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Sunday, June 21st open thread: “Peace, Justice, and Anarchy’

June 21, 2020

open-threadThis 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.

  If you are not familiar with Folk Punk here is an introduction, I give you Ryan Harvey and his song “Peace, Justice, and Anarchy.” Enjoy:


Supreme Court blocks Donald Trump’s bid to end DACA program

June 18, 2020

  It looks like Donald Trump’s immigration policies are 0-2 in the Supreme Court this week. Earlier in the week the Supreme Court refused to take up the administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling on California’s sanctuary law, and yesterday the highest court in the land blocked the President from rescinding DACA.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5-4 decision, which deals a big legal defeat to President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, a major focus of his domestic agenda.

  Once again John Roberts sided with the four liberal justices on the Supreme Court. (When can we just start saying the five liberal justices on the Supreme Court were in agreement?)

  Oddly enough the court did not rule that Donald Trump could not end the DACA program, the court just did not like his reason for wanting to do so.

Roberts wrote in the decision that the government failed to give an adequate justification for ending the federal program. The administration could again try to shut it down by offering a more detailed explanation for its action

We conclude that the acting secretary did violate” the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the decision to rescind DACA “must be vacated,” Roberts wrote. In his decision, Roberts called the Trump administration’s “total rescission” of DACA “arbitrary and capricious.”

The heart of Robert’s majority opinion held that Trump had broken the laws governing federal agencies when he ended DACA in 2017 because the memorandum that recommended its termination did not address crucial parts of the policy.

Critically, however, Roberts pointed out in his decision that it wasn’t necessarily unconstitutional for the Trump administration to terminate DACA, but the way it did so was.

  So it is back to the drawing board. Basically it looks like the Supreme Court punted this issue and now we will have to wait to see if Donald Trump decides to try again this close to when the election is scheduled to take place.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal to California sanctuary law

June 16, 2020

  California’s sanctuary law, which forbids local police from helping Federal immigration agents, was being challenged in the courts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that there is nothing in California law which requires local police to assist Federal officers and upheld the law.

  The Trump administration challenged the decision and yesterday the Supreme Court handed Donald Trump a major setback to his immigration policy by refusing to hear the appeal. Here is more:

California’s “sanctuary” immigration enforcement law will not go before the U.S. Supreme Court, handing California a capstone victory in an ongoing clash with the federal government.

The high court on Monday turned down the Justice Department’s request to review a federal appeals court decision that largely upheld three California laws. One of the laws passed soon after Donald Trump became president, Senate Bill 54, partitions local law enforcement from federal immigration authorities, protecting arrested immigrants and low-level offenders from deportation.

The federal government asked the Supreme Court to review SB 54. The court announced Monday that it declined that review, though Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have heard the case.

  The story says only Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have agreed to hear the case, but here we find out that Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch refused to hear the appeal so I am guessing this decision was handed down by the whole court and not just a panel. And of course that means John Roberts strikes again…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Donald Trump to sign police reform Executive Order

June 15, 2020

  In the wake of George Floyd’s murder the Democrats who do not want to defund the police have been preparing police reform legislation but apparently they are not moving fast enough for Donald Trump because according to this story he is going to sign an Executive Order on police reform tomorrow. Here is what is included in his decree:

  1. Creating credentialing and certification programs in every police department across the nation
  2. Information sharing — create a national database that can track officers with excessive use of force complaints so they can’t skip from department to department
  3. Incentivize co-responder programs — have mental health experts accompany officers on responses to non-violent calls involving homelessness, addiction, and other mental health issues

  You know how I feel about Executive Orders, I believe the President should let the Congress go through the process and then decide whether or not to sign the police reform legislation when and if it makes it to his desk.

 However, we know if Donald Trump waits for the Congress to do its job the Democrats in this very same Congress will claim he is fiddling while America burns, even though they will be the ones who do not get it to his desk. But of course he is damned if he does because I can already predict they are going to claim it does not go far enough.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday, June 14th open thread: ‘Bombtrack’

June 14, 2020

open-thread“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 Rage Against the Machine performing “Bombtrack” live in 1999:

Minneapolis City Council votes to defund and replace the police department

June 13, 2020

  There has been a growing movement on the left which has reached the halls of the Congress. Knowing how radical the idea sounds the leftists are playing the semantics game, the way they always do, saying they do not want to defund the police but want to reallocate the monies used to fund the police.

  Now the movement has actually taken another step forward in Minneapolis, the city council had taken the first step to defund the police and now they are moving to replace the police department. Here is more:

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to pursue a community-led public safety system to replace the police department following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the city’s police.

The move comes days after a veto-proof majority of the council voted to disband the police department after the country erupted in protest over the killing of Floyd

“The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers is a tragedy that shows that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the Police Department against members of our community, especially Black people and people of color,” five council members wrote in the resolution.

  According to the above-linked article this movement started before the George Floyd murder but has gained momentum after the killing and now we have reached this point. This is just the beginning step, the article states this sets up a year-long review because nobody knows what is actually going to replace the police department.

