Give ‘Em an Inch

Operating pretty much in the shadows, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) has issued a series of rulings vastly expanding National Security Agency power.

The New York Times reports that the secret court has issued hundreds of rulings creating a vast body of law empowering the NSA to gather all kinds of data on Americans. The FISA Court initially limited itself primarily to approving wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. But the court has gradually taken on a much broader role, even assessing and ruling on broad constitutional issues. According to the Times, the FISA Court has gone as far as carving out an exception to the Fourth Amendment.

In one of the court’s most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the “special needs” doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures, the officials said.

Ever since Truman decided in 1946 that intelligence gathering is a civilian, peacetime activity rather than one restricted to wartime, we’ve quietly succumbed to a creeping loss of Fourth Amendment rights. I keep thinking of the old Steve McQueen movie, “The Blob”. The Blob was a slow-moving, gooey…well, blob. The unwary that merely touched the creature would be inexorably sucked in and consumed. Sort of a mobile La Brea tar pit. So goes the federal government. Give ‘em and inch, they’ll take a mile. Perhaps two.

In this case, we see court-creep. In 1989, the Supreme Court allowed drug testing of railroad workers, reasoning the “minimal intrusion” on privacy was outweighed by the need to keep people safe.  Who can argue with keeping drugged up engineers from running trains, right? Fast forward 24 years and we have a super-secret court building on the precedent to allow the NSA to gather up every American’s phone calls and Internet data. Of course there were in-between stretches of that 1989 ruling. There were airport security checkpoints and DUI roadblocks. That raised some eyebrows, but really – it was just to keep us safe.

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Iowa Action Alert: Nullify Federal Gun Control Locally

In Iowa, most of the worst anti-gun legislation never moves forward once introduced in the state legislature.  But it seems that the good ones fail too.  In the 2013 legislative session, 18 gun bills were introduced (five of which were anti-gun legislation). Every single bill stalled and died. Importantly, a Second Amendment Preservation Act (HF170 ) stalled and died.

What was most lacking – beyond political courage in the legislature – was strong grassroots organization behind the bill well in advance.  Iowa lawmakers need to be on notice for months in order to get this important legislation passed.  With your work and dedication, liberty will win.

In order to take this to the next level and get a victory, your action is needed right now.  Starting today, and all the way through the rest of the year, local governments around the state need to be pressed to take a similar action – passing legislation in support of the right to keep and bear arms locally.  And at the same time, calling on the state legislature to do the same.  When the state is blanketed with local communities willing to nullify violations of the 2nd Amendment, the state legislature will be on notice.  Do your job, or else.

It’s going to take work to ensure that this is how things play out.  Here’s what you can start doing right now.

1.  Contact your local legislators – County, City, Town - and urge them to introduce an ordinance in support of the Second Amendment.

local ordinance here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/

2.  Become a local leader.   If you’re dedicated to the right and keep and bear arms, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to not only act on your own, but to organize and lead others to help support these efforts. 

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Economic Development Administration Goes ‘Rambo’ on Itself

There exists in the Department of Commerce an irrelevant Great Society relic called the Economic Development Administration. With a relatively small budget of around $400 million, the EDA acts as a slush fund for Congress to shovel subsidies to their districts for projects that should be funded locally or privately.

That’s why it’s been hard to kill. Indeed, last year 175 Democrats and 104 Republicans teamed up to defeat an amendment introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) that would have finally put the EDA out of its misery.

Around the same time that the EDA came under attack from Rep. Pompeo, the agency believed that it had also suffered a cyber attack on its IT infrastructure. National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson has the story, which has to be one of the all-time greatest examples of bureaucratic ineptitude:

The trouble began in December 2011, when the Department of Homeland Security alerted Commerce that it had discovered a possible malware infection in the department, specifically within the network located within the Hoover Building. The EDA’s immediate reaction — based on absolutely nothing — was: cyberwar! According to the [Dept. of Commerce inspector general] audit, the main concern among the EDA’s top brass was that the agency was under attack by a nation-state actor. There was no evidence to support that fear, and a good deal of evidence to the contrary, but the EDA basically went to whatever is the Commerce Department’s version of DEFCON 1.

As Kevin deftly wise-cracks, “If the Chi-Coms wanted to hurt the U.S. economy, they wouldn’t attack EDA; they’d hire a lobbyist to increase its funding.” But, after all, we’re talking about an agency that has an amazingly inflated sense of self-worth. And so the EDA decided that it wasn’t taking any chances – the agency’s entire IT infrastructure had to go: 

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California “Nullify NDAA” Bill Keeps Moving Forward

The following was written by California State Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, sponsor of Assembly Bill 351, legislation that addresses the “indefinite detention” powers of the 2012 NDAA and other federal “laws.” 

I find it absolutely amazing how far our country has digressed politically since its founding in 1787. Take, for example, the latest Obama Administration scandals: Soylndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the IRS profiling various Conservative political organizations, domestic wiretapping probes on AP journalists, and the PRISM program run by the NSA.

There comes a time when you have to take a stand against a government that has grown far beyond its morally and constitutionally justifiable authority; a government that is making confident legislative strides to seize more power which it should not have; and a government that is increasing regulations left and right.

Concurring in my prescription, Alexander Hamilton once said: “If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its power, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”

In my capacity as a state assemblyman in California, I have spearheaded legislation that would decrease the size of government and preserve our freedoms. One such example would be Assembly Bill 351, which I introduced in mid-February.

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Wood County Texas Unanimously Resolves to Protect the 2nd Amendment

On Friday, June 7, the Wood County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution to Protect the Second Amendment.

The measure affirms the right to keep and bear arms and calls on the state legislature to take steps protecting the Second Amendment. It also urges noncompliance with federal efforts to violate the Constitution.

Resolved that all agencies of the County of Wood County, Texas are instructed to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies acting under unconstitutional powers enumerated in Section 2 above that would infringe upon our residents’ second, ninth, and tenth amendment rights, or other inalienable rights not here explicitly enumerated.

The resolution even addresses the supremacy clause issue.

Section 2. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon Texans’ right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in the State of Texas and shall be further considered null and void and of no effect in this County.

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Action Alert: Nullify Federal Gun “Laws” Locally in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Second Amendment Preservation act (HB 357) has been sitting idle in the House Judiciary Committee.  Although it can still move forward, it’s going to need additional support on a local level to succeed.

What has been most lacking – beyond political courage in the House – is strong grassroots organization behind the bill well in advance.

Gilberton Chief of Police Mark Kessler has taken the lead, introducing a local ordinance directing the town to “adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal, state or local acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations in violation of the Second Amendment.” This is a great start, and should be replicated around the state

In order to take this to the next level and get a victory, your action is needed right now.  Starting today, and all the way through the rest of the year, local governments around the state need to be pressed to take a similar action – passing legislation in support of the right to keep and bear arms locally.  And at the same time, calling on the state legislature to do the same.  When the state is blanketed with local communities willing to nullify violations of the Second Amendment, the state legislature will be on notice.  Do your job, or else.

It’s going to take work to ensure that this is how things play out.  Here’s what you can start doing right now.

1.  Contact your local legislators – County, City, Town - and urge them to introduce an ordinance in support of the Second Amendment.

local ordinance here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/

2.  Become a local leader.   If you’re dedicated to the right and keep and bear arms, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to not only act on your own, but to organize and lead others to help support these efforts. 

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Single Activist Helps Push State Republican Leader to the Correct Position in California

When AB-351, the California Liberty Preservation Act, was introduced by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, there was virtually zero support from his own Republican colleagues. Now, State Senator Bob Huff, the Republican Leader, has written a letter of support in reply to an activist’s letter.

Amy Alspaugh wrote to Sen. Huff a few days before AB-351 saw victory on the Assembly floor by a 71-1 vote.

The Honorable Bob Huff, 29th State Senate District

Dear Senator Huff:

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Wellington Kansas Passes Resolution Supporting the Second Amendment

On the evening of July 2, the City Council of Wellington, Kan., unanimously passed a resolution in Support of the Second Amendment.

The Tenth Amendment Center applauds every city, county, and state that proactively defends their citizens’ natural right to self defense by enacting state laws, city ordinances, and honorary resolutions which preserve and defend this unalienable right.

The resolution passed 6-0

In April of this year, with more than 50 co-sponsors, SB 102, was signed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. The law declares “any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is null and void in the state of Kansas.”

This legislation has been deemed, “The Strictest Second Amendment Protection Law” in the nation. So, why exactly would a small town of 8,000 citizens go to the trouble of preparing a resolution, when their right of self defense is clearly protected by the new state law? Could it be Patriotism?  Perhaps Stick it to the Man Syndrome?

How about as a “jobs creation” resolution?

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Republicans have a replacement for Obamacare. It’s unconstitutional, too.

Former Republican Presidential Candidate and promoter of the “9-9-9″ economic plan Herman Cain recently wrote an article to rebut the claim that Republicans don’t have an answer to our nation’s health care “crisis”.  The article champions HR 2300 - Empowering Patients First – as “vastly superior to the train wreck we’re facing right now” with Obamacare.

Mr. Cain ends his article with an interesting combination of irony and hypocrisy by quoting James Madison, commonly referred to as the Father of the Constitution, and labeling Obamacare - but not HR2300 - as “government malfeasance”.

Now I’ll agree with Mr. Cain that Obamacare is terrible legislation as well as government malfeasance.  The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the People of the States to regulate health care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”

I’ll also even entertain the unlikely possibility that HR 2300, introduced by Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, may be less terrible than Obamacare.  Rep. Price is a doctor, after all.

However I have a few questions for Mr. Cain:

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Establishment Attacks Rand Paul on Support of Tenth Amendment, States’ Rights

A Yahoo News article released recently reads: Rand Paul’s Troubling Ties to Racists. The article uses the terms “Pro-confederate”, “neo-confederate” and touches on the Civil War. The source used in the Yahoo News article is from The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online news source, which published an article slandering Paul as a radical because his aide (Jack Hunter) has long been a supporter and advocate of the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

The Tenth Amendment reads: 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.

In layman’s terms, if it is not one of the powers delegated to the federal government by the US Constitution then the federal government has no business exercising power of such matters. In modern America where the federal government controls what kind of shower you can use, the type of light bulb you are allowed to light your house with and what kind of milk you decide to pour over your cereal in the morning it is no surprise that nullification is becoming a household word again.

Rand Paul

Paul is the first modern US Senator to use the term “nullification” in support of reining in the powers of the federal government when it comes to unconstitutional federal legislation. He first used this when President Obama attempted to issue executive orders on gun control.

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