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Shame on the Silent Christian Leaders Who Refuse to Stand Against Government Tyranny

There is only one thing more appalling than the Washington Supreme Court’s 9-0 ruling against religious liberty today. It is the silence of Christian leaders across America, leaders who choose convenience over confrontation, leaders who would rather be popular than prophetic, leaders who prefer the favor of people over the favor of God. Shame on these silent leaders. Today is a day to stand.

There are, of course, the handful of expected Christian voices protesting the court’s outrageous decision, as these justices ruled unanimously against florist Barronelle Stutzman, claiming that she discriminated against a longtime gay customer (named Robert Ingersoll) when she told him she couldn’t make the floral arrangement for his upcoming gay “wedding,” despite the fact that she had served him for years and despite her recommending three other florists who could do the arrangements for his wedding.

Instead, the court ruled that this 72-year-old grandmother who had employed gay workers and served gay customers for years, was required by law to participate in a gay wedding, even though this constituted a direct violation of her religious beliefs — beliefs which have been consistent and almost universally held among Christians for the last 2,000 years.

Not only so, but the court upheld the attack on her personal assets as well — her house, her savings, her retirement funds — by requiring her “to pay the attorneys’ fees that the ACLU racked up in suing her,” fees which could reach as high as one million dollars.

Previously, when Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, an aggressive liberal who brought the suit against Barronnelle, “announced he would accept $2,000 in penalties, $1 in fees and costs, plus an agreement not to discriminate in the future and to end further litigation,” Barronnelle rejected the proposed settlement.

She explained,

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process.

Today, on my radio show, shortly after the ruling was announced, and with the full weight of the state’s ruling hanging over her head, she told me she would do the same thing again (stating that when God changes His Word, she will change her mind) — also stating without the slightest trace of bitterness that she would gladly serve Robert Ingersoll should he come into her store today.

Where are the Christians?

Friends, what we are witnessing today is a breathtaking abuse of power, an extreme overreach by the government, a shocking example of LGBT activism out of control. Yet, over the next 7 days, church services will come and go without a word being spoken, and over the next 48 hours, the Christian blogosphere will remain relatively quiet. How can this be?

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, courageous Christian leader Basilea Schlink rebuked the silence of Christians immediately after Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass (Nov. 9, 1938), when the Nazis set synagogues on fire and vandalized Jewish places of business, also killing and beating some Jewish victims as well. And while I am not comparing gay activists and their allies to Nazis, and I am not comparing the Washington court’s ruling to Kristallnacht, I am comparing the silence of Christians then and now.

Please stop and read these words carefully.

Schlink wrote,

We are personally to blame. We all have to admit that if we, the entire Christian community, had stood up as one man and if, after the burning of the synagogues, we had gone out on the streets and voiced our disapproval, rung the church bells, and somehow boycotted the actions of the S.S., the Devil’s vassals would probably not have been at such liberty to pursue their evil schemes. But we lacked the ardor of love — love that is never passive, love that cannot bear it when its fellow men are in misery, particularly when they are subjected to such appalling treatment and tortured to death. Indeed, if we had loved God, we would not have endured seeing those houses of God set ablaze; and holy, divine wrath would have filled our souls. … Oh, that we as Germans and as Christians would stand aghast and cry out ever anew, “What have we done!” At every further evidence of our guilt may we repeat the cry. (From her book Israel, My Chosen People: A German Confession Before God and the Jews.)

What adds to the tragic irony of the moment is that in recent weeks, designers have said they will no longer work with Melania Trump and stores have dropped Ivanka Trump product lines, not because of deeply held religious beliefs, which are explicitly protected by the First Amendment, but because of political differences. And these companies and individuals are being praised by liberal Americans for standing on their convictions. But when a Christian florist politely declines a gay couple’s request to design the floral arrangements for their “wedding” ceremony, she is taken to court and threatened with the loss of her business and all her personal assets.

Where is the righteous Christian indignation? And where are the bleeding-heart liberals who claim to care about the persecuted underdog? (Remember: The ACLU with its massive resources is leading the charge against Barronnelle.)

