free speech

Media Ignores "Tolerant" Democrat Congressional Candidate's Hateful Twitter Attack On TFF

Democrat Congressional candidate Mike Dickinson today went off the rails and attacked us and TFF President Victoria Cobb via Twitter. There was no rhyme or reason. He didn't cite any specific bill or policy we're working on at this year's General Assembly, only a trite, false, hateful, demonizing, inflammatory attack — and not even a good one. The incoherent rant is full of punctuation mistakes. In the first one (the second one below) he omitted the apostrophe in "Virginias" but included one in "it's" when he meant "its." He could've used the saved character for a period at the sentence. But perhaps most offensive is that Dickenson, who's is in the strip club business — nothing spells out respect for women more than exploiting them as strippers — calls Victoria a "grand wizard." Again, if you're going to insult someone, do it right: titles before names are capitalized. Besides, what's he insinuating by using the masculine form of the word? Shouldn't it be "Wizardess"?

GrandWizard

Seriously, though, isn't a man of, and on, the Left, supposed to be tolerant? Then what's with the attack? Not even his audience was amused. Of the 10 people who replied to his two tweets, at least eight chastised the 7th district candidate for his hateful tirades against people who simply disagree with him. More than that, this "tolerant" liberal proposes to use the force of the federal government, if elected to Congress, to restrict the free speech rights of people with whom he disagrees by arbitrarily designating them as "haters." He also went on unrestrained tirades against the NRA and Fox News.

But we just report. You decide:

According to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, in a recent campaign speech, Dickinson said that Democrats "don't judge," that the party is "open," and added . . .

judging people by outdated stereotypes is exactly what Democrats are supposed to be against.

Nothing like a good bit of hypocrisy and double-standard to go with your foot-in-mouth. The same article noted that 7th district Democrats were ready to vote for "no candidate" rather than nominate Dickinson if no one else entered the race. That speaks volumes.

Another question: Where's the media? It went bonkers on the orders of — excuse me, a "news release" by — Planned Parenthood over a pro-life politician's Facebook posting, which did nothing but sarcastically use a term for pregnant women the abortion industry frequently uses.  The lack of understanding of irony is beyond belief — Planned Parenthood was making a point it doesn't even agree with, i.e., that pregnant women are mothers, yet the media tried to excoriate the lawmaker.

Now, we have a left wing politician using social media to attack a woman and we issued a press release. But no phone calls, no interviews. "War On Women" anyone? Here's the news release:

Democrat Candidate Attacks Family Foundation on Twitter

- Organization Demands Democrat Leaders Distance Themselves from Statement -

RICHMOND – The Family Foundation of Virginia today called on Democrat leaders Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from inflammatory statements by Mike Dickinson, a Democrat running for Congress against Representative Eric Cantor.

"As the Democratic party continues to seek to silence any opinion in America that they oppose through the IRS, bullying the news media and threatening free speech, we now have yet another Democrat candidate for office who clearly has not read the First Amendment of the Constitution or has no intention of applying it to all Americans," said Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation of Virginia. "Regardless of one’s position on controversial issues, the idea of candidates for office threatening American citizens with the awesome power of the federal government for simply exercising their fundamental constitutional rights to speak out on controversial issues is chilling. We call on Virginia Democrat leaders like Tim Kaine, Mark Warner and Terry McAuliffe to distance themselves from this candidate and his inflammatory, hateful rhetoric."

A lot has been made by Democrats this session, from the governor on down, of the "Virginia Way." We're wondering if this is what they mean. Meanwhile, we'll wait for their statements — and their explanation of "tolerance" — as well as the media's coverage of it all.

Floor Vote Tomorrow On Bill To Ensure Chaplain Free Speech!

