Federalism and the 10th: The States’ Great Awakening

In Part 1 of this series, I explained how our federalism works and how the powers were divided between the states and our national government. The details showed that the states were superior to the federal government on the hierarchy scale and that the 10th amendment protected that position whenever the federal government stepped outside…

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VIDEO: A Rousing Defense of the Constitution and Nullification

At a time when the Republican establishment is doing everything they can to alienate their constituents, and nullification measures are getting introduced around the country, it becomes more important than ever to step up and put our best foot forward when presenting our ideas to citizens desperately looking for a way to fight back against unjust federal power. Luckily, we have a shining example to follow in constitutional attorney KrisAnne Hall who gave an eloquent defense of ObamaCare nullification at the Florida Senate Select Committee on Monday, December 3rd.

WATCH IT:

“Some claim that [ObamaCare] must be submitted to as law of the land since the Supreme Court made its declaration from on high. This admits that we are not a Republic of sovereign states, but a monarchy. The supremacy clause declares the Constitution to be supreme, not the federal government,” Hall said in her stirring repudiation of the bill.

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No Budget, No Freedom

There are rallying cries from the American revolutionary period which are still axiomatic in American Society. One was apparently coined by Jonathan Mayhew in a 1750 sermon, “Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-resistance to the Higher Powers“. It is, “No taxation without representation.” Similarly, James Otis is often credited with the phrase, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” It is claimed that Otis used this phrase in his legal argument against the Writs of Assistance.

These phrases are unquestionably correct in a free society, but what is it that makes them true? What are the characteristics of taxation without representation that make it tyrannical — and how do these principles apply to today’s American society?

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Do the Secessionists Have As Much Courage As the Nullifiers?

By now, anybody who even casually follows the Tenther movement and the liberty movement in general has likely heard about the secession petitions circulating.  Yesterday, I had personally gone from only hearing about Louisiana, to hearing my State of New Jersey had one too, to hearing the count was up to twenty States.  That could be an old number by the time this makes it into the Tenth Amendment Center blog.

The language of these petitions is interesting, as they “ask” the federal government to let said States peaceably withdraw from the United States.  Although I confess to having signed, originally for Louisiana upon first finding out, and then for New Jersey, it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

Apparently, any State circulating these petitions requires a minimum of 25,000 signatures within thirty days in order to receive a White House response.  Texas has nearly double the required signatures, and Louisiana is likely a day away from hitting the threshold.  Several states are beyond halfway there.  Check to see if your State is on the list.  While you’re at it, go ahead and sign, so you can get your response.  The most likely response from the White House is a familiar word to anybody in the nullification movement, “No.”

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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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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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Will Kansas Interpose to Protect Residents Against NDAA?

April 3, 2012: It’s official. The people of Kansas are serious about protecting their natural rights, and won’t be led into the shackles of tyranny without a fight. Because, as reported at “Occupy 316”, members of Occupy Wichita recently recognized the 2012 NDAA passage for what it was, and staged a demonstration outside Senator Pat Roberts’ office – complete with detainees, a prison cell and private security personnel. (Senator Roberts was one of the Kansas Senators who voted Yes on NDAA, along with fellow Senator Jerry Moran, and Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo).

And as reported by Michael Boldin in the Tenth Amendment Center article “Cherokee County Rejects NDAA”, the people of this county didn’t wait around until their citizens began disappearing off the streets, but took preemptive action, unanimously passing a resolution in opposition to the NDAA.

But now, with the help of leaders like Kansas Rep. Charlotte O’Hara (Dist.  27), Kansas government may have an opportunity through HR 6021 to interpose (via nullification) on behalf of the people. For example, HR6021 makes clear that, “The NDAA contains provisions repugnant to, and destructive of, the constitutions and Bill of Rights of the United States of America, and this state, directly violating the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 9 [Habeas Suspension Clause], Article III, Section 2, Clause 2 [Trial by jury of all crimes except impeachment], Article III, Section 3 [Treason Clause], Article IV, Section 4 [guarantee of a Republican Form of government] the 4th Amendment [Protection against unreasonable search and seizure] 5th Amendment [Right to grand jury indictment and due process], 6th Amendment [Right to speedy and public trial], 8th Amendment [Protection against cruel and unusual punishments], and 14th Amendment [Equal protection], as well as infringes on the entirety of the Bill of Rights and basic structure of the Constitution, making We the People insecure in the exercise of any of our Rights and Powers…

Because of the above injuries and usurpations of the Constitution, HR6021 states that the NDAA provisions are not only establishing an absolute tyranny over the states, but “are nearly identical to many of the long train of abuses and usurpations that compelled our forefathers to take up arms and to separate from Great Britain, as enumerated in The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, of July 4, 1776: Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas: That for the above and forgoing reasons, this Legislature expresses its belief that the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012 (NDAA) is unconstitutional in authorizing the President to use war powers, the “law of war,” and/or martial law in the United States and its territories over any person…

Appreciate your right to free speech? Speak up!

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To Some, the Tenth and Nullification is Taboo

With a quip typical of a main stream media talking head, Scott Keyes traversed some well worn turf in the article entitled “Strict Constitutionalist’ Ron Paul Endorses Nullification As A ‘Very Good’ Idea”. In the post, Keyes attempts to justify federal legislative oversteps by referring to any act of congress as “the supreme law of the land” and thus, are good to go.  He makes no distinction in this assertion for the sovereigns of the state, or the individual.

It’s sad really…

As the Constitution lays out the framework for our great republic, the first ten amendments guarantee that the government cannot encroach on, or take away our freedom and liberty.

Our natural rights.

You might recall those. We have been losing a lot of them lately.

He comes to this conclusion by referring to the test of the Constitution which “states clearly that acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land…anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding”

Keyes interpretation of the constitutional passage show no regard for the Ninth or Tenth Amendments.

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