Liberty Is Under Fire


Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and

murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that didn’t

commit suicide – John Adams, 1814


Anthony Breznican’s column “Hart’s Messina wrong man for leadership role” in the Weekender edition of The Signal (Link) published September 23rd was a reminder to me of how dangerous leftism is to the liberties we take for granted in this country.

Breznican’s focus is on Hart school board member Joe Messina, and views Messina has expressed in social media (apparently Facebook) and a self-published book, both of which Breznican claims are “disturbing acts”. Breznican complains that in spite of those stated views “the district has taken no action to censure or demand even an apology from him about his inflammatory remarks.”

Nor should they. This may come as a surprise to Breznican, but what a citizen says or does on his own time, as long as it’s legal, can’t be sanctioned by any governmental agency. It’s called the First Amendment. It’s not subject to the district’s approval or disapproval.

From what little I know of him I happen to agree that at least some of what Messina says makes no sense, but if that were some kind of threshold, I can’t think of anybody in the Dem/socialist party who would be qualified to hold public office.

If that board tries to do anything, that’s the action of a government body reacting to, and taking action against, a person for exercising their right to express an opinion, which is EXACTLY what the First Amendment prohibits.

Breznican goes on: “”That’s what Joe Messina has done. He is harming the students and the district with these fabrications.”

Well, that’s Breznican’s opinion, and it’s only an opinion. Clearly, a lot of people don’t agree with him, or Messina wouldn’t have been able to get elected. And at the next election, if other people share Breznican’s opinion, Messina won’t be re-elected. Right?

I think that Bernie Sanders is a Trotskyite communist, and his ideas and policies are insane, but that doesn’t mean I think he should be silenced, or booted from the Senate. He was duly and properly elected to the Senate by his constituents, as crazy as that seems, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

I think every Dem/socialist in Sacramento, along with about two-thirds of the GOPers, are nuts. But that doesn’t bar them from office, or justify any form of governmental sanction.

That pesky First Amendment again.

Which brings us back to that threat to our liberties that I mentioned at the beginning of this column. Conservatives believe that the liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution and Bill of Rights mean exactly what they say. I may not agree with you but I won’t try to silence you. Or, as attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

But the Left… Ah, the Left. If they don’t like what you say, they’ll try to destroy your life, demonize you, silence you, shun you, exile you from the public square, get you fired from your job, and outlaw what you can say.

If that’s not a threat to liberty, I don’t know what is.


©Brian Baker 2017


(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal )

51 comments on “Liberty Is Under Fire

  1. Hardnox says:

    Good post bro.

    The attack on the First Amendment is the vilest and threatens our republic. To that end, the left must be neutered. It’s no more complicated than that. Besides, who gave them the authority to be the language/thought police? I don’t recall ceding them that authority.

  2. Nee says:

    Sigh. Do you watch Tucker Carlson? He calls it out pretty well. And we’re back to where we were, 10 years ago, only worse. I cannot and will not stay silent. The ignorant masses are killing us. People, born here or not –who say this country sucks? Quite simply? They need to get the F*ck out. I am waiting for the implosion when James O’keefe finally shows the leftists what they have tried to hide behind with the media. I just hope he doesn’t end up dead.

    • BrianR says:

      Well, I don’t watch any TV news, so I haven’t seen Carlson, though I’ve read good things.

      Yep, I know exactly what you mean.

  3. Kathy says:

    Yep, our 1A rights are definitely under attack, and right now those antifa thugs are the worst culprits. I saw a Crowder video where some of his guys infiltrated and recorded them. One even handed him a knife, then they were talking about other weapons, guns included. Somebody’s gonna get killed and all because they don’t think anyone should get to talk if they disagree with them. Stupid is as stupid does, right?

  4. Gunny G says:

    Well said!

  5. captbogus2 says:

    “,, the liberties we take for granted in this country.” That’s the problem.

