Thoughts on the ‘Minibus’ Spending Bill

The House is scheduled to vote this evening on a fiscal 2012 “minibus” packaging of three appropriations bills (Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD) agreed to in conference on Monday. It includes a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through December 16th, thus avoiding a government “shutdown.” In sum, I think the bill is largely business…


Maine’s Food Turf War

cross posted from the Maine Tenth amendment Center

As reported yesterday by the Maine Tenth Amendment Center, the State has made good on its April 6th promise to prosecute farmers in towns that have passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance. Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, has not backed down.

“It was not done as a statement. There were people who contacted our inspectors from that area, believe it or not, who were concerned that this might be a potential health problem,” Whitcomb told the Bangor Daily News. To his credit however, according to the same article, he acknowledges this is viewed as a larger “turf war.” No matter how many times Whitcomb stands by the summons against Brown, the fact still remains that this is a “turf war.” If it were not, then the letter would’ve never been sent to the municipalities who have passed or who were actively considering the ordinance.

A food safety risk? The summons lists some issues relating to Brown’s operations, based off of government tests of the product. The fact still remains however, that there are no cases of illnesses linked to the products, we just have the government’s word. And for those of you keeping score, the bigger corporations have developed an immunity to intervention from our great defenders in government. While many people get sick from E. Coli and Salmonella every year from disgusting factory conditions or general neglect in operations, the outrage seems to be calmed by a simple recall. And yet, nobody has become sick from Brown’s raw products, and he’s the next big threat.


Feds in on ‘Occupy’ evictions?

Recently, cities including New York, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City and Oakland cleared out their Occupy Wall Street protests from their encampments.  Beforehand, many cities participated in several conference calls with representatives from the Federal Government about ways to break up these protests

The Feds’ role during these discussions hasn’t been fully ascertained.  From their statements, they implied they were just giving advice and that it was a local matter.   These cities were advised by the Feds to seek out legal reasons to justify clearing out these protesters, such as  focusing on ordinances like curfew and zoning.

We don’t know who initiated the conference calls. We also don’t know what agencies participated in these calls or what was discussed.


Obama’s View of the Constitution is a Crock

Some people – including the former law instructor who now serves as President of the United States – believe that it is impossible to reconstruct the Constitution’s original meaning.  As this book demonstrates, that view is substantially incorrect. The Original Constitution fills a void that has existed for a long time—the need for a clear,…


State Sues Blue Hill Farmer, Challenges Food Sovereignty Ordinance

cross-posted from the Maine Tenth Amendment Center

In the last year, five towns in Maine have moved to protect local commerce in a hurting economy by nullifying State and Federal regulations. As previous reported by the Maine Tenth Amendment Center regarding Sedgwick, the first town to do so, “Under the new ordinance, producers and processors are protected from licensure or inspection in sales that are sold for home consumption between them and a patron, at farmer’s market, or at a roadside stand. The ordinance specifically notes the right of the people to food freedom, as well as citing the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Maine Constitution in defending the rights of the people.” National Family Farm Coalition member and local Sedgwick farmer Bob St. Peter noted, “Rural working people have always had to do a little of this and a little of that to make ends meet. But up until the last couple generations, we didn’t need a special license or new facility each time we wanted to sell something to our neighbors. Small farmers and producers have been getting squeezed out in the name of food safety, yet it’s the industrial food that is causing food borne illness, not us.”

The push back has begun, but instead of the Federal Government leading a charge against non-compliance, it is the State Government. Maine Agricultural Commissioner Walter Whitcomb, who was appointed by Republican Governor Paul LePage, has followed through on a threat against local farmers in a struggling economy. In a letter dated April 6th, Whitcomb made it very clear that non-compliance “will be subject to enforcement, including the removal from sale of products from unlicensed sources and/or the imposition of fines.” Dan Brown of Gravelwood Farms is being sued by the State for operating without a license.

Trenton citizen Doug Wollmar, who introduced the Ordinance in his town, noted Article 1, Section 2 of the Maine Constitution and a Statute.

Article 1, Section 2 states: “All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit, [and that] they have therefore an unalienable and indefensible right to institute government and to alter, reform, or totally change the same when their safety and happiness require it.”


Stop State and Federal Charades

I have lived in Montana for over a year and have practiced law here for about the same time. I have handled various medical marijuana cases and have become familiar with the legal and political scenario regarding state and federal laws on medical marijuana.

During this time I have seen a most disturbing sign of our political condition, and it confirms what I have expressed for the past several years concerning state sovereignty verses federal usurpation.

Montana Medical Marijuana Laws

In 2004 the citizens of Montana overwhelmingly passed an initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana. (Please, if you oppose legalizing marijuana, do not let the subject fog a clear understanding of the point of this article–personal views on morality is not the issue.)

Since then, the State legislature has essentially repealed that law and replaced it with another medical marijuana plan. Regardless of which marijuana law, the lawful use of marijuana for medical use remains.

Conflict with Federal Drug Laws

This state law is, of course, in violation of federal laws that outlaw all possession, manufacturing, growing, and use of marijuana. So, how does this conflict play out in the federal union of the United States? And what do the state and federal governments’ actions regarding the same reveal about this union’s condition?

Federal Prosecutions in Montana

Since early 2011, the federal government has initiated raids and prosecutions against Montana citizens for alleged violation of federal drug laws—in spite of Montana’s laws.

Federal agents focused their attacks on those who were doing business openly—using store front, public advertisement, incorporated registration, etc. This is significant given that the Feds claim they investigated these matters for “years”—it is comparable to investigating Wal-Mart for selling products made in China. Makes you wonder how proficient they are in tax-dollar use.


Goodbye 4th Amendment

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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.
-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States


Shall We Dance?

cross-posted from the Texas Tenth Amendment Center

One, two, three
One, two, three,
One, two, three


Barrack, I swear…  You must have two left feet.

Don’t snicker George, if Barrack has two left feet, you surely must have two right ones.

Again…  From the top…

The Constitutional Three Step…

One, two, three
One, two, three
One, two, three


I see with the dunderheads in this class, I will AGAIN have to explain these steps.  Now, Tom and James were such excellent dancers.  Will I ever have students like them again?