Bipartisanship, Republic, and Nullification

Often times, when politicians do something that is illegal (for the feds the word illegal is a synonym with unconstitutional), they attempt to defend their actions by claiming it’s “bipartisan.”

This status is supposed to put their actions beyond suspicion. This tactic is used by Republicans, and Democrats alike. It is an amusing exercise to examine the issues that are bipartisan. Usually, these are the things government is doing that has the least support amongst the citizenry. Things like going to war or spying on citizens, are usually bipartisan. The Patriot Act was bipartisan when it passed. So was TARP, bailouts, the Iraq war, etc.

In reality of course, mere bipartisanship does not elevate government actions above the law. For instance, no amount of support for the 2012 NDAA can reconcile the kidnapping citizens without due process (or even outright assassination, depending upon the interpretation by the president) with the Constitution. No amount of agreement can justify the invasion of a foreign country by the president without congressional action. No amount of proper procedure and agreement among parties can justify the blanket violations of life liberty and property that are endemic to the Obamacare bill. No amount of agreement, even among citizens, can justify a violation of the Constitution. Period. If the necessary agreement does exist, an amendment still must pass to make the action legal. That is what it means to live in a republic.

If we lived in a democracy, then simple agreement could justify such things. If we lived in a democracy, a vote to steal our neighbor’s possessions because he has more than we do would be sufficient to justify theft, and a vote to assassinate a fellow citizen because he scares us would be sufficient justification to kill him. In fact, a 50 percent+1 majority would be sufficient to do anything the majority wanted. Indeed, these are the reasons that a democracy is eternally at war with itself.

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Time to Shift Gears

As the state legislative session in Salem, Orgeon comes to an end, it’s time to wrap up a few things – time to shift our focus to the very local -?- (Sheriffs, County Councils, City Councils), as opposed to the somewhat remote (Salem).  This means that for the next several months, the focus of activism in Oregon needs to be on the local.  This is not to say that we’re giving up on Salem, on the contrary, any local successes we have will feed into the momentum towards nullifications at the state level!

As kind of an end-of-session wrap up, I’d like to just recap what has been accomplished here in Oregon:

The Good

The Drone bill

HB2710 and SB71 both passed their respective houses of the legislature – unfortunately, they were not signed into law, but at the next full session, they will be more likely to pass.  These are bills that would extend the normal requirements for a mandatory warrant for the Federal Gov’s surveillance performed with a drone, as well as place controls upon federal drones in the state of Oregon.  Hopefully, in 2015, it will get further, but just having it passed in both houses shows that there is enough courage to defy the feds, as well as respect for privacy rights here in Oregon.

The Pot bill

HB3371 was introduced in the House, and even got through committee.  It was referred to revenue, and there it died.  However, I think the bill will be back and will have more success in 2015; this is, after all, Oregon- and if there is one thing ‘we’ don’t like being last in line for, it’s pot.  Washington has legalized it, and so has Colorado.  Please understand, I am not condoning pot use, I am simply backing this measure because it is not a federal issue.  Although I do not believe in prohibition, or government in control of consumption in any way (and of course I counsel my children against it), If there is to be prohibition laws, the legal way to accommodate these is at the state level (or through a constitutional amendment).  This bill would have legalized pot use, and treated it as it does alcohol (although it added an awful lot of layers of regulation).  I am still hoping for a pot bill that will not erect enormous amounts of government, but maybe we are not to that stage yet.

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Nullification is like a BBQ

The current Federal government has been consistently growing Larger, more corrupt, and more importantly interconnected with corporate sponsors, and union lawyers over the last century – and as a result, it is very resistant to change. It is layered with career public servants who work tirelessly to justify their rent-seeking  jobs, and to ensure they will be able to retire after a long career. There are career politicians who no longer live in their districts in any meaningful way as Congress is virtually constantly in session. There are armies of lobbyists whose job it is to bribe the legislature into spending constituent money on non-governmental (let alone enumerated) functions. There is a judiciary (appointed for life) who rubber-stamp? any actions of their bosses and hiring managers as “Constitutional,” to put any action of the Federal government above suspicion. There is a military police apparatus fighting for more laws to enforce, and are demanding a more obedient subservient populace. There is a military-military contractor complex that fights to ensure we maintain a military infrastructure around the world, so that we can respond to any action overseas even before the local military (to the extent that the local government even has a military in place) can respond.

