Archive for the ‘Amendment’ Category

D.C. Voting Rights Act is Clearly Unconstitutional

March 4, 2009

Last Thursday, the Senate passed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009, which gives the District of Columbia a voting member in the House of Representatives and eliminates the position of D.C. Delegate, who represents the District now.  Currently, that delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, can only vote when her vote does not affect the outcome; however, she is allowed to introduce bills, and this bill was introduced by Norton.  The bill would also give an additional seat to Utah, so that the partisan makeup of the House stayed the same.

S. 160 (formal title: “A bill to provide the District of Columbia a voting seat and the State of Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives”) was introduced by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT).  The bill passed the Senate in by a vote of 61-37, falling mostly along party lines; however, five Republicans voted for it (Susan Collins [R-ME], Orrin Hatch [R-UT], Dick Lugar [R-IN], Olympia Snowe [R-ME], and Arlen Specter [R-PA]), and two Democrats voted against it (Max Baucus [D-MT] and Robert Byrd [D-WV]).

The bill that passed the Senate had been amended by Senator John Ensign (R-NV).  His amendment (S.AMDT. 575) restored several gun rights to the District by repealing the ban on semiautomatic weapons, the registration requirement, the ban on handgun ammunition, and several other laws.  That amendment passed 62-36.

Personally, I am ashamed of the Senate for passing this bill (although I’m glad that gun rights have been restored to the District).  Apparently 61 of our Senators need to go back to eighth grade civics class!

This act is clearly unconstitutional!  Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution says, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.”  Washington, D.C. is not a state-it’s just that simple.

Furthermore, Norton never should have been allowed to introduce this bill.  She is unconstitutionally in the House of Representatives.  Section 2 of Article I also says, “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not … be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”  Norton is not an inhabitant of a STATE, and thus should not be able to introduce legislation in the House!

I am all for the representation of D.C. in Congress; however, this bill is not the way to do that.  If D.C. really was Constitutionally allowed to have a representative, they wouldn’t need a law to get their representation – all they’d need to do is file a court case.  Furthermore, if they deserve representation, why don’t they deserved 2 Senators as well?

If the House passes this bill and President Obama signs it, this bill would probably be the most blatantly unconstitutional law ever written.  At least when President Bush violated the Constitution, he did so in ways that were debatable as to whether or not he actually violated the Constitution, but this bill takes Article I, Section 1 and says, “That’s not an important part of the Constitution.”  Find me any time that President Bush DIRECTLY violated the Constitution – he  didn’t.  The violations of the 4th Amendment were debatable.  I personally think that he violated the 4th Amendment, but there are ways that you could argue that he did not; however, with this bill, nobody with an ounce of sanity can argue that this is Constitutional!

Does anybody else find it ironic that the same Senators who complained about President Bush’s debatably unconstitutional laws just voted in favor of a law that directly and clearly goes against the very wording of the Constitution?  Come on!

Proponents of the bill claim that the “District Clause” (Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution) allows for the Congress to give D.C. a Representative.  The text of that clause reads, “[The Congress shall have Power] To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District … as may … become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

“Exclusive Legislation” only gives Congress the right to govern the District, not magically ignore Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution when it comes to the District.

This bill is blatantly unconstitutional, and those who voted for it and criticized the Bush administration ought to be ashamed of themselves.  Fortunately the Supreme Court still respects the Constitution, and I am willing to bet that they will declare this unconstitutional in a heartbeat – in fact, I really don’t see any of the 9 Justices siding with the Senate.  If they do, they are shaming the Constitution and the office of Justice of the Supreme Court!

Even my liberal roommate agrees – this bill is CLEARLY unconstitutional!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Senate Passes $838 Economic Stimulus Bill: 61-37

February 10, 2009

Just moments ago, the Senate passed the economic stimulus bill, 61-37.  Here’s how the votes fell:

