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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How Do We Determine the Original Meaning of the Constitution?

How do we determine the meaning of the Constitution? Where do we ultimately find the authoritative source for original understanding? Do we look to the Supreme Court? To the Federalist Papers? To notes from the Philadelphia Convention?

Actually, we should look to the ratifiers. They were the ones who represented the people and agreed to approve the Constitution. Jefferson affirmed this idea.

“On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

This video, with narration from the audio version of Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty, explains this idea in more depth.

WATCH IT:

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A Founder’s Case Against A ‘National’ Government

File:LutherMartinBig.jpgOn June 27-28, 1787, for over three hours, Luther Martin, Maryland’s Attorney General and delegate, objected vehemently on the floor of the Constitutional Convention. Transcripts of Mr. Martin’s remarks were recorded into history by Robert Yates (NY) and James Madison (VA). Madison was author of the Virginia plan, which Mr. Martin vigorously debated at regular intervals throughout the Convention.

Upon his arrival at the Philadelphia Convention, Luther Martin pondered possible remedies, as was his charge, to amend the Articles of Confederation, ratified and adopted March 1, 1781. An air of mystery presided over the statehouse, as the founders and framers conducted the work of the Grand Convention.

Mr. Martin reflected on his arrival to the Convention, on June 9, 1787, in a speech given to the Maryland Delegation on November 29 of that same year.

When I joined the Convention I found that Mr. Randolph, of Virginia, had laid before the Body certain propositions (the Virginia Plan) for their consideration, and that the Convention had entered into many Resolutions, respecting the manner of conducting Business, one of which was that seven states might proceed to Business, and therefore four states composing a Majority of seven, might eventually give the Law to the whole Union.

Different instructions were given to Members of different states – The delegates from Delaware were instructed not to infringe on their Local Constitution – others were prohibited their assent to any duty in Commerce: the Convention enjoined all to secrecy; so that we had no opportunity of gaining information by a Correspondence with others; and what was still more inconvenient, extracts from their own Journals were prohibited even for our own information.

One of the critical issues debated after the introduction of the Virginia Plan was the distinction between the differing types of general governments, particularly a federation and a national government. A federation exists by a compact, or contract, resting upon the good faith of the states, contrasted with a national government exercising complete control over the operation of the states. The nationalist position of the Virginia Plan was repulsive to many delegates, including Mr. Martin, who opposed the prospect of a central government. He argued it would consume the sovereignty of the states.

Beginning his remarks on the floor of the Constitutional Convention, Mr. Martin addressed the function of a general government.

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Separation of Constitution and State?

It seems we have reached a new point of inversion.

Are we at a point where references to the Constitution are now censored by the public education system? The curriculum has long been compromised with Constitutional half-truths, but are we now censoring student’s speeches that reflect on the Constitution? Is it too controversial, or just too obviously true, to allow a valedictorian to point out that the federal government is trampling rights?

According to reports, a North Texas valedictorian’s microphone was recently shut off mid-speech when his speech varied from the submitted script. The speech varied and “…he was talking about getting constitutional rights getting taken away from him.” the microphone was cut off. In fairness to the school, there was a policy in place that microphones would be shut off if the speech went off-script.

However, this trend to micromanage the speech of those that have earned the highest academic position available is problematic. What prompts the school to implement such authoritarian measures of censorship of a valedictorian’s speech? Who’s speech is it anyway?  Why did this valedictorian feel the need to remove references to the Constitution in the draft submitted to the school censors?

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Texas Senate Passes Bill to Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying, 29-1

A bill has passed through the Texas State Senate that aims to protect the privacy of their residents from the police state by instituting strict limitations on the use of unmanned drones in surveillance by law enforcement.

Dubbed the ‘Texas Privacy Act’, H.B. 912 is an attempt to rein in potential abuses related to the rapidly-developing drone technology that has made its hands into the hands of government at the state and federal levels. The bill was originally authored by Rep. Gooden (R-District 4) and has amassed over 100 co-sponsors since it was introduced Feb. 1, showing vast and bipartisan support for stopping the government’s Orwellian takeover of our skies.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 128-11 on May 10th. (roll call here)  And last Friday the Senate passed a slightly amended version of the bill by a vote of 29-1. (roll call here).  HB912 will now go back to the State House to either concur on the amendments or form a conference committee to approve a final version acceptable to both the House and Senate.  Then it’s off to Governor Perry’s desk for a signature.

