Something’s Wrong With Your Rights

I hope you enjoyed the Fourth of July weekend. In honor of Independence Day and the signing of the Declaration of Independence I thought I would toss some questions out there for you to think about.

When should declaring a state of emergency automatically suspend one of your Constitutionally protected rights? That’s right, it shouldn’t. Ever. But that’s not quite the case in North Carolina.

The Second Amendment Foundation on Monday filed a federal lawsuit in North Carolina, seeking a permanent injunction against the governor, local officials and local governments from declaring states of emergency under which private citizens are prohibited from exercising their right to bear arms.

Not only does a declaration of emergency suspend your right to purchase guns and ammunition, it also suspends your right to carry a concealed weapon, even if you have a valid permit. I don’t know about you but I personally think that a state of emergency might just be the best time to be carrying a firearm.

Did you know that rushing the stage of a nationally televised hot dog eating contest is a governmental affair?

This weekend, former hot dog eating champ Takeru Kobayashi got into some hot water when he rushed the stage.

After rushing the stage Sunday in a T-shirt that read “Free Kobi,” Kobayashi was surrounded by police and taken away charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and obstruction of governmental affairs.

Exactly what part of rushing that stage was considered “obstruction of governmental affairs”? I don’t get it.

Do I need to remind you that the First Amendment has already been suspended in some parts of our country?

Thursday’s Thoughts, On Wednesday

Thought #1

There’s something wrong with an employer which takes applications, but disqualifies anyone currently unemployed. I wonder who the moron is that came up with this idea.

If you’re unemployed, don’t even bother applying. That’s a message some job seekers are seeing as they look for their next paycheck.

It’s not the kind of message Peter May expected to see on a job listing. But when he visited the Web site for “The People Place”, an Orlando-based recruiter, there it was, in all caps, bold type: “No unemployed candidates will be considered at all.”

I definitely won’t be purchasing any Sony Ericsson products in the future. If they aren’t going to consider candidates who actually need jobs, I am not going to spend my money on any of their consumer electronics when I actually need something.

Thought #2

Nancy Pelosi says that government policy should be dictated by “The Word”. The same woman who voted to allow partial-birth abortions now says we must all answer to “The Word Made Flesh”. Has Nanny State Nancy been enlightened? Has she seen the light? That, my friends, is the great mystery.

Thought #3

Justice Sotomayor has already proven her appointment to the Supreme Court was a huge mistake.

In a case before the court pertaining to Miranda rights, the Court ruled 5-4 that suspects must implicitly invoke their right to remain silent.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a criminal suspect must explicitly invoke the right to remain silent during a police interrogation, a decision that dissenting liberal justices said turns the protections of a Miranda warning “upside down.”

The court ruled 5 to 4 that a Michigan defendant who incriminated himself in a fatal shooting after nearly three hours of questioning thus gave up his right to silence, and the statement could be used against him at trial.

In the case about Miranda rights, suspect Van Chester Thompkins remained mostly silent for three hours of interrogation after reading and being told of his rights to remain silent and have an attorney. He neither acknowledged that he was willing to talk nor that he wanted questioning to stop.
But detectives persisted in what one called mostly a “monologue” until asking Thompkins whether he believed in God. When asked, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?” Thompkins looked away and answered, “Yes.”

The statement was used against him, and Thompkins was convicted of killing Samuel Morris outside a strip mall in Southfield, Mich.

So what did Justice Sotomayor have to say about this?

“Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down,” wrote Sotomayor. “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent, which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak.” She was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Suspects must invoke their right to remain silent? Duh! Of course they do. Miranda states, “You have the right to remain silent”. If you don’t, well, anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law.

Hello!?! Dumbass! If you choose to remain silent, you must… How do I write this in a way you’ll understand? I guess I’ll just come out and write it. If you choose to remain silent, then keep your frickin’ mouth shut. Don’t say a word. Don’t mumble, don’t stutter, don’t utter one word. Silence is just that. SILENT.

The scariest part about this decision is that four U.S. Supreme Court Justices (Sotomayor, Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer) actually think the right to remain silent is automatically implied by the reading of Miranda. They actually think suspects are being treated unfairly if they don’t remain silent. Does the oath for members of the Supreme Court include the right to remain stupid?

Saying It Doesn’t Make It So

Franklin Graham says he feels like his “religious rights are being denied.”

He may feel that way, but the events that have transpired regarding the Pentagon’s decision to drop him from the line up for the National Day Of Prayer are far from a denial of his religious rights.

The U.S. Constitution grants us religious freedom.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Regardless of the Pentagon’s decision, Franklin Graham is still free to exercise his religious freedom. No matter how we feel about his exclusion during the National Day Of Prayer, Congress has passed no law that prohibits him from exercising his religious freedom. The Constitution guarantees his right to exercise his religion. It also guarantees free speech, but it does not guarantee his right to speak at any particular event.

With that said, I agree with everything else he said.

“It is a comment I made after 9/11 that Islam was wicked and evil,” said Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham.

The only reason his invitation was dropped, Graham said, was that “a couple members of the Pentagon who are Muslim objected about me coming.”

