OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘National Review’

Are We Still A Nation of the Rule of Law? A Serious Question – Part III

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 5, 2018

A few weeks ago I published two posts about the FISA Gate scandal of the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice apparently using the false and politically motivated “Steel Dossier” to obtain a FISA warrant on one time Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Here are links to them: Link 1  & Link 2. At the time of publication the “Nunes” or Republican memo had just been de-classified and released while we were awaiting the Democrats or “Schiff” memo’s release.  The Schiff memo has now been released (with some redactions) and it confirms one thing I stated in my prior posts – the American people deserve to see the entire Carter Page FISA application and the three renewals that were presented to the FISA court.  This has all become too much of a partisan back and forth.

First here is a link to the Schiff Memo: hpsci_redacted_minority_memo.  Then here is a link to an excellent analysis by Andrew McCarthy of the National Review in which he debunks most of the claims made by Adam Schiff and his Democratic friends.

However all of the partisan rankling over the memos does not answer or resolve an extremely important problem – the FBI and the DOJ were apparently willing to break the law and their own rules before a Federal Court Judge (or Judges) to obtain a warrant to surveil (spy on) an American citizen who had been previously part of an opposing political campaign.  As Mr. McCarthy pointed out, the FBI did not need to get a FISA warrant to surveil Mr. Page.  He had previously cooperated with the FBI in a prior investigation of an alleged Russian spy and they could have gone back to him again and asked him about what he knows.  Since he apparently had cooperated and helped them in the past, what did they believe had occurred by 2016 that forestalled their going to Mr. Page again before getting a FISA warrant?  For a full impact / understanding of this read Mr. McCarthy’s article linked above. As Mr. McCarthy explains, this point is very critical and is another reason why the public needs to be allowed to see the application and renewals to the FISA Court.

With the atrocious massacre at the high school in Florida, the school safety and gun control debate this has started and now the President’s trade tariff announcement it is natural for people to have “moved on” from FISA Gate.  But this violation of the 4th Amendment is a critical issue – if law enforcement at the highest level of our country can lie to a Federal Court judge(s) to get a warrant like it did here and it is allowed to go unanswered and unpunished, what is the stop them from doing this again and again and again?

What’s next?  I suspect the next shoe to drop in this scandal will be the report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.  When will that come out?  I do not know but not fast enough for me.  When it does I will publish a Part IV here.  It would be far better for the country for the FISA application and renewals to be released to the public now.

Craig P. Alexander is an attorney and principal of the Law Offices of Craig P. Alexander in Dana Point, California.  A large part of his legal practice is regarding the California Public Records Act to obtain documents from state and local governments (the state version of the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents from the Federal government).

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Sacramento Leftist Elite’s Culture War Against All Dissent Continues – SB 1146

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 25, 2016

Meanwhile off the Presidential campaign trail, the California legislature continues to prove it is controlled by people who will not stand for any dissenting opinions even from religious colleges.  Recently the State Senate passed SB 1146 (Lara – D) the so called Equity in Higher Education Act (at the time of this post, SB 1146 is pending in the Assembly).  This bill vastly trims down exemptions from anti-discrimination laws for private religious colleges from, among other things, the LGBT agenda.  In other words, a religious college cannot require students and employees to adhere to a code of conduct that is in conformity with its faith based belief system unless that school is only a seminary preparing students to be ministers.  While this law is currently tied to Cal. Grant funds, the real issue is the heavy hand of government attempting to stamp out any dissenting opinions or beliefs.  Constitutional protections like Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly, etc.?  Nope those are all subservient to the demands of liberal elite’s to agree with their viewpoints – which in this instance is the LGBT agenda and practices.

Andrew T. Walker of the National Review has an excellent article on this: California’s Culture War against Religious Liberty

Here is an excerpt:

“Tacked onto existing law, the proposed amendment to the state’s Equity in Higher Education Act attempts to stigmatize and coercively punish any religious belief system that might dare to offer a difference of opinion about sexuality and gender. The bill strong-arms religious schools into an untenable position: Either compromise their religious identity or risk losing access to grants and government-backed financial assistance like Cal Grants. How so? According to the legislation, any religious school that made admission decisions or laid out student-conduct expectations based on religious criteria that were at odds with the bill’s protected classes would risk losing access to state funds unless they affirmed the highly contestable categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” – categories at odds with views about marriage and sexuality in many religious traditions.”

I commend the rest of Mr. Walker’s article to your reading.  Another very good and short read on the implications of SB 1146 is by John Gerardi of California Family Council (See Update).

There is an argument that Christian schools should not take Cal. Grants and other government monies.  There are two problems with this argument. First if our tax dollars can go to schools that the government says it approves of its message but not those that do not, that is viewpoint discrimination by a government entity.  Plus that is forced public funding of one viewpoint over another.  Another problem with this argument is it is a ruse.  Today it is the application of this law to schools that accept Cal. Grant and similar college funding programs.  Tomorrow it will be to remove their tax exempt status for not conforming to the demanded viewpoint of the legislative majority (in other words the right to exist as a religious institution). And that logic can be applied without pause to churches. No room for dissent allowed and the U.S. and California Constitutional protections for Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association will be rendered historical footnotes.

Of course, the legislature also goes out of its way to state that the bill does not seek to impair any student’s right to file a lawsuit against the college for discrimination.

Will these Christian colleges and the churches whose pulpits they fill engage the culture and stand against this publically?  The colleges are expressing their opposition to the legislature now with the help of organizations like the California Family Council and Pacific Justice Institute.  But if Senator Lara (the bill’s author) and his fellow travelers in Sacramento pass SB 1146 and the Governor signs it, will they file lawsuits and organize a referendum campaign to stop it?  Will they engage the voters in a healthy debate over the role of religious belief and practice in public life, in education and the proper limits under the U.S. and California Constitutions on a government that tries to dictate belief systems?  Or will they just engage real estate agents in Texas to find new locations for their campuses?

I pray it is the former and not a retreat to Texas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is President Obama Really A Christian?

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 15, 2015

This question is asked (and often answered in the negative) a lot on social media when people are either trying to judge the President’s actions and decisions or sometimes when they are expressing their frustration with him.  My normal response to this type of question is I don’t know because I am not the judge of President Obama’s heart – that is God’s job not mine.

David French has written an insightful article about this subject in the National Review entitled (the title is a link to the article) “Is Obama Really A Christian?” I found his article well thought out, respectful and helpful in understanding this President’s decision making.  Is Mr. French correct – well only God knows!  I commend the article to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »