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Josh Blackman links to an interesting new speech by (retired) Justice Stevens about the Courts campaign finance jurisprudence. Among other things, Justice Stevens argues that there ought to be little protection (or no protection?) for campaign contributions made across state lines. He begins . . .:

In the first sentence of his controlling opinion [in McCutcheon v. FEC] the Chief Justice correctly states that there is no right more basic to our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. 188 L. Ed.2d 468, 482. And in his concluding paragraph he correctly describes that right as the First Amendment right of citizens to choose who shall govern them. Id., at 507 (Emphases added).

McCutcheons complaint, however, makes it clear that his objection to the federal statute was based entirely on its impairment of his ability to influence the election of political leaders for whom he had no right to vote. He is an Alabama citizen; in the 2012 election cycle he made equal contributions to different candidates, only two of whom were from Alabama. The other thirteen were campaigning in California, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Of primary significance is the fact that his only complaint about the federal statute was its prohibition against his making contributions in 2014 to candidates in twelve other non-Alabama elections Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

To the best of my knowledge in none of the Courts cases prior to McCutcheon has the Court even mentioned a citizens supposed right to participate in elections in which he or she has no right to vote. It surely has not characterized it as a basic right of unparalleled importance.

Among other things, Justice Stevens draws on Bluman v. FEC, an opinion by Judge Kavanaugh that held that non-resident aliens had no right to make contributions or expenditures about American elections, and that was summarily affirmed (unanimously!) by the Supreme Court.

This is an interesting point, although I am not at all convinced by Justice Stevenss analysis. For a different take, here is an excerpt from Jessica Bulman-Pozens recent article, Partisan Federalism:

Bluman v. FEC: Political Engagement Across State Lines

In recent years, political engagement across state lines has increased dramatically. This engagement is not limited to out-of-state spending for federal representatives, but also extends to state electoral contests and referenda. In the 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, for instance, out-of-state contributions made up a majority of Governor Scott Walkers arsenal and nearly a third of challenger Tom Barretts funds. For South Dakotas 2006 referendum on abortion, a substantial majority of the funds for both sides came from other states. As one commentator puts it: Means of communication, fundraising and also campaigning are becoming nationaland its affecting state and even local races.

Cross-state engagement furnishes powerful evidence of partisan federalism. For one thing, party organizations are among the most active cross-state participants; the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into state races in the past decade.261 Party actors recognize the power of the states as platforms for national conflict. But so too do individuals, who get involved directly in out-of-state politics for many reasons. In some cases, a donor might contemplate moving to a different state to take advantage of a new policy or visiting to benefit from the policy during a briefer stay. In other cases, one states decisions may effectively set policy for the entire nation. But in perhaps the largest number of cases, Americans do not stand to benefit immediately or directly from out-of-state political involvement. Instead, they seek to create momentum for a particular policy or political party, to build a real-life example to inform national debate, or simply to take comfort in knowing that their preferences are actual policyand their partisan group is in control somewhere. By channeling money toward states other than their own and embracing the kind of surrogate representation I have explored in Part III, these individuals are enacting partisan federalism.

If we see cross-state political participation, however, it is not because existing federalism doctrine or theory supports the practice. Instead, it is because such activity has been protected as expression under the First Amendment. Today, only Alaska and Hawaii impose any limits on out-of-state contributions, and no state limits out-of-state expenditures. Although the Alaska Supreme Court upheld the states residency-based limits, citing deep suspicions of the motives and wisdom of those who, from outside its borders, wish to remold Alaska, federal courts have rejected, on First Amendment grounds, attempts by other states to impose similar restrictions. Courts have also largely invalidatedas inconsistent with the First Amendmentstate requirements that petition circulators be state residents. While these courts have focused on the expressive dimensions of cross-border contributions and expenditures and have not considered their validity from a federalism perspective, a recent case raises the question of whether such expressive activity undermines American federalism and may accordingly be proscribed. In Bluman v. FEC, a three-judge panel of the D.C. District Court took up a loose end left by the Supreme Courts holding in Citizens United v. FEC: whether the Government has a compelling interest in preventing foreign individuals or associations from influencing our Nations political process. In a decision summarily affirmed by the Supreme Court, the court upheld a provision of federal law that prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions or expenditures in connection with federal, state, or local elections. The court reasoned that the case did not turn on the First Amendment questions that have dominated campaign finance jurisprudence but rather a foundational question about the definition of the American political community. It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community, the court maintained, that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government. Recognizing political contributions and expenditures as integral to electoral processes, the court proceeded to define them as both speech and participation in democratic self-government. Accordingly, it reasoned, limitations on foreign contributions and expenditures are all part of the sovereigns obligation to preserve the basic conception of a political community.