I can respect Christian leaders who try to stay out of the culture wars because they don’t want to drive their LGBT neighbors and friends away from the gospel — as long as they speak up at times like this, when our fundamental liberties are being trashed and when a gracious Christian grandmother is being savaged by the state. But should they remain silent at a time like this, the next time they raise their voices on behalf of the LGBT community (and against the conservative evangelicals they so frequently attack) they will be shouting one message to the world: “I am a hypocritical coward!”

Let me urge you, then, to do three things: 1) share this article with others to help spread the word; 2) make a statement about this gross injustice however you can (on social media; to your family; from your pulpit — I’m urging every pastor reading this column to say something to your flock the next opportunity you have); 3) go to this website to stand with Barronnelle and her team; 4) pray for God to awaken the Church of America.

Will you take a stand today? (For more from the author of “Shame on the Silent Christian Leaders Who Refuse to Stand Against Government Tyranny” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


The Government Seized $100K From This California Family’s Bank Accounts, College Savings

James Slatic was sitting in a breakfast meeting when he heard the news.

An employee who worked for him and his medical marijuana business, Med-West Distribution, called to tell him he arrived at Med-West’s facility in San Diego, California, to find “25 police cars” outside.

It was Jan. 28, and on that day, an estimated 30 armed agents with the San Diego Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration raided Med-West, a company that manufactures cannabis oil cartridges for medical use, according to court filings.

The company has complied with state medical marijuana laws, registered with the city of San Diego and paid taxes to the IRS, the state, and the local government, Slatic, Med-West’s CEO, told The Daily Signal.

But the agents with the task force ended up seizing computers, records, equipment, and more than $324,000 from Med-West.

Police also arrested two employees working that day, but they were released and never charged with a crime.

“It was like a scene out of a bad movie,” Slatic said.

But for Slatic, the movie didn’t end there.

Five days later, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office froze bank accounts belonging to Slatic, his wife, Annette, and their two teenage daughters, Lily and Penny Cohen, under a procedure called civil asset forfeiture.

In total, law enforcement seized $55,258 from James Slatic’s checking and savings account, $34,175 from Annette Slatic’s account, and a combined $11,260 from Lily and Penny Cohen’s savings accounts—money designated to pay for college.

“This is the dirty secret of the justice system,” Slatic said of civil forfeiture. “When you’re a family person that’s been a law-abiding citizen and something like this happens, when you talk to the person on the street and say you’re a legal, licensed, regulated, tax-paying business, people are like, ‘Oh, they can’t do that.’”

“Well,” he continued, “that’s what everybody thinks, but unfortunately they can.”

A spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said the investigation into the Med-West and the raid conducted is ongoing, and the case under review.

“The primary mission of the asset forfeiture program is to enhance public safety by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals to perpetuate their criminal activity,” Tanya Sierra said in an email to The Daily Signal.

In the nine months since the family’s money was seized, police haven’t charged anyone with a crime.

Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute Med-West, as an amendment included in the federal budget for 2015 prohibits the Justice Department from prosecuting people acting in accordance with their state’s medical marijuana laws.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office also decided not to prosecute Med-West.

The company, however, ultimately shuttered. As a result, Slatic said 35 people lost their jobs.

Now, Slatic and his family, along with the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, are challenging the government’s seizure of their money—which sits in what the Institute for Justice calls “legal limbo”—in court.

“We’re going into debt while we fight what we consider to be an illegal government seizure,” Slatic said. “But we’re hopeful that our family will get justice and our kids will get their college savings back.”

‘Crossed Into Abuse’

Civil forfeiture is a tool that gives law enforcement the power to seize cash, cars, and property if they suspect it’s tied to a crime.

Law enforcement agencies argue the procedure is needed to curb money laundering and drug trafficking.

But civil forfeiture opponents point to cases like Slatic’s as evidence that police are abusing the tool and using it to put more money in their coffers.

According to a November report from the Institute for Justice, law enforcement in California forfeited nearly $280 million from 2002 to 2013.

“The zeal shown by police has crossed into abuse, and the only thing they’ve accomplished is to take nearly half a million dollars from an innocent family,” Wesley Hottot, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice representing Slatic, told The Daily Signal. “This case isn’t about crime fighting. It’s about policing for profit.”

Med-West legally operated in California—the state legalized medical marijuana in 1996—but in an affidavit filed with the courts that led to the seizure of the Slatics’ money, San Diego police Detective Mark Carlson cited state law that prohibits “chemical extraction” to manufacture marijuana as part of their justification to take the money.

Slatic, though, said that Med-West refined oils, and didn’t extract them.

Additionally, the Institute for Justice said in court filings that the equipment found at Med-West’s facilities cannot be used for chemical extraction.

“Critically, the equipment that Carlson describes—a rotary evaporator—can only be used for refinement,” the documents state. “Indeed, it is impossible to use a rotary evaporator to extract cannabis oil from raw marijuana, as expert testimony at the hearing will show.”

In his affidavit, Carlson said that the building where Med-West was located contained a “sophisticated clandestine” laboratory and distribution center—a characterization Hottot refutes.

“All of this was being done not in a clandestine fashion, but across the street from a Mercedes-Benz dealership in a commercial building,” he said. “The government knew it was there. They had been paying taxes. They weren’t hiding. They had a public website that mentioned what they did.”

Despite the allegations against Med-West, Slatic and the Institute for Justice are challenging the San Diego County district attorney’s seizure of money from the family’s personal bank accounts.

Med-West is challenging the government’s seizure of the $324,000 in a different case, as a criminal investigation is ongoing.

The law firm argued that the government’s seizure of the money belonging to the Slatics and their children is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution.

Additionally, California state law requires that the government be able to “trace” forfeitable property to a crime, which, according to the Institute for Justice, the government cannot do.

“The government can’t seize every penny from a family based on the mere suspicion that one member violated the law,” Hottot said. “It’s not just wrong, it’s unconstitutional.”

‘Deeply Troubled’

The civil forfeiture case against Slatic and his family comes just months after California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation reforming the state’s civil forfeiture laws.

Under the new laws, which take effect in January, law enforcement must secure a criminal conviction before forfeiting cash worth up to $40,000.

California is one of a handful of states that reformed their civil forfeiture laws this year, and legislation is making its way through the federal legislature.

Hottot, the lawyer with the Institute for Justice, said what happened to the Slatics demonstrates why further action is needed.

“There’s a troubling profit incentive for police and prosecutors to continue to do what’s happened here,” he said. “It has to stop, and we need major civil asset forfeiture reform in this country to make these sorts of seizures impossible.”

Hottot also said the Slatics’ case should serve as a “warning sign” for the American people in terms of how the tool is being used, particularly since law enforcement seized money not only from Slatic and his business, but also from his wife and daughters.

“If people knew how police and prosecutors can directly profit, I think they would be deeply troubled by how vulnerable their property is,” he said. “All it takes is one police officer alleging that one person committed a crime to take everything from an entire family.” (For more from the author of “The Government Seized $100K From This California Family’s Bank Accounts, College Savings” please click HERE)

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Americans Agree: Big Government Sucks but They Aren’t Willing to Cut Any of Its Programs

If you think the federal government is too big, most Americans agree with you.

The latest Gallup poll reveals that a majority of Americans (54 percent) think the federal government is trying to do too much. In the 25 years that Gallup has gauged “Americans’ Views of Government Role,” the American public has always answered the same, with two exceptions. In 1993, when concerns about the economy were especially high and Bill Clinton came into office, and immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Americans thought that government should do more.

But that feeling didn’t last long.

In the Clinton and Obama years, the percentage of Americans who thought government is doing too much stayed at higher levels than in the George W. Bush years. Gallup says that “[t]his most likely reflects a counteraction to perceptions that the two Democratic presidents were oriented toward increasing the government’s role.”

And indeed, the size and role of government has increased unabated the past 25 years, even under President Bush. (Remember Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind? Oh, and trillion-dollar budgets.)

While a majority of Americans think government is too big, studies repeatedly show that when it comes down to actual solutions, answers are sparse. Americans don’t want cuts and major reforms to entitlement spending — specifically Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending — which is the main driver of our $19 trillion national debt.

A 2011 New York Times/CBS News poll found that seven out of 10 Americans thought increasing deficits were a “very serious” problem, but “when asked to choose among cuts to Medicare, Social Security, or the nation’s third-largest spending program — the military — a majority by a large margin said cuts to the Pentagon.”

A 2016 Public Policy Poll shows that a staggering 88 percent of Americans oppose cutting Social Security benefits. A majority of Americans also said: they oppose privatizing Social Security by investing retirement money in the stock market (68 percent), are less likely to vote for a politician who thinks Social Security benefits should be cut (80 percent), and oppose raising the retirement age for Social Security eligibility (62 percent).

While Americans don’t want to see cuts to entitlement programs, something will have to change — and soon. As The Daily Signal reported, entitlement spending, on the current trajectory, will absorb all federal revenue in just 17 years. That means there will be no money to pay the interest on our national debt, for national security and defense, for anything.

When will things change, though? The Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, rarely ever talks about entitlement spending. When he does, he says he doesn’t want to make cuts, particularly to Social Security; he wants to find a way to save it. Naturally, Hillary Clinton also opposes cuts to entitlement spending.

Our presidential nominees aren’t the only ones who don’t want to do anything substantive to avoid the impending cliff — neither does Congress. As National Review has noted, the number of times “debt” or “deficit” was mentioned in Congress dropped sharply between 2011 and 2015, and Congress has left entitlement spending largely untouched.

Regardless of how many politicians, Republican or Democrat, want to avoid the inconvenient topic, in a few years they won’t be able to ignore it anymore. And the American voters shouldn’t ignore it, either. In order to lessen the impact of Social Security or Medicare going bankrupt, it would be better to start addressing the inevitable now. That requires courage, though, and when you look at Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or the “leaders” in Congress, is that the first word that comes to mind? (For more from the author of “Americans Agree: Big Government Sucks but They Aren’t Willing to Cut Any of Its Programs” please click HERE)

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Holy War: Government Tries to Control Church Sermons

An Iowa church just wants to be free to preach the gospel, but the state’s so-called nondiscrimination requirements could block the house of worship from doing just that.

Lawyers for the church are asking a federal court to prevent Iowa from censoring what the religious group can say about homosexuality, same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism and other related topics.

The case erupted when the state’s Civil Rights Commission first claimed the authority to control the content of sermons and then to define what’s religious.

At issue is the state’s nondiscrimination requirements that specify any “public accommodation” can be ordered not to say anything that might make a homosexual or a transgender feel “unwelcome,” such as even reading from the Bible a condemnation of such behavior.

Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing the church, have filed a reply in support of their motion for a preliminary injunction that would protect the church members’ constitutional rights while the case plays out. (Read more from “Holy War: Government Tries to Control Church Sermons” HERE)

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Why Over Half of Prince’s Estate Will Go to the Government

maxresdefaultIt appears that the pop star Prince may have died without a will, leaving behind a multi-million dollar and growing estate. Although Prince has one full sister and five half-siblings, Prince’s family members will not be his biggest heirs.

Both the federal government and Minnesota’s state government will assess so-called “death taxes” or estate taxes on Prince’s assets, taking away more than half his estate. Between his physical assets—cash, investments, home, etc.—and his future royalties, Prince’s estate has been estimated to be between $300 and $500 million.

If Prince were married, he could have passed on the entirety of his estate to his spouse tax free. However, without a spouse, only $1.6 million of Prince’s estate will be free from Minnesota’s death tax and only $5.45 million will escape the federal death tax.

The combination of Minnesota’s top death tax rate of 16 percent, plus the federal government’s 40 percent rate, means that over 50 percent of Prince’s estate will go to the government.

Had Prince known ahead of time that he would die at such a young age, he may have been able to reduce the government’s reach into his estate through tax planning, but with a fortune as large as his, the government’s claim to his estate was inevitable.

While Prince was probably not all that concerned with the death tax—particularly since his early death was unexpected—he probably didn’t change his behavior all that much in response to the death tax. But most people who pay the death tax are not like Prince—they don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars, and some don’t even have a hundred thousand dollars in cash if their assets are all tied up in the value of their family business.

When the owner of a family business dies without leaving behind a large pile of cash or other liquid assets, the family often has to sell the business to pay the death tax. That can have devastating employment consequences. A 2014 analysis of the death tax by The Heritage Foundation found that its harmful effects on savings, investment, and capital reduces employment by 18,000 jobs each year.

While it’s tempting to think that the government’s reach into Prince’s massive estate isn’t all that harmful to the pop star or his heirs, the death tax has been devastating to many small businesses and the communities in which they operate. (For more from the author of “Why Over Half of Prince’s Estate Will Go to the Government” please click HERE)

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International Report Sends Terrifying Warning to Governments: ‘Prepare for Catastrophes Like Yellowstone Eruption’

It’s long been known that if the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt at full force the loss of life would be substantial and the effects on the world’s climate would be disastrous — water sources would be fouled, crops would fail, many people would die directly and indirectly.

In an international report that has recently captured headlines, scientists have attempted to quantify the threat of such catastrophes while also urging governments worldwide to collaborate on investment in scientific research to better prepare the world in hopes of lessening the impacts of such a calamity.

“I think the paper and its contents are very valuable,” said Bob Smith, a University of Utah researcher who has long studied the geodynamics of Yellowstone, even if certain websites tend to sensationalize the findings to the “point of annoyance.”

The warnings and recommendations are contained in “Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience.” The report was supported by the European Science Foundation and included an international cast of authors with expertise in such diverse fields as economics, health and earth sciences.

“It’s one of the only reports I’ve ever seen that takes a geologic perspective in thinking about hazards,” said Jake Lowenstern, a research geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. (Read more from “International Report Sends Terrifying Warning to Governments: ‘Prepare for Catastrophes Like Yellowstone Eruption'” HERE)

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Has America’s Social Fabric Been Torn Asunder?

The government depends upon mass, voluntary compliance with the law for it to be able to enforce the rules on society as a whole.

Simple things like a general agreement that if the speed limit says 55 miles per hour, that we will travel somewhere in the general proximity of that posting, with the outliers risking a ticket.

The understanding that we drive on the right hand side of the road and that slower vehicles stay to the far right on multi-lane highways make the free flow of traffic possible.

But events over the weekend make a reasonable person wonder whether the constant fraying of the social contract has finally created a tear that is rapidly becoming irreparable.

In malls across the country, thousands of people congregated, not for the purposes of shopping, going to a movie or simply enjoying each other’s company, but instead with the goal of disrupting people from using the already hard pressed brick and mortar stores for their intended purpose.

At Minneapolis’ Mall of America, the radical Black Lives Matter group even went so far as to feint a protest so there would be a heavy police presence, allowing them to shut down part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport during the height of the Christmas travel season. Beyond the obvious problem that their actions caused hundreds of people to miss their flights home, they deliberately placed thousands at an additional risk of a terrorist attack due to distracted security.

Mall disruptions also were reported in New Jersey, Kentucky and elsewhere around the country. When combined with flash mob convenience store robberies and random assaults by mobs playing the “knockout game”, it would be hard to not notice that something is badly amiss.

Even our assumed driving rules are under attack. On the Washington, D.C. Beltway, a group of approximately fifty motorcyclists caused a delay as they uniformly slowed down across all the lanes bringing traffic to a standstill. As they got moving again, they aggressively cut cars off from passing, and even went so far as to drive north bound up the south bound lanes. There did not appear to be any political or other message in the motorcycle foolishness, but instead the mass act of civil disobedience seems to have been done just because they could. However, it reveals the fragility of our common understanding about the need to follow the rules.

While it is usually dangerous to draw broad societal assumptions based upon flash mobs at malls, roadways or even political protests blocking bridges, it is safe to note that these occurrences are becoming significantly more frequent.

And it is fair to tie this civil disobedience to President Obama’s continued attack on the law as a whole. When the President doesn’t enforce the nation’s immigration laws, people naturally believe that if the law isn’t going to be enforced then it is null and void, and the fabric of our nation’s social contract is torn.

When Obama nullifies sentencing decisions for thousands of drug dealers and others, releasing them back into their former neighborhoods it sends a message that the system was wrong and the fabric tears a little more.

And when the left and some on the right make those who seek to enforce the laws, targets for attack and murder, creating a schism of fear between the protector and the protected, the fabric itself becomes unrecognizable.

The social fabric that binds America together as one has always been fragile, and to complete the fundamental transformation that Obama strives to achieve, it must be torn asunder from top to bottom in a wholesale surrender of the current rule of law to another set of laws composed not through consent, compromise and agreement, but instead through forced acquiescence.

America should not worry about getting on a slippery slope away from rule by the consent of the governed, because we are already half-way down the slide and few have noticed.

As more and more people read the news and wonder what is happening to their country thinking that the craziness that seems to ooze from our government is an anomaly rather than the forced new normal under Obama, a ballot box response erupts if there is a trusted alternative.

Something to think about as we head into the presidential primary season. (For more from the author of “Has America’s Social Fabric Been Torn Asunder?” please click HERE)

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How the American Government Is Trying to Control What You Think

NASA tweeting that Congress should give it more money so our astronauts won’t have to ride on Russian rockets. reporting overly optimistic statistics on jobs saved and created by stimulus funds. The Department of Health and Human Service Web site encouraging the public to “state your support for health care reform” during the congressional debate over Obamacare.

These are just some recent examples of the executive branch using our tax dollars to shape our opinions. Unlike the National Security Agency’s personal data collection or the overuse of “secret” stamps to withhold information, this government-produced propaganda receives almost no attention. But that doesn’t mean this “third dimension” of government information is not a problem. America becomes less democratic when the $3 trillion executive branch uses its resources to tilt the debate in its favor.

Of course, a democratic government has an obligation to inform and be transparent. Citizens need to know the government’s policies and plans. We have a right to know which companies receive government contracts, how to collect insurance benefits and social security payments and what public school educational reform will look like. But too often, the government uses its information machinery to do more than simply inform us about a policy. Sometimes, it tries to persuade us to adopt a particular position, regardless of its efficacy.

Consider, for example, the Department of Labor’s campaign to raise the minimum wage, a topic on which there is considerable debate. Raising the minimum wage, the Congressional Budget Office points out, will eliminate some jobs. Still, the government devotes a Web page to the topic that proclaims, “See how raising the national minimum wage will benefit America’s workers.” Americans are invited to tell the Labor Department why they “support raising the federal minimum wage.” Twitter users can see a video of a squiggle of mustard spelling out “#RaiseTheWage” on a hot dog, a reference to the recent interest group advocacy to pay fast-food employers more money. The Labor Department’s Web page treats raising the minimum wage as an unalloyed good and labels possible job losses a “myth.”

Such aggressive communications are neither novel nor exceptional. Government agencies historically have made a habit of crossing the blurry line between informing the public and propagandizing. (Read more from “How the American Government Is Trying to Control What You Think” HERE)

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This Many People in the U.S. Believe the Government Is an Immediate Threat

biggest-tech-companies-team-object-government-spyingAlmost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude.

The latest results are from Gallup’s Sept. 9-13 Governance poll. The lower percentage of Americans agreeing in 2003 that the federal government posed an immediate threat likely reflected the more positive attitudes about government evident after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The percentage gradually increased to 44% by 2006, and then reached the 46% to 49% range in four surveys conducted since 2010.

The remarkable finding about these attitudes is how much they reflect apparent antipathy toward the party controlling the White House, rather than being a purely fundamental or fixed philosophical attitude about government.

Republican agreement with the “immediate threat” statement has been higher during the Obama administration than was Democratic agreement during the Bush administration, thus accounting for the overall rise in agreement across all national adults. (Read more from “This Many People in the U.S. Believe the Government Is an Immediate Threat” HERE)

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The Legitimacy of Government Has Cracked

Battle_of_Guiliford_Courthouse_15_March_1781Alaska’s prolife legislative majority took the mistaken action of accepting case law in regards to “medically necessary” abortions, and as predicted, wasted their time parsing through it in order to discern a tiny opening and a moral lifeline to grab, through statutory law.

The “hierarchy of law” is an ancient concept that some laws are more important than others. In our rancorous and increasingly nonsensical political climate, everyone accepts this idea. Just which laws are more important than others is where the argument exists.

In order of priority, once upon a time, natural law reigned supreme, followed by constitutional law, statutory law, common law and, way down at the bottom, case law.

Long ago, through a drawn-out process that was aided by cowardice, ignorance, ambition and pride, the legislative and executive branches of government, on both the state and federal level, abdicated the field of battle in our political wars to the judiciary, which creates case law. You may have read it was never meant to be this way. There were remedies to this usurpation, but they were only seldom exercised.

What is worse, the existence of natural law (inherently placed in the heart of man), and common law (unwritten laws of tradition), have been expunged completely from the cultural debate; constitutional law has been allowed to morph into “whatever the judiciary says it is”; statutory law has been permitted only if the judiciary likes it; and case law, the body of opinion that the judiciary creates by applying the other laws, has been elevated to god-like status.

It has trumped the laws that actually were God-given to us, on Mt. Sinai.

Law schools don’t like to do much else except have the students study case law, case law, case law. Ask any lawyer. Case laws are thick, heavily foot-noted, buried deep in the judicial archives, and are understood only by the lawyer class — which, of course, includes judges, who take the thread of a decision and expand meanings, definitions and applications … and are only understood by the lawyer class.

Indeed, the lawyer jokes that we, and even lawyers, love to tell are based upon this dimly understood but universally sensed fact.

The legitimacy of government has cracked in our society. It is through, finished, wiped out, and you could point to Roe v. Wade as the starting point, but there are many others further back that are equally, if more subtly, significant.

Case law has been maintained only by the desire for the coherence of a public and political order at the expense of a moral one. Yet order and coherence itself are destroyed by such “laws”, even if not immediately recognized.

A moral society really is not the business of government. That belongs to religion, which has demoted itself out of the cultural debate, except in things the government likes. A significant reason for this is socialism, where morality and charity, long the universe of religion, has been turned over to government, with compliant clergy cheerleading the way.

A political answer through statutory law, nullification, impeachment or even secession, are constitutional and political remedies that can be sustained only by a culture that understands the natural and constitutional law, yet when was the last time you heard natural law preached from any pulpit? Or constitutional law properly explained at any institutional level?

Well, at this writing, it appears that Tennessee is going to give it a try.

In his best-selling book Nullification, Thomas Woods had predicted this would happen: that states would begin to awaken to the fact that the entire system of Judicial Activism has no foundation in the Constitution, but rather relies upon 1) the judiciary’s own encroachment, 2) the legislative, executive and state willingness to permit it, and 3) public Constitutional ignorance, that thinks the system is meant to operate in the way it has.

Several things are bound to happen: 1) the courts will “nullify” the state law; 2) the Lamestream Media will ridicule the Tennessee action as akin to Jim Crow racism; 3) having satisfied their profamily constituency that they did all that they could, the legislature will cave in … MAYBE.

I say “maybe” because, at some point, it’s not going to happen. Just who/what/when/where, I don’t know. But at some point, it will. We study history for a reason. Natural Law can be defied only so long. The audition for “Who Wants to Make History?” is wide open.

It’s not Constitutional rocket science. What it needs is the one thing that makes it all happen: courage.

The Alaska legislature, which had absolutely no problem nullifying potential new federal gun laws, might be hesitant to do so in other things, yet it ought to consider a plethora of court decisions to nullify: starting with Roe v. Wade, Kelo v. New London, Obergefell v. Hodges, etc.

But, what does it take to rouse us from lethargy?

The progressive zeitgeist has forcing us to accept convoluted case law for generations, and we are used to it. Those who resist will be branded, ostracized, arrested, fired, fined, or imprisoned. I’m sure you’ve noticed that these are not future or theoretical events anymore.

And, what’s left? Perhaps, ultimately, execution. Governments do that, you know.

The latest absurd “laws” perpetrated by the lawyer class through the courts, on the state and federal level, have no real remedy other than the evangelization of our culture through religion. Sending messages to our sympathetic government officials, running for office ourselves, or even nullification, will have no effect unless the people understand, accept and are taught the Natural Law. What’s more, most law-makers merely act through the tiny and ever-shrinking windows left open to them by the tyrants.

The Tennessee action is different, but it is going to require allies in other states. My first bet is with Oklahoma, then perhaps Wyoming, Montana … and why not Alaska?

But civil disobedience, and suffering the consequences that result from it, might be what is required. Suffering and evangelization is a slow process, and no one likes that idea, but “slow” also translates into “more permanent”. It involves things that are not gladly performed, such as prayer, penance and sacrifice. It also needs leadership.

We have reached rock bottom, but such a situation has its advantages. To rebuild, we must turn to Faith, and if our shepherds refuse to lead, then the sheep must show them the way.

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