American Justice? Maybe

 

American Justice?  Maybe.

by Mustang

“That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” —Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776)

John Locke

 

The roots of such thinking was John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, wherein he argued that political society existed for the sake of protecting property, which is to say, life, liberty, and estate.  He also argued that a magistrate’s power must be limited to preserving an individual’s civil interests, which he reiterated as life, “liberty, health, and indolency of body and the passage of outward things.”

So the phrasing of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence relied upon this thinking to proclaim these goals on behalf of British colonists demanding (well, at least a third of them) their independence from the British Crown.

Through the years, Americans conclude that we are, therefore, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness … happiness being to acquire and maintain property, which was back then, the source of all material wealth.

There ae no absolutes, however.  We may be entitled to pursue happiness, but the government has the power to take away our happiness for its own purposes.  In law,eminent domain is the power of government (local, state, federal) to seize private property while offering the landowner fair compensation —the word fair meaning “according to the government’s determination.”

This right of eminent domain may be delegated to private corporations when they are able to argue that their use of our property fulfills a public good—which also means “economic development” because it is assumed that land development is good for the public.  This may, in fact, be true … but should economic development usurp the inalienable right of citizens to their property?

Bush the Younger said no … he signed an executive order limiting federal seizures to public-use arguments, but his order has no effect on what states and local municipalities may do.  A state, country, city, or town may seize private property for their own purposes and pay the unwilling owner of the property a fair market value for that property.  Then they may turn around and sell that seized property to a developer, who then makes a fortune on land that he was never entitled to.

Pursuit of happiness?  Really?  Whose happiness?

This discussion fits nicely into the question of whether a citizen may sue the government.  The answer is, no … a citizen may not sue the federal or a state government without that government’s permission.  And the government may seize our private property, which is done more often than the average citizen may think.

You own a recreational vehicle and for ten months of the year, you lease it to others.  One of these renters is stopped for speeding along Interstate 10.  During the stop, police alert to the odor of marijuana.  A lawful search is conducted and not only do the police determine the presence of marijuana residue, they also find some quantity of another illegal substance.  Sorry Charlie … you just lost your motor home.  Federal, state, or local police seized it.  It will be auctioned off and you’ll continue making monthly payments.  Police can do the same thing to a house you’ve rented out to others.

Is this fair treatment, or does it fly in the face of our inherent right to happiness?

What does the good book tell us about justice?  “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  — Deuteronomy 16:20.

 

Mustang has other great reads over at his two blogs – Thoughts from Afar

with Old West Tales and Fix Bayonets

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Congressional Dishonesty

 

Congressional Dishonesty

by Mustang

Whenever someone violates an oath or a vow, either by swearing to what is untrue, or through omission (concealing truth), intentional or otherwise, or to fail to do what has been promised under oath, they are guilty of false swearing.  In our judicial system, we call this perjury.

 

 

It is a felony, punishable by fines or imprisonment.  We’ve even seen where high-ranking officials have been sent to jail for lying to federal law enforcement officers.  As an aside, the prefix per– in Latin means “harmful,” so whenever someone perjures themselves, they do harm to the truth.  Not all lying is perjury —only lying under oath or lying to a member of the FBI.  Now, of course, a person may avoid perjury by refusing to make an oath, or in law enforcement or judicial matters (including testimony in congress) by claiming his or her right against self-incrimination.

What brought me to this discussion was the post of a few days back about the recently elected and seated member of Congress, Rashida Tlaib.  The oath she took reads as follows:

“I, (State your name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

This oath, by the way, is required:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” — U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

Not everyone back then agreed.  During the Constitutional Convention, the question arose, should an oath be required at all in a free country?  James Wilson, a delegate from Pennsylvania, said that oaths only provided “left-handed security.”  A good government, he argued, did not need an oath, and a bad government ought not be supported at all.  Noah Webster agreed with Wilson when he said that oaths were instruments of slavery and a badge of folly.

People would be naturally inclined to support just government, so oaths were unnecessary.  Wilson served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, so I suppose to a man who committed treason against his king may not be inclined to offer an oath of allegiance.  The Supreme Court finally got around to addressing this issue in 1833, when Justice Joseph Story opined that requiring officials to take an oath “would seem to be a proposition too clear to render any reasoning necessary in support of it.”

All of this happened before there were Moslems in America working to undermine Republican Democracy.  A politically incorrect person, such as I, might observe that these Moslems are really no more than wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

In any case, researching back to the Clinton administration, I could find only one member of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch convicted of perjury.  Judge Thomas Porteous (D) (a Clinton appointee) for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas was convicted of perjury in 2010.

Now a quick word about Taqiyya (spelled in several ways).  It is a practice emphasized in Shia Islam whereby adherents are permitted to conceal their true religious purposes to avoid persecution, prosecution, or compulsion.  It has been politically legitimized among Moslems in order to maintain unity and fraternity among Moslems of all sects.  One Moslem scholar (teaching at Columbia) explained, “Taqiyya is an Islamic judicial term whose shifting meaning relates to when a Moslem is allowed, under Sharia Law, to lie.  It is a concept whose meaning has varied significantly among Islamic sects, scholars, countries, and political regimes, and it has become a key term used by anti-Moslem polemicists.”  Imagine a judicial system that allows dishonesty …

We could all agree that whenever a member of Congress takes the oath of office and then violates that oath, then that person has committed perjury.  They lied.  They either lied overtly or through omission, and for intentions that act against the interests of the United States Constitution and the citizens of the United States.

Yet, over the past three decades, people in power routinely ignore the lies told by others —especially within their own party or administration, because who wants to admit publicly that they support telling lies, or misstatements, or concealing the truth?  Where we are today is in a land called word-play.  Lying has become “mis-speaking,” or “spin.”  But a lie is a lie, and concealing the truth is a lie.  A lie is unacceptable under any scenario, but apparently, only if one is actually able to utter the word, “lie.”  If not, then “spin” is perfectly acceptable —to people who lie.

Rashida Tlaib at the Islamic Society of North America

Now to the issue of Rashida Tlaib: she took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States (not defend it, of course).  No sooner had she taken that oath, she turned around and threatened an innocent man with congressional impeachment, adding in a bit of profanity unacceptable under any circumstances, and in so doing, given her position as a member of Congress, assumed the guilt of a man who under the law of the land is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

None of this may matter, though … since even if we had an honest and forthright House of Representatives, there are no real punishments for lying to Congress if you happen to be a member of Congress.  The only sanctions offered by the House Ethics Committee are censure, reprimand, and expulsion.  In the entire history of the Congress, only five members have been expelled, all of whom were Democrats: three were expelled during the Civil War for violating their oaths to the US Constitution by joining the Confederacy, and two after being convicted of bribery during judicial proceedings (1980, 2002).  This is not to say that members haven’t been “reprimanded,” but nothing more drastic as punishment than having to write an essay and pay back the money you stole.

I’m not happy with people, particularly Moslems, who become members of our government and then begin to work against the interests of the American people.  They take oaths, then violate them, and no one ever holds them to account.  Since there are no real punishment for lying in Congress, it is no surprise to find so much dishonesty in that body.  No wonder the American people have such disdain for the Congress of the United States.  They’re liars.

 

Just who is Rashida Tlaib – of the vulgar impeachment remark fame?

 

By now most of us have heard of Rashida Tlaib, famous for her vulgar impeachment screed made recently. But just who is this piece of work? No surprise really. A Soros sponsored anti-Semitic Muslim for Congress gal. Let’s take a quick look. No doubt just a beginning.

Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) did not disclose the name of the source of funds for a fellowship that was paid by liberal billionaire George Soros—as required by the House ethics committee—and also disclosed a lesser amount than she received, according to a review of tax and financial disclosure forms. (She of course will get a pass.)

The Washington Free Beacon obtained the most recent copies of tax forms for a number of Soros’s organizations, including the Open Society Institute, the legal name for the Open Society Foundations, the entity in which Soros pushes millions in funding to a number of liberal causes and organizations.

An expenditure of $85,307 to Rashida Tlaib in Detroit, Mich., from 2017 is shown on page 97 of the 321-page report to “increase involvement of disenfranchised urban communities of color with their local governance process by creating a community benefits strategy for equitable development and creating a leadership training for impacted residents focused on negotiation skills and identifying leverage at the local level.”

Tlaib did not report any income in the amount of $85,307 on financial disclosure forms submitted as she was running for office, which identified the names of the sources that provided her income in three of four cases.

However, the fourth reported source of earned income is marked as a “Leadership in Government Fellowship,” but does not identify who provided the payment.

A press release from 2016 shows that Tlaib was chosen for a “leadership in government” fellowship by Soros’s Open Society Foundations along with seven other individuals.

Tlaib was paid $139,873 by Soros’s group in 2016, tax forms show. Between 2016 and 2017, Tlaib received a total of $225,180

More at Free Beacon

This just tops off the story.

Oversight Hearing on Clinton Foundation Blows Up – GOP Battles Own Witnesses

 

Apparently I have a very different take on the House Hearing on the Clinton Foundation matter than many others. I give kudos to Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch for the old college try. But anyone who follows him as he makes his rounds on Fox with his latest FOIA request pretty much knows his gig and what he has. Phillip Hackney was the Democrat’s choice to testify in a meaningless meandering until Meadows was kind enough to encourage a drill into Trump – don’t hold back. I include video of the hearing.

Then, it was all downhill for me as the Financial duo who has the stuff on the foundation began their testimony and headed into a major beating. As I followed twitter I was amazed. Hmm someone took that blue pill. But what a relief when I discover that the Washington Examiner doesn’t think things went so swell either:

Oversight panel hearing on Clinton Foundation blows up as GOP battles its own witnesses here

John Moynihan and Larry Doyle

 

I’ll let you wander over to the Examiner to read the claims these two fellows have against the Clintons and the Foundation. if you can get through the ads- worth it – but a taste of it follows.

A congressional hearing on the Clinton Foundation turned into a fiasco on Thursday after Republicans clashed with their own witnesses — two private investigators who refused to turn over documents that they claimed showed evidence of criminal wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation.

Two financial analysts who say they have uncovered evidence of pay-to-play and financial crimes at the Clinton Foundation, were invited to testify on their findings by the House Oversight Committee’s Republican Chairman Mark Meadows.

But tensions erupted between Meadows and the two witnesses after Moynihan and Doyle refused to turn over 6,000 pages of documents that they say back up their claims — documents that the pair has already given to the FBI and the IRS.

Snip

But Meadows questioned that explanation, saying he spoke to the IRS before the

Meadows

hearing and was told the witnesses’ work with the committee would have no impact on the status of the IRS investigation. “I don’t find how [refusing to turn over information] provides a good foundation for truth and transparency,” said Meadows.

Republican Rep. Jody Hice also criticized the witnesses. “I feel like you’re using us for your own benefit,” said Hice, adding that there was a “little game going on here.”

Moynihan argued that he and Doyle were invited to the hearing and would have happily not attended. “Let me be very clear. You invited us. If you don’t want us, disinvite us,” he said.

Moynihan added that there was no benefit to sharing the documents with the committee because congress doesn’t have law enforcement capabilities. “That’s why we presented to government agencies, which you’re not,” said Moynihan. Meadows promised to subpoena the documents from his witnesses.

“Don’t get cute with me,” he told Moynihan. “I thought you said you were all about the rule of law, all about the truth.”

This was just a small taste of the nasty banter, and most of the GOP on the committee were more than happy to join in the pummeling. I might add this was the last Meadows hearing he will ever have no doubt, and heck, might as well go out with a splash showing how impartial you are. Maybe getting turned down for the next Chief of Staff position might have left a bitter taste. More at Washington Examiner here

Tom Fitton

 

 

 

I have included the entire hearing. If you want to hear Fitton, enjoy. So now we hear again that good old Session’s team player U.S. Attorney John Huber who was supposedly keeping his eye on things, turned down the financial analysts evidence twice. But we sort of figured this was how it was going.

Fitton takes up the beginning. About 1:30 into it, the dynamic duo with the supposed reveal start a ten minute recitation of their acumen on this matter. Pass it if you like. If you want a bit of the fellow Hackney, back it up a bit.

So get out a cold one, some popcorn, ease back in that old recliner, and what the heck, do the whole darn video.

 

 

The House Oversight Government Operations Subcommittee holds a hearing on oversight of nonprofit organizations and restrictions to their political activities, with a focus on the New York-based Clinton Foundation.

