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SEOLOGIST – SEO Company Toronto – Content Marketing Canada …

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Sep 232015

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Our approach is simple: we are thorough in what we do, and pay attention to every little detail, including keyword traffic quantity and quality, and your Alexa ranking, and perform an in-depth competitor analysis. Our approach leaves no stone unturned to ensure you increase search rankings, create a better user experience and get more conversions; we only execute when all of our most stringent quality requirements are met. Thats why all that we do is in perfect compliance with what Google wants, never against it.

Todays search engine optimization is all about self-education and staying ahead of the permanently changing SEO curve. Our SEO specialists are constantly sharing information and knowledge on a daily basis to provide you with the best service possible. Sharing best practices, the latest analytical tools, R & D reports, industry news and market insights, our in-house and local professionals know the industry inside and out.

At Seologist we have over 15 years of experience in promoting websites to the top of search results for the most competitive keywords in the toughest industries. We have served over 100 different industries in B2B and B2C SEO markets, which means we already know a winning formula in your industry that works.

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Our five-step SEO process to effective search engine optimization includes the following:

Before a customized SEO strategy can be devised, your companys current standings need to be reviewed. An in-depth needs assessment includes a look at what sort of search engine saturation there is for your industry, the age of your domain name, what type of reputation your domain has, and next steps. By learning more about your business, website and competitors we can gain a better understanding of your current and future needs.

Our strategy development involves a competitive and keyword analysis, looking at where your site ranks on searches in comparison to competitors, what tactics they are employing, where their approach creates opportunities for you, and where and how you can expect challenges from them. It is only after we have looked at your competitors can we determine the best possible keywords; popular search terms need to be identified for your specific site, as do relevant, low competition keywords. This balance ensures effectiveness and affordability.

A landing page is where a visitor first arrives on your website, and in most cases, where conversions occur. If one of the goals of your site is to generate more leads, a cohesive on-page strategy is essential. Depending on your particulars, a strategy might include a micro-site that has been optimized for a list of niche keywords, or include some effectively placed calls-to-action to boost visitors attention. Your details will define the solution.

Search engines give websites higher long-term rankings when their content is regularly updated. The easiest way to achieve this is to diligently update your website with fresh and engaging content, and then choose reputable websites to distribute it. In addition, acquiring social signals as an SEO ranking factor is an important part of increasing brand awareness, authority and exposure, and can be improved with great content.

The ultimate goal of analytics and refinement is to increase sales and reduce costs (i.e. add value). Analytics are one of the most important things your organization can do, as it transforms data and information into insights it allows you to tweak and improve the quality of content on your site, location of call-to-action, landing pages and other components, to improve conversion rates and generate leads.

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SEOLOGIST – SEO Company Toronto – Content Marketing Canada …

Second Amendment Foundation

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Sep 132015

By SAF Admin on September 11, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA Responding to statements made by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes Thursday to KING 5 News that the so-called gun violence tax is not too drastic, Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation which is (read more)

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By SAF Admin on August 24, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The nations three leading firearms organizations joined forces today to sue the City of Seattle over adoption of a retail sales tax on guns and ammunition in what they allege is a clear violation of Washington States (read more)

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By SAF Admin on August 21, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Florida Carry have asked a circuit court judge to assess fines of $5,000 against city officials in Tallahassee for failing to repeal local gun control ordinances that conflict with (read more)

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By SAF Admin on August 13, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Calguns Foundation (CGF) today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a Santa Clara County resident, challenging the city, its police (read more)

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By SAF Admin on July 23, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA This weeks announcement by the Obama administration that new citizens can recite the Oath of Allegiance without declaring they will bear arms on behalf of the United States is another subtle swipe at the right to keep and bear (read more)

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By SAF Admin on July 20, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation today responded to published reports that the Obama administration is pushing to prevent citizens collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if they have problems managing their own affairs (read more)

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By SAF Admin on July 9, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA Criminal charges have been dropped against a Nebraska man whose expensive firearms collection was seized in a case involving a misdemeanor conviction some years ago for carrying a knife that was an eighth-inch too long, and the (read more)

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By SAF Admin on July 7, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation has named Andrew Gottlieb as its new director of Outreach and Development, representing the second generation of family activism in promoting and defending the right to keep and bear arms.

Gottlieb (read more)

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By SAF Admin on June 24, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation is encouraged that a federal appeals court has ruled 2-1 that Stephen Dearths challenge of a federal law that prevents citizens living abroad from buying firearms while visiting in the United States (read more)

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By SAF Admin on June 23, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA The auction of an 1849 Colt Baby Dragoon revolver that once belonged to the late James Brady will help the Second Amendment Foundation battle restrictive gun laws and educate the public about the right to keep and bear arms.

A (read more)

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First Amendment of our countrys Bill of Rights

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Sep 102015

Freedom of Speech and of the Press: The First Amendment allows citizens to express and to be exposed to a wide range of opinions and views. It was intended to ensure a free exchange of ideas even if the ideas are unpopular.

