Solyndra Shafts Taxpayers

by Michael McCarty, Oklahoma Tenth Amendment Center One thing for sure about Solyndra…we taxpayers will get the shaft for over half a billion dollars. The Solyndra folks will plead the fifth amendment, as is their right. Any questions asked of government officials will bring a cry of ‘executive privilege’. Seems to me that there are…

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We Have The Technology

by Doug Tjaden, Sound Money Center

NOTE: Doug Tjaden 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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September is the month we change seasons from summer to fall. It is a time when many people (this writer included) reflect on change in general. It is an understatement to say that we are in living in an environment of change that few alive today have witnessed. The combination of trends in play today hasn’t been experienced in this nation, let alone on a global scale, in at least two generations.

Reflection can take a person into some very interesting philosophical waters. Take the subject of technology. Breakthroughs in medical technology are wonderful in many respects. Yet that same technology is used to genetically modify the food we eat. Nano technology is revolutionizing micro-computing. Yet that technology is used to create “smart bullets” which make killing easier and more programmed, thus further disconnecting the act from our moral conscience. Nano technology also has enabled the creation of robotic “insects” capable of filming or eavesdropping on the private conversations of “we the people,” which can subvert the 4th amendment of the Constitution.

Technology has given us gadgets that purport to make business more efficient. While that seems true at first glance, those same gadgets also distract us with an avalanche of information, (disinformation) and entertainment, which undermines the very productivity that the technology was supposed to enhance in the first place!

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Bike funding unconstitutional, but they do it anyway

Peopleforbikes.org, a bicycling advocacy and lobbying organization declared victory last Friday when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) withdrew a proposal to eliminate dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements Program.

Transportation Enhancements serve as a chief source of federal funding for bicycle related projects. According to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, “Transportation Enhancements (TE) projects are federally subsidized, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.  For example, Transportation Enhancements can include safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities, scenic routes, beautification, and other investments that increase recreation opportunity and access.”

Peopleforbikes.org claimed responsibility for influencing Coburn to withdraw his proposal.

“Peopleforbikes.org supporters and our advocacy partners influenced this outcome by sending close to 50,000 emails and making thousands of phone calls to their U.S. Senators in just 48 hours.”

In the meantime, 80,000 commuters per day who normally use the Sherman Minton Bridge continue to seek out alternative routes because officials shut down an actual real-live interstate. And the major bridge will likely remain shut down for months. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) is running around screaming about how this proves we need more federal dollars for infrastructure.

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Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Legislation Status

cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center

Updates

The list below contains the Tenth Amendment related legislation which we are currently tracking in the Pennsylvania legislature. Changes from our last update include:

  • SB3 was dropped from tracking as it claims its authority under the PPACA, not the Tenth Amendment.
  • HB1653 changed committees on June 23, 2011
  • HB42 is the subject of a petition currently circulating among grassroots groups in the state.  Use our contact page to reach us if you would like to receive a copy for yourself or your group to sign and submit.
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One Reason Obama Wants Another State Bailout

I recently discussed why the additional federal subsidies for state and local government that President Obama is proposing as part of his “job plan” are a bad idea. A new study from two Harvard economists suggests that the president’s affinity for these subsidies might have something to do with the fact that the aid would be particularly helpful to states with more left-leaning legislators and strong public sector unions.

The study from Daniel J. Nadler and Sounman Hong (see here) found that states with stronger public sector unions and a higher proportion of left-leaning state legislators face higher borrowing costs:

We find that, all things being equal, states with weaker unions, weaker collective bargaining rights, and fewer left-leaning state legislators pay less in borrowing costs at similar levels of debt and similar levels of unexpected budget deficits than do states with stronger unions and more left-leaning legislators. More practically, these findings suggest that the strength of public sector unions has become among the most important factors in bond market perceptions of a state’s risk of financial collapse.