Vote Tally Count Resolution in support of ICE – Immigration and Customs

 

Now this took real courage. Since the House – Paul Ryan- couldn’t get the courage to force a vote on disbanding Ice thus getting everyone on the record, let’s do it this way. A nonbinding feel good moment that should get everyone off the hook. But wait – did it? Voting “Present” should be worth being called out during the fall election period. Individual votes link below.

The one major surprise was Amash voting ‘No’ – is he in a Muslim District?

  R   Amash, Justin MI 3rd

The House passed a nonbinding resolution saying lawmakers support the “officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” A two-thirds majority was needed to pass it, and because Democrats voted “present” instead of “no,” it passed easily in a 244-35 vote.

The final vote saw just 18 Democrats vote for the resolution, and 34 Democrats vote against it. But the vast majority of Democrats, 133, voted “present.”

H.Res. 990: Supporting the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

For individual votes of Representatives broken down by State and district go HERE

 

H.Res. 990: Supporting the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

The 41 Republicans who killed the Goodlatte Immigration Reform Bill

 

In spite of the gnashing of teeth over the jacket our First Lady had on with the infamous statement: “I don’t really care do you?” which really sums up no doubt how she feels, the world did continue.

Look, as well, it is sad to lose Charles Krauthammer, but enough already Fox. Hours of non-stop tribute, I get it. He is your pal. I am sad too.

Now this morning we are back at the tribute as I thrash about trying to find something to post about that isn’t totally depressing.

OK.  Let’s look at the latest epic fail of GOP leadership as Ryan flails about doing his best to destroy the party on his way out the door. Paul, don’t let the door hit you whatever as you go out the door. You should have resigned as soon as you decided to hang it up to make the really big bucks.

So here voters can check their Rep to see if they were a “Nay” for further reference, and why not give him/her a jingle either way.

The House voted down an immigration reform bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Thursday that would have dramatically increased border security and provided a pathway to citizenship for roughly 700,000 of the 1.8 million so-called “Dreamers” living in the United States.

The bill — the more conservative option of two pieces of immigration legislation originally scheduled to be voted on this week — was defeated by a final vote of 193-231. No Democrats voted for the bill, and these 41 Republicans voted nay:

 House Vote #282
 Jun 21, 2018 2:11 p.m.
 Failed 193/231
On Passage of the Bill in the House
This bill would make sweeping changes to laws governing legal and illegal immigration. For legal immigration, it would end the diversity program and chain migration by eliminating the visa lottery green card program and green card programs for relatives other than spouses and minor children. And it would increase immigration …

Check out how your congressman voted Here

 

Following Thursday’s failure, leadership elected to postpone the vote on the second bill — authored by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other members of leadership — first until Friday and then again until next week. H/T: Washington Examiner

AG Jeff Sessions: “I’m Confident” Deputy AG Rosenstein Did Not Threaten Members of Congress

 

Sessions breeches..There has been a sighting with no less than Tucker Carlson. In celebration I will give you this piece of the interview which only proves some wishes are best left unfilled. In this case, watching Sessions churn and justify his department in general and in one Rod Rosenstein in particular, just might give one agita.

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions joined Tucker Carlson to discuss the shocking revelation today that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened members of Congress.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena emails, phone records and other documents of Republican lawmakers on the House Intel Committee back in January, confirming previous reports.

On Tuesday night Jeff Sessions told Tucker Carlson that he did not believe Rosenstein threatened Congress.

Jeff Sessions: well, I don’t know if they’ve confirmed that exactly. In fact the FBI Director, the senior ethics attorney for the Department of Justice who was in the room said that is a mischaracterization of really of what occurred… We understand in this department that we are accountable to the president and are accountable to Congress. (A real knee slapper – chuckle time.)

Tucker Carlson: Did the Deputy Attorney General threaten to subpoena the email or phone records of the members of the House Intel Committee?

Jeff Sessions: All I can say is Chris Wray and the senior ethics attorney and others and did not see it in that same fashion.

Via Tucker Carlson Tonight:

 

 

Bonus:

Jeff Sessions, praising Rachel Brand and Rod Rosenstein – now Rachel Brand resigns

 

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