Akaka (D-HI) – Aye
Alexander (R-TN) – Nay
Barrasso (R-WY) – Nay
Baucus (D-MT) – Aye
Bayh (D-IN) – Aye
Begich (D-AK) – Aye
Bennet (D-CO) – Aye
Bennett (R-UT) – Nay
Bingaman (D-NM) – Aye
Bond (R-MO) – Nay
Boxer (D-CA) – Aye
Brown (D-OH) – Aye
Brownback (R-KS) – Nay
Bunning (R-KY) – Nay
Burr (R-NC) – Nay
Burris (D-IL) – Aye
Byrd (D-WV) – Aye
Cantwell (D-WA) – Aye
Cardin (D-MD) – Aye
Carper (D-DE) – Aye
Casey (D-PA) – Aye
Chambliss (R-GA) – Nay
Coburn (R-OK) – Nay
Cochran (R-MS) – Nay
Collins (R-ME) – Aye
Conrad (D-ND) – Aye
Corker (R-TN) – Nay
Cornyn (R-TX) – Nay
Crapo (R-ID) – Nay
DeMint (R-SC) – Nay
Dodd (D-CT) – Aye
Dorgan (D-ND) – Aye
Durbin (D-IL) – Aye
Ensign (R-NV) – Nay
Enzi (R-WY) – Nay
Feingold (D-WI) – Aye
Feinstein (D-CA) – Aye
Gillibrand (D-NY) – Aye
Graham (R-SC) – Nay
Grassley (R-IA) – Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting
Hagan (D-NC) – Aye
Harkin (D-IA) – Aye
Hatch (R-UT) – Nay
Hutchison (R-TX) – Nay
Inhofe (R-OK) – Nay
Inouye (D-HI) – Aye
Isakson (R-GA) – Nay
Johanns (R-NE) – Nay
Johnson (D-SD) – Aye
Kaufman (D-DE) – Aye
Kennedy (D-MA) – Aye
Kerry (D-MA) – Aye
Klobuchar (D-MN) – Aye
Kohl (D-WI) – Aye
Kyl (R-AZ) – Nay
Landrieu (D-LA) – Aye
Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Aye
Leahy (D-VT) – Aye
Levin (D-MI) – Aye
Lieberman (ID-CT) – Aye
Lincoln (D-AR) – Aye
Lugar (R-IN) – Nay
Martinez (R-FL) – Nay
McCain (R-AZ) – Nay
McCaskill (D-MO) – Aye
McConnell (R-KY) – Nay
Menendez (D-NJ) – Aye
Merkley (D-OR) – Aye
Mikulski (D-MD) – Aye
Murkowski (R-AK) – Nay
Murray (D-WA) – Aye
Nelson (D-NE) – Aye
Nelson (D-FL) – Aye
Pryor (D-AR) – Aye
Reed (D-RI) – Aye
Reid (D-NV) – Aye
Risch (R-ID) – Nay
Roberts (R-KS) – Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV) – Aye
Sanders (I-VT) – Aye
Schumer (D-NY) – Aye
Sessions (R-AL) – Nay
Shaheen (D-NH) – Aye
Shelby (R-AL) – Nay
Snowe (R-ME) – Aye
Specter (R-PA) – Aye
Stabenow (D-MI) – Aye
Tester (D-MT) – Aye
Thune (R-SD) – Nay
Udall (D-CO) – Aye
Udall (D-NM) – Aye
Vitter (R-LA) – Nay
Voinovich (R-OH) – Nay
Warner (D-VA) – Aye
Webb (D-VA) – Aye
Whitehouse (D-RI) – Aye
Wicker (R-MS) – Nay
Wyden (D-OR) – Aye

“Ayes are 61.  Nays are 37.”  There will now be a joint committee with the House to hammer out the differences.  On that committee will be 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans: Inouye (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Reid (D-NV), Cochran (R-MS), and Grassley (R-IA).  The House and Senate will now have to hammer out those differences.  The House’s bill was $819 billion.

This is an absolutely terrible day for America.  This bill (which is actually an amended version from the original – it’s the Collins/Nelson substitution amendment) won’t stimulate our economy, it’s just going to drive us into some huge debt.  This bill was nothing more than PORK PORK PORK!

When we’re in an even worse position 6 months down the road, I hope Congress will have the common sense to not pass ANOTHER stimulus bill.  Sadly, I see us right back in this spot in another 6 months or so.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Live: Senate Voting on $838 Billion Economic Stimulus Bill

February 10, 2009

The Senate is now voting on the $838 billion economic stimulus bill.  This vote will be  on the Collins/Nelson (Susan Collins [D-ME] / Ben Nelson [D-NE]) substitution amendment (basically an amendment that made a bunch of changes instead of the old bill being amended 1 by 1).  It’s still a terrible bill.

