US Supreme Court Rules 7-2 in Favor of Religious Expression

From Fox News:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.

The case – Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission – asked the high court to balance the religious rights of the baker against the couple’s right to equal treatment under the law. Similar disputes have popped up across the U.S.

The decision to take on the case reflected renewed energy among the court’s conservative justices, whose ranks have recently been bolstered by the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined to make a cake for the wedding celebration of two gay men in 2012. Phillips told the couple that he would make a birthday cake but could not make a cake that would promote same-sex marriage due to his religious beliefs…

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

“The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression,” the Court said in its decision. “While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy said when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission made its decision “it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.” The opinion says the Commission “violated the Free Exercise Clause, and its order must be set aside.”

In its decision, the Supreme Court did not decide whether a business has the right to refuse to serve gay and lesbian people outright.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, two of the Court’s more liberal justices, dissented.

FEE: In the Wake of Mass Shootings, Parents Reconsider Mass Schooling

From the Foundation for Economic Freedom:

In the Wake of Mass Shootings, Parents Reconsider Mass Schooling

Parents who remove their children from the confines of the conventional classroom are not running away from reality. They are running towards it.

In the wake of recent tragic school shootings, anxious parents are contemplating homeschooling to protect their children. After February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Miami Herald reported that more parents were considering the homeschooling option. And after Friday’s disturbing school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, a local ABC news affiliate in Alabama reported the increasing appeal of homeschooling.

“If I had the time, I would teach my kids myself, and I would know that they’re safe,” a father of four told ABC station, WAAY31. A public school teacher interviewed by the channel disagreed with the idea of homeschooling. According to the news story, the teacher “says resorting to homeschooling is teaching your children to run from reality.”

But that raises the question: Is compulsory mass schooling “reality”?

Public Schools Are Consuming More and More of Kids’ Time

Segregating children by age into increasingly restrictive, test-driven classrooms where they are forced by law to be unless a parent or caregiver liberates them is hardly “reality.” What’s worse is that young people are spending increasingly more time in this coercive “reality” than ever before.

In the case of teens, spending more time in school and school-like activities may be further separating them from the actual real world.

For young children ages six to eight, schooling increased from an average of five hours a day in 1981-82 to an average of seven hours a day in 2002-03. And for today’s teens, schooling consumes much more of their time than it did for previous generations, seeping into summertime and other historically school-free periods. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42 percent of teens were enrolled in school during July 2016, compared to only 10 percent enrolled in July 1985.

In the case of teens, spending more time in school and school-like activities may be further separating them from the actual real world in which they previously came of age. As Business Insider reports: “Almost 60% of teens in 1979 had a job, compared to 34% in 2015.” Spending more time in the contrived reality of forced schooling and less time in authentic, multi-age, productive communities may be taking its toll on today’s youth…

Click here to continue reading at FEE

Benton Bans New Pot Producers and Processors; TC Herald Urges Ouster of Commissioner Small

In a 2-1 vote on May 1, 2018, the Benton County Commissioners voted to ban new production and processing of marijuana. See Tri-City Herald story here. Commissioners Small and Beaver voted in favor of the ban, while commissioner Devlin voted against it. The Tri-City Herald points out that unseating the commissioners who voted in favor of the ban is one way of reversing the outcome.

Referendums aren’t the only ballot box outlet.

Commissioner Shon Small’s commission seat is up for re-election this year and filing week begins on May 14. Mercer said marijuana supporters hope to run a challenger for the post that pays $107,000 a year. No one has yet announced plans to challenge Small.

The vote also reportedly gives Sheriff Hatcher more authority to enforce rules.

RFR: Suidlanders Update Interview, April 2018

I missed this last month when it came out, but John Jacob over at Radio Free Redoubt did a telephone interview with Simon Roche of Suidlanders, updating their situation in South Africa.

Episode 18-09 R-Air Suidlanders Interview – Coming Genocide in South Africa
RFR: Suidlanders in South Africa… looming genocide
https://suidlanders.org/
Suidlanders Humanitarian Aid & Civil Defense Fund

Futurewise Appeals Benton County Comprehensive Plan

From the Tri-City Herald’s article Benton County’s out of water. Growth should be frozen, group says.

Improperly planned growth in Benton County could overtax the Yakima River and other water sources, harming fish, wildlife, waterways and senior water rights holders, an environmental watchdog group says.

Futurewise, formerly 1000 Friends of Washington, is asking the Growth Management Hearings Board for Eastern Washington to review the comprehensive plan Benton County commissioners approved in February, saying it fails to comply with the state’s Growth Management Act on several fronts.

In a petition filed last week, Futurewise claims Benton County didn’t properly analyze the effect 6,800 new people in unincorporated areas over 20 years would have on the county’s limited water resources.

It also says Benton County also failed to analyze the effect of growth on state roadways and work with the state to mitigate them…

The petition triggers a three-person review board, with at least two Eastern Washington residents. A hearing will likely be held in late fall, and the board has 180 days from the April 19 filing date to issue a binding decision…

Continue reading at the Tri-City Herald by clicking here.

From Futurewise’s web site:

….Water resource planning efforts in the lower Yakima River have made clear that water in Benton County is already allocated and flows in the river are too low for salmon and steelhead outmigration and rearing.

This appeal will be the first to address the applicability of the State Legislature’s so-called Hirst fix bill (SB 6091) to planning for growth in the Yakima River basin.  According to the bill, counties in the Yakima basin are mandated to plan for the use of land consistent with available water resources under the Growth Management Act (GMA)…

Every Kingdom Divided Against Itself

From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at The Automatic Earth:


Charles Sprague Pearce Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt 1877In Matthew 12:22-28, Jesus tells the Pharisees:

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

…While Americans believe so strongly in their supremacy, and have grown so accustomed to the idea, that they no longer see having the best weapons as a matter of survival for the nation. They have come to see their superiority as something automatic and natural.

The attack on Syria is seen as a sign of weakness. Because there was no need for it. Because the evidence is flimsy at best. Because the world has international bodies to deal with such issues. Because there is no logic in allowing the blood to flow in the Gaza and Yemen but cite humanitarian reasons for bombing alleged chemical facilities elsewhere.

What the world sees is bluster emanating from a deeply divided nation (and we haven’t even tackled Britain). It sees that less than 48 hours after the airstrikes, a former FBI chief talks about his former boss in terminology that nobody would dare use in most countries, and throughout most of history,

James Comey is beyond Shakepeare. And in America, the issue is who’s right in the Comey-Trump conflict. In Russia, China et al it’s not. They see a house, a country divided. A weak country has no diplomacy.

That’s how all empires end. Complacency and division. That is what North Korea sees when it watches America, what China, and Russia see. And they may even know how Jesus put it. He didn’t just say a kingdom divided would become less powerful or wealthy, he said:

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.

AmRRON Moves to AmCON 3, Apr. 13, 2018

UPDATE: AMCON has returned to AmCON 4 since this was posted.

From the folks over at AmRRON (the American Redoubt Radio Operators’ Network):

*13 APRIL 2018 UPDATE: *

//All Stations// Due to increased tensions and the maneuvering of military assets by multiple nations in and around Syria, we are raising the AmCON to Level 3. This increase in AmCON is to increase awareness of an increased probability of an event which could disrupt conventional communications. We will continue to monitor the situation. At this time, no immediate action is called for beyond the general guidance outlined for AmCON 3. More guidance will be forthcoming and will be posted on AmRRON.com. We will continue to evaluate and assess. The Staff, AmRRON

Action In Syria Coming Amid Expectations Of Air Strikes
Haifa orders townspeople to prepare for emergency
Russia says the US is about to strike Syria — and that it will strike back
Russia, Syria: Israeli Jets Strike Air Base After Alleged Poison Gas Attack In Douma
Russia TV Instructs Viewers How to Prepare Bomb Shelters For Nuclear War (Video)
Nuclear ‘Doomsday Plane’ Goes Airborne As War Fears Grow

***Information Alert***
– Russian UN Ambassador warns “cannot exclude” possibility of direct conflict with US over Syria.
-UK Cabinet gives PM May approval for action.
– Russia moves Backfires (SU-22 Bombers) into Iran

Olympia Gun Rights Rallies, April 14th and 21st, 2018

Two rallies are planed in Olympia to support Second Amendment rights.

The first is organized by The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans and will be help Saturday, April 14th from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm on the capitol steps. Contrary to the graphic below which shows 11:00 am, a competing event moved the WA rally to 5:30 pm. You can visit their site on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/162140641170312/

The second rally will be held on April 21st from 12:00pm – 3:00pm also at the capitol. Visit their page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1661802327190025/

Speakers for this rally include:

Organizer/ MC: Tessa Ashley
Opening Prayer: Chief Ben Charles, Lower Elwha Tribe
***National Anthem: Kerry French
***Pledge of Allegiance: Aryeh Rohde
***Seattle Pink Pistol- Sharyn Hinchcliffe
***Robert J Sutherland- 39th District Candidate
***Marty McClendon (Former Lt. Gov. Candidate)
***Jered Gavin- 05 District Candidate
***Elizabeth Scott- 39th Senator Candidate
*** Rep. Jim Walsh – 19th district
***Tiffany De Leon- Libertarian State Vice Chair
***Joey Gibson- US Senate Candidate
***Tyler Miller- Initiative 1621 Secure Safe Schools
***Naomi Davis- 26th District Candidate
*** Aryeh Rohde- Highschool Student that led a counter protest for “March For Our Lives” @ S.Whidbey Island H.S
***Allen Acosta- Libertarians MC/ Gun Rights Coalition
***Isa Cline- Long Beach City Councilman
***Kyle Paskewitz- Founder of Family Court Reform Nation
***Randy Vanaddisson- Former Air Marshall

Prosser Area Thefts/Burglaries, Apr. 6, 2018

LVA members have reported and Prosser Police have confirmed an unusual number of burglaries and thefts in the Prosser area overnight. Thefts mainly appear to be from unlocked vehicles, RVs, and trailers as well as unsecured items such as bicycles, but there have been break-ins as well. Be on the lookout for suspicious persons. Lock up your vehicles and outbuildings.

Republicans Are Anti-Second Amendment, Too.

Karl Denninger at Market-Ticker.org has an article up titled Trump’s Gun Control (And Other Broken Promises): PA, but it’s really about Republican politicians at all levels voting against your right to protect your own life.

…The common rubric from the NRA and others is that one must vote “Red” lest the gun-grabbers get in power and do their thing.  Uh, no — the last 20+ years says exactly the opposite.  Even a Democrat majority in all three locations of the Federal Government was unable to do anything destructive to gun rights during Obama’s first two years.

Yet a Republican majority in all three houses plus in Florida has been extremely destructive in a matter of weeks and it was a Republican governor that signed that bill in Florida along with a Republican House and Senate that passed it.

It gets worse.  The Trump ATF is doing the exact opposite of honoring the Second Amendment.  In fact they and Trump literally just ripped up the entire Constitution including the 5th Amendment. Right here, right now.

Contemplate the entire “bump stock” thing folks.  These were sold as legal accessories for years.  Millions of dollars changed hands for them, people were employed and now they’re in the hands of individuals.  A formal legal ruling was issued by the BATFE that these were legal accessories; the manufacturers and buyers didn’t assume, they asked for and obtained a written declaration that these devices not only complied with the law they didn’t require any sort of labeling, serialization or other form of control (such as a background check) as legally they were nothing more than piece of plastic.

The government is, of course, entitled to be wrong and repair that error which is what they’re claiming they’re doing now.  What it’s not entitled to do, however, is turn you into a felon if you don’t destroy or turn over a thing you were explicitly told, in writing, was legal and nothing more-nefarious or subject to regulation than a plastic box.  At absolute minimum the government is required (under the 5th Amendment) to pay you for the current fair market value of that device plus all your costs (e.g. sales tax) associated with same and to pay the manufacturers the imputed value of their facility, inventory and forward foregone earnings (and employee salaries) that would have been generated but for their error.  They could also ban the things on a forward basis (limiting any 5th Amendment claim of “taking” to the manufacturers) and leave alone anyone who already owns one.

Instead they claim to be able to retroactively declare anyone who has one of these a felon and then shoot them if they refuse to either turn them over or report to prison for 10 years after having given written confirmation that the device in question is lawful to own, possess, use and sell without any permit whatsoever...

Read the entire article by clicking here.

A Good Sheriff Is Important

From Conservative Tribune

A Democrat candidate for sheriff in Buncombe County, North Carolina, says that he has no problem killing legal gun owners to confiscate their weapons if the situation arises, according to video posted to social media.

If similar video on R. Daryl Fisher’s Facebook page is labeled accurately, the candidate’s remarks came at a monthly meeting of gun control group and Everytown for Gun Safety subsidiary Moms Demand Action on March 7.

“You’ve heard people say, ‘You’ll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands,’” Fisher said, and then gave a shrug. “OK,” he said to laughter.

There is video posted with the article.

Kittitas County Democrats Settle AG Campaign Finance Lawsuit

From We The Governed,

Kittitas County Democrats settle AG campaign finance lawsuit for $28k in fines and penalties.

Kittitas County Democratic Party State Committee members (source: Facebook)
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Last week, the Kittitas County Democrats settled a lawsuit filed last July by the Washington State Attorney General’s office for a wide variety of campaign finance violations.  The final settlement included payment for $6,740 in AG attorney fees and costs, forfeiture of $5,217 of illegal anonymous contributions, and a fine of $15,825 (with half suspended for good behavior for the next few years).  It also appears that a previously suspended $400 fine imposed by the Public Disclosure Commission was forced to be paid last year by these complaints and this lawsuit since the Kittitas County Democrats were still not complying with the state’s campaign finance laws (see previous PDC fine/letter linked here, and Reported payment of suspended portion of that fine linked here)

Click here to continue reading at We The Governed.

Disease Increasing in Venezuela

From a post by a Venezuelan citizen at Organic Prepper, Venezuela Faces the Return of Forgotten Diseases

Forgotten diseases are returning

Recent reports from these last few days have been, for someone who understands the importance of the endemic diseases that had been under control, spreading quickly.

I am talking about serious stuff: Tuberculosis, Diptheria, Leishmaniasis. There have been adults and children who died because of these things. The diseases themselves, under normal conditions can be healed. But without the appropriate medications and proper nutrition, they become deadly…

Click here to read the article at Organic Prepper.

South Africa Moves to Allow Land Confiscation Without Compensation

From News24.com, National Assembly adopts motion on land expropriation without compensation

The National Assembly on Tuesday set in motion a process to amend the Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

The motion, brought by the EFF leader Julius Malema, was adopted with a vote of 241 in support, and 83 against…

Opening the debate on his motion, Malema said: “The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice.”

The committee has until August 30th to return a decision to parliament. If the committee decides that the constitution should be amended, it will draft the amendment. Then two-thirds of the National Assembly must vote to adopt the amendment and six of nine provinces must approve it. 267 National Assembly members must vote in favor of the amendment for it to pass.  The ANC currently has 249 parliament members and the EFF has 25.

Washington: Hearing Scheduled for Legislation to Ban Long Gun Purchases by Law-Abiding Adults

From the NRA-ILA and the Gun Owners’ Action League:

Tomorrow, February 27th at 8:30AM, the Washington state Senate Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 6620, which includes provisions that would raise the minimum age to purchase many common semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to 21 years of age and would also establish a 10 day waiting period.  In addition, anti-gun legislators in Olympia also submitted House Bill 3004 on February 24th, a companion to SB 6620.  This comes just two weeks before the end of the current legislative session, as they rush to accomplish their agenda.

NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing tomorrow morning to voice their opposition.  Also, please use the “Take Action” button below to contact Senate committee members as well as your state Senator and Representative and urge them to remove all anti-gun provisions in SB 6620 and HB 3004!  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact senate committee members and your state Senator and Representative.

Senate Bill 6620, sponsored by Senator David Frockt (D-46), and House Bill 3004, sponsored by Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27), would raise the minimum purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in the State of Washington from 18 to 21 years of age based on cosmetic features.  Federal law already prohibits adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer.  Legislative proposals to prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring modern semi-automatic rifles or shotguns would deny them access to the most modern and effective rifles for self-defense, thus depriving them of their constitutional rights.

This legislation attempts to brand these firearms as having “tactical features” to drum up unnecessary fear of their ownership.  In reality, these firearms are only being defined by aesthetic features that in no way affect the functionality of the rifle.  Semi-automatic firearms only fire one shot per action of the trigger, and such technology has been available to American consumers for over a century.  Semi-automatic firearms are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for various purposes such as self-defense, recreation, competition, and hunting.