With all these layers, and the structural problems of the disenfranchised state legislatures, and the Federal reserve (monopoly money) funding system, and the first cut at tax revenues that the Feds get, (as well as the perception in the states that somehow “federal tax money” is free money to be spent as desired as long as it’s offered as “matching funds” or if it is spent instead of the states very own money (as if it comes from a different place)… The structure of the Federal government is complex. Any attempts to change it over the last several decades have been simple and quick.

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NSA Doublespeak, Federal Crimes and Punishment

The oath of office for any federal employee (excepting the President) reads as follows:

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

With this in mind, I have a hard time figuring out what part of this oath the NSA leaker violated…  Bob Schiefer from CBS news appears to think Snowden  should give himself up, and start making himself comfortable in the generous accommodations that are available in American Cuba…

I’m sure that is something Snowden is considering, yet Maybe Mr. Schiefer’s argument needs a little more consideration to be sure that justice would be accomplished with this approach.  Lets consider a few things:

1.       Which part of Snowden’s oath was violated?

The Federal oath begins “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Are there foreign enemies of the Constitution that were empowered by the disclosure of the fact that the Federal govt. was collecting most of the phone data from virtually every American ?  Possibly, but I think they already had an understanding that this was happening.  Were there Domestic enemies who would benefit from the release of the same information?  On the contrary, Domestic enemies who were violating the Constitution were exposed as a consequence of Snowden’s actions.

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Even a Blind Squirrel Sometimes Finds a Nut

The Supreme Court just released its opinion on DOMA, and Prop 8.  The justices showed some rare wisdom here, and even applied the Constitution in ways I never expected them to.  I suppose, just when you are certain of the utter uselessness of an organization, they can perform one righteous act to make a liar out of you.

First let me explain what the Constitutional position of the federal government should be on marriage.

None.

It’s that simple. Marriage is not mentioned once in the Constitution. It is not related to an enumerated power, and as a religious institution, it is arguably forbidden for the feds to pass laws concerning it under the First Amendment.

But, I will allow one disclaimer to this position: the full faith and credit clause in Article4:

“Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”

Both gay rights activists and traditional marriage protectionists rely upon this clause to make the claim that America must either embrace or ban the practice of gay marriage across the nation.  This fight comes down to contract rights.  Gay marriage proponents ask: if marriage is a contract drawn up in one state, why is another state not bound to enforce it?   This is the same argument slave owners used to force the northern states to return runaway slaves during the ante-bellum American period.

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What Does Peggy Hill Have to Fear from the NSA?

I work nights.

On my “days” off, I used to switch to a daytime wake/sleep schedule in order to spend quality time with my family, but I no longer do.  In my old(er) age, I have discovered that the amount of time I render myself useless due to lack of sleep, plus the amount of time it takes me to get back into night-mode after a 3-day weekend is just too much to be worthwhile for anyone anymore.  Consequently, I spend a lot of time watching King of the Hill in the early morning hours while waiting until it is time to wake my daughter for school.

During a particularly funny re-run, I saw something that just happened to illustrate the problem with the NSA’s, and many American’s, reasoning, “if you’re not doing anything wrong, what’s your problem with us monitoring you?”

This episode of KOTH starts with Bobby (son) going camping with Hank (dad) and the guys for the weekend.  Peggy (mom) assures Hank that she will be fine alone – getting some housework done, and maybe working a crossword puzzles over the weekend.  But while the guys were out getting scouting badges, something happens that Peggy hopes Hank and Bobby never find out.

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IRS: Corrupt to the Core

In 1913, the 16th Amendment became part of the Constitution for these United States, allowing the federal government to tax “income.”

Since then, this seemingly harmless change in funding methodology has ballooned into something the drafters of the amendment couldn’t have imagined. Surely they didn’t expect the agency charged with collections to adopt rules and regulations effectively repealing the Fifth Amendment when dealing with it? Certainly they did not plan to create thousands of pages of regulations that no average citizen could be expected to understand, costing tens of billions of dollars in compliance costs every year. They couldn’t have anticipated that the total spending of the U.S. Government would balloon to the point that it now consumes between four and eight times what it did pre-income tax (relative to GDP). Surely they did not expect these things, or maybe they did, but by-God, we got them.

One thing is clear to me after observing federal politics over these last couple of decades…the resignation of a few key officials will not fix what ails the IRS.

Just like Obama is not the only problem in D.C., these IRS officials aren’t the problem with the IRS. The truth be told Obama is ‘only’ expanding on what Bush, Clinton, Bush, and even Reagan did before him. The problem is systemic…just like the IRS problem.

The IRS is merely being the IRS. Even if every tin-pot, dictator-wannabe in the agency gets fired, and an entire new regime is installed tomorrow, the IRS will still be bound by the corrupt rules ignoring and violating the Constitution each and every day.

The rules that the IRS drafts are viewed as ‘constitutional’ because  the agency was actually created pursuant to an act of Congress to raise revenue for the treasury during the Civil War, long before the 16th Amendment was even passed. The rules it operates under were simply adopted by the IRS itself, and deemed to be constitutional because the the agency itself is a creation of the Treasury Department! Nonetheless, they pass regulations that contradict the Constitution all the time. Not to mention, anybody who does a little research knows that following the “constitutional path” to pass a law does automatically magically endow an act constitutional.

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Will DC be the next “State” to Nullify Federal Prohibition?

Oh the irony to think that the capital city of these united states will be nullifying their own law even while their agents are raiding dispensaries in the states.  The voters in the city of DC approved medical Marijuana in 1998, and finally all of the licensing is complete.  The dispensary by the name of Capital City Care will be the first to open on the 22nd of April within blocks of the White House, and with a clear view of the US Capital.  This will be a hugevictory for the forces of liberty, in the face of the growing police state.

After resisting the clear will of the American people for so long, DC could have to call it quits and accept the demise of the war on drugs (police state), as they join the 18 states that have already nullified the war on pot (as a legal drug) .  As I have always said, weed is much like the war on drugs.

Respectable opinion on weed seems to be that it is a “gateway drug”.  This is meant to give the impression that one puff of it will lead one through a gateway and down a path towards desperation, and dependence upon drugs for daily functioning.  Doing unspeakable things for the next hit of your current drug of choice.  Theft and violence will become the life of the addict or so says this paradigm.  In reality it is the war on drugs that is the gateway, it is a gateways towards tyranny, and authoritarianism.

It is ironically the so called “Constitutional” Conservative who are the biggest cheerleaders for this insane policy.  Even as they hold the correct position on so many policies that you should not pile additional laws on already illegal behavior (such as opposing gun control because murder is already illegal, or opposing hate crimes because the crimes they punish are already illegal.)  None the less they point towards the culture of crime that surrounds the drug trade (as surrounds all black markets regardless of the banned items for sale) and say “look drugs cause murders and robberies.”  Murder and theft are already illegal, so why is that an argument for prohibition?

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Oregon needs to end Obamacare, and here is how.

Senator Boquist was brave enough to sponsor another nullification of Obamacare for 2013 (SB282).  We need to ensure this bill gets at least a hearing in the Senate.  In order to do this I am challenging all of the followers of the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center to follow my lead and write one letter to the editor and one letter to be sent to every Senator in Oregon (it is only 30, and you can send the same letter to all if you choose.  but make sure you send the letter to your Senator as a person to person email so he knows you are writing to him and him alone.)

A very close friend and political ally of mine once said there is no more moving story than your own personnal true story.  With that in mind I am asking my followers to do something that is uncomfortable for many liberty oriented individuals.  I want you to tell your story and how Obamacare directly effects you.

Does it make your care more expensive, is it making you lose your insurance or job, What effect is this having upon your family?  Since this will be uncomfortable for many of you I want to start with my story here (which has been sent to all of the Senators, and to the Oregonian.) 

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