Camille Paglia: Hillary Clinton ‘Has More Sooty Baggage Than A 90-Car Freight Train’

Camille Paglia, one of the few the old-school liberals whose social and fiscal views have always placed her nearer Constitutional libertarianism than 21st century liberalism, has had a rough go of rationalizing, to herself, her ongoing affiliation with the Democratic party. She’s admitted to herself that her eternal optimism for a classical liberal Democratic President is nostalgia, a principled loyalty she feels to her rebellious 1960s academic roots when liberalism and libertarianism were almost one and the same.

“Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans?” she once wrote. “Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). … How has ‘liberty’ become the inspirational code word of conservatives rather than liberals? I always thought that the Democratic Party is the freedom party — but I must be living in the nostalgic past.”

Paglia is among a number of now-jaded 1960s-era liberal intellectuals and culture-makers who truly believe in America as a land of singular opportunity ordained by a governing charter — the Constitution — that eternally stands as one of humanity’s crowning achievements. Whether you agree with their views, there’s no denying that their beliefs are substantive and uninfluenced by inscrutable motives or shortsighted expediency. The Administration of President Barack Obama has seen liberals like Paglia, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, David Mamet and others rue their longstanding faith in the power of last century’s Democratic beliefs to carry over into the perverted Democratic power structure of the present day. Paglia herself voted for Obama in 2008, but she spent the next four years disgusted with him (as she had done with Bill Clinton in the 1990s) and ended up voting with the Green Party in 2012.

In a Salon interview this week, Paglia indicated she’s not interested in continuing to wave the flag for establishment candidates who’ll continue to subvert the very principles that once defined her beloved Democratic Party. In particular, she’s done with Hillary Clinton — big time.

From Salon:

As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal. It’s time to put my baby-boom generation out to pasture! We’ve had our day and managed to muck up a hell of a lot. It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.

Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in “King Lear.” As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?” Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.

There’s not a lot that even Rand Paul could add to that.

In fact, Paglia and the thinking members of the Tea Party differ primarily on one point, and that’s the extent to which religion should influence the crafting of a political party’s social platform. Paglia is a secularist who champions religion as mankind’s genius reaction to the brutal world it’s inherited, but she’d just as well live in a society which is ready for art to serve as the dominant vessel to contain and spill forth human nature.

The future tenure of even a two-term Democrat President doesn’t have to result in the Nation-wrecking debacle that’s unfolding under Obama, but just about the only way for that to happen is for party leaders on both sides to start listening to their conscience. Paglia, Chomsky and their sagacious peers are the closest thing Democrats have to a true conscience; and it’s a safe bet no one who matters inside the party is listening.

Where Aid Money To Egypt Really Goes; DNC Financials Demonstrate Democrats’ Debt Problem; Cops Taser Non-Threatening Man, Kill Him; Secret Court Told NSA That Snooping Is UnConstitutional; And Elementary Teacher Jailed For ‘Eye For Eye’ Lesson— Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-21-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

ProPublica On U.S. Aid To Egypt: Where Does All Of The Money Go?

Questions about the United States’ aid to Egypt have intensified in the wake of last month’s military coup. More than 1,000 Egyptians have been killed in the last week, most apparently supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. A few members of Congress have called for cutting off aid to Egypt, which the White House says is under review. ProPublica breaks down where the money actually goes. Read More… 

Democratic National Committee Financials Reveal Insight Into Party’s Money Management Style

Recently released financial filings indicate that government spending isn’t the only area in which Democrats pretend that debt doesn’t matter. The Party is still struggling to pay off $18.5 million in campaign debts as its cash on hand continues to decline. Read More… 

Phoenix Police Called To Talk Non-Threatening Man Off Roof; Taser Him Five Times; Man Dies

A 44 year-old man in Phoenix was on an apartment roof “acting strangely,” according to local television news reports. So witnesses called the police to help him down. Instead, the police ended up killing him. Watch… 

EFF Victory Results In Release Of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Opinion Finding NSA Surveillance UnConstitutional

For almost two years, EFF has been fighting the government in Federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Issued in October 2011, the secret court’s opinion found that surveillance conducted by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act was unConstitutional and violated “the spirit of” Federal law. Read More…

Teacher Gets 30 Days In Jail For Teaching Class Bully A Lesson

A former Texas kindergarten teacher will spend 30 days in jail for instructing her pupils to hit the class bully, a judge ruled. Read More… 

ProPublica On U.S. Aid To Egypt: Where Does All Of The Money Go?

This ProPublica article, written by Marian Wang and Theodoric Meyer, has been updated to reflect new developments. It was first published on Jan. 31, 2011.

Questions about the United States’ aid to Egypt have intensified in the wake of last month’s military coup. More than 1,000 Egyptians have been killed in the last week, most apparently supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. A few members of Congress have called for cutting off aid to Egypt, which the White House says is under review.

We’ve taken a step back and tried to answer some basic questions about the aid, including how much the U.S. is giving Egypt, what’s changed in the years since the Arab Spring and what all the money buys.

How much does the U.S. spend on Egypt?

Egypt receives more U.S. aid than any country except for Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

The exact amount varies from year to year and there are many different funding streams, but U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt has averaged about $2 billion a year since 1979, when Egypt struck a peace treaty with Israel. Most of that goes toward military aid. President Obama’s 2014 budget tentatively includes $1.55 billion in aid, about the same amount the U.S. has sent in recent years.

Has any of the aid been cut off?

Actually, yes, but only economic aid, and only some of that. State Department has put a hold on some programs financed by the $250 million in annual economic aid to Egypt, including training programs in the U.S. for Egyptian hospital administrators, teachers and other government workers.

