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Feds Cannot Require A State To Carry Out Federal Acts : Personal Liberty™
Feds Cannot Require A State To Carry Out Federal Acts : Personal Liberty™.
January 28, 2014 by Michael Boldin
With a number of States now consideringbills to thwart the implementation of Obamacare or legislation to turn off resources like water and power to National Security Agency facilities around the country, a number of political commentators are weighing in.
For example, Gail Kerr over at The Tennessean wrote about State Senator Mae Beavers’ bill to block Obamacare: “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is constitutional. State laws cannot trump federal laws.”
Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog suggested the same before having to retract shortly after.
The knee-jerk reaction of many “experts” is to claim that “Federal laws trump State laws when they conflict” whenever they write about a bill designed to take action against a Federal act.
Many of them don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
The bills in question are not coming into “conflict” with Federal laws at all; they seek to direct State agents and employees to stop participating in the enforcement of various Federal acts.
In Washington State, for example, House Bill 2272 would ban all public employees from participating in any actions that aid the NSA in its mass surveillance programs. While this would immediately ban the use of warrantless data in court proceedings in the States, it has even more significant impact in a State like Washington, because there is a physical NSA facility there that relies on third parties, such as State agencies, to provide electricity or water to stay operational.
A similar bill has been introduced in Tennessee, where the NSA’s encryption-breaking facility at Oak Ridge resides. And another is expected to be introduced soon in Utah, where the new NSA data center requires as much as 1.7 million gallons of water every day to cool the supercomputers. That water is being supplied by the state of Utah.
In a rallying cry that sounds surprisingly simple, supporters know that no water equals no NSA data center.
Back in Tennessee, Senate Bill 1888 states, in part, “No state entity shall establish or administer, or assist in establishing or administering, any specific regulatory scheme to operate the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or any subsequent federal amendment to such act, in this state.”
Similar bills have been introduced in Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma and elsewhere.
Analyzing such state bills, FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano considered them an effective strategy against the Affordable Care Act. “If enough states do this, it will gut Obamacare because the federal government doesn’t have the resources… to go into each of the states if they start refusing,” he said.
In Florida yesterday, a bill was introduced in the State House to ban the entire State from enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of Federal gun control measures — all of them — past, present or future.
Napolitano last year urged States to do just this, suggesting that the Federal government simply does not have the manpower to carry out these measures. Such a bill in a single State, he said, would make “federal gun laws nearly impossible to enforce.”
The Legal Doctrine
Is this legal?
In short, absolutely. The State laws do not come into conflict with Federal laws in any legal sense.
All of these proposals are based on the widely accepted legal principle known as the “anti-commandeering doctrine.”
This means the Federal government cannot require a State to carry out Federal acts. The Federal government can pass a law and try to enforce it, but your State isn’t required to help them.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed anti-commandeering, relevant court cases being:
- 1842 Prigg: The court held that States weren’t required to enforce Federal slavery laws.
- 1992 New York: The court held that Congress couldn’t require States to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
- 1997 Printz: The court held that “the Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.”
- 2012 Sebelius: The court held that the Federal government could not require the States to expand Medicaid, even under the threat of losing Federal funding.
Constitutional scholar Randy Barnett told National Journal recently: “State governments are free to refrain from cooperating with federal authorities if they so choose. In general, states cannot attack federal operations, but that’s not the same as refusing to help.”
These noncompliance bills do not run afoul of the Supremacy Clause, even if one were to claim that all Federal laws are supreme, instead of just those made “in pursuance” of the delegated powers in the Constitution.
Claiming they do is like claiming people who are boycotting a business are actually setting fire to it instead of just choosing not to shop there.
It’s just as absurd. Saying no to participation is far different than a physical standoff, both legally and practically.
Can It Work?
Simply put, the Federal government cannot force State or local governments to do the bidding of the Federal government. Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a Federal government busting at the seams.
Even the National Governors Association admitted the same recently when it sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.”
That means States can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs.”
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this very tactic. Madison supplied the blueprint for resisting Federal power in Federalist No. 46. He outlined several steps that States can take to effectively stop “an unwarrantable measure” or “even a warrantable measure” of the Federal government. Anticipating the anti-commandeering doctrine, Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a method of resistance.
This same process was used effectively by Northern Abolitionists in resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. And in Colorado, the whole world is able to see firsthand just how effective the States can be when they refuse to go along with Federal “laws.”
We should follow their courageous path against every other unConstitutional Federal act as well.
Moving forward, burning up the phone lines to your State House and asking legislators to introduce bills to refuse to participate in Federal acts like Obamacare, the NSA or gun control, can turn the tide toward liberty.
