On Friday, October 6th President, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, released sweeping religious liberty protections.   Contained in these protections is a reversal of ObamaCare’s conception mandate.  Most of these religious liberty protections are nothing new at all.  They are contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  Unfortunately that clause has been ignored completely by those promoting the mythical constitutional provision called the separation of church and state.  Here are excerpts from the new guidelines:

Religious liberty is enshrined in the text of our Constitution and in numerous federal statutes. It encompasses the right of all Americans to exercise their religion freely, without being coerced to join an established church or to satisfy a religious test as a qualification for public office. It also encompasses the right of all Americans to express their religious beliefs, subject to the same narrow limits that apply to all forms of speech. In the United States, the free exercise of religion is not a mere policy preference to be traded against other policy preferences. It is a fundamental right.

Attorney General Sessions is mostly correct in this statement.  I’m not sure exactly what limits he is talking about.  The Free Exercise Clause demands that the federal government refrain from meddling in the exercise of religion in any way.  Any restrictions of religious practices were left to the individual States where the people living there can keep their government from abusing this most sensitive power.   The States, rather that the federal government, have the authority to ban such harmful practices as human sacrifice, ritual mutilation, and polygamy.

The Free Exercise Clause protects not just the right to believe or the right to worship; it protects the right to perform or abstain from performing certain physical acts in accordance with one’s beliefs. Federal statutes, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”), support that protection, broadly defining the exercise of religion to encompass all aspects of observance and practice, whether or not central to, or required by, a particular religious faith.

Attorney General Sessions is correct on this particular protection, which dates back to the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Constitutional protections for religious liberty are not conditioned upon the willingness of a religious person or organization to remain separate from civil society. Although the application of the relevant protections may differ in different contexts, individuals and organizations do not give up their religious-liberty protections by providing or receiving social services, education, or healthcare; by seeking to earn or earning a living; by employing others to do the same; by receiving government grants or contracts; or by otherwise interacting with federal, state, or local governments.

The Free Exercise of Religion Clause prevents the federal government from interfering with the religious beliefs of anyone.  This includes all individual and all groups of individuals.  There are no exceptions to this clause so the Attorney General is correct with this statement,

RFRA protects the exercise of religion by individuals and by corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies. For example, the Supreme Court has held that Hobby Lobby, a closely held, for-profit corporation with more than 500 stores and 13,000 employees, is protected by RFRA.

The right of conscious has always been a key component of the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  It is one of the God=given Natural Rights protected by that clause.  Because of the First Amendment, the Obama Administration was absolutely wrong when it tried to force individuals, companies, and religious organizations to violate their religious principles.  Sessions was right to set aside the contraception mandate however his justification was flawed when he cited the RFRA as his sole justification.

A careful examination of the drafting of the First Amendment will prove that the Attorney General’s guidelines are all contained in the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.  Here is an excerpt from the Virginia Ratifying Convention for the Constitution, when the Free Exercise of Religion Clause was proposed.  This took place on June 27, 1788.

20th. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men have an equal, natural, and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established, by law, in preference to others.

Here is an early Draft of First Amendment by James Madison.  This passage is from the House of Representatives transcripts from the drafting of the Bill of Rights, June 8 1789

Fourthly. That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

Here is a later Draft from August 15, 1789, which was read by Mr. Doudinot, who was sitting as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole

Article 1. Section 9. Between paragraphs two and three insert “no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.

Here is the discussion that followed that reading:

Mr. [Daniel] Carroll.–As the rights of conscience are, in their nature, of peculiar delicacy, and will little bear the gentlest touch of governmental hand; and as many sects have concurred in opinion that they are not well secured under the present constitution, he said he was much in favor of adopting the words. He thought it would tend more towards conciliating the minds of the people to the Government than almost any other amendment he had heard proposed.

Mr. Madison said, he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience.

As you can see from this excerpt, the right of conscious is an integral component of the Free Exercise Religion Clause of the First Amendment.  This has been repeatedly ignored by the federal government for over almost 100 years.  The guidelines issued by Attorney General Sessions simply restore this clause back to the original meaning.  Unfortunately a future president can simply ignore it and return us back to where we were before its release.  We the people need to insist the federal government follow the original meaning of this extremely important clause.

Here is a link to the full text of President Trump’s tax plan.

The Good

No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes.  This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.

That is a huge improvement over the current corporate tax brackets which tops out at 35%.  That should spur much needed job growth.

No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

With the death tax so outrageously high, so many businesses are liquidated to pay off the taxes rather that pass on the business to the next generation.  With this proposal businesses will more likely be passed down generation to generation.

Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income.

Lobbyists from large corporations spend tremendous amounts of money to buy members of congress so they can write tax breaks into the tax codes.  These tax breaks favor the large corporations which then makes it more difficult for small companies to compete.  This reduces that problem.

A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate.

How many billions of dollars are horded overseas by US corporations?  Reducing this rate will allow this money to flow back here.  This rate should be kept at ten percent instead of raising it back up.

The Bad

If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – Over 50% –from the income tax rolls.

Already 47 percent pay no federal income taxes while so many of them collect federal benefits such as welfare and food stamps.  This will only exacerbate that situation.  Everyone should pay some income taxes so they feel the pain of having to pay for entitlement.  With much needed economic growth there will be a greatly reduced need for entitlements.

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by…Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phase-out and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions.

Tax cuts never have to be paid for. They eventually pay for themselves by increased revenue resulting from greatly increased economic growth. Increasing the burden on the rich will only wipe out any positive benefits of a reduced business tax rate.  Three cheers for soaking the rich!!! What do they contribute to society?  Maybe they create most of the jobs, create new businesses, and invest in businesses.

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become unnecessary or redundant. Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions. Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions.  Charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.

Once again, shifting more of the tax burden on the rich will only nullify any positive benefits.

Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible.

The whole purpose of this tax plan is to increase economic growth which will result in more jobs.  Increasing the burden on corporations, who create lots of jobs, to pay for tax breaks on middle and lower income individuals is yugely counterproductive.

The Ugly

The spineless Republicans in the Senate will most likely not pass this or any other tax reform.

We need a flat tax and reduced spending.

An across the board 10 percent tax rate on every individual and business will unleash tremendous economic growth.   All federal spending will need to be slashed to a level that will result in surpluses large enough to eliminate the debt in a generation.  That is the only way to restore the United States to economic greatness.  Sadly the individuals we keep electing to congress do not have the courage to carry out such a bold plan.  We the people must elect better people.

Thanks to our colleges, high schools, Hollywood, and the news media; very few Americans truly understand the concept of freedom of speech in its entirety.   I see, on such a regular basis, so many misconceptions about one of our most important God-given Natural rights.  When it comes to freedom of speech, the behavior of a certain segment of the political spectrum has become most appalling.  Silencing those with differing political and religious beliefs has become a natural reaction to a great many on the political left.  If you don’t agree with that statement, please explain to me recent events such as: tens of thousands showing up in Boston to silence a small group standing up for free speech, riots at Berkeley because one individual was scheduled to speak, Antifa beating people who dare to share opinions they don’t agree with, safe spaces on college campuses,  and so much more.

Freedom of speech is not granted to us by the First Amendment.  Each one of us is granted that right, along with all of our rights, directly by God.   The First Amendment preserves that right by preventing the federal government from interfering with that right in any way.  State Constitutions contain a Bill of Rights which protects free speech, along with other Natural Rights, of those living in that state against violations by the state and local governments.  If the First Amendment granted us the right of freedom of speech then deleting or changing that amendment would take it away.   The federal government, mostly through the efforts of an out of control Supreme Court, has distorted the meaning of the First Amendment so much that it is now used as a weapon to silence individuals and groups.   That violates the God-given Natural Right of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is far more important than people’s feelings.  There is no right to live your life free from being offended.  Everyone has a right to be offended by whatever offends them however no one has a right to silence anyone for any reason.  Not listening or saying something back is the only valid responses.  Political correctness is fundamentally wrong because its adherents seek to silence anyone and anything that offends them.  Political correctness is nothing but censorship by mob rule.  This does not violate the First Amendment because that amendment only restricts the federal government.  PC censorship does violate the God-given Natural Right of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech applies to everyone.  This includes the vilest, most hate filled individuals and groups.  This view was shared by those that wrote and ratified the First Amendment.  Even though I completely detest the Ku Klux Klan, along with everything they stand for, I fully support their right to spew their hate filled garbage.

Freedom of speech protects hate speech.  Far too often hate speech is nothing more than speech that offends someone.  It is all too common today for members of the political left to label speech, ideas, and philosophies of those on the political right as hate speech and attempt to ban those ideas.  This behavior is rampant on American colleges and universities.  Even truly hateful speech is protected.  As stated before, even the garbage spewed by the Ku Klux Klan is protected by freedom of speech.

