Saturday, May 01, 2010


I would normally cover ACLU shenanigans on TONGUE-TIED but there are more than speech issues involved in the three matters below:

ACLU hatred never stops

One would have thought that the SCOTUS decision in favor of the Mojave cross was the end of a long saga but the ACLU is not giving up -- although their grounds for hope are now very slim. Below is their latest wisdom on the matter:

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in the case Salazar vs. Buono — concerning a cross in the Mojave National Preserve that has been designated as a national memorial — wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, but was also encouraging in some respects. The question of whether or not the government’s sale of the land on which the cross sits to a private veterans’ organization remedies a violation of the Establishment Clause has been sent back to district court. The Supreme Court found that the lower court used the wrong legal standard in deciding to invalidate a transfer of the land on which the cross stands to private ownership. But the opinion does leave the door open to reaching a favorable outcome in the case, and, more importantly, does not preclude private citizens from challenging the constitutionality of religious displays on government property in the future.

The case, Salazar v. Buono, stems from a complaint raised by veteran and former National Park Service employee Frank Buono, who claimed that the presence of an overtly religious symbol on federal land represented unconstitutional favoritism toward a specific religion.

In 2002, while the federal district court case was pending, Congress designated the cross as a national memorial. In an apparent attempt to circumvent the Establishment Clause violation, Congress also transferred one acre of land on which the cross stands to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with the provision that the VFW continue to maintain it as a war memorial.

The ACLU, which represented Buono in the case, will continue to argue that the transfer does not remedy the government’s unconstitutional endorsement of one particular religion. “The cross is unquestionably a sectarian symbol,” said the ACLU of Southern California’s Peter Eliasberg, who argued the case before the Court, “and we respectfully but strongly disagree with the suggestion by some members of the Court that the cross does not favor one religion.”



ACLU versus Arizona

The announcement below:
Today, MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) held a news conference on the House of Representatives Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona to announce their future legal challenge to Governor Jan Brewer's recently signed SB1070. In addition, the organizations sought to address misinformation and fears that have been spreading throughout the Latino community across Arizona. MALDEF, ACLU, ACLU of Arizona and NILC leaders were joined by civil rights leaders Dolores Huerta, Richard Chavez and multi-Grammy winning artist and human rights advocate, Linda Ronstadt.

"Today, the three most experienced immigrants' and civil rights legal organizations nationwide – MALDEF, ACLU and NILC – announce their partnership, together with local Arizona-based counsel, to challenge SB1070 in court," stated MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz. "The Arizona community can be assured that a vigorous and sophisticated legal challenge will be mounted, in advance of SB1070's implementation, seeking to prevent this unconstitutional and discriminatory law from ever taking effect."

"This law will only make the rampant racial profiling of Latinos that is already going on in Arizona much worse," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "If this law were implemented, citizens would effectively have to carry 'their papers' at all times to avoid arrest. It is a low point in modern America when a state law requires police to demand documents from people on the street."

Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC, added, "This unconstitutional law sends a strong message to all immigrants to have no contact with any law enforcement officer. The inevitable result is not only to make immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation, but also to make the entire community less safe, by aggressively discouraging witnesses and victims from reporting crimes."

There are a number of serious constitutional problems with the law, the groups say. It violates the supremacy clause by interfering with federal immigration power and authority. The law also unlawfully invites racial profiling against Latinos and other people of color.

"What we are witnessing today is the blatant targeting of an entire American population, Latinos," stated civil rights leader Dolores Huerta. "We must not give in one inch in Arizona's effort to blame our community for all the ills of the state or their efforts to run us out. We have worked this land, built and maintained these buildings and sacrificed as much as any other. We must put an end to SB1070."

"My family, of both German and Mexican heritage, has a long history in Arizona. It has been our diverse and shared history in this state that unites us and makes us stronger," stated Linda Ronstadt. "What Governor Brewer signed into law last week is a piece of legislation that threatens the very heart of this great state. We must come together and stop SB1070 from pitting neighbor against neighbor to the detriment of us all."


The nature of the Arizona law is very misleadingly stated, of course. Go here to read a brief summary of what the law actually says. Note particularly that "The law only allows police to ask about immigration status in the normal course of “lawful contact” with a person, such as a traffic stop or if they have committed a crime" so it is NOT racial profiling

The law was also very carefully drafted to avoid legal challenges that have succeeded in the past so it is only the ACLU's unwavering hate of America that gives this challenge legs. The legal grounds stated above have been fully taken into account.


Amusing: ACLU versus Obama

The latest ACLU emission below
The American Civil Liberties Union today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to reject his administration's reported authorization of a program under which suspects, including American citizens, can be targeted, hunted and killed far away from any battlefield.

According to the letter, signed by ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, the use of lethal force outside of armed conflict zones is strictly limited by international law, and at least in some circumstances, the Constitution, which permit lethal force to be used only as a last resort and only to prevent imminent attacks that are likely to cause death or serious physical injury. The program is reportedly based on "kill lists" to which the names of U.S. citizens and others are added after a secret internal process.

