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Archive for July, 2010

 An Honest Question

Project Exile has purchased billboards asking Black Men to make a life changing decision between pinstripes and prison stripes.

 

[We were out] “hunting to rob someone,” Lavelva Merritt, alleged murderer

A promising young researcher at the Johns Hopkins University was four blocks from his apartment in Baltimore, Maryland, when two blacks allegedly murdered him for money and a cell phone.

Police say 23-year-old Stephen Pitcairn was talking to his mother on his iPhone when a man and woman demanded money. He gave them his wallet, and received a knife in the chest. His mother heard the robbery and murder over the phone.

“This was a guy who just had a whole future in front of him. You knew he was going to do great things.”—Dr. Gregg Semenza, of the Institute for Genetic Medicine

Police arrested and charged Lavelva Merritt, 24, who has a long history of drug-related arrests and convictions, and John Alexander Wagner, 34, who has robbery and assault charges but never received any punishment more than time served, even though he violated probation repeatedly.

We were out “hunting to rob someone,” Merritt told detectives

Wagner had been arrested in late April for an apparent assault and robbery, but prosecutors dropped charges the following month and put the case on the “inactive docket.” The victim said Wagner had first asked him if he was a member of the Black Guerilla Family or a Jamaa, a Swahili word used by BGF gang members.

Baltimore murders usually occur on the city’s east side, but Pitcairn’s murder was in a neighborhood generally regarded as safe. However, the Charles Village Benefits District has already had six murders this year, including the shooting of an apparent gang member.

For more on the Pitcairn murder, see Hopkins researcher’s promising life cut short in robbery by Justin Fenton, Peter Hermann, and Brent Jones.

(H-T) elvis.nixon.com 

I.M. Kane

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is considering ways to bypass Congress and the electorate to enact immigration reform.

According to a USCIS memo obtained by National Review, the agency is looking for ways to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”

“This memorandum offers administrative relief options to . . . reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization.”—USCIS memo

“In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” the USCIS memo suggests the agency adopt “deferred action,” i.e., use prosecutorial discretion when it comes to deporting groups or individuals for a specific period of time. The memo claims the agency can use deferred action without limit.

For additional information on the USCIS memo, see The Amnesty Memo by Robert VerBruggen.

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A Georgia graduate student in school counseling has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Augusta State University of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by demanding that she work to change her religious beliefs opposing homosexuality.

“Miss Keeton will not be able to successfully complete the remediation plan and thus complete the counseling program unless she commits to affirming the propriety of gay and lesbian relationships …”—Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Augusta State University official

Jennifer Keeton alleges that faculty members and administrators at the university have violated her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion by threatening to expel her from the College of Education’s counselor-education program if she does not fulfill the requirements of a remediation plan designed to get her mind right regarding deviant sexual practices.

The plan requires that Keeton attend workshops on serving diverse populations, read articles on counseling homosexuals, bisexuals, and transvestites, and submit reports to an overseer summarizing what she has learned. The plan also requires that Keeton interact with practicing homosexuals and attend the local homosexual pride parade. Keeton has refused to comply.

“A public-university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Simply put, the university is imposing thought reform.”—David French, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund

Keeton’s Christian convictions regarding human sexuality and gender identity differs with the university’s doctrine of political correctness. Keeton’s belief that homosexual behavior is immoral and that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle conflicts with psychiatry’s views on sexual deviancy accepted as the norm by those who provide counseling for women and men engaged in homosexuality.

For more on the Keeton story, see Augusta State U. Is Accused of Requiring a Counseling Student to Accept Homosexuality by Peter Schmidt and ‘Lose Christianity or face expulsion’ by Bob Unruh.

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A professor hired to teach Catholicism courses was fired for engaging in hate speech; he agreed with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

“All I ask as your teacher is that you approach these questions as a thinking adult. That implies questioning what you have heard around you. Unless you have done extensive research into homosexuality and are cognizant of the history of moral thought, you are not ready to make judgments about moral truth in this matter. All I encourage is to make informed decisions.”—Ken Howell, in an e-mail to students

The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor Ken Howell for engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church’s teaching that homosexual sex is immoral. Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, was fired for explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam in an e-mail.

“Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to reality. In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same.”—Ken Howell, in an e-mail to students

Howell, a Catholic who believes in the church’s teachings about homosexuality, was conveying to his students the Catholic understanding of natural moral law..

“My responsibility on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church teaches. I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never required to believe what I’m teaching and they’ll never be judged on that.”—Ken Howell, adjunct professor

Ann Mester, an associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, called Howell’s firing, justified.

“The e-mails sent by Dr. Howell violate university standards of inclusivity, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with us.”—Ann Mester, associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

In 2008 and 2009, the university’s religion department recognized Howell for being rated an excellent teacher by students.

And the band played on.

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see University of Illinois Instructor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs from the Associated Press and Instructor of Catholicism at UI claims loss of job violates academic freedom by Jodi Heckel and Lynda Zimmer.

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A reader of The Millstone Diaries has graciously sent me a copy of a well-written, concise letter canceling membership in the NRA. I removed the author’s name and address information because it’s a personal letter to the organization.

In cutting a deal with Chuck U. Schumer for exemption from the burdensome requirements of the DISCLOSE Act and in promoting Senate Majority Harry Reid as a champion of gun rights, the NRA has clearly sold out its members.

If NRA members love the First Amendment as much as they do the Second, they will cancel their NRA memberships so the leaders of the organization will realize their myopic view of the First Amendment protections afforded by the Constitution is intolerable.

A copy of the letter is posted at The Millstone Diaries for NRA members to use as an example or a template to cancel their memberships.