Many, if not most, Federal programs rely heavily on this kind of cooperation. Therefore, enacting anti-commandeering laws on various issues around the country can have the effect of a practical nullification — rendering Federal acts “nearly impossible to enforce.”
It’s Revocation or Revolution | project chesapeake
It’s Revocation or Revolution | project chesapeake.
By: Tom Chatham
The core of all the financial and moral damage done to the U.S. over the past few decades can be traced back to the abuse of federal powers by government officials at all levels. Government has slowly usurped the constitution by adding and interpreting powers it never had. The lack of education by recent generations has allowed this transformation to occur right in plain sight with little or no outcry. The government has enabled this complicity by the population by literally buying it. The sale of freedom and personal rights was never so cheaply bought.
The money changers and printers of false prosperity have stolen the physical wealth of the nation for decades and the end is in sight. The wealth many think they have will soon be revealed for the illusion it is. The savings of a nation have already been looted and now resides in the possession of others. The destruction of financial records and savings accounts will be the conclusion of this grand show of manipulation and outright theft.
The result will be unmitigated chaos and destruction as a nation of soft malcontents loses all of the distractions that keep them quiet and controlled. The masses will suddenly rush into the streets to acquire the things they need and no longer can afford. The final act of treason will be the elimination of the constitution and its protections as government seizes total control under the guise of saving the nation from itself. Most of the people will fall to their knees and hail it as a great event as government assumes the role of caring uncle.
A ruling body, regardless of the type , only has the power allowed to it by the people under its control. Even the threat of force will only carry a tyranny so far. When the people finally say no more, that effectively begins the reduction of the rulers ability to fully control a nation. Control is only possible when the majority comply and the rest can be coerced by the amount of force available to the ruler.
In the case of the U.S. the people must first come to the revelation that they have the power to revoke government power just by saying no. When the populace decides to revoke the legislative power granted to the federal government the federal power will then be limited to the amount of physical force it can project on the population. The current buildup of federal agencies is clearly a sign the federals know this eventuality will soon come to pass and they are preparing for it. If the people speak out in a unified voice before the preparations are complete the federals will have limited options. If the people do not voice their opinions in time there will only be one option left to them to restore the constitutional protections that is their birthright.
Unfortunately, the current disposition of the masses indicate that any collective act against government overreach is unlikely until it is too late leaving the final option to be utilized.
If revolution comes it will be born in the dark of night with a crash of the door as federals attempt to force their way into your home. Those that present the greatest threat to federal authority will be the first on the battlefield as they awake to the sound of a thundering hoard bearing down on them as they attempt to protect their families. These first few martars will be the alarm that activates the prepared masses for a long and bloody revolt.
The federals will likely take down the communications ability of the masses prior to military engagement to prevent the dissemination of information over long distances. Any type of grid failure or EMP type attack should be viewed as just such a signal to act.
The revocation of federal power at the state or county level is the only option to rebuke the federal position of lawlessness in a peaceful way. As a last line of defense, county governments revoking federal authority in their jurisdictions must be able to project sufficient force to back up their actions. A sufficient number of county governments revoking federal power will form the nucleus of a future resistance that will either grow to overwhelm federal control or succumb to federal forces and never rise again. The more territory a resistance element holds, the more federal forces it will take to subdue that area. The only way to remove federal control permanently is to force them to use more forces than they have, depleting their pool of manpower while eventually removing corrupt officials from office.
The tea party has noble goals but the attempt to replace federal officials is a futile gesture at this point. The federal levers of control have already been bought and paid for by those that are truly in control. The best that true patriots can do is to take back the nation one county at a time by installing a constitutional sheriff and county officials in local elections. Once enough counties are controlled the state level can be pursued. The majority of the population that sold itself into serfdom will resist any changes until they suffer sufficient pain and deprivation to make them want a change. This is the battle patriots are now fighting with various levels of success.
There is always a peaceful way to resolve most situations but that window is rapidly closing. Bismark may have been right. The great questions of the day will be answered not with speeches or majority votes, but by blood and iron.
Elected Despotism | Judicial Watch
Elected Despotism | Judicial Watch.
On Tuesday night, January 28, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. After experiencing the shenanigans over the last five years, nothing said in the speech surprised me. I saw the same defiance and arrogance – the same disregard for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution – that have characterized the Obama years from day one.
But when I read through the media’s post-game analysis, I could not help but think: What speech were they watching!?
Consider The Hill newspaper, which commended the president for his “genial tone” and for “praising” some of his “long-time foes.” The speech was “less partisan and pointed than many expected,” The Hill reported.