“I feel my religious rights are being denied here because of what I believe,” the evangelist said. “I believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life…I believe that because of my beliefs, that’s why I’m not being given the opportunity to speak.”

“I love Muslim people…I love them and care for them,” he insisted, adding that he does not “believe what they believe.”

“I don’t believe that Muhammad can lead anybody to God,” he said. “If you just look at the religion as it treats women, it is horrid. We can’t even talk publicly about what they do to women. You know, I just – for that alone – I cannot accept the religion.”

It’s a shame that the Pentagon chose to make the decision they did. Then again, none of the decisions made in Washington, since January of 2009, have surprised me.

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We The People…

I’ve been very busy today, and I have a sinus headache, so I don’t feel like typing. That’s okay though, because you probably don’t feel like reading. So sit back, relax, and listen.

 

Now, pass it on!

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A Single Stroke Of A Pen

Imagine for a moment that you are sound asleep in your bed when suddenly out of nowhere, armed men invade your bedroom, take you into custody without reading you your rights, and transport you to the airport for a flight to Liechtenstein where you will be tried for a crime you didn’t commit.

Upon arrival in Lietchenstein you insist that you have not done anything wrong, and after days (or maybe even months) you convince the authorities that a mistake has been made and they set you free. They offer you no explanation and they make no apology. In fact, once they set you free you have no evidence one way or the other that any of these events even took place, well, except for the fact that you are now standing on a street corner in Vaduz with no money in your pocket, no identification, and no way to get home.

Thank goodness nothing like that can happen in the United States of America. Right?

Think again. While my hypothetical example above may be a little far fetched, it’s no longer an impossibility thanks to President Barack Hussein Obama.

Before we get into his signing of Executive Order 13524 on December 16th, we need to look back to Executive Order 12425, which was signed by then President Ronald Reagan on June 16, 1983.

Executive Order 12425 states,

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669, 22 U.S.C. 288), it is hereby ordered that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), in which the United States participates pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 263a, is hereby designated as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act; except those provided by Section 2(c), the portions of Section 2(d) and Section 3 relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act. This designation is not intended to abridge in any respect the privileges, exemptions or immunities which such organization may have acquired or may acquire by international agreement or by Congressional action.

President Reagan gave INTERPOL the authority to conduct investigations here within the United States, but the exceptions he specified denied them immunity for their actions while on U.S. soil and required them to produce records when demanded by U.S. courts. These exceptions were not unreasonable, were they?

Our U.S. Constitution offers specific protections from, and current U.S. Law requires certain actions to be taken by, law enforcement. President Reagan was just making sure that INTERPOL followed the same set of rules that law enforcement within the United States was required to follow.

Executive Order 12425 has remained largely intact with the exception of a slight amendment made by then President William Jefferson Clinton in 1995. Executive Order 12971, which amended Executive Order 12425, stated,

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities upon the International Criminal Police Organization (‘‘INTERPOL’’) it is hereby ordered that Executive Order No. 12425 be amended by deleting, in the first sentence, the words ‘‘the portions of Section 2(d) and’’ and the words ‘‘relating to customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes’’.

President Clinton’s amendment put Section 2(d) which dealt with customs duties and internal revenue taxes back into play, but did not change the status of any of the accountability or immunity exceptions that President Reagan had put in place. That all changed on December 16, 2009 when President Barack Hussein Obama signed Executive Order 13524 which rescinds every exception that President Reagan put in place to protect the American people.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words ”except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act” and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.

On December 16, 2009, President Barack Obama gave INTERPOL unprecedented power over the citizens of the United States.

On December 16, 2009, President Barack Obama gave INTERPOL the authority to violate your rights, keep any records they wish, and never be held accountable to U.S. laws or the American people.

Until December 16, 2009, INTERPOL activity within the United States was subject to the same scrutiny as any other law enforcement within our borders.

Every single law enforcement entity within the United States of America is required to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. INTERPOL is not, they can no longer be required to produce records pertaining to their investigations. Defendants, their defense lawyers, and the court itself will no longer have access to the documents being used to prosecute them.

Every law enforcement officer within the United States of America is bound by the same laws and regulations as you, and I, and every other citizen of the United States. INTERPOL agents are not, thanks to President Obama and Executive Order 13524 they are immune from prosecution of any kind for their actions taken on U.S. soil.

On December 16, 2009, with a simple stroke of his pen, President Barack Obama single-handedly endangered our national sovereignty and wiped out our Constitutionally guaranteed rights where trials are concerned.

Sure, my hypothetical example might sound a little bit extreme to some people, but Executive Order 13524 opens the door for much larger (and extreme) cases in the future. If certain provisions of the Patriot Act stepped on our rights as Americans, Executive Order 13524 allows INTERPOL to wipe their feet all over us, with no protection of our rights, and no accountability afterward.

Take a moment to ponder the direction our country is taking before you find yourself on that street corner in Vaduz with no way to get home. That is, if there’s still an America to come home to.

We The People…

While analyzing H.R. 3200 I mentioned the clear violation of States rights as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. How ironic is it that I completed my analysis of the President’s speech on health care to the Joint Session of Congress just in time for Constitution Day?

