What if Laws Applied to Everyone?

What if government officials have written laws that apply only to us and not to them? What if we gave them the power to protect our freedoms and our safety and they used that power to trick and trap some of us? What if government officials broke the laws we hired them to enforce? What if they prosecuted others for breaking the same laws they broke?

What if the government enacted a law making it a crime to provide material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if that law was intended to stop people from giving cash and weapons to organizations that bomb and maim and kill? What if the government looked at that law and claimed it applied to a dentist or a shopkeeper who sold services or goods to a terrorist organization, and not just to financiers and bomb makers?

What if an organization that killed also owned a hospital or a school and the law made it a crime to contribute to the hospital or the school? What if the Supreme Court ruled that the law is so broad that it covers backslapping, advocacy and free speech? What if the court ruled that the law makes it a crime to encourage any terrorist organization to do anything – fix teeth, educate children, save lives or kill people? What if the law makes it a crime to talk to any person known to be a terrorist? What if the law is so broad that it punishes ideas and the free expression of those ideas, even if no one is harmed thereby?

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Colorado Nullifies Federal Hemp Ban With Governor’s Signature

COLORADO SPRINGS – On Tuesday, Colorado Gov.John Hickenlooper signed SB13-241 into law, effectively nullifying the federal ban on industrial hemp farming in the Centennial State.

Under the new law, the Colorado Department of Agriculture can create a state Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and Registry, giving Colorado’s farmers the ability to begin the process to “engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes.”

The recent passage of Amendment 64 legalizing the cultivation and recreational use of marijuana in Colorado had the major impact on the state’s agricultural sector, and laid the groundwork for passage of this bill. Now, farmers in Colorado can apply for a 10 acre research plot, or they can apply for larger farms.

“I believe this is really going to revitalize and strengthen farm communities,” says Ryan Lofin, the man who planted Americas first hemp crop in 60 years on 60 acres of his family’s Colorado farmland. That plot previously supported alfalfa.

Steve Wilson of the Missouri Hemp Network praised Colordado’s new law.

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Crossing the Rubicon?

In 49 B.C., Julius Caesar was leading his army and came upon the Rubicon River. The Provence  on the opposite side of the river had a law that said that no general could lead armies in that province. All armies had to be disbanded and the generals could not be in front. The penalty for disobeying this law was death to the general and death to the soldiers.

Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River leading his army and said, “The die is cast.” – He fought and defeated the local forces and that law was then abolished. Since that time, the phrase” crossing the Rubicon” survived and represents any situation in which there is no turning back. Whatever consequences arise from this decision are accepted.

We citizens of these United States  have “crossed the Rubicon.” We are confronted daily with a federal government that is overreaching and intrusive. Their voracious appetite for power and control has encroached on our very liberty and freedom.

With a heavy hand and an abuse of power, the federal government has sought to run roughshod over the sovereignty of our states, and has insisted on making laws, rules and regulations severely curtailing the freedom, liberty and rights enjoyed by this citizenry.

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Your Congress, Your NSA Spying

by Jim Harper, CATO Institute

The National Security Agency is collecting records of every domestic and cross-border Verizon phone call between now and July 19th. The secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over these records has been leaked to the Guardian.

You may find that outrageous. 1984 has arrived. Big Brother is watching you.

But the author of this story is not George Orwell. It’s Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and you.

Here’s what I mean: In June of last year, Representative Smith (R) introduced H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act of 2012. Its purpose was to extend the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for five years, continuing the government’s authority to collect data like this under secret court orders. The House Judiciary Committee reported the bill to the full House a few days later. The House Intelligence Committee, having joint jurisdiction over the bill, reported it at the beginning of August. And in mid-September, the Housepassed the bill by a vote of 301 to 118.

Sent to the Senate, the bill languished until very late in the year. But with the government’s secret wiretapping authority set to expire, the Senate took up the bill on December 27th. Whether by plan or coincidence, the Senate debated secret surveillance of Americans’ communications during the lazy, distracted period between Christmas and the new year.

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Evanston, IL Passes Resolution Against Warrantless Drone Spying

On May 28, the city of Evanston, Ill.  became the third U.S. city to pass a resolution against the use of unmanned drones for warrantless surveillance.

The City of Evanston establishes a moratorium on the use of drones in the City of Evanston in the absence of reasonable state and federal regulation of the use of drone technology which will expire without further action by the City Council two years from the date of this resolution; with the following exemptions:

Exceptions include hobby model aircraft and experimental aircraft not associated with the Department of Defense.

The resolution also expresses support for state efforts to restrict drone use. In fact, the Illinois legislature recently passed a bill doing just that, and it awaits the governor’s signature.

The city’s action is notable. Northwestern University is located in Evanston. As an Ivy League school, Northwestern attracts students, faculty and guests from all over the world. As a university, it is very reliant upon the federal government to provide research grants, to set-up research facilities, and it receives Title 8 funding for students. Northwestern is a major force in the Evanston community, and contributes greatly to the local economy.  One can only imagine the pressure exerted on these city council members.

Several lessons can be gleaned from their passage of the resolution.

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Lesson Learned on NSA Spying? Hopefully?

Dear Republican,

I hear you’re a little miffed at Obama’s National Security Agency collecting phone records of millions of innocent American Verizon customers. I read some comments on the “bombshell” over at Townhall.com. Guy Benson seems displeased.

I hear ya!

I’m more than a little perturbed myself. I was always under the impression that the Fourth Amendment limited the federal government’s power to snoop around in innocent people’s private affairs without a warrant.

But I have to admit, I’m a little confused about your indignation. After all, you made it all possible!

Remember the Patriot Act?

Yup. It was your guy, George W. Bush, who insisted the feds needed these broad, sweeping powers to “protect us from the terrorists.” When civil libertarians protested and invoked the Constitution, you ridiculed them and swore it was “only for the terrorists.” You insisted these powers were absolutely necessary to “keep us safe.” I guess you never stopped to think “your guy” wouldn’t remain in power forever.

Nice bed you made.

Comfy?

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Constitutional Sheriffs Convention a Successful Promotion of Liberty

originally published at The New American

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) held a successful convention last Friday and Saturday at the Ameristar Hotel in St. Charles, Missouri, a large suburb west of St. Louis. (See video below.)

Featuring a variety of nationally recognized speakers delivering dozens of liberty-promoting messages, the hundreds of lawmen and lawmakers in attendance were reminded of the vital role played by state and local law enforcement and elected officials in repelling the federal government’s assault on freedom.

A central aspect of the state and local counter-offensive is the nullification of any and all unconstitutional acts of the federal government.

Presentations on the first day of the convention were divided into four sections: The Constitution and the Oath of Office; The Right to Keep and Bear Arms; State Sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment; and American Liberty: Whose Job is it?

Representing the John Birch Society, this reporter spoke during the fourth segment, describing threats to liberty posed by the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the effectiveness of state measures refusing to enforce those provisions inside state borders.

Other keynote speakers included Sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the CSPOA, who recounted his experience fighting the Brady Bill and winning his case at the Supreme Court.

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New York Assembly Votes to Nullify Unconstitutional Marijuana Prohibition, 99-41

ALBANY, N.Y.  – New York moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.

On Monday, the state Assembly passed A06357 99-41.

Under this legislation, state-registered patients diagnosed with one of over a dozen serious medical conditions — including cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress, arthritis, diabetes, or epilepsy — would be allowed to possess up to 2 and one-half ounces of cannabis. The measure also allows for the establishment of licensed not-for-profit and for-profit facilities to produce and distribute cannabis to qualified patients. Non-registered patients would be able to present an affirmative defense of medical necessity at trial.

New York voters strongly support allowing patients to have access to marijuana therapy. According to a 2013 Sienna Research Institute poll, 82 percent of New Yorkers — including 81 percent of Democrats and Republicans — endorse the use of marijuana when authorized by a physician. This is an increase in support of 21 percent since pollsters last asked the question in 2012.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

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Rockwall, Texas Resolves to Preserve Second Amendment

ROCKWALL, Texas – The City Council of Rockwall  voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution “to protect and defend the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms” during its meeting in March.

A Dallas TV station called the packed out meeting “a grass roots show of support for gun rights.”

A Rockwall High School senior and future Air Force Academy cadet joined at least nine other residents speaking in favor of the resolution.

“Our rights — specifically our Second Amendment rights — are being threatened by the federal government,” Zach Maginnis said. “As a citizen of Rockwall, I’d like to see my hometown lead by example and prepare a public response to these threats.”

Rockwall joins a wave of Texas cities and counties passing resolutions against the federal government and its infringement on the Second Amendment. Rockwall joined Cooke and Bandera Counties, as well as the cities League City, Gonzales, Temple, Tiki Island, Lake Worth, and most recently Prosper.

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Hertford, NC Passes Resolution in Support of the 2nd Amendment

The North Carolina legislature may have been unable to pass the firearms freedom act this year, and  it has yet to introduce a Second Amendment preservation act, but that doesn’t mean steps to defend the right to keep and bear arms are not being taken in the Tar Heel State. Local governments are taking steps to defend the Second Amendment, creating pressure that will undoubtedly be felt in Raleigh next year.

Hertford County was the most recent locality in North Carolina to pass a local resolution to preserve the Second Amendment.

The Hertford County Board of Commissioners resolves as representatives of the people to defend the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 30 of the North Carolina Constitution and will not consent to unconstitutional laws, executive orders, or foreign/domestic tyranny. Furthermore, the Commissioners call upon the Governor and General Assembly of North Carolina to pass legislation that will guarantee the protection of our God-given right in the defense of our liberty and our persons for all North Carolinians to bear arms.”

This resolution was approved without objection.

Hertford County joins with other North Carolina counties that have passed resolutions this year to preserve the right to bear arms including Carteret, Cherokee, Beaufort, Lenoir, Pitt, Moore, and Franklin counties.

Local pressure created by cities, counties, and municipalities passing resolutions and ordinances will increase the likelihood of the North Carolina legislature passing a state bill to preserve the Second Amendment in the next session.

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