Evanston, IL Passes Resolution Against Warrantless Drone Spying

On May 28, the city of Evanston, Ill.  became the third U.S. city to pass a resolution against the use of unmanned drones for warrantless surveillance.

The City of Evanston establishes a moratorium on the use of drones in the City of Evanston in the absence of reasonable state and federal regulation of the use of drone technology which will expire without further action by the City Council two years from the date of this resolution; with the following exemptions:

Exceptions include hobby model aircraft and experimental aircraft not associated with the Department of Defense.

The resolution also expresses support for state efforts to restrict drone use. In fact, the Illinois legislature recently passed a bill doing just that, and it awaits the governor’s signature.

The city’s action is notable. Northwestern University is located in Evanston. As an Ivy League school, Northwestern attracts students, faculty and guests from all over the world. As a university, it is very reliant upon the federal government to provide research grants, to set-up research facilities, and it receives Title 8 funding for students. Northwestern is a major force in the Evanston community, and contributes greatly to the local economy.  One can only imagine the pressure exerted on these city council members.

Several lessons can be gleaned from their passage of the resolution.

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Lesson Learned on NSA Spying? Hopefully?

Dear Republican,

I hear you’re a little miffed at Obama’s National Security Agency collecting phone records of millions of innocent American Verizon customers. I read some comments on the “bombshell” over at Townhall.com. Guy Benson seems displeased.

I hear ya!

I’m more than a little perturbed myself. I was always under the impression that the Fourth Amendment limited the federal government’s power to snoop around in innocent people’s private affairs without a warrant.

But I have to admit, I’m a little confused about your indignation. After all, you made it all possible!

Remember the Patriot Act?

Yup. It was your guy, George W. Bush, who insisted the feds needed these broad, sweeping powers to “protect us from the terrorists.” When civil libertarians protested and invoked the Constitution, you ridiculed them and swore it was “only for the terrorists.” You insisted these powers were absolutely necessary to “keep us safe.” I guess you never stopped to think “your guy” wouldn’t remain in power forever.

Nice bed you made.

Comfy?

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Constitutional Sheriffs Convention a Successful Promotion of Liberty

originally published at The New American

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) held a successful convention last Friday and Saturday at the Ameristar Hotel in St. Charles, Missouri, a large suburb west of St. Louis. (See video below.)

Featuring a variety of nationally recognized speakers delivering dozens of liberty-promoting messages, the hundreds of lawmen and lawmakers in attendance were reminded of the vital role played by state and local law enforcement and elected officials in repelling the federal government’s assault on freedom.

A central aspect of the state and local counter-offensive is the nullification of any and all unconstitutional acts of the federal government.

Presentations on the first day of the convention were divided into four sections: The Constitution and the Oath of Office; The Right to Keep and Bear Arms; State Sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment; and American Liberty: Whose Job is it?

Representing the John Birch Society, this reporter spoke during the fourth segment, describing threats to liberty posed by the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the effectiveness of state measures refusing to enforce those provisions inside state borders.

Other keynote speakers included Sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the CSPOA, who recounted his experience fighting the Brady Bill and winning his case at the Supreme Court.

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New York Assembly Votes to Nullify Unconstitutional Marijuana Prohibition, 99-41

ALBANY, N.Y.  – New York moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.

On Monday, the state Assembly passed A06357 99-41.

Under this legislation, state-registered patients diagnosed with one of over a dozen serious medical conditions — including cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress, arthritis, diabetes, or epilepsy — would be allowed to possess up to 2 and one-half ounces of cannabis. The measure also allows for the establishment of licensed not-for-profit and for-profit facilities to produce and distribute cannabis to qualified patients. Non-registered patients would be able to present an affirmative defense of medical necessity at trial.

New York voters strongly support allowing patients to have access to marijuana therapy. According to a 2013 Sienna Research Institute poll, 82 percent of New Yorkers — including 81 percent of Democrats and Republicans — endorse the use of marijuana when authorized by a physician. This is an increase in support of 21 percent since pollsters last asked the question in 2012.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

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