  6. CW says:

    This is quite interesting to me because there was a similar incident with a newly elected school board trustee in the town I recently lived in. After she was elected it was learned that she had recently posted an anti-Muslim comment on FB, and the other trustees of the board voted to censure her. They also asked her to resign, stating there was no way within the policy to force her to do so, but she refused. At the time I remember being surprised that the other trustees would have the authority to vote to censure her for remarks she made as a private citizen, and I haven’t seen the policy to know if they actually did have that authority.

    Needless to say it is dangerous territory for bodies of elected members to presume to censure members for remarks made as private citizens, because it amounts to censuring that members’ voters as well. In the case I mentioned above there seemed to be an assumption that no voters had seen her FB comments and so this new information entitled the other elected trustees to censure this woman, but who is to say that her supporters weren’t following her on FB and that her sentiments towards Muslims don’t mirror their own? We live in an age of leftwing bullying in which the bullies presume the right to pick and choose what amounts to free speech.

    This is a timely discussion given what’s happening in the NFL. It angers me when people frame the debate over disrespecting the flag during games as a “free speech” issue, when it is nothing of the sort. Since when do employees have the unadulterated right to express themselves in any way they please when they are on company time? And yet the very same people who want school board members to be censured or fired for comments they make as private citizens believe that football players can ignore NFL policy during games for which they are being paid because of their “right to free speech.”

    Go figure.

    • BrianR says:

      That’s an interesting occurrence, CW. If that board member had challenged the censure on First Amendment grounds, I’m sure he/she would have won, but of course, what member of a school board is going to go to that expense?

      Regardless of their policy or by-laws, the Constitution supersedes it. Certain rights are inviolable. Would they have the right to censure a person because they were a gun owner, and the other members hated guns? Of course not. Well, this is the same deal.

      I also agree with your assessment of the NFL issue. The ONLY reason those players get away with their BS is because neither the owners nor the league are demanding that they stop. I think that’s going to come back and bite them on the butt.

  7. garnet92 says:

    Mr. Breznican’s actions are straight off of Page 6 of the Left’s Guide for Acrimonious Activity. You know how they like to label something that they find unpleasant to their fragile self-image as being: (choose one or more: racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.) or if none of those fit, simply label the statements as inflammatory remarks or fabrications as Mr. Breznican did. Same old leftist crap. Sling a diaper-load of it against the wall and hope that some of it sticks.

  8. Progressives have waged an all-out war on the U.S. Constitution.

  9. Brian R, taking politics out of the equation, what are your views on same-sex marriage?

    • BrianR says:

      How do you take politics out of the equation?

      I actually wrote a piece on that topic when Perry V. Hollingsworth was handed down by SCOTUS:

      • Brian, when I said taking politics out of the equation, I was asking what your views were on same-sex marriage personally. Here is an example of what I mean: A person can oppose same-sex marriage on religious and personal grounds, however, politically, they choose not to touch the topic. So factoring in both aspects, what are your thoughts about same-sex marriage overall? Do you oppose it personally, however, politically, you think the issue is pointless to debate? Do you support it and yet want to let states make their own rules regarding the matter?

      • BrianR says:

        I don’t believe that same-sex “marriage” is legitimate, as long as the states allow some other form of accommodation for same-sex relationships to be legitimized. The word “marriage” is exclusive to a heterosexual union. That’s how it’s always been in this country and culture, and is part of the basis of our social contract and construct.

        Before the Hollingsworth and Obergefell decisions, states were devising other methods, such as “unions”, which permitted all the same benefits of “marriage” except that particular word, but that wasn’t enough for activists. Subsequent actions, such as the Masterpiece Bakery case, illustrate why they were so adamant, all of which was predicted at the time, and scoffed at as a “slippery slope argument”. Of course, the “slippery slope” ended up being a cliff in reality.

        The reality is that the left is determined to undermine and destroy the traditional culture of this country, as I described in one of my previous columns:

        So, on a personal level, I don’t recognize same-sex “marriages” as legitimate. That’s why, when referring to them, I ALWAYS put the word “marriage” in quotation marks.

        I’m also dead set against gays and transgendered people serving in the military, an opinion based on my lifetime experience with the military as an institution and a culture, both as an Army brat and a veteran, another topic I’ve previously addressed:

  10. BrianR, most non-religious arguments against same-sex marriage are relatively absurd. A person who is not into same-sex relationships is not required to be in the relationship. Your point about marriage being the union of a man and a woman-legally speaking, this is true. Having said that, the Dictionary’s definition refers to it as an interpersonal union. In Biblical times homosexuality was not seen as normal, hence the use of the word abomination. These days, there are many gay and lesbian people.

    • BrianR says:

      I’m sure there were “many” gay and lesbian people at any point in history. So what? They make up about 2% of the population, and probably always have.

      That has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote. In fact, nothing in your comment is relevant to what I wrote. So, what’s your point?

  11. While we are talking about liberty, what about the liberty that belongs to all people, even minorities? Liberty should encompass many things, including the right of same-sex couples to marry. However, many religious conservatives want their idea of “liberty” to translate to legally violate the rights of a minority. There is a threat to the liberty of gays and lesbians, as well as a threat to the religious liberties of opponents of same-sex marriage. The threat to the liberties of opponents of same-sex marriage, such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. She should have done 1 of 3 things: 1: Abided by the law and granted the license. 2: Contacted the state legislature and got them involved in the matter. 3: Just resign from her post. Either enforce and uphold existing law or fight to change it legally. You cannot selectively pick which laws you will abide by and which laws you will not.

    • BrianR says:


      “Liberty” doesn’t mean unbridled license. That’s anarchy.

      What about the “liberty” of Mom being able to “marry” her own son? Or her cats, for that matter? Doesn’t she deserve the same “liberty”? Where does your “liberty” end? You see, that’s the Achilles heel of your argument. If you agree that ANY bounds are legitimate, then it’s no longer an argument about the propriety of having bounds; it becomes a disagreement over where those bounds lie.

      Further, why is the “liberty” of the Masterpiece Bakery being completely ignored by being forced to create unique on-demand works of art for ceremonies that violate sincere religious beliefs? Would the same requirement be forced on a black-owned business that was requested to create cakes for a KKK meeting?

      There’s absolutely no “threat to the liberties of gays and lesbians” that I can see. This isn’t the Middle East, where they could end up being thrown off buildings. What they do in the privacy of their bedrooms is completely up to them. But you’re right about the threat to opponents of gay “marriage”, as I just mentioned re Masterpiece Cakes. And WHY is there a threat? Because radical activists have been trying to destroy the traditional American social construct, as I already said, and enjoying quite a bit of success. Part of that destruction is the insistence on redefining “marriage”, as I also already said.

      As to Kim Davis, I actually agree with you. That having been said, I also hold that when he was Attorney-General in this state, Jerry Brown was duty-bound to defend Prop 8 against its court challenge, and he failed in his duty by refusing to do so. He, too, should have resigned.

      What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

      • While we are talking about the threats to gays and lesbians, here it is: Denying them the equal protections that they are entitled to (as spelled out under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) just to make religious bigots feel comfortable. No person can claim a monopoly on the matter of marriage, nor can one person violate the rights of another person. Redefining marriage-that is a disingenuous claim. Mainly due to the fact that the Dictionary already defined marriage. My threat reference was due to the fact that they are not able to enjoy the Constitutionally guaranteed equal protections that they are legally entitled to, as specified under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Any argument that there is a changing of the definition of marriage is dishonest.

      • BrianR says:

        Total bullshit, buddy, and nothing but leftist rhetoric and dogma.

        So, anyone who disagrees with you is a “religious bigot”. You lost all credibility right there. That’s the SOP leftist tactic of attacking the messenger when you can’t argue the actual subject.

        Where in the 14th Amendment does it mention “same-sex marriage” anywhere? It doesn’t. That’s an INTERPRETATION of the applicability of the amendment, and if either the Founders or the authors of that amendment had any idea that either that amendment or the Constitution itself were being used to rationalize same-sex “marriage”, claiming it was a “right”, they’d think our country had lost its collective mind.

        I notice you couldn’t answer the question about Mom marrying her son, or her cats. Why is that? Why do NONE of you people ever answer that question?

        It’s because that question illustrates the fatal flaw and hypocrisy in your argument.

        As to “No person can claim a monopoly on the matter of marriage, nor can one person violate the rights of another person. Redefining marriage-that is a disingenuous claim”, that’s more BS. Defining “marriage” isn’t the act of any “single person”, but any SOCIETY certainly DOES have the authority to define its social mores and customs. In fact, that’s exactly what the Constitution itself does, and it was a radical idea for its time: the idea of individual liberty and responsibility, and a government that answers to the People instead of the other way around.

        So, just as I’ve already said, you guys are trying to destroy the social fabric of the country and replace it with something else. Any claim to the contrary is absurd.

        Further, be advised that if you resort again to dogmatic nonsense like that “religious bigots” crap, your comment won’t see the light of day and I’ll mark your IP address as spam. Then the software will just route them directly to the trash.

        “Censorship”? Yep! I’m the moderator of this site, and just as I said on the home page, I do that. Since I’m not part of the government the First Amendment doesn’t apply to me.

  12. What you say is not entirely fair. When I said religious bigots, I was speaking of people who want to impose their values on all of us, regardless of whether or not other people have different values, by force of law via a Constitutional Amendment. The Dictionary already defined the word Marriage. Here is the definition of the word according to the Dictionary: An interpersonal union. People who say that government should not have involvement in the matter are of the correct mindset. The 14th Amendment speaks of equal protection. Equal protection should translate to equal marriages.

    • BrianR says:

      First of all, the “imposing of values” is being done by those who want to change the social contract, not by those who want to preserve it, so you have your roles reversed. Thus it’s the proponents of same-sex “marriage” who are doing the imposing.

      Secondly, you continue to delegitimize your argument by sticking to the “religious bigots” meme. You can’t seem to accept that there are many — probably most — people whose opposition has nothing to do with religion or bigotry.

      Next, the idea that government should have no role in the matter is preposterous. By its very nature, as well as human nature, “government” is the device by which any society defines itself. That’s simply unavoidable. If there’s no “government” you have anarchy.

      So then the issue becomes determining what the proper role of that government is.

      I know what the definition of “marriage” is, and the reality is that BOTH of us are acknowledging that government is the determining authority of how that institution is defined in this country. The only difference is how we view that determination as being made. You point to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and I’m saying your argument is without merit.

      Obviously SCOTUS has agreed with you, in the Obergefel decision. I believe they erred. It’s certainly not the first time SCOTUS has erred. I think we’d both agree that the Dred Scott decision is a great example.

      So, I think that about sums things up.

  13. Brian R, let me pose a few questions for your consideration: 1: Since marriage ceremonies are performed in Churches, should government not just stay out of the matter altogether and only acknowledge civil unions? 2: Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s job is to rule on the Constitutionality of a law, regardless of the law, should the U.S. Supreme Court not have the final say so from a Constitutional standpoint? 3: Since an unplanned pregnancy would not happen in a same-sex relationship, should same-sex marriage at the very least not have support from groups that are pro-life? 4: Redundancies aside, what about the stigma that children will face if their parents who are of the same sex have a relationship that is not legally recognized? I fail to see why they would deserve to be subject to that stigma. You want a legal definition of marriage. My view is that the Dictionary’s definition is the only one that matters.

    • BrianR says:

      I have no interest in getting into all kinds of boring minutiae about ancillary issues.

      Let’s get back to the core here. You never answered the question, so I’ll assume that based on your overall rationale, Mom has the right to “marry” her son, correct? It’s okay for the crazy cat lady to “marry” her cats? You’d have no problem with the 45-year-old NAMBLA dude “marrying” a 14-year-old boy, right?

      • Of course, I don’t believe that parents should be allowed to have marital relations with their children. Unless there are times in history or societies in which this happens, that concept is very weird to me personally.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, there you go. Welcome to my world. You have now joined me in recognizing that “government” has a role in determining legitimate behavioral boundaries for its citizens. The ONLY reason that Mom can’t “marry” her son is that it’s illegal. In fact, not only have there already been such cases, but there’s even been a cat lady case or two.

        Just as you consider Mom “marrying” her son weird, I consider two same-sex people “marrying” weird.

        And before you start, I have no intention of debating “weirdness” with you.

  14. Brian R, we are actually in agreement in this case. We should not be debating the weirdness aspect. On this point, you and I are on the same page. I think some context has been missed.

  15. Brian R, I was not advocating a debate on the weirdness aspect. I was speaking only as to my thoughts. Here is an example of what some people may think as odd: Drinking a flavored coffee. Some people may find that as weird and other people may not. Personally, I enjoy it, however, if another person does not, I have no issue with it.

    • BrianR says:

      Heh heh heh…

      That’s just about the ONLY kind of coffee I drink.

      I love me some Starbuck’s iced latte breve with vanilla.

  16. Are you familiar with Black Rifle Coffee company?

    • BrianR says:

      I am, and their coffee’s real good, though pricey.

      Yeah, I tried them out when Starbucks did their latest political blunder.

  17. Brian R, when you speak of Starbucks latest political blunder, how do you mean? I look at the news, however, not much of what I have read mentioned this.

    • BrianR says:

      It was their “big announcement” some months ago about hiring vets, or something along those lines. I didn’t pay all that much attention to it.

  18. Brian R, one freedom we have as human beings is freedom of association. That should also translate to having equal marriage rights for all, regardless of a person’s sexual orientation.

    • BrianR says:


      Nobody says gays can’t “associate”. Are you saying that “marry” and “associate” are synonyms? Because I “associate” with my daughter regularly.

      A tip for you: I wouldn’t count on that as much of an argument…


  19. Brian R, good point. Now, what I meant in the context of the word associate is how their relationships are essentially criminalized under the law. That is both in violation of the 5th Amendment’s guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

    • BrianR says:

      No they’re not. They’re not “criminalized” in any way, shape or form. words have very specific meanings.

      Now I point to Mom’s inability to marry her son, and we’re right back where we started. That’s a circular argument. I don’t do those.

  20. Brian R, a constitutional Amendment to define marriage essentially invalidates a pre-existing marital relationship between same-sex couples. We will just have to agree to disagree.

    • BrianR says:

      Well, Jeffrey, as I often say, there’s only one person in the world with whom I agree 100%: myself.

      Heh heh heh

  21. Brian R, if you ever were to argue with yourself, if you don’t mind my asking, in what circumstances does that usually happen?

    • BrianR says:

      I can’t envision that, frankly, because I come to my positions after a lot of deliberation, and I’ve been politically active for over 50 years, since I was in college.

      I’m not prone to snap judgments.

      I think the last time I had to deal with my own ambivalence was when my daughter was a little girl, and I had to figure out appropriate punishments for misbehavior. I HATED punishing my kid.

  22. Brian R, some punishments are short-sighted. Physical punishment is an example. Any parents who uses physical punishment on children and yet tell their children not to hit other kids is a hypocrite.

    • BrianR says:

      Well, I never spanked my kid, but I also never told her not to hit other kids.

      I’m a firm believer in self-defense, and taught her how. In fact, she has a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do (I’m a black).

  23. Brian R, if a kid hits another kid with no provocation, that is uncalled for. If one kid hits another kid in retaliation for the first punch, that is deserved and thoroughly justified.

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