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Monday, July 29, 2013

Conservatives Of The Upstate: A Look At The 1st Amendment: Part 1: Freedom Of Religion

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

1) Congress … this indicates that only the United States Congress has the power to alter our unalienable rights.

This said, the Bill Of Rights (or the first ten amendments to the constitution), is a clarification of what our God given rights are. These rights are presented in CLEAR language. The Bill Of Rights is a list of rights that not even the United States Congress can "toy with".

2) shall make no law … it doesn't get any more poignant than that. NO LAW can be made that would infringe upon these rights enumerated in this amendment.

3) respecting an establishment of religon, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … That is to be said all together - it's not two sentences.

If asked, many people cannot quote the first amendment and instead say something similar to:

"Well, there's the whole separation of church and state part."

Do you see anything remotely close to the words "separation of church and state"?

Where did "separation of church and state" come from then …
The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a letter, dated October 7, 1801, to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson, expressing concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion.

In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed ... 
"Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions — That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor…"

As a religious minority in Connecticut, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might "reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ,"

Thomas Jefferson's response, dated January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice. Jefferson writes: 
"...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

This doctrine, which has become known as the "wall of separation" or "strict separationism," would later become highly influential in 20th century Supreme Court understandings of the relationship between church and state. 
The letter is nothing more than a historical outlier. It is not law. 
Jefferson's letter is almost always taken out of context

wikipedia: wall of separation of church and state.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party.

He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolution.

Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals in the 19th century. Since the 20th century, he has generally been viewed as the philosophical founder of modern Conservatism, as well as a representative of classical liberalism.
*Bio from wikipedia

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just Don't Pray To Jesus ...

A federal judge ordered Rowan County, North Carolina to end their tradition of opening government meetings with a prayer … well, at least a prayer to Jesus.

Judge James A. Beaty Jr. issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday July 23, 2013.
"Opening government meetings with prayers that are specific to only one religion not only alienates people of different beliefs but also clearly violates the Constitution's protection of religious liberty," according to a representative from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Part of the ruling reads:
“Defendant Rowan County, North Carolina is hereby enjoined from knowingly and/or intentionally delivering or allowing to be delivered sectarian prayers at meetings of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners during the pendency of this suit,”
In March of 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union, along with a state chapter of the ACLU, filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Rowan County residents demanding that the board of commissioners stop its practice of opening government meetings with prayers that were specific to one religion.

The organization accused the board of "violating the First Amendment provision ordaining the separation of church and state" (something that isn't actually in the 1st amendment).

For more, read:

The Truth ...

When evidence like this is presented, it in no way means the loss of a young boy's life isn't lamented. Nor does it mean that the taking of someone's life, even by self defense, is celebrated. This presentation is provided to you to show you that the facts are often hidden from us and that we have the DUTY as U.S. Citizens to seek out the truth and not be manipulated by our government's propaganda and government sympathetic media …

If you do anything today, please take the time to watch all of this 10  minute video ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Neighborhood Diversity? or Social Engineering?

To ensure that "every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of," HUD has published a new fair-housing regulation intended to give minorities access to better neighborhoods than the ones they currently live in and for "improving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation."

Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), in a July 16, 2013 speech told the NAACP about a new regulation and database aimed at adding “protected classes” into predominantly white neighborhoods.

HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class.

Social engineering?

According to HUD, long-term solutions include "helping people gain access to different neighborhoods and channeling investments into under-served areas." The mapping will be provided to guide governing bodies for development and zoning decisions.

The new "mapping program" will use Census data.

Under the proposed regulation, the neighborhood data provided by HUD will be used to evaluate patterns of integration and segregation, racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty, and access to "valuable community assets." HUD wants to know if existing laws and policies -- such as zoning, financing, infrastructure planning and transportation -- create, perpetuate or alleviate segregation.

President Obama is expected to sign off on an executive order that commits funds to the mapping project.

For more reading:

South Carolina State Sales Tax Holiday ...

From The South Carolina Dept Of Revenue:

Beginning 12:01AM on the first Friday in August and ending at twelve midnight the following Sunday residents in South Carolina will not pay State sales tax on the following items …
• clothing 
• clothing accessories including, but not limited to, hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags; footwear; 
• school supplies including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes, and calculators; 
• computers, printers and printer supplies, and computer software; bath wash clothes, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.
Not included:

sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches;sales of furniture; a sale of an item placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plan however described; rental of clothing or footwear; a sale or lease of an item for use in a trade or business.

Pickens County Local Option Sales Tax of 1% still applies.

For full details:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. True liberty can only be gained by discourse of our love of it."

~ Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Common Core

Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Common Core

#10  Our children are unique. Our State is unique. Common Core is one size fits all

#9  Unelected beaurocrats created the standards with money from special interests and 5 experts refused to sign off on its validity

#8 There was NO legislative vote...state boards of education approved Common Core

#7 Very expensive to implement 

#6 Private data collection on your child may include religion, medical and psychological info

#5 Little effort being given to accomadate gifted learners and stuggling learners

#4 It will likely cause teachers to "teach the test" 

#3 Classic literature study will be lessened and students will read "informational texts" in language arts

#2  Parents, teachers and local schools will  have less control over education

#1 YOU have the power to STOP COMMON CORE 
submitted by
Johnnelle Raines

Why It's Important To Read The Fine Print:

Here's a reason why it's important to read the fine print in contests you are considering entering:

The fine print of a current Dish Network/Southwest Airlines promo:
"By providing your telephone number and clicking submit you authorize DISH, Blockbuster, or its representatives to use this number to contact you regarding DISH and Blockbuster products and services through an automated or predictive dialing system or prerecorded message system; regardless of whether the number is on any do-not-call lists or is otherwise registered as a wireless telephone number."
This pretty much removes your number from the FTC's National Do Not Call List.

This clause in this contest is illegal.

By law, a contest must have an opt out, but never trust that if the contest is found out to be against the law that damage won't already be done.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

California Farmer Faces Bankruptcy For Failing To Give Feds Free Raisins?

Summarized from The Washington Post:
Marvin Horne, a California raisin farmer, is facing bankruptcy after failing to comply with a law that requires him to give the federal government a portion of his raisin crop ~ without compensation. 
Horne has been breaking the law for 11 straight years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. He also owes 1.2 million pounds of un-surrendered raisins – roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years. 
The Washington Post reports that Horne stopped giving raisins to the government in 2002, thereby violating Marketing Order 989 – the federal regulation that established "the raisin reserve" and made “contributions” by raisin farmers mandatory. 
After several losses in lower courts, Horne’s case reached the Supreme Court this past spring. 
The Supreme Court issued a ruling giving Horne a partial victory asking the lower courts to reconsider the case. 
Marvin Horne says that if he loses, it’s all over. 
“If we lose, we’re bankrupt. We won’t have a pot to piss in,” Horne said, noting he would be liable for nearly $3 million. “No. I don’t want to even think about it. Would you?”


Marvin Horne vs. the National Raisin Reserve

Monday, July 15, 2013

Common Core: Instruction or Indoctrination?

Common Core – The Controversy – Instruction or Indoctrination?
Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 7:00PM

Easley First Wesleyan Church 
104 West 6th Ave 
Easley, SC 29640

Common Core - We hear about it everywhere, meetings taking place and articles written in papers coast to coast, north to south. There seems to be no middle ground, once people learn about it they are either for or against, there is very little middle ground. But what is it exactly? What is its real purpose? Truthfully, I don’t know. I’ve heard everything from it being the federal government’s solution for a failing education system unable to prepare our students to compete in a global environment to it being a part of UN Agenda 21 designed to indoctrinate our children to become dumbed down worker bees for a new global government. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in between, but where? How shall our youth be taught in our schools and under whose direction? When the other sections on history and civics are released will our country be changed forever? Maybe we can find out at our meeting, dig out at least part of the truth so we are able to make intelligent decisions. Be prepared to participate and learn from experts on both sides of the issue. The truth is out there, it’s our duty as citizens to find it.

Hosted by The Pickens County Taxpayers Association

Directions to the Meeting – From Pickens take route 8 south to Easley. Turn left on West 6th Ave and go about two blocks to the Easley First Wesleyan Church. From Liberty take highway 93. When you reach Easley bear right then left onto Ross Ave. Turn left on Hwy. 8. Then turn right onto W. 6th. Go about two blocks to the church. From Clemson take 123 to the Hwy. 8 exit in Easley. Turn left at bottom of ramp, go to W. 7th Ave. and turn left. Go to S. 3rd and turn Right. Go one block and the Church will be directly in front of you. From Greenville, take 123 all the way through Easley to the Hwy. 8 exit, and turn right. Go to W. 7th Ave and turn LEFT. Go to S. 3rd St. and turn RIGHT. Go one block and the church will be directly in front of you.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

An Op Ed: "Not Guilty"

"Not Guilty"
By Philip Smith

The Zimmerman case ended in a verdict of not guilty.

The facts of the case were very clear.

Florida law was upheld.

Was justice served? I believe so. 

Your instruction as a jury is to NOT consider your own opinion, prejudices, or outside influences. Your instruction is to follow the law without interpretation.

As a member of a jury, you ask yourself,

"What is the law?"

"Was it followed?"

You answer, "Yes." or "No."

This jury did that.

We should apply this to our lives.

What is the law? 

The law is written on our hearts.

Hebrews 10:16 
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them."
How do we follow it (the law)?

Luke 10:27
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
If we do this ... Our verdict is also returned,

"Not Guilty".

* For a commplete look at the Zimmerman verdict, read:

Quote Of The Day ...

"Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness; courage to be the secret of liberty."

~ Louis D. Brandeis

Summarized from wikipedia:
Louis D. Brandeis was a justice on the United States Supreme Court who is credited with substantial contributions and interpretation on rights to privacy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Next Problem With ObamaCare / Dumping Our City, County, & State Workers

Summarized from Bloomberg News:
Cities and states may soon attempt to unload unsustainable health costs on the federal government by dumping employees and retirees into exchanges.

Both Chicago and Detroit have explored using the exchanges to reduce huge budget shortfalls.

The incentives for cities and states to dump their workers into health care exchanges are significant.

Reducing retiree health costs could save Detroit, Michigan approximately $150 million per year.

With the city of Detroit facing a $386 million budget deficit and $17 billion in long-term debt.

There aren't really any “savings” at all though — merely a shift of unsustainable costs from cities and states to the taxpayer.

The shift of potentially millions of government employees would cause Obamacare costs to rise by trillions.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Parental Rights Act Doesn't Really Provide Clarity Of Rights; It Cedes Them To The State

A measure is currently before Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution with a Parental Rights Amendment.

When we understand that any such amendment would move control of parental decision or action to federal control, the amendment takes on a whole new meaning.

Once an amendment has been made to the constitution, the "control" shifts from State and Local governments to decisions of The Supreme Court. On last check, those decisions haven't been going favorably for Conservative Christians.

Here is The Parental Rights Act from the website of the deceptively named,
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.

The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child. 
Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. 
This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life. 
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.
Read more, including an analysis of the measure before Congress at:
Also read Senate Resolution 99: 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Unclean At Any Speed?

Website Spectrum IEEE reports in an article titled, "Unclean At Any Speed":

Electric cars don’t solve the automobile’s environmental problems

Editor note: I'm personally a big fan of electric cars, but what's known as "range anxiety" is a huge issue.

Environmental impact isn't even on the radar for me when I make my next car purchase.

Factors will be:

• The impact on my wallet

• The impact on quality of the driving experience

• Quality of the build of the car.

Right now, only one manufacturer makes a quality all-electric vehicle - Tesla, with it's Model S. The Tesla Model S gets 280 miles to the charge.

Many gasoline cars get 40+ miles to the gallon nowadays. The promise of gasoline cars getting 75-100mpg is right around the corner. Even at $4.00 a gallon / 100mpg cars are easier on the wallet than charging an electric car - not to mention that you could make it to Atlanta and back without any worries.

Read more:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

"We live in an important age, an age in which we are called to struggle hard in support of the public Liberty."

~ Samuel Adams

From Wikipedia:
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to President John Adams.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wanted: Conservatives To Run For Local Elections

November 5, 2013 Municipal Elections Information

Candidate Filing Period for Municipal Elections

Opens: Noon, July 18, 2013
Closes: Noon, August 1, 2013 

Residents of the municipalities who are interested in becoming candidates will file at the City Hall in the municipality in which they reside and wish to run for office during the filing period.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Sue/Settle Scam Perpetrated By Environmentalists

Here's an interesting twist on the redistribution of income and wealth in America.

The Heritage Foundation reports:
"Environmental groups are the biggest abusers of a legal tactic known as “sue and settle,” according to a recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
It works this way: An environmental advocacy group sues a federal agency—usually the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Department of Interior—charging that the government hasn’t performed a duty it is legally required to perform. The agency then settles the lawsuit with the environmental group, allowing them to circumvent the notice and comment requirements that are built into the regulatory system. They then enter into a consent decree or settlement agreement, which is often enforceable by a court. By the time the public and regulated industries have any say in the matter, the details have already been determined."
Read more:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Don't worry, it's not a fine … yet!

The most recent Ten At The Top newsletter proudly pointed out that the City of Greenville has completed installation of signs throughout the downtown warning car owners about idling.

Don't worry, there's no fine … yet.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe & 

from Conservatives Of The Upstate

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Charges Dropped Against Teen Who Wore NRA Shirt To School / Kindergartener's Clean Record Reinstated

Charges Dropped Against Teen Who Wore NRA Shirt To School
More than two months after 14-year-old West Virginia student Jared Marcum wore a National Rifle Association T-shirt to Logan Middle School, criminal charges stemming from his refusal to take off the shirt have been dropped.
Read the full story here:


Earlier this past May, another story made the news about a kindergartner who was suspended after bringing a cowboy cap gun to school. The boy was interrogated for over two hours before his mother was called, and the ordeal left the boy scared and unaware of what he had done. The suspension went onto his permanent academic record and he would miss the rest of his classes for the year.

The Washington Post reports that the decision has been overturned in an appeal.
“In the Calvert case, the family’s attorney, Robin Ficker, filed a five-page appeal asking that the suspension be reversed, the record be wiped clean and a public hearing be held by the school board. 
The appeal said that kindergartners are introduced to the student conduct code through a coloring book the first week of school. The 5-year-old was not yet reading at that point and did not grasp the gravity of the rules, according to the document. 
“It is common for kindergartners to play Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers or to bring things to Show and Tell,” the appeal said. “In any case, telling a little 5 year old something once or twice, is often not enough.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Benefits Of Blueberries ...

Just something we thought we'd share with you …


Monday, July 1, 2013

That Library Fee On Your Property Tax Is About To Be Used To Promote ObamaCare

On June 30, 2013 … At the Annual ALA Conference … The White House, in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA), began a partnership to "educate the public about the Affordable Healthcare Act.

By remote from Africa, President Obama  delivered a 10 minute video message to conference attendees.

Up to 17,000 libraries in the United States will be a part of an effort to spread the word about the health care law while giving the public access to their computers.

The government/librarian partnership is one of many that the White House administration is trying to build in order to promote the law ahead of an October 1, 2013 kick-off.

Read the full story here:

Required to carry insurance to exercise your constitutional right?


The NRA recently provided testimony in opposition to Bill 20-170, the “Firearm Insurance Amendment Act,” sponsored by Washington DC City Councilwoman Mary Cheh.

The measure is just one example of "gunowner insurance and tax proposals" being advanced in the governing bodies of several states.
B20-170 would require Washington, DC, residents to purchase liability insurance of no less than $250,000 before being allowed to purchase a firearm. The liability insurance policy would specifically need to cover any damages resulting from negligent acts, or willful acts that are not undertaken in self-defense, involving the use of the insured firearm while it is owned by the policyholder. If passed, the proposal would require individuals who currently possess firearms in the city to purchase liability insurance within 30 days of its effective date.
The city council championing this bill from DC already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation on their books, yet consistently the Capitol City one of the highest violent crime rates. Not only will criminals certainly avoid purchasing liability insurance, there are other problems with mandating liability insurance for firearms owners including:

• Insurance companies don’t seem enthusiastic about the proposals.

• The NRA says the proposal is an affront to law-abiding gun owners— “you are not required to carry insurance to exercise any other constitutional right.”

• It is economically discriminatory— insurance is expensive and such a mandate could make firearm ownership even more unattainable for the average law-abiding DC residents who have an inherent right to self-defense regardless of income.

• No insurance company will write a policy to cover the intentional or criminal misuse of a firearm, whether for a national or a state law.

The insurance proposals are matched by another threat: States and cities across America are pushing for higher taxes as a way to enact gun and ammunition control legislation.

Gun buyers in Chicago started paying a $25 tax on firearms recently, under a county tax law that is expected to bring in some $600,000 in new revenue annually.

Other jurisdictions around the country have pushed measures that would tax firearms and ammunition, as well as require gunowners to purchase insurance.

Liability coverage is designed to protect against accidental damages, most of which involving guns would be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. While some policies may provide coverage for liability stemming from the intentional use of a firearm for defensive purposes, no liability insurance product covers intentional acts of malicious violence, whether committed with a gun, a car, or any other instrument that is used as a weapon to deliberately harm people.

Maybe one day you will have to buy insurance for political correctness. Paula Dean coulda used that policy.

"It's hard for 83% of the people to agree on anything."

In his July e-Newsletter, 3rd District Congressman, Jeff Duncan states:
"In my June e-newsletter, I asked Third District residents the question "Do you support the full repeal of ObamaCare?" 1693 people responded to the survey with 83% saying "Yes", 15% saying "No", and 2% being undecided. It's hard to get 83% of people to agree on anything, let alone politics! This is a telling sign to me that Washington never listened to people on healthcare, and they know that ObamaCare is NOT the solution."
To sign up for Jeff's newsletter, visit: