Both the Left and the Right have raised my ire today. First:
Mark this day because it is not too often that you will ever find me agreeing with Democrat Representative John Conyers, but today is one of those days. In response to House Republicans passing an Amendment that makes the burning of the US flag illegal under the Constitution he said
"This amendment elevates a symbol of freedom over freedom itself."
Which is precisely the case. Making flag desecration a crime punishable by prosecution would be as bad as Muslim killing people for Quran desecration. Just as the Quran is not the religion, the flag is not America.
When I took my oath upon joining the US Air Force, I vowed to defend the Constitution, not the flag. And part of that Constitution is the guarantee the expression of political speech. And if some moron wants to burn the flag to express political speech, that person should not suffer prosecution. Scorn and derision maybe, but not prosecution.
Happily, the House does not get to change the Constitution. Congress doesn't even get to change the Constitution. We are the only ones who get to change the Constitution and it will not be changed in this fashion.
But is annoying that there was even an attempt by the party that is claims to stand for free speech and Federalism.
And speaking of the Constitution, Justice Kennedy sided with the Liberal side of the Supreme Court today in allowing the state to take away private property rights from people.
Cities may bulldoze people's homes to make way for shopping malls or other private development...
The four-member liberal bloc typically has favored greater deference to cities, which historically have used the takings power for urban renewal projects.
Great. So people work to buy a home and property and because the State decides it needs a new shopping mall, they can condemn your home and bulldoze it into the ground.
"The specter of condemnation hangs over all property," O'Connor wrote. "Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."
For all of you Liberals out there just remember, this is what you're voting for. More, bigger, hungrier and badder government. And it's not like this was given to a "public" works project, in essence these individuals lost their homes to other individuals.
The more Left you go on the spectrum, the fewer property rights you are voting for until finally, you get none.
And finally, while this story is about a Republican, greed has no political party. Representative Duke Cunningham is admitting he used "poor judgment" when he sold his home for almost twice what it was worth to a defense contractor who subsequently got more government contracts.
"At the time of the sale, I failed to adequately consider how this transaction might be perceived by others who don't know me," wrote Cunningham, a member of the appropriations subcommittee that controls defense contracting dollars. "I would never put the interests of a friend or a contractor above the interests of my country. I trust that the facts will bear out this truth over time."
Yeah, well, not good enough, just like Senator Durbin's "apology" was not good enough. Especially when Rep Cunningham then went to live on a boat that very same contractor owned, rent free.
"I ask only that my constituents reserve judgment until any investigation is concluded and I have had the opportunity to defend myself against these false allegations," wrote Cunningham, a much-decorated former Navy fighter pilot in Vietnam who was first elected to Congress in 1990.
Look, I don't care whether or not all of this was legal, it simply isn't right. And if Rep Cunningham can't see that it's wrong, then he doesn't deserve to represent anyone in Congress.
He should resign and do it regardless of the outcome of any investigation or criminal prosecution.
And failing that, voters should fail to re-elect him.