“No man, but one of his (Andrew Jackson’s) peculiar intellect, would ever think of an amendment of the Constitution as a means of resisting a breach of that instrument. It is not the object to amend the Constitution, but to preserve it unimpaired as it is.” – Abel P. Upshur

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South Carolina Pinball Law: Null and Void

Does nullification work?

Some argue that it does not. Sometimes they call it ineffective political posturing. Sometimes they claim we simply can’t overcome a powerful government through nullification strategies. Sometimes they don’t even have a reason; they just swear it won’t work.

But here’s the thing…it has!

First we need to understand the goal of nullification. Ultimately, we simply want to render a law unenforceable and irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the law remains on the books. If the authorities can’t or simply won’t enforce it any more, we can claim success.

But does it really work?

Yes!

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Efforts to Legalize Hemp In Kentucky Bring Together Activists, Lawmakers and Business Leaders

Mention hemp and it will likely evoke images of long-haired hippies in sandals banging drums and burning incense. But more likely than not, you will find today’s major players in the full-court press to legalize industrial hemp wearing suits and ties, not tie-dye T-shirts.

In fact, the coalition driving the hemp movement in Kentucky features prominent business leaders, farmers and political figures, including state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

Comer began pushing for legalization within a month of taking office in 2011. His efforts paid off when the Kentucky legislature passed SB50 last March. The law legalizes industrial hemp farming in the Bluegrass State, but the federal government must first lift its ban before farmers can begin planting the crop.

“I have long believed that industrial hemp had great potential as a profitable crop for Kentucky farmers. Hemp is used to produce paper, clothing, cosmetics, construction materials, automobile parts, foods, and thousands of other products. We know that hemp grows well in Kentucky and elsewhere in the U.S.,” Comer said. “Kentucky was the leading hemp-producing state in the mid-19th century, and we ramped production up to record levels for the war effort in the 1940s. We should be growing hemp, and making hemp products in Kentucky and the United States. I will do everything in my power to make hemp legalization a reality.”

In fact, a recent Department of Justice memo declaring it will not challenge marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado could pave the way for hemp production in Kentucky, although Attorney General Jack Conway disagrees with that assessment.

A February 1938 article in Popular Mechanics dubbed industrial hemp the “New Billion-Dollar Crop. “ After years of declining production, the magazine predicted a renaissance with the invention of a machine that removed the fiber-bearing cortex from the stalk, opening the door for low cost production of products ranging from rope to paper.

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A Glimpse into the Basement: Government is Force

This government shutdown gives us just a little glimpse into the basement under Washington D.C.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Most attribute the quote to George Washington, although that remains questionable. But whether the first president uttered those words or not, they stand no less true.

Sometimes when I talk about tyranny, or the danger of centralized power, people accuse me of hyperbole. Honestly, sometimes it is. But any honest study of history reveals mtrushmorethat centralized governments rarely “care” for the people they lord over. They become self-serving institutions detached from the people, obsessed with maintaining their power and extending their authority.

The so-called government shut down cracks the door just a tad and allows us to peek into the dark basement below Washington D.C. I find what I see chilling.

The U.S. government is a bully.

Since the government partially closed last week, we’ve caught glimpses of this petty “I’ll show you mentality.”

The feds shut down websites.

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State Governors Admit Feds Need State Help With Most Federal Programs

This so-called government shutdown has provided a lot of political theater and more than its fare-share of silliness. But state governors reaffirmed a very important fact in the midst of the lunacy.

The federal government depends on states to get things done.

The National Governors Association sent a panicked letter to congressional leadership on Monday, begging them to avoid a shutdown. In this email, the governors affirm something we’ve been saying for a long time – the feds need the states.

States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs. A lack of certainty at the federal level from a shutdown therefore translates directly into uncertainty and instability at the state level. [Emphasis added]

Did you catch that?  Most federal programs.

That means the states have a great deal of power!

States can refuse to serve as cooperative partners and SHUT THINGS DOWN!

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In a Constitutional System, the Shutdown Wouldn’t Matter

usdaA few thoughts on the so-called government shutdown.

First, let’s just call it what it is. Political theater with bad actors!

What we have does not constitute a shutdown. If you go to the airport, TSA agents will still grope you. The IRS will collect taxes from American paychecks during the duration of the shutdown. The NSA will continue spying on Americans. Yemeni’s remain under the threat of droning. Heck, Obamacare even went live on the first day of the shutdown. Well, sort of.

This shutdown sucks.

Instead of a real suspension of government activities, a huge number of which violate the Constitution, we have barricades at national parks and shuttered websites like www.usda.gov.

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.

As if it costs money or takes manpower for a website to continue floating in cyberspace.flotus

Apparently the furlough took out Michelle Obama’s social media person. Her last tweet declares updates will be limited during the shutdown.

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Illinois Governor Signs Bill Limiting Drone Use Into Law

Law enforcement in Illinois will now have to work under strict regulations when it comes to drones.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill restricting drone spying to the point of near extinction into law late last month.

SB1587  prohibits law enforcement agencies from using unmanned drones to gather evidence or other information without a warrant in most cases.

The House overwhelmingly passed the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act 105-12 on May 30. The Senate gave its approval 52-1 in April and quickly concurred with two House Amendments the day after House passage. Gov. Quinn inked his name on the legislation on Aug. 27.

The act does leave the door open for some drone use.  The prime exception allows for the use of drones “to counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.” In addition, the bill would permit law enforcement agencies to use drones when attempting to locate a missing person, as long as that flight was “not also undertaking a criminal investigation.”  It would also allow for review of a crime scene and traffic crash scene photography.  Any information gathered by a drone would have to be destroyed within 30 days, unless the information proved to contain evidence of criminal activity, or was relevant to a trial or investigation.

While the exceptions raise legitimate concerns, as things existed prior to the law,  Illinois had no protections against drones.

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Oregon County Takes First Step Toward Nullifying Indefinite Detention

Earlier this week, Klamath County, Oregon, took the first step toward nullifying indefinite detention.

Congress codified indefinite detention into law in sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Despite assurances from administration officials and members of Congress that it applies “only to the terrorists,” a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional because of broad language that could apply to pretty much anybody. And the Obama administration has fought hard to overturn that ruling. (Read more about indefinite detention HERE and HERE.)

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution condemning indefinite detention under not only the NDAA, but also under “an authorization for use of military force or any similar law or authority claimed by Congress or the Office of the President,” calling it “unconstitutional and therefore unlawful.” The resolution also calls on the Oregon legislature to interpose on behalf of the citizens.

Klamath County requests the Oregon State Legislature recognize the duty of the state of Oregon to interpose itself between unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government or its agents and the people of this state, as well as the duty to defend the unalienable natural rights of the people, all of which is consistent with out oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of Oregon against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Klamath County joins Coos County in condemning federal kidnapping and calling on Salem to act against it. These Oregon counties  join a chorus of local governments across the U.S. opposing indefinite detention.

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Great Stand By Cruz Won’t Stop Obamacare. Nullify It.

I rarely get to report something “good” coming out of Congress.

But the Senate filibuster on Obamacare by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)  certainly falls into that category.

Cruz stood on his principles. He stood for 21 hours and 19 minutes. He stood, and he talked.  He stood despite a lack of support from Republican leadership (ie. Mitch McConnell). He stood up for the American people in the face of a draconian and unconstitutional law that will do unimaginable damage to the economy, and more importantly to freedom and liberty.

“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz said at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Technically, the speech wasn’t really a filibuster. He did not delay a procedural vote scheduled for Wednesday and gave up the floor at noon per to Senate rules. Essentially Cruz gave voice to a whole lot of Americans who rarely get heard. Kudos to him.

The speech featured some great lines, including a reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, and some amusing senatorial self-deprecation.

“This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who cares? … You know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?” Cruz said.

Rand Paul quoted Bastiat.

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Unconstitutional Protection for Federally Defined ‘Journalists’

When the feds tell you they want to protect your rights, watch out! In all likelihood, that means they plan to strip some of your rights away and expand their own power.

Case in point, a “shield law” for journalists currently the subject of congressional debate.  The political class wants to protect journalists from requirements to reveal sources or documents. S.987 would “maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.”

Sound good, right?

But consider this: in the process, Congress gets to define a “journalist.”

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