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A Different Type of Nullification Making Waves in D.C.

An advertisement in the Washington D.C. Metro that encourages passers-by to ‘Google Jury Nullification’ recently raised the ire of the city’s prosecutors and judges.

The Fully Informed Jury Association put up the advertisement, telling potential jurors that “they have the right to ‘hang’ the jury with their vote if they cannot agree with other jurors!” and that “you may, and should, vote your conscience.” The billboard has been placed strategically in a place near the D.C. Superior Court, where potential jurors are most likely to see it.

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bully-spotlight

Who’s the Bully?

A Texas football team recently beat an opponent 91-0 and the mother of one of the opposing players filed a bullying report with the school system.

According to ESPN.com, “Buchanan spent an hour in the superintendent’s office this week and the school is currently investigating, as mandated by the state. The Aledo principal told Buchanan that a written report is expected in the next day or so, something required by state law. Buchanan — who is in his 21st season as head coach at Aledo and said he has never been accused of bullying — said he has the support of the Aledo administration.”

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Your Own Destruction

Jesse Ventura Petitions for More Government

Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura has a list of demands, and over 10,000 people have signed his petition at Change.org.

Ventura and his supporters had better be careful what they wish for and how they go about trying to make it happen, though. They may just end up destroying whatever “Democracy” they’ve set out to “regain.”

The federal elected officials, to whom the petition is addressed, must face the threat of some grand electoral overthrow if they don’t vote and act correctly this time! And how must they vote and act exactly? No, not in accordance to the US Constitution! But instead directed by the whims and wishes of the body and the mind of Jesse Ventura.

Ventura opens the letter with

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A Glimpse into the Basement: Government is Force

This government shutdown gives us just a little glimpse into the basement under Washington D.C.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Most attribute the quote to George Washington, although that remains questionable. But whether the first president uttered those words or not, they stand no less true.

Sometimes when I talk about tyranny, or the danger of centralized power, people accuse me of hyperbole. Honestly, sometimes it is. But any honest study of history reveals mtrushmorethat centralized governments rarely “care” for the people they lord over. They become self-serving institutions detached from the people, obsessed with maintaining their power and extending their authority.

The so-called government shut down cracks the door just a tad and allows us to peek into the dark basement below Washington D.C. I find what I see chilling.

The U.S. government is a bully.

Since the government partially closed last week, we’ve caught glimpses of this petty “I’ll show you mentality.”

The feds shut down websites.

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A Lesson from the “Shutdown”

We have entered week two of the federal government’s “shutdown” and, amazingly, Americans are still hanging in there.  This is a fact that has chagrined federal politicians to no end.  In an effort to convince us all that we really need our omnipotent overlords, federal agents continue to execute their directive which, as one federal employee has unhappily admitted, is “to make life as difficult as possible.”

So far their actions have included closing national parks, barricading monuments, holding elderly vacationers hostage in Yellowstone and, horror of horrors, shutting down Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.  If I didn’t enjoy the silence I would ask someone to tell FLOTUS that Twitter is free.

Sure, these are annoying maneuvers, but they’re fairly innocuous.  They seem more like an overgrown temper tantrum than the triumphant return of the Dark Ages.  On one level it’s actually been pretty entertaining to watch the federal government work so hard at trying to make us miss them.  On another level it’s a little sad, kind of like a jilted teenager trying to make his ex-girlfriend jealous by going to prom with his sister.

Either way, it’s a little hard to miss them when 80% of federal bureaucrats are still on the job, the NSA is still spying on us and our earnings are still being stolen from our paychecks.

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Border Patrol Loaning Predator Drones to Military, State, and Local Police

Think state and local law enforcement aren’t watching you with high-tech federally-owned drones? Think again.

In a new post, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports that Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, released an updated list of “times the agency has flown its Predator drones on behalf of other agencies — 500 flights in total over a three-year period.”

Some of the more interesting revelations contained in the report — obtained by EFF as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit — include the fact that CBP drones flew more than 100 missions on behalf of the Department of Justice.

As the EFF story indicates, this level of cooperation between CBP and the Department of Justice “is in direct contradiction to a recently released DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report (pdf) that stated DHS had flown its drones on only two occasions for DOJ law enforcement components.”

Although many of the agencies borrowing CBP drones were revealed in earlier lists, there are a few new entries: “Grand Forks SWAT, the North Dakota Narcotics Task Force, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Drug Task Force, and several branches of the military.”

Read that again: “Several branches of the military” are flying drone missions above the United States. For what lawful purpose could the armed forces be conducting such operations domestically? Furthermore, the likelihood is high that such activities run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the U.S. military from performing domestic law-enforcement duties.

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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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In a Constitutional System, the Shutdown Wouldn’t Matter

usdaA few thoughts on the so-called government shutdown.

First, let’s just call it what it is. Political theater with bad actors!

What we have does not constitute a shutdown. If you go to the airport, TSA agents will still grope you. The IRS will collect taxes from American paychecks during the duration of the shutdown. The NSA will continue spying on Americans. Yemeni’s remain under the threat of droning. Heck, Obamacare even went live on the first day of the shutdown. Well, sort of.

This shutdown sucks.

Instead of a real suspension of government activities, a huge number of which violate the Constitution, we have barricades at national parks and shuttered websites like www.usda.gov.

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.

As if it costs money or takes manpower for a website to continue floating in cyberspace.flotus

Apparently the furlough took out Michelle Obama’s social media person. Her last tweet declares updates will be limited during the shutdown.

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