The cloture vote passed yesterday 61-36, with 3 Republicans crossing over, and I’m guessing that’s how the vote will fall today.

Here’s how the votes are going (based on the votes yesterday, with votes that I’m sure [as in heard the Senator say their vote / heard the name read off] of bolded):

Akaka (D-HI) – Aye
Alexander (R-TN) – Nay
Barrasso (R-WY) – Nay
Baucus (D-MT) – Aye
Bayh (D-IN) – Aye
Begich (D-AK) – Aye
Bennet (D-CO) – Aye
Bennett (R-UT) – Nay
Bingaman (D-NM) – Aye
Bond (R-MO) – Nay
Boxer (D-CA) – Aye
Brown (D-OH) – Aye
Brownback (R-KS) – Nay
Bunning (R-KY) – Nay
Burr (R-NC) – Nay
Burris (D-IL) – Aye
Byrd (D-WV) – Aye
Cantwell (D-WA) – Aye
Cardin (D-MD) – Aye
Carper (D-DE) – Aye
Casey (D-PA) – Aye
Chambliss (R-GA) – Nay
Coburn (R-OK) – Nay
Cochran (R-MS) – Nay
Collins (R-ME) – Aye
Conrad (D-ND) – Aye
Corker (R-TN) – Nay
Cornyn (R-TX) – Nay
Crapo (R-ID) – Nay
DeMint (R-SC) – Nay
Dodd (D-CT) – Aye
Dorgan (D-ND) – Aye
Durbin (D-IL) – Aye
Ensign (R-NV) – Nay
Enzi (R-WY) – Nay
Feingold (D-WI) – Aye
Feinstein (D-CA) – Aye
Gillibrand (D-NY) – Aye
Graham (R-SC) – Nay
Grassley (R-IA) – Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting

Hagan (D-NC) – Aye
Harkin (D-IA) – Aye
Hatch (R-UT) – Nay
Hutchison (R-TX) – Nay
Inhofe (R-OK) – Nay
Inouye (D-HI) – Aye
Isakson (R-GA) – Nay
Johanns (R-NE) – Nay
Johnson (D-SD) – Aye
Kaufman (D-DE) – Aye
Kennedy (D-MA) – Aye
Kerry (D-MA) – Aye
Klobuchar (D-MN) – Aye
Kohl (D-WI) – Aye
Kyl (R-AZ) – Nay
Landrieu (D-LA) – Aye
Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Aye
Leahy (D-VT) – Aye
Levin (D-MI) – Aye
Lieberman (ID-CT) – Aye
Lincoln (D-AR) – Aye
Lugar (R-IN) – Nay
Martinez (R-FL) – Nay
McCain (R-AZ) – Nay
McCaskill (D-MO) – Aye
McConnell (R-KY) – Nay
Menendez (D-NJ) – Aye
Merkley (D-OR) – Aye
Mikulski (D-MD) – Aye
Murkowski (R-AK) – Nay
Murray (D-WA) – Aye
Nelson (D-NE) – Aye
Nelson (D-FL) – Aye
Pryor (D-AR) – Aye
Reed (D-RI) – Aye
Reid (D-NV) – Aye
Risch (R-ID) – Nay
Roberts (R-KS) – Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV) – Aye
Sanders (I-VT) – Aye
Schumer (D-NY) – Aye
Sessions (R-AL) – Nay
Shaheen (D-NH) – Aye
Shelby (R-AL) – Nay
Snowe (R-ME) – Aye
Specter (R-PA) – Aye
Stabenow (D-MI) – Aye
Tester (D-MT) – Aye
Thune (R-SD) – Nay
Udall (D-CO) – Aye
Udall (D-NM) – Aye
Vitter (R-LA) – Nay
Voinovich (R-OH) – Nay
Warner (D-VA) – Aye
Webb (D-VA) – Aye
Whitehouse (D-RI) – Aye
Wicker (R-MS) – Nay
Wyden (D-OR) – Aye

Ayes are 61.  Nays are 37.  There will now be a joing committee with the House to hammer out the differences Inouye, Baucus, Reid, Cochran, and Grassley.  The Senate is now in party caucus meetings, and will reconvene later.

Such a shame.  This bill is not going to stimulate our economy – it’s only going to put us into debt.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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A Normal Day in the Senate: Economic Stimulus, Health Care … Pornography at the National Science Foundation?