Yes, Obama tossed out a few bones to the Republican leadership. But does this indicate a policy shift toward reason and respect for the rule of law? No, it does not.
And does it really matter if the president uses his polite words when he describes how he is going to continue to completely undermine the U.S. Constitution? Not to most Americans.
As The Hill described: “Obama promised to unleash a torrent of new executive actions.” In the president’s own words [Emphasis added]:
“What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I’m eager to work with all of you.”
“But America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want: for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.”
All this follows President Obama’s thinly veiled threat issued earlier this month prior to a cabinet meeting: “I have a pen and I have a phone,” the president said, noting that he would not wait for Congress to act.
(By the way, that “year of action” sounds like a Marxist revolutionary dog whistle to me.)
Perhaps the best spin on the president’s imperialistic speech came from Politico: “Obama didn’t entirely ignore Congress.” [Emphasis added.]
Oh, well that’s a comfort.
Folks, do you see the emptiness in President Obama’s expressed willingness to “work with Congress?” What kind of negotiation can there be when the president has stated that he will act unilaterally if he doesn’t get his way?
And “genial tone” notwithstanding, we don’t have to pay much attention to what Barack Obama says anymore, except to ascertain threats to the Constitution and the rule of law. After an endless stream of broken promises, he has no credibility left. We simply must look at what Barack Obama has done.
Let’s take just one example: Congress, with the full support of the American people, rebuffed the president’s illegal alien amnesty legislative initiatives. After attempts to “work with Congress” failed, Obama implemented amnesty via executive fiat. Sure, he dressed it up in bureaucratic-speak, “selective deportation,” “deferred action,” etc., but at the end of the day, illegal aliens were allowed to stay in the country despite living here in defiance of the law, some of them dangerous criminals.
Then stealth amnesty became official Obama policy. And now it might just become the law of the land, if press reports about the Republican Party’s plans to cave on the issue are to be believed.
Here’s another example: On January 16 alone, President Obama signed 23 executive orders designed, as Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), stated to “poke holes in the Second Amendment.” Reuter’s called it the “biggest gun control push in generations.” And Congress had no say in the matter.
This is the “Chicago Way.” And we are about to see it run rampant in Washington over the next three years on every issue under the sun. That’s the message I get from the president’s speech and the president’s “executive actions.”
When it comes to encapsulating the danger Barack Obama and the Chicago Way represents to our country and our way of life, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) put it best in an opinion column he penned for The Wall Street Journal: “Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.” (This is a worthwhile read, so take a look if you have the time.)
Let me close with this. The president has called for a “year of action.” So let’s give him what he’s asking for. Let’s not simply complain about the corruption and lawlessness. Let’s take every single action we can to confront the Obama threat to our Constitution. You see, this is what I love so much about the work we do at Judicial Watch. We refuse to serve as spectators to the country’s demise under this president, or any president. We take action. We file lawsuits. We investigate. We publicize the results of our work. In a word, we are relentless.
Will you join us in our pursuit of justice against Obama corruption? Please click here if that’s a yes!
Judicial Watch Challenges Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Freedom with High Court Brief
The monstrosity that is Obamacare is offensive for too many reasons to count. I’ve detailed many of them in this space. From the mandate to purchase insurance, to the taxpayer dollars used to fund Obamacare propaganda, to the numerous times the president has rewritten his own law in furtherance of his political interests – and in defiance, I might add, of the limits to his power as articulated in the U.S. Constitution.
But among all of these offenses, one that many Americans find most objectionable is the provision of the law that requires employers to provide contraceptive and abortifacient services for women – a provision that is now under consideration by the nation’s High Court. Judicial Watch jumped into the legal fray this week by filing a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled just days ago that a group of Colorado nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, could have a temporary reprieve from the contraception mandate while they fight the law in court. But what if you are a for-profit company that also objects to contraception due to religious beliefs? No such luck. This administration thinks business owners aren’t protected by the First Amendment.
And that’s what happened to Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain with 588 stores nationwide as well as an online presence. The beliefs of this company are clear: life begins at conception. And yet, under Obamacare, this company would be forced to provide contraception and abortifacients in violation of these religious beliefs.
This flagrant violation of religious freedom is the reason the company is fighting the law in court, reaching all the way to the Supreme Court. (Fox News reports that there are at least 40 other lawsuits from other companies challenging the law.)
And it’s the reason why we are right there with them.
As JW makes clear in its Supreme Court brief, the Obama administration is in clear violation of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which, in accordance with the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion, prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening religious exercise without compelling justification.