Freedom of speech encompasses not only the spoken and written word, but also all kinds of expression (including non-verbal communications, such as sit-ins, art, photographs, films and advertisements). Under its provisions, the media including television, radio and the Internet is free to distribute a wide range of news, facts, opinions and pictures. The amendment protects not only the speaker, but also the person who receives the information. The right to read, hear, see and obtain different points of view is a First Amendment right as well.

But the right to free speech is not absolute. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government sometimes may be allowed to limit speech. For example, the government may limit or ban libel (the communication of false statements about a person that may injure his or her reputation), obscenity, fighting words, and words that present a clear and present danger of inciting violence. The government also may regulate speech by limiting the time, place or manner in which it is made. For example the government may require activists to obtain a permit before holding a large protest rally on a public street. Freedom of Assembly and Right to Petition the Government: The First Amendment also protects the freedom of assembly, which can mean physically gathering with a group of people to picket or protest; or associating with one another in groups for economic, political or religious purposes.

The First Amendment also protects the right not to associate, which means that the government cannot force people to join a group they do not wish to join. A related right is the right to petition the government, including everything from signing a petition to filing a lawsuit.

Freedom of Religion: The First Amendment’s free exercise clause allows a person to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wants, and to exercise that belief by attending religious services, praying in public or in private, proselytizing or wearing religious clothing, such as yarmulkes or headscarves. Also included in the free exercise clause is the right not to believe in any religion, and the right not to participate in religious activities.

Second, the establishment clause prevents the government from creating a church, endorsing religion in general, or favoring one set of religious beliefs over another. As the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township, the establishment clause was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state,” although the degree to which government should accommodate religion in public life has been debated in numerous Supreme Court decisions since then.

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First Amendment of our countrys Bill of Rights

First Amendment – Kids |

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Sep 102015

A Guide to the First Amendment

The First Amendment, sometimes called Amendment 1, is the first amendment to the United States Constitution and is also one out of ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment makes it illegal to make a law that establishes a religion, stops the freedom of speech, stops people from practicing their religion, stops the press from printing what they want, and stops people from exercising their right to assemble peacefully or demonstrating against the government.

Text of the First Amendment

The text of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What Does the First Amendment Mean?

There are many key phrases in the first Amendment. Here are some explanations on what exactly they mean.

Freedom of religion: The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prevents the government from setting up or establishing an official religion of the country. American Citizens have the freedom to attend a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or other house of worship of their choice. They can also choose to not be involved in any religion as well. Because of the First Amendment, we can practice our religion however we want to.

Freedom of speech: The First Amendment of the United States Constitution stops the government from making any laws that may stop us from saying what we feel or think. The American people have the right to share their opinions with other people or criticize the government.

Freedom of the press: Freedom of the press means we have the right to get information from many different sources of information. The government does not have the power to control what is broadcasted on radio or TV, what is printed in books or newspapers, or what is offered online. American citizens can request time on TV to respond to any views that they disagree with. They can also write letters to newspapers, which might be printed for others readers to see. Americans can also pass out leaflets that state their opinions. They may also their own online web pages that have their opinions.

Freedom of assembly: American citizens have the right to come together in private and public gatherings. Citizens can join groups for religious, social, recreational, or political reasons. By organizing in order to act on a common idea and accomplish a common goal, American citizens can more easily spread their ideas to others.

Right to petition: The right to petition the government means that American citizens can ask for adjustments or changes in the government. Citizens can do this by collecting signatures for petitions and sending them to elected representatives. They can also call, e-mail, or write to their elected representatives as well. Another way they can petition the government is by creating support groups that try to cause change by lobbying the government.


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Fifth Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII …

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Aug 312015

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The clauses incorporated within the Fifth Amendment outline basic constitutional limits on police procedure. The Framers derived the Grand Juries Clause and the Due Process Clause from the Magna Carta, dating back to 1215. Scholars consider the Fifth Amendment as capable of breaking down into the following five distinct constitutional rights: grand juries for capital crimes, a prohibition on double jeopardy, a prohibition against required self-incrimination, a guarantee that all criminal defendants will have a fair trial, and a promise that the government will not seize private property without paying market value. While the Fifth Amendment originally only applied to federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Fifth Amendment’s provisions as now applying to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Grand juries are a holdover from hundreds of years ago, originating during Britain’s early history. Deeply-rooted in the Anglo-American tradition, the grand jury originally served to protect the accused from overly-zealous prosecutions by the English monarchy.

Congressional statutes outline the means by which a grand jury shall be impaneled. Ordinarily, the grand jurors are selected from the pool of prospective jurors who potentially could serve on a given day in any juror capacity. At common-law, a grand jury consists of between 12 and 23 members. Because the Grand jury was derived from the common-law, courts use the common-law as a means of interpreting the Grand Jury Clause. While state legislatures may set the statutory number of grand jurors anywhere within the common-law requirement of 12 to 23, statutes setting the number outside of this range violate the Fifth Amendment. Federal law has set the federal grand jury number as falling between 16 and 23.

A person being charged with a crime that warrants a grand jury has the right to challenge members of the grand juror for partiality or bias, but these challenges differ from peremptory challenges, which a defendant has when choosing a trial jury. When a defendant makes a peremptory challenge, the judge must remove the juror without making any proof, but in the case of a grand juror challenge, the challenger must establish the cause of the challenge by meeting the same burden of proof as the establishment of any other fact would require. Grand juries possess broad authority to investigate suspected crimes. They may not, however, conduct “fishing expeditions” or hire individuals not already employed by the government to locate testimony or documents. Ultimately, grand juries may make a presentment. During a presentment the grand jury informs the court that they have a reasonable suspicion that the suspect committed a crime.

The Double Jeopardy Clause aims to protect against the harassment of an individual through successive prosecutions of the same alleged act, to ensure the significance of an acquittal, and to prevent the state from putting the defendant through the emotional, psychological, physical, and financial troubles that would accompany multiple trials for the same alleged offense. Courts have interpreted the Double Jeopardy Clause as accomplishing these goals by providing the following three distinct rights: a guarantee that a defendant will not face a second prosecution after an acquittal, a guarantee that a defendant will not face a second prosecution after a conviction, and a guarantee that a defendant will not receive multiple punishments for the same offense. Courts, however, have not interpreted the Double Jeopardy Clause as either prohibiting the state from seeking review of a sentence or restricting a sentence’s length on rehearing after a defendant’s successful appeal.

Jeopardy refers to the danger of conviction. Thus, jeopardy does not attach unless a risk of the determination of guilt exists. If some event or circumstance prompts the trial court to declare a mistrial, jeopardy has not attached if the mistrial only results in minimal delay and the government does not receive added opportunity to strengthen its case.

The Fifth Amendment protects criminal defendants from having to testify if they may incriminate themselves through the testimony. A witness may “plead the Fifth” and not answer if the witness believes answering the question may be self-incriminatory.

In the landmark Miranda v. Arizona ruling, the United States Supreme Court extended the Fifth Amendment protections to encompass any situation outside of the courtroom that involves the curtailment of personal freedom. 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Therefore, any time that law enforcement takes a suspect into custody, law enforcement must make the suspect aware of all rights. Known as Miranda rights, these rights include the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present during questioning, and the right to have a government-appointed attorney if the suspect cannot afford one.

If law enforcement fails to honor these safeguards, courts will often suppress any statements by the suspect as violative of the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination, provided that the suspect has not actually waived the rights. An actual waiver occurs when a suspect has made the waiver knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. To determine if a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver has occurred, a court will examine the totality of the circumstances, which considers all pertinent circumstances and events. If a suspect makes a spontaneous statement while in custody prior to being made aware of the Miranda rights, law enforcement can use the statement against the suspect, provided that police interrogation did not prompt the statement.

After Congress passed the Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, some felt that the statute by implication overruled the requirements of Miranda. Some scholars also felt that Congress constitutionally exercised its power in passing this law because they felt that Miranda represented a matter of judicial policy rather than an actual manifestation of Fifth Amendment protections. In Dickerson v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court rejected this arguments and held that the Warren Court had directly derived Miranda from the Fifth Amendment.

The guarantee of due process for all citizens requires the government to respect all rights, guarantees, and protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution and all applicable statutes before the government can deprive a person of life, liberty, or property. Due process essentially guarantees that a party will receive a fundamentally fair, orderly, and just judicial proceeding. While the Fifth Amendment only applies to the federal government, the identical text in the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly applies this due process requirement to the states as well.

Courts have come to recognize that two aspects of due process exist: procedural due process and substantive due process. Procedural due process aims to ensure fundamental fairness by guaranteeing a party the right to be heard, ensuring that the parties receive proper notification throughout the litigation, and ensures that the adjudicating court has the appropriate jurisdiction to render a judgment. Meanwhile, substantive due process has developed during the 20th century as protecting those right so fundamental as to be “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

While the federal government has a constitutional right to “take” private property for public use, the Fifth Amendment’s Just Compensation Clause requires the government to pay just compensation, interpreted as market value, to the owner of the property. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined fair market value as the most probable price that a willing but unpressured buyer, fully knowledgeable of both the property’s good and bad attributes, would pay. The government does not have to pay a property owner’s attorney’s fees, however, unless a statute so provides.

In Kelo v. City of New London, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a controversial opinion in which they held that a city could constitutionally seize private property for private commercial development. 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

See constitutional amendment.

See constitutional clauses.

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Fifth Amendment | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII …

Fourth Amendment Body Search Home Search You rights …

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Aug 302015

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” was adopted as a protection against the widespread invasions of privacy experienced by American colonists at the hands of the British Government. So-called “writs of assistance” gave royal officers broad discretion to conduct searches of the homes of private citizens, primarily as a way of discovering violations of strict British customs laws. This practice led to a unique awareness among our Founding Fathers of the threat to individual liberty and privacy that is created by unchecked government search powers.

Today, the Fourth Amendment has lost its preferred status among our cherished Bill of Rights Protections. In recent decades, growing concerns regarding crime and public safety in America have forced our Courts to balance the privacy rights contained in the Constitution with the ever-expanding needs of law-enforcement officers whose duty it is to investigate and arrest dangerous criminals. The Supreme Court’s rulings in Fourth Amendment cases demonstrate the challenge involved in reconciling these competing ideals.

Ultimately, the Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures has been trimmed-down in recent years and tailored to suit the needs of modern law enforcement as we wage war against drugs and terrorism. For this reason, it is important for conscientious citizens to be familiar with the lawful parameters of police authority to conduct searches, as well as the legal doctrines by which that authority is limited.

The Fifth Amendment: Self-incrimination Clause

“…No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself or be deprived of life liberty or property without due process of law…”

* The Supreme Court has made a new ruling that you must tell the police officer that you will NOT talk to him, you request a lawyer and then keep your mouth shut.

The right against self-incrimination has ancient roots in common law dating back to biblical times. While most provisions of the Fifth Amendment, such as the right to a jury trial and the right against double jeopardy, impose restrictions upon our courthouses, the right against self-incrimination has a profound effect upon the behavior of law-enforcement officers as they investigate crimes. For this reason, the meaning of the self-incrimination clause has remained one of the most controversial issues in criminal procedure since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona.

At this time, it is required by the Supreme Court that police inform all criminal suspects of their right to remain silent prior to interrogation. This right extends from the point of arrest throughout the suspect’s involvement in the criminal justice system. While many in the law-enforcement community feel that this restriction unfairly limits the ability of police and prosecutors to obtain convictions, studies have shown that conviction rates have not changed significantly since the Court first required police to inform those arrested of their right against self-incrimination.

The Sixth Amendment: Right to Counsel Clause

“In all criminal proceedings, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a critical component of the Bill of Rights in that it provides the accused with an advocate who is trained in the legal process and can provide a safeguard against violations of the suspect’s other Bill of Rights protections. Interestingly, it was not until 1963 that the Supreme Court held that states must provide a lawyer for all felony suspects, ending disparities in legal representation based on economic class.

Today, all person charged with a serious crime in the United States enjoy the assistance of a defense attorney regardless of economic status. State-employed public defenders represent clients who cannot afford their own attorneys, and contrary to popular belief, achieve roughly equal outcomes for their clients as do the more expensive privately-hired lawyers.

The Relationship Between Self-incrimination and the Right to Counsel

Many Americans, particularly young people, have become cynical about police practices and our legal system. It is not uncommon to lose hope when arrested or even become angry at the officer or the law he is enforcing. It is an important reality however, that our legal system does provide services for the accused. It cannot be overstated how important it is to wait for legal advice before attempting to discuss a criminal charge with police. The subtleties of the legal process require careful decisions about what to say and how to say it. A lawyer will help you prepare for tough questions and can emphasize your positive qualities to the judge, including qualities you didn’t know you had.

The constitution includes protections for criminal suspects because the legal system is incredibly complex, involving rules and regulations that everyday people would not understand. If you are charged with a crime, take advantage of the protections the constitution gives you. Don’t talk to police about what happened until you have spoken with a lawyer and discussed how to present your side of the story.

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Fourth Amendment Body Search Home Search You rights …

Court Rules Illegal Aliens Have Second Amendment Rights …

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Aug 272015

A recent decision by theU.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that says illegalalienswhat the left likes to call undocumented immigrantsenjoy a Second Amendment right to bear arms, even if their presence in this nation is criminal.

In the case of a Milwaukee man deported over a single .22 caliber cartridge, a federal appeals court ruled last week that even unlawful immigrants can be part of the public that enjoys a Second Amendment right to keep a gun for self defense.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeas said even undocumented immigrants can be part of the people protected by the Bill of Rights, though it upheld the mans conviction on a specific law that prohibits most such persons from having guns.

It is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, (and) we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded, Judge Diane Wood wrote for a panel that included judges Richard Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.

No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.

Because four other federal circuit courts have come to the opposite conclusion, legal commentators were quick to suggest the issue of whether undocumented immigrants have Second Amendment rights could now be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

While rejecting the idea that undocumented immigrants could never have any rights under the Second Amendment, Wood noted that even for citizens, those rights are not unlimited. She found that a federal law tailored to keep guns out of the hands of undocumented immigrants like gun restrictions imposed on felons and those convicted of domestic violence was constitutional, and upheld the conviction on those grounds.

My basic, over-riding belief on the Second Amendment is that any case involving the right to keep and bear arms should be held to the legal standard of strict scrutiny, and that all law-abiding citizens and legal resident aliens should have the right to keep and bear arms.

This case, however, is stating that criminals who arent citizens nor legal resident aliens have Second Amendment rights and Im having a hard problem with that. Im apparently not alone, as the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit court arent buying the argument, either. The split among the courts suggests that the basic issue will head to the U.S. Supreme court at some point.

