The Abortion Fight in its Proper Arena

AUSTIN, Texas -You don’t play football on an ice hockey rink.

Texas just provided a shining example of how the abortion issue was intended to play out in its proper arena.

At the state level – like football on a football field.

After weeks of contentious debate, the Texas Senate gave final approval to strict restrictions on abortion providers Friday night. HB2 prohibits abortions after 20 weeks. The legislation also requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, will allow the procedure only in surgical centers, and places limits on where and when women can take pills that induce abortions.

Gov. Rick Perry was part of the impetus behind the bill, calling a special session to reconsider the measure after a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis killed the legislation during the regular session.

“Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life,” Perry said after the Senate give its final approval 19-11.

Once Perry inks his name on the bill, we will witness a shining example of how the abortion issue was never intended to play out – in the federal courts.

Football on an ice hockey rink.

Nothing polarized Americans like the abortion debate.  Many will hail Texas for protecting the lives of the unborn. Others will demonize the Lone Star State as backward and waging a war on women. But no matter what view you hold, the decision was Texas’ to make. Nothing in the Constitution delegates any power for the federal government to legislate on abortion, and since the issue falls under the objects left to the states and the people, the federal courts should butt out.

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Deer Trail, Colorado Considers Issuing Drone Licenses and Bounty Program

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Aug. 6, the Deer Trail Board of Trustees will consider an ordinance to sell licenses as part of a “bounty program,” authorizing the license holders to shoot down unmanned aircraft violating the town’s “sovereign airspace.”

Up until now, the small town’s claim to fame is holding the “Worlds very first Rodeo, on July 4, 1869.”  Deer Trail is located 55 miles east of Denver, boasting a population of 546 people. With this pending  legislation, the town could become an important benchmark in an ongoing debate on sovereignty.

In an article posted on the History of Deer Trail Facebook Page, Kathy Smiley  summarized the proceedings.

“Phillip Steel presented his citizen’s initiative to the Deer Trail Board on July 2nd.” Even though this legislation is very serious to Mr. Steel, he received “a few chuckles from the Trustees and audience members” while making his presentation. “Steel did his due diligence on the seven-page ordinance, written in detailed legalese, set forth in seven sections,” to “defend the sovereign airspace of the town from unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Steel argues, “State and local governments throughout the country are talking about the fantastic possibilities of using unmanned aerial vehicles. It is time to take a stand against becoming a surveillance society.”

Another benefit of the ordinance  – “it would generate revenue for the Town of Deer Trail.”

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Obama Wants Us to Trust Him

BALANCE“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” Obama added that the National Security agents behind the surveillance programs “cherish our Constitution…You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance,” he explained.

I actually felt a sense of relief when I read Obama’s statement. Finally, he gets it. We don’t trust him, or Congress, or the political appointees we loosely call federal judges. I can’t think of a single reason to place my faith in any of them.

Can you?

In my lifetime, the last executive I felt willing to trust was Kennedy.

And I was three.

I may have been taken in!

Look, we shouldn’t trust these people. And history bears this out.

Take Lyndon Johnson and his winking Congress. They led us into the undeclared Vietnam catastrophe. Did you know that the Viet Cong were quite comfortable ignoring the Geneva Convention because we didn’t formally declare war? As a result, U.S. POWs could be classified as political criminals…and tortured.

And of course, we were all disgusted with Nixon’s betrayal of the country in the Watergate affair. But like jailing Capone for tax evasion, we hardly nailed Nixon’s greatest crime. Under his leadership, supported by Congress, and repeatedly upheld by our courts, the shredding of the Fourth Amendment became a federal past-time. Thanks to the criminalization of drugs, policing shifted from community service to community intimidation. RICO laws sank to IRS levels, eliminating due process. Suddenly, property could be taken from an individual just on the suspicion of wrongdoing – no conviction required. DUI checkpoints, once illegal, became commonplace. Prior to that, police had to observe driving behavior and have probable cause in order to stop you. Oh, and if pulled over, our automobiles used to be safe from police searches under the Fourth Amendment. No longer. All thanks to the War on Drugs.

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Welcoming You with Open Arms

 We had a really terrific weekend at the Tenth Amendment Center, and it just felt wrong for me to channel negative energy, despite concerns I had that I wanted to address. So instead, I decided to take some of those frustrations and use them to write something I considered more positive – a letter to a friend. Though I do have someone in mind, I also realized that there are other people out there in similar situations, and that you might have a friend you would write a similar letter to. If that is the case, please feel free to pass it along.

Dear Liberty Friend,

I want to say thank you.

Thank you for your hard work. For your family values. For working on behalf of people who don’t know and/or possibly don’t care that their liberty is slipping away day by day. Thank you for being a cheerleader to others of us who sometimes feel like we are just trudging through the muck. It’s nice to know someone’s got your back. Thank you for your friendship – and great conversation over cold beer.

I also want to say I am sorry.

