Twelfthers?

It is amazing that during Thanksgiving week, there are still some obsessing publicly over the presidential election earlier this month.  A recent article from World Net Daily details how the Electoral College could be prevented from selecting a president.  To add to a Tenther’s list of reasons to be thankful, let’s include no longer being wrapped up in this nonsense.

Technically, Judson Phillips is correct as he outlines the ways in which the Twelfth Amendment can prevent President Obama from serving another term.  In order for the Electoral Votes to be certified, a quorum of two-thirds of the 50 states must participate in the Electoral College.  If seventeen of the twenty-four states can be persuaded to do this, the Electoral College will not have a quorum and will be unable to renew Obama’s lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Phillips calls on readers in what could call dubbed the “Twelfther” movement to contact the Secretaries of State in the states Romney carried and tell them not to participate in the Electoral College in the hopes of denying Democratic states the necessary quorum.

If the Electoral College does not choose a president, the decision constitutionally goes to the Congress, with the Republican-dominated House being likely to choose Romney as president and the enlarged Democrat majority in the Senate reelecting Vice President Joe Biden to his post.  If that happens, what then?

Phillips admits Romney would not be a great president, but he would be better than Obama.  How much better, in terms of results, would a Romney presidency be given the current makeup of Congress?  Let’s explore this.

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Texas Moves To Nullify NDAA

House Bill 149 (LS: 83R) – Texas Liberty Preservation Act.

Website: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB149

HB149 is a Bill introduced in the Texas Legislative Process on Nov. 12, 2012, by its author (Rep. Lyle Larson) and currently sits at stage 1 (filed). The design of the Bill is to nullify portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) implemented by the federal law. Specifically, sections 1021 and 1022 are being made invalid and illegal in the State of Texas. You can read the entire bill here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/HB00149I.pdf#navpanes=0

Section (1) (b) (1) of the Bill lays out the constitutional groundwork of the findings that prompted the bill in the first place. It notes the limitations of the federal government under the 10th Amendment. It read:

(b) The legislature finds that:
(1) The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution authorizes the United States federal government to exercise only those powers specifically delegated to it under Article I, Section 8, United States Constitution;

Many people think that whatever the federal government creates as law it is the “supreme law of the land” but that is not true. Often the federal government creates laws that are thrown out because they go beyond the powers delegated to the government in the Constitution. Section (1) (b) (3) of the Bill makes this point eloquently clear. It reads:

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Brief Highlights from United Nations “Agenda 21″

The below sections are taken directly from the United Nations Agenda 21, and represents some of the serious concerns this plan represents to liberty for our people. Please note this overview is intended as a brief introduction, which may interest folks in looking further into the possible ramifications of Governmental Centralization. Please utilize the links at the bottom of the article to explore more of the discussion.

Section 1.1. Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development.

Section 1.3. Agenda 21 addresses the pressing problems of today and also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next century. It reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation. Its successful implementation is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments. National strategies, plans, policies and processes are crucial in achieving this. International cooperation should support and supplement such national efforts. In this context, the United Nations system has a key role to play. Other international, regional and subregional organizations are also called upon to contribute to this effort. The broadest public participation and the active involvement of the non-governmental organizations and other groups should also be encouraged.

Section 2.32. All countries should increase their efforts to eradicate mismanagement of public and private affairs, including corruption, taking into account the factors responsible for, and agents involved in, this phenomenon.

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“Constitutional Rights”? Not Really

I frequently hear people talk about how many “constitutional rights” we have lost under (fill in whichever President’s name). This brings up a very interesting misunderstanding about the origin of our rights… For one thing, our rights don’t come from the Constitution; the Constitution merely recognizes that our rights preexist it.

For instance, in the 2nd Amendment it goes like this:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” ..not “the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms” – this is a very important difference in syntax! This is true throughout the document, and the document even recognizes in the 9th Amendment that we have all the rights not specifically mentioned.