Something that makes me even more leery about this case is that the progressives at Think Progress gleefully predict that if the Seventh Circuits views hold, they could use it to win even more rights for illegal aliens. In specific, theyre hoping these illegals will get expanded First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections if United States vs. Meza-Rodriguez holds. Put another way, theyre hoping this Second Amendment case will turn into an anchor baby that makes it more difficult to send criminal aliens back home.

Call me a butter if you want, but I dont think for a second that the Founding Fathers would support the concept of granting criminal invaders the same legal status as legal immigrants, legal resident aliens, and citizens. Lets hope that when this case makes it to the Supreme Court that the justices with the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth circuit courts.

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Court Rules Illegal Aliens Have Second Amendment Rights …

Positive and Negative Liberty (Stanford Encyclopedia of …

 Liberty  Comments Off on Positive and Negative Liberty (Stanford Encyclopedia of …
Jul 242015

Imagine you are driving a car through town, and you come to a fork in the road. You turn left, but no one was forcing you to go one way or the other. Next you come to a crossroads. You turn right, but no one was preventing you from going left or straight on. There is no traffic to speak of and there are no diversions or police roadblocks. So you seem, as a driver, to be completely free. But this picture of your situation might change quite dramatically if we consider that the reason you went left and then right is that you’re addicted to cigarettes and you’re desperate to get to the tobacconists before it closes. Rather than driving, you feel you are being driven, as your urge to smoke leads you uncontrollably to turn the wheel first to the left and then to the right. Moreover, you’re perfectly aware that your turning right at the crossroads means you’ll probably miss a train that was to take you to an appointment you care about very much. You long to be free of this irrational desire that is not only threatening your longevity but is also stopping you right now from doing what you think you ought to be doing.

This story gives us two contrasting ways of thinking of liberty. On the one hand, one can think of liberty as the absence of obstacles external to the agent. You are free if no one is stopping you from doing whatever you might want to do. In the above story you appear, in this sense, to be free. On the other hand, one can think of liberty as the presence of control on the part of the agent. To be free, you must be self-determined, which is to say that you must be able to control your own destiny in your own interests. In the above story you appear, in this sense, to be unfree: you are not in control of your own destiny, as you are failing to control a passion that you yourself would rather be rid of and which is preventing you from realizing what you recognize to be your true interests. One might say that while on the first view liberty is simply about how many doors are open to the agent, on the second view it is more about going through the right doors for the right reasons.

In a famous essay first published in 1958, Isaiah Berlin called these two concepts of liberty negative and positive respectively (Berlin 1969).[1] The reason for using these labels is that in the first case liberty seems to be a mere absence of something (i.e. of obstacles, barriers, constraints or interference from others), whereas in the second case it seems to require the presence of something (i.e. of control, self-mastery, self-determination or self-realization). In Berlin’s words, we use the negative concept of liberty in attempting to answer the question What is the area within which the subject a person or group of persons is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons?, whereas we use the positive concept in attempting to answer the question What, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that? (1969, pp. 12122).

It is useful to think of the difference between the two concepts in terms of the difference between factors that are external and factors that are internal to the agent. While theorists of negative freedom are primarily interested in the degree to which individuals or groups suffer interference from external bodies, theorists of positive freedom are more attentive to the internal factors affecting the degree to which individuals or groups act autonomously. Given this difference, one might be tempted to think that a political philosopher should concentrate exclusively on negative freedom, a concern with positive freedom being more relevant to psychology or individual morality than to political and social institutions. This, however, would be premature, for among the most hotly debated issues in political philosophy are the following: Is the positive concept of freedom a political concept? Can individuals or groups achieve positive freedom through political action? Is it possible for the state to promote the positive freedom of citizens on their behalf? And if so, is it desirable for the state to do so? The classic texts in the history of western political thought are divided over how these questions should be answered: theorists in the classical liberal tradition, like Constant, Humboldt, Spencer and Mill, are typically classed as answering no and therefore as defending a negative concept of political freedom; theorists that are critical of this tradition, like Rousseau, Hegel, Marx and T.H. Green, are typically classed as answering yes and as defending a positive concept of political freedom.

In its political form, positive freedom has often been thought of as necessarily achieved through a collectivity. Perhaps the clearest case is that of Rousseau’s theory of freedom, according to which individual freedom is achieved through participation in the process whereby one’s community exercises collective control over its own affairs in accordance with the general will. Put in the simplest terms, one might say that a democratic society is a free society because it is a self-determined society, and that a member of that society is free to the extent that he or she participates in its democratic process. But there are also individualist applications of the concept of positive freedom. For example, it is sometimes said that a government should aim actively to create the conditions necessary for individuals to be self-sufficient or to achieve self-realization. The negative concept of freedom, on the other hand, is most commonly assumed in liberal defences of the constitutional liberties typical of liberal-democratic societies, such as freedom of movement, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, and in arguments against paternalist or moralist state intervention. It is also often invoked in defences of the right to private property, although some have contested the claim that private property necessarily enhances negative liberty (Cohen, 1991, 1995).

