Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

AUSTIN Freedom to Marry, one of the most prominent same-sex marriage advocacy organizations in the nation, is launching a campaign in Texas to amplify its message ahead of an important appeals court hearing next year.

The organization will announce the “Texas for Marriage” campaign and unveil its accompanying website on Tuesday. It plans to spend roughly $200,000 on the effort, and will enlist Ward Curtin, three-time deputy campaign manager to Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and former George W. Bush adviser Mark McKinnon in its efforts.

“We want to make sure that the court hears that America is ready for the freedom to marry, and that includes Texas,” Freedom to Marry President and CEO Evan Wolfson, considered by many to be the father of the modern gay marriage movement, told the Chronicle on Monday. “Obviously I would love to be everywhere, but we have to look where we can have a real impact.”

The campaign will feature statewide TV ads, town hall meetings and efforts to bring together young conservatives ahead of the January hearing in the 5th Circuit Court challenging Texas’ gay marriage ban. In February, San Antonio-based U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled the ban unconstitutional because it violated gay couples’ 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, now the governor-elect, appealed the ruling to the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court. While the court initially indicated it would expedite a hearing, oral arguments were eventually set for the week of Jan. 5, 2015.

When asked how the enhanced effort would work in Texas, a strongly red state that just elected a full slate of new Republican leaders, Wolfson said candidates chose not to focus heavily on gay marriage this election cycle because opposition to the movement no longer sells like it used to.

“Whatever this election was about, it wasn’t about the freedom to marry and it wasn’t about gay people,” said Wolfson. McKinnon, already the Texas chair for Freedom to Marry, said the issue was “a blip” on the election scene “because Texans from all walks of life, from big cities to small towns, believe strongly in freedom and family. Supporting gay couples marrying is squarely in line with these Texas values.”

Freedom to Marry has launched similar efforts in about two dozen other states before similarly important court hearings there. Gay marriage is now legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. While a recent circuit court decision upholding same-sex marriage bans in four states means the U.S. Supreme Court will likely review the issue, the Texas case will continue undeterred during that time.

Lauren McGaughy is a reporter in the Houston Chronicle’s Austin bureau. She can be reached at or on Twitter @lmcgaughy.

Read the original here:
Freedom to Marry launches statewide gay marriage campaign in Texas

Missouri officials have repeatedly warned that events after the grand jury decides whether to charge a white Ferguson police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man will be a balancing act between the need for security and the desire to protect free speech. On Tuesday, officials tried to have it both ways.

Even as this region awoke to a state of emergency and the eventual deployment of local police and the National Guard, some African Americans activists were insisting the city was not going to be destroyed after the long-awaited decision. The grand jury is considering whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.

They got the wrong ones if they are worried about the protesters, said Rasheen Aldridge, 20, a demonstrator from St. Louis who was named as one of the members of the governors Ferguson Commission, charged with examining issues of inequality and community divisions raised after the shooting. The 16-member commission was sworn in Tuesday by Gov. Jay Nixon, who declared a state of emergency Monday.

If Wilson is not indicted by the grand jury, I don’t think the city’s going to burn down, said Aldridge, who wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words, De-militarize the Police.

The summer shooting led to weeks of protests, hundreds of arrests and violence mainly against property. After the grand jury acts, which could happen any day, officials fear a return to those chaotic weeks that included tear gas, taunting and the tossing of rocks and makeshift gasoline bombs.

It’s like a fear campaign, said Johnetta Elzie, 25, an activist who runs a daily newsletter that aggregates Ferguson news stories. She said she worried that government announcements of security and media coverage were creating an atmosphere of panic.

Some of these people in mass hysteria have no relationship with black people, she said. Why are you stock-loading food? What is going to happen? They’re moving out of fear and uncertainty…. I would be more worried and concerned about the police than the people [who are] protesting.

John Gaskin III, the local NAACP representative, agreed on Twitter that the fears were being over-hyped. Absolutely, he said.

Nixon turned to the other side of the equation Tuesday by signing an executive order creating the commission and giving it a wide-ranging mandate to examine issues of inequality, generally considered to be the root cause of the disorder set off by the shooting.