February 8, 2009

Alright, so I was watching the Senate discuss more amendments to H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the latest economic stimulus bill.  Anyway, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was talking about his amendment and some health care stuff, when all of a sudden, he breaks off on to the subject of pornography being viewed at work by some of the staff at the National Science Foundation, and that we need to make sure that stimulus money isn’t going towards wasting time at work (whether that’s pornography or not – people should be doing work at work, not viewing pornography or playing Free Cell).  Here’s that video clip, courtesy of C-SPAN: 

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “A Normal Day in the Senate: Economic …“, posted with vodpod

I will say, I love the looks coming from whoever was sitting behind him.  This one really caught me off guard.  I was watching it, but doing other things, but all of a sudden, this snapped me back into paying attention.

It’s never a dull day in the Senate!

But Grassley is right.  If my tax dollars are going to the NSF, I at least want work to be getting done.  The fact that it was pornography just adds insult to injury.  I don’t care if it’s as innocent as playing Asteroid, it’s government TIME.  And the fact that the one manager was using up 20% of his work time to do this is just appalling!  We need more oversight if we’re going to be putting money into this, and this is proof of that need.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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House of Representatives Passes $819 Billion Economic Stimulus Package

January 29, 2009

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1, Congress’s latest economic stimulus package.  That bill passed 244-188; 11 Democrats broke ranks, while all of the voting Republicans voted against it.  First, I would like to commend the 11 Democrats who voted against the $819 billion “stimulus” bill.  This bill is an atrocity to the Congressional system of appropriations.  Instead of focusing on true STIMULUS (after all, it is an “economic STIMULUS package”), the Democrats in the House packed the bill with billions of dollars of un-stimulating spending.  For those of  you who want to read the sources, here’s the version of the bill as it was introduced (it has been slightly changed, but not too much), here’s the summary from the House Appropriations Committee, and here’s the cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.  And here’s the link to the roll call vote, Roll number 46.

Let’s take a look at the  following, keeping in mind that this is just a fraction of the spending packed in the 647-page bill (which I unfortunately didn’t have the time to quite get through, although I skimmed most of it): $650,000,000 for digital TV converters, $400,000,000 for habitat restoration, $250,000,000 for NASA climate research, $600,000,000 for the government to lease plug-in and alternative-fuel vehicles, $500,000,000 for airport security, $150,000,000 for bridge removal by the Coast Guard, $1,700,000,000 for National Parks Service maintenance, $200,000,000 to clean up leaking underground sewage storage tanks, $850,000,000 for wildland fire management, $150,000,000 for maintenance at the Smithsonian Institution, and $50,000,000 for the National Cemetery Administration to make cemetery repairs.  And this is all after some apportionments were taken out.  The Republicans urged Democrats to take out some of the unnecessary spending, such as making funds available for “family planning” and contraceptives, as well as $200,000,000 to revitalize and re-sod the National Mall, but I think those were the only 2 spending things that were cut out of the bill.  Either way, the point is – there’s a heck of a lot of spending.

Now, I am not saying that the expenditures in this bill are unimportant.  Clearly bridge removal, airport security, wildland fire management, etc. are very important; however, Congress has an apportionment process for a reason.  This bill takes the traditional apportionment process and throws it out the window, and that is absolutely unacceptable!  The Democrats essentially drafted this bill telling THEIR caucus members, “If you want money apportioned for something, stick it in this ‘stimulus package’ and we’ll get it passed no questions asked,” and that’s exactly what happened.  Keep in mind, a normal apportionment bill is debated for days, but here the House Democrats crammed what would have been hundreds of apportionment bills into one bill and debated it on the floor for ONLY THREE DAYS.  That’s right folks – this was introduced on January 26, and it was passed on January 28.  That is both unacceptable and just plain DANGEROUS.  Half of the Representatives don’t even know what all is in the bill!

If Congress wants to spend money, that is perfectly fine, but they need to do it through the proper channels of apportionment, not by hijacking the taxpayers’ wallets under the guise of an “economic stimulus package.”

So where were the Republicans in all of this?  I’ll tell you.  They were left out until the very end.  Not ONE Republican had any real input while this bill was drafted.  Sure, Obama met with Republicans and “took their input,” but no Republican ever put a pen anywhere near this bill as it was being written.  The only input they had was on the floor of the House during debate and when they were proposing amendments.  And how many Republican amendments were passed?  Only two, neither of which spared us from the utter fiscal disaster that this bill is.