I.M. Kane

 


 

07/29/2010

TO:                  National Rifle Association of America

                        11250 Waples Mill Road

                        Fairfax, VA  22030

FROM:            Name (ID#)

                        Street Address

                        City, State, Zip

                        e-mail address

                        phone (Home); phone (Mobile)

I request that you cancel my membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA) of America. 

While I have been a proud member of this organization for roughly ten years, I think that the time has come for us to part company because the NRA is now making decisions that support the unequal treatment of American citizens by the Federal Government, in addition to supporting leaders who are moving forward an agenda that will destroy the liberty still enjoyed by Americans, which will ultimately include the freedom protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The NRA’s recent actions are extremely short-sighted and unsettling.  

Two specific actions on the part of the NRA have influenced my decision to cancel my membership in the organization:

  1. The NRA’s decision to withdraw opposition to the Disclose Act only after Democrats added an exemption that applied to the NRA.
  2. Wayne LaPierre’s recent support of Senator Harry Reid in his upcoming reelection battle – and the organizations flirtation with endorsing him in November. 

Enclosed you will find two articles that have supported my thinking on these matters.  The first is a commentary by Jerry Kane of the Millstone Diaries titled, It’s Time to Teach the NRA a Lesson < https://imkane.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/the-nra-has-hell-to-pay/>.  The second article is by Anthony Martin of the Conservative Examiner titled, NRA Controversy Flares Up Again Over Harry Reid <http://www.examiner.com/x-37620-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m7d3-NRA-controversy-flares-up-again-over-Harry-Reid>.

My hope is that the NRA leaders will undertake a thorough reexamination of their recent actions, do whatever they can to reverse them, and will decide to once again champion causes in support of liberty and justice for all – instead of for the viability of the organization only. 

Cordially,

Signature

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The Massachusetts Legislature’s End Run around the Constitution

By Jerry A. Kane

The Massachusetts Legislature passed a new law designed to uproot America’s democratic republic and replace it with a pure democracy. The Massachusetts Legislature decided, 28-to-9, to toss the Framer’s Electoral College system for a system based on the national popular vote to determine who wins the presidency.

What we are submitting is the idea that the president should be selected by the majority of people in the United States of America. Every vote will be of the same weight across the country.”—Senator James B. Eldridge, an Acton Democrat

Under the new law, the candidate who receives the most votes nationally will automatically get the state’s 12 electoral votes, even if a majority of Bay Staters vote against the nation’s more popular candidate. For instance, had the new law been in effect in 1972, Massachusetts voters and their electors would not hold the distinction for being the only state among the 50 to have voted against Richard Nixon and for George McGovern for president.

If the principle of one-person-one-vote is to mean anything, the candidate who wins a majority of the votes should win the presidency.” Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

On first blush, Nelson’s appeal to the one-person-one-vote principle might sound balanced, yet it’s doubtful he’d be willing to abolish the U.S. Senate or the Supreme Court based on that same principle.   

“[S]tates are represented in the Electoral College roughly in proportion to their population: Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress – from just three for the smallest states to 55 for California. But in the Senate, all states are equal, which means all voters are not.”—Jeff Jacoby

The Framers of the Constitution abhorred mob rule, which is why they rejected “pure democracy.” They understood that the tyranny of the majority would run roughshod over the interests of individual states.

The Electoral College (like the Senate) was designed to preserve the role of the states in governing a nation … We are a nation of states, not of autonomous citizens, and those states have distinct identities and interests, which the framers were at pains to protect. … The Electoral College is the best system for picking a chief executive suited to a nation like ours: a geographically large, ideologically diverse, socially complex federal republic.”—Jeff Jacoby

The Founders created a republic, not a pure democracy.  The Constitution limits unchecked power, including the capriciousness of the majority. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with less than a million residents, has the same number of Senators as California that has over thirty million.

Bypassing the Electoral College would ensure domination by the country’s densely populated areas and larger cities. Presidential candidates and political parties would no longer need to spend time and money campaigning in sparsely populated regions.

For well over two hundred years, the Electoral College has kept the country from chaos and anarchy. If the Founders had intended a pure democracy, they would have created one.

Doing away with the Electoral College will further divide the country into warring factions. Discontented groups would file endless lawsuits contending voter fraud and contesting ballot counts.

The 28 Massachusetts legislators who want to do away with the Electoral College system have every right to do so by amending the Constitution. Otherwise, their back door scheme not only evades the Constitution, but it also takes the country further away from its roots as a democratic republic.

Sources cited in this commentary include:  Mass. Legislature approves plan to bypass Electoral College by Martin Finucane, The brilliance of the Electoral College by Jeff Jacoby, and In Defense of the Electoral College by John Samples.

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“The [Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections] DISCLOSE Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all-out attack on the First Amendment.”—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Democrats didn’t get enough votes yesterday to stop a Republican filibuster against the DISCLOSE Act, legislation which will suppress the political speech of businesses and grass roots organizations and exempt the NRA and other powerful special interest groups and unions.  

The NRA’s Second Amendment Champion, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted with the Republicans against cloture so that he could reintroduce the Act to be voted on at a later time. Senate rules state that only a member who opposed cloture can request a re-vote.

Democrat Senator Chuck U. Schumer has vowed to keep reintroducing the legislation until a Republican breaks the filibuster and joins with the leftist Democrats to move the bill forward.

“And we will go back at this bill again and again and again until we pass it.”—Senator Chuck U. Schumer (D-NY)

Rino (Republican in name only) Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) said the bill wasn’t in a position yet where she could support it. Stated differently, “If you want my vote, it’s gonna cost ya.”

For more on the successful filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act, see Democrats Fail to Stop Filibuster Against DISCLOSE Act Pro-Life Groups Oppose by Steven Ertelt and Schumer promises flurry of votes on Disclose Act until passage by Jordan Fabian and Michael O’Brien.

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