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

If the Constitution gave rights, then the syntax of the 9th would say something like “that the people shall enjoy” or “that the people shall have” instead of retained by the people.”

The meaning of the subtle difference here is profound, and has vast implications!

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To Intervene or Not to Intervene?

Turkey has a fighter plane shot down by a Syrian missile defense battery. Do you think that they will respond with military force? Do you wonder if anyone in our central government said that they wished it was one of our F4 Phantoms that was fired upon?

Syria, much like Libya before it, is in a civil war. There is a large group of people tired of the oppression of their ruling government and they are killing each other.

We had a President once who thought he knew better and went to war to prevent a bunch of states from withdrawing from the union of states that they had previously sought to join as members.

No country decided who was right and who was wrong and sent troops over here to fight on a side; did they? Is it our place to decide who is right and who is wrong in Libya, or Syria?

Let us say our country arrives at a point where we find ourselves in a civil war.

Say the people of a number of states tire of the tyranny of the central government. They refuse to be threatened with indefinite detention without trial or evidence.

They refuse to live with drones able to conduct 24 hour surveillance without any warrant. No more will they submit to bodily searches by uniformed thugs before they travel or having their mail, phone calls and Internet activities monitored.

A number of states decide that they cannot realistically expect their citizens to be able to pay their state, property and sales taxes needed to maintain the state as well as pay federal taxes for the central govt. to fund programs that support the schooling, food, housing and utility assistance of those who pay no taxes.

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Do We Have the Stones

You know, with all the focus on Obamacare, and the horrendous decision by the “conservative” Supreme Court, I almost missed this story regarding a recent initiative that qualified for the ballot here in Oregon. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act essentially legalizes Marijuana, and treats it like alcohol. Regardless of how you feel about pot, you should applaud this law.

Not because marijuana is “safer than alcohol” I am not certain of that argument. Not because the war on drugs is a gateway tyranny that allows the feds to justify atrocious behavior that would never be tolerated under any other circumstances. Not because you would enjoy getting high with your friends. You should applaud this because the federal government has acknowledged (by the ratification of the 18th amendment)  that they do not have the authority to execute the war on drugs, and they do it anyway!  If the Constitution is to mean anything, it must mean what it means all the time. Selective enforcement of the Constitution by both parties is what has brought the republic to the sorry place that it now stands.

Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather this blow be struck by the right. Nullifying Obamacare, or passing a firearms freedoms act would be somewhat preferable to see. Heck, I even wrote an article about the refusal of the Conservatives in Oregon to stand against federal usurpations. Interestingly this article was about the failure of the right, but when I closed with this challenge:

“Why is it that Conservatives have lost their courage where the left so defiantly treaded for Medical marijuana? Do Conservatives have the stones to reclaim their liberties from the Feds, or am I just shouting into the wind?”

This was the teaser used on the national TAC Facebook page. One conservative commented that conservatives would never back medical marijuana because it is “from the devil”. Interesting that a conservative could not bring himself to read an article mostly about conservatism and nullification for long enough to take the lesson that nullification does not equal open revolution.

At any rate, the initiative is a real middle finger to the feds, it is loaded with one liner quotes such as:

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Tread carefully on the King’s Highways!

“If Big Brother saves lives, then I’m happy to be Big Brother.” – Florida’s Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson

What is it about modern Western Civilization that has often caused people to trade things of greater value (wisdom, integrity, honor, liberty) for something of lesser or more ambiguous worth? Is it a misplaced hope, selfish interests, or a lacking in full comprehension of what’s truly at stake? For instance: take closed circuit television cameras (CCTV). These days, people can’t seem to walk (or drive) one city block without coming across several. We’re told they are there to keep us, and our property safe. But really, why so many? And more troubling still, how did the once nightmarish “Orwellian” future of constant observation become implemented with many folks simply unconcerned?

