Categories
Freedom Government Liberty Media Obamacare Religious Trump

Freedoms Are Expanding Under President Trump

Rod Thomson

There is an ongoing narrative in the media and by Democrats that President Trump is a threat to everything American, that he is fascistic and that our most basic freedoms are under assault. Therefor, all must #resist!

But the opposite is true when set in juxtaposition to the Obama Administration.

The actual facts on the ground do not support what appears to be only a caricature created to scare the Democrat base and the American people in pursuit of the ongoing agenda to undermine the duly elected president.

When looking at Trump’s actions, compared to Obama’s actions, several things become clear. Not every individual action is pro-liberty, but in the aggregate, there is a substantial net lurch toward freedoms that moves the needle in the opposite direction from the Obama administration’s eight years of restraining American freedoms on several fronts.

The basics make the point.

 

Press freedoms

Ironically, Trump’s expansion of freedoms holds true even for the media that despises Trump and disingenuously considers him fascistic or trending toward Nazism.

Under Obama, we had actual federal government surveillance of Associated Press reporters and an FBI investigations of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Those are the ones we know of. Further, Obama and the Eric Holder Department of Justice aggressively pursued government whistleblowers — the journalists’ sources.

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According to the decidedly non-conservative Freedom of the Press Foundation, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder used the Espionage Act of 1917 to put a record number of reporters and sources in jail. The foundation said “Obama strongly supported Holder’s war against journalists’ sources, despite once promising to protect whistleblowers when in office…”

Yes, Obama persecuted more leakers and journalists than any president ever. Isn’t it interesting how the media had no heart for really covering these stories?

But under Trump so far, there is no known Obama-era surveillance of reporters, no investigations of reporters. In fact, Trump is perhaps the most accessible and open president in history.

Empirically, there can be no doubt that, so far, journalists are freer under President Trump than they were under President Obama.

 

Religious freedoms

The Obama Administration used federal funds to pay for abortions, meaning individual taxpayers were required to participate in an activity that many find abhorrent and in violation of religious beliefs.

Further, Obamacare (again) allowed Obama to require businesses to pay for abortion and birth control devices for their employees through the insurance they offered, violating the religious convictions of many business owners.

This policy was a major hit to First Amendment freedoms and landed companies such as Hobby Lobby in court, creating a religious freedom firestorm — for those who care about religious freedom.

But last October, the Trump administration changed the Obama policy to allow employers to claim a religious or moral objection to Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate, sweeping away the onerous, freedom-stealing policy. Naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to block the Trump action, because the ACLU is very selective of which civil liberties they defend — and the obvious bedrock Jeffersonian principle of a right to condoms and abortion are clearly more important than religious freedom.

You can argue for or against the policy as right or wrong, but you cannot argue that the Obama policy was pro-religious freedom when it denied religious freedom to some for the convenience of others.

This alone is a major gain for religious freedom. But Trump has also appointed federal judges, up to and including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who are originalist and will almost assuredly protect religious liberty when it collides with modern conveniences.

 

Individual freedoms

President Obama’s signature action was Obamacare. And there can be no argument from any side that Affordable Care Act was a pro-freedom bill or expanded individual liberties.

The basic premise of Obamacare was to specifically limit individuals’ choices and freedoms by requiring all Americans to buy a product (health insurance) and penalizing them if they did not to create a large enough marketplace to cover the uninsured. This was the infamous individual mandate. You can argue for the cause of ACA, but you cannot argue it was pro-freedom. By definition and mandate, it was not.

Trump and Congressional Republicans essentially eliminated the individual mandate in the tax reform package that has been so successful on the economic front. That was a net step back from the government control of the previous administration and toward individual freedom.

The same can be said of the rest of the tax reform package. Any cut in personal income taxes is at least a tiny step toward more freedom as Americans are allowed to spend more of their money how they choose, not how some distant bureaucrat chooses.

And deregulation allows more freedom from businesses to homeowners, not only helping the economy and general quality of life, but expanding liberties for Americans by removing at least a small part of the yoke of government.

 

A couple of exceptions to watch

There are a couple of small exceptions to this general rule.

Trump’s proposal, at the urging of his daughter Ivanka Trump, for family and medical leave reduces individual freedoms by forcing companies to provide this — meaning the companies have less freedom as do the company employees who must pick up the slack while people are on lengthy leaves via government mandate.

Also, to a very tiny degree, Trump’s $1.5 trillion government infrastructure spending bill is the wrong direction because it ultimately requires taxes to pay for. More government spending equals less individual freedom. It’s just a basic equation.