  I have to believe that in a year from now tensions would have died down and clearer heads will have prevailed, but the Democrats do have this penchant for taking things too far and this could be another example. I believe taking this to this extreme is going to backfire on them but this is just the beginning so strap yourselves in and prepare for a long and bumpy ride.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Democratic plan to pack the Supreme Court is gaining momentum

June 12, 2020

  In what seems like a lifetime ago at this point, during the Democratic debates there was talk of adding justices to the Supreme Court in order to undo the conservative majority. Of course all the candidates supported this idea in one degree or another.

  Since that point  COVID-19 and George Floyd have overtaken the news cycle, however the issue of packing the Supreme Court has not gone away and could rear its head if we do indeed have an election at the end of this year.

  Here is more:

The movement on the left to pack the Supreme Court is gaining momentum.

A group of progressive organizations is for the first time supporting the proposal to add justices to the court in hopes of weakening the conservative majority, according to a memo provided to POLITICO.

The Progressive Change Institute, Be a Hero, Friends of the Earth, Presente and 350 are among those groups that are newly joining the call, according to organizers. Take Back the Court, Demand Justice and the Sunrise Movement, which previously backed the idea, also signed onto the open letter.

“Trump and the Republicans in Congress have used aggressive tactics, including eliminating the filibuster, to pack the courts with conservative ideologues and prevent the will of the people from being heard,” said Erich Pica, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth.

  Of course these groups fail to mention that the “aggressive tactics” of ending the filibuster for some judicial nominations was started by Harry Reid when the Democrats were in power before the Republicans expanded it to Supreme Court nominees, but that is an ugly little fact the Democrats would rather ignore.

  Here is more:

“From the fight for racial justice to efforts to stop climate change and protect our clean air and water, the current configuration of the court has consistently stood in the way of progress. We simply do not have a generation’s worth of time to replace judges.”

In the memo, the progressive organizations accused Republicans of themselves “manipulating the size of the court by refusing to consider President Obama’s nominee for an open seat (and indicating that they would leave the seat open if Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election), then promptly changing Senate rules to fill the seat with a bare majority, rather than the previously-required 60 votes, when Trump took office.”

  This, of course, is not a new idea and it has been tried before but these are different times and there is no doubt in my mind the Democrats will not fail this time around if they are in power. On the off chance that Donald Trump somehow does manage to win reelection what do you think the Democrats would say if he tried to do the same in order to secure a conservative majority? Somehow I believe the calls of dictator would ring out all across the halls of the Congress…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Joe Biden does not support defunding the police

June 8, 2020

  We have seen a growing movement within the Democratic party which started with #BlackLivesMatter and has reached the halls of the Congress to defund the police. While the movement is growing the standard-bearer of the party and presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Joe Biden, does not support the movement. Here is more:

The Joe Biden campaign has announced its opposition to defunding police departments in the wake of widespread George Floyd demonstrations, advocating for reform measures and even additional funding instead.

“As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “Biden supports the urgent need for reform–including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing–so that officers can focus on the job of policing.”

  Apparently Joe Biden prefers police reforms such as teaching police to shoot people in the legs instead of any real reform and he has a history of bragging about his role in passing crime legislation over the years which has disproportionately led to the incarceration of black youths:

“The truth is,” Mr. Biden had boasted a year earlier in a speech on the Senate floor, “every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out of this Congress, every minor crime bill, has had the name of the Democratic senator from the State of Delaware: Joe Biden.”

Now, more than 25 years later, as Mr. Biden makes his third run for the White House in a crowded field of Democrats — many calling for ambitious criminal justice reform — he must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities. That he worked with segregationists to write the bills — an issue that recently dominated the political news and seems likely to resurface in Mr. Biden’s first debate on Thursday — has only added to his challenge.

  This crime record that Joe Biden is so proud of is what Charlamagne tha god was referring to when he said Joe Biden’s record in the Senate was “very racist” and one has to wonder how long it will be before the former Vice-President has to go on an apology tour.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Democrats prepare police reform legislation

June 7, 2020

  As the calls within the Democratic party for disbanding the police grow, the party leaders are drafting police reform legislation. Here is more:

A sweeping new police reform bill being drafted by House and Senate Democrats would ban chokeholds, limit “qualified immunity” for police officers, create a national misconduct registry, end the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and make lynching a federal crime among other dramatic changes, according to an outline being circulated on Capitol Hill.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is sponsored on the House side by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on the Senate side. Harris is among the frontrunners to become the Democratic vice presidential nominee this year.

The new Democratic proposal, which will be unveiled early next week, is the most dramatic effort to rewrite federal laws on policing in decades. Yet the bill’s backers say the changes are desperately needed to address the decades-old mistreatment of black and minority communities at the hands of police.

  Whenever I hear the term “national registry” chills go down the back of my spine. It seems as if simple background checks would suffice to keep a repeat offender off of the police force with no need for any type of national registry. 

  But other than that most of the other reforms we are reading about do not seem to be too bad. However, Democrats have a penchant for going too far and we are seeing it in this case with the calls for disbanding  the police force. When your starting point is disbanding the police force will you settle for any reforms which fall short of that? And how far will the Democratic leaders go in order to appease those calling for disbandment? I am sure we will get the answers to those questions as this bill is finalized.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Sunday, June 7th open thread: ‘Baby, I’m an Anarchist’

June 7, 2020

open-thread“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 Against Me! performing “Baby, I’m an Anarchist” live: