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The War on the First Amendment

As we watch the federal arrests stack up--195 at last count--and we hear the calls for things like new domestic terrorist laws and a new domestic spying agency getting louder, it's near impossible for me to not point out my thoughts on the matter, especially as we are now seeing legislation being introduced here in Idaho that would seriously restrict 1st Amendment rights.

Today I was reading the latest from the WSJ and I started to see some familiar language that frankly makes me cringe.

For example, this from Mr. Lee.

“Preventing what happened at the Capitol is a different matter than holding people accountable for their criminal acts during the riot,“ Mr. Lee said, noting that the investigative powers used against foreign terrorists, such as intercepting their communications without a warrant, are unconstitutional to employ against American citizens. “It’s very difficult for the FBI to untangle,” he said.

Lee is saying quite blatantly that the FBI can't do their job without the same investigative powers our government uses to hunt terrorists in foreign countries, where the 4th amendment does not apply. You see, it's all that pesky Constitution. Whether it's our state legislature working to make it illegal to protest in front of their houses, or our federal government working to broaden "investigative powers" to a scope that would make the Stasi blush, it's the Constitution they’re trying to circumvent.

The WSJ went on to quote another great American.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), who chairs the Intelligence and Counterterrorism panel of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said last week that traditional law enforcement methods might not be effective in preventing further extremist violence.

You see, your democratic government is going to have to create new, non-traditional law-enforcement methods to keep everyone safe from ‘fascist domestic terrorists.’ I’m not sure about you, but to me that sounds eerily similar to Germany in the 1940s.

Let's dive further into the article and see if we can't get a glimpse at what's considered evidence of terrorism when applying the federal definition.

The article tells us the federal prosecution is requesting that one Mr. Munchel be detained because he lived with his brother in a Nashville home where he kept a safe with a LEGALLY acquired stash of more than 15 firearms, including a sniper rifle, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He posed in Facebook photographs with some of his possessions, and he also has a concealed weapons permit. So federal prosecutors are requesting that he be detained—not because he's on video beating a cop to death or hunting Pelosi in the hallway, but because he and his brother have 15 legal firearms. Now keep in mind that the article said there hasn't even been one grand jury hearing yet.

In our little slice of the Republic pie, we have House Representative Chaney introducing bipartisan legislation that would make "targeted picketing" illegal.

You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is targeted picketing?” Well, per the press release, “targeted picketing applies to someone who demonstrates outside an individual’s residence or dwelling with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm."

The right to peacefully petition our government for a redress of grievances is not limited to the front of the state capitol building, or in any kind of 1st amendment area for that matter, but if Chaney gets his way a mere annoyance would be deemed criminal.

Rep. Chaney's bipartisan double team on the 1st amendment will be run through the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee.

Action Item One

- Contact the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee and politely let them know that at this point we are suspicious of anything that the Chairman brings forth. Tell them we see these bills as nothing more than a continuing of his emotional grudge match with political activists, and we won't have him taking it out on the Constitution. Ask them how they feel about outlawing irritating behavior that was previously constitutionally protected conduct.

Chair Greg Chaney

(208) 332-1055 (Session Only)

Vice Chair Linda Wright Hartgen

(208) 332-1061 (Session Only)

Ryan Kerby

Statehouse (208) 332-1166 (Session Only)

Paul Amador

Statehouse (208) 332-1048 (Session Only)

Barbara Ehardt

Statehouse (208) 332-1189 (Session Only

Heather Scott

Statehouse (208) 332-1190 (Session Only)

Gary L. Marshall

Statehouse (208) 332-1081 (Session Only)

Caroline Nilsson Troy

Statehouse (208) 332-1035 (Session Only)

Julianne Young

Statehouse (208) 332-1038 (Session Only)

Ron Nate

Statehouse (208) 332-1173 (Session Only)

David M. Cannon

Statehouse (208) 332-1086 (Session Only)

Marco Erickson

Statehouse (208) 332-1073 (Session Only)

Bruce D. Skaug

Statehouse (208) 332-1178 (Session Only)

John Gannon

Statehouse (208) 332-1082 (Session Only)

John McCrostie

Statehouse (208) 332-1083 (Session Only)

James D. Ruchti

Statehouse (208) 332-1031 (Session Only)

Colin Nash

Statehouse (208) 332-1075 (Session Only)

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