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Sunday, June 20th open thread: ‘Why Can’t I be You’

June 20, 2021

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  Here is this week’s open thread. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right.

Here is The Cure performing an improvised and extended version of “Why Can’t I be You?” live in 1990:

Supreme Court rules in favor of religious liberty in same-sex adoption case

June 17, 2021

Back in 2018 the city of Philadelphia informed the Catholic Social Services they would not be allowed to take in any more foster children unless the organization agreed to allow children to be adopted by same-sex couples. Needless to say the Catholic organization refused and initiated a lawsuit which culminated today with the schizophrenic Supreme Court siding on the side of religious liberty. Here is more:

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Thursday unanimously overturned a lower court ruling regarding the City of Philadelphia barring foster children from being placed with the Catholic Social Services due to its unwillingness to endorse same-sex couples.

In a 9-0 judgment, SCOTUS held that the City of Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) for the provision of foster care services unless the agency agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. It came about after Philadelphia stopped foster children from being placed with the Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the basis of its beliefs and practices on traditional marriage.

“Philadelphia took this extraordinary action not in response to any legal violation, nor in response to any complaint it received, but because of CSS’s religious beliefs and practices regarding marriage, which City officials read about in the local paper,” the petitioner’s brief reads, noting the Third Circuit ruled in favor of Philadelphia, considering the city’s actions “neutral.”

“The City will renew its foster care contract with CSS only if the agency agrees to certify same-sex couples. The question presented is whether the actions of Philadelphia violate the First Amendment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, in which he ultimately determined the city’s action did so.

The city’s actions, he wrote, “burdened CSS’s religious exercise by putting it to the choice of curtailing its mission or approving relationships inconsistent with its beliefs,” noting the city’s dissent of that opinion.

This decision should never have been in doubt however it is surprising to me that the Supreme Court decision was unanimous. That really must irk the left because this is the third such unanimous decision in recent days including the decision on creating an immigration loophole and the decision on warrantless gun seizures, so they cannot claim the court has been radicalized by Donald Trump.

Texas Governor signs Constitutional carry into law

June 17, 2021

We can now add Texas to the list of States which allow Constitutional carry after Governor Abbott signed it into law yesterday. Here is more:

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed HB 1927 into law Wednesday, making Texas the 21st constitutional carry state in the union.

The Texas Tribune reported the constitutional carry law will go into effect September 1, 2021, allowing law-abiding residents 21-years-old and older to carry a handgun for self-defense, without first getting a permit from the government.

This makes Texas the 21st constitutional carry state. The other 20 states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

If you are like me you were probably surprised to learn that Texas was not one of the original Constitutional carry States but at least they finally rectified that problem. The list now stands at 21 States and hopefully this number is going to continue to grow in the next few months because the Biden administration is going to make a big gun control push in the coming years.

Judge halts Joe Biden’s oil and gas drilling ban on Federal land

June 16, 2021

One of the first things Joe Biden did as President was to sign an Executive Order banning oil and gas drilling on Federal land, this was followed up with halting the Keystone Pipeline and cancelling oil and gas leases at ANWR. Although the media is denying any correlation between moves like this and the rising price of gas and consumer goods most Americans are smart enough to understand the devastating effect this policy is for ordinary Americans who are trying to eek out a living.

This Executive Order was met with lawsuits and last night a Federal Judge issued an injunction halting the ban and allowing drilling to continue as these cases make their way through the courts. Here is more:

A federal judge ordered the federal government to halt its ban on new oil and gas leases in a major setback for President Joe Biden’s administration.

Judge Terry Doughty, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, granted a preliminary injunction that had been requested by a large coalition of Republican state attorneys general in an order released Tuesday evening. The Department of Interior is prohibited from enforcing the oil and gas leasing ban until the case is concluded, according to the order.

“This is a victory not only for the rule of law, but also for the thousands of workers who produce affordable energy for Americans,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We appreciate that federal courts have recognized President Biden is completely outside his authority in his attempt to shut down oil and gas leases on federal lands.”

It would appear as if this is not simply a frivolous lawsuit designed solely to stop a policy disagreement, such as we had seen over the last four years, but based on the violation of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Mineral Leasing Act so just maybe in the end this one will be a win.

Joe Biden urges Americans to turn in their neighbors

June 15, 2021

It has been noted that Joe Biden’s Presidency is basically just Barack Obama’s third term so it should come as no surprise that the President would like Americans to turn each other into the government if they do not hold liberal views on the State.

You might remember that during his reelection campaign Barack Obama created a website which urged supporters to turn in people who opposed the President and even before that created a website which urged people to turn in fellow citizens who were opposed to Obamacare. But it even started with the “truth squads” he created during the 2008 campaign.

As alluded to above, Joe Biden is now doing much the same in urging people to report their neighbors if they feel they might be becoming radicalized. Here is more:

President Joe Biden’s administration announced their plans to create ways for Americans to report radicalized friends and family to the government, in an effort to fight domestic terrorism.

In a conversation with reporters, one senior administration official explained the importance of stopping politically fueled violence before it started.

“We will work to improve public awareness of federal resources to address concerning or threatening behavior before violence occurs,” the official said.

“This involves creating contexts in which those who are family members or friends or co-workers know that there are pathways and avenues to raise concerns and seek help for those who they have perceived to be radicalizing and potentially radicalizing towards violence,” the official said.

