Oxford, Mass Passes Strong Non-Binding Resolution Against Indefinite Detention

Just days after Albany, New York passed a resolution as a statement of intent against indefinite detention, the Town of Oxford, Massachusetts followed up with another.

Under Massachusetts home rule law, a local community organized as a town preserves the open town meeting or the representative town meeting as their governing body rather than by the vote of an elected body like a town council.  On Wednesday, by popular vote, the People of Oxford approved – nearly unanimously – a strong resolution primarily drafted by People Against the National Defense Authorization Act (P.A.N.D.A).

NO LEGAL EFFECT

Like the one passed in Albany, the resolution in Oxford is not legally-binding – it is a mere statement of opinion and intent.  It holds no force of law over the activities of town employees, or anyone else for that matter.  But, it is a strong first step towards resisting and eventually nullifying indefinite detention (and other) unconstitutional federal powers within the Town, and the state of Massachusetts.  As noted in our report on the Albany resolution, a non-binding resolution – with no force of law – is an important step because it follows James Madison’s blueprint to resist federal acts within the states.    There are 4 steps which James Madison advised for us to take to stop federal powers, and such a resolution is an important piece of that puzzle.  (learn more below)

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Companies Ask For NSA Transparency, DOJ Rejects Them

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.

Of course.

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.”

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Step Two: California vs NDAA Indefinite Detention

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:

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NullifyNSA: Michael Boldin on the Scott Horton Show

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.

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Why Doesn’t the Tenth Amendment Center Endorse Political Candidates?

politicianMany 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.

Here’s why.

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…

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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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Domino Effect: Hemp Nullification on the Way Up After Feds Back Down

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.

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