No one has a right to use their speech to silence anyone.  Mobs or individuals shouting down or drowning out other speakers is not an exercise in free speech. It is a violation of the free speech of the original group or individuals that are trying to speak. It is also a violation of the right of an audience to listen to what they want to hear. Everyone has a right to speak and be heard no matter how vile and disgusting they are. Everyone has a right to listen to whatever they want to listen to. With the mob approach, free speech is only reserved for the largest and angriest mobs. This approach will only lead to violence, which has happened all too often recently.  The events in Boston last month were a disgusting display of misguided individuals silencing others.  The media falsely labeled the original rally as hate speech by white supremacists and tens of thousands showed up to silence them, drown them out, or force the cancelation of the event.   Even if the rally was organized by white supremacists, no one had a right to silence them in any way.  Silently protesting them; while carrying signs, or peacefully and respectfully trying to engage in debate, would have been proper techniques to protest such an event.

Freedom of speech is a two way street.  Everyone has a right to criticize speech and behavior they do not agree with.  Criticism is in no way a violation of the original speaker’s right of free speech.  I am regularly critical of speech I do not like along with individuals and groups who engage in speech and behavior I don’t like.  Often I use harsh or angry language when I criticize what I don’t like.  Everyone is free to do the same.  I never call for anyone to be silenced no matter how vehemently I disagree with what they have to say.

Speech is never violence.  This claim has repeatedly been made by the group Antifa who use this claim as an excuse to use violence against those they disagree with.  Because of this behavior Antifa is nothing more than a mob of angry thugs.

Violence is never the answer to anything.  That includes speech that you do not agree with or that offends you.

Censorship is always wrong.  Facebook and Twitter regularly censor conservative and other right leaning posts, advertising, articles, and memes.  The First Amendment and state Bills of Rights do not prevent this behavior because they are private companies.  This censorship does violate the God-given Natural right of freedom of speech therefore it is wrong.  Individuals have every right to not use those social media outlets and implore others not to use them.   I regularly use those social media outlets to rail against their vile censorship.  I will share this article on both sites.

Forcing others to be patriotically correct or morally correct is just as wrong as forcing others to be politically correct.  We on the right also engage in our own censorship, although it is not as out of control as that of the political left.  There is nothing wrong with encouraging others to speak and behave as you wish.  It is absolutely wrong to force others to comply and to silence them if they do not.

If you agree with this article, can you please share it on Facebook and Twitter?

Ever since the nomination of President Trump the media began to recycle those tired old clichés.  I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about.  The most often recited claims are that all those on the political right are Fascists and those same people are all bigots.   Neither of those claims is remotely true but that does not stop the media from spreading them.

A thorough analysis of the first claim will prove it to be factually and historically flawed.  At the historical root of this claim is a tiny bit of truth.  Dating back to before the French Revolution, members of the Fascist party did sit on the right side of parliaments in Europe while the Socialists sat on the left side.  This artificial model, based on seating arrangements alone, is the historical basis for this claim. There is no commonality between the political philosophies of the European Fascists and the political philosophies of the right-wing political movements that exist in the United States.  The framers of the Constitution created their own model to describe the political spectrum, one that is based entirely on fundamental truths about the nature of government.  Using this model, which has been called the founders model, you can accurately place any form of government or political philosophy on the political spectrum based on its actual characteristics.  W. Cleon Skousen discussed the founders’ model in great detail in his masterpiece “The 5000 Year Leap.”

The founders’ model measures the size and scope of government for any given philosophy.  On the absolute right of this model is no government.  What results with no government is anarchy because people are not perfect; some injure others and interfere with the fights of others.  A certain level of government is needed to prevent this from happening.  On the left is an all powerful totalitarian government where no freedom exists.

The first constitution of the United States, the Articles of Confederation, created a government that was too far to the right.  This government was too limited and anarchy resulted.  The framers of the Constitution sought to correct this by creating a government a bit more to the left.  The government created by the US Constitution was powerful enough to prevent anarchy but limited enough to prevent it from interfering with the rights of individual citizens.  The fundamental characteristics of this government were: all government power rested with the people, a small and limited government of enumerated powers, a clearly spelled out written constitution, government power distributed between many levels, a free market economy, maximum freedom, and a focus placed entirely on individual rights.    The philosophy fully embraced by the framers of the Constitution when they wrote the Constitution is Classic Liberalism, which is the opposite of Modern Liberalism.  Classic Liberalism and the Constitution are to the right of center on the founders’ modem.

Right leaning Libertarians are the closest modern equivalent to classic liberals.  Conservativism is more to the left on the founders’ model because that philosophy wants the federal government to intrude more when it comes to social issues.  This move to the left results in a government large enough to move the needle just to the right of center.  Conservatives believe in individual rights, a constitutionally limited government, and free markets.  They however try to use the federal government to ban those practices that they find morally unacceptable.

Here is how Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines Fascism.  As you can see Fascism is primarily characterized by a strong totalitarian central government, collective rather than individual rights, and a market that is not free at all.  Fascism in near the absolute left of the founders’ model.  Unlike Fascists, Conservatives believe in free speech so they do not silence those they disagree with.  Also conservatives do not focus on race.  Conservative favorites include Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and so many other African Americans,

Socialism and Communism are both farther towards the absolute left of the founders’ model.  They feature more totalitarian government, more collectivism, and less freedom.  Modern Liberalism and Progressivism have a lot in common with Fascism, Socialism, and Communism.  Liberalism and Progressivism both feature much larger and oppressive government, less freedom, collective rights rather than individual rights, and a much less free market economy.  Also these philosophies focus extensively on race with identity politics.

Intolerance and bigotry are not the exclusive domain of the political right unfortunately the media continuously makes that claim.  Intolerance and bigotry are tragic human failings that encompass the entire political spectrum.  Because the political left believes in much larger governments intolerant and bigoted people on left can do more harm.  Hitler was a fascist therefore he was a left winger.  The Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party, sounds very left wing to me.

All hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and neo Nazis are labeled right wing but are they?  Democrats formed the Klan during reconstruction.  Most Klan members are Democrats.  The Southern, slave holding States were controlled by Democrats along with the Southern states during Segregation.  As I stated earlier Nazis were on the political left.  The Neo-Nazis advocate for the same National Socialism therefore they are also on the left. This article shares my assessment.

The Tea Party, which is the most right wing of all political movements based on its political philosophy, was vilified right from the start as a mob of racists and bigots.  There was never any proof of these accusations.  There were racist signs seen at Tea Party rallies but these racist signs made up roughly 3 percent of all Tea party signs, that is according to the a New York Times survey.

We must correct these incorrect statements whenever possible.

I was never a “never Trumper” nor was I ever an enthusiastic supporter.  Donald Trump was at the absolute bottom of the list of Republican contenders for me all during the primaries.  I studied his speeches and positions on all of the issues and found him to be a big government type with beliefs on a lot of issues aligned more closely with moderate Democrats than Republicans.

As a Libertarian, I absolutely abhorred the thought of Hillary Clinton, or any other radical leftist, being elected president this election cycle.  Eight years of President Obama and his destructive progressive governance was bad enough.  I could not envision another four years of the same failed policies.

I would have loved to have voted for a Libertarian; unfortunately none ran in the last election.  Yes Gary Johnson did run, however he is a Libertarian in Name Only.   His only claim to fame is marijuana legalization.

When Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination I became a very reluctant Trump supporter.  I agreed with a lot of his campaign promises but I did not believe he would carry through with many of them.  That to me was still a vast improvement over the other alternatives.

On one key issue alone I was an enthusiastic supporter.  During the campaign President Trump released a list of potential Supreme Court Justices.  Every single one was a strict constitutionalist, something I greatly approve of.  That list was the only reason I voted for President Trump.  With the nomination and eventual confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump fulfilled that campaign promise in magnificent fashion.

During the election President Trump promised to undo the regulatory behemoth unconstitutionally thrust upon us by President Obama.  Through the use of executive orders President Trump has in large part carried out this pledge.  I have been an outspoken critic of presidents who abuse executive orders.  President Trump using executive orders to undo regulations placed on us by a predecessor through executive orders does not violate the Constitution.  President Obama’s use of executive orders to enact these regulations did violate the Constitution because these regulations were given the force of law despite never being passed by congress.

The border wall promised so often during the campaign is still a work in progress but it is too soon to say if President Trump will keep his promise on this key issue.  I believe if the wall does not get built the blame will lie with a congress controlled by spineless Republicans.

I believe President was on the wrong side during the ObamaCare repeal.  He sided with the big government Republicans instead of the American people who wanted a full repeal.  I do not agree with him on infrastructure.  The federal government should play absolutely no role in this issue.  States and local governments alone should solve this problem. The federal government can only waste money and add a bureaucratic quagmire,

The biggest losers in the election were members of the out of control liberal media.  They completely unmasked themselves as a radical progressive mod that lacks any objectivity.  It was great seeing President Trump take on the whole lot of them during the campaign and keep up the fight during the first six months of his presidency.   I applaud his use of Twitter to continue the fight.  I wish he would use a more polished approach to do battle.  He flies of the handle too easily on trivial issues and he needs to improve his communication skills.  Just imagine what a great communicator like President Reagan would do with a Twitter account.

The Republicans in control of both houses are failing the American people much more than President Trump has.  They do not have the courage or the vision to do what is right for the American people.  Too many people make this failure of the Republicans in congress out to be just about enacting the Trump agenda.  Limited government, free market principles, and upholding the Constitution are the principles the President and congress should enact.

The title of this article is not just a slogan; those are words amateur radio operators live by.  Whenever there is a major disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane, amateur radio proves to be the only form of communication into and out of the disaster area.  This was especially true during Hurricane Katrina.  The winds and storm surge devastated the regular telephone service, cellular communications networks, police communications, fire communications, and the internet, along with the electric power grid.  Over a thousand amateur radio operators converged on the disaster area and very quickly re-established communications with the affected agencies and over 200 evacuation centers.

Amateur radio operators work very closely with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, local police and fire, along with many other agencies to provide emergency communications.  Emergency communication is what amateur radio operators do best.  Immediately after a disaster we can get on the air because our equipment is portable and can be powered by a car battery or a small generator.  A slingshot and some rope are all it takes to get a wire antenna up into a tree.   A mast of PVC or metal pipe will also work as an antenna support.  With that simple setup an amateur radio operator can talk to just about any part of the globe.

The knowledge and expertise that is essential for successfully handling communications during an emergency is far more important than the specialized equipment.  Throughout the year amateur radio operators practice for emergencies by providing communications for events such as parades, road races, and other similar events.  In October amateur radio operators take part in a simulated emergency test.  There are two organizations within the amateur radio community that specialize in training and organizing emergency communications.  They are the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service.

The fourth weekend in June is set aside for the single largest emergency communications exercise in the United States.  This exercise is called field day.  That weekend 30,000 amateur radio operators converge at thousands of locations, such as parks, across this country.  They set up complete stations, housed in tents or trailers, where no facilities exist.  All of the equipment is powered emergency power and all antennas are set up using temporary supports or trees.  The setup takes only a few hours and the stations are kept on the air for 24 straight hours.  This year field day begins at 2 pm on Saturday June 24th and ends at 2 pm on Sunday June 25th.  Many groups will begin the setup process on Friday the 23rd at 2 pm.

The club I belong to, the Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association will be holding field day at the Pomfret Recreation Park in Pomfret Connecticut.  We will set up six complete stations.  All are welcome to visit us this weekend.  Here is a map of field day sites in the North America.  All will welcome visitors.

For many years I’ve been attempting to raise the alarm about the loss of our rights and our freedoms.  You would expect that my posts would be met with outrage by my Facebook friends or Twitter followers, who should have notice the same erosion of our rights. You would expect most of my friends would share my concerns.  Unfortunately that is not the case at all.  Most often my post is met with silence and apathy.  Occasionally I get into arguments with friends who side with those who are robbing us of our freedoms.  At times I do get discouraged but I refuse to give up.  For inspiration I reflect on a quote by that great philosopher Tim Allen from the movie Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender.”

Most people are not aware of what they’ve lost.  Very few schools teach civics any more.  Instead they teach the politically correct, liberal revisionist interpretation of the Constitution.  Our founding principles have been completely dismissed by our education establishment in the name of the tired liberal cliché: they were originated by a bunch of white supremacist, slave holders.

Instead of the virtues of our founding principles and our remarkable Constitution, educators now praise that deeply flawed and deadly political philosophy known as socialism.  Instead of championing free speech, students are now taught that their feelings are far more important than everyone else’s rights.  Individual, God given natural rights have now been replaced by collective rights granted to us exclusively by the government.

It is not just teachers that are brainwashing entire generations.   Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry are also guilty. Whenever a conservative or a libertarian comes out of the political closet they are ostracized and denied future roles.  Liberals enjoy a virtual monopoly over the entertainment industry and they use that monopoly to spread their liberal ideals. .

Liberals also enjoy a virtual monopoly over the news industry.  With this last election the American news media lost the vast majority of its remaining credibility.  They are now poling about the same as leprosy.  Despite these miserable poll numbers it is nearly impossible for one person to compete with the avalanche of biased news.  That’s the biggest problem I face.   I’m just one person trying to spread a message that a sizable percentage of my right of center Facebook friends agree with.  Unfortunately they remain silent.  They do not share my posts or share similar posts even though they are just as unhappy as I am with the state of things.  I get into epic debates with my liberal friends but never receive any backup from my conservative and libertarian friends.  If you have friends like me that try to spread the word please help them by sharing their posts and helping in the debates.  That could make a huge difference.

I try to experiment with different ways of getting my message out on Facebook.  Another quote I draw inspiration from comes from Clint Eastwood in the movie Heartbreak Ridge: “improvise, adapt, overcome.”  I try to not only inform, but also entertain my friends.