I was watching C-SPAN on-line late last night (waiting for the House to upload the Congressional record so I could look stuff up and write a story on this for my newspaper column) and quite a few Republicans took a strong stand against the bill.  In particular, the Representative from the Central Michigan Area, Dave Camp (R-MI4) submitted an amendment that would have changed the stimulus package to a pure tax-cut instead of this ridiculous spending spree / tax-cut combo, but that substitute bill (labelled as an amendment) failed along party lines, with 2 Democrats crossing over.

Personally, I don’t think that a spending spree is what we need right now, but even if the Democrats insist on increasing spending, they need to do it through the proper means of apportionment instead of shoving it into one big bill.  That way, maybe at least some of the frivolous spending will fail, but the way it’s going right now, the Democrats are on board with this “all or nothing” crap.  I really don’t see how the Democrats think that all this spending is going to stimulate the economy, especially since some of this stuff is just so focused, like repairing graves at national cemeteries.  Sure, it’s probably a good expenditure, but it’s not economic stimulus.

Hopefully the Senate votes against their version of this bill, but somehow I don’t see that happening.  If they could at least cut out some of the spending though, it’d make me a little happier.

We’re gonna be in for a rough period if Congress keeps this kind of stuff up.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Effigy of Sarah Palin Hanging by a Noose is Despicable, but Legal

October 28, 2008

I’ve seen some pretty weird Halloween decorations before, but this one probably tops them all.  In West Hollywood, California, Chad Michael Morisette has put up an effigy of Sarah Palin hanging by a noose with John McCain up on the chimeny with flames coming out of it (as well as skeletons and spider webs on other areas of the house).

Well, this made some people very unhappy and even sparked an investigation the FBI as well as the Los Angles Police Department.

The LAPD has determined that this doesn’t rise to the level of hate crime (I don’t remember if the FBI has finished its investigation).

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told reporters, “I’m not defending this; I’m not criticizing it.  It doesn’t rise to the level of hate crime.  Now, if there was a crime against bad taste–.”  When asked about an effigy of Barack Obama, he replied, “That adds a whole other social, historical hate aspect to the display, and that is embedded in the consciousness of the country [but I am not sure that it would be a hate crime].  It would be ill-advised of anybody to speculate on that.”

Morisette claims that it’s  all in fun, saying, “It should be seen as art, and as within the month of October.  It’s Halloween, it’s time to be scary, it’s time to be spooky.”

The Mayor of West Hollywood, Jeffrey Prang, told reporters, “While these residents have the legal right to display Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin in effigy, I strongly oppose political speech that references violence–real or perceived.  I urge these residents to take down their display and find more constructive ways to express their opinion.”

I agree with the Mayor here.  The point of a hate crime is that it has to threaten violence, or be violence toward a person because of discrimination (and hate crime isn’t a real legal term, but it’s easier to just say “hate crime”.  For the law that defines hate crimes, see U.S. Federal Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 13, § 245).  There is no threat of violence here.  Now, if this were done of Obama, I would say the same thing.  If it’s in a Halloween decoration, it’s generally not intended as a violent threat (as the sheriff’s department found in its investigation).  As long as it’s not being done to encourage violence for racist reasons, it’s not a hate crime.

So, I think this was over the line, but it’s still protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Cop Arresting Cameraman for Filming Peaceful Protest: “I Can Do Whatever I Want”

October 27, 2008

I was looking through some news stories and came across this story from WCBS (CBS 2) in Newark, New Jersey (WCBS is out of New York City).  Watch the video and I’ll have some analysis below:

Whoa!  The most disturbing part of that was the police officer’s comment, “I can do whatever I want” in response to the reporter, Christine Sloan, saying, “You can’t arrest him.”  (I don’t have the officer’s name – if somebody could find it, that’d be awesome!)

After arresting the photographer, Jim Quodomine, the officer even threatened Sloan, saying, “[This is] none of your business.  Stay away or you’ll be sitting in the car.”

Latrice Smith, a witness of the incident, told WCBS, “He went to put the camera down.  Before he had the opportunity to [do so], the police officer came and knocked it down. … [The officer] just started grabbing him, putting handcuffs on him, grabbed him by the neck.  It was out of control for no reason.”

