Albany resolution against NDAA indefinite detention is a great first step, even though it does not ban indefinite detention as one organization has claimed.Details
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. – Jesus Christ
The U.S. Department of Justice denied a request by tech companies Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and Linkedln to allow them to disclose more information about the frequency with which they are contacted by the U.S. government to give up user data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (More info here)
The DOJ claims that giving these companies the ability to tell the public more about requests from federal organizations like the NSA would pose a risk to national security.
So, letting Americans know about its own government spying on them would set us up for real trouble huh? How about the threat to national security posed by the government itself? Shouldn’t the Constitution and transparency be more important? After all, you are four times more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt than by a terror attack.
Patrick Henry understood that government must remain transparent.
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
Now that the dust has settled a bit after Jerry Brown signed AB351 into law, it’s important to ask, what’s next?
If you thought the work was done and California would be “indefinite-detention” free, you thought wrong. The passage of the California Liberty Preservation Act was an important first step towards the nullification of federal indefinite detention practices in the state, but not the last one.
This advice from Samuel Adams probably sums it up best:
“Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.”
The enemies of liberty will not rest, and neither can we.
CALIFORNIA LIBERTY PRESERVATION ACT
AB351 now makes it “state policy” to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government. It reads, in part:Details
Michael Boldin, founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, discusses the states’ rights approach to fighting NSA spying on Americans; the unlikely coalition that pushed through the NDAA-defying California Liberty Preservation Act (AB-351); and using anti-commandeering court precedents to withhold water and power from NSA data centers in Utah and Texas.Details
Many of the liberty-minded and tea party groups in Tennessee and across the country are gearing up for the 2014 elections. Groups and coalitions are forming up to “beat this guy” or “elect that gal.” This is all well and good. Getting good people who understand constitutional principles into office and keeping them there is a noble and important endeavor.
Not surprisingly, the Tenth Amendment Center gets constant requests to endorse candidates, or join coalitions to choose candidates to run for a particular office. A few months ago, a Tennessee state politician offered the Tenth Amendment Center $1,000 to support a campaign for federal office. Needless to say, the offer was flatly refused.
The Tenth Amendment Center does not endorse candidates or politicians, and it never will.
People aren’t infallible.
First, people disappoint. With rare exceptions, even politicians that start out with the best of intentions and a commitment to their principles become corrupted over time with access to power. It’s a given that no human being is perfect or infallible. That’s why we maintain our allegiance to the ideals and principles of the Constitution – never politicians.
While we work with a elected officials to accomplish our goals, we are adamant about maintaining our objectivity and independence. Suppose a politician runs a good Tenth Amendment bill, then turns around and does something incredibly stupid. An endorsement implies that we support all aspects of a politician’s policy initiatives. But by maintaining our objectivity, we can praise elected officials when they do the right things, and call out politicians when they stray. Keeping our distance from campaigns keeps us from getting caught in the predicament of having to ignoring bad behavior because of an endorsement.
Chasing every barking dog…
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!Details
Nullification is a funny thing.
We can’t always tell where or when the next domino will fall, but trends matter.
When it comes hemp cultivation, the federal government isn’t having an effect on the states; rather it’s the states having an effect on each other, and in turn influencing the federal government!
Last year’s legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington is the gift that keeps on giving.
Last August, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice essentially backed down in the face of marijuana legalization by popular vote in both states, saying it would not challenge the new state laws. It’s nearly impossible to enforce these types of prohibitions without local and state support, so in an effort to prevent further embarrassment, the feds issued a stand down order for prosecutors in Colorado and Washington. Now it’s not just Coloradans and Washingtonians taking advantage of this turn in events since the feds abandoned ship. Advocates of industrial hemp see the DOJ announcement as an open door for state production of the crop.Details
The state of Utah is supplying water to the new Data Center in Bluffdale, UT at a rate of 1.7 MILLION gallons of water every single day. Without that water, the computers there can’t be cooled, and the NSA can no longer carry out its “critical missions.” We know that the NSA has had a…Details
One criticism leveled against nullification is that it is usually a “partisan thing.”
In other words, most of the proponents of nullifying Obamacare are Republicans. Also, a vast majority of proponents of nullifying the war on drugs are Democrats.
This is a true statement.
With most nullification efforts now underway, the effort is partisan. This is not a real argument against the movement; it is simply an observation. In reality, any effort, with certain exceptions, will of necessity be partisan. (As it will be nullifying an act of the federal government controlled at the time by one party or the other).
Of course, these same critics would hold up the Patriot Act (passed by a Republican, and sustained now for five years by a Democrat) as some shining example of good governance. To these people, the fact that an act passed Congress, the Senate, and was signed by the president, gives automatic legitimacy, as long as some of the people who passed the bill were on both sides of the “aisle.” They would have you believe that the acts of Congress all represent the consensus of the nation at large.
But what is consensus?Details