But these two exceptions pale when compared to the broader expansions of liberties for all Americans.

Trump will get little to no credit for this expansion of liberties because the media’s shared ideology with Obama and Democrats means they either don’t value these freedoms or don’t even recognize their loss.

But there are still enough Americans that prize liberty to appreciate this new atmosphere.


Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
History Liberty Truth

First They Came for Confederate Monuments…

Rod Thomson

It’s a story as old as civilizations passing away, history looping without end…

First they came for the Confederate monuments, because they represented those who fought to maintain slavery.

Then they came for Confederate flags, because banning them would alleviate the hurt of slavery they represented.

Then they came for Confederate names on buildings, on schools and on streets. That which causes offense is not acceptable in our society.

Then they came for the history textbooks, which were revised to avoid causing pain to students confronted with the ugly past in their own country. How could the children endure this?

After a time, they had erased all memories of the Confederacy from the public square and the books — sent them down the memory hole — and all was good with race relations. All would now prosper and feel safe from the offense of history.

But…

Some Founders were slaveholders. And this is intolerable to even think about. So they came for those Founders who owned slaves, most prominent of whom were Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

They came for the Jefferson and Washington Monuments in the nation’s capital and all statues of Washington and Jefferson, for they caused deep offense. Slaveowners looking down on us!

Then they came for schools named after Jefferson and Washington. Then they came after streets and towns named after Jefferson and Washington. That which causes offense is not acceptable in our society.

Then they came for the history textbooks, which were revised to avoid causing pain to students confronted with the slaveholding realities of the nation’s forefathers. How could the children endure this?

And finally they came after the Capital of the United States, because it was named after a slaveholder. How offensive to every citizen!

After a time, they had erased all memories of every founder who was a slaveholder from the public square and the books — sent down the memory hole — and all was good with race relations. All would now prosper and feel safe from the offense of history.

But…

It was soon remembered that all of the Founders agreed to keep women from being able to vote, to treat them as second-class citizens. This included those who were not slaveholders and those who opposed slavery.

So they came after all of the rest of the Founders not already erased, because they were sexist and diminished women. Hated women. Such sexism can never be celebrated!

Then they came for the monuments to Founders such as John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine and the rest for they caused offense, they made some women feel “less than.” Sexist males looking down on us!

Then they came for schools named after Adams and Hamilton. Then they came after streets and towns named after Adams and Hamilton. That which causes offense is not acceptable in our society.

Then they came for the history textbooks, which were revised to avoid causing pain to students confronted with the ugly, sexist past of all of the Founders of their own country. How could the children endure this?

After awhile, they had erased all memories of every Founder — racist and sexist — from the public square and the books — all sent down the memory hole — and all was good with race and gender relations. All would now prosper and feel safe from the offense of history.

But…

Oh, there was so much more still to erase! The impurities!

They came for Christopher Columbus because he brought plagues to the natives and stole their lands and resources. Erase him!

They came for U.S. presidents before the Civil War because they appeased the South with compromises, allowing slavery to expand into more new states in the Union. Erase them!

They came for the Presidents who did not uphold treaties with Native Americans. Erase them!

They came for the 19th century building titans who constructed the Transcontinental Railroad because they paid the Chinese slave labor wages for their work. Erase them!

They came for every corporate baron enriched during the industrial revolution, some of which had used child labor, all of whom had mistreated workers. Erase them!

They came for U.S. Supreme Court justices who upheld slavery in the Dred Scott ruling. Erase them!

They came for the once-revered Woodrow Wilson because he was an overt racist and acted colonially when he began the U.S. occupation of Haiti. Erase him!

They came for Franklin Roosevelt because he put Japanese-Americans in internment camps in World War II. What an offense to have to be faced with! Erase him!

They came for Harry Truman because he used atomic weapons against Japanese civilians — but not Germany — showing his bigotry. Erase him!

They came for Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. None withstood the next wave of erasure. “Erase them all!” they cried in their purifying fever.

Like the great Eraser’s of kingdoms past from Assyrians to Soviets, they took down all predecessors, all remnants that might remind people of the offensive, unacceptable, unauthorized national history. They erased them all.

In the end, they stood around, panting heavily from their long labors and paused. And then they came for themselves, because such was the voracious appetite to purify history from offense that none could meet the test of purity.

Not even the Erasers.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Constitution Free Speech Liberty Truth

Who’s To Blame for the Events in Charlottesville? Charlottesville!

Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The events that transpired in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 were truly vile and disgusting. Set into motion under the guise of protesting the city’s decision to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, the gathering instead devolved into a display of violence and intolerance that struck at the face of democracy and the ideals upon which our country was built.

The left is quick to cast its aspersions upon the white nationalist groups that organized the rally under the leadership of Jason Kessler. By the same token, it is quick to dismiss whatever disruptive behaviors may have taken place on the part of counter-protesters also present.

There are, however, three facts that are indisputable.

First, despite the repugnance of the message Kessler and his Unite the Right activists were delivering that Saturday, they had all the right in the world to deliver it as they were armed with the protections conferred by the First Amendment and a permit.  

Second, the City of Charlottesville had a duty to maintain order during the demonstration especially since it knew that the outermost fringes of our political spectrum would be in attendance.  

And third, the outermost fringes of our society’s political spectrum did indeed show up. 

Since March 2017, Charlottesville knew this rally was coming.  As a matter of fact, it acted to inconvenience Kessler and his band of protesters, ostensibly in the name of public safety, to the point of rejecting their petition unless they agreed to hold their rally at nearby McIntyre Park.

In fact, following the city’s Aug. 7 decision to reject Kessler’s original request, Kessler had to file a lawsuit in federal court seeking injunctive relief. On Aug. 11, the day prior to the rally, U.S. District Court Judge Glen E. Conrad granted Kessler the relief he sought stating, “Based on the current record, the court concludes that Kessler has shown that he will likely prove that the decision to revoke his permit was based on the content of his speech. . . Kessler’s assertion in this regard is supported by the fact that the city solely revoked his permit but left in place the permits issued to counter-protesters.” (emphasis added)

As a result, Conrad concluded that the city’s decision to disallow Kessler’s request was “based on the content of his speech” rather than on public safety, something that is specifically prohibited by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

And the city had already gotten a taste of what was coming.  On July 8, a similar rally was held at Emancipation Park where approximately 50 clansmen were in attendance and over a thousand counter-protesters showed up.  In that rally, a mere month prior to Kessler’s event, 23 arrests were made.  (Editor’s note: This conflict is a natural result of identity politics, which we explain here.)

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Moreover, the city stated prior to the rally that it was expecting anywhere between 2,000-8,000 people to be at Emancipation Park, and it still provided an inadequate police force to handle such a gathering.  

Everyone understands that Charlottesville is a small town, but if the city’s police force was insufficient to protect the protesters in what was predicted to be a volatile situation, then it should have asked the Commonwealth of Virginia for help.  

The bottom line is that there was no excuse for the inadequate police presence at the beginning of the rally.  Charlottesville’s duty, just like that of any American governmental entity, was to protect Kesler’s right to peacefully speak and the counter-protester’s right to peacefully counter his speech. Sadly, Charlottesville shirked its responsibility, and the rest, as they say, is (another dark stain upon our) history.  

There are many who place the blame on the white supremacists accumulated that day at Emancipation Park. It seems, though, that the only reason they point fingers at them is the true repugnance of their message. However, such repugnance can never be the primary reason to assign blame since doing so is tantamount to censorship and suppression.

Although we would have all loved it if these Nazi whackos would have sat down and shut up, the reality is they had all the rights afforded them in the Constitution to speak that Saturday at Emancipation Park.  

Sadly, if we are to blame anyone for this tragedy, it is the City of Charlottesville, which failed to maintain the peace that day under the statue of Robert E. Lee because it didn’t like the petitioner and the message he was set to deliver.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.

Categories
Liberty Media Politics Truth

The Press Is Free No More

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Few institutions are more instrumental to the protections of our liberties than a free and unencumbered press.

To this end, John Adams said liberty of the press is “essential to the security of the state.” And Thomas Jefferson, at times a bitter enemy of Adams, nevertheless agreed on this point: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press. . .”

So important is the press to the continued wellbeing and independence of the nation that the guarantee of its freedom was etched in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Clearly, the Framers demanded that government not own the nation’s deliverers of news and political opinion.  

But what if the press chooses to become subservient to the ideologies of its members instead of being forced to be subservient to the shackles of kings, is it any freer then?

On September 11, 2012, a group of terrorists attacked the American mission in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed. The Obama Administration immediately blamed the attack on a mob riled up by a ridiculous video created in the United States by one Makoula Basseley Nakoula. Nakoula was promptly arrested and would not be released until August 2013. The consensus quickly became that Nakoula’s video had no connection to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, but he had been placed behind bars nevertheless and stayed there.

