“Each State then reserves its own rights to itself, and the [Virginia] Resolutions affirm, that the right to refuse obedience to an unconstitutional law, is among those reserved rights. Again: if the State may not act upon its own decision, until the majority have sanctioned it, the right so to decide, is, until the majority have sanctioned it, in that majority, and not in the State. The State has only the right to express its opinion; which opinion although involving her ‘safety,’ and her very existence, goes for nothing until approved by others.” – Abel P. Upshur

Some, such as Matt Spalding a the Heritage Foundation, argue only all of the states working together can legitimately nullify an unconstitutional act. The 19th century Virginia jurist obliterates that foolish notion. Nullification is a natural right of self-defense reserved to the states and the people.

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“What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.”
-Elbridge Gerry. Vice President under James Madison.

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“No man, but one of his (Andrew Jackson’s) peculiar intellect, would ever think of an amendment of the Constitution as a means of resisting a breach of that instrument. It is not the object to amend the Constitution, but to preserve it unimpaired as it is.” – Abel P. Upshur

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Solution: Label GMO Food Locally

Ever since food became easier and more profitable to create by machinery the government has tried to regulate it in some sort of fashion. The first English regulation of such was the Assize of Bread and Ale around the year 1266. In America the first endeavour into regulating food came in 1862 when President Lincoln launched the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Chemistry. These two organizations operated in what today we call the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Agriculture Department. Later on in 1906 the Pure Food and Drugs Act was passed and what we now call the Food and Drug Administration was formed. Through these early regulatory adoptions it was aimed to raise the standards in food and their truthfulness in packaging. The nutrition labels that we all now know were mandated in 1990 through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) and amended by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004.

But how far do we go in demanding how manufacturers produce and label their food? Specifically speaking, how far can we go on a federal level? On a state level? Already, we have numerous states with specific laws for food that is imported or exported from that state  above and beyond the federal requirements.

This raises a question: should we rely on one-size-fits-all mandates from D.C.? Or would we be better served allowing states to determines the extent of their food labeling?

Considering the way big agribusiness manipulates the federal system, we might want to consider a more decentralized approach.

On March 26th President Obama signed HR 933 – called the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 – into law to stop the shutdown of the American government. Buried in this bill, we find the Farmer Assurance Provision – aka the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Lawmakers sneaked in Section 735 giving special privileges to companies that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMO), even allowing them to continue producing crops even if a court finds them harmful – which very well may not entirely be the case. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that he will introduce legislation in the Farm Bill of 2013 to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act.

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Arizona: AIMS Failed And So Will PARCC and Common Core

Benjamin Franklin said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” I think that we can all agree that education is paramount to a successful society and that it would behoove us to create a system that promotes and accelerates. However, how do we ensure that our children are best educated?

There is a new program on the block that is getting snapped up by schools around the country called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). In Arizona the AIMS test has been struck out and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has taken its place which uses the CCSSI platform. As of right now the teachers have been getting trained of how to teach a CCSSI based classroom. Next Governor Brewer must sign AZ HB2047 to allow the PARCC test be the new standardized test for Arizona. The third phase is for the PARCC test scores to be shared with the federal and other state governments to continue to standardize the test. AZ HB2563 requires the AZ State Board to enforce the PARCC testing. Neither HB2047 or HB2563 have been signed into law but Governor Brewer’s aide Matthew Benson stated, “At the heart of Common Core is the notion of implementing more stringent internationally benchmarked standards. She is 100 percent supportive of the concept.”

If we can encourage our politicians to vote NAY on HB2047 and HB2563, we’ve effectively stopped the Phase II of the implementation of the Common Core.

Debra Goodwin here at TAC has written a good overview of CCSSI and why it is bad in her article called Common Core: An Attack on Freedom and What to Do About it. Columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, “For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. Progressive reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multi-cultural claptrap.”

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