As the poster child of Government surveillance, red light cameras have become a hot-button issue for many liberty-minded activists, and rightly so. For instance, Photoenforced.com’s database lists 33 red light traffic cameras for Kansas City, and 87 for St. Louis. But while red-light cameras do present a sticky Constitutional issue, more disturbing is the often unnoticed concern of literally hundreds of cameras scattered across Missouri’s major roadways. (Please see The Eye in the Sky Graphic included below, or click Trafficland.com for more information)

The answer behind these cameras (and more) may lie with the U.S. Department of Transportation, who has been pushing for increased monitoring and control not only over the roadways in our communities, but also over the vehicles and operators themselves. In 1998, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, under Section 5117 of the Transportation Equity Act stated that Congress required the U.S. Department of Transportation to “conduct research on the deployment of a system of advanced sensors and signal processors in trucks and tractor-trailers to determine axle and wheel alignment, monitor collision alarm, check tire pressure and tire balance conditions, measure and detect load distribution in the vehicle, and adjust automatic braking systems.”

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Police State Clashes with Protesters in Chicago

With the recent outburst of Police-State action in Chicago, while we’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this – we can’t say we didn’t know it was coming. With images coming not out of Iran or Egypt, but out of some of the Tenther communities own back yard, we’re witnessing a literal army of state and federal funded police, in riot gear bloodying faces, shoving people – and according to some reports – even running people over. So it’s understandable that the Liberty community is a little apprehensive that what we’re witnessing isn’t yet another exception to the rule – but a sign of things to come for every-day Americans in the near future.

And regardless of where Tenthers choose to stand on the Occupy movement, the escalating action on the part of the local, State and Federal Government is certainly worthy of condemnation in regards to obvious first-amendment Constitutional violations. Besides, with the majority of the protestors remaining peaceful, there’s only been a select number acting with violent intent – who according to Bernie LaForest, member of the Tenther Community, stated was “mostly from the anarchist crowd from the G8 summits.”

This illustrates that with very little provocation (and in some cases none at all), our Government no longer seems interested in protecting our constitutional rights, but willing to reduce us to a “commodity” status where individual freedom has been reduced to a foot-note in the Fed’s 20 volume set of Red-Tape laws.

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Jefferson to Madison — Is Too!

Writing as if he were James Madison, Pete Spiliakos, in his recent article James Madison Keeps It Real On Nullification, (an excellent article I urge you to read) made an interesting argument stating that nullification and interposition were not legal. But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of his article where he states as Madison that, “Now I’d say that nullification and interposition are two different things. The first is the alleged legal rights of states to suspend the enforcement of any law a state government feels to be unconstitutional within the borders of that state. The second is the power of the state government to protect their citizens from radical violations of their rights by the federal government. I know they sound similar, but they could hardly be more different.”

This is where he goes on to explain the difference between the two concepts. But when you break it down, it is the difference between turning your back and saying I am not going to do that and getting in the bullies face and saying I’m not going to do that and neither are you!

At the Tenth Amendment Center, we have a Model Legislation tab at the top of the page. We offer model legislative bills on different Tenth Amendment issues, and with some there are as many as three different versions.

First, there is a Resolution, which states what Tenth Amendment issue you are raising, and then asks that the federal government stop doing it, a lot like a First Amendment redress of grievances. Second, Nullification, where the Tenth Amendment issue is stated and you refuse to comply and forbid any state officer from aiding or complying with the federal government. Kind of the state version of civil disobedience. And finally comes Interposition, this one restates Nullification but not only will state officials not comply they will physically block federal officials from enforcing the “law” in the state. That’s were things get a little dicey. This is the last option no state wants to be pushed to, but when all else fails they must be willing to push back.

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Missouri House Moving Forward on State Sovereignty Legislation

“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” – The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

As the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states, the Tenth Amendment serves to define federal power as that which is specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States – and no more! The United States Supreme Court even went so far as to rule in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states. But lately, the states are increasingly being treated as agents of the federal government, with many federal mandates standing in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

But under HCR:7, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives “hereby claims sovereignty for the State of Missouri under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally-delegated powers; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.

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