Dick Cheney rarely takes a position that places him at a more progressive tilt than President Obama. But … the former vice president did just that, saying that he supports gay marriage as long as it is deemed legal by state and not federal government.
Speaking at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, Cheney was asked about recent rulings and legislative action in Iowa and elsewhere that allowed for gay couples to legally wed.
“I think that freedom means freedom for everyone,” replied the former V.P. “As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”
These are great pics: Iran’s Disputed Election – The Big Picture – Boston.com.
Two weeks ago, a Muslim extremist shot two soldiers, killing one, outside a recruiting station in Arkansas. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad acted alone, just as James von Brunn apparently did. He was, like von Brunn, captive to a supremacist ideology that, in his mind, justified the murder of an innocent man. Like von Brunn, authorities said, he had mapped out Jewish targets for potential attack. And yet, no mention of the hate crime committed by a Muslim; only hate crimes committed by white, right-wing extremists were worthy of mention in Warner's column. This is true for other columnists on the liberal side of the spectrum. The murder of Private William Long seems to be of no concern, and without larger meaning.
So many laws have eroded our Second Amendment gun rights that, as P.J. O'Rourke notes, if Massachusetts had the same gun laws in 1775 that it has now, we would all be Canadians.
Even political campaign speech is constricted. The Obama administration argued at the U.S. Supreme Court that the McCain-Feingold Act can ban books about ongoing election campaigns. Yet Justice Hugo Black warned that:
“The freedoms of speech, press, petition, and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment must be accorded to the ideas we hate, or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.”
Almost half of all U.S. income is taxed today which means we have lost about half our economic freedom. With record government spending and soaring debt, we are set to lose a lot more. And to think the Boston Tea Party was waged over a three-cent-a-pound tax on tea. Government regulations on business cost us well over $1 trillion a year in higher consumer prices, and there are exactly 26,911 government words policing the sale of a head of cabbage.
In recent years, obsessive-compulsive environmental regulations halted a Massachusetts town from using fireworks on Independence Day since an 'endangered' bird's nest was found near it. News flash: on July 4 we celebrate independence from a tyrannical government. Yet George III never taxed, regulated, or policed us remotely as much as Washington, D.C. does today. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory”.
Everywhere rules and paperwork mushroom as nit-picking bureaucrats grow in numbers and power. As a buddy bemoaned, the increasingly shrill message of the establishment is “Sit down – and shut up”. No wonder so many Americans feel frustrated and impotent.
Why has our liberty eroded so badly?
That was happening all over Beijing. On the old airport road that same night, truckloads of troops were entering the city from the east. A middle-aged bus driver saw them and quickly blocked the road with his bus.
Move aside, the troops shouted.
I won’t let you attack the students, the bus driver retorted defiantly.
The troops pointed their guns at the bus driver and ordered him to move the bus aside. Instead, he plucked the keys from the ignition and hurled them into the bushes beside the road to ensure that no one could drive that bus away. The man was arrested; I don’t know what happened to him.
via The Agitator.
Currently before the House Judiciary Committee, “The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009 would authorize Attorney General Eric Holder to deny the sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists—a list that could extend beyond groups such as radical Islamists and other groups connected to international terror organizations,” Fox News reported.
Who could argue about denying arms to terrorist? No one. Yet, with this bill, the devil’s in the details.
“Critics say the names of suspected terrorists could be drawn from existing government watch lists that cover such broad categories as animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists and anti-technology extremists.”
In effect, any group or people who someone might want to label as “extremist” or “anti.”
First sign of a gun grab?
The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009 would authorize Attorney General Eric Holder to deny the sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists — a list that could extend beyond groups such as radical Islamists and other groups connected to international terror organizations.
Critics say the names of suspected terrorists could be drawn from existing government watch lists that cover such broad categories as animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists and anti-technology extremists.
Glad I have my Unholy Trinity already: .40 pistol, 12-gauge shotgun, and .223 semi-auto rifle. Maybe it’s time to stock *more* ammo.
Wait, I thought it was only the evil Republicans who wanted to limit freedom of speech?
A private citizen objects peacefully to a proposed government action, and, as a result, is not only forced to appear before Congress to explain but also to be threatened with further burdens if he doesn't cooperate with the arrogant power-mongers on Capitol Hill.
And here I thought that dissent was the highest form of patriotism.
Civil rights “boo!” to this LA:
Sen. Alexander votes against guns in national parks
More here. Here's the vote. AP story. Another story. It appears he was the lone Republican voting against it. Here's his no vote.
UPDATE: Just confirmed with his office he did vote against the measure. Details coming.
UPDATE II: Here's the statement his office just e-mailed me: I have consistently been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, but this legislation goes too far – further than President Reagan, further than President Bush, and further than Tennessee law.
UPDATE III: TN's other senator, Bob Corker, voted for the measure.
UPDATE IV: Glenn Reynolds: Not a good move for Lamar.
SayUncle: Neither Bush was exceptionally friendly to gun rights. While Reagan signed the Firearms Owners Protection Act, it also contained the Hughes amendment.
Rustmeister's Alehouse: Ok, Mister Senator, but I have to ask: Does it go further than the US Constitution? Or, for that matter, the desires of your constituents ?
UPDATE V: Statement from Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN: I understand the importance of ensuring the safety of people visiting our national parks as well as protecting our nation's wildlife from illegal poaching. I believe states should have the ability to weigh these considerations in carrying out their responsibility to regulate firearms within their borders.
But civil rights “yay!” for this LA:
The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 9-6 today for a bill that would allow those with concealed handgun permits to carry their weapons on campus.
House Bill 27 by Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, was approved over the objection of college students and officials who said the measure would make their campuses less safe.
Officials at Tulane and Loyola universities have said they are opposed to the bill, which would allow the concealed guns on campus if the individual has passed a background check and is qualified to carry a concealed weapon.
The bill would allow the governing boards of the colleges to designate where the weapons would be stored while the carrier is on campus.
More commentary here: Common Sense in Louisiana.