An open letter to statists everywhere

Editor’s note: The following letter was originally posted on ‘The Freeman’ website.  ‘The Freeman’ is a publication of the Foundation for Economic Education. Lawrence W. Reed serves as the president of FEE.

Dear Statist Friends:

I know, I know. You’re already objecting to my letter. You don’t like the label “statist.” You don’t think of yourselves as worshiping government; rather, you think of yourselves as simply wanting to help people, with government being your preferred means to achieve what is usually a very worthy end. “Statist,” you say, is a loaded term—a pejorative that suggests an overweening, irrational kinship with the state.

Well, let’s wait and see how the term stacks up after you’ve read my whole letter and answered its questions. Meantime, if you have any doubt about whether this missive is directed at you, let me clarify to whom I am writing. If you’re among those many people who spend most of their time and energy advocating a litany of proposals for expanded government action, and little or no time recommending offsetting reductions in state power, then this letter has indeed found its mark.

You clever guys are always coming up with new schemes for government to do this or that, to address this issue or solve that problem, or fill some need somewhere. You get us limited-government people bogged down in the minutiae of how your proposed programs are likely to work (or not work), and while we’re doing the technical homework you seldom do, you demonize us as heartless number crunchers who don’t care about people.

Details

Arizona NDAA nullification bill passes out of Senate committee

PHOENIX (Feb. 29, 2012) – On the same day the Virginia Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of legislation to nullify federal kidnapping under the NDAA, a similar bill in Arizona also took a step forward, passing out of an important committee.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, SB1182 passed out of the Committee of the Whole with no debate and no recorded vote.  A Committee of the Whole constitutes the entire senate and generally convenes to consider procedural issues such as proposing amendments or limiting debate, and to allow members to offer reports on legislation. Back on Feb. 16, the bill passed out of  the Arizona Senate’s Border Security, Federalism and States Sovereignty Committee by a 6-1 vote. The next step for the bill -  a final vote in the Senate.

“So far, so good,” Karen Winfield, the assistant to bill sponsor Sen. Sylvia Allen, said after the committee hearing.

The Arizona Liberty Preservation Act declares, “This state and any agency of this state shall not provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the national defense authorization act of 2012, Public Law 112‑81, against any citizen of the United States.” The bill also has teeth, making it a misdemeanor for any state agent or employee of a corporation providing service to the state to attempt to enforce the kidnapping provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA.

Details

Virginia NDAA Nullification: Not to the Finish Line Just Yet

Delegate Bob Marshall said today that he is “deeply gratified” that the Virginia State Senate has passed his bill to protect Virginians from having to participate in the unconstitutional detention of United States citizens by federal authorities.

“I am hopeful that Governor McDonnell will sign this bill,” Marshall (R.,Manassas), and that this law will provide an important protection for Virginians against improper federal action.  Moreover, it is my hope that other states will follow Virginiains responding to Washington,D.C.’s latest overreach, and that Congress will re-think this unconstitutional action.”

The Senate passed Delegate Bob Marshall’s HB 1160 to bar Virginia from assisting the federal government in the unlawful detention of United States citizens under an obscure provision of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress.

The Senate approved Marshall’s bill today by a 38-1 roll call vote.  It now must be returned to the Virginia House of Delegates for its approval of the clarifying Senate amendment, which vote probably will come tomorrow or Thursday.  The House passed the original bill on Feb. 4 by an overwhelming 96-4 roll call vote.

“This action is a repudiation of the unlawful action of Congress,”Marshall said after the Senate vote.  “The Constitution is to be followed, not abused.  The people of Virginiahave spoken through their elected representatives in the General Assembly in rejecting a federal law purportedly giving the military the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without charges, counsel, or trial.

“I am deeply gratified that today the Virginia State Senate passed my bill HB 1160 by the overwhelming vote of 38-1.  The near-unanimous Senate vote follows passage of HB 1160 in the House of Delegates by a vote of 96-4.  Almost all Republicans and Democrats joined together in a great bipartisan effort to tell the Federal Government that these are powers that no President should be entrusted with.”

The House vote occurred Feb. 4.  By a 20-20 tie vote, HB 1160 survived a Senate motion yesterday to send it back to its Courts of Justice Committee

“Twenty-four hours after the Virginia State Senate nearly killed my bill, thousands of Virginians learned that our liberties were on the line, and they made their views known.  Groups from the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union to Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, Virginia Libertarians, DownsizeDC.org, various Tea Party groups, and Campaign for Liberty, and many others, all publicly endorsed HB 1160.  The bipartisan nature of the vote today shows that Virginians are joining together to defend their liberties.”

Details

Sheriff Mack: This is the Answer, This is the Solution

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sheriff Richard Mack will be a featured speaker at Nullify Now! Philadelphia. Get your tickets online here – http://www.nullifynow.com/philadelphia/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS

*******

Former Graham County Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack (http://www.SheriffMack.com) closes out the January 31st public event in Las Vegas, Nevada. He explains how a county commissioner and a county sheriff are nullifying the NDAA and indefinite detention through resolution and action. Mack extols the commitment that the over 100 sheriffs have to uphold their oaths of office and that the purpose of this meeting was to show other sheriffs how they are already protecting the liberties of their people every day. He ends with an announcement of his candidacy for US Congress.

