Saturday, May 14, 2011

The rights of Americans are withering away rapidly

Apparently the 4th Amendment no longer means what it says: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes. In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

"It's not surprising that they would say there's no right to beat the hell out of the officer," Bodensteiner said. "(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

But Dickson said, "The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad."

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.

On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge's permission to enter without knocking.



More creeping Totalitarianism

Here’s Jay Carney at a White House press briefing today, essentially signaling the linguistic shift I and others have been warning about for several months:
The President sees, as a means of holding everyone’s feet to the fire to ensure that we take the action necessary to reduce both spending and — reduce spending in all ways, including through the tax code, in order to reduce our deficit, but allow us to continue to invest in those areas that will make American — the American economy the dominant economy in the 21st century as it was in the 20th.

Analysis of the word “invest” — to the progressive, that means government spending on programs that they deem important, and which tend to benefit their constituencies and corporate cronies — has been widespread, so I’m not going to focus on that particular euphemistic turn.

Instead, let’s take a look at this idea that in order to cut deficits, the government wants to reduce “spending” “through the tax code” — a clear indication that, from the perspective of the government, money that they don’t yet collect in taxes from you and your labor is the equivalent of government spending; meaning that all money belongs first to the government, and then is meted out to you in ways that the government sees fit, based on what they believe is “fair,” and based on who they believe “deserves” it.

In other words, it is entirely alien to the founding ideals.

This is the “transformation” Obama promised — the Hope and Change on offer from a Good Man who, by force of executive order and imperial overreach, is working to turn each and every one of us into clients of a massive centralized government managed by endless bureaucratic rules and regulations whose reach covers everything from puddles to dust to human exhalation to light bulbs to toilets to mandating what we purchase (and, as a result, mandating all sort of other things in the future, from what we need eat to maintain our “free” health care to where unions demand we open our businesses to the “social justice” agenda of the left that requires banks to “lend” money to those who can’t pay that money back as a condition of doing business).

We live in a soft tyranny. And the current governmental tack is, in a very strict sense, anti-American: property and liberty aren’t natural rights, but rather proceed from government, with Obama its current King.



Another move to hobble dissent

I.R.S. Moves to Tax Gifts to Groups Active in Politics -- Koch Bros., anyone?

Big donors like David H. Koch and George Soros could owe taxes on their millions of dollars in contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing an increasing role in American politics.

Invoking a provision that had rarely, if ever, been enforced, the Internal Revenue Service said it had sent letters to five donors, who were not identified, informing them that their contributions may be subject to gift taxes depending on whether the donations exceeded limits under the tax laws.

These advocacy groups have been drawing more scrutiny, from President Obama as well as others, as they have proliferated and funneled vast sums of money in support of campaigns and causes, without having to publicly disclose their donors.

During the midterm cycle, for example, groups like Crossroads GPS, which has ties to the Republican strategist Karl Rove, and Americans for Prosperity, backed by Mr. Koch and his brother Charles, were heavily involved in politicking, spurring campaign finance watchdogs to complain that they were flouting election and nonprofit laws.

Spokesmen for the Koch brothers and for Mr. Soros would not comment as to whether they had paid gift taxes on these types of donations, or whether they had received letters from the I.R.S.

These organizations were established as nonprofit corporations under a section of the tax law, 501(c)(4), and the rules governing them say their primary purpose cannot be political.

The timing of the agency’s moves, as the 2012 election cycle gets under way, is prompting some tax law and campaign finance experts to question whether the I.R.S. could be sending a signal in an effort to curtail big donations.

“There are a whole heck of a lot of people misusing (c)(4) groups as a means of getting around campaign finance regulations, and we lack a coherent system of laws to deal with that,” said Donald B. Tobin, a legal expert on campaign finance and tax laws at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. “Now here’s a stick, frankly, that says there are consequences for doing that.”

In a statement released Thursday, Michelle L. Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the I.R.S., said that the inquiries were initiated by agency employees, not White House or other Obama administration officials, “as part of their increased efforts in the area of no filing of gift and estate tax returns.”

The letters informed donors that investigations had been opened to determine why a gift tax form had not been filed, and requested that donors submit records of all donations in the year 2008, according to a redacted copy obtained by The New York Times.

While tax lawyers who learned of the investigations have been issuing warnings to clients of potential trouble on a broader scale, the I.R.S. statement denied casting a wider net, “These examinations are not part of a broader effort looking at donations to 501(c)(4)’s.”

The White House would not comment. Some members of Congress have been asking the I.R.S. to investigate the tax-exempt status of these groups, too, although lawmakers have also cautioned that since the Nixon years, the agency has been strictly prohibited from what could be considered politically motivated inquiries.

Still, experts are sensing that the message being sent may deter large donations to these groups, at a time when big corporate, union and like-minded political contributions are expected to flood the election cycle through the barriers lifted by last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case.

Both major political parties and candidates have benefited from these types of organizations, but the Republican groups grew in force and size after the 2008 election, partly in recognition of Mr. Obama’s proficiency at fund-raising. For example, Mr. Rove’s group, one of the best known from the 2010 midterm cycle, raised $70 million. Americans for Prosperity, a libertarian group that is opposed to many of President Obama’s policies, has been generously financed by David Koch....

In the meantime, Marcus S. Owens, a lawyer who represents nonprofits and who formerly headed the I.R.S. division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, predicted that the tax agency’s moves would be watched warily by contributors. “The lack of clarity and the potential for not-insignificant taxation on these gifts will cause many of the biggest donors to think twice,” he warned.



Democrats' Spending and Power Addictions Prevent Debt Solutions

The Washington Examiner reports that it's been 768 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a budget. What's the big deal? It's not like the nation is facing financial difficulties or anything.

I realize it's convenient for President Obama to pretend he's a bystander on fiscal matters when it suits him and to pass the buck that never stops with him back to Congress, but how about a little leadership on the issue for a change?

The Republican-controlled House has done its part, but Obama and Senate Democrats continue to dither. The only time you see much activity out of them is when Republicans force the issue, such as with Congressman Paul Ryan's plan to balance the budget through a combination of discretionary spending controls, structural entitlement reforms and a major tax overhaul. Otherwise, it's as if they're either oblivious to the nation's looming bankruptcy or cynically unconcerned.

The Examiner reveals that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad spent a full day explaining a proposal to the Democratic caucus but nothing emerged because too many of Conrad's comrades "hate it." Guess why.

Wrong. It's not because it doesn't go far enough with spending cuts and doesn't include serious entitlement reform. It's because it cuts too much spending and doesn't raise taxes enough.

So let me get this straight. Due to reckless entitlement promises, profligate non-defense discretionary spending, and repressive government taxes and regulations, we are headed toward Grecian-style bankruptcy, European-style socialism and a permanently growth-stunted economy with soaring unemployment, and the Democrats' solution is to give us more of the same?

Aren't you tired of these career politicians on the left side of the aisle moralizing about the greed of the "wealthy" when these same politicians habitually buy votes with borrowed dollars? Who are they to lecture those who actually produce and contribute to the economy?

As Milton Friedman once asked, why aren't these politicians considered greedy? At least the wealthy spend their own money -- and add to the general revenues through the substantial taxes imposed on them. These finger-wagging liberal politicians, on the other hand, spend way more money than most so-called wealthy people do, directly benefit from these expenditures of other peoples' money and, worst of all, are bankrupting the country.

Then, instead of coming to the table to work on solving the indescribable mess they've created for our children, our grandchildren and us, they fire back even harder -- with more class-warfare ammunition. But this time it's in the form of scaring seniors about losing their Medicare, even though existing seniors won't lose their benefits under the Ryan plan and even though without reform no one will receive benefits anyway, because the programs will be insolvent, as will the nation.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial opined that the "odds of resolving this (budget) debate are undercut by the fact that the two parties can't even agree on what's causing deficit woes in the first place." Republicans blame it on non-discretionary and entitlement spending. Obama blames it on two wars, the prescription drug benefit program and "tax cuts for the wealthy."

But Democrats know better than to blame our impending national bankruptcy on wars that Obama has continued, prescription drugs that actually came in under budget (and in any event would have been much worse under any of the alternative Democratic proposals) and tax cuts that have not significantly reduced revenues.

On the tax issue, Obama fraudulently claims that continuation of the Bush cuts for the "wealthy" will cost $500 billion in lost revenues per year. In fact, they would cost only $70 billion per year -- and that's assuming a static economy. Perhaps in a static economy, continuation of the Bush cuts for all tax brackets would cost $500 billion in revenues per year. But wait. Obama favors continuing the cuts for all but the top bracket, which means the disputed cuts -- worst-case scenario -- would only cost $70 billion per year. Once again, Obama is distorting the numbers to demonize his opponents, confuse the issue and camouflage his own position.

Spending is the problem, not the solution. The solution is to rein in non-defense discretionary and entitlement spending and to reform the tax code. But there happens to be a nearly insuperable obstacle that is interfering with this: the Democrats' ideological addiction to spending and their corrupt dependency on spending as a ticket to remaining in power.

Until Democrats lose control of the Senate and the presidency, reform is but a fantasy. Our work is cut out for us.



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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)


1 comment: said...

Above is a copy of the Barnes v. State of Indiana court decision.

Note on page two it reveals that the rights of individuals began to erode back in the 1920s.