Maintaining the status quo is simply unacceptable, the governor said.

See the rest here:
Is security trumping free speech as Ferguson awaits grand jury?

Mumia Abu-Jamal and his supporters are suing to overturn a new Pennsylvania law they says violates convicts’ free speech rights.

Abu-Jamal and prisoner-rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to stop the law, which allows violent-crime victims to take legal action when an offender’s conduct “perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime.”

They’re asking a judge to declare it unconstitutional.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the measure into law last month saying it’s designed to curb the “obscene celebrity” cultivated by convicts like Abu-Jamal, who’s serving a life sentence for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

The law was prompted by Abu-Jamal’s pre-recorded speech last month to graduates at Vermont’s Goddard College. Abu-Jamal has drawn international support for claims he’s the victim of a racist justice system.

As The Christian Science Monitor reported:

At the signing of the Revictimization Relief Act Tuesday, Governor Corbett was flanked by police officers, victims advocates, and Faulkners widow,Maureen Faulkner.

Mrs. Faulkner has been taunted by the obscene celebrity that her husbands killer has orchestrated from behind bars, Corbett said. This unrepentant cop killer has tested the limits of decency, while gullible activists and celebrities have continued to feed this killers ego at the expense of his victims.

Civil liberties experts will likely challenge the law in court. If theFirst Amendmentmeans anything, its that government officials cant silence people they dont like, says Vic Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, in a Monitor interview. It would even apply to people who have served their sentence and been released, he says.

We think this law is pretty clearly unconstitutional and is just a result of election-year pandering, Mr. Walczak says.

Continue reading here:
Mumia Abu-Jamal sues Pennsylvania over new convicts gag law (+video)

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election victory last week marked a defeat for Second Amendment rights activists who enraged by the sweeping gun control legislation enacted last year had hoped to punish the governor in the first statewide vote since the Dec. 2012 Newtown massacre.

But softening the blow was a handful of wins in the General Assembly by candidates who support deregulating gun ownership and who were endorsed this year by the 15,000-member Connecticut Citizens Defense League. Malloy has promised to veto any legislation to roll back S.B. 1160 – the post-Newtown gun bill that included an assaults weapon ban, a 10-round limit on ammunition magazine size, and a universal background check requirement. But gun rights activists are hopeful that the pickups this year will help pave the road to a legislature more sympathetic to their cause.

“We would have been a lot more pleased if more pro-2A candidates were elected, but we are happy that we made some gains,” said CCDL President Scott Wilson, using the group’s colloquial name for what they describe as “pro-Second Amendment” candidates. Wilson added that in next year’s session, “The odds of anything that would be beneficial to gun owners are remote at best.”

The group instead plans to play defense, using their allies in the legislature to block any measures to further regulate guns. The first fight could be over a bill Malloy says he will introduce next year to ban anyone with a temporary restraining order from possessing a gun. CCDL has raised concerns about seizing a weapon without due process, and says that the proposal infringes on individual rights.

None of the state Senate challenger candidates who were endorsed by the CCDL won their races, but “we’re at least happy that there were some inroads made with the state house,” Wilson said, mentioning “newly elected pro-2a legislators that hopefuly will be able to have their voices heard in Hartford.”

Connecticut Republicans won 10 additional seats in the state House of Representatives Tuesday, riding a national Republican wave that allowed the party to take control of the U.S. Senate and pick up several gubernatorial seats in traditionally blue states.

In three districts, CCDL-endorsed challenger candidates won races against incumbents who had voted for the post-Newtown gun bill.

Republican Charles Ferraro of West Haven defeated incumbent Democratic state rep. Paul Davis of Orange in the state House’s 117th District, Cara Pavalock – a Republican who had included in her campaign platform a promise to promote “common sense laws that protect our right to bear arms” – won her race against state Rep. Christopher Wright of Bristol, a Democrat, and Republican Pam Staneski won against Milford Democratic state Rep. James Maroney.

Wilson said their goal this year is “to make sure that nothing gets passed that will harm gun owners.”

