The Dixie Republican
Official Newsletter of the Dixie Republican Forum
Living Our Lives
By Mary Burkett, DRF Chairwoman
Liberals seem to use any event as reason to push their constitution-destroying agenda forward (never let a crisis go to waste?). Sequestration? Undermine the military and the secret service. Newtown? Gun control. It never seems to end. Budget deficits? Tax increases. The high cost of health care? Obamacare.
After all that the greatest generation went through to give us the most powerful economy the world has ever seen, how did we get here? It’s a question we all ask. Perhaps the better question is how do we change it and maybe the answer to that is more simple than we think.
Is it possible that the answer lies in how we live our lives each day?
Are we good neighbors? Are we volunteering in our communities on a regular basis? Are we kind to the point that our children and grandchildren want to be like us? Are we informed and offering opinions based on fact and in a way that others WANT to listen? Are we willing to be a bit frugal with ourselves so we can be generous with others? Would those around us recognize, by the way we live, that we are a people of faith?
Is it possible that solutions are within our grasp? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I know I have work to do and growth to accomplish.
Let’s all spend a little time in reflection and find places where we can act and we CAN make a difference and then DO IT!
Those places do exist. We need only to seize the opportunity to do those things, sometimes very little things, to create change.
Our March luncheon on March 19th will feature Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher. Sheriff Pulsipher supported the Utah County Sheriff’s Association in standing up against President Obama’s attempts at gun control. Gathering begins at 11:30 am, with the program beginning at noon. RSVP by email or to Marge at 628-1646.
Calendar of Events
19 DRF Luncheon, 11:30 am, guest speaker: Sheriff Cory Pulsipher
4 DRF Executive Committee meeting, 7 pm
16 DRF Luncheon, 11:30 am, Legislative Recap with our local legislators
27 Washington County GOP Organizing Convention
2 DRF Executive Committee meeting, 7 pm
18 Utah GOP State Organizing Convention in Sandy, UT
21 DRF Luncheon, 11:30 am
If you have ideas for DRF activities for 2013, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renew Your DRF Membership
Dues are $25 for a single membership and $30 for a couple. Dues include membership in the Utah Republican Assembly and the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, plus voting rights in our elections and endorsing conventions. Best of all, our Socials and Christmas Party are for members only!
Dues can be paid at the March luncheon or mailed to our treasurer, Ken Nagel, at 1547 W. Songbird Drive, St. George, UT 84790. Please make checks payable to “DRF” or “Dixie Republican Forum.”
Limits Needed on Government Drone Use
By Larry Meyers, Newsletter Editor
Originally published in The Independent, March 2013
Over the past decade, the US military has vastly expanded its use of remote-controlled aircraft, commonly called drones, in the “war on terror.” These drones, ranging in size from tiny to massive, can be equipped with high-tech cameras, other imaging and listening devices, and guided missiles. Presidents Bush and Obama have used the drones for targeted missile strikes on enemy forces and known-Al-Qaeda terrorists in the Middle East.
One concern that has been raised about these drone strikes is that the missiles sometimes kill innocent civilians who are with or near the enemy targets. It is morally imperative that our military avoid such collateral damage as much as possible.
Opposition to drone strikes reached a fevered pitch last year when it was revealed that the military had used a drone to target and kill a US citizen living in Yemen who was suspected of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Such extremes raise the question: what limits should there be on government use of drones?
The simple answer is that our government, at all levels, must continue to respect our rights, as American citizens, to life and liberty. For starters, the Fifth and Fourteen Amendments to the US Constitution prohibit the government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. This “procedural” due process has been defined by the courts as, at minimum, the right to notice and a hearing prior to the government action. Thus, the government may not kill an American citizen without notice of the alleged crime and without giving the citizen an opportunity to defend himself in court.
The surveillance capabilities of drones also challenge our privacy rights. The Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches, must be applied to prohibit the government from using drones to spy on Americans in private places. The same probable cause and warrant standards that apply to wire taps and search warrants should apply to drone surveillance in the United States.
The military and federal agencies are not the only ones using drones. State and local government agencies have recently purchased and used drones for law enforcement purposes. These local agencies must also be prohibited from violating citizens’ rights through local ordinances that limit the use of police drones and through court enforcement of constitutional protections.
In February, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed a resolution banning the use of drones by the city for two years. St. George and our other Washington County cities should pass similar ordinances to place reasonable limits on the use of drones in our communities. While drones can certainly be an appropriate tool for search and rescue, manhunt, and other similar situations, their use to harm or spy on citizens should be prohibited.