Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more...]

An AARP for kids

A California group has announced that it intends to become an “AARP for kids.”  I don’t think that means getting children discounts at Denny’s.  The goal will be to lobby for children’s rights.

I don’t know the ideology of this particular organization.  Will they lobby for children’s right to be brought up by their mother and their father?  Or will they lobby for children’s rights over and against their parents’ rights?  Will they lobby against abortion and other kinds of infanticide?  Somehow I don’t think so.

But I predict that the next battle line in the war against the family will be liberating children from the authority of their parents.  Watch for anti-spanking laws (which other Western countries already have) and the rhetoric that will go with them to demonize anyone who dares to disagree with them. (“What?  You want it to be legal to hit children?”) [Read more...]

Freedom reconsidered

Now that the truths that were foundational to the American republic–that there is a Creator who is the basis for human equality and rights that transcend the state–are no longer self-evident, we are starting to see a rethinking of everything America used to stand for.  For example, Princeton professor Philip Pettit, in a book entitled Just Freedom, argues that we need to do away with the “libertarian” notion of individual freedom.  Instead, we should pursue “democratic freedom,” based on the liberty of groups not to be dominated by another group.

Liberal think-tanker Danielle Allen explains, after the jump. [Read more...]

Religious organizations that oppose gay marriage may lose tax exemption?

An exchange between a Supreme Court Justice and the Solicitor General:

Justice Alito: In the Bob Jones case, the [Supreme] Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?

Donald Verrilli: It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue. [Read more...]

Christians as enemies of the human race

Michael Avramovich observes that “In the ancient Roman world, Christians were referred to as ‘hostis humani generis’ (enemies of the human race). This was a legal term of art and signified that Christians were undeserving of any legal protection.”

He sees this mindset returning.  He then quotes from Wallace Henley, who says that “prophetic voices” tend to be silenced in the following sequence:  “marginalization, caricaturization, vilification, criminalization, elimination.”  Right now, he says, we are at “vilification,” and that we need to get ready to be the Church of 1st century Rome.

[Read more...]

Encrypted phones vs. law enforcement

With a warrant, law enforcement agencies have been able to put a tap on a suspect’s telephone.  Now that we have cell phones and smart phones, it has come out that the government has been monitoring calls without a warrant.  Users are looking for encryption technology to protect their privacy, not just from the government but from hackers and corporations.  Some companies are talking about manufacturing phones that cannot be tapped or monitored.  The federal government is debating about whether to allow this technology in light of the needs of law enforcement.  Read a story on the subject after the jump and tell me what you think about this. [Read more...]


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