Supreme Court

Fox News’ Sean Hannity Lays Out Closing Argument For Election Day

“In my mind, tomorrow is an important day. The answer couldn’t be more clear. So if you’re in a swing state. If you’re in Florida. If you’re in Ohio. If you’re in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada. If you’re in Maine’s second congressional district. North Carolina. We need you. It’s up to you. You can decide tomorrow to save America from the declining state it is in and stop this downward spiral. That’s what this election is about. Tomorrow night, if Hillary Clinton is elected, those who didn’t support Donald Trump, voted for Hillary, or NeverTrumper, I’m telling you right now. You own her Supreme Court. You own her unvetted refugees. You own her tax increases. You own her open borders. You own ObamaCare. And you own her ‘energy independence.’ You will own it.”

-Sean Hannity, American radio/TV show host, author, and conservative political commentator, on the Fox News TV show Hannity Monday night

“Sean Hannity: If Hillary wins, you own it”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


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SP Intel Report- November 13, 2015


DIY Solar Electricity, Window Farming For Beginners Classes From The Green Suite

Nick Conrad and The Green Suite will be putting on DIY Solar Electricity and Window Farming for Beginners classes over the next couple of weeks:

DIY Solar Electricity (class #1)
Wednesday, November 18, 7 to 9 PM
The Green Suite, 3958 N. Fremont, Apt. 3, Chicago
$30 to attend, 2 spots left as I type this

Window Farming For Beginners
Wednesday, December 2, 7 to 9 PM
The Green Suite
$30 to attend, 8 spots left

DIY Solar Electricity (class #2)
Tuesday, December 15, 7 to 9 PM
The Green Suite
$30 to attend, 5 spots left

For more information, head on over to The Green Suite website here.

Cook County Finance Committee Approves Ammunition Tax

It comes as no surprise that Cook County, Illinois, aims to tax law-abiding firearm owners in the county for the actions of criminals- yet again. Earlier this week I mentioned Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle had proposed a tax on ammunition sales in the county. Today, the Cook County Finance Committee approved the proposal. Hal Dardick reported on the Chicago Tribune website tonight:

The Finance Committee on Friday approved a series of other new taxes and fees. They include… A new tax on bullets- 5 cents per round of “centerfire ammunition” and 1 cent per round of “rimfire ammunition”- to raise $320,000 a year for public safety and health programs.

Todd Vandermyde, Illinois lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said the county could expect a court challenge on the bullet fee, just as it is battling a lawsuit against a $25-per-gun purchase tax that went into effect two years ago.

“It seems interesting that the county wants to go down this road again, because you’ll incur even more litigation with a new suit to deal with this issue,” Vandermyde said, noting the relatively small sum the bullet tax is expected to bring in…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

See you in court? I’d be curious to find out how much that $25-per-gun purchase tax lawsuit has cost Cook County taxpayers to date.


Illinois State Rifle Association Warns Of State Gun Control Legislation

Still on the topic of firearms tonight, gun control is on the march here in the “Land of Lincoln.” And the Illinois State Rifle Association has identified new initiatives that threaten the Second Amendment. From the ISRA Thursday Bulletin’s “Executive Director’s Message” for November 12, 2015:

In Springfield we have a couple of troublesome House Resolutions introduced. The first of these is HR0830 (Flowers, D-31, Chicago). HR 0830 calls for President Obama to hold a National Conference on Gun Violence by the end of 2015, in Chicago. This of course would be a blame the law abiding gun owners conference more than anything else. There are only 49 days left this year so it would have to happen quickly.

The next resolution, (Welch, D-7, Hillside), urges the courts, especially the Supreme Court, to adhere to the clear wording of the Second Amendment, being a right afforded to state sponsored militias, not individuals (this is their wording, not mine). What this clearly points out is that the Second Amendment is under attack. If you are not disturbed by this, you should be…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the entire Thursday Bulletin via the ISRA’s Twitter page here.


My thoughts and prayers go out to France this evening. While appalled, I am not shocked to hear of the Paris terror attack however. For a couple of years now I’ve talked about the November 2008 Mumbai, India, slaughter being emulated by terrorists. Almost a year ago to this day I blogged:

Something tells me our friends in Western Europe might suffer a major terrorist attack before a strike against the United States…

And on January 7, 2015, I wrote:

I still predict major terrorist attacks having the potential of inflicting large numbers of casualties will be directed against America and its allies in the future. The possible culprits being several, but including Muslim extremists like Al-Qaeda and its affiliates…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Captain Obvious strikes again? Perhaps. But the notion of a large scale terror attack directed against the United States and/or its allies doesn’t appear to have been registering on the radars of lots of people these days. With a laughable economic “recovery” and plenty of distractions in play by the powers-that-be, who could blame them?

After the carnage in France, America and her allies remain in the crosshairs of the terrorists. Stay safe…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (


Dardick, Hal. “Preckwinkle wins hotel tax, declines to rule out future hikes.” Chicago Tribune. 13 Nov. 2015. ( 13 Nov. 2015.