He does not expect any of the CCDL candidates who won to try to push through pro-gun measures next year.

Here is the original post:
In Disappointing Election, Gun Rights Activists Find Glimmer Of Hope

CHANDIGARH: The Haryana assembly was adjourned sine die on Wednesday barely 15 minutes after the meeting of the legislators, during which the Haryana Value Added Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, was passed. The concluding day’s proceedings were over with 11 MLAs sitting in the house. Speaker Kanwarpal Gujjar ensured that he had an adequate strength of 10% of the total MLAs to start the proceedings.

These began with the excise and taxation minister Captain Abhimanyu moving the Haryana Value Added Tax (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, that pertained to old tax arrears, including interest and penalty amounting to Rs 5,560.43 crore outstanding in the state as on June 30 under the Haryana Value Added Tax, 2003 and Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. The bill was passed with voice vote.

Gujjar justified the short proceedings and an early adjournment saying, “Main tasks related to administering of oath to new MLAs, election of the speaker and the governor’s address have already been done. MLAs have got adequate time to speak on all issues. Wednesday’s proceedings were called to discuss and pass the bills, hence it was a short sitting.”

Many legislators who were on their way to attend the session had to return half way as the House was adjourned. Sources said it was also an indication of changed atmosphere in Haryana and Speaker’s priority to ensure punctuality of MLAs.

Though short, the session turned out to be a good learning experience for the first-time MLAs, especially those from the ruling BJP. Kalka MLA Latika Sharma expressed satisfaction over the proceedings of the session. “Though there is lot to learn in the time to come, these three days were a good learning experience for all of us,” she said. Naib Singh, MAL from Naraingarh, said, “At least now we have learnt the working of the assembly proceedings. This was our first session, but thanks to our training in the organization we won’t face much of the problems in the assembly.”

Read the rest here:
Haryana assembly adjourned in 15 minutes after passage of bill


Both former Governor Charlie Crist and current Governor Rick Scott turned up the heat in their final debate before the election, with both men making it clear they do not like each other and both men taking multiple opportunities to attack their opponent over personal wealth and other issues. One repeatedly called the other by first name before taking their jabs.

On personal character and ethics

Crist employed the same type of attacks he has used on television about Scott, pointing to his tenure at HCA/Columbia, a hospital chain which was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud. Crist repeated a line from one of those ads, saying that Scott once invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination while questioned about an unrelated civil lawsuit.

Rick you talk about being accountable. How were you accountable with HCA at all? asked Crist.

Scott raised questions about associates of Crist, including Scott Rothstein, who was convicted and imprisoned for masterminding one of the state’s largest Ponzi schemes, and Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, who served time after pleading guilty to theft and money laundering.

“Scott Rothstein testified, under oath, that Charlie was paid to appoint judges,” said Scott. “His hand-picked party chairmen went to prison.”

On raising the minimum wage and job creation

One issue the pair returned to was the minimum wage. Scott and Crist were on opposite sides of this issue like many others.

The private sector determines wages,” said Scott. “Let’s look at actually what happened. When Charlie says he wants to raise the minimum wage, that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would lose $500,000 jobs. Charlie, you lost 832,000 jobs when you were governor. How many more jobs can we lose?

Scott and Crist have heated and personal final debate before November election

Honoring the bravery of a girl who refused to be denied an education – and nearly paid for it with her life – 1,400 guests gathered Tuesday night under a white tent and tight security at the National Constitution Center to bestow the 2014 Liberty Medal on Malala Yousafzai, 17, the youngest recipient of the quarter-century-old prize.

Draped in a traditional Pashtun shawl of her native Pakistan, Yousafzai took the stage to wild applause.

“I thank the people, and especially the children of Philadelphia, for their warm welcome and their love and support,” she said, draping the red, white, and blue ribbon of the gold medal around her neck.

Touching a hand to her heart, she smiled appreciatively on a stage that included Susan Corbett, wife of the governor; Mayor Nutter and his daughter, Olivia; Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania; and Jeffrey Rosen, Constitution Center chief executive.