Facebook and Twitter are not my outlets for spreading my Constitution message.  I created a very successful website Constitution Mythbuster.   Please check it out.  WordPress make it easy to start your own website, please do so, the more conservative and libertarian websites that exist, the better.  I would very like to thank Da Tech Guy for the opportunity to spread my message of freedom and constitutional principles on this website.

Before answering that question, it is essential to define exactly what rights are.  The only truly valid rights are God-given Natural Rights.  Thomas Jefferson articulated  the most accurate definition of a God-given Natural Right when he stated so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

These rights are granted to every single individual directly by God.  George Mason echoed these sentiments when he wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights in  1776

SECTION I. 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.

Liberty is second only to life when it comes to importance.  Here is how Thomas Jefferson described liberty in a letter to Isaac Tiffany

…rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual

I have always defined liberty as the freedom to do as you wish as long as you do not hurt others or interfere with the rights of others.  It is freedom with the responsibility to not harm others or infringe on the rights of others.  If someone harms another individual or interferes with the rights of another individual then government has the duty and moral obligation to step in, restrain, and punish the individual that caused the harm.   Governments at all levels must leave individuals alone if they do not hurt others.  A large percentage of the founding fathers of this nation believed the only legitimate functions of government are protecting the safety, property, and rights of individuals living in this country.  Forcing individuals to purchase health insurance and interfering in the healthcare marketplace through onerous regulations violates the liberty of individuals and businesses.

The freedom to acquire property, hold on to property, and use property as you wish, are also essential God-given Natural rights.  Income and wealth are both forms of property. The pursuit of happiness mentioned in the Declaration of Independence refers to acquiring,  holding, and using property.  If a government body seizes an individual’s property, or income, and redistributes it to another person, that is a violation of a God-given natural right.

Here is what John Locke, the primary influence for all of the framers of the Constitution, had to say on this subject in his Second Treatise on Government:

the supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his property without his own consent. For the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into society, it necessarily supposes and requires that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that by entering into society which was the end for which they entered into it; too gross an absurdity for any man to own. Men, therefore, in society having property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take them, or any part of them, from them without their own consent; without this they have no property at all.

John Adams agreed.  Here is what he had to say on this subject in “Defense of the Constitutions of of the Government of the United States:

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence

Redistribution of wealth for charity and entitlements violates the United States Constitution.  Here are three quotes that proves this:

James Madison Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, page 170

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

James Madison Speech before Congress 1794

The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.

Thomas Jefferson 1st Inaugural Address

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government,

The debate whether healthcare is a right or not first took center stage in this country back in 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt first proposed national health care during his run as president for the progressive party.  It was revived by President Truman in 1945 when he proposed national health insurance.  President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, establishing healthcare as an entitlement that is provided by the Federal Government.  Ben Shapiro discusses this deeply flawed notion that healthcare is a right in this National Review Article.  Here are the most important passages from this article:

Morally, you have no right to demand medical care of me. I may recognize your necessity and offer charity; my friends and I may choose to band together and fund your medical care. But your necessity does not change the basic math: Medical care is a service and a good provided by a third party. No matter how much I need bread, I do not have a right to steal your wallet or hold up the local bakery to obtain it.

Because medical care is a commodity, and treating it otherwise is foolhardy. To make a commodity cheaper and better, two elements are necessary: profit incentive and freedom of labor. The government destroys both of these elements in the health-care industry. It decides medical reimbursement rates for millions of Americans, particularly poor Americans; this, in turn, creates an incentive for doctors not to take government-sponsored health insurance. It regulates how doctors deal with patients, the sorts of training doctors must undergo, and the sorts of insurance they must maintain; all of this convinces fewer Americans to become doctors. Undersupply of doctors generally and of doctors who will accept insurance specifically, along with overdemand stimulated by government-driven health-insurance coverage, leads to mass shortages.

This article by the Mises institute chronicles the disastrous effects making healthcare a right has had on the cost of healthcare in the United States and the problems caused by this deeply flawed thinking.

Benjamin Weingarten proposes a solution to our healthcare crisis in this Conservative Review Article

If government extricated itself from the system, we would see innovation and falling prices. One can imagine any number of solutions that the market would provide, including one in which people are able to purchase cheap catastrophic insurance and only pay for the medical care they need. They could shop for procedures from menus with transparent pricing. Health care would look more like The Cheesecake Factory than the Soviet supermarket.

For those who could still not afford sufficient medical care in a system of greater options and cheaper pricing, the private sector, faith and community-based institutions, and, if need be, a small and stringently managed government safety net would pick up the slack.

If a government safety net is used it would have to be administered by the States because the US Constitution prohibits the federal government from engaging in any entitlements.

My solution to the healthcare crises is to get the federal government out of healthcare completely and let each state come up with their own unique solution.

On Monday, March 6th a thud so loud it registered on the Richter Scale was heard all across the United States.  That thud was the sound of Speaker Paul Ryan’s ObamaCare replacement plan being released.  Very quickly his replacement plan was greeted by a chorus of angry criticism from the Freedom Caucus, Freedom Works, the Tea Party Patriots, and so many other conservative/libertarian organizations.  All of those organizations saw Speaker Ryan’s proposal as a betrayal of their principles.  Labels such as ObamaCare 2.0, ObamaCare Lite, RyanCare, and RinoCare were immediately thrown at the proposal .

Here is an excerpt from a Senator Rand Paul interview, which was published in this Breitbart Article, where he criticizes Speaker Ryan’s legislation.

I think the reason why the House leadership bill is Obamacare Lite is because it retains subsidies. Obamacare had subsidies for people to buy insurance. In the Paul Ryan bill, they keep the subsidies—they just call them refundable tax credits. Some people are predicting that it’s actually going to be more expensive than the subsidies we have under Obamacare. This isn’t you getting your own money back, this is you getting somebody else’s money

The second thing that Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite bill does is they keep the Obamacare taxes—all of them—for a year. And then after a year, they keep the Cadillac Tax forever. That’s the tax on if you have really good insurance, Obamacare taxes that. So will Paul Ryan’s plan.

The third thing they do that is Obamacare-like is they keep the individual mandate. It seems like every Republican says they were against the individual mandate. That’s if you didn’t buy insurance you had to pay a penalty to the government, a tax. Obamacare Lite, Paul Ryan’s plan, just changes it so you have to pay a penalty to the insurance companies.

Then the fourth thing they do is they actually subsidize the insurance companies. Right now, insurance companies are losing money and Obamacare has this rescue thing called ‘risk corridors’ to bail out the insurance companies. Paul Ryan has got the same thing, he just calls it reinsurance and it’s $100 million worth. I predict that might not even be enough.

Speaker Ryan claims that his proposal is the best that can be done, because the repeal and replace needs to be done under Budget Reconciliation, to avoid a Democrat filibuster in the Senate.  According to Speaker Ryan his legislative proposal is just step one in a 3 step process.  Here is how he describes this process on his official website

As Speaker Ryan explained at his press conference, this approach has three overarching phases:

The American Health Care Act, which takes full advantage of the budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democratic filibuster;

Administration actions, notably by HHS Secretary Price, to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs; and

Additional legislative policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, that by Senate rules cannot be included in a reconciliation bill.

Unfortunately, Speaker Ryan’s original proposal is such a miserable starting point for this Herculean effort it makes achieving anything worthwhile nearly impossible.

Many Republicans have stated that Speaker Ryan’s proposal is open to amendments.  This is what Representative Mark Sanford had to say about amendments in this Breitbart Article:

With regard to a healthcare bill moving forward, I see leadership’s healthcare plan as an opening proposal,

The debate that is forming will allow conservatives to enhance and improve what has been proposed, and I think this could represent a win for patients, healthcare providers, and the taxpayer alike.

Hopefully major amendments to Speaker Ryan’s proposal will be allowed,  but I’m not at all optimistic about that.

Why is Speaker Ryan’s proposal such a miserable first attempt?  Conservative Review has a very insightful theory  which they shared in this Article

In order to benefit individuals, a plan would have to focus on choice, competition, flexibility – the things that allow people to purchase what best suits their needs. Enter the next act in the health care reform drama – Paul Ryan’s “American Health Care Act” (AHCA for short). Republicans believe in free markets, right? So clearly the fundamental underpinnings of a Republican-designed health care plan will focus on freedom and individual choice, right? Uh … right?

A close look at the AHCA reveals a different operating philosophy, one more tied to preserving the status quo and appeasing industry interests than to improving cost of care, and choice for individuals. Put more simply, Paul Ryan’s Obamacare substitute is fundamentally geared toward keeping a stable customer base for insurers and encouraging universal insurance coverage rather than toward enabling a free market for health care.

According to this article, The Federalist has a theory about why Speaker Ryan’s proposal fails to repeal ObamaCare:

If you want to know why Republicans have bogged down, notice one peculiar thing about the Obamacare debate so far. It’s not really a debate over Obamacare, it’s a debate over Medicaid. That’s because Obamacare mostly turned out to be a big expansion of Medicaid. The health insurance exchanges that were supposed to provide affordable private health insurance (under a government aegis) never really delivered.