Notice the term “perceived” in that sentence, if you feel like somebody might someday do something you are being urged to term them in. There is no chance of abuse here, is there? No liberal would ever turn in his neighbor as revenge for holding a different political opinion or for having a banner of a certain former President, right? And who could forget when the Obama administration warned people about violent right wing groups such as people who are pro-life or pro-second amendment…

The government has been playing this divide and conquer Hegelian dialectic game for many years and it will continue to work until we realize we are not each other’s enemies, the State is our enemy…

Federal Judge halts Joe Biden’s farmer loan forgiveness plan

June 14, 2021

Joe Biden had a plan included in the American Rescue Plan which would help some farmers, to the tune of $4 billion, by forgiving their loans, but yesterday a Judge put a halt to the discriminatory program. Here is more:

A federal judge took the extraordinary rare step of issuing a temporary restraining order halting President Joe Biden’s $4 billion loan forgiveness program for minority farmers, saying the plan replaced one form of discrimination with another because white farmers are excluded.

Wisconsin Judge William Griesbach, a George W. Bush appointee, also claimed the plan did not give adequate examples of recent hardships imposed on minority farmers.

Here is part of what the Judge said in his decision:

“The obvious response to a government agency that claims it continues to discriminate against farmers because of their race or national origin is to direct it to stop: it is not to direct it to intentionally discriminate against others on the basis of their race and national origin,” Griesbach wrote.

“Indeed, Congress can implement race-neutral programs to help farmers and ranchers in need of financial assistance, such as requiring individual determinations of disadvantaged status or giving priority to loans of farmers and ranchers that were left out of the previous pandemic relief funding,” Griesbach wrote. “It can also provide better outreach, education, and other resources. But it cannot discriminate on the basis of race.”

This is such an obvious point that you would think it would not take a Federal Judge to point it out but I guess the old two wrongs do not make a right adage is no longer taught. Or it is too difficult for Joe Biden to comprehend…

Reporter who broke Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting story found dead

June 13, 2021

I know this is ancient history at this point but back in 2016 when the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server a local television reporter broke the story of a secret meeting between Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The tarmac meeting came just days before James Comey’s announcement that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges against Hillary Clinton.

It is now being reported here that this reporter has been found dead of, you guessed it, an apparent suicide. Here is more:

Birmingham TV anchor and veteran newsman Christopher Sign was found dead Saturday morning of an apparent suicide, police said.

After receiving a call at 8:13 a.m., Hoover, Alabama police and fire personnel arrived to find the 45-year-old Sign dead, which Hoover police Lt. Keith Czeskleba said is being investigated as a suicide, reported.

Since that time he and his family have been receiving death threats:

Sign told Fox News in February 2020 that his family received numerous death threats after he broke the story, which was widely cited during the 2016 election cycle.

“My family received significant death threats shortly after breaking this story. Credit cards hacked. You know, my children, we have code words. We have secret code words that they know what to do.”

Looks like we can add another name to the ever-growing list of Arkancide victims…

Sunday, June 13th open thread: ‘Symphony of Destruction’

June 13, 2021

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 KJV)

  Here is this week’s open thread. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

 You can subscribe to America’s Watchtower to receive email updates and you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right.

Here is Megadeth performing “Symphony of Destruction” live from 1992 and obviously recorded on VHS:

“You take a mortal man
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch peoples heads a ‘roll
A ‘roll, a ‘roll
Just like the pied piper
Led rats through the streets
We dance like Marionettes
Swaying to the symphony of destruction”

Joe Biden reallocates reallocated border wall money

June 12, 2021

When Donald Trump could not get the Congress to pass legislation to fund a border wall on the Mexican border the President took matters into his own hands and began reallocating some Department of Defense funds to build the wall. Of course there were the usual legal challenges along the way but construction was allowed to continue.

When Joe Biden was running for president he promised to end the construction of the border wall and now according to this story he is reallocating the reallocated border wall money and is returning $2.2 billion back to the Department of Defense. Here is more:

The Biden administration redirected $2.2 billion of funds allocated for the border wall under former President Donald Trump to Department of Defense projects, the agency announced Friday.

Department of Defense (DOD) canceled all border wall construction projects on April 30 and DOD Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks approved using the funds for 66 projects across 11 states and 16 countries, according to the agency.

This is what happens when you rule by Executive Order and unlike what we saw over the previous four years I would not expect anybody to challenge Joe Biden’s authority to do this.

After recent rulings White House and Democrats want to open investigation into Supreme Court

June 9, 2021

It is no secret that the Democrats have had their sights set on the Supreme Court since Donald Trump got to name three appointees. Most of the talk has centered around packing the court, however after a spate of recent Supreme Court rulings which have either gone against the Biden administration or the Democrat’s radical agenda two Democrats and the White House have decided to begin an investigation into the Supreme Court. Here is more:

Two key senators want travel records of Supreme Court justices as part of a broader congressional look at financial disclosure standards for the receipt of gifts, travel and other financial gains by senior government officials.

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy asked the Justice Department and the U.S. Marshals Service last week for information and documents about the last 10 years of trips for members of the high court.

Whitehouse and Kennedy, in a letter sent Friday, asked the Marshals Service for “all documents” related to those trips, the name of the justice who traveled, where the trips were, and the cost to taxpayers.

The correlation between these recent decisions on a range of subjects–from illegal immigration to warrantless gun seizures–and this investigation is purely speculative on my part, it could be a huge coincidence, but the timing does seem suspicious doesn’t it? It’s almost like the Democrats are sending a warning shot across the bow for future decisions…