Why the 2,776 NSA Violations Are No Big Deal

by Ron Paul

Thanks to more documents leaked by Edward Snowden, this time to the Washington Post, we learned last week that a secret May 2012 internal audit by the NSA revealed 2,776 incidents of “unauthorized” collection of information on American citizens over the previous 12 months. They are routinely breaking their own rules and covering it up.

The Post article quotes an NSA spokesman assuring the paper that the NSA attempts to identify such problems “at the earliest possible moment.” But what happened to all those communications intercepted improperly in the meantime? The answer is, they were logged and stored anyway.

We also learned that the NSA routinely intercepts information from Americans while actually targeting foreigners, and that this is not even considered a violation. These intercepts are not deleted once discovered, even though they violate the government’s own standards. As the article reports, “once added to its databases, absent other restrictions, the communications of Americans may be searched freely.”

The Post article quotes an NSA official explaining that the thousands of unauthorized communications intercepts yearly are relatively insignificant. “You can look at it as a percentage of our total activity that occurs each day. You look at a number in absolute terms that looks big, and when you look at it in relative terms, it looks a little different.”

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Nullification: The Natural Way to Grow the Economy

So often, when some people think of Nullification, they think of a formal process involving a smaller government or individual taking action by producing documents, or sending requests, or petitioning to nullify the action of a larger government. I have to admit that much of the work I do with Florida Tenth Amendment Center follows that exact template. The “formal process” idea of nullification was certainly in view when Jefferson and Madison formulated the Principles of ’98 and encouraged states to block unconstitutional federal acts. So, that’s one way to nullify, to be sure.

However, Rosa Parks nullified laws without issuing a single formal document, and there are certainly  many other examples of personal nullification, both informal and frequent.  So, we see that nullification is hardly a formal process. It’s any act or set of acts the makes a law null, void or simply unenforceable.

We tend to think of nullification as simply stopping a government act, but would you believe that nullification can actually BOOST the economy?

In a recent TED video by writer Robert Neuwirth, he talks about the power of the “informal economy.”  He also has some other terms for this “informal economy,” like “System D” and “DIY.”  He’s talking about the economy of people unhindered by government edicts restricting human interaction. What I believe he means to communicate is how vast the power of the people’s economy can be when not regulated through codified governmental laws, licenses, patents and other government regulating processes.  He’s not saying the laws don’t exist, but his experience is that  individuals and businesses can’t succeed by knowledge of, or submission to, all of those regulations. So, they essentially nullify them through non-compliance.

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An Anti-Federalist’s Purpose for Proposing the Supremacy Clause

As the Philadelphia Convention concluded,  55 delegates returned to their home states and began the promotion/demotion phase of the ratification process. This process commenced with the convention delegates addressing the citizens of each state and each state’s ratification delegation.  Each Framer communicated his comprehension of the legal elements of the charter negotiated for during this historic endeavor.

The delegates generally represented two distinct factions known as the Federalists, supporters of ratification, and the Anti-Federalists, those opposed to the proposed constitution. Delegates regularly traded intellectual barbs through written prose promulgated in the local periodicals of the states.

An occurence which became commonplace during this process was Maryland’s Attorney General, Luther Martin responding to letters written by the Landholder,  a nom de plum (pen name), utilized by fellow Philadelphia Convention delegate Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut,  in which Mr. Ellsworth attempted to minimize Martin’s contributions and negatively impact his service.

Martin’s letter was published in the Baltimore Maryland Gazette on March 19, 1788.

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Don’t Run for Federal Office, Tenthers. It’s a Trap!

We might be losing another good man to the federal beast.

South Carolina state Senator Lee Bright has decided to primary Lindsey Graham next year in an attempt to throw the notorious liberty hater out of government once and for all.

Certainly, Bright would be an improvement over his predecessor, assuming he can unseat the incumbent. Sen. Lindsey Graham is perhaps the biggest enemy of the Bill of Rights in the Senate. Even in the Congressional cesspool, he stands out as especially verminous. Bright would represent the people of South Carolina better than Graham ever could, and he’s off to a good start calling Graham a ‘community organizer for the Muslim brotherhood’ in one of his first interviews as a candidate. Superficially, there is a lot here for a liberty activist to like.

But upon closer review, Bright is making a mistake. Liberty is not going to be reclaimed by winning a federal election. If he pulls off the upset and wins, Bright will join a small handful of senators who talk tough against big government. Like Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, he can raise a big stink and draw attention to the corruption going on within the federal government, but he will likely be very ineffectual in restoring our constitutional rights. Conversely, staying  put as a state senator, he could actually be effective in reclaiming liberty for South Carolinians by nullifying federal laws.

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The Cost of Third Parties and the Founder’s Economic System

Recently, Harry Reid, said “We must work past medical insurance, to a one payer system.”

Well I agree with him, (for once). But my one payer system is this – individuals responsible for their own healthcare.