Details

Virginians, Our Liberties Hang in the Balance

YOUR LIBERTIES HANG IN THE BALANCE!

Most Libertarians have heard about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and its kidnapping (indefinite detention).

In December, Congress passed and the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Buried in NDAA’s hundreds of pages, Section 1021 purports to authorize the President to use the military to kidnap American citizens for suspicion of being terrorists. The President is REQUIRED to either hold them indefinitely, prosecute them before a military tribunal, or transfer them to a foreign country (rendition).

Section 1021 is a novel new power. It pretends that the United States is a battlefield and her citizens are enemy combatants who are not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights. We’re talking about…

* habeas corpus
* trial by jury
* representation by counsel
* confrontation of witnesses
* due process of law administered by impartial judges

Good people have taken this fight to the state level. Del. Bob Marshall, of Virginia, submitted an anti-detention (anti-kidnapping) bill, HB 1160. The official summary of 1160…

Details

Utah Lands Bill Hearing on February 28, 2012

via Utah State Rep, Ken Ivory: We are pleased to announce that  HB148 Transfer of Public Lands Act by Rep. Ken Ivory and the supporting HJR3 Joint Resolution on Federal Transfer of Public Lands passed through the Natural Resources Committee hearing last week and should be heard on the House floor sometime tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28,…

Details

NDAA: Our Liberties Hang in the Balance

This afternoon the Virginia State Senate narrowly defeated a move to recommit the antidetention bill, HB 1160, sponsored by Del. Bob Marshall. (report here) The effort to recommit, which would have killed the bill for this year, failed on a 20-20 vote, with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling casting the tie-breaking vote against recommittal. The Senate agreed to bring the bill to the floor tomorrow, Tuesday, February 27. VIRGINIA RESIDENTS – ACTION ALERT ON THIS BILL AT THIS LINK

Delegate Bob Marshall issued the following statement:

*******

The Virginia Senate’s action gives the people of Virginia another day to let their Senators know what they think about Congress empowering the U.S. Military to take a citizen off the nation’s streets, incarcerate him without charges, deprive him of the right to a lawyer, and hold him for an unlimited amount of time. That is the way things may be done in some other countries, but not here. This bill provides that we, here in Virginia, will not assist the federal government in enforcing this law.

Even President Obama had questions about the bill, when he promised the American people that he would not use the unrestrained powers it granted him — but why should we trust any President with such powers?

During World War II, the federal government incarcerated tens of thousands of loyal Japanese Americans in the name of national security. By this bill, Virginia declares that it will not participate in similar modern-day efforts.

There are moments in our history when our liberties hang in the balance. This is one of those moments. I urge the Senate when it votes tomorrow to join the overwhelming vote in the House to pass this bill, to lead the way in the nation to ensure that Virginia will not cooperate when the Federal Government strays off the reservation with laws that take away the civil liberties of our citizens.

Details

NDAA Action Alert: Virginia Nullification Bill up for Senate vote on Tuesday 02-28.

Today, the Virginia State Senate held a procedural vote on House Bill 1160 (HB1160), commonly referred to as the “Virginia NDAA Nullification Bill.” There was a “motion to recommit” the bill – essentially delaying a vote on it until next year. The bill was almost put on hold as the vote in the Senate was 20-20. The Lt. Governor, though, decided that this was an issue worth voting on now, not next year, and was the deciding vote that stopped the motion.

That means, HB1160 will almost certainly come up for a vote in the Virginia Senate tomorrow, Tuesday February 28, 2012.

If you live in Virginia (or know someone who does), the time to act in support of liberty is right now. Not next week. Today, not tomorrow. Now. (action steps below)

The legislative goal of HB1160 is to codify in Virginia law noncompliance with what many are referring to as the “kidnapping provisions” of section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The official summary of 1160:

Details

Health care freedom for Kentuckians?

Kentucky might just say “No!” to unconstitutional federal insurance mandates.

Twenty-eight representatives have signed on to HB339. The legislation would protect the right of Kentuckians to make their own health care choices, free from government interference. The legislation specifically targets health insurance mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act signed into law by Pres. Obama.

The bill declares that no law shall compel a Kentucky citizen, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system through the use of fines or penalties. It further stipulates that any individual or employer may pay directly for health care services, and that a health care provider may not be fined for accepting direct payment.

Details

Franken to Chu: Doggone It, Like My State’s Company

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing last week on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal 2013. Chris Edwards tipped me off to a particularly galling exchange between Energy secretary Steven Chu and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Sen. Franken uses his allotted time to badger Chu about a federal loan that Energy conditionally committed to a Minnesota company in 2010 that apparently has yet to be approved.

The exchange begins around the 61 minute mark here. Our trusty interns, Devon Sanchez and Stephen Wooten, transcribed the exchange, which I’ll share a portion of:

Sen. Franken:

Details