"A program of long-premeditated and bureaucratized killing is plainly not limited to targeting genuinely imminent threats. Any such program is far more sweeping than the law allows and raises grave constitutional and human rights concerns," wrote Romero.

In addition to spelling out the reasons the targeted killing program is illegal, the letter points out that such a program risks the death of innocent people: "Over the last eight years, we have seen the government over and over again detain men as 'terrorists,' only to discover later that the evidence was weak, wrong, or non-existent…This experience should lead you to reject out of hand a program that would invest the CIA or the U.S. military with the unchecked authority to impose an extrajudicial death sentence on U.S. citizens and others found far from any actual battlefield."


What they are talking about is strikes via unmanned Predator drones on terrorists in Pakistan. But in his election campaign Obama specifically promised to strike at terrorists in Pakistan. So I think the ACLU is pissing into the wind on this one.


Democrat promises are not worth the paper they are written on

Conservatives really need to believe that Leftists mean it when they say, "There is no such thing as right and wrong". But the Left will gradually reap as they sowed when nothing they say will in future be trusted. They are steadily destroying basic standards of civility

It must be tough being a Senate Republican these days. There really is no deal that can be reached with Senate Democrats that can be trusted, no law passed that won't be broken, and no compromise reached that won't be betrayed. Nothing is sacred anymore, especially the word of a Senator.

On Wednesday, after being assured that by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) that provisions for an unlimited bailout-takeover fund would be removed from his legislation, Senate Republicans lifted their objections to bringing the financial takeover legislation to the floor of the Senate.

In a statement, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), who had been engaged with deliberations with Dodd, said, "I appreciate Chairman Dodd's assurance that my concerns relating to ending bailouts will be included in his bill. I take him at his word."

Apparently convinced that a major breakthrough had been achieved, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell (R-KY) issued a statement saying, "The time afforded by my Republican colleagues and Sen. Ben Nelson was instrumental in gaining assurances from the Chairman that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail."

Only there's a big problem with this approach. Dodd never removed the bailout provisions. They're still in there, on pages 277 through 284 of the substitute amendment offered by Senators Dodd and Blance Lincoln (D-AR), there is the unlimited bailout-takeover authority and fund administered by the FDIC.

At least Dodd had the courtesy to betray Shelby to his face, on the Senate floor. After Republicans lifted their objections to proceeding to debate, thinking they had a deal to remove the bailout provisions, Dodd promptly took to the floor to say, "We haven't sealed anything, but we've had great conversations as two people of good will can have that I think will allow us to get there."

And then, Dodd only promised to allow Republican amendments to be heard and debated. So much for his word!

Of course this is not the first time where the trust of Congressional Republicans has been betrayed when it comes to the never-ending bailout regime in Washington.

Don't forget the grand compromise that brought House and Senate Republicans on board to the 2008 bailout. That "compromise" included in the Troubled Asset Relief Program was some form of an insurance program for so-called toxic assets. That part of it was never even enforced by either the Bush or Obama Administrations even though it clearly was stated in the law.

The $700 billion program was supposed to purchase mortgage-backed securities, but as noted by the Washington Times, only $30 billion was ever devoted to the purchase of the securities. Instead, the money wound up being used as a bank recapitalization fund for which is was never intended. Most of that money was promptly paid back, as apparently the banks that were "bailed out" were well-capitalized after all.

Banks and financial institutions instead opted to use a Federal Reserve program, which was never authorized by Congress, and lacked the same level of disclosure and oversight as TARP. The Fed wound up purchasing some $1.25 trillion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage-backed securities.

Is that what Congressional Republicans intended? Probably not. But that wasn't the end of it. After the Senate explicitly defeated a bailout for GM and Chrysler using the TARP, then-President George Bush went ahead and extended the loans anyway to the bankrupt automakers from the Treasury program.

After that, Barack Obama abused the government ownership of the two companies to redistribute their ownership from the bondholders who kept them afloat to the labor unions that had put them in the red in the first place.

These experiences, by now, should be highly educational for the Senate Republican Caucus.



NASA has entered the era of nothing

At the end of this year a new era will dawn at NASA. It will mark a first-ever period for our civil space program – the era of nothing. Since its inception, even if it has only been through fantastical imagery, NASA always had, ‘the next thing.’ In the beginning there was the X-15, then Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs. Near the end of the Apollo Program it was announced that the shuttle program had been approved and would be moving forward.

With the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003 it was decided that the next thing would be a return to the old thing – manned space exploration. This was supposed to come in the form of the Constellation Program, a byproduct of the ‘Vision for Space Exploration’ with its moon, Mars and beyond philosophy. Then President Barack Obama came into office and changed all that....

So President Obama can talk vaguely of going on to Mars and the asteroids all he likes, his plan in its current state, leaves America with neither the hardware to do it nor, (after they are laid off) the workforce to build it. Even some of the most despised presidents in American history, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush left us with manned space programs, (the shuttle and Constellation Programs respectively). Obama, just a little over a year in office has not only given us nothing, he has taken away the little we had.



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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