Some Utah Republicans Get It, Some Don’t

Some sentences are so contradictory, so self-evidently oxymoronic that they stop you in your tracks.  For example, maybe you have a friend who says something like, “I’m a vegetarian, but I really love cheeseburgers.”  Hearing this, you’re likely to give your friend a bewildered look and say, “Dude…huh?”

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, the reported response of some Utah politicians elicited a similar reaction.  As reported by The Universe, “Prominent Utah Republicans overwhelmingly applauded the Supreme Court for recognizing same-sex marriage as a states’ rights issue but expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court is not in harmony with the Congressional majority that favors DOMA.”

Dude…huh?

How can it be simultaneously acknowledged that regulation of marriage is  a state issue and bemoaned that a federal law that nationalized the issue was struck down?  What can account for such an obvious contradiction?  As always, the devil is in the details  It is enlightening to understand which Utah Republicans acknowledged this issue as the domain of the states and which didn’t.

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The Abortion Fight in its Proper Arena

AUSTIN, Texas -You don’t play football on an ice hockey rink.

Texas just provided a shining example of how the abortion issue was intended to play out in its proper arena.

At the state level – like football on a football field.

After weeks of contentious debate, the Texas Senate gave final approval to strict restrictions on abortion providers Friday night. HB2 prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. The legislation also requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, will allow the procedure only in surgical centers, and places limits on where and when women can take pills that induce abortions.

Gov. Rick Perry was part of the impetus behind the bill, calling a special session to reconsider the measure after a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis killed the legislation during the regular session.

“Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life,” Perry said after the Senate give its final approval 19-11.

Once Perry inks his name on the bill, we will witness a shining example of how the abortion issue was never intended to play out – in the federal courts.

Football on an ice hockey rink.

Nothing polarized Americans like the abortion debate.  Many will hail Texas for protecting the lives of the unborn. Others will demonize the Lone Star State as backward and waging a war on women. But no matter what view you hold, the decision was Texas’ to make. Nothing in the Constitution delegates any power for the federal government to legislate on abortion, and since the issue falls under the objects left to the states and the people, the federal courts should butt out.

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Deer Trail, Colorado Considers Issuing Drone Licenses and Bounty Program

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Aug. 6, the Deer Trail Board of Trustees will consider an ordinance to sell licenses as part of a “bounty program,” authorizing the license holders to shoot down unmanned aircraft violating the town’s “sovereign airspace.”

Up until now, the small town’s claim to fame is holding the “Worlds very first Rodeo, on July 4, 1869.”  Deer Trail is located 55 miles east of Denver, boasting a population of 546 people. With this pending  legislation, the town could become an important benchmark in an ongoing debate on sovereignty.

In an article posted on the History of Deer Trail Facebook Page, Kathy Smiley  summarized the proceedings.

“Phillip Steel presented his citizen’s initiative to the Deer Trail Board on July 2nd.” Even though this legislation is very serious to Mr. Steel, he received “a few chuckles from the Trustees and audience members” while making his presentation. “Steel did his due diligence on the seven-page ordinance, written in detailed legalese, set forth in seven sections,” to “defend the sovereign airspace of the town from unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Steel argues, “State and local governments throughout the country are talking about the fantastic possibilities of using unmanned aerial vehicles. It is time to take a stand against becoming a surveillance society.”

Another benefit of the ordinance  – “it would generate revenue for the Town of Deer Trail.”

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Obama Wants Us to Trust Him

BALANCE“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” Obama added that the National Security agents behind the surveillance programs “cherish our Constitution…You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance,” he explained.

I actually felt a sense of relief when I read Obama’s statement. Finally, he gets it. We don’t trust him, or Congress, or the political appointees we loosely call federal judges. I can’t think of a single reason to place my faith in any of them.

Can you?

In my lifetime, the last executive I felt willing to trust was Kennedy.

And I was three.

I may have been taken in!

Look, we shouldn’t trust these people. And history bears this out.

Take Lyndon Johnson and his winking Congress. They led us into the undeclared Vietnam catastrophe. Did you know that the Viet Cong were quite comfortable ignoring the Geneva Convention because we didn’t formally declare war? As a result, U.S. POWs could be classified as political criminals…and tortured.

And of course, we were all disgusted with Nixon’s betrayal of the country in the Watergate affair. But like jailing Capone for tax evasion, we hardly nailed Nixon’s greatest crime. Under his leadership, supported by Congress, and repeatedly upheld by our courts, the shredding of the Fourth Amendment became a federal past-time. Thanks to the criminalization of drugs, policing shifted from community service to community intimidation. RICO laws sank to IRS levels, eliminating due process. Suddenly, property could be taken from an individual just on the suspicion of wrongdoing – no conviction required. DUI checkpoints, once illegal, became commonplace. Prior to that, police had to observe driving behavior and have probable cause in order to stop you. Oh, and if pulled over, our automobiles used to be safe from police searches under the Fourth Amendment. No longer. All thanks to the War on Drugs.

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