The rest is here:
Volokh Conspiracy: Is there a right to contribute to out-of-state elections?

press release from the NRA:

On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse Tom Corbett for Governor in Pennsylvania.

Based on his support of and commitment to the Second Amendment, Corbett has earned an A rating from the NRA-PVF in the 2014 general election. An A rating is reserved for a solidly pro-gun candidate who has supported the NRAs position on issues of importance to gun owners and sportsmen.

Tom Corbett has stood up to the gun control crowd and protected our Second Amendment freedoms in Pennsylvania, said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. As Governor, he signed into law Castle Doctrine legislation expanding protection to law-abiding citizens for self-defense. Prior to that, when he served as Attorney General, Tom tripled the number of right-to-carry reciprocity agreements with other states allowing Pennsylvanians to better protect themselves and their families while traveling outside the Keystone state.

Gov. Corbett has a proven record supporting our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. He believes hunting is a valuable tool for wildlife management, a positive use of natural resources, and an American tradition that teaches young people responsibility and respect for the outdoors. In addition, Corbett signed pro-gun friend of the court briefs in the landmark Heller and McDonald cases asserting that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual right for all law-abiding Americans.

We can continue to count on Tom Corbett to stand up for our constitutional freedoms in Pennsylvania, added Cox. On behalf of the NRAs five million members, I want to thank Tom for his steadfast support of the Second Amendment and urge all NRA members, gun owners and sportsmen in Pennsylvania to vote Tom Corbett for Governor on November 4.

See the rest here:
NRA Endorses Tom Corbett for Governor in Pennsylvania

By – Associated Press – Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a measure to limit smoking in the states parks and beaches.

In his veto message released Wednesday night, Christie pointed to numerous municipalities that have already banned smoking in their parks and beaches, and argued the issue is better left to local officials to decide for their constituents.

While I appreciate the sponsors concerns regarding the health risks poses by smoking and secondhand smoke, I am not persuaded that a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all State ban on smoking in public parks and beaches is advisable at this time, he wrote.

Smoking would have been banned at parks and limited at beaches under the bill approved by the state Senate and Assembly in June. It garnered overwhelming support in both chambers.

The bill aimed to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, cut down on litter and curtail fire risks. Violators would have been fined at least $250 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for repeated violations.

The Senates health committee chair had called the measure a great compromise at the time of its passage, noting the Assembly had previously passed a bill that called for an outright ban on smoking at beaches.

Christies decision was sharply criticized by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, one of the bills sponsors.

This is extremely unfortunate from both a public health perspective and from an environmental perspective, she said in a statement issued shortly after the veto was announced. I would have hoped the governor would have joined the overwhelming majority of the legislature who supported this bill by standing up for the publics best interests.

Several shore towns including Belmar, Seaside Heights, Long Branch already ban smoking.

Read the original:
Christie vetoes limit on smoking at parks, beaches

Facebook banned a gun rights activist due to entitled, Connecticuts Gun Ban Is Worse Than Hitlers Gun Ban. A recent video of a kitten in a burning bucket was deemed to be in line with the social networks community standards but the pro-Second Amendment article was not.

Gerry Emery received an alert that his gun rights article and accompanying image did not meet the Facebook Community Standards and therefore would be removed and his account suspended.

Facebook sent a message to the gun rights activist about the violation.

Youre temporarily blocked from posting. This temporary block will last 30 days and you wont be able to post on Facebook until its finished. Youre repeatedly posted things that arent allowed on Facebook. Read the Facebook Community Standards to learn what kinds of posts arent allowed.

Emerys Facebook ban did not stem from any type of threatening post, or one that involved illegal activity. The post noted that the man stood with Connecticut Second Amendment advocates and cited his views as to why the Holocaust and senseless slaughter of millions of Jewish people occurred.

Excerpt from Gerry Emerys banned Facebook post.

Connecticuts Gun Ban Is Worse Than Hitlers Gun Ban: Recently, 100,000 state residents who went to bed as law-abiding citizens and woke up a felon facing prison time. Connecticut Governor Malloy continues to pressure the 100,000 Connecticut residents who have refused to register their guns, to do so, or face forced gun confiscation at their homes. Why is Malloy still Governor? Why arent these people recalling this sorry excuse for a governor who obviously holds the Second Amendment in such disdain? How quickly we forget the lessons of history. If we ever allow government to subvert the second amendment, we very well could be witnessing a prelude to an American genocide. There is nothing as dangerous to a totalitarian regime as an educated and well-armed populace. Emery goes on to note that Connecticut resident David Schmecker, a retired Navy veteran, had his guns confiscated and his permit to carry revoked because he refused to submit to a psychological examination as ordered by an interim doctor, before the Navy vet could be prescribed pain medication.

The post banned by Facebook also addressed the Nazi Weapons Act of 1938.

Frighteningly, American gun control legislation is imitating Hitlers Nazi Germany gun control legislation. Consider the key provisions of the Nazi Weapons Act of 1938 and compare it with the Connecticut gun ban. The parallels of both the provisions and the legal language are eerily similar and in some cases the Connecticut ban is worse that anything Hitler implemented. The lesson of the 20th Century genocides can no longer be dismissed as something that could never happen in America. The logic of personal self-defense should be hitting home as our country plunges deeper into the depths of fascist totalitarian control; e.g., Patriot Acts 1&2, the NDAA, Executive Order 13603, the multitude of spying bills which allow for the spying on American citizens who are engaged in ordinary activities.

The German gun ban also assumed the power to decide what types of guns could or could not be owned by citizens and mandated that every type of ammunition was subject to the control of government officials.

See the original post here:
Facebook Bans Gun Rights Activist Over Holocaust Post

“Despite initial concern that the cold conditions would adversely affect the catch, catches of Illex have exceeded 270,000 tonnes, which is the highest since the fishery began in 1987,” said Colin Roberts, HM Governor of the Falkland Islands.

Nick Spoliar, analyst at broker WH Ireland said the Falkland fishing agency business and the economy of the islands were both beneficiaries of a very good Illex catch the best for over 25 years.

Mr Spoliar added that this is good news would underpin government receipts for the islands and lifts confidence for next years fishing licences.

The Illex Argentinus, or shortfin squid, is the most commonly fished species of squid in the world.

But the catches of Illex squid are highly volatile depending on local sea temperature and currents.

Illex squid start their one-year lives off the River Plate, which marks the border of Argentina and Uruguay, in September and move southwards as they grow.

Britain has ruled the Falklands, 290 miles (460 kilometres) east of Argentina’s coast, for more than 180 years.

However, Argentina also claims sovereignty, losing a brief war over the islands in 1982. Offshore oil exploration in the area has encouraged new waves of nationalism on both sides.

View original post here:
'Argentina loses squid war with Falklands'

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Flame of Freedom is the only Ride Sanctioned by Rolling Thunder Inc. as a cross country Ride to the worlds largest motorcycle demonstration. Each year over 900,000 people attend the spectacular POW/MIA cause event held in Washington, DC, Memorial Day Weekend.

The Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom announces it course and destination media stops for 2014. The event is enhanced in scope from the past several years, as the Iceman Productions and The Stars Foundation partnership brings not only media generated stops along the route, but also a 13 episode Made for Television series called AMERICA RISING, featuring Rolling Thunder Inc. and its Flame of Freedom Ride. The series, honoring our troops and veterans, is scheduled for broadcast in first quarter of 2015, and over 210 television stations have been cleared to air the series.

Rolling Thunder, Inc.s mission is to publicize the POW-MIA issue: To educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after all previous wars and to help correct the past and to protect the future Veterans from being left behind should they become Prisoners Of War-Missing In Action. Rolling Thunder, Inc. is a non-profit organization totally supported by volunteers Iceman Productions is known to deliver sports television programming to 46 countries through a group of independent networks. Over 550 episodes of Offshore Powerboat and International Long Drive Golf Championships programs are currently in global distribution. Taking high impact programming to a new level with celebrities engaged by partner The Stars Foundation of Nashville, along with dignitaries for a dynamic philanthropic overtone to the television content, provides AMERICA RISING and The Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom Ride the platform for a message of reverence and honor for our American heroes. Roger J. Piggott and Cheryl Robeson Piggott are the executive team at Iceman Productions executing the media events and television production.

The cross-country motorcycle journey will run from May 11 to Sunday, May 25 with riding clubs at media stops supporting the core group of Rolling Thunder Inc. riders . The Flame of Freedom Ride was founded by John McKendree and has generated great interest with the media this year. McKendree said, We are thrilled to have a strong team joining this year on the road, bringing participating motorcycle shops and small town America joining us in this celebration of our veterans and troops. Im looking forward to experiencing it with friends, while meeting our fellow patriots and supporters along the way.

We are delighted to announce that we have Grand Marshall Geoff Bodine accompanying us for a majority of the route this year and experiencing Rolling Thunder Inc. with us in Washington, DC. Bodine, former NASCAR driver and Bo-Dyn Olympic bobsled founder, is traveling on this Patriotic ride as an avid supporter of our Armed Forces and was in the National Guard. From The Stars Foundation, Cheryl Robeson Piggott confirmed that the following celebrities and town governments are participating: Geoff Bodine, include Jeff Bates, Rockie Lynne, Ms North American Globe, Dave Bray of Madison Rising, and Tammie Davis, along with America Super Groups Daniel Epperson, a new and upcoming country artist. A delegation from Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom will meet with the Lt Governor of NC, Dan Forest at the Governors Mansion in route to Washington. Mayor David Wear and Tourism Director Leon Downey of Pigeon Forge as well as City of Spencer City officials are all part of the welcoming ceremonies being held in cities along the route to Washington, DC. Rockie Lynne, a favorite performer among the military and veteran groups, performs at both Tilleys Harley Davidson in Salisbury, and the National Mall Awards Ceremony. We are so encourage that communities such as Pigeon Forge, TN, and City of Spencer of North Carolina are putting forth great effort to welcome our Flame of Freedom campaign. Harley Davidson Dealerships are valuable community supporters as well. We appreciate government officials and local bike clubs and supporters coming out to welcome us in every media stop. It will only grow in future years, said Cheryl Piggott, the Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom Production Coordinator and Founder of partnering The Stars Foundation.