Where was the uproar at CNN?

When viewed objectively, the storyline was ripe with possible corruption, governmental intimidation, negligence, coercion, and deceit.  Yet there was no outrage, no scrupulous journalistic investigation to find the truth. As a matter of fact, the media instead mocked Congress for conducting its own investigation into the matter, calling it political theater.

On October 16, 2012, when Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a live televised presidential debate, attempted to take then President Barrack Obama to task for not having immediately called the attack on Bengahazi the work of terrorists, CNN’s Candy Crowley amazingly and wrongly corrected him. . . during the debate! Crowley was never fired for this unprofessional and unethical injection into a moderated debate between two presidential candidates. In fact, in a piece published on October 20, CNN was still defending her actions.

 

Press parochialism on violence

In June 2017, New York’s Public Theater in the Park presented its latest rendition of Julius Caesar, this time employing a Trumpesque actor as Caesar. As the play comes to an end, the audience is treated to a mock, hemorrhagic assassination of Caesar (Trump), making the parallels to the murder of the sitting president unmistakable. Trump supporters and many who honor the integrity of the Office of the Presidency immediately cried foul, repulsed by the audacity of the production.  

On June 12, 2017, CNN’s Kate Maltby dismissed the objections to the play, claiming the hysteria from conservatives was largely driven by “Fox News . . . in order to pressure corporate donors.” She then said the concerns that this gross, simulated attack on the President of the United States would incite violence was, “a lie circulated by the President’s allies,” and warned that these falsities would have the effect of “chilling artistic expression.” She called the whole affair “a dark moment for American freedom of expression.”  

Fast forward to July 2, 2017. President Trump tweets a segment of video depicting Trump beating up on a person whose head had been substituted with the CNN logo suggesting that President Trump was beating up on CNN.  

There was no blood.

There was no death.  

There was no dismemberment.

There were no weapons.  

Yet CNN’s response was immediate and stratospheric.  It decried the video as an assault on the press. It claimed that the meme would encourage violence upon reporters (whereas, somehow, the visual depiction of President Trump being stabbed to death would not!).  

So rabid was CNN’s reaction that it assigned its IT crew to find the identity of the private citizen who had created the meme, even though the creator had no association or ties to President Trump and the meme was available to anyone wishing to post it on social media, not just President Trump.

Unbelievably, CNN then went on to release a statement exalting its benevolence at not disclosing the identity of the meme’s creator because he had demonstrated remorse to the Omnipotent News Network.  (To add insult to injury, there are now suggestions that CNN may have bullied the wrong person!)

 

CNN’s partisanship is obvious

The pattern here is as recognizable as it is simple. CNN will take the position that most favors those on the left while ridiculing, mocking, and even persecuting those daring to aim their daggers at the network or even at its logo.  

So, although CNN and media outlets like it who share the left’s hateful and repressive liberal slant are not beholden to the government (as far as we know) their reporting pattern and the disparate zeal with which they pursue certain stories leads us to the inescapable conclusion that it has fallen prey to another master; its own partisan ideology.

Referring to journalists, John Quincy Adams once wrote, “They are a sort of assassins who sit with loaded blunderbusses at the corner of streets and fire them off for hire or for sport at any passenger they select.”

You’d think he was watching CNN! And CNN is merely a  synonymous stand-in for all of the mainstream media.

Our nation, rightfully, provided certain legal protections to the press with the aim of frustrating any control by an oppressive police state. Its abilities to check government were based on the continued presence of a robust diversity of thought and interests among its various members.  

Today, however, that diversity is largely theoretical, leaving We The People basking in a sea of misinformation, preferential treatment, and worse yet, outright lies.

So, before CNN and all its co-conspirators celebrate Caesar’s death by running to the common pulpits and declaring, “Tyranny is dead!” let us remind ourselves of the new masters to which these miserable servants bow and ascertain that it is not We The People who are being served.

For us, the absence of truth in a sea of darkness is just as miserable as shackles in the light of day.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

Categories
Fourth of July History Liberty Truth

VIDEO: Why Americans Fought for Liberty

By KrisAnne Hall

As Americans enjoy the fireworks, hot dogs, and Apple pie on July 4th, let’s also remember why our independence was necessary.  Many Americans have forgotten why we celebrate this day of remembrance.

Our independence was not a foreign war. Our battle for independence wasn’t just about taxes or tea. It was so much more. Let’s set the record straight and undo decades of miseducation and revision in just 5 minutes.

Let’s celebrate again what makes America great!