Ever since the passage of ObamaCare, Republican were united under the banner of full repeal and then replace.  Unfortunately, Speaker Ryan’s proposal is only a partial repeal. After the release of RyanCare, the Republicans are now seriously, if not hopelessly,  divided.  I believe only a return to full repeal will unite the Republican Party.  After the full repeal then the Republicans can pass a free market, patient centered replacement such as the one Senator Rand Paul authored.  Here is a link to his plan: Rand Paul Plan.

I was shocked and revolted as I watched the rioting unfold on the UC Berkeley campus back on February 1st.  Here is a link which consists of a collection of videos and tweets: Twitchy craziest protest.  The sole purpose of this senseless violence was to prevent one individual, Milo Yiannopoulos,  from speaking.   This should not happen anywhere in this country, let alone at Berkeley, which was the birthplace of the free speech movement.  It is true that only about 150 individuals, most likely outsiders, committed the violence and destruction, however a very large number of student protesters cheered on and gave the anarchists cover.  What did Milo do to deserve such an unfriendly welcome?  He is an outspoken, charismatic, and popular libertarian-conservative.  Yes, he is outrageous and provocative, but that is no reason to silence him.  There is no legitimate reason to silence anyone.  Most disturbing of all is the reaction of the university. They did nothing to stop the rioting, they did nothing to protect Milo’s right to speak freely, and they did nothing to protect the rights of those who wanted to listen to him.

Freedom of speech is one of our most important God given natural rights.  This right must include speech that others might find offensive.   We are all unique individuals.  What offends one person, others might enjoy.  Some of the most fundamental truths may offend a very large portion of the population.  Being offended is a purely emotional response.  We are all supposed to be rational and intelligent beings, ruled by intellect rather than emotion.  Only the most emotionally fragile of us need to shelter ourselves from everything that might possibly be offensive.  Free exercise of speech and free expression are far more important than the emotional well being of fragile individuals.  Unfortunately, political correctness has completely reversed this.  Far too many people believe that their right to never be offended far outweighs everyone else’s right to freely express themselves as they wish.  The right to not be offended does not exist.  It interferes far too much with everyone else’s right of free speech, therefore it is not a valid right.  If we have to refrain from possibly offending anyone we would never be able to speak.

Political correctness has always been a weapon used by the political left to try and silence those on the political right.  Far too often, conservative principles and ideas are labeled offensive or hate speech, and then these labels are used as a justification, by colleges, to ban individuals from speaking .  The latest buzzwords used as justification are white nationalist and alt-right.  Before this last election, I never heard of the alt-right yet, according to the left. it is everywhere.  I believe the white nationalist alt-right exists but it a very small fringe group.  Mainstream conservative publications, such as the Breitbart family of websites, have been unjustly labeled white nationalist alt-right, along with Steve Bannon and Milo.  These accusations, which have been loudly trumpeted by the media, were used as justification by the rioters at UC Berkeley.  Milo discussed the complicity of the media in this interview: Media Legitimizes Violence on Conservatives.  One of the organizers of the Berkeley riots spoke to Tucker Carlson.  Here is a link to the interview.   She used these accusations as justification for the riots.

Thanks to political correctness , conservative speech has become unwelcome on college campuses.  Immediately when a conservative or a libertarian speaker is announced, the cries to ban them begin at once, and then the protests start.  There absolutely nothing wrong with individuals peacefully protesting because they do not approve of the speaker.  People have a right to peacefully protest for any reason.  Blocking entrances, rushing stages, shouting down, and drowning out a speaker with your voice are not valid forms of protest.  These tactics interfere with the rights of the speaker and those in the audience who want to listen to the speaker.  Far too often speakers on the right are uninvited by the college the moment the protests start.  This is a gross violation of free speech.  Liberal speakers far outnumber conservative speakers.   College campuses have become “safe spaces” where conservative ideals are not welcome and often labeled bias incidents.  According to this article, seventy colleges now call authorities for bias incidents.

Thanks to decades of political correctness, more than half of all high school students believe the First Amendment goes too far when protecting free speech.  This is not just a disgrace, it is a national tragedy.   Here is a link to a survey on this subject.

Political correctness is predominantly a phenomenon on the political left, however those of us on the right have, at times, demonstrated our own bad habits when it comes to free speech.  At times we try to force others to be “patriotically correct.”  Everyone has a right to do and say things that are unpatriotic.  No one should ever be punished for being unpatriotic in speech or behavior.  We can criticize individuals for what they say if we do not agree with them because free speech is a two way street.   No one has a right to silence anyone.