Obama Proposes New Department of Corporate Welfare

Contrary to what various news outlets are reporting, President Obama is NOT proposing to cut government. The administration is proposing to take four independent federal agencies that specialize in corporate welfare – along with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative – and combine them with corporate welfare programs at the Department of Commerce to…


Federal Serfdom and Food Freedom

“Lawmaker wants to criminalize enforcing federal food law!”

That’s the headline of a recent KSL article (with an exclamation point added in for emphasis) regarding a bill that will be considered in the upcoming 2012 legislative session. Sponsored by Utah Senator Casey Anderson and originally drafted by the Utah Tenth Amendment Center, this bill is simple: it upholds the Constitution.

It does so by clarifying the difference between intrastate and interstate commerce; the latter is a power delegated to the federal government, but states constitutionally retain the authority over intrastate commerce—items which are exchanged only within the state. This bill does for agriculture what was done for guns in 2010.

But rather than leading out with any substantive, principled information, KSL’s article focuses on one provision of the bill which would penalize agents of the state government for enforcing unconstitutional federal regulations on intrastate commerce. They claim that the criminalization would be for federal law, but legislative mandates which violate the Constitution are not in fact laws, and should not be treated as such. Thus, the bill upholds the Constitution by prohibiting agents of the state government from enforcing policies which run afoul of its provisions.

The Utah Democratic Chair eagerly jumped into the fray, commenting that “this is… another example of Republican Legislators who are out of touch with Utah common sense values.” It is unclear to which values Mr. Dabakis is referring, but to the extent that Utahns believe in the Constitution, liberty, and limited government, this bill is in harmony, and not out of touch, with those values.


NDAA Obliterates Large Portions of The Bill of Rights

The Republican Presidential Primaries have obscured the President’s late December signing of the most damaging law to the Bill of Rights in my lifetime.  Known as the National Defense Authorization Act the over 600 page, $662 billion law “would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to Al Qaeda or its affiliates, even those captured on U. S. soil, indefinitely” and without trial, on the say so of the military through the President alone.  Moreover, even Americans could be removed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba against their will and deprived of their constitutional rights.  In my commentary on this law in early December (see “New Bill Damages Bill of Rights and Could Target Americans for Military Detention,” LibertyUnderFire.org), I noted that the law gave no protection from a revolving definition of terrorism to anti-government, perhaps even Tea Partiers or Occupy Wall Street folks.

The threat of potential incarceration without recourse to a lawyer, judge and trial is very serious.  The military performing police duty, heretofore rendered by civil authorities, is unconscionable in a free society.  Our only hope was a promised Presidential veto which did not happen.  Therefore, what follows are details on how the new law emasculates the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. Constitution and Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Bill of Rights.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus found in Article I, Section 9 recognized that some day war might exist on our soil and that the accused had rights that might have to be momentarily delayed until recognized civilian authority could reasonably attend to them.  It allowed this delay in only two circumstances “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Section 9 is a list of powers specifically denied Congress; nor were they given to the President in Article II.  This strongly suggests no federal role outside these two parameters in the delay of justice—certainly no military role.  The removal of any civilian role and the carting off of U.S. citizens to a foreign country without benefit of judge or jury obliterates this right.


TSA Brief: Violating the 4th Amendment

TAC Texas Brief- Transportation Security Administration    

Author: Dr. Daniel R. Coleman, D.B.A., Communications Coordinator, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas

Contributing Author: Steve Baysinger, Chair, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas


Prior to March, 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Today, the TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security whose mission is to protect “the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce,” (TSA 2011).

According to a study by William and Mary University (Atkinson, Boardman, Walters, 2009):

  • Prior to the TSA’s assuming the responsibility for security at the nation’s airports, it was the responsibility of each individual airport, and the airlines providing service to the public, to provide transportation security.
  • Prior to the September 11, 2001, assault on America there were approximately 28,000 screeners in U.S. airports, with an estimated annual security cost of $1 billion to the US airline industry.
  • In 2002, the TSA was initially composed of a small group of employees with expenses totaling $95 million. As of 2009, the TSA had more than 50,000 employees and expenses of $4.733 billion!

Approximately 50,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) work at 450 airports nationwide. The TSOs screen nearly 2 million passengers a day,” (TSA, 2011). According to John Pistole, Director of TSA (as of November 2010) there are 385 AIT scanners in 70 airports across the country, but “he expects to expand that number to one thousand by the end of 2011,” (as cited by CNN, 2011). Further, TSA declares “Anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties,” (as cited by CNN).


