Alleghany County NC Rejects NDAA Indefinite Detention

On March 5, 2012, Alleghany County Commissioners in a unanimous vote joined eight other counties, towns and cities across the country saying NO to the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. There are already 10 states also considering the same – including neighboring Virginia where a bill passed both houses in the legislature by a wide margin. The bill has been forwarded to the Governor’s office for signing.

These Resolutions from counties, towns and cities are clearly sending a signal to their respective state governments that they expect them to make a stand against these new “intolerable acts” that have been handed down by the federal government.  These NDAA provisions are so onerous and a threat to our liberties, so clear that they have brought together in opposition people of all different political persuasions.

The Reslution states in part:

WHEREAS, Sections 1021 and 1022 (or any wording as the bill is modified) of the National Defense Authorization Bill, SB 1867, jeopardize the
fundamental rights of American citizens to remain free from detention without due process and the right to habeas corpus in direct contravention of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the United States and North Carolina Constitutions; and

WHEREAS, it is indisputable that the threat of homeland and international terrorism is both real and viable, and that the full force of appropriate and constitutional law must be used to defeat this threat so that terror never wins; however, winning the war against tenor cannot come at the great expense of mitigating basic, fundamental, constitutional rights using rules, laws, regulations, bill language or executive orders;

Dennis Smith, a local Alleghany County resident, cited a media press conference put on by the Tenth Amendment Center partnered with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Demand Progress in a statement to commissioners. The press conference highlight state and local action against NDAA detention provisions.This bi-partisan event featured both Democratic and Republican Party officials, and also well-known civil liberties activists Naomi Wolf, who served as an adviser to Vice Pres. Al Gore, and Bruce Fein, an attorney and former Justice Department official under President Reagan.


Maryland Delegate Moves to Squash TSA Groping for Good

Alex Jones talks with Delegate Glen Glass and Legislative aide Aaron Jones of the Maryland House of Delegates. Glass has introduced legislation to stop TSA groping and would force the privatization of security at airports in the state. Glass has also introduced a bill that would allow Marylanders to opt out of the smart meter…


Leaving No Child Left Behind Behind

Though it expired in 2008, No Child Left Behind, the sweeping Bush-era education act that was passed in 2001 is still in effect, because federal lawmakers won’t just let it die.

“It’s time for it to go,” says Rep. Linden Bateman, R-Idaho Falls who believes that the law has forced educators to teach to a test and ignore other subjects, while unfairly labeling schools as “failing.” “It’s provided completely unrealistic expectations.”

HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO.8 (2012) – No child left behind/request repeal per Rep. Bateman is a nonbinding and toothless resolution. Still, his position puts him at odds with the state’s education department, which wants to see the act re-authorized.

The question should be whether the federal government had the authority to enact the law in the first place. A cursory reading of the U.S. Constitution will not reveal the ‘educational clause’ or anything else to justify the Department of Education, or any laws that would mandate virtually unfunded educational requirements  placed on the States. So, if the federal government does not have the authority to do something, do they have the authority make others do it? Can you appropriate moneys for something you don’t have the authority to do so that you can ‘bribe’ others to do it?

“I’ve read the Constitution 100 times,” Bateman says. “I can’t see even a slight mention … that gives the feds any power in the field of education.” [The Constitution] does not say that the Federal government supersedes State laws and customs… instead, in that document’s own 10th Amendment, it states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People”


ACTION ALERT! Utah lawmakers wrangling over NDAA resolution

SALT LAKE CITY (March 8, 2012) – Lawmakers in Utah continue to wrangle over a resolution condemning the detention provisions in sec. 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Originally, SCR11 expressed “strong disapproval” of sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, and called for the repeal or clarification of the offending provisions.  Ultimately the Senate gutted the resolution through amendment, changing “strong disapproval” to “concern.” The amended bill also removed the call for repeal and stripped out language referring directly to the detention provisions in the NDAA.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the State of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, urges the United States Congress to clarify Sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA…

The Senate passed this tepid resolution 28-0 on March 2, sending it to the House for consideration.


Rhode Island makes it 10 states fighting NDAA detention

PROVIDENCE R.I. (March 7, 2012) – Rhode Island Rep. Dan Gordon presented a resolution to the House floor condemning detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act Tuesday, with a majority of his fellow representatives signing on as cosponsors.

Gordon garnered 43 cosponsors for the H7916. It only needs 38 votes to pass the House.

That brings the total number of states considering some action opposing the kidnapping provisions in the NDAA to 10.

The resolution meticulously lays out the case against NDAA detention provisions, specifying 10 violations of the Rhode Island Constitution. The resolution then emphatically condemns federal detention without due process.

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby finds that the enactment into law by the United States Congress of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Public Law Number 112-81, is inimical to the liberty, security, and well-being of the people of Rhode Island, and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power in United States Constitution.


Corporate Welfare: A Bipartisan Love Story

I have previously discussed how multiple levels of government work together to provide businesses with taxpayer money (see here and here). And while Republican policymakers have enjoyed making political hay out of the Obama’s administration’s Solyndra problem, the truth is that both parties are willing partners in the corporate welfare racket.

The state of Indiana continues to be a perfect example. In March 2010, NPR ran a piece on the Obama administration’s efforts to “stimulate” the city of Elkhart, which at one point during the recession had the nation’s highest unemployment rate. The story was hopefully titled, “Electric Vehicles May Energize Elkhart’s Future.” One year later, the title of a new NPR piece on Elkhart is a little different: “As Elkhart’s Electric Dreams Fizzle, RVs Come Back.”

The new piece focuses on the failure of Think, an electric vehicle manufacturer, to deliver upon the promises made by the company and the politicians who gave them taxpayer handouts:


Why an Amendments Convention is not a “Constitutional Convention”

Sometimes a convention for proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution is referred to as a “constitutional convention.” That title is both wrong and fatally misleading.

The correct name—given by the Constitution itself—is convention for proposing amendments. Other accurate names are amendments convention, Article V convention, or convention of the states. In the Founding Era and during the early Republic, the last name was most frequently used.

Article V of the Constitution permits either Congress or a “Convention for proposing Amendments” to propose amendments for state ratification or rejection. The convention for proposing amendments was based partly on similar provisions in state constitutions. It also was based partly on the practice of colonies and states sending delegations (“committees”) of delegates (“commissioners”) to work out answers to common problems.


Time to Make Some Noise for NDAA Nullification in Tennessee!

As of now, the Law Enforcement Communications Act (HB2619/SB2669)has been taken off notice in the General Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.  The reason is that there has been so much opposition to the legislation, specifically from Republican members of the subcommittee, that the sponsor, Rep. Bill Dunn, has taken it off notice to prevent it from getting voted down.

Quite simply, the only way to get this bill passed is to call down the thunder and lightning on these legislators in the form of phone calls and e-mails to insist that they pass this bill.  If we don’t raise a torrential storm of calls and e-mails, this bill will go nowhere.

It’s time to make some noise Tennesseans, and stop the NDAA in its tracks!

Action Items:

1.  Contact the members of the subcommittee and demand that they pass HB2619/SB2669 without weakening it in any way.  Be polite but firm and let them know that if they do not pass this bill, you will work hard to make sure that they are not in office in 2013.  Keep in mind that we are getting opposition from legislators in both political parties.


EPA’s Scandalous Policies vs. States’ Responsibility

The EPA pesticide and herbicide approval program requires industry manufacturer applicants to fund the studies that are submitted.  This means that if companies like Monsanto or Dow Chemical have a new product, they are required under EPA rules to pay for all of the safety testing when they apply for approval of a new weed or bug killer.

In the absence of independent testing and oversight, there appears to be a wide open door for potential fraud as manufacturer applicants could cherry pick their studies and simply use ones that show favorable results.

Templates were devised by to make industry manufacturer applicants’ study data uniform in a 2002 NAFTA deal struck between the EPA and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PRMA).  Templates are used so that the EPA and PRMA can approve of applicants’ poisons more quickly and with fewer resources.  The agencies hope to review approved pesticides only every 15 years.

You can find the profile of these testing templates on the EPA website.

States Carry the Primary Responsibility

On the EPA’s website, they say that after a pesticide is registered (approved) by the EPA, states may have more strict laws regarding poisons and it is up to the manufacturer to comply with state laws in order to register their product in the state.