• December 22, 2023

    Colorado Series: The Violent Murder of Our Republic, Part 5

    December 22, 2023
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    Speech Controlled Leaves Truth Undiscovered

    When Justice Holmes said, in his 1919 dissenting opinion in Abrams v. United States regarding the Espionage Act, that “the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” the marketplace of ideas consisted mostly of ideas printed on a printing press. Today, in our world dominated by technology, the marketplace of ideas is as vast as the sands on the seashore, and yet, truth is funneled through gatekeepers who allow you access to the seashore. The narrowing of the gate was accelerated during the recent controlled pandemic when people speaking out against the handling of the pandemic and the fraud in the election were shut down on media platforms controlled behind the scenes by the government. 

    When speech is controlled, we lose the ability to discover truth from error.

    Legislative Intent

    When judges are asked to interpret the meaning of laws passed by the legislature, they often look to the proceedings of the legislature to discern the intent of the lawmakers in drafting the statute. However, the restraint used by the majority party in the Colorado House to silence the opposition truncated the legislative record. In this regard, the lack of opposing viewpoints in the legislative process removes the blindfold from lady justice and heavily weights the scales to one viewpoint. 

    Rules 14 & 16

    During the 2023 legislative session, the gagging of the minority representatives was accomplished through the usage of House Rules 14 and 16. Rule 16 was used to stop the opposition from putting on the record the reason for their vote by, in parliamentarian parlance, “calling the question,” and shutting down further discussion. Rule 14 allows the majority to limit debate to a minimum of one hour. It should be noted that during the 2022 legislative session, the debate for HB22-1279 Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) – a bill to make the killing of babies in the womb a fundamental right – lasted for 24 hours. It was said that during that debate, the light of truth was beginning to have an impact on some of the hearts and minds of the majority. 

    It's no wonder that the rules were used to silence the minority on bills dealing with the issues of greatest consequence for the liberty of the people in the state of Colorado. 

    Rule 14 was used 18 times on the following contentious bills:

    Abortion

    SB23-188 Protections for Accessing Reproductive Health Care 

    SB23-189 Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care

    SB23-190 Deceptive Trade Practice Pregnancy-related Service

    In the legislative declaration of SB23-188, the sponsors state, “As a state, we will continue to ensure that every individual has the fundamental right to reproductive and gender-affirming health care and that all healthcare providers have the protection needed to offer essential care without fear for their safety or fear of losing their license or insurance.” Notice how in this bill, gender-affirming care is being declared as a fundamental right alongside abortion. A fundamental right is akin to a God-given unalienable right – the very rights our founders fought to secure. According to the majority in the Colorado legislature, the murder of a baby in the womb, and the mutilation and sterilization of children should have the same protections under the law as our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    SB23-189 forces health insurance carriers to provide or expand a myriad of benefits including HIV and sexually transmitted infection treatment, minor contraception, and family planning services. While the CO Constitution prohibits the government from paying for an abortion, this bill requires large employers to provide coverage for the full cost of an abortion. (Watch out! An attempt to place an initiative on Colorado’s 2024 ballot, if passed, will make abortion a Constitutional right and allow the public funding of the procedure.)

    If that is not enough, they decided to go after Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) who help women dealing with crisis pregnancies (SB23-190). The left contends that CPCs are deceptive and harmful to women. Their claims rest in their misconceptions, yet they were able to pass a law that not only puts CPCs in the Attorney General’s crosshairs but outlaws the medication (progesterone – a commonly used hormone by women) used to counteract the abortion pill.

    A lawsuit was brought by a CPC in Denver, Bella Health and Wellness, to stop the ban on the usage of this reversal treatment. A district court in Colorado has put the enforcement of that part of the law on hold. The state can appeal the judge’s decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

    Centrally Controlled Land Use

    SB23-213 Land Use 

    The governor was looking to put more power in the hands of the executive and force communities to build more multi-family units. Meanwhile, there was a fight between the Senate and House over which version of the bill to pass, but, in the end, the Senate let the bill die on the calendar. Governor Polis is not done yet – a form of this bill will be back in the upcoming session.

