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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Rockwall, Texas Resolves to Preserve Second Amendment

ROCKWALL, Texas – The City Council of Rockwall  voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution “to protect and defend the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms” during its meeting in March.

A Dallas TV station called the packed out meeting “a grass roots show of support for gun rights.”

A Rockwall High School senior and future Air Force Academy cadet joined at least nine other residents speaking in favor of the resolution.

“Our rights — specifically our Second Amendment rights — are being threatened by the federal government,” Zach Maginnis said. “As a citizen of Rockwall, I’d like to see my hometown lead by example and prepare a public response to these threats.”

Rockwall joins a wave of Texas cities and counties passing resolutions against the federal government and its infringement on the Second Amendment. Rockwall joined Cooke and Bandera Counties, as well as the cities League City, Gonzales, Temple, Tiki Island, Lake Worth, and most recently Prosper.

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Hertford, NC Passes Resolution in Support of the 2nd Amendment

The North Carolina legislature may have been unable to pass the firearms freedom act this year, and  it has yet to introduce a Second Amendment preservation act, but that doesn’t mean steps to defend the right to keep and bear arms are not being taken in the Tar Heel State. Local governments are taking steps to defend the Second Amendment, creating pressure that will undoubtedly be felt in Raleigh next year.

Hertford County was the most recent locality in North Carolina to pass a local resolution to preserve the Second Amendment.

The Hertford County Board of Commissioners resolves as representatives of the people to defend the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 30 of the North Carolina Constitution and will not consent to unconstitutional laws, executive orders, or foreign/domestic tyranny. Furthermore, the Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of North Carolina to pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of our God-given right in the defense of our liberty and our persons for all North Carolinians to bear arms.”

This resolution was approved without objection.

Hertford County joins with other North Carolina counties that have passed resolutions this year to preserve the right to bear arms including Carteret, Cherokee, Beaufort, Lenoir, Pitt, Moore, and Franklin counties.

Local pressure created by cities, counties, and municipalities passing resolutions and ordinances will increase the likelihood of the North Carolina legislature passing a state bill to preserve the Second Amendment in the next session.

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Who Needs the Tenth Amendment?

The Tenth Amendment wasn’t really necessary.

Wow! A pretty shocking statement from somebody who works for the Tenth Amendment Center, huh?

But it’s true.

Why?

Because the Tenth Amendment, along with its partner the Ninth Amendment, don’t really DO anything.  In fact, if those two amendments didn’t exist, the Constitution would remain unchanged. The federal government would still operate with only a few delegated powers, and all other power would still remain with the states and the people.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are “rules of construction.” In other words, they tell us how to read the original document. They don’t add anything to the Constitution, and they don’t take anything away. The Ninth and Tenth simply make explicit what was already implicit in the original construction of our founding document.

The enumeration of specific powers in Article 1 Sec. 8 (along with the other delegated powers sprinkled through the rest of the Constitution) naturally preclude the federal government from exercising any other powers. In fact, many in the founding era didn’t see the point of including the Ninth or Tenth Amendments, or even a Bill of Rights, arguing that it was self-evident that enumeration excluded any other authority – Designato unius est exclusio alterius – a legal maxim meaning, “the designation of one is the exclusion of the other.”

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Preserving the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Locally

2nd AmendmentIn a time when many when Statists are calling for more federal gun legislation and even the repeal of the Second Amendment, patriots are trying to preserve their inalienable right to defend themselves against anybody or anything. An effective, constitutional way to preserve that natural right is through nullification. One tool to accomplish this is the 2nd Amendment Preservation Ordinance. This piece of legislation is made for the county level, and should be heavily focused on in states such as Tennessee where the state legislature is not in session. It effectively nullifies unconstitutional, federal gun laws through non-compliance.

The federal government was not given the power to make any laws regarding guns, ammunition, accessories, etc. in the few enumerated powers vested to it by the states. Then to explicitly restrict the federal government from infringing upon the natural right they put in the Second Amendment. So, if the general government infringes upon that God-given right then the states and/or counties can nullify the usurpatious legislation and should.

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And the Award for Most Hypocritical Performance by a Member of Congress Goes To…

During the House Agriculture Committee’s debate over a new farm bill, Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher cited 2 Thessalonians 3:10 in defending relatively small cuts in food stamps after Rep. Juan Vargas’s (D-CA) cited Jesus’s call to feed the hungry:

“For also, when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.”

The federal government uses force and the threat of violence to obtain the money that is used to pay for food stamps, so I would argue that Rep. Vargas badly misunderstands what the Prince of Peace was getting at. But whereas Vargas was wrong, Rep. Fincher’s biblical counterpunch was breathtakingly hypocritical. As it turns out, Fincher has likely receivedmillions of dollars in federal farm subsidy payments over the years.

From the New York Times

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Americans Deserve the IRS

by Walter E. Williams

Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do. Let’s look at it.

Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. If we add government’s regulatory burden, which is simply a disguised form of taxation, the government take is more than 50 percent of what we produce.

In order to squeeze out of us half of what we produce, a government tax collection agency must be ruthless and able to put the fear of God into its citizens. The IRS has mastered that task. Congress has given it powers that would be deemed criminal if used by others. For example, the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects Americans against self-incrimination and being forced to bear witness against oneself. That’s precisely what one does when he is compelled to sign his income tax form. However, a Fifth Amendment argument can’t be used as a defense in a court of law. The IRS will counter that you voluntarily provided the information on your tax return.

If you’re in debt to Bank of America, Wells Fargo or any other private creditor, in order for it to garnish your wages as a means of collecting debt, it must first get a court order. By contrast, the IRS can garnish your wages without having to get a court order first. If your employer doesn’t obey the IRS and send it a portion of your wages, he will be held accountable for what you owe. At the minimum, some IRS collection procedures violate one of the basic tenets of the rule of law — namely, the law of the land applies equally to individuals (and other private entities) and the government (and its officials and agents).

Our Founding Fathers feared the emergence of an agency such as the IRS and its potential for abuse.

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