 The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:


Tennessee: 2012 State Legislative Priorities

The Tennessee General Assembly will begin its 2012 legislative session this week.  This begins the hard work of communicating with and encouraging our state legislators to stand up to the continued encroachments of the federal government on the rights of the citizens of the State of Tennessee.  For 2012, we are keeping our priorities simple.

Priority 1: Sheriffs First (HB0959/SB1108)

Last year, Sen. Stacey Campfield and Rep. Bill Dunn introduced legislation that will require federal law enforcement officers to seek the permission of the county sheriff before executing an arrest, search, or seizure in the state of Tennessee except in specific situations.  The bill states:

“A federal employee who is not designated by state law as a Tennessee peace officer may not make an arrest, search, or seizure in this state without the written permission of the sheriff or designee of the sheriff of the county in which the arrest, search, or seizure will occur.”

Why is this bill needed?  We have seen a vast erosion of our rights as Tennesseans and Americans, even over just the last year.  With the Gibson Guitar factory raids, the extension of the Patriot act, and now the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) containing language that could be construed to allow for the indefinite detention of Tennesseans without probable cause or a trial it is critical that our state and local officials stand up to this overreach and provide real protection for Tennesseans from these egregious unconstitutional actions of the federal government.


New Jersey Assembly Democrats – Tenthers on Education?

Recently, I came across an article on my Facebook page that dealt with local choice in education on the issue of charter schools. The author, Marilyn Joyce Lehren brings up some very good points about the people of the town being able to decide whether or not they want charter schools in their community, as well as what standards should be applied. The interesting part of how I got to the article was the group that had shared it on their wall, none other than the New Jersey Assembly Democrats.

Now the New Jersey Democrats as a whole have very often been unfriendly to the Tenther agenda in general. While I’m on the topic, many New Jersey Republicans haven’t exactly been noble defenders of state, local, family and individual sovereignty. Trenton, in this very blue state, has generally been very…let’s just say “involved” in the daily lives of New Jerseyans, and has been very helpful to DC in staying “involved” as well.

No doubt the legislators in our state are not truly interested in local control. Rather, they use the argument to stifle the charter school movement and preserve the teachers’ unions’ power and one size fits all education. Still, there are some compelling arguments in the article and from Democrat lawmakers themselves if severed from their known loyalties.


Will Kansans Stand Up for Their Right to Choose? Will YOU?

One of the most active fronts in the fight to push back Federal overreach has been resistance to the Controlled Substances Act- a measure passed long ago that would have been soundly rejected by those who created our American system of governance.

The founders knew that something as important as what we put into our bodies should never be left to a far off group of bureaucrats in the central government.  Constitutional design was intended to prevent Federal lawmakers from deciding such important matters- since those lawmakers could never effectively make decisions for people with whom they have almost no contact.


Is This About Principle or Power?

cross-posted from the Texas Tenth Amendment Center

When George W. Bush was still president, I attended anti-war/anti-Bush rallies in protest of him and his polices.  A few years later, I did attend Tea Party rallies in protest of President Obama and much of his agenda.

For my efforts, Neo-Cons accused me of unpatriotic while Progressives have called me a racist.  Over the years, I have been called many things.  (And arguably, some of which may even be true!) However, I can assure you that I’m not an unpatriotic racist.

The problem is that the partisanship has expanded to extremes.  This isn’t just a phenomenon in Washington DC, but in the whole country:  Left vs. Right, Democrats vs. Republicans, Blue State vs. Red State, Tea Party vs. Occupy.

The media and many people have commented about how the right has moved away from the center.  In many ways, I agree with this assessment.  However one problem, those making this observation fail to see that left has moved from the center as well.

If I were to travel in a time machine and bring back a Republican and Democrat from the late 50s or early 60s, they would be very different from their modern counterparts. Both parties have complained about the party in power as the said party has expanded the role of the Federal Government while pushing their agendas.


Obama is Playing Fast and Loose with the Constitution

by Ron Paul This week, partisan games in Washington reached a fevered pitch as Congress acted to prevent recess appointments, yet the administration made them anyway. Congress has been gaveling into session for less a minute every three days for the express purpose of technically staying in session. The 40 second “pro forma” sessions may…