A bill protecting the free speech rights of Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force chaplains (SB 555) that to this point has been completely non-controversial — in in the Virginia Senate! — suddenly became so Friday when Democrats began to raise a ruckus in the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee. The committee still voted to report the bill to the floor of the House of Delegates, but on a mainly party line vote, with only one Democrat joining all committee Republicans in favor. Patroned by Senator Dick Black (R-13, Leesburg), SB 555 unanimously passed the Senate and a House sub-committee. But Friday, several members of the sub-committee who previously voted in favor of the bill urged its defeat and voted against it in full committee. The bill simply ensures that the religious content of sermons made by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard or of the Virginia Defense Force can't be censored or restricted by any state government official or agency.

Even Democrats in the  Senate unanimously voted in favor of the provision because it essentially repeats federal policy. But there are members of the House of Delegates that are so hostile to religious liberty that even ensuring that chaplains can simply do their job is not worthy of protection. The bill will be debated on the House floor today and voted on tomorrow.

Please contact your delegate and urge him or her to vote for SB 555 on the House floor Tuesday!

Who Speaks Speaks For The Voiceless And Why? Why It Is Importance And How You Can Speak For Them

As Americans, we are blessed with many freedoms and rights. One such right is that of free speech. However, many are denied the most fundamental antecedent right — life — and never get the opportunity to mutter their first syllable. This Thursday, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb will use the former to inform about the latter at The Beacon Hill Society’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — Speaking for the Voiceless conference. She will share how people can help in the fight for the rights of the unborn. She will be joined by Alan Carrillo of the International Justice Mission and Sara Pomeroy of the Richmond Justice Initiative, who will speak on the plight of human trafficking. Register online by today at The Beacon Hill Society for a discounted price ($5.00 per person or $15.00 per family) or pay at the door ($8.00 and $20.00, respectively). Speaking for the Voiceless is Thursday, July 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Ashland, on 800 Thompson Street, about 20 minutes north of Richmond on Interstate 95.

Before speech, life!

Recent Comics Speak Loud On Weekend's News

Here are some topical comics we couldn't resist bringing to you. The first three come from Toby Dials' TobyToons.com while the fourth is from Randy Bish of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ranging from a few days to a few weeks to months old, they are timeless, as much as they are relevant to recent news.  

lameduckcomic

 Liberal arrogance gets its comeuppance. But are they arrogant enought to try to ram previously defeated legislation through a lame duck Congress?

obamacarecomic

 Obamacare proponents admitted this weekend that, in fact, there are death panels in the new law.

NPRcomic

 The Left is great at defending free speech . . . as long as you agree with what they say.

lying pols

Take note, ruling class. The rest of us are on to you.

Pelosi Makes Another Bid To Chill Political Opposition And Free Speech

Remember when John Dingell (D-Mich.), the most tenured member of the U.S. House of Representatives, made this comment about needing to "control the people" as the purpose for passing the health care bill? Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to investigate the people (about 70 percent of the country) who oppose the mosque at Ground Zero. Never mind those who want to build it, she'd rather investigate 9/11 survivors and surviving family members. A nefarious lot they are, for sure. Previously, she's called people who disagree with her "NAZIs" and claimed that free market advocate organizations are front groups for big industry, among other crude or misleading remarks. Disagree with her and you are vilified. That having failed, now she wants to bring the considerable weight (and getting heavier each day thanks to her) of the federal government down on anyone with whom she has a difference of opinion. To her, tolerance means "agree with me or else!" But the Hugo Chavez model is not the American model. To think the Far Left in this country bills itself as the conscience of tolerance in this country.

Sorry, Nancy. We know that you left-wingers attempt to redefine almost everything. But "tolerance" doesn't mean "control" or forced agreement and never will. As much as you try, it doesn't — and won't — work that way in America.

Nancy Pelosi: Agree with me or else!

Planned Parenthood Loses In D.C.