Another witness told WCBS, “I couldn’t believe how they grabbed him.”

Kudos to Councilwoman Mildred Crump for standing up for justice here.  The officer CLEARLY violated the the photographer’s First Amendment rights.  Hopefully the investigation goes through as Crump has demanded and the officer is fired.  I’m a Law and Order Conservative.  I can’t stand  criminals and I love police officers, but this guy clearly overstepped his bounds.  The cameraman was on public property, and thus had a right to videotape whatever he wanted (which is ALSO why it’s legal for the government to videotape YOU in public – it’s not invading your privacy – you’re out in public – just wanted to bring that up really quick).

This cop needs to be fired.

I’m honestly surprised that he still pressed charges against Quodonine for disorderly conduct.  I’m pretty sure that Quodonine will have those charges dismissed by the magisstrate (and if not, he’ll win an appeal).  If I were him, I would be outraged.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Illinois City Bans Trick-or-Treating for Teenagers

October 27, 2008

Well, this is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while.  Belleville, Illinois passed an ordinance last Monday that restricted trick-or-treating.  That sounds normal, right, most cities limit the time that kids can trick-or-treat.  But the city isn’t just limiting when; they’re also limiting who can trick-or-treat.  And it also limits the wearing of masks, to only Halloween (unless you’re under 12).

Here’s an overview of the ordinance (unfortunately, Belleville is a little slow in uploading their meeting minutes, and all they have right now is a copy of the agenda, so this isn’t the exact wording of the ordinance):

  • Limits trick-or-treating on Halloween from 5:00 P.M. until 8:30 P.M.
  • Bans anyone in above the 8th grade (anybody older than 13 or 14) from trick-or-treating on Halloween, unless they are a “special-needs” child, and then they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Allows children age 12 and under to wear a mask and/or disguise any day of the year, but restricts anyone above 12 to being able to wear a mask and/or disguise only on Halloween.
  • Prohibits any and all child sex offenders from going to any event and/or holding any event for Halloween where any child (other than his/her own) will be present. Child sex offenders must also turn out their outside lights on Halloween night, and they are banned from handing out candy.

OK, so bullet points 1 and 4 I have no problem with.  It’s 2 and 3 that I have an issue with.

But before I go on, let me give you some quotes that Mayor Mark Eckert told reporters:

We believe that Halloween is for little children.  We just feel that we need to go that extra mile to protect the children.

We were hearing more and more about bigger kids knocking on doors after 9:00 at night and the people who lived in the homes were scared.  The seniors were especially scared.  They didn’t want to be the recipient of some kind of trick, but they didn’t want to open their doors late at night, either.

Sexual predators can’t have parties.  It’s not right, it’s wrong.  They lost that privilege.

OK, so I get the principle behind this, but here’s where you have a problem: Those teenagers out after 9:00 P.M. would be out past the overall curfew anyway, so they’d already be breaking the law.  What is the need for another law here?  If they’re out past 8:30, they can be arrested (I’m assuming that’s the punishment).  So that right there would solve your teenagers out late problem.  Banning trick-or-treating for anybody above the 8thgrade is simply ageism.  You cannot discriminate against somebody like this.  I’ll accept a curfew (although I have problems with those at times too), but to ban outright the practice of trick-or-treating for ANYBODY (other than felons who lose some rights when they’re convicted) is discrimination, and in my view, illegal!

Now, the mask/disguise ordinance.  You’re telling me that a 16-year-old kid can’t wear a mask outside at a Halloween party the night before Halloween (Devil’s Night if you live here in Detroit)?  Or what if a Star Trek convention comes to Belleville?  Are you telling me that masks aren’t allowed?  It’s ridiculous!  Unfortunately, without the ordinance I don’t have the city’s legal definition of “disguise” but would this apply to people dressed up as Santa Clause?  Are you going to haul away the Salvation Army Santa for being in a “disguise” on a day other than Halloween?  It’s dumb.  It restricts the Freedom of Speech (this isn’t a dress code in school we’re talking about here – this is just being out in PUBLIC generally!)!  It’s asinine, ridiculous, and it’s unconstitutional.

I hope somebody old goes out and trick-or treats, or wears a mask the day after Halloween so that this can be taken to court and overturned.  I’m a Law and Order Conservative – I abide by the laws.  I don’t speed.  I don’t drink underage.  I’ve never stolen a candy bar.  But when the law goes against Constitutional principles, it MUST be disobeyed so that it can be challenged in court, and this is one time where I say, “Break that law!”

Done Ranting

Ranting Republican
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Obama and Biden Voted Against Funding for Rebuilding After Katrina, But Supported Bridge to Nowhere Funding

September 8, 2008

So, I found something interesting today.  Back in 2005, Congress voted on and passed H.R. 3058 [109th Congress]: “Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia,…”.  This purpose of this bill was for “Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia, and independent agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.”

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.  Before being passed by the Senate it underwent 181 amendment proposals (49 by the House, 132 by the Senate).  One of the Senate amendments, proposed by Tom Coburn (R-OK), S.Amdt. 2165, “To make a perfecting amendment,” was proposed on October 20, 2005.  The original full text of the amendment can be found here, but the amendment basically took money that was, in the original bill, allocated to 2 “Bridge to Nowhere” projects in Alaska, the Knik Arm Bridge, and the Gravina Island Bridge, and would put this money toward rebuilding the Twin Spans Bridge which was bridge connecting New Orleans to Slidell, LA, that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

So, who voted against this amendment?  The same people who have been lying about Sarah Palin, saying that she supported the Bridge to Nowhere projects.  That’s right.  Barack Obama and Joe Biden voted to keep this money going toward the Bridge to Nowhere instead of spending it to rebuild after Katrina.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a vote for Senator McCain who was not in the Senate that day.

Later, that same day, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) (yes, the terrible Republican who got so much pork barrel spending for his state) proposed S.Amdt. 2181: To ensure reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge.  He probably felt bad about the money going to his bridges instead of the New Orleans bridge.  Who voted against this amendment?  That’s right, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  Again, we don’t have a vote from McCain, since he wasn’t there that day.

So Barack Obama and Joe Biden voted twice against funding to rebuild after Katrina, but didn’t vote to stop funding TWO Bridge to Nowhere projects?  And Obama/Biden call Palin a hypocrite?  Palin is against the Bridge to Nowhere.  Obama and Biden were for it, and they were against rebuilding a bridge damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Is this change we can believe in?  No, this is the same old Washington politics.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Teachers Sue Detroit Public Schools for Firing Them Illegally and Disobeying a Court Order

July 17, 2008

Here’s a story that I wanted to break last night, but because I only heard 2/3 of the story when the 2 teachers went on the radio, I decided to hold off until a newspaper article was printed, so I could catch the whole story.

The husband and wife teachers, Steve Conn and Heather Miller are suing the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) “to finally put an end to the Detroit Board of Education’s witch hunt against them.”  They claim that they “have had to endure” a “yearlong attack … at the hands of the board and DPS administration and [violations of] their First Amendment rights of free speech.”

The pair was accused of allowing students to be put in danger during a protest against school closings that the pair participated in at Northern High School in May of 2007, according to (at the time) school board president Carla Scott.  DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said, “These are two individuals who knowingly and against parental permission took children out of school and put their safety at risk.”

Doyle O’Connor, an administrative law judge for the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, ordered DPS “to cease interfering with employees’ rights to pursue grievances, hold union office or participate in lawful public protests.” (Source: Detroit News)

DPS ignored that ruling and fired the teachers, who had previously been placed on administrative leave.

One quote that I did get while listening to the radio (WJR 760) was from Steve Conn: “DPS is not above the law.  They must follow the judge’s order and put us back into the classroom.  This is going to end up costing the district millions of dollars it simply cannot afford, all because a few board members want to silence us and stop us from exposing the conditions in the schools.”

And I ABSOLUTELY agree.  This is the reason that DPS is broke.  It’s people like Connie Calloway who refuse to admit when they’ve made a mistake (or when they’re wrong), and they’re driving the system into the ground.  They waste money on stupid court cases like this.  So they go more into debt, meaning that they cut more schools and teachers, meaning that more kids leave, so they get less money, so they go more into debt…

It’s a cycle that’s never going to end until Detroit as a whole gets its act together and shapes up.  Either that or annex it to Oakland County, give L. Brooks Patterson sole control over it (so no Detroit government whatsoever), but Detroiters would never go for that “because people like Kwame are our friends.”  Bull crap.  Half the Detroiters (the half that reelected Kwame after all the scandals he had in his first term), DESERVE what’s happening now.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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