Category Archives: Liberty

Conversation and the Second Amendment

It’s been a week now since a man in Vegas opened fire on thousands of people at a concert outside his hotel.

Many are questioning when we’re gonna have a conversation regarding gun control.

My answer?

We have – you just don’t like how it went.

The United States of America protects her citizens  through the Constitution.  And that document guarantees the right of a citizen to bear arms.

And make no mistake about it; it is not discussing the right to hunt deer and duck.  Or to defend my home from danger.  Not at all.

The second amendment gives me the legal a-ok to shoot back at a government gone tyrannical.

The conversation has been had.

Moral Compass

1.  Motives

We saw conflict this weekend in Charlottesville.  We saw a group of American citizens, people living in 2017, marching for white pride, under a Nazi flag, espousing repugnant and wicked world views.   Views totally incompatible with mainstream American values.  Views inconsistent with the views held during the founding of this nation.

We’ve rejected this side of ourselves since we were we.

Nazis, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists are among the worst examples of us.

We, I, despise the departure of Individual Liberty these people preach.

No one I know agrees with the motives of those hate groups.

2.  Tribes

Consider rivalries.

Consider the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns.

Say the Browns announced that they were gonna assemble on Saturday and have a Brown’s parade.  And then the Steelers decided that they were gonna show up, and then engage those Browns fans.

Violence ensues.

Who is to blame?

3.  Free Speech

We have a rich history of protected speech in America.  We rightly should rejoice in this.  However, not all speech is protected.  Some speech incites violence and should be denied.

We need to admit that.

If the Nazi’s request to assemble is inciting violence, deny it and arrest them if they gather.  Or

Or.

Or have the balls to admit that they DO have the right to assemble and protect their rights to do so.

One.  Or.  The other.

4.  Right to Assemble

Motives aside, if one group has been given the right to assemble, and another group, motives aside, seeks to deny or infringe on that right, the moral argument is mute.

Speech has been determined to be protected.

Lady Liberty

So, there’s an art contest where students submit their work to Congress.  Among the entrees, there are finalists and those finalists get their work displayed.  This year, one of those finalists depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

I like it.

I like the actual art AND I like the message.  I like the idea that people of all walks are able to look at Lady Liberty and see themselves reflected.  Apparently, not all people are as impressed as I am:

A Democratic congressman is taking heat from Sarah Palin and other conservatives for a painting hanging in his California district office that depicts the Statue of Liberty as a Muslim woman.

We the People Rising, a conservative-leaning activist group, was among the first to object to the painting in Rep. Lou Correa’s district office in Santa Ana, Calif., arguing it violates the separation of church and state.

And more; from a video posted on We the People Rising’s website:

“You guys have a picture out in front of your office with the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab, which I find reprehensible and disrespectful,” one of the members tells a staffer in the first video. “I would like to request that you remove it.”

Again, I don’t understand the reprehensible and disrespectful nature of the painting.  It’s not mocking the Lady, it doesn’t depict her in  a negative light.  All it does is show what Liberty might look like if she were standing in another part of the world.

Kinda like depicting Jesus as a white guy standing in America rather than the brown guy he really was.

And speaking of religion, how is the painting supposed to violate the separation of church and state?  And since when have conservatives minded such violations; though it is delicious to see such an argument used against a democrat.

As I’ve explained over and over – the concept of such separation between the church and the state does not mean that there can be no explicit religion in the state, only that the leader of state cannot be te same leader of the church.  Or, that there be no official nation religion supported by the state.

If congress wants to open with a prayer to Allah, they may.  The idea that a congressman can’t have a religious symbol in his office is insane; no one makes a fuss, or should make such fuss, when a congressman wears a cross chain, or has the Bible in his shelf or other such outward symbols.

As far as I’m concerned, the more Muslim girls that yearn from America’s Liberty the better this world will be!

Trump’s Transgender Ban

 

President Trump announced a ban on trans-gendered troops in the military this morning:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump abruptly declared a ban Wednesday on transgender troops serving anywhere in the U.S. military, catching the Pentagon flat-footed and unable to explain what it called Trump’s “guidance.” His proclamation, on Twitter rather than any formal announcement, drew bipartisan denunciations and threw currently serving transgender soldiers into limbo.

“Please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” the commander in chief tweeted.

I have multiple reactions:

  1.  How many transgendered folks do we have serving?  And then in combat roles?
  2. This is what happens when you support ‘your guy’ governing by fiat.
  3. This is horrible policy.
  4. Given that no one was talking about this as of yesterday – what conversation is Trump trying to change?

I honestly don’t think Trump cares whether someone is gay or trans.  I’d bet his companies are comparable to others when it comes to the demographics of his employees.  No – I think this announcement is meant to shore up a base he thinks he might be losing or he’s changing the dialogue.

Officer Noor: No Statement

 

Some people have been asking why Officer Noor hasn’t been forced to issue a statement or agree to be interviewed about the circumstances surrounding his fatal shooting of Ms. Ruszczyk.

My answer is this:  Because.

Because he is a citizen of the United States and is protected by the Fifth Amendment:

“Any lawyer that would recommend to him that he should give a statement to the BCA should be disbarred,” said Joe Friedberg, a Minneapolis defense attorney who’s not involved in the case. “Nobody should ever speak to law enforcement when they’re the subject of a criminal investigation.”

I would add that you should never speak to law enforcement.  Period.  Ever.

Tyrant

I’m afraid.  Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord walking away from a commitment that we made with virtually every nation on earth.

The science of climate change – global warming – has been debated here and else where for years now.  I don’t wanna get into that now except to say that for the purpose of this post, I have settled that we are not in danger of catastrophic warming.  Because of that, I am fine with the reasons for rejecting Paris.

But before we rejected Paris, we agreed to it.  And that should mean something.

Now, as for the world without American leadership?  Screw ’em.  I am less and less inclined to care what a Parisan sipping coffee at 2.00 pm thinks of America while the rest of the world refuses to act in most cases.  We’re a handful of days away from the anniversary of America’s leadership.

No.  What scares me is that without Obama we don’t have Trump.  But we had Obama, and now we have Trump.

Barack ruled with his phone and his pen.  Paris was illegal.  GM’s bankruptcy was illegal.   His immigration policies were illegal.  Libya?  Illegal.  And the list goes on and on.  So, mostly, as Trump undoes Obama’s work with equal executive orders, I am conflicted.  We are removing oddles and oodles of illegal and wrong minded policy.

But I don’t believe that Trump is going to stop.  He’s going to get used to ruling, aka Barack, and will simply, and horrifically, continue on the trajectory.

The President never should have pulled out of Paris.  But the President never should have entered Paris.  Without the first, we never have the second.

Pino’s Response to the NCAA Ban on North Carolina

If I were in position to craft state law here in Raleigh, my response to the NCAA and their ban on NC* would be this:

Simply restrict restroom and locker room access in the exact same manner as the NCAA restricts access to sporting teams in their leagues:

The following policies clarify participation of transgender student-athletes undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition:

1. A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for purposes of NCAA competition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.

2. A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for the purposes of NCAA competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.

Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.

  • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.

  • A trans female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

The NCAA itself discriminates based on gender.  FURTHER, the organization differentiates between MTF and FTM.

Opposition to HB2 indeed.

South American Dictator

 

Look, Trump is no shiny nickel.  As they say, ‘Elect a clown.  Expect a circus.”

But at least we don’t have to be subjected to boilerplate South American Dictator skreed.  It’s a Netflix show – I get it.  But I was struck by the fact that it could very well have been Obama on that stage.

On Immigration, Bans and Executive Power – Part One

 

A conversation:

Hebes:

My brother lost his job last week.  They moved the work to a contracting house staffed with laborers accepting lower wages.  I think  we need to seriously consider our immigration policy to limit foreign workers to our country.

They are stealing our jobs.

Callidus:

Consider the shop your brother was working in – the cabinet maker’s shop.  Do you believe that the workers in that shop were offered more money to work down the street but turned that wage down to work there?

Hebes

Why, Callidus, that would be madness!  Why would a craftsman turn down a stronger wage only to work for less?

Callidus

Exactly my point.  A man is entitled to negotiate the terms of employment to the best of his ability and expertise.

Let me ask you, when the cabinet builder takes his lunch, is he obligated to pass the sandwich shop offering a  higher quality meal to instead walk to the more expensive stand?

Hebes:

Of course not!  A man would be a fool to buy the more expensive lunch of equal or lower quality.  What does this have to do with my brother?

Callidus:

What, Hebes, should he not consider the character of the sandwich shop owner?  What if the man’s brother had just lost his leg?  Should that not play into his decision to buy the more expensive sandwich?

Hebes:

Callidus, what OF the man’s brother.  If he requires charity, so let it be.  But a man ought buy a sandwich without such concerns.

Callidus:

What if the foolish sandwich shop bought meat from a vendor who charged more – so he in turn could care for his mother?

Hebes:

Callidus, stop with this man’s brother, this man’s mother.  If the shop keeper is foolish and purchases meat at too high a price, he should not expect me to make him whole in the price of the sandwich.  If he is charitable, then he may enjoy his charity!  But that he might force the burden  on me?  No way.

Callidus:

So you would agree that a man may negotiate terms of his wage?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the terms of his purchase of goods?

Hebes:

Yes.

Callidus:

And the nature of his charity?  But not that of yours?

Hebes:

Most certainly yes!

Callidus:

Then why do you hate the furniture shop keeper?

Hebes:

Callidus!  Why would you say such a thing?

Callidus:

Well, you tell me a man is free to negotiate his wage yet you deny the same liberty of the wage payer.  In the next breath, you condemn the sandwich monger as foolish for paying too much for his commodities.  Even then you blame him for high prices to support his brother.  Or that man’s mother.  Yet you praise the worker looking for a fairly priced meal.

Why do you hate the furniture maker for paying less for his workers?  Certainly the wife of the sandwich man might enjoy less expensive cabinets?

Hebes:

Ahh Callidus, you are clever!  I will console my brother, cook him a meal and help him find another job.

You have changed my mind.  We should let every man of any country into our own!  We might all enjoy less expensive meals with even less expensive cabinets!

Callidus:

Hebes, you do not listen to any of my words.

Muslim Registration

 

It would appear it is upon on – a Trump presidency is mere weeks away.  And with it the specter of a registration based on religion.

Truly a heinous idea.  And dangerous.  And horribly unAmerican.

I am, of course, against any such registration.  First because it’s chilling and second, the constitution protects religion.

 

But for those of you on the left that agree with me I ask you to justify your position in light of your likely support of the registration of people exercising their 2nd amendment rights – owning a gun.

Put another way – why is it okay to restrict firearm ownership or speech but not the practice of religion?