Terming the Department of Health & Human Service’s (HHS) mandate an “unprecedented grab for power,” the Judicial Watch’s amicusbrief argues:
The challenged regulation … is not simply the consequence of poor political choices; it is the product of a dangerous entanglement of Congress and an Executive agency that ultimately tramples on religious liberties.
In an unprecedented grab for power, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has not only unilaterally authored, enacted, and changed the contraceptive mandate, but it now seeks to redefine a separate act of Congress – the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – to preserve its power grab. This simply cannot stand.
We also argue that the owners of Hobby Lobby and other businesses should not have to choose between “fidelity to [their] faith or the imposition of unimaginable fines.” The brief also reminds the Court of James Madison’s words in the Federalist Papers: “an elective despotism was not the government we fought for.”
JW hopes the Supreme Court upholds the lower court ruling in this case. In June 2013, Hobby Lobby won a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, resulting in the Obama administration petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case. The Supreme Court agreed to review the Hobby Lobby case in November, and is expected to begin hearing oral arguments in March with a ruling by late June.
Here’s a statement I offered to the press in connection with the filing of our brief:
What is at stake in this case is the First Amendment right to religious freedom. It is a pivotal battle in the Obama administration’s War on Religion. This Obama assault, through Obamacare, on the Christian Church is without modern precedent. To force Americans to violate their consciences or lose their livelihoods must be met with strenuous resistance by the Supreme Court. James Madison’s warning against “elective despotism” could not be more apt in describing the crisis caused by this Obama administration anti-Christian policy.
Now as this case works towards ultimate resolution in June, members of Congress are also weighing in with dueling briefs. This week 19 Democratic Senators filed a brief “arguing that ‘secular’ businesses should not be exempt from the mandate,” reports Fox News. (We’ve already countered that argument.)
Some Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have a different view: “The ability to practice the faith we choose is one of our great constitutional rights. The Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate stomps on that right,” Sen. David Vitter said in a statement as he joined Ted Cruz, R-Texas; John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Mike Lee, R-Utah in filing a brief of their own.
Folks, this threat to our God-given liberties is happening because lawless leftists in the Obama administration have seized control of our healthcare, leaving personal health decisions in the hands of Washington politicians and bureaucratic committees.
The Supreme Court should rule by June.
Judicial Watch Fights Cover-Up of “Air Obama” Taxpayer-Funded Vacations
I close this week with more news from Judicial Watch’s investigation of “Air Obama.”
Many Americans have been forced to put their own vacation plans on hold due to a sputtering economy. A recent Harris poll indicated that 34% of Americans have held back on travel because they are worried about the bleak economic outlook.
But the sacrifices of the American people notwithstanding, the First Family seems to have no trouble asking taxpayers to foot the bill for their lavish vacations. I’ve documented some of these trips in previous Weekly Updates, most recently just last week, when I reported that a JW investigation showed that Obama/Biden President’s Day vacations cost taxpayers $295,437.
This week, I report to you that JW has amped up its investigations of “Air Obama,” filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Defense to obtain records detailing the amount of government funds spent on seven separate lavish trips taken by Barack Obama and the Obama family throughout 2013.
The Secret Service Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, pursuant to a series of FOIA requests from June to August 2013, seeksinformation from the Secret Service about “the use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and other services” to:
- “First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, and any companions on a June 2013 trip to Ireland.”
- “President Barack Obama and any companions on a June – July 2013 trip to Africa.”
- “First Lady Michelle Obama and any companions on a Summer 2012 trip to London, England for the Olympics.”
- “President Barack Obama and any companions on a December 2012 trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.”
- “President Barack Obama and any companions on an August 2013 trip to California.”
- “President Barack Obama and any companions on an August 2013 trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.”
The Secret Service failed to substantively respond to these FOIA requests, and has effectively shut down Judicial Watch’s inquiries about First Family travel.
On January 13, Judicial Watch filed a separate FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense seeking further “records concerningFirst Lady Michelle Obama’s June 2013 trip to Ireland.”
Let’s take these trips one by one to cover what we know so far according to press reports.
- With the Ireland trip, after a brief stop in Belfast, where the President was taking part in a G-8 summit, the First Lady departed on her own, apparently aboard Air Force Two, for her side trip to Dublin. According to WashingtonDossier.com, though the White House claimed the trip was for diplomatic purposes the itinerary showed, “She and her daughters will visit the Trinity College library to explore President Obama’s Irish family roots, attend a performance by the world-famous Riverdance troupe, and visit the Wicklow Mountains national forest.”