Yousafzai called for spending money on books, not guns, and said she was speaking up for children caught in crises in such places as India, Syria, Nigeria, and Gaza. “We cannot become a generation lost,” she said.

“I ask all countries all around the world: Let us say no to wars. Let us say no to conflicts.”

She said she would donate the award’s $100,000 prize to improving education and support for Pakistani children.

“Together we are stronger than fear, oppression, and terrorism,” she said. “History does not descend from the sky; it is we who make history. One book, one pen, one child can change the world.”

Go here to read the rest:
Malala Yousafzai awarded Liberty Medal

A U.S. army soldier, center, takes his position at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. An Afghan official said a suicide bomber targeting a NATO convoy in Kabul killed one civilian and wounded three others. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) A mountain ambush by Taliban fighters killed at least 14 Afghan security force troops, authorities said Monday, as villagers elsewhere in the country alleged a NATO airstrike that the coalition said targeted militants actually killed civilians.

The fighting in Sari Pul province, as well as the disputed NATO airstrike in eastern Paktia province, show the serious challenges facing new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Former President Hamid Karzai repeatedly clashed with NATO forces over civilian casualties from airstrikes, straining relations as public anger against the coalition grew.

The ambush in Sari Pul, where Taliban fighters reportedly have been massing for days, happened Sunday in its Kohistanat district. There, militants opened fire on an Afghan Army unit heading back to the capital after several months being deployed there, killing 12 soldiers and two police officers, said Kazim Kenhan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Kenhan said 13 troops and four police officers were wounded and six troops are missing after the ambush there, some 340 kilometers (210 miles) northwest of the capital, Kabul.

“A very intensive gun battle is going on right now and the casualty number might change overnight,” Kenhan said Monday. “It is a mountainous area and very difficult to reach. We do need air support as we requested from the international forces, but they didn’t help us.”

In Paktia province, hundreds of villagers protested over their allegation that a NATO airstrike killed seven civilians in an operation NATO said killed “eight armed enemy combatants.”

The protesters brought seven corpses to the governor’s office there, claiming they were civilians killed Sunday during a NATO airstrike in a mountainous area on the outskirts of the city of Gardez. The villagers said the strike targeted eight people collecting firewood and left one man wounded.

“From the evidence it seems that all seven who have been killed in the airstrike of the coalition forces are civilians, but this needs to be investigated more to find out why and how this incident has happened,” said Abdul Wali Sahee, deputy provincial governor of Paktia province.

Sahee said that there was a dead body of a 12-year-old boy among those brought to the provincial capital.

Continue reading here:
Afghans allege NATO airstrike kills 7 civilians

ROCKVILLE Due to actions by the county executive this week, Montgomery County is just one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that requires probable cause per the Fourth Amendment before honoring a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request for undocumented immigrants being held in local detention centers.

“I have decided that, effective immediately, Montgomery County will no longer comply with ICE detainer requests except for those requests that have adequate support for a finding of probable cause under the Fourth Amendment,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

Since 2012, 225 undocumented immigrants from Montgomery County were transferred to ICE after their local trials. Recently, Prince Georges County officials announced similar policy changes. According to statistics from ICE, the agency detained 877 undocumented immigrants since 2009. Under the decision, undocumented immigrants would no longer be held beyond their scheduled release date unless ICE can prove the person has committed a crime.

We have been advocating for this issue for more than four years now and the legal landscape has really shifted in that time. There have been court decisions saying holding people on a detainer is a violation of their constitutional rights and were thrilled to see that Maryland localities are catching up, said Kim Propeack, politics and communications senior director at CASA de Maryland.

In August, Governor Martin OMalley announced Baltimore’s Central Booking facility, a state-run jail in Baltimore city, would no longer automatically honor ICE detainer requests for immigrants.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler also weighed in on the issue: If a local law enforcement officer does not have probable cause to extend custody over the subject of an ICE detainer, the continued detention likely constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

In September, Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-4) asked Leggett to review the policy because the countys policy was inconsistent with the state policy from the governor and the Office of the Maryland Attorney General.

