Criminalizing pro-lifers

brutality-152819_640In France, it is illegal to attempt to disuade anyone from getting an abortion.  It is also illegal to demonstrate against abortion, to give information about alternatives to abortion, and to espouse the belief that abortion is immoral.  Pro-life expressions could result in a fine of 30,000 euros and two years in jail.

So says Denise Burke, who makes the point that those who once claimed to be “pro-choice” are now “pro-coercion” in seeking to silence and criminalize advocates for life. [Read more…]

Trump and team WERE under government surveillance

eyes-490608_640President Trump has claimed that the Obama administration bugged his Trump Tower offices.  That accusation has been mostly dismissed.

But now it turns out that President-elect Trump and his transition team WERE surveilled.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) said that he has seen copies of reports “unmasking” the members of Trump’s transition team and their activities.  This material was widely-circulated in the White House and in the Intelligence community.

Nunes says he believes the material was gathered legally, although information gleaned “incidentally” in the course of other investigations is supposed to be redacted.  Nunes says the information gathered did not involve Russia connections.
[Read more…]

Do foreigners have constitutional rights?

constitution-1486010_640The Supreme Court has taken up a case that will decide whether or not foreigners–even those outside of American soil–have constitutional rights.

On the one hand, how could they?  Non-citizens cannot have the same privileges as citizens.  Foreigners in this country will be treated according to this country’s laws, which means no one will be allowed to mistreat them.  But how can a nation’s laws be applied outside its borders?

On the other hand, doesn’t the Declaration of Independence say that human rights are universal?  They are “inalienable,” not granted by a government but “endowed” by God.

The case, Hernández v. Mesa, has to do with a border control agent shooting a rock-throwing teenager who was on the Mexican side of the border.

So what do you think?  Do foreigners have constitutional rights?  Is there a difference between constitutional rights and human rights?  Explain. [Read more…]

Flipping on Assange

342px-Julian_Assange_August_2014Not long ago, conservatives condemned Wikileaks leaker Julian Assange.  After all, Assange exposed U.S. intelligence operations, possibly endangering the lives of CIA agents.  Donald Trump even said he deserved the death penalty.  But now, after Assange released e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton in support of Trump, some of those same conservatives are all for him.  In fact, they believe him over the CIA!

Conversely, liberals used to praise Assange for revealing the sinister secrets of the militaristic, imperialistic CIA.  Today, now that Assange is supporting Trump and the CIA is saying the Russians were responsible for the e-mail hacks (something Assange denies), the left is vilifying Assange and praising the CIA!

Do you see some inconsistency here?  Michael Gerson does.  After the jump, read his accusations of unprincipled tribalism.  On the other hand, there are civil libertarians on both the right and the left that can make a case for Assange and his exposure of government secrets.

What do you think of Assange now? [Read more…]

A civil libertarian analyzes the election

Thanks to long-time reader Todd for linking me to the “Best article I’ve read on the election so far.”  It’s indeed an outstanding analysis, connecting the Trump election to England’s Brexit vote as a long-overdue reaction of ordinary people to the clueless, corrupt, and condescending rule of a political elite, as embodied in Hillary Clinton.

The article, excerpted and linked after the jump, is worth reading in its entirety just for that analysis.  But what further interests me is that it is written by independent journalist and civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald.  He is a conduit for Julius Assange and Wikileaks, which proved so damaging to the Clinton campaign.

What is the connection, do you think, between the Wikileaks ideology of undermining the establishment by exposing its secrets and that of Donald Trump?  Wikileaks publishes hacked documents in the name of civil liberty.  Is the Trump movement an expression of civil liberties? [Read more…]

Celebrating our liberties, including those at risk

On this Independence Day, we celebrate our freedoms as Americans. It’s a good exercise to read The Declaration of Independence, and it’s also a good exercise to read the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, spelling out what those freedoms are.

Read the list of our civil liberties after the jump.  As you do, consider which of these are currently under attack–by our own government, by government-connected organizations such as public universities, and by other entities. [Read more…]