‘We have to be prepared to go to jail’

Republican Rep. Joe Walsh told supporters that they have to be prepared to go to prison in order to protect the freedoms and liberties they now enjoy.

Walsh’s five-minute speech, delivered at a rally for religious liberty at Federal Plaza in Chicago, evoked a Braveheart-like response as the crowd chanted, “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” upon its completion.

“We have to be prepared to go to jail. Are we prepared?” Walsh asked rhetorically.

The crowd responded with a boisterous, “Yes!”

The ever-provocative Walsh raised the stakes again with his next comment: “If you’re not prepared to go to jail to stand up for your freedoms, you don’t understand what this election is about.”

Walsh referred back to being willing to go to jail throughout the speech, which was ostensibly about religious freedom. Walsh spoke in front of a crowd of nearly 1,000 people who braved a steady rain in the Windy City to attend the rally.

“We knew then, and we know now, that Obamacare would devastate businesses in this country. We knew then, and we know, that it will get rid of physicians as we know them — health insurance as we know it,” Walsh continued. “We knew then, and we know now, that Obamacare will bankrupt this country.”

After the speech, when asked to explain in more detail what he meant by his jail reference, Walsh told The Daily Caller that he didn’t believe the government has the power to force him — or any American — into buying anything, including health insurance. Continuing, he said that the government doesn’t have the power to make him pay a fine if he doesn’t comply. He concluded that if Obamacare plays out a certain way, he’s prepared to go to jail before he complies.

Dr. Tony Caruso echoed Walsh’s sentiments when he addressed the crowd shortly after Walsh spoke. Dr. Caruso referred to himself as a “Catholic doctor” and he said that he’d go to jail before he’d perform a procedure that goes against his conscience.

TheDC had no trouble finding other volunteers among the crowd ready to go to jail to protect everyone’s religious liberties.

Cris Crisaffuli was holding a sign that read, “Women want religious freedom!!!” On whether or not she’d be willing to go to jail for this cause, she said, “I might be, I might be,” adding, “give or take exactly what this is all about.”

Irene Doyle-Sadler was more emphatic. “I would, I would. This is just unbelievable what they are forcing the Catholic Church to do.”

Read more here.

Could Gov’t Use Home-Brew Laws to Crack Down on Citizens?

About the only thing Kevin Flynn enjoys more than drinking his home-brewed beer is sharing it with fellow beer club members at festivals and tasting competitions. So Flynn and his buddies were shocked to discover that Wisconsin law prohibits sharing homemade suds anywhere outside the brewer’s home.

The law could “pretty much be the end of competitions in Wisconsin,” he lamented. “At least legal ones.”

An explosion of interest in home brewing is forcing lawmakers across the country to review long-forgotten alcohol laws, some of which date back to Prohibition. Although the old rules have rarely been enforced, beer enthusiasts fear they could criminalize the rapidly growing hobby and kill scores of annual tasting events that bring tourists to small towns and cities.

Read more here.

US Intelligence to keep tabs on Americans with no ties to terror

The U.S. intelligence community will be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years under new Obama administration guidelines.

Until now, the National Counterterrorism Center had to destroy immediately information about Americans that already was stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism.

Giving the NCTC expanded record-retention authority had been urged by members of Congress, who said the intelligence community did not connect strands of intelligence held by multiple agencies leading up to a failed bombing attempt on a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

The new rules replace guidelines issued in 2008 and have privacy advocates concerned about the potential for data-mining information on innocent Americans.

“It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said of the five-year retention period.

Read more here.

Farrakhan Threatens Violence

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been among the vocal voices weighing in on calls for justice for Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was gunned down last month while walking home in Sanford, Florida. On Wednesday, a march was held in New York City in support of the teen’s family, as federal and local authorities launch investigations into how the incident unfolded and why the state’s “stand your ground” law applied to the shooter in this case.

Farrakhan sent some curious tweets regarding peace, justice and retaliation that could be interpreted as a veiled threat.

In follow-up tweets throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday, he had more to say regarding the tragedy and injustice more generally:

Don‘t Let Radicals Use Trayvon Martin’s Death to Push Political Agendas

On his Thursday radio broadcast, Glenn Beck delved into an incident that has ignited a whirlwind of controversy — one that has raised pulses of people from all walks, but all for different reasons. His radio segment with a caller concerned over the fallout follows below, but first The Blaze provides some background:

By now, many are probably familiar with the disturbing story of Trayvon Martin — a 17-year-old black teen gunned down by a Florida gated community’s self-appointed neighborhood watchman. Much of the current evidence indicates the shooting was a hate crime, as the unarmed boy, who was said to have been seeking shelter from the rain, was carrying nothing more than a packet of Skittels at the time of the incident. Adding to this theory, police indicate the shooter may have uttered a racial epithet — “f–king coon” — prior to opening fire on the Florida youth.

The shooter, a Hispanic by the name of George Zimmerman, claims he was acting in self defense and as such, has yet to be arrested. He maintains he was attacked by the teen, but a statement by the deceased’s girlfriend — who was allegedly on the phone with Trayvon at the time of the shooting — suggests it was in fact Zimmerman who assailed Martin.

Although Zimmerman is attempting to shield himself behind a 2005 Florida “Stand Your Ground” law giving citizens the right to defend themselves when threatened, it is clear this was not a case of meeting force with equal force.

According to reports, public records reveal that in 2005 Zimmerman was arrested in Orange County for resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. Residents of the Sanford gated community also allege the shooter had been overly-aggressive during his watch-shifts in the past.

It is possible then that Zimmerman may simply be a deeply disturbed, paranoid individual with a propensity for violence towards just about anyone.

In any case, few if any believe Zimmerman should not be arrested.

Even Stand Your Ground’s sponsors are calling for his arrest and do not believe the gunman deserves immunity under their law.

Read more here.