The arrogance of Planned Parenthood was never more apparent than in June in Washington, D.C., when the abortionists put a no trespassing sign on the public sidewalk in front of one of its abortion centers. When a group of pro-lifers held a prayer vigil there, Planned Parenthood called the police and had the praying faithful arrested for trespassing, including a pastor. However, authorities resolved the matter on August 12 . . . in favor of the pastor. The sidewalk, of course is public property and no private entity can exercise jurisdiction over it. Planned Parenthood lost. The sign now must come down. Bound4Life Director Matt Locket recently sat down with the pastor, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, to get a play-by-play of what happened. We'll let the video speak for itself. But one point for emphasis: Rev. Mahoney makes a perceptive observation about how several issues blend together as part of the pro-abortion crowd's comprehensive intolerance. If Planned Parenthood doesn't respect the right to life, how can anyone expect them to respect one's right to free speech — or anything else?

If they don't respect life, how can you expect pro-abortionists to respect speech . . . or any other basic human right?

While You're Contacting Webb And Warner, Mention The "DISCLOSE Act" As Well

While contacting Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb over the Elena Kagan confirmation, bug them about the "DISCLOSE Act" as well. The DISCLOSE Act is one of the most anti-free speech pieces of legislation ever crafted and the Senate is close to bringing it up for a vote. The House already passed it. But don't take our word for it. The legislation's authors know its restrictions are unconstitutional because it blatantly put in a clause that prevents courts from hearing claims against it until after the November mid-term elections (see FRC.com)! The bill puts restrictions on what organizations can do and say during campaigns and, worse, must make public its top donors, making them subject to harassment by opponents, such as was done in California to people who donated to that state's pro-marriage amendment campaign in 2008.

One of its many provisions would curb what people or companies with contracts with the federal government can say or do in support of a candidate or issue in an election. That caused the National Association of Manufacturers, one of a long line of opponents, including National Right to Work, National Right to LifeFamily Research Council, FreedomWorks,  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more, to oppose the bill. More of its constitutional infringements are described here, by Hans von Spakovsky, at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog.

But wait. I was taught by a favorite (liberal) college professor never to generalize, so I won't. Not all organizations are constrained by this bill. You see, the Congressional liberals who wrote it neatly exempted labor unions and other liberal leaning groups, such as the AARP (See Fox News Channel's Speaker's Lobby Blog). Incredibly, in what many conservatives call a sell-out, the NRA also backs the bill after it bolted a coalition to receive its own carve out. The NRA's support was seen by many the reason it escaped the House. More inside D.C. special interest deal making. Wasn't that going to change with the liberals in charge?

Congresional liberals are running scared. Their agenda is massively unpopular with the public, they are behind in public opinion polls and are on the verge of squandering huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. A recent Supreme Court ruling opened up the gates for more free speech and loosened the strings (see the Chamber's explanation) on what activities businesses and other organizations can engage in during campaigns, further equalizing the advantages liberals have in the mainstream media, unions and the education establishment, to name a few. The DISCLOSE Act is a last chance, desperation play with the clock running out to preserve its grip on power.

Since the vote is imminent, phoning Senators Webb and Warner may be the most efficient method of voicing your displeasure with the DISCLOSE Act. They an be reahed at the U.S. Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121. Please let them know you wish them to oppose S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act.

Virginia News Stand: May 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Double Stack Edition

The News Stand was off yesterday so the news got stacked up. So much of it is interesting, we piled it all on today. In the commonwealth, Governor Bob McDonnell appointed another Democrat to his administration. Huh? At least this latter is explainable (we think): He appointed Larry Wilder, the son of former governor and Richmond Mayor Doug, as an advisor on convicts' re-entry into society. On the merits, Mr. Wilder has a certain perspective, given his past problems with the law. But more likely, the cynic would suggest, is that this might just have something to do with the former Democrat governor's weighty non-endorsement of Creigh Deeds last fall.

The governor also is busy trying to line up tolls I-95 on the North Carolina border. Anything but a "tax increase." Meanwhile, he appointed a commission to reform state government and suggest how it can operate more efficiently. Commissions come and go in Virginia. The jury will remain out on this until we see recommendations actually put into place and the ensuing positive results. Speaking of juries, Chief Justice Leroy Hassell, Sr., will resign from the top judicial spot, but remain on the court. The justices elect the chief justice themselves.  

Also in state, a sensattional trial finally is set to begin. Sensational, because Joseph Price, a co-defendant, is the former president of Equality Virginia, something the Washington Post conveniently fails to mention in its reporting.

Nationally, it's all going on: The Mojave Desert Cross, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled legal two weeks ago, was stolen; senior citizens in a group home in Georgia were told they could not pray out loud before meals because the home accepted federal funds (Yes! Federal funds means no free speech, now sit down and shut-up granny!); a senior House Democrat lost renomination in West Virginia to a challenger from the right; and a poll shows Utah Republicans may throwout U.S. Senator Orin Hatch next, after refusing to renominate his colleague Robert Bennett last weekend.

But we're not close to done, with a big Surprise! coming from Washington — health care reform will cost $115 billion more than estimated just a couple of months ago! Also, a bill in Congress would allow states to veto offshore drilling, something with implications for the Old Dominion; and, in the rare good news from D.C., President Obama seeks a line item veto and the Senate votes to audit at least some of the Fed (see Richard Olivastro's commentary on this issue as well).

News

Va. Chief Justice Hassell to yield leadership post (The Daily Press)

McDonnell has high expectations for reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Delegate criticizes McDonnell choice for chairman of government-reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Public input sought on government reform (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Va. seeks tolls on I-95 near N.C. border (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell proposes tolls on Interstate 95 in Virginia near N.C. border (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli on Kagan: Not a fan, but lack of judicial experience not the issue (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Conspiracy trial in Robert Wone killing set to start (Washington Post)

Abortion opponents present petition to Va. Beach (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell appoints Wilder's son as special assistant for re-entry education (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Optometrist wins GOP nod in Chesterfield (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

LU officials to investigate Caner’s background claims (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist (FoxNews.com)

Senior citizens told they can't pray before meals (Rome, Ga. News-Tribune)

Voters' anti-establishment mood bites both parties (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Poll: Roughly half wouldn't vote for U.S. Sen. Hatch (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health overhaul law potentially costs $115B more (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bill would allow states to veto offshore drilling (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate votes to examine Federal Reserve lending (AP/GOPUSA.com)

New force for broad immigration reform: conservative evangelicals (CNN.com)

Abortion could be sleeper issue in Supreme Court confirmation process (Washington Post)

Obama to Seek Line-Item Veto Power to Trim Spending From Bills (New York Times)

Michael Steele defends spending to RNC state party leaders during meeting (Washington Post)

Despite Content Purge, Pornographic Images Remain on Wikimedia (FoxNews.com)

Analysis

Reagan-Hating Kagan(Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Change Watch: Elena Kagan–Supreme Court Nominee (FRCBlog.com)

Commentary

A 'Duty to Die'? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Michelle Obama: Food Profiteer Turned Food Cop (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Cut Spending Today To Save Tomorrow (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Should the Fed Be Audited? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 27, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Northrop Grumman Day In The Commonwealth 

At VITA, of course, every day is Northrop Grumman Day, but there is legitimate news to celebrate: A major domestic corporation, a Fortune 500 company, that does business all over the world is moving its HQ to our commonwealth. Of course, to get it to move here, we're giving  away 14 million taxpayer dollars and a labyrinth of incentives, tax credits, etc., Wouldn't it be simpler to do away with — or at least greatly reduce — the state corporate income tax? A discussion for another day.

Elsewhere, we make the news in the Old Dominion Watchdog, Governor McDonnell is asked to lift the ban on State Police Chaplains praying in Jesus' name, and how much real estate does the commonwealth own? Norman Leahy, of Tertium Quids, asks. Speaking of such, is the governor going to sell the gubernatorial retreat? Say it ain't so! As usual, our Commentary section is loaded, with Bobby Eberle returning from hiatus and Thomas Sowell as brilliant as ever.

Lots of National News to contemplate, including two GOP insiders in serious trouble in Senate primaries, more about the health care law not doing all it said it would (except for the tax increases, of course), President Obama uses divisive identity politics for partisan political gain, and a commission meets at taxpayer expense to figure out how to reduce the national debt. I'll do it for free: CUT SPENDING!

News

*Lawmakers restrict public funding for abortions (Old Dominion Watchdog)

Northrop Grumman picks Virginia for headquarters (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell, Northrop confirm company has chosen Virginia for headquarters (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Va. offered Northrop Grumman up to $14 million (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia gives Northrop Grumman up to $14 million to move headquarters (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell considers sale of gubernatorial retreat (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

On role of federal lawsuits to AG's term, Cuccinelli and Democrats agree (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell asked to lift a ban on State Police troopers referring to Jesus in public prayers (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Off-track betting center proposed at Innsbrook (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Sullivan seeks GOP nomination for Chesterfield House seat (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Analysis

Virginia's messy real estate portfolio (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids)

National News

Arizona pushes immigration politics to forefront (AP/GOPUSA.com

McCain: Arizona had to crack down on immigration (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP prevents cloture on Democrat financial regulation bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama panel weighs politically toxic deficit fixes (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Some families will face wait to cover young adults (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Free speech versus kids and violent video games (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama asks specific Americans for help in 2010 (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Coats favored (barely) in crowded Indiana GOP primary (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

With Obama, It's Always 'His' People vs. 'Those' People (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Filtering History (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Are Americans Going John Galt? (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

Obamacare Revealing Changes to Come (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Obama Sends in the Clowns (J. Matt Barber/GOPUSA.com)

Cut Gas Prices Now (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

National Debt — The Real Dirty Little Secret (Thomas D. Segel/GOPUSA.com)

TFF President Victoria Cobb Receives UR Alumni Leadership Award

Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb was one of two graduates to receive the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies' 10th Reunion Recognition Award this past weekend. Unfortunately, a handful of vocal students and faculty used the award as an opportunity to protest Victoria, the Family Foundation and traditional values, exhibiting a wonderful hypocrisy: All for free speech except when it's speech and ideas different from theirs (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Not exactly what higher education is about. But we're not shocked. Conservatives routinely are shouted down and protested against on American campuses (which, we suppose, is a measure of the effectiveness of those speakers). Oh, to be young and have no responsibility and no clue. The university issued a press release which said, in part, regarding Victoria and the other  recipient (see entire statement here):

These two have a great deal in common. They both have spent their professional lives doing work in nonprofits that they see as supporting families and children. Mothers with husbands who are fellow Jepson School graduates, they are committed to leading balanced lives where family and professional achievement are aligned. And, for both of them, faith is a central component in their lives.

Student response in the campus paper ridiculed pro-family, traditional values. On Friday afternoon about 40 students staged a small protest as Victoria participated in a school-sponsored panel discussion on leadership. So much for fostering diversity and tolerance. Interestingly, the school administration even allowed protesters inside the academic building where the panel discussion was taking place.

Jepson Protest

No classes, no tests, no papers due — and no clue.

Victoria, who joined The Family Foundation in 2000, has been president since 2004. Her proven leadership abilities propelled her quickly through the ranks, first as a policy analyst, then Director of Legislative Affairs and, ultimately, into her role as President. Today, The Family Foundation comprises a full-time professional staff in Richmond, coordinating the grassroots efforts of tens of thousands of pro-family citizen activists throughout Virginia. Under her leadership, The Family Foundation has become the Commonwealth’s most influential pro-family advocacy organization.