We need to get back to pay for your services healthcare.  We need to have the third party control over our healthcare removed.  This includes the government, insurance companies and employers.

With all of these out of the way, the cost of healthcare will be subject to the marketplace, and this will allow healthcare costs to drop.  This is because the individual consumer of healthcare will now be courted by healthcare providers.  And we all know, if a business wants to attract customers, they offer a better quality product at better prices than competitors.  Costs go down and better quality services and products result.

The disconnect between patient and medical cost is what has allowed those costs to soar far beyond the pocketbook of most people.  The evolution to a system of third party payers created a situation where developers do not need to concern themselves with a product that will serve many.  They can go out and create all sorts of expensive abstract medical equipment without having to worry about whether there is a need.  All that research and development is expensive, and since there isn’t a consumer for the pie in the sky products, the cost is spread over all the other products the company offers.  I am not bashing big industry here. It is reasonable that they must cover their costs in some way.  However, in a free marketplace where they need to focus on lowering costs to attract users to their products, they will more likely choose an item that will have more usefulness.

Those of you who read history, might recall that there was a time when an injury or illness that required a doctor might include bartering for the doctor’s services.  Chickens, milk, corn, a quilt or even a return service would settle the bill.  Well, you might say things are so much more expensive now; you can’t do that. But I am hearing of local physician groups offering outside of insurance, healthcare.  Depending upon the area you live, the costs vary.  Your costs could be $100/month for entire family.  When you need the services of the doctor, you just call for an appointment.  I have heard in some other areas, its $10/month for a person.

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Stop and Frisk: No Feds Needed.

Recently a Federal Judge, Shira Scheindlin, declared the New York City Police departments “Stop and Frisk” procedure Un-Constitutional and called for a federal monitor to watch over the police department to ensure Police Officers are in compliance with the constitution.

This happened without a peep of protest from any New York State elected official, Judge or lawyer.

You would think that Governor Cuomo would be at the fore of the angry protest against Federal intrusion into what is clearly a State Police power. Where does Justice Scheindlin believe her authority to rule on this matter come from? Not the United States Constitution.

The “Stop and Frisk” procedure is clearly un-Constitutional, however, it is the New York State Constitution that matters.

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Where is the Power to Suspend Habeas Corpus?

The Constitution’s Suspension Clause (Art. I, Section 9, cl. 2) limits when the writ of habeas corpus can be suspended. But the Constitution doesn’t seem to grant the federal government power to suspend the writ in the first place. Why not? And why limit a power never given?

In an Aug. 17 Wall Street Journal piece, constitutional law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkrantz infers that Congress has the sole suspension authority from the structure of the constitutional text. He writes:

“Since the Suspension Clause appears in Article I of the Constitution, which is predominately about the powers of Congress, there is a strong argument that only Congress can suspend the habeas writ.”

He concludes that when President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ, he probably intruded on Congress’s prerogative, and thereby exceeded his constitutional authority. (Professor Rosenkrantz also gives Lincoln credit for trying to cure the constitutional defect.)

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Protecting Rights is your State’s Duty

The age-old doctrine of state nullification is in the air across the United States, and of all the demographic groups, newspaper reporters and editors should be cheering the most — and not simply because it makes for interesting copy.

A few years ago, not many would have guessed that this 215-year-old doctrine would regain standing as an accepted political tool, but according to a May 6 Rasmussen poll, 52 percent of mainstream voters think states should have the right to block, within their own borders, any federal laws they believe to be unconstitutional.

If public support for HB 436, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, is any indication, the Missouri numbers are even higher. Thousands of residents weighed in and told state officials that they had a constitutional duty to pass that bill as part of their responsibility to defend the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

In spite of the skyrocketing public support for nullification, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed HB 436, and others have joined the governor’s claims that you just can’t constitutionally fight the federal government the way Thomas Jefferson did 215 years ago.

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Nullifying Washington D.C. in Washington D.C?

Even Washington D.C. is rebelling against the tyranny of Washington D.C.!

The city has joined many other cities and started distribution of medical marijuana to sick patients, according to a UPI report. Recently, a medical marijuana sale was conducted there for the first time in 70 years.

The people voted for legalization of  medical marijuana all the way back in 1998, but Congress denied the right of patients to get their medicine for many more years. Restrictions against medical marijuana were finally lifted in 2009, but it took four long years for the inept bureaucracy to get their regulatory system in order. Now, Washington D.C. gets to enjoy medical freedom through their resistance against the fed’s unjust laws.

The city of Washington D.C. followed the right process constitutionally. While the Constitution delegates no power for the feds to regulate a plant within the borders of a state, Congress does have the authority to legislate on marijuana within the borders of D.C., a federal enclave. But from a moral standpoint, I think they made the big mistake of complying with the federal regulations for as long as they did. Medical marijuana is a life and death issue for many gravely ill people out there. The tyrannical, asinine laws should have been disobeyed immediately, so that the sick could utilize proper treatments. Many lives could have potentially been saved if this happened.

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