SB 6620 and HB 3004 would also establish what amounts to a 10-day waiting period for transfers of these firearms by requiring that they go through the state background check like handguns rather than the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that is currently used for all long gun transactions.  While federal law allows for such transactions to be completed if three days have elapsed from the time of the “delayed” response, the state check requires a wait of ten days in such a scenario.

We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms.  Passing a law such as this punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.  The NRA supports efforts to prevent those who are a danger to themselves or others from getting access to firearms.  At the same time, we will continue to oppose gun control measures that only serve to punish law-abiding citizens.  These are not mutually exclusive or unachievable goals.

Again, please contact Senate committee members and your Senator and Representative urging them to remove all anti-gun provisions in these bills!

From GOAL of WA

GOAL Alert 2018-2
Legislative alert from Olympia 25 February 2018

HOUSE COUNTERPART TO SB 6620

ACTION NEEDED, NOW!

I’d say I’m sorry for the rush of messages, but I’m not. The rush is caused by end-of-session manipulation by Democrat “leadership” in Olympia, and calls for a strong response.

As I have posted frequently, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. And she’s not scheduled to sing until midnight on 8 March (a week from this coming Thursday). While the legislature sets cut-off dates and other procedural processes to keep bills moving and cull out other bills, the bottom line is that these are not written in the state Constitution, they are internal rules adopted by the legislature and may be changed by the legislature at will.

The House has filed a “counterpart bill”, HB 3004, to SB 6620. A counterpart bill is a verbatim duplicate of the bill filed in the other chamber. If both pass unamended, it/they go straight to the governor for his signature.

SB 6620/HB 3004 is a 14 section, 28 page bill in their words, “Improving security in schools and the safety of our students.” What it is is a Trojan horse, gun control hidden under the guise of the standard Democrat mantra “It’s for the children.”

Part I of the bill is a single section less than one page in length and talks about unspecified funding for “school emergency response systems.” Part II, “Students protecting students,” is three more sections spread over 10 pages and discusses nominally establishes a program whereby students may – anonymously if so desired – report potential threats to school safety and sets out procedures, including court action, to be followed, as well as identity protection for all involved in the process up to and including law enforcement and court personnel.

Part III is the zinger, “Semiautomatic rifles or shotguns with tactical features.” 18 pages, 24 sections describing the offending firearms as semi-auto rifles or shotguns with detachable magazines (mostly the features such as pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flash hider, grenade launcher – the standard litany of evil features from the federal 1994 Clinton/Feinstein “assault weapon ban”). There are some omissions here but I’m not going to identify them. Please note that these definitions do not include tube-fed firearms or manually operated firearms.

The principal focus in Part III is shifting “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns” to the same category as that applied to handguns: they can only be sold to individuals age 21 and over, and are subject to the additional requirements for handguns: additional state paperwork and waiting periods (with the existing CPL exemption).

Keep in mind, under I-594 ALL firearm transfers must be processed by a licensed dealer, meaning that de facto registration already exists via the FFL’s required record-keeping, but this would effectively add offending semi-auto firearms to the state pistol registry, creating an on-line data base of such firearms.

It also increases the state firearm dealers license fee from $125 to $150.

Text of SB 6620: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/6620.pdf

Text of HB 3004 has not been posted yet, but the bill’s home page is at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=3004&Chamber=House&Year=2017:

It is the intention of legislative “leadership” to ram this bill through before the end of the session. How much time will be given to public testimony remains to be seen – at this point no public hearings are scheduled.

It is imperative that you contact your legislators as soon as possible to ask that they remove Part III from the bill. Parts I and II are likely legitimate, but Part III is strictly a ploy to use school and children’s safety as a cover for more gun control.

You can find your legislators by visiting: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder

Once you find your district, simply scroll down to see your Senator and Representatives listed. Click on their name and it will take you to their information, including a link to e-mail them.

Or you can call the Legislative Hotline tollfree at (800) 562-6000.

We need to flood the legislature with you going on record opposing Part III of SB 6620/HB 3004.

This is just step one on their agenda. There is already discussion of raising the age limit for the purchase of ALL firearms to age 21. The Bill of Rights does not impose an age limit on the exercise of fundamental, enumerated (listed) constitutional rights. Not to mention the fact that you can enlist in the military, or be drafted, and fight for your country at age 18.

If anyone receiving this is attending the WAC gun show in Puyallup today, please make copies of this and take them to the show. Thank you/.