What about the military aid?

The administration delayed a scheduled delivery of four F-16 fighters to Egypt last month, and it is considering a similar delay for a shipment of Apache attack helicopters and repair kits for tanks. But the White House has not actually cut-off military aid, which has held steady at about $1.3 billion since 1987.  (Economic aid, meanwhile, has fallen by more than two-thirds since 1998.)

American officials say that military aid doesn’t just promote peace between Egypt and Israel, it also gives the U.S. benefits such as “expedited processing” for U.S. Navy warships when they pass through the Suez Canal. A 2009 U.S. embassy cable released by WikiLeaks makes essentially the same point:

President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as “untouchable compensation” for making and maintaining peace with Israel. The tangible benefits to our mil-mil relationship are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, and the U.S. military enjoys priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace.

According to the State Department, the military aid has included tanks, armored personnel carriers, antiaircraft missile batteries and surveillance aircraft in addition to the F-16 fighters and Apache attack helicopters. In the past, the Egyptian government has bought some of the weapons on credit.

How important is the aid to Egypt?

Pretty important. Saudi Arabia, which along with other Persian Gulf countries pledged $12 billion in aid to Egypt after the coup, promised this week to make up the difference in any aid cut by the U.S. or other Western nations. But much of the aid can’t easily be replaced, in particular fancy U.S. weapons and replacements parts for them.

Does the aid require Egypt to meet any specific conditions regarding human rights?

Not really. When an exiled Egyptian dissident called on the U.S. to attach conditions to aid to Egypt in 2008, Francis J. Ricciardone Jr., who had recently stepped down as the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, told the Washington Post the idea was “admirable but not realistic.” And then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2009 that military aid “should be without conditions” at a Cairo press conference.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, led Congress in adding language to a spending bill in 2011 to make aid to Egypt conditional on the secretary of state certifying that Egypt is supporting human rights and being a good neighbor. The language requires that Egypt abide by the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, support “the transition to civilian government including holding free and fair elections,” and put in place policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion, and due process of law.” It sounds pretty tough, but it’s not.

Has American aid to Egypt ever been cut off?

No. Congress threatened to block aid last year when Egypt began a crackdown on a number of American pro-democracy groups. A senior Obama administration official said that then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had no way to certify the conditions set out in the spending bill were being met.

But Clinton waived the certification requirement (yes, the secretary of state can do that) and approved the aid, despite concerns about Egypt’s human rights record. The reason? “A delay or cut in $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt risked breaking existing contracts with American arms manufacturers that could have shut down production lines in the middle of President Obama’s re-election campaign,” the New York Times reported. Breaking the contracts could have left the Pentagon on the hook for $2 billion.

Doesn’t the U.S. have to cut off foreign aid after a coup?

The Foreign Assistance Act mandates that the U.S. cut aid to any country “whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.” But last month the White House decided that it was not legally required to decide whether Morsi, who was democratically elected last year, was the victim of a coup 2014 which allowed the aid to keep flowing. “We will not say it was a coup, we will not say it was not a coup, we will just not say,” an anonymous senior official told the New York Times.

As the Washington Post’s Max Fisher points out, Obama and his predecessors have dealt this kind of thing before. The president cut some aid to Honduras after a coup in 2009 and to Mali and the Central African Republic after coups there in 2012, but not all of it. And those countries aren’t nearly as important to U.S. foreign policy as Egypt. President Bill Clinton cut some aid to Pakistan after a coup there in 1999, but President George W. Bush reinstated all of it after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Obama’s refusal to call it a coup infuriated Morsi supporters. “What is a coup?” Wael Haddara, a senior adviser to Morsi, told the New York Times. “We’re going to get into some really Orwellian stuff here.”

What about economic aid and efforts to promote democracy?

The various economic aid efforts have had mixed results. The State Department has described the Commodity Import Program, which gave Egypt millions of dollars between 1986 and 2008 to import American goods, as “one of the largest and most popular USAID programs.” But an audit of the four-year, $57 million effort to create agricultural jobs and boost rural incomes in 2007 found that the program “has not increased the number of jobs as planned.” And an audit of a $151 million program to modernize Egypt’s real estate finance market in 2009 found that, while the market had improved since the program began, the growth was “not clearly measurable or attributable” to the aid efforts.

The U.S. has also funded programs to promote democracy and good government in Egypt 2014 again with few results. It has sent about $24 million a year between 1999 and 2009 to a variety of NGOs in the country. According to a 2009 inspector general’s audit, the efforts didn’t add much due to “a lack of support” from the Egyptian government, which “suspended the activities of many U.S. NGOs because Egyptian officials thought these organizations were too aggressive.”

recent audit of the European Union’s 20AC1 billion 2014 about $1.35 billion 2014aid program found that it had been “well-intentioned but ineffective” in promoting good governance and human rights. And a WikiLeaks cable revealed the Egyptian government had asked USAID in 2008 to stop financing NGOs that weren’t properly registered.

 

Democratic National Committee Financials Reveal Insight Into Party’s Money Management Style

Recently released financial filings indicate that government spending isn’t the only area in which Democrats pretend that debt doesn’t matter. The Party is still struggling to pay off $18.5 million in campaign debts as its cash on hand continues to decline.

In July, the DNC’s debt burden increased from $18.3 million to $18.5 million, while the amount of cash the Party had on hand decreased from $5.7 million to $4.1 million.

The DNC has slowly tried to chip away at the more than $20 million in debt it racked up during the last election cycle over the past seven months—but the key word is slowly.

In the past three month, Democratic Party officials have been able to pay down $2 million in debt, just outpacing a decline in the amount of cash on hand totaling $1.3 million.