    Climate Change

    HB23-1272 Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization

    HB23-1294 Pollution Protection Measures

    SB23-016 Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures

    SB23-198 Clean Energy Plans 

    SB23-274 Water Quality Control Fee-setting By Rule

    The governor continues his march toward the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Never mind that the policy is based on faulty scientific theories and the assured destruction of the middle class. Just this December, he linked housing affordability to climate change in his recent Roadmap to Colorado’s Future. In the upcoming session, there will be more bills to rein in the usage of gas and water all in the name of mitigating the mythological human-caused climate change.

    HB23-1272 incentivizes “clean energy” by funding a bunch of tax credits which end up lowering the TABOR refund for all Coloradans. Another bait and switch for the governor’s agenda.

    Gun Control

    SB23-168 Gun Violence Victims Access to Judicial System

    SB23-169 Increasing Minimum Age to Purchase Firearms

    SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Order Petitions

    SB23-279 Unserialized Firearms and Firearm Components

    Oh, the many ways lawmakers who hate the Second Amendment can go after a person’s guns! Make the producers of every gun part liable for the evil done using their product by allowing people to sue them. Make the young adults - capable of joining the military, voting, consenting to the killing of a baby in the womb, getting married, and so much more – wait until they are 21 years old to purchase a gun for self-protection. Add licensed medical care and mental health providers, educators, and district attorneys to the list of those who can accuse someone of being dangerous enough to have their guns removed without due process. And don’t forget, they need a way to register and track these guns, so let’s make sure every firearm, frame, and receiver is serialized. Never mind that criminals who use guns don’t care about the law.

    In addition to these bills, a bill (HB23-1219) to require a minimum three-day waiting period to receive a newly purchased firearm was passed. An assault weapons ban bill (HB23-1230) was stopped in the House Judiciary Committee on a vote of 6 to 7 with three democrats – Representatives Marshall, Sharbini, and Synder voting against the bill. Of note is the fact that Speaker McCluskie has removed Marshall and Sharbini from the House Judiciary Committee, sending a signal to all gun owners that an assault weapons ban will pass in the upcoming session. And it may just be worse than the bill stopped last session.

    Justice

    HB23-1249 Reduce Justice-involvement for Young Children

    SB23-105 Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work

    The push over the last five years has been to get law-breaking children into other government-funded programs attempting to keep them out of the justice system. Unfortunately, the government cannot provide what they really need which is a stable family. Instead, their policies do just the opposite. 

    Putting more pressure on the already stressed job market is just what small business owners need in the wake of the plandemic. Ensuring equal pay for equal work sounds good, but is a logistical nightmare when the government gets involved.

    Property Taxes/TABOR

    HB23-1311 Identical Temporary TABOR Refund

    SB23-303 Reduce Property Taxes and Voter-approved Revenue Change (Prop HH)

    Remember Prop HH from the 2023 Colorado Ballot? These are the package of bills that would have implemented Prop HH. But, alas, the majority party ignored the people’s rejection of Prop HH during the last election and, through the special session, put into law most of the elements of Prop HH anyway. (See Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 for more on Prop HH!)

    Protected Classes

    SB23-296 Prevent Harassment and Discrimination in Schools

    Plastered over all the walls in the public school will be signs telling students how to get out of homework and test deadlines, and get additional days off for emotional recovery just by claiming to be ‘harassed’ by a fellow student or school staff because due to their perceived membership in a protected class. The list of special classes of people with special rights, in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, has been abridged in Colorado in recent years to include sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and protective hairstyles commonly associated with race. Harassment itself has now been redefined to be ‘unwelcome’ verbal or physical conduct. Employers and employees beware, the new definition applies to the workplace as well (SB23-172).

    Rule 16 was used 8 times -  multiple times on several bills (HB23-1249 Reduce Justice-involvement for Young Children; SB23-093 Increase Consumer Protections Medical Transactions; SB23-184 Protections for Residential Tenants; and SB23-303 Reduce Property Taxes and Voter-approved Revenue Change) and twice during amendments to the ‘Committee of the Whole (COW)’ report.

    “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” Harry S Truman

    Given the suppression of the minority’s voice during the last regular session and the special session in November, does anyone really think we won’t see more repressive measures, as Truman surmises, in the upcoming legislative session? It’s time for the people to GET LOUD and not let them silence the voices of sane Americans who love God, their families, and the ideal of the American way.

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