Calif. court rules cake maker does NOT have to make wedding cake for gay couple

(National SentinelFirst Amendment: A California judge has ruled in favor of a cake maker who refused to bake a personalized wedding cake for a gay couple, citing a conflict with her Christian religious beliefs.

Superior Court Judge David Lampe denied the State of California’s request for a preliminary injunction that sought to force bakeshop owner Cathy Miller, The Daily Caller reported.

“For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” Lampe ruled.

The initial injunction also threatened that if Miller refused to bake the cake, the state would close her Tastries Bakery shop altogether.

“We are pleased that the judge recognized that the First Amendment protects Cathy’s freedom of speech,” chief counsel and Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) president, Charles LiMandri, said after the ruling, according to a press release.

LiMandri had argued in Friday’s case that Miller does not discriminate against same-sex couples, but that she can’t use her artistic skills to help them celebrate marriage, which violates her closely-held Christian religious values.

“This is a significant victory for faith and freedom because the judge indicated in his ruling that the State cannot succeed in this case as a matter of law,” LiMandri said. “No doubt the California officials will continue their persecution of Cathy, but it is clear that she has the Constitution on her side.”

The case arose from a discrimination complaint filed with state authorities against Miller after she declined their wedding cake request.

The cake baking incident comes after the Supreme Court announced in June that it would hear a similar case that occurred in 2012. There, a Christian baker refused to make a personalized wedding cake for a gay couple.

Lower courts ruled that the baker, Jack Phillips, had violated the state’s accommodation laws by refusing a customer based on sexual orientation.

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Trump on FISA memo’s revelations: ‘I think it’s a disgrace’; president MUST pardon anyone caught up in crosshairs of special counsel Mueller

analysis
By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelClean House: As you might have guessed, President Donald J. Trump — the subject of one the biggest political hit jobs in the history of the republic — was none too happy about the findings of the House Intelligence Committee contained in the so-called “FISA memo” released on Friday.

“I think it’s terrible,” Trump said, as quoted by The Associated Press. “You want to know the truth. I think it’s a disgrace. What’s going on in this country, I think it’s a disgrace.”

As reported by NewsTarget, the memo reveals “serial abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by upper echelon officials in the FBI and Justice Department to prevent [Trump] from becoming president, and to undermine him after he defeated Hillary Clinton in November 2016.”

The four-page memo goes on, noting that Clinton, several U.S. media outlets, top-ranking figures within DOJ and FBI including some that are still serving, and others conspired to create a bogus “dossier” full of false and salacious charges that purportedly came from Russian “sources,” and then pretend it was a legitimate intelligence document in order to secure a top-secret surveillance warrant so the Obama regime could spy on the Trump campaign. (Related: FISA memo released — bombshell report reveals MASSIVE Deep State conspiracy to keep Donald Trump out of the White House)

These same people knew that the dossier — which was paid for by the Clinton campaign through a third-party law firm (because ol’ Hill is so cloak-and-dagger) — was just a political document, not real intelligence.

So yeah, it certainly is a “disgrace” all of this happened.

But it goes much deeper than that. It’s also criminal. At least it has been so far for Carter Page, the principal Trump campaign official put under surveillance by political appointees and others within the DOJ and FBI. And former national security advisor Michael Flynn, indicted and convicted of “lying” to the FBI. And others caught up in this web of deceit.

But it’s also criminal because certain officials within the FBI and DOJ willfully misrepresented “evidence” before a federal court — the FISA court — in order to obtain a surveillance warrant so they could improperly spy on an American citizen.

Like the Gestapo, or Stasi, or KGB.

There is no other choice for the president: He must fire Robert Mueller, whose appointment was also based on this same bogus information; he must fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who signed off on the bogus FISA warrant application at least twice and who appointed Mueller knowing the Trump dossier was opposition research and not intelligence; and he must pardon Flynn (and maybe Page someday) since they have were ensnared in a political operation.

A version of this report first appeared at NewsTarget.com.