The staff, volunteers and Board of The Family Foundation are very proud of Victoria, her leadership and her willingness to stand up for our values in the face of hostility. While many in politics try to avoid "controversial" social issues, she has chosen to take a strong, public stand and to lead. She, and The Family Foundation, do that by working with a cross section of organizations and office holders, but do it without compromising principle. In fact, the list of legislative partners we team with each year would shock most. Which is what leadership and the award is all about — getting results, not rallying like-minded types to hurl insults at protests. Which is also something the protesting students should learn while in college.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. - Matthew 10:22 

Strong Religious Liberty Defense

Recently, when the House of Delegates passed Delegate Bill Carrico's (R-5, Galax) bill restoring the free speech and free exercise of religion rights of state police chaplains (HB 2314), the debate on the floor was fascinating. One of the best speeches in defense of the bill and of religious liberty rights was by House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem). We encourage you to see it here:

Eminent Domain Update In Virginia

One of the many legislative victories of which we have been a part during recent years, and one in which we are most proud, is the 2007 eminent domain reform law. Proud for a number of reasons: It righted a grievous wrong and demonstrated that when we stand on principle and work hard, much can be accomplished; we were part of a large coalition that fought the entrenched corporate and bureaucratic interests and proved that good really can come out of the legislative system; and because so many of you faithfully stayed engaged and kept up the pressure on legislators as the story of the legislation took more twists in the tale than the Crooked Road in our Great Southwest. Bills patroned by Senators Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), Steve Newman (R-23, Forest), Delegates Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville) and Johnny Joannou (D-79, Portsmouth), and others helped overturn the effects of the deplorable Kelo vs. New London, Conn. decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which allowed governments to take private property, often family owned homes and businesses, and give it to large corporations. The bills were passed — after much redrafting and debate (one powerful senator said property rights are not in the constitution!) — by overwhelming majorities in both chambers and signed into law, somewhat reluctantly, and with a few slight amendments, by Governor Tim Kaine.

While the law has immensely improved property protections for Virginia families who own homes and family-owned businesses, it still doesn't go far enough as evidenced by "quick takes" of local governing bodies. Nor are its protections fool-proof since a future General Assembly can change the law. Don't think it can happen? Jeremy Hopkins, in a study he authored for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, documents Virginia's lapse from a leading private property state that cherished and constitutionally protected individual property rights, to one of the weakest in the union prior to the 2007 legislation (click here). (This study was the "Bible" for those of us who worked on this bill in 2007. The state's power over the fruits of you labor will frighten you.) 

Hopkins underscores the foundational importance of private property rights to a democratic society:

Finally, the right to private property undergirds and protects all other rights. It truly is "the guardian of every other right." A cursory review of the Bill of Rights reveals that many of the rights Americans cherish have little significance without the recognition and protection of private property. Not only do many of these rights presume the right to private property, but these rights have little meaning without the right to private property.

For instance, what good is the right to free speech if one has no property from which to speak freely? What good is the right to free speech if the government owns all printing presses and all means of recording, producing, and dispensing speech? What good is the right to assemble and petition the government if one has no property on which to freely assemble and petition? What good is the right to worship freely if one has no property on which to freely worship? What good is the right to worship freely if the state owns the church, employs the clergymen, and prints all religious material?

For an absolute guarantee of secure property rights in Virginia tougher measures are needed and they need to be put into the constitution. Some of the same lawmakers noted above are interested in proposing such an amendment this coming session. It's never too early to encourage your delegates and senators to support such constitutional protections (click here)

To get an update on the status of eminent domain in Virginia — and your rights — read this post and hear this interview with Hopkins from the blog Tertium Quids (click here). Just as with any right, to secure it, we must stay informed and active.

More P.C. Madness: Brandeis Professor Reprimanded Simply For Stating Historical Fact

Nat Hentoff better watch it. The well known pro-life, but liberal, columnist (see here) now is after radical leftist campus enforcers of political correctness who are attempting to silence a 48-year distinguished history professor at Brandeis University — the college named after the U.S. Supreme Court justice known for his fierce defence of free speech. Hentoff recently chastised Democrats for their abortion on demand platform (see our comment here). Invites to swanky parties attended by liberal elites assuredly will evaporate from his mailbox. Hentoff, though, has consistently exposed such hypocritical fanatics. Again, we've been prescient. After several posts on this topic, Hentoff's nationally syndicated column today addresses an incident that truly defies credulity: Brandeis  History Professor Donald Hindley, who has taught there for 48 years with not a complaint on his record, was teaching class one day in his course on Latin American politics. At one point he made a historically accurate, albeit sad, fact that some Americans used to call Mexican immigrants "wetbacks." Mind you, he wasn't calling Mexicans that. He wasn't apologizing for that fact. He simply stated an unfortunate truth in the context of teaching his class.

A student complained, the administration took offence and now Professor Hindley may be on the verge of losing his job. Instead of explaining to the student the facts of life and being an adult, the university provost is on a child-like rant himself. But, the scary thing is, he has real authority, complete with reprimands, demands and threats to Professor Hindley. It's as if you cannot say, "Blacks once were slaves in America." How can we educate young people, much less publicly discuss important issues as a nation, if we're not even allowed to accurately teach history?! He made a simple statement of fact. But liberal extremism not only wants to stifle free speech, it wants to whitewash history, a history you'd think they want exposed so we don't repeat terrible mistakes. Read today's column by Hentoff here. Rather than rare, occurrences such as this are much more rampant on campuses than widely realized.

As terrible as this horrible twin scourge of whitewashing history and restriction of free speech, there is one thing sadder: The ruination of a man's reputation. But that's not of consequence for America's Animal Farm gang — anything, anything at all, to advance their addled, lockstep ideology. 

Or Prohibiting The Free Exercise Thereof

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruledthat the Rev. Hashmel Turner, a member of the Fredericksburg City Council, could not open council meetings with a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Former United State Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor sat on the panel as a guest judge, and wrote the opinion (click here to read the opinion). At issue was whether government could regulate prayer. Fredericksburg councilmen traditionally take turns offering a prayer to open city council meetings. When it was Turner's turn, he offered prayers "in the name of Jesus Christ." Predictably, the ACLU threatened a lawsuit, so city council changed its policy prohibiting such specificity, allowing a so-called non-sectarian praise of God, instead.

Turner and his lawyers, from the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute, plan an appeal to the United State Supreme Court. As Rev. Turner told The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, "I don't believe the last say-so in the matter should be left up to Justice O'Connor, so I intend on going ahead to the Supreme Court."

Here is the First Amendment in its entirety:

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

According to The Free Lance-Star, Justice O'Connor wrote "that the city's policy makes the prayers more inclusive and does not violate Turner's First Amendment rights to free speech."

What too many people, including, unfortunately, justices and judges, don't seem to understand is the "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part of the establishment clause (see a good post here from American Sentinel). While they pontificate about a "separation of church and state" which is nowhere mentioned in the amendment, they are dead silent on the non-prohibiting part, which is expressly stated. If the government, which is charged to protect free speech and exercise of faith can't protect such practices on its own grounds, who's to say they will protect it elsewhere?

As far as the establishment clause, so often misapplied, there's nothing in Rev. Tuner's prayer, nor in allowing him to pray, that establishes a state-run church. The Fredericksburg City Council is not Congress, for starters. Second, many faiths worship Jesus Christ, so that doesn't establish a specific church, such as Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc. (Sorry, ACLU, "Christian" isn't a church, just like Islam doesn't define all of the denominations within that faith.) Third, it would have to be one powerful prayer to create a national church in such a swoop.

In fact, the council prayer isn't directed to the citizens of Fredericksburg or even public school students — not even Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. It's directed to the councilmen, so that they may have the wisdom to make good decisions. They should be able to pray as they wish. It is a freedom of speech issue as much as a freedom from government mandated or written prayer as anything else. It's funny how liberals scream government should not sanction formal prayers, such as a daily school prayer. But here's government — the city council — going so far as to mandate the deity and phraseology Rev. Turner can reference or use (they allowed "Almighty God" and "Heavenly Father"). What forms of government do state-regulated prayer bring to mind?

It certainly is confounding how such simple and plain language is so wrongly interpreted, especially when the framers of the constitution wrote extensively and clearly about the content of the constitution. We'll keep praying for Rev. Turner and like-minded public officials, as well as for judges to finally learn to get it right. At least as long as the government lets us.