- In a June, 2013, article, on Michelle Obama’s trip to Ireland, the Washington Times reported, “The cost of the two-day trip in Ireland and Northern Ireland has been estimated at around $5 million. U.S. taxpayers pay the cost of the first family’s travel.” The Times reported that the First Lady stayed at a $3,300-per-night hotel suite in Dublin and enjoyed a “typical Irish lunch” with U2 frontman Bono.”
- In June, 2013 Fox News reported that the President Obama’s July trip to Africa “with the first family tagging along,” was projected to cost taxpayers an estimated $100 million. According to a confidential planning document obtained by the Washington Post, “Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.”
- According to Examiner.com , on First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2012 trip to the London Olympics, she “was seen taking shopping sprees through London and sporting a $6,800 jacket to a reception, on a trip paid with taxpayer funds.” In January, 2012, Judicial Watch obtained records from the Department of Defense revealing that the Obama’s 2009 trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, in a failed effort to secure the 2016 Olympics for the city of Chicago, cost in excess of $467,175.
- Barack Obama’s vacations to Honolulu, Hawaii, have been estimated by the Hawaii Reporterto cost the taxpayers an annual average of $4 million. But, according to WashingtonDossier.com, the 2012 Hawaii vacation may have cost even more: “This year, Obama returned from Hawaii to complete a deal on the Fiscal Cliff and then jetted back to Honolulu, where he is now engaged in Part 2 of his vacation. The second roundtrip flight added about $3.24 million to the tab this time, bringing the cost of the 2012-1013 vacation to well over $7 million.” The White House has failed to provide exact figures.
- While the total cost of Barack Obama’s August, 2013 trip to California, where he appeared on The Tonight Show, is still being withheld, the Washington Timesreported, “At $180,000 per flight hour to operate the presidential aircraft, the trip cost taxpayers more than $1.8 million just for the flying time to California and back. That doesn’t include two 50-minute flights in California on Marine One, the presidential helicopter; or the cost of lodging dozens of White House staffers and Secret Service agents overnight, or the cost of 20-vehicle motorcades at the various stops.”
- In August, 2013, the Obama family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where, according to U.S. News & World Report, “At a time when many more cash-strapped Americans are stuck at home instead of vacationing at the beach, President Obama next week will lead an entourage of several dozens to exclusive Martha’s Vineyard island at a cost of millions to taxpayers.”
No wonder these records have been so difficult to come by! These trips are an utter embarrassment for certain, but this is no reason to withhold information from the American people. Quite the contrary. The more shameful the behavior the greater the need for transparency. But that’s not what we’re seeing out of this administration.
The Obama administration is in cover-up mode on the costs of the Obamas’ travel. The Secret Service has, in contemptuous violation of law, simply stopped answering our FOIA inquiries. It seems that our “king” does not want taxpayers to know how much he’s spending on his unnecessary travel.
It’s been this way from the very beginning. JW began investigating these Obama trips dating back to the newly minted First Couple’s “date night” in New York. We’ve had to scratch and claw to get the records. And thanks to the diligence of our investigation and legal teams, we’ve been more successful than anyone else exposing these trip costs.
Click here to see for yourself all that we’ve uncovered.
But now the Obama administration, evidently tired of being called out on the Obamas’ excesses, is trying to shut down our inquiries by violating the Freedom of Information Act.
Now the Obama gang is going to have to answer to the courts.
Until next week…
We the People… » Golem XIV – Thoughts
We the People… » Golem XIV – Thoughts.
The fact that the phrase sounds antique should warn us of the scale of our folly. We have lost, given away, pawned the power we once claimed. We have ceased to be who we once were. Or at least who we claimed and hoped to be – The People. Now who are we? The Consumer? The Unemployed. The Unwanted? ”We, the Unwanted” does not have the same ring about it does it? And yet that is what we are fast becoming. It is time to chose. Sit in front of your television or computer screen and let it sooth you, until one day you too find you have have become one of the unheard, unlamented, Unwanted. Or reach out to others and grasp hold.
It is surely time that we re-assert what the phrase “We, The People” once meant. It is symbolic I know. But symbols are powerful. And the powerful fear them.
For too long now we have been supine, docile and cowed. There have been sputterings of resolve when a million people took to the streets to oppose the War in Iraq. But the rulers of the day ignored us and ‘the people’ simply went home vaguely disquieted, perhaps a little hurt at being ignored but mainly just confused as to what to do next – if anything.
For decades now we have let others have the initiative, let others define what was acceptable and legitimate. When it was never their position to do so. This must stop.
Once, a certain people declared, “No taxation without representation.” It was and still is a simple idea. You may not tax me unless you represent my interests. Only those with my interests in mind may ask me for taxes. Today that definitiion of democracy has withered and been quietly replaced by another similar sounding but actually radically different version – I would say perversion – of democracy. Today we are taxed by people who represent every interest but ours. They are still representatives but not of our interests. Democracy has now become a kind of opera – more and more lavish in direct proportion to its separation from ordinary people and their lives. Every four or five years we get to chose between two teams who represent some interest which is not ours. They may represent the interests of bankers, or global corporations, or militarists and the industrial complex which gets rich from their adventures, or some other grouping within the machinery of the State, or the intersts of a powerful global 1% – whatever interest they serve it is never yours and mine. For those who will clamour and say the Democrats or Labour or La Gauche represent the interests of the labour unions, WAKE UP! It’s been decades since that was even partially true. Labour under Blair and Brown was Thatcherism by another name and ignored a million people who said very clearly and en masse, that the Bush/Blair war was unjust, illegal and unwanted. The Democrats under Obama followed the same financial and economic ideology as Bush, even chosing the same people to run things, and was as warlike and arrogant as well. Change? Tell it to a moron. He might believe you.
Democracy is broken. No one represents us. We are allowed only to chose between different teams of The Entitled who, once chosen, ignore us completely. The whole idea of a mandate has mutated. Once that idea meant that a government could do what it had said it would do when it was trying to win our votes. Beyond those things, it had to consider ‘The People’. Today all parties consider that being elected means to be handed absolute power to do whatever they feel like doing, whatever they can ram through the tattered remains of accountability and oversight.
Elected dictatorship in installments is what we have today. And when each installment, no matter the different names and colours of the teams, is almost indistinguishable from the last, what is representative democracy if not a street parade of oversized cartoon characters and their pantomimed arguments. Are we not amused?
If we do not speak up soon we will find when we finally do, nothing is heard but grunting and bleating. We are, to borrow a phrase from the brilliant Roberto Callaso, already walking through a vast slaughter house. And those who run it have no good intent.
It is past time when we must revivify what We the People means. We must stop reacting like frightened animals and take the initiative.We cannot allow those who presume to rule over us to continue to tell us what ‘must’ be done and to over-rule all debate by insisting ‘there is no alternative.’ We must state what We the People will accept and what we won’t, what we regard as legitimate and what is not. It is for us to decide these things not them. It may seem like just words and on one level of course it is. But it was only words when it was said the first time. What those words did the first time and can do again, is to stop our rulers’ proclamations always being against a blank and passive background. Simply by declaring what We will and won’t tolerate or accept we force their proclamations to appear as what they are – aggressive, partisan and debateable.
You might say that it will still be just words and that blood would still have to be spilt upon the ground before their point had force. Which may be true. But still, simply by re-stating that there IS a “We the People” we take a stand, and are heard.
So here is my suggestion, for what it might be worth – What matters is that we state what WE will and won’t accept, what WE do and do not recognize as legitimate. What matters is how many of us sign. It does not matter that we may not all agree or that we may have differing lists. What matters is that they are not so different, that we can all stand together, and all take back what is ours – the power to DECIDE for ourselves what powers we lend and what powers we do NOT.
We the People:
Will not accept taxation for the purpose of paying off, even temporarily, private banking or other financial debts.
We will not accept the rulings of international arbitration panels on which our interests are not represented and which are convened on the basis of Bilateral Investment Treaties about which we were not consulted.
We will do not recognize the right of bond holders of ANY standing to be given seniority over the tax payers and people of a nation. We will NOT bail them out.
We reserve the sovereign right to decide in the event of another finacial crisis, who does not get paid, whose wealth is anulled. It is not for the unelected market and its experts to tell us.
We, the people do not accept the right or authority of private or unnaccountable State organizations to collect, hold or use private data gathered by any means that the law and courts have not specifically and publically granted.
We do not accept the legitimacy of any private law enforcement body.
We do not accept that there is any justification for secret or unaccountable bodies to hold any power over us. We simply do not recognize they have any legitimacy.
We will not tolerate military actions taken in secret without any parliamenary and public accountabilbity and permission.
We reserve the absolute right to hold to public and legal account any leader who takes actions which disregard the above. No elected official is above the law and no leader has the power to aquit those the courts have proceeded against.
No organization is above or outside the law.
We the People do not accept that any organization is too big to prosecute or too big to fail. Any organization that becomes so or remains so depsite this clear instruction, and then fails, forfeits its entire worth to the public purse at a post bankruptcy price.
I offer this as a start only. Others will no doubt be better informed and able to formulate a far clearer, better and sharper declaration.
If they do, I would like to sign it and offer it to as many others as technology will permit me to reach, for them to consider signing. The internet gives us this chance, to put up a document that any number of ordinary people can chose to sign. People might wish to have a seperate version for each Nation. Or, in a global world, perhaps we need to remain together as the global 99%. What matters is that enough of us sign so we can really say with a single voice – WE THE PEOPLE serve you notice that we are back!
Is Barack Obama A Noble King Or A Traitorous Pawn? : Personal Liberty™
Is Barack Obama A Noble King Or A Traitorous Pawn? : Personal Liberty™.
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out til too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along.” – Terry Pratchett
There has not been a more enigmatic U.S. President than Barack Obama since Abraham Lincoln. We know so little about Obama. It is certainly true that he has divided the Nation further than any President since Lincoln. But the questions I cannot shake as we enter into our sixth year of his Presidency are: What are his ultimate goals, and how in the world did this African-American junior Senator and former community leader become the most powerful man in the free world?
It is easy to jump to the conclusion that Obama could be a Muslim and a Marxist bent on remaking America into a socialist state much like so many European countries. That Obama has driven an even wider divide between America, between left and right, is beyond debate. That Obama has added nearly $7 trillion to America’s Federal debt is a black-and-white fact.
That is a far cry from 2008 when candidate Obama promised to be a breakaway leader for the American people. Instead, President Obama has proven himself to be a President for Wall Street interests, billionaire bankers and the military-industrial establishment. That during his Presidency, Obama has fulfilled none of the promises to the middle class or to the millions of black Americans who saw him as a ray of hope for a better future is certain. That Obama has helped make the world a more divided and dangerous place for all is undoubtable.
The Tale Of Two Obamas
Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities150 years ago about the French Revolution: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”
So it has been these past several years with Obama the candidate and as the President.
Beginning in the summer of 2008, it seemed that America could be on the verge of anarchy. It seemed possible that there could be an economic collapse as well as a collapse in confidence in the Federal government and many of the Nation’s institutions. That would lead to a collapse in the New World Order, which the United States underpins. Those forces built up over decades needed somebody transformative, somebody to pull the wool over the eyes of the world. From the shadows stepped Obama, anointed by some as the chosen one and appealing to tens of millions of people at home and hundreds of millions of people abroad.
The real question is by whom was Obama chosen? He had no experience as a leader or a thinker and certainly not as a doer. His past was so checkered it called into question not only his birthplace but his college background, economic beliefs and even his religion. Yet within a year he had become an international sensation, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. That erstwhile kid from Hawaii was a pop star 10 times bigger than Justin Bieber and half as smart.
But rather than change, Obama has doubled down on all the corruption and dysfunction that our Federal government has planted over the past three decades. It was Obama the candidate who attacked George W. Bush’s abuse of executive powers, only to spy upon the Nation with impunity as President. It was Obama the candidate who criticized Bush and the Republicans for the bailouts of big investment banks but then as President provided a no-strings-attached policy after his Administration’s $800 billion bailout, which allowed for record bonuses to top Wall Street executives who scant months before he had vilified.
A Probable Pawn For The NWO
The most startling discrepancy between candidate Obama and President Obama is when it comes to foreign policy. As President, Obama has wielded foreign policy with a broadsword against real or perceived enemies in ways that Dick Cheney must watch with green envy. Consider Obama’s air attacks on Libya.
In December 2007, candidate Obama was asked if a President could bomb Iran without Congressional authorization. Obama’s answer: “The President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Yet as commander in chief, Obama did not have a problem breaking such a promise and quickly used massive American airpower and sea power against Libya. In 2011, Obama went so far as to go against his legal advisers, insisting he did not need Congressional approval under the War Powers Resolution to continue attacks against Libya beyond the 60-day limit dictated by the resolution. Obama sounded like Bill Clinton when he said that what he had done was dependent on the definition of “sex.” Obama claimed that U.S. attacks were outside the legal definition of “hostilities.”
Even a military hawk like Speaker of the House John Boehner was outraged, saying, “The White House’s suggestion that there are no ‘hostilities’ taking place in Libya defies rational thought.”
So what is rational when it comes to Obama, both the candidate and the President? The two are very separate men. The first, who offered to change things for the better, no longer exists (if he ever did). The President is the ever faithful company man to the financial and military establishments. Obama has made his mark as the first African-American President. Despite his myriad failures in office and his multitude of lies, I believe his Presidency will be celebrated. Those who determined his election know how to pay off a loyal servant. But thankfully for some, Obama will be remembered as a pawn and not a king. How many feel that way depends on us understanding the truth, fighting for our liberties and protecting the Constitution.
Yours in good times and bad,
Americans Have Lost VIRTUALLY ALL of Our Constitutional Rights | Washington’s Blog
Americans Have Lost VIRTUALLY ALL of Our Constitutional Rights | Washington’s Blog. (source)
Painting by Anthony Freda.
How Many Constitutional Freedoms Have We Lost?
This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right. (This is an updated version of an essay we wrote in February. Unfortunately, a lot of information has come out since then.)
The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:
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.
The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association.
However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.
A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a“chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.
There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).
Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association.
The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.
For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:
- Complaining about the taste of your tap water
- Being young (if you live near a battle zone, you are fair game; and see this)
- Reporting or doing journalism (and here and here)
- Having “strange odors” or “bright colored stains on clothes” (what if you eat mustard or ketchup?)
- Protesting anything (such as participating in the “Occupy” or “Tea Party” movements)
- Questioning war (even though war reduces our national security; and see this)
- Criticizing the government’s targeting of innocent civilians with drones (although killing innocent civilians with drones is one of the main things which increases terrorism. And see this)
- Stocking up on more than 7 days of food (even though all Mormons are taught to stockpile food, and most Hawaiians store up on extra food)
- (Not having a Facebook account may soon be added)
And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:
- Liking the Founding Fathers
- Being a Christian
- Being “anti-nuclear”
- Being “anti-abortion”
- Being “anti-Catholic”
- Being “anti-global”
Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.
And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.
The 2nd Amendment states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.
But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:
Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.
It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.
Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.
More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.
Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.
None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.
The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …
The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
While a recent lawsuit by a Nevada family – covered by (Mother Jones, Fox News and Courthouse News– alleges violation of the Third Amendment, this appears to be an isolated incident and an aberration.
So we’ll count this as an Amendment which is still being honored! Score one for We the People!
The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
But the government is spying on everything we do … without any real benefit or justification.
Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.
And many Constitutional experts – such as Jonathan Turley – think that the police went too far in Boston with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.
Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.
The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detentionand taking away our due process rights.
The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.
As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for privatepurposes.
The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.
Protection against being tried twice for the same crime after being found innocent (“double jeopardy”) seems to be intact. Hey … that’s two Constitutional rights which are still intact!
Image by William Banzai
The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving a trial … and often without ever hearing the charges against them.
More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.
The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. And see this and this.
Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.
Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.
True – when defendants are afforded a jury trial – they are provided with assistance of counsel. However, the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts and the public defenders’ offices nationwide.
Moreover, there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is themain business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, thelargest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.
On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.
And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.
The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
As far as we know, this right is still being respected (that’s three rights still being followed).
However – as noted above – the austerity caused by redistribution of wealth to the super-elite is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.
The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.
The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countries –violates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.
While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.
And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.
The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to a level playing field, and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.
But everyone agrees that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedom, safe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and a level playing field (as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals).
By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.
The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:
(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people
(2) Separation of powers
Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom. We’ve become more afraid of our government than of terrorists, and believe that the government is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed“.
And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people. For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both] competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.
Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.
Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the vast majority are under heavy assault.
Other Constitutional Provisions … and The Declaration of Independence
In addition to the trampling of the Bill of Rights, the government has also trashed the separation of powers enshrined in the main body of the Constitution.
The government is also engaging in activities which the Founding Fathers fought against, such as taxation without representation (here and here), cronyism, deference to central banks, etc.
As thethe preamble to the Declaration of Independence shows, the American government is still carrying out many of the acts the Founding Fathers found most offensive:
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. [Background]
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. [Background here, here and here]
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Background]
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences [Background]
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. [Background]
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. [Background here, here and here]
The real domestic terrorists
- We Could’ve Deported One of the Terrorists, But Apparently We Didn’t Think He Was A Threat (minx.cc)
- BOSTON BOMBER COULD HAVE BEEN DEPORTED After 2009 Arrest (secretsofthefed.com)
- Exclusive: Terrorists for FBI Secret Network Surveils & Entraps Americans (lissakr11humane.com)
- #COMMUNISTS Name Patriots “Domestic Terrorists” & “Hate Groups” – #BostonBomber Is “Person Of Interest” (themadjewess.com)
- Why ending domestic violence is our business (allstate.com)
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev Should Have Been Deported In 2009 (youviewed.com)
- Fashion’s latest trend is helping to curb domestic violence (allstate.com)
Philip Radford: Shell’s Plot to Take Away Your First Amendment Rights
Philip Radford: Shell’s Plot to Take Away Your First Amendment Rights.
- Shell’s Plot to Silence Protests Against Arctic Drilling (ecowatch.com)
- Shell’s Plot to Take Away Your First Amendment Rights (greenpeaceblogs.org)