I’m sorry for the jerks you’ve had to deal with, and that they didn’t recognize your value.

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Federal Court Permanently Vacates Injunction Against NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

The Second Circuit has permanently vacated the injunction issued by the District Court against NDAA 2012 indefinite detention powers.   The case has been remanded to District Court Judge Kathryn Forrest. who originally issued the injunction.

In layman’s terms, Forrest put a stop to indefinite detention, and the Second Circuit overturned that.  It also permanently prohibited Forrest from attempting to do so again, ordering her to proceed with the case consistent with their opinion.

NDAA “indefinite detention” powers are alive and well.

The opinion appears to be based only on lack of standing — based on the Clapper case decided by the Supreme Court:

“In sum, Hedges and O’Brien do not have Article III standing to challenge the statute because Section 1021 simply says nothing about the government’s authority to detain citizens.  While Section 1021 does have meaningful effect regarding the authority to detain individuals who are not citizens or lawful resident aliens and are apprehended abroad, Jonsdottir and Wargalla have not established standing on this record. We VACATE the permanent injunction and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”  P. 60

The Tenth Amendment Center, along with a broad coalition of organizations and individuals, filed an amicus brief on behalf of the defendants.  It was cited at p. 4 and note 3 in the District Court’s opinion:

As one group of amici has noted, “[r]arely has a short statute been subject to more radically different interpretations than Section 1021.”

The only other reference to an amicus brief was at p. 40, in note 137 — Center for National Security Studies.

REVIEWING THE “LAW” IN QUESTION

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Breakdown in Americans’ Respect for the Rule of Law?

Some commentators and compilers have sensed what they believe is a weakening of the rule of law in the United States.  I’ve documented an example in one state.

Conduct surrounding the George Zimmerman case provides additional cause for concern, including prejudicial comments by President Obama and rioting subsequent to acquittal.

To his credit, President Obama did express support for the verdict once it came in, although he inappropriately coupled it with promotion of his political agenda.

Adherence to the rule of law is critical to survival of a free society. This, in turn, requires adherence to five basic standards:

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Muscotah, Kansas Passes Ordinance to Nullify Federal Gun Control

A second small city in Kansas has stepped up to add another level of defense in the battle to protect the right to keep and bear arms in the Sunflower State.

On July 8, the city of Muscotah, Kan., adopted an ordinance prohibiting any agency or person in the employ of the city from enforcing, providing material support for, or participating in any way in the enforcement of any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of federal government regarding personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition with the city limits. The city modeled its ordinance off one passed earlier this year in Herndon. This was not simply a resolution declaring support for the right to keep and bear arms, but a legally binding ordinance, barring any cooperation with federal agents trying to enforce acts violating the Second Amendment.

Muscotah became the third local government in Kansas to approve a legally binding act protecting the right to keep and bear arms, joining Herndon and Sedgwick County. These local actions add an additional row of teeth to the state law passed during the most recent legislative session.

Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, affirming its commitment to the Second Amendment by adopting Section 4 of the State Bill of rights. It provides for the right to keep and bear arms, for the defense of self, family, home and state. With that right under assault by an overzealous and overreaching federal government, state officials moved in to interpose. On April 16, Gov. Brownback signed “The Second Amendment Protection Act” into law. The passage and signing of the Second Amendment Protection Act represented a huge step in protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Kansas, but local support will play a vital role in the ultimate success of the new Kansas law.

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Abortion: A State Issue, a National Nightmare

News broke recently that Florida Senator Marco Rubio plans to sponsor a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.  With Rubio’s reputation recently taking a hit in conservative circles, a cynic might be excused for considering this a political move instead of a principled stand.  Principled or not, there are two questions that Rubio has apparently not considered: is it rational to argue this issue at the national level and is such a bill constitutional.

To answer if it is rational, let’s run through a quick hypothetical scenario.  Let’s say you’re walking down your street and come upon one of your neighbors lying dead in his driveway with a knife sticking out of his back.  As your neighbors crowd around the scene, you see someone dialing their phone.  Who do you think this person is calling?

Maybe they’re calling the President of the United States.  After all, many murders happen across the country every day, clearly making this a national issue that demands the president’s attention.  Or, if not the president, maybe they’ve dialed the offices of federal senators and representatives to let them know about the murder.  When it’s time to prosecute the assailant, where does the trial take place?  Well, an issue as important and widespread as murder certainly demands the attention of the Supreme Court.

Preposterous, right?  Of course a local crime commands a local response.  It would be irrational to use national machinery to address a local or state issue like a violent crime of one individual towards another.

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An Anniversary worth Remembering

On July 14, 1798, the Sedition Act became law. Jefferson and Madison responded with the heroic Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, calling for nullification.

I’ve given many talks on nullification, and written a book on it. But this is my favorite one. The last 15 minutes in particular.

Some resources I put together on nullification here:
http://www.libertyclassroom.com/nullification/

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