Why do these states face higher borrowing costs? Nadler and Hong explain:

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Will the TRAIN Act Fix the EPA?

cross-posted from the North Carolina Tenth Amendment Center

There is a bill expected to come before the federal congress this week, called the TRAIN Act. I received an email that described the need to act limit the power of the EPA so:

The TRAIN ACT would:
– Fight back against EPA regulations that would raise energy prices for consumers and destroy jobs
– Reject the EPA’s attempt to shut down coal as one key source of our energy needs
– Ensure that America continues to be able to use its own natural resources for energy, as opposed to relying more on foreign sources of energy
Call NOW and tell your Representative to vote YES on the TRAIN ACT!

This all sounds wonderful and beneficial to America. I have a question: What will happen once we have hacked off these particular thorny branches from the EPA brambles? Obviously, they will just return to snag us again, and will continue to grow in other locations. This bill does not address the root cause of the problem: The EPA is nowhere authorized in the U.S. Constitution. At the TAC, we say: The Constitution: every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

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Delays “Please” the TSA

by Becky Akers, LewRockwell.com So the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “chat-downs” at Boston’s Logan International, in which the agency interrogates every passenger, “caused significant backups at security checkpoints” last Thursday. How “significant”? Four hours. No matter: “…the TSA said they were pleased with how the pilot program [which means this nonsense will spread from Boston to…

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The Establishment is Scared

by Greg Stuessel

Here in the Lone Star State, it has been almost 3 months since the Texas Special Session came to an end. Many Texans, who steadfastly believe in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, fought a long hard battle for states’ rights by trying to get SB 29 (HB 41) passed. As the bill(s) made its way through the Texas House and Senate, it came to be known in the media as the “Anti-TSA Bill” or the “TSA Anti-Groping Bill”. Although many worked very hard to get this bill passed it was ultimately defeated. Despite the bills defeat there are several good things that came from it.

First, the anti-groping bill captured much of the state of Texas’ and indeed the nation’s attention as a “showdown” between the Federal and State Government. It set the stage for conversations to take place of where exactly do the bounds of the states’ powers end and those of the federal government’s begin? These conversations had not been in the public domain for quite a while and it was high time that this issue be re-visited upon the public consciousness.

Secondly, this bill scared the establishment and powerful forces were brought to bear to stop its passage. These forces came not only from outside the borders of Texas but, tragically from the inside as well. The bill’s author, Rep. David Simpson of Texas District 7, was a guest speaker at the We Texans monthly dinner and discussion. Rep. Simpson discussed with the group about the bill’s inception and path through the legislature. He also explained about the concerted effort between all three branches of the Texas Government to kill it. These being:

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Are Drunken Hobos Nullifying America’s Elections?

Even though it dealt with the rather non-controversial issue of congressional pay, the last amendment to the Constitution (#27) took almost 203 years to be ratified. By contrast, our next to last amendment was passed and ratified in less than four months in 1971 but dealt with an issue that is controversial — extending the vote to kids.

But one must appreciate the times in which Amendment 26 came about: It was the Vietnam War era, when 18-year-old kids were getting drafted and thrown into battle. Anyone serving his country like that deserves the vote, whatever his age.

However, in our culture of extended childhood, 18-year-olds are usually still children. Also, 18-year-olds are ignorant; that’s why they’re still in school. Some of them, the goths, haven’t even shed their fascination with vampires. So rather than enfranchising them all, a better solution would have been to extend the vote only to those kids serving in the military, and let the rest wait until they’re 21.

At the other end of the age spectrum are seniors. And, like 18-year-olds, many seniors aren’t too swift either, having a much higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, etc. than the rest of us. But none of that keeps them from voting, which they do in droves. Which is why so much of the federal budget goes to them.

To be eligible to vote, seniors should take a test to prove they’re still competent, just as they do to prove they can still drive safely. Indeed, those past the average age of death shouldn’t even be allowed to vote. Allowing folks who are soon to check out of this world to vote on how this world is going to be run after they’re gone is daffy. It’s akin to having a thoroughly repudiated Congress legislate in a  “lame duck” session.

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The Fascinating Story of How the States Used the Constitution’s Amendment Procedure to Adopt Reform, 1789-1913

Common sense tells us that an out-of-control Congress is not going to rein in its own power. The American Founders predicted this might become the case, so they provided a way by which the state legislatures could propose and ratify corrective constitutional amendments without Congress being able to stop them. This is the “state-application-and-convention” procedure of…

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