After Berlin, the most widely cited and best developed analyses of the negative concept of liberty include Hayek (1960), Day (1971), Oppenheim (1981), Miller (1983) and Steiner (1994). Among the most prominent contemporary analyses of the positive concept of liberty are Milne (1968), Gibbs (1976), C. Taylor (1979) and Christman (1991, 2005).

Many liberals, including Berlin, have suggested that the positive concept of liberty carries with it a danger of authoritarianism. Consider the fate of a permanent and oppressed minority. Because the members of this minority participate in a democratic process characterized by majority rule, they might be said to be free on the grounds that they are members of a society exercising self-control over its own affairs. But they are oppressed, and so are surely unfree. Moreover, it is not necessary to see a society as democratic in order to see it as self-controlled; one might instead adopt an organic conception of society, according to which the collectivity is to be thought of as a living organism, and one might believe that this organism will only act rationally, will only be in control of itself, when its various parts are brought into line with some rational plan devised by its wise governors (who, to extend the metaphor, might be thought of as the organism’s brain). In this case, even the majority might be oppressed in the name of liberty.

Such justifications of oppression in the name of liberty are no mere products of the liberal imagination, for there are notorious historical examples of their endorsement by authoritarian political leaders. Berlin, himself a liberal and writing during the cold war, was clearly moved by the way in which the apparently noble ideal of freedom as self-mastery or self-realization had been twisted and distorted by the totalitarian dictators of the twentieth century most notably those of the Soviet Union so as to claim that they, rather than the liberal West, were the true champions of freedom. The slippery slope towards this paradoxical conclusion begins, according to Berlin, with the idea of a divided self. To illustrate: the smoker in our story provides a clear example of a divided self, for she is both a self that desires to get to an appointment and a self that desires to get to the tobacconists, and these two desires are in conflict. We can now enrich this story in a plausible way by adding that one of these selves the keeper of appointments is superior to the other: the self that is a keeper of appointments is thus a higher self, and the self that is a smoker is a lower self. The higher self is the rational, reflecting self, the self that is capable of moral action and of taking responsibility for what she does. This is the true self, for rational reflection and moral responsibility are the features of humans that mark them off from other animals. The lower self, on the other hand, is the self of the passions, of unreflecting desires and irrational impulses. One is free, then, when one’s higher, rational self is in control and one is not a slave to one’s passions or to one’s merely empirical self. The next step down the slippery slope consists in pointing out that some individuals are more rational than others, and can therefore know best what is in their and others’ rational interests. This allows them to say that by forcing people less rational than themselves to do the rational thing and thus to realize their true selves, they are in fact liberating them from their merely empirical desires. Occasionally, Berlin says, the defender of positive freedom will take an additional step that consists in conceiving of the self as wider than the individual and as represented by an organic social whole a tribe, a race, a church, a state, the great society of the living and the dead and the yet unborn. The true interests of the individual are to be identified with the interests of this whole, and individuals can and should be coerced into fulfilling these interests, for they would not resist coercion if they were as rational and wise as their coercers. Once I take this view, Berlin says, I am in a position to ignore the actual wishes of men or societies, to bully, oppress, torture in the name, and on behalf, of their real selves, in the secure knowledge that whatever is the true goal of man … must be identical with his freedom (Berlin 1969, pp. 13233).

Those in the negative camp try to cut off this line of reasoning at the first step, by denying that there is any necessary relation between one’s freedom and one’s desires. Since one is free to the extent that one is externally unprevented from doing things, they say, one can be free to do what one does not desire to do. If being free meant being unprevented from realizing one’s desires, then one could, again paradoxically, reduce one’s unfreedom by coming to desire fewer of the things one is unfree to do. One could become free simply by contenting oneself with one’s situation. A perfectly contented slave is perfectly free to realize all of her desires. Nevertheless, we tend to think of slavery as the opposite of freedom. More generally, freedom is not to be confused with happiness, for in logical terms there is nothing to stop a free person from being unhappy or an unfree person from being happy. The happy person might feel free, but whether they are free is another matter (Day, 1970). Negative theorists of freedom therefore tend to say not that having freedom means being unprevented from doing as one desires, but that it means being unprevented from doing whatever one might desire to do.

Some theorists of positive freedom bite the bullet and say that the contented slave is indeed free that in order to be free the individual must learn, not so much to dominate certain merely empirical desires, but to rid herself of them. She must, in other words, remove as many of her desires as possible. As Berlin puts it, if I have a wounded leg there are two methods of freeing myself from pain. One is to heal the wound. But if the cure is too difficult or uncertain, there is another method. I can get rid of the wound by cutting off my leg (1969, pp. 13536). This is the strategy of liberation adopted by ascetics, stoics and Buddhist sages. It involves a retreat into an inner citadel a soul or a purely noumenal self in which the individual is immune to any outside forces. But this state, even if it can be achieved, is not one that liberals would want to call one of freedom, for it again risks masking important forms of oppression. It is, after all, often in coming to terms with excessive external limitations in society that individuals retreat into themselves, pretending to themselves that they do not really desire the worldly goods or pleasures they have been denied. Moreover, the removal of desires may also be an effect of outside forces, such as brainwashing, which we should hardly want to call a realization of freedom.

