation”
  • H.J.Res. 44: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior relating to Bureau of Land Management regulations that establish the procedures used to prepare, revise, or amend land use plans pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976”
  • H.J.Res. 40: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007”
  • H.J.Res. 38: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule”
  • H.J.Res. 41: “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to ‘Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers’ “
  • S. 496: “A bill to repeal the rule issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration entitled ‘Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform.’ “
  • H.J.Res. 66: “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to savings arrangements established by States for non-governmental employees.”

Modifying Existing Programs (6)

  • H.R. 353: “Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017”
  • S. 442: “National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017”
  • H.R. 72: “GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017”
  • S. 419: “Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2017”
  • S. 583: “American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017”
  • H.R. 657 “Follow the Rules Act”

Encouraging An Agency To Try Something New (5)

  • H.R. 321: “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act”
  • H.R. 255: “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act”
  • H.R. 534: “U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act”
  • H.R. 274: “Modernizing Government Travel Act”
  • H.R. 366: “DHS SAVE Act”

Naming Something/Siting A Memorial/Encouraging Flag Flying (5)

  • S.J. Res. 1: “A joint resolution approving the location of a memorial to commemorate and honor the members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm or Operation Desert Shield”
  • H.R. 1362: “To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Pago Pago, American Samoa, the Faleomavaega Eni Fa’aua’a Hunkin VA Clinic”
  • H.R. 609: “To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs health care center in Center Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, as the ‘Abie Abraham VA Clinic'”
  • S. 305: “Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017”
  • H.R. 375: “To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the ‘Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse.'”

Personnel-Related (5)

  • S.J.Res. 30: “A joint resolution providing for the reappointment of Steve Case as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution”
  • S.J.Res. 36: “A joint resolution providing for the appointment of Roger W. Ferguson as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution”
  • S.J.Res. 35: “A joint resolution providing for the appointment of Michael Govan as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution”
  • H.R. 1228: “To provide for the appointment of members of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance to replace members whose terms expire during 2017, and for other purposes”
  • S. 84: “A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces”

Extending Obama-Era Policy (2)

  • S. 544: “A bill to amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes.”
  • H.J.Res. 99: “Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2017, and for other purposes.”

Omnibus Appropriations Bill (1)

  • H.R. 244: “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017”

New Policy (1)

  • S. 1094: “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017”

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