Should we be frightened?

What follows are six major changes to traditional constitutional procedure that have happened the past six months, none of which through the change process required in Article V of the Constitution, but each will adversely affect the distribution of power in this country and how we define liberty in the future. This time period could very well be the most radical six-month period of constitutional change in U.S. history. Should we be concerned with, or worse, frightened by, our own government?

We begin on New Years Eve with the President signing into law the 600 plus page National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, authorizes the military to seize and transport U.S. citizens from U.S. soil to Guantanamo Bay on the presumption that they are terrorists. The threat of potential indefinite incarceration without recourse to lawyer, judge and trial is unconscionable in a free society. The new law ends the writ of habeas corpus found in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution and Posse Comitatus protection (protection from ones own armed forces). It also lays waste to much of the Bill of Rights, notably Amendments 4, 5, 6, and 8. Its intimidation potential will impact free speech, press, and assembly as well. Local law enforcement is essentially bi-passed.

Then in February, The National Operations Center (NOC), a part of The Department of Homeland Security, released its “Media Monitoring Initiative” giving itself permission to “gather, store, analyze, and disseminate” data on millions of users of social media, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So far they appear less concerned with the information on the average Joe or Jane, although all is kept just in case, as they deal with unmanaged journalists and bloggers. These are defined as those who use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed,” such as myself. Targeted are those who post articles, comments, or other information to popular web outlets. It is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

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NDAA Nullification Efforts Expand in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (July 24, 2012) – A strong grassroots coalition of Michigan citizens continues to push for state nullification of the kidnapping provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.

On June 14, Michigan Rep. Tom McMillin filed HB5768, which would forbid state compliance with the detention provisions in sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA.

The legislation would prohibit any state agent, state employee or member of the Michigan National Guard from assisting “an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to 50 USC 1541, as provided by the federal national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, Public Law 112-81, if such aid would place that state agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the Michigan national guard in violation of the United States constitution, the state constitution of 1963, or any law of this state.”

Work to nullify NDAA detention provisions also continues at the local level in the Great Lakes State. On July 18, Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad introduced an NDAA Liberty Preservation Resolution for consideration, and on July 26, Allegan County Commissioner Bill Sage will introduce an identical resolution to that county commission.

“Citizens cannot stand by and permit this type of travesty against the U.S. Constitution that all local, state, and federal officials took an oath to protect,” Sage said.

Activists also report support for the resolution in Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse and Sheboygan counties, along with Grand Traverse City and Bloomfield Township.

Exemplifying the grass roots nature of the movement in Michigan, Bloomfield Hills’ resident and TAC member Dennis Marburger has traveled across the state educating local lawmakers and citizens about the threat posed by detention provisions written into the NDAA, along with state and local options to fight it.

“We can only restore and preserve our liberty from the bottom up,” Marburger said. “That means you and me. It’s everyone’s Freedom that’s at stake.”

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Security and Self-Governance

by Ron Paul

The senseless and horrific killings last week at a movie theater in Colorado reminded Americans that life is fragile and beautiful, and we should not take family, friends, and loved ones for granted. Our prayers go out to the injured victims and the families of those killed. As a nation we should use this terrible event to come together with the resolve to create a society that better values life.

We should also face the sober reality that government cannot protect us from all possible harm. No matter how many laws we pass, no matter how many police or federal agents we put on the streets, no matter how routinely we monitor internet communications, a determined individual or group can still cause great harm. We as individuals are responsible for our safety and the safety of our families.

Furthermore, it is the role of civil society rather than government to build a culture of responsible, peaceful, productive individuals. Government cannot mandate morality or instill hope in troubled individuals. External controls on our behavior imposed by government through laws, police, and jails usually apply only after a terrible crime has occurred.

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