Governor OMalleys bold action and leadership should be commended, Navarro said. He has been a longtime champion for those without a voice in our community, particularly for our growing and substantial immigrant population. County Executive Leggett has stated that Montgomery County is a welcoming place for all people, and I concur. We must ensure that everyones Fourth Amendment rights are upheld, and that our policies are consistent with Governor OMalleys recent action, the advice of the Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Constitution.

Originally posted here:
Leggett sides with civil liberties supporters

CONNECTING the dots, er, the Visayan islands is not exactly a new idea. But it will not come cheap.

Back in 2006, Visayan governors passed a resolution urging then President Gloria Arroyo to make the Trans-Visayas Friendship Bridges linking the islands of Bohol, Mactan, Cebu, Leyte, Negros, Guimaras and Panay a priority project.

The bridges would serve the Arroyo administrations Strong Republic Nautical Highway. They can be built on a build-operate-transfer scheme. The governors suggested that private contractors charge toll fees on bridge users to get a return on investment.

The Trans-Visayas Friendship Bridge aims to boost tourism, trade, commerce and investments in all three Visayas regions, as then Negros Occidental Joseph Maran emphasized.

So why are we still discussing these bridges? What happened to the pre pre-feasibility study pro-bono of the Japanese Pacific Consultants International? The estimated budget for the bridges, excluding Leyte yet, was P114 billion at P1 billion a kilometer. Yet no one batted an eyelash over the costs.

In Western Visayas, the connecting bridge between Panay and Negros Occidental would be the Tomongtong point in E.B. Magaloa town linked to San Juan Point, Banate town in Iloilo and would cost P10 billion.

Then Governor Joseph Maran estimated the project to be completed three to four years or (2010) and we would need foreign assistance considering the magnitude of the project.

Well, it has been eight years since then, and our political leaders are still talking about it. Worse, Senate President Franklin Drilon expressed bewilderment at the cost. It is a good project, but the last time I looked, it would cost almost P55 billion to connect Iloilo to Guimaras, and Guimaras to Negros (PGN), said Drilon.

Drilon argued that a public-private partnership to build the bridge is not feasible at this time as there is not enough traffic between the two provinces to justify it. We have to look at where the funding will come from, and the cost to benefit ratio, he added.

Yet in 2012, real estate developer Vladimir Gonzales, who has been working with interested Japanese investor on the PGN Bridges, said that based on the Master Plan of Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1999, the two bridges from Leganes in Iloilo to Buenavista, Guimaras and from San Lorenzo in Guimaras to Pulupandan in Negros Occidental will have a total length of 23.19 kilometers.

Read more here:
Snchez: Bridging the Visayan Islands

Press release:

Today, Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY) announced he earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and received an A Rating from the organization.

“Western New Yorkers’ Second Amendment Rights have been under constant assault by President Obama and Governor Cuomo. I have fought every day to stand up to their unconstitutional assault on our freedoms, and I am humbled to receive the endorsement of the NRA,” Congressman Collins said.

In addition to receiving the NRAs official endorsement, Congressman Collins earned an A grade from the group. He has also been a staunch supporter of Second Amendment Rights and has sponsored legislation to protect gun owners, including H.R. 3933, the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2014.

My father taught me the lessons of responsible gun ownership and I know that is a story shared by many NY-27 residents and gun owners all across America. I want that opportunity to be available to future generations, which is why I will continue to support New Yorkers fundamental right to bear arms.

See original here:
Collins earns NRA endorsement, A rating for defense of Second Amendment

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Gun Seizure Law – Second Amendment – Stuart Varney
California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Gun Seizure Law – Attack On Second Amendment – Judge Andrew Napolitano- Stuart Varney =========================================== **Please Click…

By: NSTP – Wake The Hell Up America!

Here is the original post:
California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Gun Seizure Law – Second Amendment – Stuart Varney – Video

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

FireFox! Start Your Own Web Hosting Company
Web Hosting Advertise Here $10 a Month Affordable web-hosting
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism

Sign up below for the Prometheism / Designer Children Discussion Forum

Subscribe to prometheism-pgroup

Powered by