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Positive and Negative Liberty (Stanford Encyclopedia of …

Reading Jokes – ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED – Video

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Apr 142015

Sorry you couldn't really read the coming out joke it said Daughter: Dad, I have been waiting for the right moment to tell you that I am a lesbian. Its very difficult for me to tell you something…

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Reading Jokes – ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED – Video

Watch Cleveland police officer take the Fifth in Michael Brelo trial sparking heated debate (video)

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Apr 112015

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police detective Michael Demchak invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination shortly after being called to the witness stand Wednesday to testify in the trial of fellow officer Michael Brelo. A heated argument ensued.

Demchak, who was involved in the 22-minute chase and fired some shots at the car driven by Russell, was granted his right by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John P. O’Donnell.

Prosecutor Timothy McGinty filed a motion saying he wanted to treat any Cleveland police officers that might testify during the trial as hostile witnesses. The motionargues police officers were not fully cooperative with investigators during interviews with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Investigations and with prosecutors’ efforts leading up to the trial.

Brelo is the only officer to face criminal charges in the November 2012 chase that ended with 13 officers firing 137 shots into a car fatally shooting unarmed Russell and Williams.

Brelo, who prosecutors have said fired 49 of the shots, waived his right to a jury. O’Donnell will ultimately render a verdict in the case.

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Watch Cleveland police officer take the Fifth in Michael Brelo trial sparking heated debate (video)

RWW News: Cruz: Gay ‘Jihad’ Threatening Religious Freedom – Video

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Apr 112015

RWW News: Cruz: Gay 'Jihad' Threatening Religious Freedom Right Wing Watch reports on the extreme rhetoric and activities of key right-wing figures…

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RWW News: Cruz: Gay ‘Jihad’ Threatening Religious Freedom – Video

Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech – Video

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Apr 112015

Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech
The President of the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police said, “Free speech doesn't say you have the right to insult somebody,” and that using bad language online should also be considered a…


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Virginia Cop-Insulting Someone on Facebook Is Not Free Speech – Video

Free Game Tip – Frozen Islands – Video

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Apr 082015

Free Game Tip – Frozen Islands
Choose the right fighters in Frozen Islands and destroy all the icy enemeis. Good looking game for sure. SUBSCRIBE – FACEBOOK …

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Free Game Tip – Frozen Islands – Video

2nd Amendment Keychain – RTBA – Video

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Apr 082015

2nd Amendment Keychain – RTBA
“Shall Not Be Infringed” – The wording is clear! The Right to Bear Arms is an INALIENABLE right that extends to ALL people and now, the Second Amendment is available on a dog tag keychain!…


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Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment – Video

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Apr 082015

Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment
There are too many in Washington who give lip service to the Second Amendment, but vote to restrict gun ownership. I do not support any proposed gun control which would limit the right to gun…

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Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment – Video

Jacksonville SEO Company – Hire the Right SEO in Jacksonville – Video

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Apr 072015

Jacksonville SEO Company – Hire the Right SEO in Jacksonville
Jacksonville SEO Company – Hire The Right Jacksonville SEO Jacksonville SEO Company – Having trouble getting your website ranked on Google search …

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Volokh Conspiracy: Religious freedom laws should not exempt antidiscrimination provisions

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Apr 032015

Below, co-blogger Dale celebrates the fact that Indiana is going to exempt civil rights (antidiscrimination) laws from its state religious freedom act.

I dont think antidiscrimination laws presumptively deserve special status, and I therefore dont think they should be exempted from state RFRAs, or should otherwise be exempted from civil liberties protections, statutory or constitutional. In other words, state RFRAs shouldnt exempt antidiscrimination laws, and when courts are enforcing constitutional rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, they should not find that antidiscrimination laws constitute compelling government interests sufficient to override those rights.

I argued this point in great detail in my 2003 book, You Cant Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws. The first twenty-six pages of the book can be found here. Some of the arguments from that book appear in this essay in the North Carolina Law Review. this essay in the Missouri Law Review, this article in the University of Chicago Legal Forum, this article in Social Philosophy and Policy, and this article in The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal. A chapter dealing with the ACLUs abandonment of civil liberties in favor of antidiscrimination laws is excerpted here.

As a historical aside, the liberal lefts hostility to RFRA didnt start with gay rights, but with cases in the 1990s in which religious landlords who owned a few rental units declined to rent to unmarried, heterosexual individuals. This ran afoul in some states of laws banning discrimination on the basis of marital status.

At the time, liberal civil libertarian groups like the ACLU didnt claim that this was just bigotry disguised as religion, but rather that though it was the exercise of religion, (a) antidiscrimination concerns, even ones as trivial as heterosexual couples being denied an apartment in a huge metro area with many other willing landlords, should trump religious freedom; and (b) given that courts might not always agree that antidiscrimination concerns are a compelling interest sufficient to trump statutory religious freedom rights, they would no longer supports RFRAs that didnt exempt antidiscrimination laws.