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Rudy Giuliani Blasts Obama Gun ‘Control’ Push As ‘False, Misleading, And To Some Extent, Unconstitutional’

Yesterday morning I happened to catch a segment on FOX News in which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani ripped on President Obama’s new push for more gun “control.” From the exchange:

FOX NEWS: So, from your point of view, how do you characterize what’s been presented so far from the White House?
GIULIANI: I think the President’s program is false, misleading, and to some extent, unconstitutional.
FOX NEWS: Where is it unconstitutional?
GIULIANI: Well, I think that, the original Assault Weapons Ban was passed before the Heller case, before the Supreme Court made it crystal-clear that there’s a constitutional right to bear arms, that includes the right to defend yourself. So now, if you are reducing, significantly, the ability of a legitimate person to defend themselves- aren’t you violating that Constitutional right? Now consider that there are somewhere between 270 million and 300 million guns out there. A large percentage of the guns are in the hands of bad guys. So now you pass a law and you say in a Glock, you have to have a magazine that carries only 10 bullets, right? Now, it carries 15 or 16 bullets, I forget exactly what- but only 10. So now, all the legitimate people have to comply with that. Even if that’s possible to do, they all go down to 10. Every bad guy doesn’t do it (laughing). Every bad guy is now at 15 or 16. So now if you think of it this way- we have these 300 million guns, some of them are in the hands of good guys who follow the law, some are in the hands of bad guys who don’t care about the law- you’ve just increased the firepower and advantage of the bad guys over the good guys, including the police. I don’t know if the police are exempt from these laws- I’m not sure, I hope they are. I’m not sure if the ex-police officers, many of whom are in security jobs, are exempt from these laws. And then, with regard to me personally, being able to defend myself, you’ve just reduced, significantly, my ability to defend myself. You’ve just given the bad guy a great advantage over me that he didn’t have before. Does that violate the Constitutional right to bear arms where it says you cannot infringe? Cannot infringe. I think it might. It think that would be a very, very good argument.

Second, everyone agrees that the definition of “assault weapon” is vague. It’s very hard to define an “assault weapon.” When does something become an “assault weapon?” The first law was notoriously ineffective because it defined “assault weapon” very vaguely. You define it vaguely now, with the new Constitutional decision, then you have an argument that it’s void for vagueness. You can’t write a vague law that restricts a Constitutional right. You have to write a very specific law that is clear. So, I think this if filled with Constitutional issues that didn’t exist the first time they went through this. I don’t see any of these people who are kind of just being very political even talking about this.

You can watch the entire FOX News segment here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


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Proposed Cook County ‘Violence Tax’ To Be Voted On Friday

This proposal smacks of the same social bigotry that produced poll taxes on minority voters in the South. Preckwinkle should know you can’t tax the exercise of a civil right.

-Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the gun rights group Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in a CCRKBA press release from October 31

Chicago media outlets are reporting that Cook County, Illinois, commissioners are likely to vote on Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed “violence tax”- and larger revenue plan for Cook County in 2013- this Friday, November 2.

As I noted yesterday, President Preckwinkle revised the “violence tax” to include only the $25 per gun tax on firearm purchases made in Cook County.

Despite this change, it sounds like gun rights supporters plan on suing the nation’s second most populous county should the scheme be approved.

From a National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action legislative alert yesterday:

As Chicago-area jurisdictions have learned to their financial detriment in the past, the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental, and any revenue raised by this additional burden on citizens exercising that right is likely to be consumed by costly litigation and attorney’s fees as this tax joins the roster of restrictive and unconstitutional gun laws struck down by the courts. Federal and Illinois courts have consistently held that discriminatory taxes on the exercise of fundamental rights are unconstitutional. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a tax on the cost of paper and ink used to produce publications because “[a] power to tax differentially, as opposed to a power to tax generally, gives a government a powerful weapon against the taxpayer selected.” Minneapolis Star and Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Com’r of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983). Likewise, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a surcharge on marriage license fees to fund domestic violence programs because people “forced by the tax imposed to alter their marriage plans” would suffer “a serious intrusion into their freedom of choice in an area in which [the court had] held such freedom to be fundamental.” Boynton v. Kusper, 494 N.E.2d 135 (Ill. 1986).

“Federal and Illinois courts have consistently held that discriminatory taxes on the exercise of fundamental rights are unconstitutional.”

Hopefully, the Cook County Board of Commissioners have been counseled about this, and understand that the remaining responsible citizens in Cook County, Illinois, won’t be too happy seeing their hard-earned money being wasted on legal fees and other costs related to such seemingly unconstitutional activity.

Not to mention 40-plus businesses and their desperately-needed sales tax revenue going to other counties.

Pro-Second Amendment groups are recommending the Cook County Board of Commissioners be contacted about Friday’s likely vote. The commissioners’ contact information can be found on the Cook County website here.


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Quote For The Week

For the time being, in the US our corporate and governmental system backed surprisingly by the Supreme Court has become a plutocracy, designed to prolong, protect and intensify the wealth and influence of those who already have the wealth and influence. What the Occupy movement indicates is that a growing number of people have begun to recognise this in spite of the efficiency of capital’s propaganda machines. Forty years of no pay increase in the US after inflation for the average hour worked should, after all, have that effect. The propaganda is good but not that good.

-Legendary investor and “crash prophet” Jeremy Grantham, in an opinion piece that appeared on the Financial Times (UK) website on February 5, 2012


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The Police Don’t Have To Protect You, Part 2

Last week, I discussed the claim that the police have no legally-enforceable duty to protect any individual from criminals. Two cases examined as part of that discussion were Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) and Riss v. New York (22 N.Y.2d 579, 240 N.E.2d 860, 293 N.Y.S.2d 897), which showed the police has the duty to protect the public as whole- but not the individual. Today, I’d like to wrap things up by talking about a legal article by Jack Ryan, J.D., a Rhode Island attorney with 20 years law enforcement experience as a police officer with the Providence (RI) Police Department. Ryan wrote “LEO’s Duty to Protect Persons from 3rd Party Harm,” which appears on the Legal Liability & Risk Management Institute (LLRMI) website, a division of the Indianapolis-based Public Agency Training Council (PATC). From the piece:

The question that is frequently asked is: Under what circumstances does the state or municipal entities have a constitutional duty to protect citizens from violence at the hands of private actors? The general answer to this question is that there is no constitutional duty to protect free citizens. The only clear case of a duty to protect is when a citizen is in the custody of a state or municipality.

Ryan talked about DeShaney v. Winnebago County, 489 U.S. 189 (1989), which entailed a tragic case of child abuse. In 1980, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, resident Randy DeShaney gained custody of his son, Joshua DeShaney (born 1979), through a Wyoming divorce court. In January 1983, a hospital visit and police report of child abuse prompted the Winnebago County Department of Social Services (DSS) to obtain a court order to keep Joshua in the hospital’s custody. Juvenile court dismissed the case and the boy was returned to the custody of his father. The DSS entered an agreement with the boy’s father, and five times throughout 1983, a DSS social worker visited the DeShaney home and recorded suspicion of child abuse and that the father was not complying with the agreement’s terms. However, no action was taken. In addition, the DSS took no action to remove the boy from his father’s custody after a hospital reported child abuse suspicions to the agency in November 1983. By March 1984, Randy DeShaney beat 4-year-old Joshua so severely that he fell into a life-threatening coma. Emergency brain surgery revealed a series of hemorrhages caused by traumatic injuries to the head inflicted over a long period of time. Joshua did not die, but suffered from brain damage so severe that he is expected to spend the rest of his life confined to an institution for the profoundly retarded.

Joshua DeShaney’s mother filed a lawsuit on his behalf against Winnebago County, the Winnebago County DSS, and DSS employees under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The lawsuit claimed that by failing to intervene and protect him from violence about which they knew or should have known, the agency violated Joshua’s right to liberty without the due process guaranteed to him by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin issued a summary judgment against Joshua and his mother, who appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, the appellate court affirmed the summary judgment, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari on March 21, 1988. The court ruled 6-3 to uphold the appeals court’s grant of summary judgment. Ryan explained:

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the constitution is not a source of any affirmative obligation on the state or its subdivisions to protect its citizens. Since “the Due Process Clause does not require the State to provide its citizens with particular protective services, it follows that the State cannot be held liable under the Clause for injuries that could have been averted had it chosen to provide them.” The Court did note that when “the State takes a person into custody and holds him there against his will, the Constitution imposes on it a corresponding duty to assume some responsibility for his safety and general well-being…The affirmative duty to protect arises not from the State’s knowledge of the individual’s predicament or from its expressions of intent to help him, but from the limitation which it has imposed on his freedom to act on his own behalf.” In Joshua DeShaney’s case the Court noted that the county had done nothing to create Joshua’s predicament or to make him more vulnerable to it. This note by the Court left an opening which some courts have used to find liability based on a violation of due process.

The Deshaney case, decided in 1989, remains the controlling law on the duty of government actors to protect citizens who fall prey to harm by third parties.

What can be taken away from all this? Warren v. District of Columbia and Riss v. New York demonstrate that the police have a duty to protect the public as a whole, but not the individual (unless a special relationship exists). In DeShaney v. Winnebago County, the highest court in the land confirmed there is no constitutional duty to protect the individual citizen (except when that citizen is in the custody of a state or municipality).

None of this should be taken to mean that law enforcement, in its entirety, is somehow “bad” or even useless. Police have an important role to play in American society protecting the general public. And I, for one, remain grateful and supportive of their efforts. However, the question still remains:

If the police have no duty to protect individuals, who does?

That answer should be all too obvious by now.


Ryan, Jack. “LEO’s Duty to Protect Persons from 3rd Party Harm.” Legal Liability & Risk Management Institute. n.d. ( 30 Nov. 2010.


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