The Stars Foundation and its America Rising television series, expresses thanks to the Following event sponsors as well as Gordon Law Group, Rodan & Fields, Bell Helmets, Hyatt Place, Holiday Inn Express Newport, Travelink American Express, Hampton Inn Manassas, Garmin, Tucker Rocky and

Communities that are along the route are encouraged to show support for the riders, meet with Bodine and support Rolling Thunder Charities Inc. a 501C(3) dedicated to helping all American Veterans and their families. Proceeds generated will go to Rolling Thunder Charities Inc. and Rolling Thunder Inc. through its national office.

The 2014 Rolling Thunder Inc. Flame of Freedom Ride Schedule: Day 1 Sunday May 11 Springfield, Missouri. Bass Pro Shops Headquarters Day 2 Monday, May 12 Conway, Arkansas Day 3 Tuesday May 13 Southhaven, Mississippi Day 4 Wednesday, May 14 – Franklin, TN Harley Davidson Cool Springs Day 5 Thursday, May 15 – Knoxville, TN.Pigeon Forge, Tennessee- The Island & Newport, TN Day 6: Friday May 16 – NC Statesville &Salisbury- Tilleys Harley Davidson Day 7 Saturday May 17 – City of Spencer Parade Day 8 Sunday May 18 – Raleigh, NC The Capitol Day 9 – Monday May 19 Raleigh, NC Governors Mansion Day 10 – Tuesday May 20 Prince George, Va Day 11 – Wednesday May 21 Quantico, Va Day 12 – Thursday May 22 Washington, DC Day 13 – Friday May 23 Dublin Va, UAW Office at Volvo and Manassas, Va Day 14 – Saturday May 24 Washington, DC Day 15 – Sunday May 25 National Mall, Washington, D.C.

Continued here:
Rolling Thunder Flame of Freedom stops in Knoxville

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Second Amendment rights advocates in Connecticut are mobilizing to influence this weekends state Republican convention, as they seek changes to Connecticuts sweeping gun-control law passed last year in the wake of the Newtown school massacre.

In recent months, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a statewide gun rights organization, has instructed its members on how to become one of the 1,255 delegates to the two-day GOP convention. The group hopes to have a strong delegate presence and ultimately a say in who the party endorses to challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, an outspoken supporter of the gun law.

While some gun rights advocates would like to see the next governor push to repeal the law, others realize that would be a challenge given the strong support for the legislation in the General Assembly. Theyre banking instead on the law being overturned someday by the courts, but hoping in the meantime to help elect a new governor they believe will be more sympathetic their concerns.

Greenwich businessman and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, the front-runner for the partys endorsement Saturday, is a favorite among many of gun rights advocates, even though he doesnt talk publicly about the issue as much as other lesser-known candidates, such as West Hartford contractor Joe Visconti and Avon attorney Martha Dean, who recently dropped out of the race. Instead, Foley has concentrated on criticizing Malloys economic record.

I am comfortable with the conversations I have had with Tom Foley. I believe he is pro-2nd Amendment, said Scott Wilson, president of the CCDL, adding how Visconti also a strong supporter. I think he is probably doing the right thing keeping things focused on the economy at this point.

Besides Foley and Visconti, three others are seeking the Republican endorsement: Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti. But Wilson doesnt expect they will receive much support from gun rights delegates this weekend. McKinney, whose district includes Newtown, faces opposition for helping to craft the gun control legislation. Lauretti has little name recognition and Boughton has been criticized for his affiliation with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloombergs Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, even though he recently ended his involvement.

Foley has had a nuanced approach to the gun issue. While saying he supports the 2nd Amendment, Foley said he also understands a legislative response was necessary following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Yet he criticizes the final bill for not doing enough to address mental health issues and for including gun control measures that wouldnt have made a difference in what happened in Newtown.

For Joe (Visconti), this is his priority issue, Foley said. For me, I think its an important issue, but there are a lot of other issues that are important in getting Connecticut turned around.

Foley needs to tread lightly on the gun issue if he hopes to eventually win over the broader electorate in Novembers general election. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week shows a total of 56 percent of registered voters in Connecticut either strongly or somewhat support the gun law.

Public opinion is on the side of the new gun control laws, said Quinnipiac Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. And when you break it down further, and you look at the strong support, the intensity level, it would appear that again the pro-gun control folks have the advantage on intensity. In that sense, it does appear to be an issue that would favor Governor Malloy.

See the rest here:
Gun rights advocates hope for convention impact

Ukraine Crisis Indiana Governor Mike Pence Calls For NATO

By: Manfred Zamzow

Original post:

Ukraine Crisis Indiana Governor Mike Pence Calls For NATO – Video

May 072014

Feds Plan To Ban Ammunition
Feds Declare War On Affordable and Plentiful Imported Ammunition IR. Nevada Governor Blasts Feds' 'First Amendment Area' in Bundy Dispute INFOWARS Nightly News: with Jakari Jackson Wednesday…

By: Collapse of The Dollar

Read more:
Feds Plan To Ban Ammunition – Video

David Samson, former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, refused to hand over more documents to state lawmakers probing the George Washington Bridge lane closings, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Lawyers for Samson, an ally of Governor Chris Christie, questioned the fairness and legitimacy of the inquiry. They asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege amid investigations by U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman and others. Lawmakers want to know which of Christies allies shut access lanes last September to the bridge, which the Port Authority runs.

While Samson has done nothing wrong and has violated no laws, the Fifth Amendment protects innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances, his lawyers wrote yesterday to the counsel for a legislative committee that subpoenaed documents from him.

The legislative committee is engaged in a political exercise, not an objective fact-finding mission, Samson attorney Michael Chertoff said in a statement. Samson cannot and will not participate in a process that fundamentally jeopardizes his constitutional rights and which stands to wrongly besmirch his reputation for honesty and public service.

Two other figures in the center of the scandal — Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Christie, and David Wildstein, once a high-ranking official at the Port Authority — also invoked their right against self incrimination in response to subpoenas for documents. A state judge refused to enforce their subpoenas, saying they were overbroad and amounted to a fishing expedition.

Samson, who initially turned over some documents, will not hand over any more because the committee has repeatedly disregarded its own procedures, wrote Chertoff and his co-counsel Angelo Genova. Fishmans office also has subpoenaed material from the committee, effectively treating the committee as a conduit for its own investigation, they said.

Samson resigned on March 28, a day after a law firms report commissioned by Christie absolved the Republican governor in the lane closings. The report blamed Kelly and Wildstein for traffic tie-ups that crippled Fort Lee, New Jersey, where the Democratic mayor didnt back Christies re-election last fall.

The committee has subpoenaed documents from 28 people and organizations, and will take testimony this month from several witnesses. The Democratic co-chairmen, Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, said in a statement that they were disappointed by Samsons decision.

The best way to get to the root of this abuse of government power is full cooperation by everyone, they said. We will obviously continue forward with this bipartisan inquiry until the people of New Jersey get the answers they deserve.

-With assistance by Terrence Dopp in Trenton, New Jersey.

See the original post here:

Christie Ally Samson Refuses to Give Documents to Lawmakers

Georgia Governor Signs Law Allowing Firearms In Public Places – Andrew Napolitano – Stuart Varney
Georgia Governor Signs Law Allowing Firearms In Public Places – Judge Andrew Napolitano – Stuart Varney Second Amendment (Constitutional Amendment) Georgia Gets Gun Access =========================…

By: Mass Tea Party

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Georgia Governor Signs Law Allowing Firearms In Public Places – Andrew Napolitano – Stuart Varney – Video

Arizona lawmakers just gave approval for four major pro-guns laws in the state senate. The state house of representatives approved Second Amendment related bills which allow concealed carry permit holders to take their firearms into government buildings which do not have security measures.

HB 22339, the gun bill which would allow concealed carry permit holders to ignore the no weapons signs posted on public buildings, was reportedly premised on the fact that permit holders are law-abiding citizens which have undergone state training.

Steve Gallardo, a Democratic Arizona State Senator from Phoenix, opposed the concealed carry permit exception for public buildings. Gallardo feels that the bill is based on a faulty premise. According to the Yuma Sun, the state lawmaker does not necessarily feel that permit holders have gone through extensive training on either weapons handling or how to determine when it is appropriate to use deadly force.

State Senator Gallardo had this to say about his opposition to the proposed concealed carry provisions:

I would not have such a big argument on this bill if we had a strict [concealed carry permit] requirement where folks are required to have proper training. Not only do we have a bill that allows pretty much anyone to obtain a CCW permit, we now have a bill thats really costly to government.

Arizonas concealed carry permit process appears to be at least as comprehensive as similar programs in a host of other states. Gun rights supporters feel that if trained law-abiding citizens are armed in public buildings, they are better able to protect themselves and others should another mass shooting tragedy or other criminal incident occur.

One of the Arizona pro-gun bills mandates fines on both municipalities and officials who enforce gun laws which are stricter than those passed by the state. HB 2517 would allow a court to administer a fine of up to $5,000 against elected and appointed officials, as well as the heads of administrative agencies, if a gun control law is knowingly and willfully enacted that exceeds weapons restrictions permitted under state law. The pro-Second Amendment legislation also makes it illegal to use taxpayer funds to defend or reimburse any government official found guilty of violating the statute.

Arizona HB 2517 also grants permission for gun rights groups and individuals to sue local lawmakers and agency officials for attempting to approve or enact a local gun law which exceeds limitations imposed by the state. If successful in such a legal endeavor, the injured gun rights group or individual can be reimbursed for actual damages up to the tune of $100,000.

Another of the Arizona gun laws would allow law enforcement officers to charge an individual who wrestles a gun away from another person with aggravated assault doing so is already a felony offense. Nothing in the law appears to inflict such a penalty on an individual who is defending themselves or others from an active shooting.

The fourth Arizona pro-gun bill would prohibit municipalities from restricting the shooting of guns on private property. Currently more than 200,000 Arizona residents possess concealed carry permits. All four of the Arizona gun rights laws must now be approved by the full governing body before being placed on Governor Jan Brewers desk for signature.

See the original post here:
Second Amendment: Arizona Approves Four Pro-Gun Laws

By Abigail Field, attorney. Cross posted from Benzinga

While Congress cowers before multinationals lobbyists and moves to re-enact loopholes that let corporations like GE and Apple hide their income from the IRS, the Maine Legislature decided it had had enough. On Friday, April 4,Maine passed legislation that will end some of the games.

I would like the Governor to sign the bill, said Rep. Adam Goode, the sponsor of the legislation. The bill is about huge multinational corporations that hide their income in off shore tax havens. Small businesses in Maine dont use these tricks. That puts Maines small businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Governor LePage has ten days to sign the bill into law, veto it, or let it become law without his signature. According to Maine Revenue Services, closing the Waters Edge loophole will raise $10 million for every two year budget cycle.

In Maine $10 million is a lot of money, said Rep. Goode. If the Governor vetoes the bill, were sending a message that were prioritizing multinational corporations access to tax havens over kids access to head start or seniors access to prescription drugs. Those programs are routinely on the chopping block.

Companies can dodge taxes by shifting income to low-tax jurisdictions. Not only do they send the money to tax havens off shore, but they also set up companies to hide income in low tax states, such as Nevada and Delaware. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia countered stateside tax avoidance by combined reporting.

Combined reporting requires companies to report their income in all states; then the combined income is taxed in proportion to the businesss activity in their state. That way, if large amounts of income that were produced by business activity in, say Maine, but were reported for tax purposes as belonging to Delaware, it would be included in the total income pie that Maine would proportionately tax.

But if combined reporting stops at the Waters Edge, it only includes income reported within the United States. To get at offshore tax havens, the states can require worldwide combined reporting, or Waters Edge plus a list of known tax havens.

Maine, like Montana and Oregon, has taken the latter approach. Rep. Goodes bill includes a list of 38 known tax havens. Goode noted that Maine already uses combined reporting to stop corporations from hiding their money in low tax states like Delaware or Nevada. If we wont let corporations hide their money in Delaware, why would we let them hide it in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda?

Tiny Maine Against Tax-Dodging Multinationals

Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Creating 'Second Amendment Weekend' With State-Subsidized Gun Sales
Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Creating 'Second Amendment Weekend' With State-Subsidized Gun Sales.

By: Gaurav Solanki

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Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Creating ‘Second Amendment Weekend’ With State-Subsidized Gun Sales – Video

Apr 042014

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts. This celebrated line of the late, great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan has become a political football, hurled first by Senate Majority Leader at the Koch Brothers in a speech on the Senate floor and then hurled back at Reid by the Charles Koch in an op-ed in yesterdays Wall Street Journal. Alas, poor epistemology. No one studies it anymore.

The Koch op-ed was remarkable in every way but most obviously because it was so juvenile. How dare anyone question their motives? Did they think no one would respond when they are spending millions of dollars in attack ads against politicians? I confess I was surprised to find out Charles Koch was, apparently, so thin-skinned.

But, it was the repetition of the epithet collectivist that best exhibited the sophomoric thinking of this scourge on our body politic. Stalin was a collectivist. Mao was a collectivist. Obama? Cmon. To note only one example, despite the fact that the entire culture now refers to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare, what happened the past few months is the seven million people signed up for private insurance. They did not sign up for Obamacare, they signed up with Aetna or Blue Cross or Kaiser. How is that evidence of collectivism?

I also think it is at least histrionic to say that freedom must be restored in our society. There are many things that ail American society to my mind, but a lack of freedom is not one of them. I cant think of something I have intended to do in recent months but for the fact that the government was impeding me. Oh, I stop at red traffic signals, but not because the government tells me to do so, but because I dont want to be in a traffic accident. If you want a glimpse of the libertarian vision the Koch Brothers champion, I suggest you go to a major intersection one day when the traffic signals are not working. That is freedom, to be sure, but is it what we want?

Libertarianism is one of the leading heresies of our day. The definition of heresy as truth run amok fits perfectly. Libertarianism is a heresy of liberalism, not the modern, Obama kind but the classic, Lockean and Madisonian kind. Any thoughtful Catholic has sufficient difficulties with liberalism, all of which tend to wish it were less individualistic, less focused on human autonomy, less redolent of rights apart from correlative responsibilities. Libertarianism wants to pull liberalism in the opposite direction, removing even the few checks on unfettered license that liberalism supplies.

But, when it comes to epistemology, there should be no such thing as a libertarian position. Facts are facts, right? Well, not exactly. Look at the coverage of the Affordable Care Act. My friend E.J. Dionne wrote a splendid column yesterday asking if there was any penalty for untruthfulness in politics anymore when politicians and faux journalists routinely claim on thing, their claims are subsequently disproven, and they just look for different facts the sustain the same claim.

The fight over the ACA is only part of the problem. If you watched only MSNBC the past few weeks, you would be convinced that the most important story in the country was the investigation of Governor Chris Christie regarding the closure of lanes onto the George Washington Bridge. If you watched nothing but Fox News, you would be sure that the most important national story was either the utter failure of the ACA or Benghazi or, maybe, the so-called IRS scandal. If you watched CNN the past few weeks, it has been all Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 all the time, whether or not any new set of facts warranted such attention and the Breaking News banner. It is pitiful. Our news agencies are either propaganda arms of the political parties or they are ambulance chasers. Thank God for March Madness and Law & Order re-runs.

Facticity has its limits. I have cited before the observation of Leon Wieseltier that there is not a chart in the world that can explain the significance of charts in the world. We humans will always need philosophy, not mere scientism, and philosophy permits disagreement, especially on this tricky issue of epistemology. But, most political discussions are not subverted because of a faulty epistemology. They are subverted because the desire to win trumps the desire to be correct. When that desire to win is aligned with mountains of cash, you get the Koch Brothers. They look at our unruly, chaotic, highly individualized culture and they perceive a need to restore freedom? They see collectivism? Either they are blind, or they know nothing of history and what a real collectivism looks like, or they have drunk too much of their own Kool-Aid and are now incapable of sight and truth. Heresies are like that.

See the original post:
Facts, Propaganda and Libertarianism

Green Iguana – Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands – The Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary – watching an Iguana sun bathe at The Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary.

By: Living Cayman Islands

Excerpt from:
Green Iguana – Cayman Islands – Video

Media Release:

Gov. Phil Bryant today signed into law Senate Bill 2425, giving Mississippi sportsmen an annual tax free holiday in September. The Mississippi Second Amendment Weekend holiday will include sales tax exemption on individual sales of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and certain hunting supplies. The annual holiday will occur on the first Friday of each September until midnight on the following Sunday.

During State Fiscal Year 2013, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks sold more than 425,000 resident hunting and fishing licenses.

Many Mississippians share my strong belief in the Second Amendment and love the outdoors, Gov. Bryant said. This tax holiday will help ensure Mississippians continue to enjoy our states great outdoor heritage for years to come. I thank the Mississippi Legislature for their hard work on this bill and for supporting Mississippi sportsmen and sportswomen.

Senate Bill 2425 passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support.

The National Rifle Association also supports the measure.

“On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we want to thank Governor Bryant for supporting this tax holiday for Mississippi’s sportsmen,” noted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This new law pays tribute to Mississippi’s hunting heritage and our Second Amendment Rights. We look forward to the celebration of these freedoms when Mississippi gun owners and sportsmen visit their local firearms and sporting goods retailers in September, “added Cox.

The law will go into effect July 1, 2014, and the first tax holiday weekend will be September 5-7, 2014.

Read the original:
Sales Tax Holiday for Sportsmen Approved


Is it an effigy? Is it a “puppet”? Dude, when it’s a likeness of the governor being hoisted by a demonstrator in a minuteman uniform over a crowd of angry gun-toting protesters in the capital, the optics sort of overpower the semantics.

New York NRA-types gathered in Albany today to protestwell, whatever ya got, really. It’s a blanket anti-Andrew Cuomo protest, since the governor has attempted to lead the way in a crackdown on assault weapons (with ample loopholes and dubious results). It was slated to include Donald Trump and Carl Paladino, the conservative dark-horse who got his fanny handed to him by Cuomo in the election lo these many years ago.

But according to photos of the protest from New York Daily News Albany bureau chief Ken Lovett, it also included a hung life-size effigy of Cuomo:

Lovett had written previously about how these semi-regular gun rallies had gotten so ornery that even the head of New York’s big NRA affiliate expressed reservations about attending. But he did end up coming to the hoedown, presumably in the shadow of the Cuomo effigy hung from a crossbar reading “NEW WORLD ORDER” and bearing a “GET OUT!” sign.

Lovett continued to snap photos of the numerous demonstrators:

Even the geographically and metaphorically challenged ones:

But as he did so, he apparently got an earful from protesters on Twitter who wanted it to be known that Dummy Cuomo was being hoisted in the air by the gun ralliers with the noblest, most respectful intentions!

It’s a puppet! See, Cuomo’s hung up on the strings of the New World Order that controls him. That’s totally different from an effigy, and it’s totes not crazy. Now give us our guns!

Hopefully these upright citizens are better shooters than vocabularians, since that is an effigy: The Oxford English Dictionary notes that an effigy is simply “a likeness, portrait or image,” generally of a recognizable person, and that in the modern day it generally connotes a likeness used negatively.

View original post here:
Second Amendment Men Rally in New York Around Crazy Effigy of Cuomo

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. — A string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York could blunt the impact of storm surges that proved so deadly during Superstorm Sandy, according to a proposal vying for attention and funding as the region continues its recovery.

It’s a big proposal that would cost $10 billion to $12 billion. But it’s also the kind of innovative idea that federal officials requested as they consider how best to protect the heavily populated region from future storms.

“We’ve discussed this with the governor’s office of Recovery and Resiliency and the Department of Environmental Protection, and they all look at me like, ‘Whoa! This is a big deal!” said Alan Blumberg, a professor at New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology. “Yes, it is a big deal. It can save lives and protect property.”

The “Blue Dunes” proposal is part of Rebuild By Design, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to come up with novel ways to protect against the next big storm. It is one of 10 projects that will be evaluated and voted on next week, but there’s no guarantee any of them will receive funding. Other ideas include building sea walls around cities, re-establishing oyster colonies in tidal flats to blunt wave action and creating water-absorbent nature and recreational preserves.

The artificial islands plan was created by Stevens Institute, along with the WXY architectural firm and West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. It is designed to blunt the worst effect of Sandy: the storm surge that pounded the coast. From Maryland to New Hampshire, the storm was blamed for 159 deaths, and New Jersey and New York alone claimed a total of nearly $79 billion in damage.

“How do you protect New Jersey and New York at the same time from the storm of the future?” Blumberg asked. “Our idea is to build a chain of islands, like a long slender banana. The wave action and storm surge will reflect off these islands and go back out to sea rather than hitting the coast. Barnegat Bay would not be pounded, nor would lower Manhattan or Hoboken.”

The islands 10 to 12 miles off the coast would be uninhabited, though day trips for surfing or fishing might be allowed, Blumberg said. They would be built by pumping sand atop some hard base made of rock, concrete or other material, he said.

Steve Sandberg, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said funding for at least some of the proposals is already available as part of the $60 billion in Sandy aid that Congress passed last year. Other money could come from disaster recovery grants as well as public and private-sector funding, according to the Rebuild by Design website.

A gap would be left between the New York and New Jersey island groups, mainly to allow water from the Hudson River to flow out into the ocean.

Blumberg also said computer modeling has shown such islands would have produced vastly lesser damage during Sandy, Hurricane Donna in 1962 and the destructive December 1992 nor’easter.

Could artificial islands stop another Sandy? U.S. feds mulling the idea

THE PLACE may be beautiful but it will take a while for tourists and Filipinos to get over the fear of reports on the safety and security of the place. Photo by Ayunan G. Gunting, Contributor

The Philippines, due to its archipelagic nature, is full of scenic beaches.

On top of the popular and world-renowned beaches in the country, there are still plenty undiscovered.

We are developing Tenusa Island in Basilan, Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman proudly says.

For travelers looking for beaches that are world-class in terms of crystal sea waters but are not yet crowded with tourists, the stunning beaches of Basilan are definitely the place to go to, Hataman adds.

Basilan is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago and is located just off the southern coast of the Zamboanga Peninsula. The island is a 30-minute boat ride from Zamboanga City.

Photo by Ayunan G. Gunting, Contributor

The image of Basilan is that of a war-torn place where kidnapping flourishes. Peace and order needs wanting.

What most people dont actually know is that Basilan is a paradise waiting to be revealed for the rest of the world to see and experience, according to its officials.

Basilan boasts of beautiful and unspoiled beaches that both local and foreign travelers should put on the top of their must-go to places this summer.

Read more from the original source:
Business tourism in Tenusa Island in Basilan

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