At first, I thought of writing a “traditional” Constitution Day type post where I might point out the fact that on September 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the final time and signed the Constitution of the United States of America. I thought of pointing out the fact that I scored 100% in the sample naturalization test, and the Founding Father I am most like is James Madison, from Virginia, but as you know, I’m not like anybody else. The U.S. Constitution is the cornerstone of our nation’s laws and it’s important to read it, learn it, and respect it, everyday, not just on September 17th each year.

One of the biggest dangers to our Constitution is the constant stripping away of our rights by those who do so “for the common good”. Whether it’s in the name of protecting our country from terrorism, providing health care for all, or defining the rights of a child, no act, no comprehensive bill, and no U.N. Convention should be allowed to erode our rights as citizens of this great nation.

Some of our liberties slipped away with the signing of the Patriot Act and its subsequent amendments and addendums. The government wants to infringe on States rights, and more of our liberties with H.R. 3200, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, if adopted by the United States, will supersede American law and severely restrict the rights of parents in the United States.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, has some far reaching implications. Let’s review some of the more interesting (and frightening) sections of the CRC.

Article 2 states that all states parties shall “take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.

This article will protect the child from punishment. Please take a moment and read it again, carefully. This article would terminate a parents right to discipline their children for any reason, regardless of the parent’s opinions or beliefs.

Article 5 says, “States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.”

Article 5 seems to contradict Article 2 by “respecting the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents”, but then we learn that this idea only applies with the “evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance”. As long as you, as a parent, are working to help your child evolve in the appropriate direction your rights will be respected.

Article 7 states that “the child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents“.

Children will have the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents. What about those children who are adopted? Yes, it’s a clear violation of the child’s rights if they are denied the right (from birth) to know and be cared for by their parents.

Things really start to get interesting with Article 13, which says,

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals.

This article gives a child the right to completely disregard the authority of his or her parents when interacting with any form of information, art, or media. This right is guaranteed even if the parents deem the material unacceptable.

Article 14 protects the child’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and places strict limitations on the rights and duties of parents forcing them to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with their evolving capabilities. For example, an Episcopalian parent may be required to provide direction to their Satan worshipping child in a manner consistent with the evolving capabilities of the child’s thoughts and conscience. It’s one thing to retain a freedom of religion, it’s quite another to force a parent to help their child pursue that freedom.

Article 15 recognizes the rights of the child to “freedom of association” and “freedom of peaceful assembly“.

In other words, that demure daughter of yours will have the right to associate with anyone she wants whether you like it or not. Yes, that includes the bagboy at the supermarket with 32 piercings and the skull tattoo.

Article 16 states,

No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation

Your child will have the right to privacy and shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference from anyone, including family. This means you will no longer have the right to inspect your sons room for drugs, take the pornography from under his mattress, or have the right to parental notification before that demure daughter of yours obtains an abortion because she was spending so much time with the bagboy mentioned above.

Article 19 establishes the monitoring of families to guarantee that a child’s rights have not been violated.

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

These are just a few of the 54 articles defined in the CRC. The CRC was adopted and opened for signature and ratification on November 20, 1989. It became enforceable on September 2, 1990. The United States has not signed nor adopted the convention, yet a federal judge in New York has already ruled that the treaty is in fact binding on the United States under the doctrine of customary international law.

Many of the articles of the CRC consist of common sense ideas and definitions, but many of them only serve to erode the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit. Parental rights is one of the fundamental rights that was left out of our U.S. Constitution and something needs to be done to prevent international treaties, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, from superseding the rights of parents in choosing what’s best for their children.

So what can we do about it? Parentalrights.org has information on the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution called the Parental Rights Amendment.

The Parental Rights Amendment (H.J.RES.42) states,

Section 1. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

Section 2. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

Section 3. No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

The purpose of the amendment is to guarantee parental rights and specifically prohibit international law from superseding those rights. The laws of all 50 states which pertain to children and parents would be superseded by the CRC because of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which states,

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Unless an amendment is made to the U.S. Constitution which prevents states from being bound by international treaties, every state law regarding the rights of the child or the parent will be null and void. Virtually all law pertaining to children and their parents falls under state law. I’m still not sure I fully support the Parental Rights Amendment as it is written, but I would support any amendment to the Constitution which stated,

“No treaty made under the Authority of the United States will supersede the rights of citizens or the laws of any State.”

That’s about as simple as it can get and would be sure to pass by an overwhelming margin. Time is of the essence because America is finally at the point of adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Barack Obama supports the treaty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a leading advocate of this treaty for over twenty years, and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has made it clear that it’s the intention of Congress to ratify the treaty during this term of Congress.

Are you going to step up and say something, or will you sit idly by as our rights are slowly eroded? Remember, our country was founded by “we the people” and it will grow stronger by our action or fail miserably because of our inaction.

Many people feel that nothing can be done to change the direction of our country. Those people are wrong. On September 17th, 1787, fifty-six men gathered to chart a new course for our young country. All it took was stepping up and putting forth the effort to get things done.