I pointed out in my last blog article that President Obama has started off the year by continuing to ignore Congress and implement his socialist agenda by using Executive action. However, that does not mean that the rest of us can also ignore Congress. There are currently some important pieces of legislation pending in either the House or the Senate that demand the attention of every patriotic American. Some of them merit our support while other bills need to be defeated.
There are two pieces of pending legislation that are very dangerous to our First Amendment rights since they are designed to limit our ability to use the Internet to express ourselves, and to find out the truth about what is actually happening in our country. These are HR 3261, the so called “Stop Internet Piracy Act” (SOPA) in the House of Representatives, and S 968 in the Senate, the “Protect Intellectual Property Act” (PIPA), The Senate version has heavy support from the usual far left Democrats while surprisingly the House version has a lot of Republican support.
Both pieces of legislation profess to have noble intentions to prevent Internet piracy, and copyright infringement, . However, I have read the proposed bills and both of them contain some very dangerous language that would basically give President Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder a kill switch over the Internet. For example, if you have a website and post content from other websites on it the government can shut you down if anyone complains that you don’t have permission to use the material.
The key is, “if anyone complains.” If I give you permission to repost my articles and you do so, it would not me necessary for me to claim you misused them, anyone can do it and you would be shut down until you proved otherwise. It is assumed you are guilty until you take the time and go to the expense to prove your innocence. There are other provisions in both bills that would essentially allow the Federal government to severely restrict and control the content of the Internet such as is the case in countries like Iran and China. Please contact your representative and Senators and urge them to oppose these bills.
On the other hand, there are some good pieces of legislation that have been introduced in the House of Representatives that I urge you to support. The first is HR 973 that restricts the use of foreign law in deciding cases in U. S. Courts. This bill has become extremely important in light of the recent unbelievable ruling by the U. S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a lower Federal ruling striking down an amendment to the state Constitution of Oklahoma that was adopted by a favorable vote of 70% of the people of Oklahoma. The amendment stated in part, "The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law."
A Muslim representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a radical Islamic group, challenged the law on the grounds that it violated his freedom of religion. The court agreed and found the state constitutional amendment unconstitutional under the Federal Constitution. This ruling is incredible to me since Sharia law relegates women to what amounts to slave status. Under Sharia law women are subordinate to men, and a Muslim man can rape, beat, and even kill his wife for virtually any reason. He can also murder his daughters if they “dishonor the family” by dating a non Muslim or adopting American dress or habits.
If this court ruling is allowed to stand Sharia law could potentially be used as a valid defense against charges brought by U. S. prosecutors for any of these crimes. HR 973 is designed to prevent that from happening. It is sponsored by Republican Representative Sandy Adams of Florida and has 83 cosponsors. Contact your representative now and ask them to support this important legislation.
Two other house bills that need your support are HR 204 and HR 2913. The first cuts Congressional pay and the second cuts the extravagant benefits given to members of Congress. For example, if you serve one term in the House of Representatives you get full retirement benefits for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if you risk your life serving our country in the military you get no retirement benefits at all until you have served at least twenty years. At a time when our deficit is at an all time high and many Americans are struggling to even feed their families, it is time for members of Congress to share some of the sacrifices that the rest of us face.
HR 204 was introduced by Democrat Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and has only 18 cosponsors while HR 2913 was introduced by Republican Mike Coffman of Colorado and has only 15 cosponsors. Let your representatives know you expect them to support these bills.