BILL INFORMATION

The bill states that “a person commits an offense if the person uses or authorizes the use of an unmanned vehicle or aircraft to capture an image without the express consent of the person who owns or lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image.” The offender would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if they were caught violating this part of the law.

Data gathered by law enforcement illegally ‘may not be used as evidence in any criminal or juvenile proceeding, civil action, or administrative proceeding’ according to the bill and ‘is not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for its release.’ This incentivizes police to not misuse the drone technology unless they wish to risk jeopardizing their entire investigation.

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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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A Libertarian Case for the Department of Education

Last week the Rooney-Blansten amendment requiring the federal Common Core curriculum to devote equal time to Republican presidents was narrowly defeated in the U.S. Senate, despite a RealClearPolitics poll showing 87.8921% of the public supported the idea.

I’m a libertarian who writes frequently for the Tenth Amendment Center, and years ago I donated to the Cato Institute. But despite these impeccable credentials, I support a yeasty view of the Constitution and believe it politically expedient to pass federal legislation that ensures Republican politicians receive the same favorable treatment as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in any national civics curriculum approved by the federal Department of Education.

Anti-federal supremacists need to refine their priorities, with an eye to keeping moderate Republicans in office. The focus on “federal involvement in education” is wrong-headed and counter-productive, and overlooks the legislatively-mandated benefit (explicitly affirmed in Rooney-Blansten) of having all public schools teach no fewer than 15 positive things each about Richard Nixon, the two Bushes, and even failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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Understanding The 10th Amendment

The “winners” write the history, and always in favor of their side of the “argument”.

Government’s job is to “control” the people. Control takes power and power comes at a price: the people’s liberty. In a nutshell, government power  stands as the enemy of liberty. And when it comes to the war between power and liberty, power generally triumphs.

Government wins.

And government writes our history.

Most people allow the government to educate their children and that means they learn the approved government version of history. Sadly, it is totally corrupt. Few Americans realize it and can’t, or wont, correct the mistake.

I will try to help correct a piece of the disinformation surrounding the 10th Amendment and put it all into the correct perspective for you.

We’ve  watched government trample on the  Constitution throughout most of our recent history. We do not have to look very far to see examples. President Bush’s Administration created the The Patriot Act, anything but patriotic. Throughout his terms in office, Bush completely disregarded what the Constitution said and wielded the arms of war with wanton disregard.

President Obama continues in the same vein with more anti-constitutional measures. When Congress does not do what Obama wants he creates Executive Orders with the force of law. Effectively legislating from the White House and overstepping his constitutional boundaries without any regard to the laws our country.

Our Constitution is a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. It enumerates the exact duties, responsibilities and powers of each branch of the federal government. In other words, the federal government ONLY has the powers over things that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution. ALL OTHER POWERS are reserved for the states and people. This is succinctly spelled out in the 10th Amendment.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

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Missouri 2nd Amendment Preservation Act One Step Away from the Governor’s Desk

“The Second Amendment Preservation Act” successfully made its way through a Missouri State Senate Committee on Wednesday, bringing the state ever closer to protecting the natural rights of their citizens.

HB 436 was passed by a Senate Committee on a 4-1 vote. The bill was already passed by a strong veto-proof majority in the State House. It now awaits a full vote in the State Senate before it is fully passed and sent to the governor.

UPDATED 04-26 We’ve been informed that the Senate committee removed an unrelated amendment that the house inserted, so after passing the full senate it will first go back to the House for concurrence, then to the governor’s desk.

If passed into law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future.   It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

The bill also does a service of providing the State Legislature and the public-at-large with a history lesson that is particularly appreciated by Tenthers, saying, “The limitation of the federal government’s power is affirmed under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people of the several states to the federal government, and all power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people themselves.”

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Terrorizing the Constitution in Boston and Elsewhere

I was several blocks away at a bar when the bombs exploded, having finished my fourth Boston Marathon about an hour earlier. I was fatigued but enjoying the table fellowship of my fellow runners, telling stories, drinking Guinness and thinking all was right in the world. The bombs, by all accounts cowardly planted by two Chechen brothers, tore through that serenity and replaced it with tears, anger and fear.

Two days have now passed since the brothers were neutralized, one dead, the other hospitalized in serious condition. The media gave us a morbidly fascinating window to the action, a real life Running Man, where the bad guys were pursued in house-to-house searches with military precision courtesy of the billions in tax dollars that perfected the security-surveillance state we call America. Michel Foucalt was presciently right; we are living in a Panopticon.

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