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Deep State WAR against TRUMP proves how out-of-control our government REALLY IS

analysis
By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelSubversive: Days before President-elect Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York issued a warning to the incoming commander-in-chief: Don’t pick a fight with the U.S. intelligence community.

Specifically, Schumer was responding to Trump’s criticism of reports that U.S. intelligence agencies had clear evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, ostensibly because Moscow ‘didn’t like Clinton.’

During a January 2017 interview on reliably statist and Left-wing MSNBC, Schumer said the president-elect was being “really dumb” in ‘picking a fight’ with the intelligence community.

“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer cryptically said. “So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Think about that for a moment. Here was an establishment politician — a Democrat, sure, but more than anything else an establishment politician — admitting that the Deep State was more powerful than the president of the United States, the person to which the intelligence community is supposed to answer (as well as the American people).

Schumer was also tacitly admitting that the intelligence community — part and parcel of the Deep State — was also more powerful than Congress, which is supposed to have oversight responsibility.

How could that be? How could it be that the intelligence apparatus of the United States has become a power unto itself, beyond the scope of the Executive Branch and beyond the control of Congress?

Could it be that over the years and decades, there was an intentional effort by past presidents and members of the political establishment in both parties to establish the intelligence community as the de facto head of the country? Because for all intents and purposes, it now is.

As NationalSecurity.news noted in a December 2016 analysis, intelligence community’s narrative that Trump and Russia ‘colluded’ to ‘steal the election’ from Hillary Clinton because President Vladimir Putin had a personal animus against her never made any sense. We now know why (though we suspected even back then): The Clintons have so many nefarious, nebulous ties to Putin and his government she would, as president, be beholden to anything he wanted. She would have become the Russian mole in the White House.

But instead, we’ve been lead to believe it’s Trump who’s the Manchurian president. And it’s all been based on a narrative that has been manufactured by a politicized U.S. justice system, FBI, and Deep State intelligence apparatus. (Related: DEEP STATE: Rep. Jordan says FBI paid for, then based its Team Trump probe on BOGUS ‘dossier’.)

Republicans in Congress increasingly believe, for instance, that the Obama administration — nay, the former president himself — was behind a plot to destroy Trump’s candidacy, then his presidency after he unexpectedly beat Clinton in November 2016. We’re discovering more and more by the day now, as ours and other alternative media outlets publish more information about how the Obama regime manipulated the FISA court to obtain a surveillance warrant so they could spy on Trump’s campaign.

We’re discovering that the so-called “Trump dossier” was likely used to justify that warrant, despite the fact that is complete garbage. We’re learning that operatives within the FBI and Justice Department were involved in its creation. We’ve learned that it was originally supposed to be opposition research, paid for by Trump’s opponent.

And, we’re likely to learn that Obama was orchestrating all of it, which — if true — proves that the Deep State not only exists, but that it’s a super-nationalist force that operates outside of the confines of the Constitution, Congress, and even the presidency itself.

There is much more to come regarding this subject. Stay tuned. Read DeepState.news for more details.

This report was originally published at Trump.news.

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PETTY: Former Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke to face TRIAL after calling man a ‘snowflake’ on social media

(National SentinelNot-so-high crimes: Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke will have to stand trial in the coming weeks over a feud with a man that began on a flight from Dallas a year ago.

According to reports, Clarke had an exchange with a man named Daniel Black. While on the plane, the former sheriff says that Black asked him, “Are you David Clarke?” and when he answered yes, Black allegedly shook his head.

After the plane landed in Milwaukee, six sheriff’s deputies stopped and questioned Black, reports noted.

That prompted him to file a complaint with Milwaukee County, alleging harassment. Afterward, Black went on Facebook to complain about the incident.

Clarke subsequently responded to the Facebook post and called him a “snowflake.” Now, Clarke faces trial for “retaliating” against Black, said reports.

As reported by USA Today, a federal judge last week dismissed most of a civil rights lawsuit Black filed against Clarke. However, the judge let stand a portion of the lawsuit that says Black, under the First Amendment, had the right to shake his head at Clarke.

When he responded to Black’s Facebook post, Clarke posted a meme featuring a picture of Black with the words, “Cheer up, snowflake, if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn’t be around to whine about it.”

In Friday’s 27-page order, USA Today reported, “U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller granted summary judgment to Clarke on the Fourth and one of the First amendment claims, dismissed the 14th Amendment claim as ‘completely without merit’ and dismissed the claim against the county and the six deputies, all originally identified as John Doe.”

“While Clarke’s actions reflect poor judgment, they do not shock the conscience,” to a degree to support the due-process claim, Stadtmueller ruled, adding that a jury should decide if Clarke’s reaction to Black constituted a real threat.

A trial date of Jan. 22 has been set.

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WAT? Twitter exec says it’s ‘NO LONGER POSSIBLE’ to stand up for ‘ALL speech’

(National SentinelFirst Amendment: An executive at Twitter, the free-speech social media platform, says that standing up for everyone’s right to speak freely and say what they want is “no longer possible.”

Speaking to British politicians, Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s European vice president for public policy and communications, said it is “no longer possible to stand up for all speech” just five years after a different company executive described Twitter as the “free speech wing of the free speech party.”

“I look back over last five-and-a-half years, and the answers I would have given to some of these questions five years ago were very different,” McSweeney said, according to Business Insider.

“Twitter was in a place where it believed the most effective antidote to bad speech was good speech. It was very much a John Stuart Mill-style philosophy. We’ve realized the world we live in has changed,” he added.

Tony Wang, then-general manager of Twitter’s operations in the U.K., gave a completely different account when describing the company in 2012.

“Generally, we remain neutral as to the content because our general council and CEO like to say that we are the free speech wing of the free speech party,” he told The Guardian.

But McSweeney’s comments seem more in line with actual Twitter policy these days.

On Monday Twitter announced it would crack down even harder on “hateful conduct and abusive behavior” through a restructuring of policy to cover a wider range of content.

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“Specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people,” for example, is and has been a violation of Twitter policies, but “new changes include more types of related content,” like “content that glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act.”

Also, accounts that Twitter censors have decided are associated with organizations that use or promote violence will be included in the crackdown.

The company made stipulations for military and government entities, as well as “groups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution,” which some believe was giving a pass to President Donald J. Trump.

Experts note that as private companies, social media giants are free to design their own policies.

“Twitter and Facebook are at the center of the controversies around fake news and hate speech, where their biases and even some hypocrisy are on display,” Richard Bennett, one of the original creators of the Wi-Fi system and founder of High Tech Forum, said.

“But it’s much better to allow these companies to create their own policies than to saddle them with government mandates. But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at them for demanding freedom for themselves while denying it to others.”

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Jarrett: Time to REMOVE Mueller and entire TEAM over dirty deal to illegally obtain Team Trump emails

(National SentinelUnconstitutional: Attorney and Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller and his entire team should be fired after they obtained thousands of privileged emails belonging to the Trump transition team.

Over the weekend, Fox News reported that Trump transition lawyer Kory Langhofer, the counsel to Trump for America (TFA), sent a letter to to House and Senate committees on Saturday arguing that the General Services Administration, which turned over the emails to Mueller’s team, engaged in “unlawful conduct” because it also handed over emails that were deemed privileged and, thus, protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Langhofer said the TFA discovered the “unauthorized disclosures” by the GSA on Dec. 12 and 13 and raised concerns with the special counsel’s office.

The GSA turned over a flash drive to Mueller’s team containing tens of thousands of emails from 13 transition team accounts. Mueller has used the emails to further his investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion, other reports have noted.

“We understand that the special counsel’s office has subsequently made extensive use of the materials it obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims,” Langhofer wrote. He added that some of the records obtained by the special counsel’s office from the GSA “have been leaked to the press by unknown persons.”

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In a Sunday column for Fox News, Garrett argued that Mueller’s team obtained a “‘significant volume of privileged material’ then used it in its investigation. Mueller’s staff apparently admits this egregious violation, which the law strictly forbids,” he stated further.

“Under the law, the only remedy is Mueller’s dismissal from the case,” he added. “The Presidential Transition Act states that all records of transition operations are private and confidential.”

However:

Yet Mueller seems to have ignored the law.  Without a warrant or subpoena, his team of lawyers brazenly demanded these private records from the General Services Administration (GSA) which held custody of the materials.  The GSA does this as a service to all incoming presidents out of courtesy, but it neither owns the documents nor is authorized to release them to anyone under any circumstances because they are deemed entirely private.

Jarrett noted further that courts have been clear about what prosecutors must do under these circumstances: “An attorney who receives privileged documents has an ethical duty to cease review of the documents, notify the privilege holder, and return the documents.”  (U.S. v. Taylor 764 Fed Sup 2nd, 230, 235)

It does not appear as though Mueller did this, however.

“If any illegally obtained documents have been used in the Trump-Russia case, then the results are tainted and invalid.  This is a well-established principle of law,” Jarrett wrote, adding if Mueller used even a single email or document in his case, that should disqualify him, legally, from pursuing the case further.

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The only remedy is removal, Jarrett continued.

“Either Congress should take aggressive action or the Presidential Transition Team (now Trump for America, Inc.) must petition a federal judge to order their removal,” he wrote.

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WHISTLEBLOWERS: Obama’s FBI used NSA surveillance as ‘back door’ to SPY on Americans

(National SentinelSpies Like Us: Several former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials familiar with the program say that the FBI regularly used NSA surveillance to gain warrantless “backdoor” access to Americans’ communications.

Investigative reporter Sara Carter notes on her website that the whistleblowers, who have recently disclosed the program’s process to congressional oversight committees, noted that concern over the warrantless surveillance increased when it was revealed earlier this year that Obama administration officials had accessed and unmasked the communications of Team Trump members, allegedly without any real justification.

One of them was Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who recently agreed to plead guilty in federal court for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian officials. None of those contacts, reports later noted, were improper, so it isn’t clear why Flynn felt the need to conceal them.

Carter wrote:

The process, known as ‘reverse targeting,’ occurs when intelligence and law enforcement officials use a foreign person as a legal pretense for their intended target, an American citizen, the officials stated. The program, as it exists, failed to prevent terror attacks and in many cases made incorrect connections between a foreign target and an innocent American, they stated.

The officials said the program was set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but that it has not resulted in preventing any future threats. Rather, they said, it infringes on Fourth Amendment privacy protects and was ripe for political abuse.

 

“The program can be misused by anyone with access to it,” a former Intelligence official with knowledge of the program told Carter. “There needs to be an extensive investigation of all the Americans connected to President Trump and the campaign who were unmasked in connection with the 2016 election.”

Carter noted further:

The former intelligence source said the extent of abuses under the surveillance program has been debated both publicly and privately throughout the Bush and Obama administrations, both which promised to revamp the covert program and stop warrantless surveillance of Americans. It didn’t happen.

The program was first disclosed in a New York Times article from 2005 , and was later outed by its codename Stellar Wind when whistleblower, now fugitive, Edward Snowden released thousands of classified government documents showing the extensive Internet and phone surveillance of American’s by the NSA, according to reports. Since 2001, various legal authorities were put in place to justify the access to communications and giving the appearance that the practice of warrantless surveillance was strictly regulated.

Added another intelligence official aware of the program: “The warrantless surveillance program had the appearance of being shut down following the 2005 New York Times article that exposed it. However, a few weeks later, the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) approved what is known as bulk FISA collection. This FISA authority allowed for the targeting of domestic numbers believed to be tainted.”

Members of Congress are preparing to vote on whether to reauthorize Section 701 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which will expire at year’s end. Critics of the section noted that in the course of U.S. intelligence agencies putting legitimate foreign targets under surveillance, Americans’ communications are often swept up as well.

Most often, their identities are hidden in final intelligence products and reports. But in rare instances, administration officials and intelligence agencies can request that Americans’ names be “unmasked,” which is what happened to Flynn.

As Carter and her intelligence sources noted, the process can be politicized, which appears to have been the case involving Team Trump members last year.

NSA whistleblower William Binney, who spent close to 40 years working on Signals Intelligence operations, told Carter the heart of abuse lies with Executive Order 12333, which was issued in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.

Specifically, he said, section 2.3 paragraph C allows for the collection of all Internet and phone communications.

Binney left the NSA in 2001, after learning how intrusive and unconstitutional the program had become.

An FBI unit managing the program was known as “Team 10.” The expert analysts were based in a special division inside the NSA which was known as “Homeland” and located at Fort Meade, Md.

“The program is not inherently bad or corrupt,” an intelligence official, with knowledge of the program, told Carter. “It needs a major tweak, a restructuring of processes and authorities. If left unchallenged and unchecked, rampant abuse will continue and increase as we have seen for some time.”

During testimony before Congress before he was fired by Trump, then-FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that any warrantless data access by the bureau was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

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Majority of Supreme Court justices appear sympathetic to Christian baker over refusal to bake cake for gay wedding

(National SentinelFirst Amendment: A majority of Supreme Court justices on Tuesday appeared to sympathize with a Christian baker from Colorado who was sued by a gay couple after he refused to bake them a wedding cake, citing his religious beliefs.

The case arose after a gay couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, went into Jack Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., The Daily Signal reported.

Following a short discussion with the prospective customers, Phillips said he could not sell them a customized wedding cake due to his deeply-held Christian beliefs that only men and women should marry.

The couple then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which then resulted in a lengthy court battle that has reached the nation’s highest legal jurisdiction.

During testimony, the justices seemed to struggle with Phillips’ claims that he has a speech issue regarding his cakes. However, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the court’s conservative justices were concerned about government hostility towards religious beliefs, which was an indication that the case could go Phillips’ way.

In commenting on the case, Kennedy noted that “tolerance is most meaningful when it is mutual,” suggesting that the state civil rights commission was not as tolerant of Phillips’ religious views as it was the perception of a rights violation by Craig and Mullins.

At one point, he asked Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger to disavow statements made by commissioners during the case which suggest hostility to orthodox religion.

The commissioner said that in the past, religion has been used to justify slavery and the Holocaust.

“[R]eligion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust,” an unnamed commissioner said. “We can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use.”

At that, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out that the Colorado commission appeared to apply a double standard to Phillips. He said that in 2014 the commission found that a Denver-area backer that refused to create cakes promoting traditional marriage did not discriminate against a customer’s Christian beliefs.

Alito said that showed the commission was not fairly and equitably applying the state’s anti-discrimination law.

“As such, it appears possible that the Court will side with Phillips given the Commission’s alleged failure to enforce CADA fairly, while avoiding a sweeping decision about the rights of religious dissenters,” The Daily Caller noted.

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GOP senators cave, side with Dems on ‘stronger’ gun background checks following Texas church shootings

(National SentinelGun Control: Republican senators surprised many of their constituents on Thursday when they sided with Democrats on a bill that would somehow strengthen existing gun background check laws following the Texas church shootings earlier this month.

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Fox NICS Act compelling federal and state officials to report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The bill comes after

Devin Patrick Kelly, the gunman who opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas, had been court-martialed in the Air Force on a domestic violence conviction in 2012.

By law, the Air Force was required to report that court-martial and conviction to the FBI, but failed to do so, thus allowing him to dodge background checks and purchase several firearms over the course of a couple of years.

Critics of the new legislation say even if it was already in place, it, too, would not have stopped the shootings because the problem isn’t the law, it was that Kelly’s conviction was simply not reported.

“For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in a statement.

FO-300x250-1Murphy, one of the most vocal advocated for gun control on Capitol Hill, said the bill “marks an important milestone that shows real compromise can be made on the issue of guns.”

“Under the bill, federal agencies and state[s] would be required to create implementation plans focused on uploading all information that would prohibit a person from buying a gun under current law to the background check system,” Circa News reported.

“Agencies that fail to upload relevant background records would face consequences under the bill. For example, political appointees at agencies that fail to comply would be prohibited from receiving any bonus pay,” the news site said.

Also, the legislation rewards states that comply with requirements by giving them preference for federal grants and additional incentives.


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In addition, the legislation funds more federal bureaucracy via the creation of a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative.

Critics say they don’t believe the new incentives are going to make much of an impact, and that the problem of non-reporting will remain.

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Fired UCLA free-speech professor warns: ‘No one is safe’

(National SentinelInstitutional Bias: A communications professor and staunch advocate for freedom of speech who was fired by UCLA recently warned a group of conservative and libertarian students enrolled there that they are not “safe” from persecution because of their political beliefs.

As reported by The College Fix, former Prof. Keith Fink told a group called Bruins Republicans, “If they can get rid of professor like me for speaking his mind, what is stopping them from doing the same thing to all of you?

The Bruin is the school’s mascot.

“We are in the middle of another Red Scare,” Fink, an attorney and longtime lecturer terminated by the university earlier this year despite despite being popular, told students.

Often, his classes — which concentrated on the First Amendment’s guaranteed right of free speech — many times had waiting lists of 200-plus students.

Fink made his observations during a speech last week for the GOP campus club, The College Fix noted. During a lecture titled, “UCLA’s Dirty Tricks Against Conservatives,” he said of the school’s leaders, “They twist the rules, they distort the rules, they ignore the rules.”

The site noted further:

Fink was fired over the summer after he did not pass a performance review, one he said was biased against him. He told students the current communications department chair, Kerri Johnson, “despised” him and wanted him gone.


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The former professor described Johnson as “very far to the Left,” adding he personally does not believe in “safe spaces or microaggressions.”

Fink did acknowledge that often his classes were intense, but he said that socratic dialogue was meant to be confrontational. He said he told students who did not want to be confronted about their views to “go take the dolphin class.”

Still, when asked if he would ever return to UCLA, Fink responded: “I could teach many, many places. I want to teach here.”

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University prof caught erasing students’ pro-life messages will pay for it — literally

(National SentinelCostly Activism: A California university professor caught on video erasing students’ pro-life messages last spring will be forced to pay $17,000, the Fresno Bee reported, citing information from faith-based law firm Alliance Defending Freedom.

However, that’s not the end of the story.

Public health prof Greg Thatcher of Fresno State must also attend First Amendment training which will be provided by the very same law firm that won a judgment against him.

Earlier this year, Thatcher was caught on video using his shoe to erase messages placed on a sidewalk by students that read, “Women need love, not abortion,” then telling other students it was okay for them to do the same thing.

Thatcher said that such messages only belonged in a “free speech area,” adding that “college campuses are not free speech areas.”

However, the Fresno Bee reported that the university doesn’t have a designated free speech zone. As such, two students sued Thatcher over his actions. They filed in May, the paper said.

Students Bernadette Tasy and Jesus Herrera, members of Students for Life of America, will each receive $1,000 in damages while $15,000 will go to Alliance Defending Freedom, which took the students’ case and defended them in court.

In an order filed in court last week, Thatcher is forbidden from “interfering with, disrupting, defacing, or altering” any similar student activities in the future.

The First Amendment training Thatcher is required to attend is to last two hours, said the paper.

“No public university professor has the authority to silence any student speech he happens to find objectionable or to recruit other students to participate in his censorship,” ADF attorney Travis Barham said in a statement Thursday.

 


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“Like all government officials, professors have an obligation to respect the constitutionally protected free speech of students,” he continued.

“Of all people, professors should be the first to encourage all students to participate in the marketplace of ideas rather than erase the speech of those with whom they differ. The professor’s actions here were wrong and flagrantly violated the First Amendment.”

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Actor James Woods drops a truth bomb about the NRA and mass shootings

(National SentinelGun Rights and Wrongs: In the wake of the Texas church shootings on Sunday, liberals and progressives were once again calling for new gun control measures and singling out the National Rifle Association, which is staunchly pro-Second Amendment, for abuse.

But actor James Woods dropped a truth bomb about the organization and mass killings in America countering those who continue to criticize a group whose only ‘crime’ is standing up for the Constitution.

In the aftermath of the shootings, which saw 26 people murdered by Air Force reject Devin Kelley, Woods used social media to link an Independent Journal Review article which suggested that no NRA member has been responsible for a mass shooting.

https://twitter.com/RealJamesWoods/status/927517940622209025

While the assertion is hard to prove definitively because of the imprecise definition of “mass shooting” and the fact that the NRA keeps its membership list private, reporter Victoria Taft told readers how she managed to at her conclusion in the Woods-linked story.

“If any of them had been (an NRA member) it would have been in the news,” she wrote.

She also linked to a question posted on Quora, which is an online question-and-answer blog that featured answers supporting Taft’s assumption.

Following last month’s Las Vegas mass shootings, NRA Executive Director Chris Cox appeared on Fox News‘ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to say that after every such event, the Left quickly blames his organization.

“And that’s the one thing that is consistent, is they blame the one organization whose members don’t commit the crimes,” he said.

Others who responded to Trump’s tweet noted that NRA members have actually prevented shootings and other crimes.

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Trump Pentagon nominee: ‘It’s insane Americans are allowed to buy AR-15s’

(National SentionelUnconfirmed: One of President Donald J. Trump’s nominees to the Pentagon has made an extremely controversial statement during his Senate confirmation that may cost him his position.

Trump nominated Dr. Dean Winslow, a professor at Stanford University, to be the Department of Defense’s assistant secretary for health affairs.

During testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he was asked about the murderer who shot and killed 26 people at a Baptist church in Texas on Sunday.

Specifically, Winslow was answering a question about the Texas church shooter and whether or not he should have been given a “dishonorable discharge” from the military instead of a bad conduct discharge. The former would have prevented the shooter from purchasing firearms, but in actuality, since Devin P. Kelley was court-martialed by the Air Force for domestic violence, that too should have prevented him from buying guns.

Only, the Air Force failed to report the court-martial to the FBI’s background check system, as required by law.

Winslow acknowledged that failure, but then added: “I’d also like to, and I may get in trouble with other members of the committee, just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic assault rifle like an AR-15, which apparently was the weapon that was used.”

The nominee was castigated by the committee chairman, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for venturing to a place that was not his “field of expertise.”

The Trump administration and the president himself view the Second Amendment as having little restrictions, other than those recognized by the Supreme Court, on gun ownership, so it’s odd that Winslow would make such a remark given that it could hurt his chances of having the GOP-controlled Senate confirm him.

In addition, McCain grilled Winslow over his views on abortion. According to the Washington Examiner, Winslow stated in a presubmitted questionnaire that he believes “therapeutic abortion services should be provided by the military.”

When McCain asked what those are, Winslow said they were those necessary to save the life of the mother.

“You better clean it up doctor or you are going to have trouble getting it through the Senate,” McCain said.

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EXISTING gun laws should have made it impossible for Texas church killer to buy a firearm

(National SentinelGun Control: Following the mass shooting of worshippers at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Texas on Sunday, Democrats and liberals are once again calling for “sensible gun laws” — which essentially equates into more gun control.

However, the shooter, Devin Kelley, should not have been able to purchase the AR-15-style weapon he used to murder more than 26 people under existing gun laws, noted Amy Swearer, a visiting legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Writing in The Daily Signal, Swearer notes that while the Second Amendment guarantees American citizens the “right to keep and bear arms” — an interpretation that has repeatedly been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — gun ownership is still subject to restrictions.

She notes:

The dominant federal law for purposes of firearm restrictions is 18 U.S.C. §922(g), which bars the possession of firearms by nine different categories of individuals, including: those convicted in any court of a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment; those dishonorably discharged from the military; those subject to a restraining order against an intimate partner or child; and those convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The only way for these individuals to legally possess a weapon is to have their firearm rights explicitly restored by the jurisdiction in which they were convicted [18 U.S.C. § (a)(33)(A)(ii)].

Those convicted in state courts are subject to gun restoration rights and processes in those states.

“Roughly half of states allow for restoration of firearm rights only through a gubernatorial pardon. States like Iowa and California do not allow restoration of firearm rights for certain offenses, even with a pardon,” Swearer wrote.

“Other states will automatically restore firearm rights after a certain number of years without another offense, and still others, like Texas, will automatically restore a limited right to possess only a handgun and only in the home.”

However, those convicted in federal or military courts of disqualifying crimes can only have their rights restored via federal law, and while “federal law technically affords a mechanism of application for the restoration of these rights, Congress has not funded this mechanism since 1992,” she noted.

Based on what is currently known about Kelley, he was court-martialed by the Air Force in 2012 and sentenced to 12 months confinement in a military prison for assaulting his wife and child, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 128. He received a bad conduct from the service in 2014.

And yet, Kelley managed to purchase four firearms after his conviction, including the rifle he used to commit his heinous murders Sunday. On his background check application, he indicated he did not have any disqualifying criminal history and listed his address as Colorado Springs, Colo.

Swearer:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, citing the Texas Department of Public Safety, noted that Kelley at one point applied for and was denied a state license to carry weapons. It is unclear whether this occurred before or after Kelley purchased the Ruger, or for what reason the application was denied.

In Texas, long guns may be carried openly without a license, while a “license to carry” is required for handguns carried in any manner. Licenses are issued on a nondiscretionary, “shall-issue” basis. This means the Texas Department of Public Safety may only deny licenses to those who do not meet statutory criteria for eligibility.

Further, Texas law prohibits the possession and licensing of firearms for anyone found guilty in any jurisdiction of domestic violence misdemeanors or their equivalent.

In other words, Kelley should not have been able to purchase any of his weapons.

“This shooting appears to have been preventable under existing state and federal statutes. Sunday’s reign of terror should never have happened,” she concludes. “Many times, as this shooting indicates, the best way to stop this type of evil is not to impose more laws, but to better enforce current ones.”

Update: The Washington Free Beacon is reporting this morning that the Air Force failed to share Kelley’s conviction and discharge information with the FBI, which helps explain why it didn’t show up when gun stores performed the mandatory background check, which uses an FBI database to ensure gun buyers are not prevented by law from owning guns.

“Initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations,” Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokesperson, told the Washington Free Beacon.

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Plan to split California into thirds clears its first hurdle

(National SentinelBreak-up: The long-shot initiative to divide California into three states is actually making a bit of progress.

Residents of the state who support the initiative are now able to collect signatures in order to put it on a statewide ballot next year, according to KABC.

Led by billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, the plan calls for breaking up California into north, southern, and coastal states.

The northern state, aptly named Northern California, would include Sacramento and San Francisco. The coastal state of California would include Los Angeles, while Southern California would incorporate the cities of San Diego and Fresno.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced last week the details of the ballot initiative.

KNTV reported that the proposal requires 365,880 valid signatures to be placed onto the Nov. 2018 ballot.

Backers will have 180 days to circulate petitions and gather signatures. They will then be submitted to elections officials by no later than April 23, 2018.

If enough voters back the issue and pass the ballot measure, the issue then goes to Congress, where it faces a high hurdle.

Draper says dividing up the country’s largest state, population-wise, would give residents more local control.

Opponents, however, say the plan would lead to chaos.

“Creating three new governments, three new legislatures, three new governors and then having to disrupt what we have as a state all our prison systems, our higher education systems, I think diversity is what makes California great and this would actually ruin it,” political analyst Steven Maviglio said in a statement.

Plus, conservatives say the inclusion of large Democrat-run cities in each new ‘state’ would likely produce six new Democratic U.S. senators, thereby handing control of the chamber to that party for the foreseeable future.

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