Obama marks Constitution Day by referring to our constitutional rights as “privileges”

Today, September 17, is Constitution Day. Spearheaded by the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), Congress passed a resolution in 2004 as rider to an omnibus spending bill setting aside this particular day to celebrate the ratification of the Constitution, the document that provides the framework of the federal government and the rights protected under the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in the last several years, perhaps because of the polarization of political opinions in the United States as well as attempts by presidents from both parties attempts consume more power for the executive branch. The revelations about the National Security Agency, efforts to censor speech, expand gun control laws are just the tip of the iceberg of attempts to trample the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

In his presidential proclamation marking Constitution Day, President Barack Obama offered some insight into how he views the Bill of Rights. “Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society,” Obama said in the release. “It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another.”

Given that this White House is known for its expansive view of executive power, the fact that President Obama views these fundamental liberties to be “privileges” isn’t too terribly surprising. After all, President Obama treats the legislative branch — which is supposed to be a co-equal branch of the federal government — as an afterthought as it arbitrarily changes statues and even refuses to enforce laws.

Anti-gun columnist calls for intervention…in the US

Somehow, I get the feeling that columnist Henry Porter isn’t a fan of the Second Amendment.  As he’s a British subject, it doesn’t really matter a whole lot.  After all, he doesn’t get to vote on American issues.  Porter seems to understand this.  That’s why he’s calling for the international community to intervene here in the United States:

That’s America, we say, as news of the latest massacre breaks – last week it was the slaughter of 12 people by Aaron Alexis at Washington DC’s navy yard – and move on. But what if we no longer thought of this as just a problem for America and, instead, viewed it as an international humanitarian crisis – a quasi civil war, if you like, that calls for outside intervention? As citizens of the world, perhaps we should demand an end to the unimaginable suffering of victims and their families – the maiming and killing of children – just as America does in every new civil conflict around the globe.

Maybe because these deaths aren’t even remotely related to one another except that the implement used is the same?:

The annual toll from firearms in the US is running at 32,000 deaths and climbing, even though the general crime rate is on a downward path (it is 40% lower than in 1980). If this perennial slaughter doesn’t qualify for intercession by the UN and all relevant NGOs, it is hard to know what does.

Health insurance is a right? Nice try.

In President Obama’s weekly address delivered on Saturday, he regurgitated the many tired talking points about how smoothly the implementation of Obamacare is going, despite all evidence to the contrary. But the kicker came at the end when he made the claim, free of any previous argument or support, that “health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”


Liberals have long argued that health care is a right, but as they continue to nudge language and policy in the progressive long war, this may be the first time they’ve claimed that health insurance itself as a right. But how can it be? Health insurance is a commercial product.

In a free market we certainly have the right to acquire commercial products, but do we have a right to them on a fundamental level? Did we have the right to health insurance before it was created in the mid-20th Century? What if once we eventually are subject to a single-payer universal healthcare program, health insurance no longer exists? Will we still have the right to it?

After Boston, Senators Aim to Deny Your Rights

In a statement released via Facebook, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) made the case for (1) denying the Miranda rights of the Boston marathon bomber and (2) to hold him without trial as an enemy combatant, regardless of his status as a US citizen.

“Nonsense!” you may say, “They don’t want to deny my rights, just those of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” While this Dzhokhar guy is truly a first class piece of crap, selectively denying the rights of one US citizen “just because two Senators say so” is an affront to the liberties we all enjoy.

The statement, posted on Senator Graham’s Facebook page, reads in full (with emphasis added in bold):

Just put out this statement with John McCain about the suspect captured in Boston and whether they should be held as an enemy combatant.

“We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement and intelligence communities.

“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.

Who Has The Party Delegates?

What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.

During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.

Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.

Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Thoughts on assisted suicide

In the wake of Jack Kevorkian’s death, the debate that he so bravely sparked will surely be reignited.  It is one of those subjects that creates great division and often passionate disagreement.  On one side, you have pro-life conservatives who believe assisted suicide is tantamount to murder.  On the other, libertarians and many liberals support the idea that a person should be able to end his or her life, including allowing another person to help in that task.

As a libertarian, I am firmly of the position that a person’s body is entirely his or her own property.  This is why I strongly support the right of individuals to use whatever drugs they choose and engage in any other practices that harm or affect only themselves and other consenting adults.  Thus, it is certainly the logical extension of this belief that a person should have the right to end his or her life if one chooses.  It is clearly not a decision we should as a society encourage or condone in general.  But if I choose to forfeit my right to life, I should have that ability.

Furthermore, this logic eliminates, in my mind, any legal and moral culpability for murder by a doctor who helps someone end their life.  My argument goes like this.  Laws should be designed to prevent someone from infringing on another’s rights.  Murder is by definition the unlawful  taking of another person’s right to life.  If that person in fact chooses to “waive” that right and is physically incapable of carrying out their own suicide, then if a doctor or other person chooses to assist, then are not in fact violating any rights.  Thus, if laws are about protecting rights, the law proscribing murder is not violated, at least in principle.

Charity and Government

On April 15th, I went down to the Georgia state capitol to hang out with about 5000 of my racist friends as we discussed ways to oppress the poor, exploit and denigrate minorities, engage in violent protest and call for the death of President Barack Obama. At least, that is what we were doing according to the media, who reported breathlessly about this violent uprising which stemmed from the hatred of a black president (while conveniently ignoring the fact that the same president could not have been elected without a huge number of white voters casting their ballots for him…maybe white voters did not realize he was black until after the election).

About half an hour before the rally ended I went up to the barricade which police were monitoring, behind which was about a dozen counter-protesters. As I approached they directed their invective at me, calling me a racist, saying I hate the president, saying that because I oppose the health care control law I want poor people to die. The whole time I just smiled and listened.

When they finally calmed down I began to engage in conversation with them. I asked why I was considered a racist just for opposing big government, and pointed out that I had seen dozens of blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the crowd. Were they racists too?

A New “Right” du Jour

Has anyone noticed how much our society now talks about their “rights”? President Obama just signed a massive bill, clocking in at well over 2500 pages (between the original bill and the reconciliation), which creates huge new deficits, another gargantuan bureaucracy, and allows the government ever more power to intrude into the private lives of its sovereign citizens. This was all done under the guise of a newly found “right” to health care.

In 1973, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Warren Burger, discovered a “right” to privacy that had managed to elude the Founding Fathers and all of the subsequent legislatures and courts for almost 200 years, and under this right America has callously witnessed the extermination of over 50 million of its most vulnerable; the unborn.

This week it was announced that the public transit system of a south Atlanta metro county was bankrupt and services were discontinued. As I watched the news coverage I listened to a young man tell me that the transit system, plagued with corruption and mismanagement, should be made to continue running (no mention on who gets to pay the bill to make sure that it keeps operating) because public transportation is a “basic human right”? Really? Public transportation is a right?

Legislator Wishes To Suspend Civil Liberties To Show He’s “Tough On Crime”

This week, I caught a story on the Atlanta news that immediately drew my attention.  A state Representative, MY state Representative, will introduce a bill during the next legislative session that requires every suspect arrested of a felony to submit to a DNA sample.  Without careful examination, along with a very friendly news report about the bill, this does not strike many everyday citizens as a “bad thing,” as seen in the first comment made about the story.

CNN: Obama’s approval ratings take a nosedive, Americans view government as a threat to their rights

It looks like the string of scandals have finally caught up with President Barack Obama, and in a big way. The White House’s credibility had already started to suffer in recent polls and Obama’s approval ratings were beginning to show the impact of the scandals.

But it seems that the latest scandal concerning the NSA’s broad surveillance of Americans phone records has had a dramatic impact on the public perception of the White House. According to a new CNN poll, President Obama’s approval rating has taken a nosedive as 54% of Americans are unhappy with his job performance (emphasis mine):

President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president’s lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.

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