ThinkProgress Getting on the N-Train?

Leftists often attack nullification.

Sometimes, it seems that MSNBC makes a living at it. However, there is some hope that many who lean left are actually starting to embrace the concept, although still loath to use the word. For example, the ACLU has created a toolkit for local and state resolutions against the NDAA.

So, could that venerable far-left organization known as ThinkProgress ever climb aboard the nullification train? Not likely, eh?

BUT WAIT!

In their article, Berkley to Federal Prosecutors: Don’t Mess With Our Medical Marijuana Program, they reported positively on Berkley’s attempts to stop the feds from future seizures of property belonging to the cities’ medical marijuana dispensaries.

“The city is arguing that the federal government is improperly interfering with the city’s own financial and regulatory interests, as well as its residents’ medical interests.”

The article also lists Oakland as another California city taking similar measures. Of course, they don’t use the “n” word: nullification.

Some of the comments left by readers of ThinkProgress add an interesting railroad spike to this story – hardly a crowd that can be called ultra right-winged nutjobs.

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Smashing Myths: Southern States and Nullification

Slavery was a morally corrupt and abhorrent institution that should have never existed.

No question. No debate.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about nullification’s history in the Southern states prior to the Civil War.

Over time, a Paul Bunyan type myth has grown suggesting that the Southern states were strong advocates of nullification as a means to protect their institution of slavery. In 2011, Rachel Maddow presented a news segment on her show about nullification. She stated that John C. Calhoun was a proponent of both slavery and nullification, more than implying the two are linked.

If that was the case, it would be pretty gross.

But it’s not.

Southern states never attempted to nullify anything in defense of slavery.

There is no dispute that Calhoun defended slavery. He was a slaver. In that sense, he’s a reprehensible character. And he also advocated for nullification.

However, Calhoun didn’t suggest using nullification as a means to maintain slavery. During the Nullification Crisis, Calhoun advocated the nullification doctrine as a means to protect Southern states against high tariffs that were impacting the Southern exports. Again, he advocated nullification against tariffs not for the promotion of slavery. During her televised segment, Maddow never mentioned the word, “tariffs.” Not once.

To demonize nullification because a slaver advocated the principle for something unrelated to slavery is nothing more than a textbook ad hominem attack.

If you bought into that false narrative, you should be forgiven. After all, conventional wisdom links the two. But now you know the truth. And if your mistaken perception that nullification was all about slavery led you to abhor the doctrine, the actual history of nullification should lead you to embrace the principles with abandon!

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Montana Anti-Spying Law Good, More Needed

On May 6, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed  an Anti-Location Electronic Spying Bill (HB 603) into law.

The new law provides strong privacy protections for Montana citizens, requiring state and local government agencies to obtain a warrant before spying on electronic devices or communication services.

Except as provided in subsection (2), a government entity may not obtain the location information of an electronic device without a search warrant issued by a duly authorized court.

The law covers services that “provide to users of the service the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications,” and any device “that enables access to or use of an electronic communication service, remote computing service, or location information service.”

Even with some exceptions such as law enforcement access when a device is reported stolen or for “life threatening situations,” the new law provides extensive privacy protections that did not exist before.

The law represents a solid win for privacy in Montana, although confusion surrounding the new law does exist. Some media outlets have reported the legislation prohibits NSA spying. But the law does not apply to federal agencies, as section three of the definitions makes clear.

(3) “Government entity” means a state or local agency, including but no limited to a law enforcement entity or any other investigative entity, agency, department, division, bureau, board or commission or an individual acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of a state or local agency.

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Tom Merchant Fails to Make the Sale

Tom Merchant, for the Sentinel Tribune, wrote an article called, “Between the Lines,” focusing on the recent NSA surveillance revelations. In his effort to defend the NSA’s actions, he listed a few of the amendments from the Bill of Rights and argues that many are now antiquated.

He made cases against the Second and Third Amendments to justify his position. There are elements of his arguments that are clearly debatable.

This kind of thinking is clearly dangerous. If we drop the “original intent” of the Constitution to keep up with “the signs of the times,” then none of our rights are truly protected. And if the Constitution needs to be updated, there is something called the Amendment Process.

Merchant writes:

NSA is not actually listening to peoples conversations, but if the government wants to know where I am going out to eat and other mundane things, I really don’t care. It is probably unfortunate that we must give up some of our privacy, but that is just a sign of the times

I really don’t see anything in the amendments that relates to personal privacy, other than the Fourth Amendment preventing the government from unreasonable search and seizure.

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Local 2nd Amendment Protection Resolutions Spreading Like Wildfire in Alabama

During the recent legislative session, the Alabama Senate created quite a stir when it passed a Second Amendment Preservation act that would have nullified unconstitutional federal gun laws in the Heart of Dixie. This was a great first step, but the Alabama House lacked the resolve to get the bill passed, and hopes of blocking violations of the Second Amendment at the state level died for the year with the end of the legislative session.

But that doesn’t mean Alabama citizens have to just sit around and wait for next year. Government bodies at the local level can step into the fray to get things done.

Two Alabama cities and one county did just that. The cities of Russellville and Red Bay both fall within Franklin County, and all three local governments recently passed similar resolutions supporting the right to keep and bear arms, and encouraging gun manufactures to set up shop in their area.

The resolutions find their legal justification in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I: Section 26 of the Alabama State Constitution that states “every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

The resolutions have six clauses, all encouraging gun manufacturing within their jurisdiction, both to maintain the defense of the citizens and for economic prosperity for their local communities.

“The council and I wanted to expressly show support for the Second Amendment,” Red Bay Mayor Bobby Forsythe said.

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Maine House Passes Bill to Nullify Unconstitutional Federal Ban on Hemp Farming and Production

Last Wednesday, the Maine House of Representatives passed LD525 (Industrial Hemp) which allows hemp cultivation in the state of Maine, effectively nullifying unconstitutional federal acts which ban the same.  The bill is a simple amendment to previous hemp farming laws removing a requirement that federal permission must first be acquired before production is authorized.  The final vote on LD525 was 24-10 (roll call here).

The amendment simply states:

3. Application. A person desiring to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes shall apply to the commissioner for a license on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The application must include the name and address of the applicant, the legal description of the land area to be used for the production of industrial hemp and a map, an aerial photograph or global positioning coordinates sufficient for locating the production fields.

4. License issued.   Upon review and approval of an application, the commissioner shall notify the applicant and request that the application fee determined under subsection 7 be submitted. Upon receipt of the appropriate fee, the commissioner shall issue a license, which is valid for a period of one year and only for the site or sites specified in the license.

The bill now has moved to the Maine State Senate where Senator Emily Cain made a motion to have the bill placed on the Special Appropriations Table. In Maine, the Special Appropriations Table is where funding of the bill is determined. If the bill is properly funded, it moves forward. However, this is also the one of those legislative road blocks that is often used to kill bills. If the Senate fails to fund a bill, it will die here. So putting pressure on Maine State Senators is crucial for the advancement of this bill.  If passed, Maine would become the 2nd state in the country to nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on hemp farming and production.  Just this month, Colorado’s Governor Hickenloooper signed a bill making his state the first.

ACTION ITEMS  

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MSNBC’s Kornacki Attacks Nullification, Makes a Fool of Himself

It’s no secret that MSNBC has no love for nullification.

Back in 2011, Rachel Maddow attempted to link the growing nullification movement to racism. Jason Rink used parts her television segment and refuted many of her statements in his documentary, Nullification: A Rightful Remedy.

The folks over at MSNBC haven’t changed their tune. Recently, The Rachel Maddow Show producer Steven Benen wrote a commentary on the show’s blog page called, Pointless Nullfication in Kansas  critical of the recently passed Firearms Freedom Act. Tenth Amendment Center’s Executive Director Michael Boldin responded to Benen’s article with an audio segment, MSNBC: Where it’s Always Opposite Day.

And the assault continues.

Recently, Up with Steve Kornacki broadcasted a show segment, again discussing the Kansas Firearms Freedom Act.

The anti-nullification slant was apparent just from the selection panel members: Democrat State Senator David Haley, Harper’s Magazine Columnist Thomas Frank who is also author of What’s the Matter with Kansas, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner from MomsRising.org and the “token” Republican Sheila Frahm, also from Kansas.

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Colorado Legislature Nullifies the Federal Ban on Hemp

Colorado’s Industrial Hemp Bill (SB13-241) passed the last legislative hurdle as the State Senate concurred with the State House’s minor Amendments. The bill now moves to the Governor Hickenlooper’s desk for his signature.

If the bill becomes law, Colorado will nullify unconstitutional federal laws and regulations which ban farmers from growing this remarkable product. Currently, the United States is the world’s largest importer of Hemp (with China and Canada the top two exporters in the world), and the Colorado legislature wants their citizens to be allowed to participate and profit in this market.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production.  The result?  Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America.

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service.  Recent congressional research indicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries.  At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.

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