Thus, liberal opposition to RFRA seems to have originated as a combination of treating antidiscrimination as a trump over almost any other right (the national ACLUbut not all state ACLUshas so far exempted pure speech), and hostility to assertions of rights by traditional Christians, as opposed to the peyote-smoking Native Americans, Sabbatarians, Amish, and other groups more traditionally associated with free exercise claims.

In any event, gay rights advocates do have a legitimate concern that religious conservatives are seeking to target laws protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation rather than protect religious freedom, as such.

I have heard a very prominent religious conservative argue that religious freedom should protect the right of someone to not photograph a gay marriage because of religious objections to such a marriage, but should not protect the right of someone to not photograph an interracial marriage because of religious objections. This individual may have a coherent reason for believing that, but if so it wasnt apparent from his remarks, beyond the possibility that he thinks it would be politically infeasible to defend the latter.

So heres my suggestion: instead of exempting antidiscrimination laws from state RFRAs, instead write into the laws a provision that the compelling interest test should be applied with the same rigor regardless of which group an antidiscrimination law protects. Therefore, a photographer should have the same right, but only the same right, to refuse on religious grounds to photograph a gay wedding as an interracial wedding, or a wedding between a Jew and a Gentile, or whatever.

If RFRA advocates arent willing to defend the right of someone who believes that interracial or interreligious marriages are against Gods will to refuse to participate in such weddings, then they dont have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to gay marriage. But the better position is to allow exemptions in all those situations.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Religious freedom laws should not exempt antidiscrimination provisions

Algernon D'Ammassa: New Mexico's forfeiture act is a bold achievement

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Mar 312015

A good bill has slipped through the gridlock of partisan dysfunction in the Roundhouse. Perhaps we ought to have it bronzed.

Now the Forfeiture Act needs public support. As of this writing, Governor Martinez has been non-committal about signing the bill. Here is why it deserves to become law.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution provides, in seemingly straightforward language, that “no person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Yet it has been a common practice for law enforcement to seize property even without a criminal conviction. The practice became a prominent weapon during the Reagan era and the “war on drugs,” a way to take money away from drug lords and use it to fund law enforcement. New York City, under the authoritarian mayor Rudy Giuliani, later introduced its use against drunk drivers. Cities claim forfeiture as a deterrent, but revenue is clearly a major attraction.

Revenue certainly seemed uppermost in the mind of Las Cruces’s former city attorney, Harry “Pete” Connelly, when he was videotaped at a law enforcement conference last September describing a well-written forfeiture complaint as a “masterpiece of deception” and describing police officers’ excitement when pulling over a DWI suspect in a luxury car. Connelly tacitly acknowledged the class nature of forfeiture by admitting most of the cars seized under civil forfeiture were older cars that weren’t as valuable.

The excesses of forfeiture are frightening. In Connelly’s infamous lecture, he described a case in Philadelphia where a couple had their home seized because their son was involved in a $40 drug transaction on their porch. The city grabbed $4 million from 8,000 forfeiture cases in the year 2010 alone.

Criminal and civil forfeitures are different things. Criminal forfeiture follows a criminal conviction, whereas civil forfeiture, a concept created by statute, does not require a conviction or even necessarily a criminal charge against the property owner. It circumvents the Constitution in part by supposing that the property itself has broken the law, and may be seized regardless of whether the human being owning the property is charged with anything.

It makes sense that reforming forfeiture laws in New Mexico would pass our divided Legislature. It is a rare opportunity to correct injustices that matter to both the right and the left. On the right, the main concern has to do with property rights, and the power of government to take your stuff arbitrarily. Forbes contributor George Leef went as far as to argue that the plunder of forfeiture proves that “the state is our enemy.” Take that, authoritarian wing of the Republican Party. On the left, forfeiture is also a matter of human rights and social inequality, as forfeiture falls hardest on the poor and non-white.

Gramercy! How often do we see the ACLU and the Rio Grande Foundation working together?

The Forfeiture Act effectively eliminates civil forfeiture, and enacts measures for proper accounting and transparency regarding criminal forfeitures. Moreover, the proceeds from seized assets would go to the general fund, not the agencies’ own budgets, thus eliminating the profit motive from the agencies’ priorities.

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Algernon D'Ammassa: New Mexico's forfeiture act is a bold achievement

The A to Z of Freedom of Expression – Video

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Mar 312015

The A to Z of Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Expression in India is provided by the Constitution under articles 19, 20, 21 and 22. It simply means that every citizen has the right to put forward their thoughts in public without…

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The A to Z of Freedom of Expression – Video

The Right of Free Speech, it’s an American thing – Video

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Mar 292015

The Right of Free Speech, it's an American thing
Just something that has gone on since the 20th of march, Today is the 26th, It did hit the national news, however the Gutless press did not really cover it. So I did!!…

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The Right of Free Speech, it’s an American thing – Video

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism