Tenther Radio Launch 06-22-11: Guest, Tom Woods

Please join us for the launch of TRX: Tenther Radio on June 22, 2011 right here – listen live by clicking the play button at that time on the right. Join the conversation with your comments and questions by calling (323) 843-6008.

We’re honored to have as the show’s first guest, Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (http://www.tomwoods.com) Tom is the New York Times bestselling author of too many books to quickly count. But, most notably, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, Rollback, and Meltdown. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

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Tennessee Outlaws Jerks

The State of Tennessee has actually done the impossible – jerks have been outlawed in Tennessee.  Not only are jerks outlawed, but now you can actually do hard time as a felon for being a jerk.  How has Tennessee accomplished such a mighty feat, you ask?  By outlawing and criminalizing freedom of speech and expression in the electronic world.

The new law (HB0300), which goes into effect on July 1, states that anyone who,

“Communicates with another person or transmits or displays an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim by any method described in subdivision (a)(1), without legitimate purpose.”

The law covers any form of electronic communication, including internet, telephone, text messaging, and faxes.  The data transmitted could be anything from sound, video, pictures, or images.

Any communication in Tennessee could be construed as criminal if it is communicated:

“In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.”

Thus, you are a criminal jerk if you communicate with someone in a way that offends or emotionally distresses them.  Even more shocking is that only four legislators in the entire legislature voted against this draconian measure:  Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Scotty Campbell, Rep. Joey Hensley, and Rep. Mark Pody.  Has the Tennessee General Assembly lost its mind?

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Been There; Done That

Speaking of nullification, it was interesting to read a few items of Pre-Revolutionary writings.   They are:

1.         The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions of 1765; and

2.         The Declaratory Act of 1766.

Responding to the Stamp Act, Virginia’s House of Burgesses, at the motion of a bold, radical, new member named Patrick Henry, passed a series of five resolutions, which were adopted to protest Britain’s levy of taxes directly on the Colonists.  The fifth resolution was repealed the following day, when more conservative members of the House were present to argue against it.

The Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions stated as follows:

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Exporting Torture Continues

According to Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia, “the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) runs a global abduction and internment operation of suspected terrorists, known as ‘extraordinary rendition,’ which since 2001 has captured an estimated 3,000 people and transported them around the world persons have undergone torture by the receiving states….” (“Extraordinary Rendition by the United States,” Wikipedia). George W. Bush has been credited for having descended to the lowest shades of humanity for this practice. Can you imagine the Founding Fathers consenting to such hedonistic levels?

In 2004 the Justice Department outlined, in a 20-page once top-secret memo, the process of “rendition” after the detainee is kidnapped. “The process starts with ‘capture shock.’ The detainee is … shackled, and deprived of sight and sound through the use of blindfolds, earmuffs and hoods” during flight and is also “stripped naked and shaved” and “a series of pictures are taken of him while nude.” Once in a “black prison” the detainee is subjected to “nudity, sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation” considered standard preparatory steps if operated by the CIA (New CIA Docs Detail Brutal “Extraordinary Rendition” Process, by Scott Horton, Special to the Huffington Post, 8 Aug 09. Accessed Jan 2, 2010).

Black sites are secret prisons in other countries ran by the CIA purposely outside the legal jurisdiction of the United States for the intent of allowing the U.S. Government to do as it wishes with those accused of terrorism without benefit of any defense or contrary evidence. It also allows for the government’s plausible denial. After years of such, and much leakage regarding the black projects, the European Union (EU) adopted a report on February 14, 2007 stating that “the CIA operated 1,245 flights and that it was not possible to contradict evidence or suggestions that secret detention centres were operated in Poland and Romania” (“EU Endorses Damning Report on CIA,” BBC, February 14, 2007). President George W. Bush also finally admitted the existence of CIA operated secret prisons in a speech made Sept. 6, 2006 covered by BBC News (Bush Admits to CIA Secret Prisons, BBC News 2006-09-07. See speech, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5321606.stm).

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The Basis for Judicial Review

The tenth amendment does not conflict with the supremacy clause but simply duplicates it. It says that states and the people have all the powers that are not prohibited by the constitution itself which sets up the constitution as the supreme law of the land. Any law passed by the federal government is invalid by default since it can’t take away any power from the people or the states since the tenth amendment states that only the constitution can prohibit those particular powers and if the ‘powers not delegated’ didn’t exist every federal law would be unconstitutional.

The tenth allows for one exception to this rule which is powers delegated to the federal government since the constitutional supremacy that the tenth amendment confirms only exist for powers not delegated to the federal government. Any law passed using powers not delegated to the federal government is superseded by the constitution’s supreme authority since the tenth amendment only refers powers not delegated to the federal government.

This also establishes a basis for why laws are unconstitutional since laws made by the powers of the federal government can’t be invalidated by the constitution’s supreme authority because laws made with powers not given to it are second to the constitution’s authority. The tenth amendment then says that those particular things that those laws attempt to prohibit that have been made outside of the property delegated powers of the federal government can only be prohibited by the constitution itself.

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Extinguish Federal Grants to Firefighters

This month, the House passed a $40.6 billion Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal 2012. The Constitutional Authority Statement for the bill cited Congress’s authority to appropriate money and the General Welfare Clause. Citing the General Welfare Clause might be appropriate for activities associated with the common defense of the nation. However, it is not an appropriate justification for something like the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which distributes federal taxpayer money to local fire departments.

Firefighting is a purely local concern and should be funded by those who benefit from a local fire department’s services. Why in the world am I paying federal taxes in Pennsylvania to a bureaucracy in Washington so that it can turn around and send a check (minus a cut for the bureaucracy) back to my local fire department as well as to thousands of other fire departments across the country?

A look through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program’s current list of grant recipientsshows that the small town I currently reside in received almost $750,000 this year. Shouldn’t I be happy? Well, no, because fire departments from Snowflake, AZ, to Dummerston, VT, also received handouts. Okay, but isn’t the federal program helping to make me safer? Well, the website for my local fire department says that it has been “protecting our community for over 150 years.” Hmm, somehow it managed to protect the community for 140 years prior to the AFG program’s creation in 2001.

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Is Your Governor For Sale?

Congress failed 3 times to pass laws (HR 2421, S. 1879 and S. 787) for federal control over almost all water, so the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are declaring jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

Currently,  waters with a ‘significant nexus’ to ‘navigable waters’ are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The EPA is now trying to assert that the CWA “protects” (controls) traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, adjacent wetlands, tributaries, and ‘other waters’ which account for just about all water except swimming pools (see page 5).

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