Originally published at Townhall.com on January 2, 2013.
Neither Congress nor the White House has proved itself capable of reaching a decision on how to begin trimming the $16.5 trillion national debt with which these two institutions have saddled the American taxpayers. They even have been unable to come up with a reasonable measure to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” they themselves constructed months ago. Yet, when it comes to expanding the power of the government to spy on American citizens without warrants, both the House and the Senate last week fairly tripped over themselves in a rush to pass legislation doing just that; with President Obama almost gleefully waiting to sign the bill.
The power to electronically surveill citizens without so much as asking a judge for leave to do so, stems from 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The rapid action by the Congress last Friday was prompted by fear that this extraordinary power would lapse at the end of this month – forcing Uncle Sam to actually justify its surveillance by seeking a warrant in advance of spying on citizens.
The federal government’s abject fear it might actually have to meet the constitutional requirement of having a good reason to eavesdrop on American citizens’ conversations before doing so, prompted a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Congress – who can hardly agree on the time of day right now – to come together and make sure our intelligence agencies were not going to be hamstrung by law or the Bill of Rights.
Originally published at Townhall.com on December 28, 2012.
The legal principle placing the burden of proof on accusers rather than the accused can be traced back to Second and Third Century Roman jurist, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus. Yet, this ancient concept, which forms the legal and moral cornerstone of the American judicial system, is quickly being undermined in the name of “national security.”
Originally published at Townhall.com on December 21, 2012.
One week ago, a lone lunatic took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Sadly -- yet, predictably -- before the crime scene was even secured by police, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took to his bully pulpit to issue another in his endless demands for more stringent gun control.
Originally published at Townhall.com on December 11, 2012.
The Nanny State is crawling under the hood of your car. The Obama Administration has recently approved a request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requiring auto manufacturers to install “Event Data Recorders” (EDRs) -- commonly referred to as “black boxes” -- on every new car sold in the United States starting September 2014.
Originally published at Townhall.com on August 8, 2012.
Will the upcoming national conventions be snoozers, or will they actually offer some degree of excitement?
Over the last half century, these events have come to lack the suspense that accompanied them back in the days before state primaries wrested the power to choose party nominees from convention delegates and party officials.