Tenth Amendment Committees: On the Ground Activism

NOTE: Francisco Rodriguez will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! Jacksonville.  Get tickets here – http://www.nullifynow.com/jacksonville/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

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What is a Tenth Amendment Committee (tac)?
A Tenth Amendment Committee is a groups formed within an organization (Political Party from local to national, Political Action Committee, Activist Groups, Social Justice Groups, etc.) whose exclusive purpose is to Educate and Activate on issues that surround the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution.

What would the Education entail within a 10th Amendment Committee?
Without effectively understanding the role of the federal government and the enumerated powers found in the US Constitution knowing the 10th Amendment gives you very little to work with regarding the role of the states and the people within the federated Republic of these United States.  Classes or events on the US Constitution and the nullification powers of the states and the people are necessary to become an effective Activist in LIMITING FEDERAL POWER to only the powers the Founders intended in the Constitution.  The Florida Tenth Amendment Center in collaboration with the National Tenth Amendment Center will be providing information and educational tools surrounding the US Constitution and the nullification powers of the states and the people for your Tenth Amendment Committee to use and distribute.

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The Constitutional Tender Movement in Georgia

cross-posted from the Sound Money Center

In early 2009, I was teaching a course on American Government at Gainesville State College here in Georgia. As I was going over with my students the powers prohibited of the States in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, we hit upon this one: “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”.

A student in the back of the room raised his hand, and asked, “What does Georgia use for paying its debts – money owed to the State, and by the State?”

“Federal Reserve Notes,” I replied.

“Not gold or silver coins?” he asked.

“No, not gold or silver coins. And no, Federal Reserve Notes are not backed by gold or silver coins, either.”

He raised his hand again. “Which States DO use gold and silver coins for paying State debts?”

“None of them,” I answered. “They all use Federal Reserve Notes, which were declared to be ‘legal tender’ by the U.S. Congress.”

“When did we pass a Constitutional Amendment to change this requirement in Article I, Section 10?” He had a puzzled look on his face.

My answer seemed to puzzle him even more. “We didn’t.”

It was quiet in the classroom at that point. I waited. I didn’t have to wait for long.

“How have the States gotten away with that?”

I didn’t have an answer to that question. And it bothered me. So, I went and did some research on it – and what I found confirmed that student’s concern: the Constitution makes it clear that “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”. This means that no State can make something besides gold or silver a “tender in payment” (which means they cannot make something else an “offer as payment”) for any debts, which would include debts owed by and to the State. However, EVERY State in the United States of America HAS made some other “Thing” an offer as payment – they have by law declared that they will accept, and pay out, Federal Reserve Notes for any debts owed by or to them.

Therefore, every State is in violation of Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

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Will Liberty Survive Technology?

America has a love affair with technology. We “can’t live without it”. So we suppose. “[A] new poll by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government shows that people overwhelmingly think that computers and the Internet have made Americans’ lives better” (Survey Shows Widespread Enthusiasm for High Technology, found at http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/technology/). However, according to this poll, Americans feel there are potential dangers.

But these Americans feel the dangers of technology do not include the lack of government authority or government abuse in using this technology. Just the opposite: they “would like the government to protect them from these dangers” (Ibid). The implication is clear: the people do not feel the government’s use of technology poses any dangers or risks against liberty.

With this kind of perspective, it appears technology and liberty may find themselves at war with each other—sooner rather than later. Ultimately, it will put people at war: those who want more technology to make their lives easier and those who want more liberty to live independently and freely.

The question is, “does technology—and its continual advancement—improve the natural and societal condition of mankind?” Well, perhaps the question cannot be stated so simply to obtain the true answer. Still, the subject is especially relevant because what the commercial world creates today, the government uses tomorrow and in mass. We are facing realities today that previous American generations could not have imagined.

Recall that Thomas Jefferson thought the West would not be developed for 1,000 years. No sooner had he spoken those words, the West was being developed rapidly because of the unforeseeable Industrial age. Of course, my parents’ generation could never have thought that they could transfer mega information from tiny handheld devices through satellite and laser technology. Now here we are today to prove their minds incapable of comprehending how fast technology was to advance. For certain, what future generations will have to deal with only intensifies the debate of technology verses liberty.

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