But DNC leaders aren’t too worried—in fact, they say they’re proud.

“We put that into a field. We won a whole bunch of states nobody thought we would win, and we’re proud of that,” Committee spokesman Michael Czin said. He added, “The sky’s not falling.”

On the other hand, the Republican Party coffers are in the black. The RNC reported raising $5.9 million in funding for July, and has $12.3 million in cash and no debt.

Phoenix Police Called To Talk Non-Threatening Man Off Roof; Taser Him Five Times; Man Dies

A 44 year-old man in Phoenix was on an apartment roof “acting strangely,” according to local television news reports. So witnesses called the police to help him down. Instead, the police ended up killing him.

Michael Ruiz, the son of a former police detective, got on his apartment roof on July 28, alarming residents who knew of his ongoing drug issues. Fearful that Ruiz would harm himself, they called the cops. When the police arrived, they “coaxed” him off the roof with multiple taser shots and then proceed to drag him in handcuffs down the stairs.

Witnesses said Ruiz’ unsupported head was repeatedly hitting the concrete stairs so hard they could hear the impacts.

His father, Richard Erickson, saw the video made him sick to his stomach.

“I’d never seen anything like this before, even when I was with the police department,” he told ABC-15.

“I started crying ’cause that’s not right, to hurt nobody like that,” said neighbor Verna Young. “He didn’t deserve that. He was a nice person, very nice.”

The EMS report stated Ruiz had been tased five times. He had to be resuscitated once in custody, but he was hospitalized and was eventually put on life support. Erickson decided five days after the incident to take him off life support, and Ruiz died.

Erickson has hired an attorney and said he is seeking the termination of the officers involved in the incident.

Phoenix police are still investigating and have given no comment.

EFF Victory Results In Release Of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Opinion Finding NSA Surveillance UnConstitutional

In response to EFF’s FOIA lawsuit, the government has released the 2011 FISA court opinion ruling some NSA surveillance unConstitutional.

For almost two years, EFF has been fighting the government in Federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Issued in October 2011, the secret court’s opinion found that surveillance conducted by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act was unConstitutional and violated “the spirit of” Federal law.

Today, EFF can declare victory: a Federal court ordered the government to release records in our litigation, the government has indicated it intends to release the opinion today, and ODNI called a  press conference to discuss “issues” with FISA Amendments Act surveillance, including a discussion of the opinion.

It remains to be seen how much of the opinion the government will actually make available to the public. President Obama has repeatedly said he welcomes a debate on the NSA’s surveillance: disclosing this opinion—and releasing enough of it so that citizens and advocates can intelligently debate the Constitutional violation that occurred—is a critical step in ensuring that an informed debate takes place.

Here are examples of documents previously released by the administration in response to our Freedom of Information Act request. Anything even resembling those “releases” would be utterly unacceptable today. But we’ve come a long way since then, it took filing a lawsuit; litigating (and winning) in the FISC itself; the unprecedented public release of information about NSA surveillance activities; and our continuing efforts to push the government in the district court for release of the opinion.

Release of the opinion today is just one step in advancing a public debate on the scope and legality of the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs. EFF will keep fighting until the NSA’s domestic surveillance program is reined in, Federal surveillance laws are amended to prevent these kinds of abuse from happening in the future, and government officials are held accountable for their actions.

Massachusetts Has More Than $300 For Obama

BOSTON, (UPI) — The Massachusetts treasurer said the commonwealth owes President Barack Obama more than $300 in unclaimed property.

State Treasurer Steve Grossman said his office’s cache of unclaimed property has two $156.23 checks for Obama, both refund checks from Comcast, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The checks are dated May and June of 2009, but Grossman said it usually takes about three years for the state to receive checks for unclaimed property.

Grossman said he doesn’t know why Massachusetts was sent the refund checks for a Maryland cable television account.

“Because it’s a Maryland address, we assume it goes back to when he was in the [U.S.] Senate,” he said.

“It’s kind of interesting that the president of the United States somehow, some way, ended up with unclaimed property,” Grossman said. “We’ve had other high-profile people before, star football players, star baseball players and actors. But I don’t ever remember a president before.

Grossman said he hopes Obama asks for his checks.

“We’ll let the White House know there are some forms that need to be filled out, and we’ll find someone close to the president to urge him to sign them and send them back. I know a lot of people for whom $312.46 is a big deal if they were to get an unclaimed property check,” he said.

Bearded Dragon Found Wandering In Boston Nursed Back To Health

BOSTON, (UPI) — Animal rescuers in Boston said a family has adopted a bearded dragon found wandering with an injured leg.

The Animal Rescue League said the reptile, an Australian species named for its ability to flare out its skin to resemble a beard, has been nursed back to health and returned to a healthy weight since he was found emaciated July 25, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The animal has permanently lost the use of one leg, the league said.

Roscoe was cared for by an adoption agent and has now been adopted by a father and daughter with experience caring for injured bearded dragons.

Mother Elephant Chooses Newborn’s Name, Mavi, At Tampa Zoo

TAMPA, Fla., (UPI) — The baby elephant born in the Tampa, Fla., Lowry Park Zoo has been named Mavi, a name chosen by the mother herself, zoo officials said Tuesday.

The zoo’s elephant care team chose five names in the Swati language for the 3-week-old calf, each beginning with the letter M to honor the mother, Matjeka. An online contest narrowed the choices down to two, Mavi, meaning “voices,” and Mngani, meaning “friend,” WTSP-TV, St. Petersburg, Fla., reported.

Two nutritional “enrichments” were prepared for the mother, stacks of hay and produce with the two names spelled out in carrots, and Majteka walked over to the one identified as “Mavi” and dug in, the television station said.

Report: Benedict XVI Says God Told Him To Resign Papacy

VATICAN CITY, (UPI) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI told a visitor he resigned after God told him to withdraw into a life of prayer, a Catholic news agency in Rome reported.

The visitor said he spoke to Benedict several weeks ago, Zenit reported Wednesday.

“God has told me,” Benedict was quoted as saying.

The visitor said Benedict described a “mystical experience” in which he received the message that it was time to give up the papacy and spend the rest of his life in prayer.

Benedict, 86, has lived quietly since leaving in March — first at the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, and then at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican.

He was the first pope to resign in hundreds of years and the first since Celestine V — who stepped down in 1294, a few months after his election — to do so voluntarily.

Benedict left the Vatican Sunday for the first time in months, Zenit — a non-profit, pro-Catholic news agency — said.

The news agency, citing sources in the Vatican, said Benedict, accompanied by the four women who look after his living quarters, traveled to Castel Gandolfo where he walked in the gardens and listened to a concert of classical piano music.

Teacher Gets 30 Days In Jail For Teaching Class Bully A Lesson

SAN ANTONIO, (UPI) — A former Texas kindergarten teacher will spend 30 days in jail for instructing her pupils to hit the class bully, a judge ruled.

State District Judge Sid Harle also sentenced Cynthia Ambrose, 44, to two years probation in order to prevent her from returning to the classroom, the San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday.

The judge said he was unhappy to learn that Ambrose faced only a one-year suspension by the Texas Education Agency.

The former Salinas Elementary School teacher was found guilty of official oppression for telling her students to show 6-year-old Aiden Neeley “how it feels to be bullied.”

She had the students line up and hit Neeley on May 2, 2012.

Her lawyer, Dayna Jones, argued that few students had a good recollection of what took place.

Neeley, now 7-years-old, testified that he only remembered getting hit by students.

Final Batch Of President Nixon’s Tapes Being Released

YORBA LINDA, Calif., (UPI) — The final 340 hours of White House tapes former U.S. President Nixon recorded for his use are being released, the Nixon Library and National Archives said.

The tapes cover April 9-July 12, 1973, the last months Nixon recorded his conversations in the White House and follow the period in which Nixon took responsibility for the Watergate scandal that brought down his presidency and during which the last U.S. troops returned from the Vietnam war, CBS News reported.

“It’s an incredibly interesting time in American history, and we have this one-of-a-kind source of highly accurate information about it,” Ken Hughes, a researcher with the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, told CBS News. “They provide a relatively raw, uncut view of the presidency we never had before and probably never will again.”

The Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., was releasing the tapes Wednesday along with more than 140,000 pages of documents.

The library said the tapes cover Watergate and other domestic issues, as well as foreign policy issues. The tapes also include recordings of Nixon’s calls and meetings with world leaders and future presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The conversations were recorded as Congress amped up its Watergate investigations.

“I’m hoping we’ll get to hear Nixon try to explain Watergate to Reagan and hear what Reagan says about that,” Hughes said.

20-Year-Old Charged With Georgia Elementary School Shooting

DECATUR, Ga., (UPI) — A 20-year-old was arrested Tuesday at the DeKalb, Ga., elementary school where he allegedly threatened employees with a gun and fired at police officers.

Police said Michael Brandon Hill eventually surrendered “without incident, without resistance,” WSB-TV in Atlanta reported. But he had opened fire when police responded to the Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy, although no one was injured.

“When we received the call and we engaged, he started to fire from inside the school at our officers. He had one or two of the staff members inside the main office. He was holding them captive,” DeKalb County police Chief Cedric Alexander said.

Hill was dressed in black and was armed with an AK-47 and several other guns, Alexander said.

One woman who was held in the office said Hill asked her to call police and WSB. She remained on the line with the TV station until after Hill’s surrender.

Alexander said firefighters cut a hole in a house next to the school to allow children to get away without leaving the school by the front entrance. Firefighters and police feared the gunman might have explosives in his car or on school property.

A nearby Walmart became a staging area where children were reunited with parents.

Florida Legislature Stands Its Ground On Stand Your Ground; Manning Sentenced To 35 Years; RNC Rich, DNC Poor; Mubarak Leaving Jail; God Told Pope To Quit – Wednesday Morning News Roundup 8-21-2013

 

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • The Florida legislature voted overwhelmingly not to hold a special session to repeal the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Supporters needed a “yes” vote by three-fifths of the Legislature to secure a special session. Source: AL.com… 

 

  • A military judge on Wednesday morning sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. He faced up to 90 years in prison. Source: The Washington Post…

 

  • The Republican National Committee has raised $5.9 million, while the Democratic National Committee reportedly has $18.5 million in debt. The RNC also has significantly more cash on hand than the Democratic National Committee. It had $12.3 million in cash on hand and no debt at the end of July, while the DNC had $4.1 million in cash on hand and nearly $18.5 million in debt — an increase from the end of June. Source: The Hill…

 

  • Deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak will leave jail as early as Thursday after a court ruling that jolted a divided nation already in turmoil seven weeks after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. His release might stir more turbulence in Egypt, where the army ousted Mursi, the country’s first freely elected leader, on July 3, saying it was responding to the will of the people following vast protests demanding his removal. Source: Reuters…

 

  • The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a “mystical experience.” Source: The Guardian…

 

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Support For 2nd Amendment-Supporting Florida Sheriff Grows As Trial Date Nears

In early June, Liberty County, Fla., Sheriff Nick Finch was arrested for official misconduct and suspended from office by Governor Rick Scott.

The sheriff’s offense? He set free a man who’d been arrested for carrying a firearm without a permit during a routine traffic stop. The motorist, who was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon, was let go after Finch discussed what had happened with the man and his brother (who’d come to the jail to find out what had happened) and determining the arrested man had a 2nd Amendment right to have the firearm in his car.

Car carry is legal in Florida for those without a conceal-carry permit, but the law stipulates such firearms must be securely encased or not readily accessible for immediate use — two stipulations the suspect allegedly didn’t meet when he was pulled over in Liberty County. Finch, who reportedly  told the arresting deputy he “believed in 2nd Amendment rights,” returned the man’s confiscated weapon and, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), “destroyed or removed official arrest documents from the Liberty County Jail, making it appear as though an arrest never occurred.”

In a recent interview with Michael Lofti from the grass-roots journalism e-zine Ben Swann, Finch said he would “Absolutely not” do things differently if he could go back and relive the incident.

“I wouldn’t have done anything different,” he said. “Once I became aware of the arrest, I immediately called the clerk and told her not to book Parrish. I am a Desert Storm veteran. I took an oath to protect the Constitution in the army and again as a sheriff. The state is charging me with destroying documents, which never existed. They do not have a case.”

Finch said the fact that the State offered to drop the charges against him, if only he’d resign from office, strongly indicates a political, and not a judicial, motive behind his prosecution.

With Finch’s Sept. 30 trial date approaching, the case is being closely watched by local supporters and people nationwide concerned that the State is tightening its grip on citizens’ 2nd Amendment freedoms and the elected officials, like Finch, who would stand alongside the people to defend them.

Tea Party supporters, conservative law enforcement organizations and Constitutionalists from across the country are planning to attend an Aug. 24 fundraiser in Panama City, Fla., for Finch’s legal defense fund, which is also collecting money on a website administered by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

Fred Brownbill of the Save America Foundation explained the importance of the Finch case in his call for people to attend the fundraising event.

As you know, the office of the county sheriff is under attack in many places.  The Constitutional sheriff is a threat to tyranny.  The duty of the Constitutional county sheriff is to protect and defend the Constitution and to interpose himself between his people and anyone who would violate their rights.

Did The IRS Kill Obamacare?

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution ascribes to Congress the sole “Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” on the American people. Somebody at the Internal Revenue Service didn’t get the memo.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the deathcare trap we call Obamacare), legislation allows States to choose whether they want to set up State-run health insurance exchanges. Twenty-six States declined, prompting the Federal government to move to set up exchanges in their place.

Under the State exchanges, States are able to fine employers under the employer-mandate penalty. Those fines are then given back to employees in the form of subsidies to purchase healthcare insurance through the State-run exchange.

As the law was written, the employer-mandate penalty did not apply under Federal exchanges. But the IRS, at President Barack Obama’s direction, decided the penalty had to apply to Federal exchanges as well. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed suit last year challenging the IRS on the rule change.

Essentially, Pruitt believes the employer mandate penalty does not apply under a Federal-run exchange, and the State’s policy decision not to set up an exchange should protect employers from the penalty. Pruitt is alleging that the IRS is violating the Administrative Procedures Act, which prevents an agency from exercising powers it doesn’t have. He claims the IRS has altered the effect of the law through regulation and implementation.

Last week, a Federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the State had the legal standing to sue the Federal government over the employer mandate. The case will now make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it should be struck down as unConstitutional.

But if SCOTUS just rules the IRS actions illegal, Obamacare will be left in a bigger pile of debris than it currently is. Without the penalties on employers, the exchanges will be bereft of money.

Hat tip: Benswann.com

Egypt Proves Obama To Be An Idiot Or An Islamist

“It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was al-Qaida.” — Barack Obama

While on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard last week, President Barack Obama condemned the bloodshed in Egypt. He demonstrated his anger over the recent violence that has left more than 1,000 people dead in the past week by declaring that America’s armed forces will not participate in this year’s war games with Egypt.

That’s right; Obama is canceling Bright Star, a biennial war exercise Washington and Cairo have organized since 1981.

The President must think this will bring Egyptian protestors and the military to their knees. To me, it’s like catching your teenage sons in a fistfight and yelling: “No baseball!”

If that doesn’t fix the crisis, the President just might double-dog dare Egypt. I expect the Egyptian army, which is now in control, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is fighting for control, to say: “So what?”

Obama has made it obvious that he has no desire to suspend nearly $2 billion in annual aid to Egypt — a fortune when you consider that America owes $18 trillion — even as reports surfaced (later claimed false by the Administration) that aid payments had been stopped.

The good news is that Obama appears to not want to put American boots on the ground in Egypt. (Take that, Senator John McCain!) Instead, Obama is going to keep his fingers crossed and hope that Egypt and the rest of the Mideast doesn’t explode. If that happens, it could mean Obama will have to develop fossil fuels in North America. I can already picture the outrage from the greens. As for the neocons who never met a war they didn’t like, it will be heresy.

But events are spinning out of control in the Mideast, and Obama seems clueless when it comes to shaping them. That is either because he is weak or because he understands all too well what sustains Islam: a perpetually tribal and backward region that seems to require Sharia law or a ruthless dictator like Gamal Abdel Nasser, who seized power in Egypt in 1954.

For 65 years, Mideast nations have been ruled either by a dictator or Islamic sectarianism. Dictators like Nasser, Anwar Sadat in Egypt, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran. More recently, we now have the Muslim Brotherhood battling for control of Egypt and the still-unrepentant Taliban in Afghanistan.

Author Lawrence Wright wrote about “Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, he was the former leader of the Egyptian terrorist group al-Jihad, and known to those in the underground mainly as Dr Fadl” in a story for The Guardian:

The Essential Guide for Preparation appeared in 1988, as the Afghan jihad was winding down. It quickly became one of the most important texts in the jihadis’ training.

The guide begins with the premise that jihad is the natural state of Islam. Muslims must always be in conflict with non-believers, Fadl asserts, resorting to peace only in moments of abject weakness.

The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge, which is more than 1,000 pages long, starts with the assertion that salvation is available only to the perfect Muslim. Even an exemplary believer can wander off the path to paradise with a single misstep. Fadl contends that the rulers of Egypt and other Arab countries are apostates of Islam. ‘The infidel’s rule, his prayers, and the prayers of those who pray behind him are invalid,’ Fadl decrees. ‘His blood is legal.’ He declares that Muslims have a duty to wage jihad against such leaders; those who submit to an infidel ruler are themselves infidels, and doomed to damnation. The same punishment awaits those who participate in democratic elections. ‘I say to Muslims in all candour that secular, nationalist democracy opposes your religion and your doctrine, and in submitting to it you leave God’s book behind,’ he writes. Those who labour in government, the police and the courts are infidels, as is anyone who works for peaceful change; religious war, not political reform, is the sole mandate. Even devout believers walk a tightrope over the abyss. ‘A man may enter the faith in many ways, yet be expelled from it by just one deed,’ Fadl cautions. Anyone who believes otherwise is a heretic and deserves to be slaughtered.

Of course, Obama will never ever speak of this inconvenient truth. But that does not make it untrue.

Humpty Dumpty Sat On A Wall

To believe Islam can be reformed would mean we have to swallow all that garbage that was sold by the George W. Bush Administration and his triad: Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz — or, as I call them, The Three Stooges.

Dubya neocons believed that they could engineer Venice on the Euphrates. More than a decade later, we can see how that turned out.

Yet the neocons remain undeterred. Just as McCain still believes America should and could have won the war in Vietnam, Cheney proclaims he has nothing to apologize about after a political career that dates back to the Richard Nixon Administration. To this day he maintains that the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq were correct.

Cheney really believes the $1 trillion spent on Iraq was money wisely spent. He ignores that the Mideast may erupt into one big Iraq.

American blood and money was wasted to secure Mideast oil. A dividend was those fat military contracts. Now, 12 years after 9/11, our fortunes remain tied to the fortunes of the Mideast. If the region blows apart, it will have a huge economic impact on America. Before it is over, all of Obama’s horses and all of Obama’s men will not put America back together again.

The prospect of the Mideast burning should shake Democrats to their very core. Obama may have to embrace natural gas. He may have to accept the Keystone Pipeline from Canada.

And if Obama refuses to double down in the Mideast, the neocons won’t know what to do with themselves. There are three aircraft carrier battle groups that are on permanent station in the Mideast. Obama may have to put them up for sale on eBay — especially if he continues to give billions of dollars in U.S. aid to repressive Islamic regimes.

Islam-Aid Is A Sinister Tax Upon America

The most prominent Muslim next to the Prophet Muhammad was a professor, philosopher and mystic: Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. He lived 900 years ago, which makes him postmodern in the Muslim world. Ask the Huffington Post, which ran this headline two years ago: “Al Ghazali: 900 Years Later and Still Relevant.” (It’s just another example of the liberal media’s burning need to placate Islam. If you think I am wrong, find a secular publication that claims Thomas Aquinas is still relevant.)

Farah Jassat, who wrote the story, had much to say about al-Ghazali and how “[h]e underwent a traumatic spiritual crisis riddled with doubt and confusion.”

What happened to al-Ghazali? He walked out on his students. He sold all of his possessions and moved about in the wilderness in search of wisdom and truth. If this seems familiar, it is probably because you watched the 1970s TV series “Kung Fu.”

In later life, al-Ghazali’s most important teachings were on taxation — not the taxation of Muslims, of course, but the taxation of Christians, Jews and Sabians. How else was a deadbeat professor going to make himself and Islam rich?

To do just that al-Ghazali laid out his taxation plans for the dhimmi, or non-Muslims. He declared that they were obligated to never mention “Allah” and that all must pay the jizya.

Jizya was a poll tax that non-Muslims had to pay their Muslim superiors. Al-Ghazali determined that non-Muslims were an inferior people. This came from one of the greatest Muslim minds ever, a man whose teachings are still celebrated today.

Yet what jizya really boiled down to was a protection racket no different from what the Mafia ran in America. Non-Muslims paid off Muslims or they faced reprisals.

According to Mark Steyn, author of America Alone: The End of the World as we Know It, this is the prime reason why the Prophet accepted non-Muslims in the Holy Lands. They were heavily taxed by their Muslim masters, and it provided a constant revenue stream.

Steyn writes:

[E]ventually almost all Muslim societies tend toward the economically moribund, if only because an ever-shrinking infidel base eventually wises up…

But the Muslim word has effortlessly extended the concept of the jizya worldwide. If you’re on the receiving end, it’s possible to see the American, European, and Israeli subsidies of the Palestinian Authority as a form of jizya. Or even the billions of dollars Washington has lavished on Egypt, to such little effect (other than Mohammed Atta coming through the window). Not to mention every twenty bucks you put in the gas tank.

When it comes to 21st century jizya, Obama is all in. Each year, the United States spends $25 billion on Persian Gulf oil. In addition to the $2 billion set aside for Egypt this year, the United States will give nearly $4 billion to Afghanistan and more than $3 billion to Pakistan. This is amazing because reportedly, when it comes to support in the United Nations, Egypt votes against the United States 79 percent of the time and Pakistan votes against the U.S. 75 percent of the time.

The neocons in the Bush Administration may have believed that Iraq was bought and paid for, thus giving the United States the right to conduct social engineering.

That is not the case for Obama, who is ever so willing to continue the largest transfer of wealth in human history. Billions of our tax dollars go to Islam each year in the hope that everything works out. It is either the dream of an idiot or the ambition of an Islamist.

As for Obama’s claim that we were not attacked by a religion but by an organization, imagine if in 1942 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had declared that America was not at war with Germany but with the National Socialist Party. It’s outrageous and it is frightening.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers

Rural Colorado Residents Fed Up With Liberal Legislature Make Push For Secession

If you are a member of the conservative minority in a State notorious for liberal politics, you probably have a great deal in common with the residents of Weld County, Colo., a community taking radical steps to attempt to distance itself from State policies antithetical to conservatism.

The Weld County Commission, expressing concern that agriculture, oil and gas, and Constitutional rights are under attack from the Colorado State Legislature, have decided to attempt something that hasn’t been done since West Virginia was born at the height of the Civil War in 1863.

It has issued a proposal asking local voters to decide:

“Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Weld County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?”

Currently, four northern Colorado counties, including Weld, Sedgwick, Yuma and Cheyenne, have decided to let voters decide if the State will split, forming a new State called North Colorado. Another seven counties are seriously considering following suit.

Lawmakers in the Colorado counties who support secession from the State say the need for a split stems from the State government’s mishandling and misunderstanding of rural issues in the Centennial State.

“Last year we were in the midst of a drought. We also were having horrible fires in our mountain areas. The Governor declared a state of emergency for the fires and was able to use the high mountain reservoirs, the water out of the high mountain reservoirs to help put out the fires…We asked him to declare a drought and a statewide emergency for here in Weld County…so that we could turn on the wells and take that water out of the, the same water, only it’s an underground reservoir, and use it for the drought. We were told no,” Weld County District 3 Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer said, referencing one grievance her local government has with the State leadership.

Seventy Weld County residents who attended a July 29 meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a new State for rural Coloradoans also expressed opposition to the State Legislature’s gun control measures, renewable energy initiatives in rural areas, expanded regulation of oil and gas production, and the reduction of “cruel treatment” of livestock.

“We’re not pulling away from Colorado, Colorado is pulling away from us,” Keenesburg resident Bruce Sparrow told The Denver Post after that meeting.

Liberal Colorado residents have mercilessly mocked the conservative effort, suggesting that the new State be called “Weldistan,” “Tancredonia” or “Fracktopia.”

One commentary on the blog ColoradoPols said of the plan:

Call us quaint, but we’re shocked to see elected county commissioners seriously talking about such a patently ridiculous idea. Even in the case of Weld County commissioners, it’s an escalation of a series of increasingly politically far-out positions, after already facing controversy over their decision to stop offering emergency contraceptives at county health clinics. Weld County’s Sheriff John Cooke, as we’ve noted in this space, has embraced undeniably extreme positions on guns, the very issue upsetting the commissioners–such as repealing the post-Columbine Amendment 22 gun show background check law, and even repealing all instant federal background checks for gun sales. There seems to be a real breakdown of rationality in Weld County, among officials who wield considerable power. It’s embarrassing, but also kind of fascinating to watch.

For the idea of a 51st State bearing the name North Colorado to become reality, proponents will have to endure an uphill battle. In order for the residents to succeed and successfully form a new State, they will have to first win the support of Colorado voters as well as the blessings of both the Colorado General Assembly and the United States Congress.

Federal Reserve Holdings Of U.S. Treasury Securities Quadruples Since 2008, Surpasses $2 Trillion

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy of quantitative easing, ostensibly intended to steady the U.S. economy, has more than quadrupled the amount of Treasury securities owned by the Fed since Chairman Ben Bernanke hatched the strategy in 2009.

As of last week, the Fed holds $2,001,093,000,000 (that’s $2 trillion) in U.S. Treasury securities. In late 2008, before the Fed began its four-year run, it held $475.9 billion — less than one-quarter the amount of U.S. debt it now holds.

The Fed’s Aug. 14 report represents the first time its holdings of government debt have surpassed the $2 trillion mark.

The Federal Reserve owns more American debt than any other entity. China is a not-too-distant second, holding more than $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities. Foreign entities, including China, own $5.6 trillion in U.S. debt.

In all, the United States owes a cumulative $16.9 trillion to creditors worldwide, although one economist has estimated the government’s real obligations are closer to $70 trillion if built-in, consequential costs of current debts and anticipated fiscal stresses are factored in.

According to professor James Hamilton of the University of California-San Diego, the Federal government has intentionally been keeping U.S. debt off the balance sheet by omitting unfunded liabilities such as government loan guarantees and deposit insurance, as well as postsecondary education government loans.

“The biggest off-balance-sheet liabilities come from recognition of the fiscal stress that will come in the form of an aging population and rising medical expenditures,” Hamilton told FOX News last week. “It is worth noting that there are many historical episodes in which off-balance sheet liabilities ended up having quite significant on-balance sheet implications.”

Conservative economists continue to warn that forestalling an economic collapse by the endless printing of fiat currency only will exacerbate the scale of an inevitable economic doomsday, when creditors finally lose faith in the government’s abilities to meet its obligations.

The American Man Is An Endangered Species

America is a tolerant place. While many countries throughout the world lag far behind the United States in abandoning concrete gender roles, Americans have worked to place male and female, feminine and masculine and homo and hetero on a level playing field.

We haven’t always succeeded with high marks (and depending on personal views, we all tend to grade a bit differently, in any case). But as a Nation, we are probably better for trying. After all, there is room in the United States for many different lifestyles and choices.

There’s still work to be done closing gaps and ensuring that certain discriminatory attitudes don’t inhibit the ability of anyone, regardless of alternative lifestyle, to feel uninhibited in his or her (or… xyrs) pursuit of personal happiness.

Unfortunately, the will of some advocates to continue a push for more ease in the day-to-day lives of certain members of the aforementioned groups is beginning to have a clearly negative effect on the lives of another: the young American male.

Christina Hoff Sommers, author of “The War Against Boys,” notes in a recent contribution to Time:

As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.” …

… Across the country, schools are policing and punishing the distinctive, assertive sociability of boys. Many much-loved games have vanished from school playgrounds. At some schools, tug of war has been replaced with “tug of peace.” Since the 1990s, elimination games like dodgeball, red rover and tag have been under a cloud — too damaging to self-esteem and too violent, say certain experts. Young boys, with few exceptions, love action narratives. These usually involve heroes, bad guys, rescues and shoot-ups. As boys’ play proceeds, plots become more elaborate and the boys more transfixed. When researchers ask boys why they do it, the standard reply is, “Because it’s fun.”

Whether it is recognized in your eyes as a sinister form of social engineering to eradicate masculinity or appears less threateningly as a bid to make the Nation more aware of the more vulnerable among us, the unconscionable act of disregarding the damage done by outlawing competitiveness (a natural trait that creationists and evolutionists can even agree upon) will do nothing but harm society.

Sommers notes:

Play is a critical basis for learning. And boys’ heroic play is no exception. [Researchers] found that “bad guy” play improved children’s conversation and imaginative writing. Such play… also builds moral imagination, social competence and imparts critical lessons about personal limits and self-restraint. [Researchers] worry that the growing intolerance for boys’ action-narrative-play choices may be undermining their early language development and weakening their attachment to school. …

… Schools must enforce codes of discipline and maintain clear rules against incivility and malicious behavior. But that hardly requires abolishing tag, imposing games of tug of peace or banning superhero play. Efforts to re-engineer the young-male imagination are doomed to fail, but they will succeed spectacularly in at least one way. They will send a clear and unmistakable message to millions of schoolboys: You are not welcome in school.

While public schools throughout the Nation continue to wage war on games that have endured as perennial boyhood favorites for generations — cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, or, simply, good guys versus bad guys — and eradicate physical contests in which physical weakness is a liability, Hollywood and popular culture have made a push to make the effeminate male the rule rather than the exception.

One thing can be stated without question: Had the Founding generations of the United States been raised in the same climate young males are subjected to today, you would have had to endure even more widespread coverage of a certain recent royal birth on this continent than you did a few weeks ago.

Maryland ‘Substantial Reason’ Requirement Challenged

There’s an important gun rights case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that could be as significant as recent gun-rights wins like District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). The case comes out of Maryland, where the State requires an applicant for license to carry a handgun to demonstrate “a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”

Baltimore County resident Raymon Woollard had a license to carry for six years. It was granted after a violent home invasion attack by his son-in-law. But when the license came up for renewal again, his request was denied because the attack had occurred seven years earlier and he no longer demonstrated a sufficient “substantial reason” requirement, per Maryland law.

Woollard, along with the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the State, citing SCOTUS rulings in Heller and McDonald. The Federal court ruled in his favor, but the ruling was subsequently overturned by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court ruled the State satisfied the standard as the good-and-substantial-reason requirement for obtaining a Maryland handgun permit is reasonably adapted to a substantial governmental interest.

In other words, the 4th Circuit believes the 2nd Amendment can be arbitrarily suspended if the means (restricting gun ownership) achieves the State’s ends (reducing gun crime) but did not require the State to prove its case.

There have been several lower court decisions since Heller and McDonald that indicate the gun grabbers continue to subvert the will of the Founders on the rights of all Americans to “keep and bear arms.” It will be up to SCOTUS to once again affirm the right.

Paul Bunyan To Prop Up Obamacare; Kissinger Endorses Christie; New Jersey’s Hoovervilles; Hiding Your IP A Crime?; And More Zimmerman Defamation From Anti-Gun Crowd— Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-20-2-13

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Minnesota Officials Use Paul Bunyan To Strong-Arm Public Opinion On Obamacare

According to legend, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox cleared North Dakota of its forests and dug Lake Superior with nothing but willpower and sweat. But now, Mr. Bunyan has the even more arduous task of convincing Americans that Obamacare isn’t a scam on his hands. Read More… 

Say No More: Henry Kissinger ‘Delighted’ If Chris Christie Takes 2016 GOP Nomination

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told National Review today he’d be delighted to see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie win the Republican nomination for the 2016 Presidential race. Read More… 

Tent Cities In New Jersey A Throwback To The Great Depression

A New Jersey Fox News television affiliate has been prowling the State in recent weeks, acting on viewer tips directing them to communities of homeless people living in tents, under overpasses, or – as seen in the video below – in makeshift shelters and abandoned buildings left to rot in the woods. Read More…

EFF: Court Rules Accessing a Public Website Isn’t A Crime, But Hiding Your IP Address Could Be

In the ongoing legal battle between Craigslist and 3taps, a new court opinion makes clear that people are “authorized” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to access a public website. But what the court gave with one hand it took with the other, as it also ruled that sending a cease-and-desist letter and blocking an IP address is enough to “revoke” this authorization. Read More… 

Gun Haters Continue To Vilify Zimmerman, Gun Owners, Stand Your Ground Despite Jury Acquittal

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has become the latest American anti-gun group to exploit the tragic death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin in order to undermine Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights. Read More…