Archive for category Unconstitutional
In the war for the continued existence of our Nation’s Constitutional principles, I had long wondered whether statists were simply confounded by the Bill of Rights and ignorant of its function or whether they were maliciously inclined, knowing exactly what it means but seeking its destruction anyway. In recent years, I have decided it is a combination of both faults.
Statists are people who view every aspect of society through the lens of government power. If you want to know the primary difference between Constitutionalists and anti-Constitutionalists, you have to understand that some people in this world only want control over their own lives, while other people desperately clamor for control over other people’s lives. Why do they do this? Usually, it’s fear. Fear of the persistent unknowns in life. Fear that they do not have the intelligence or the will to take responsibility for their own futures. Fear that they will be forced to take care of themselves. Fear that their ideologies will be found lacking. Fear that if others are allowed freedom, they will one day indirectly suffer for it.
This fear makes statists easy to manipulate by the establishment and easy to use as a tool for the expansion of government dominance. Because statists are so weak-minded and fainthearted, they become very comfortable with the idea of other people making their decisions for them; and they will always attempt to answer every perceived problem with more government control.
When confronted with a proponent of liberty, the statist typically reels in horror. He has so invested himself in bureaucracy that he sees himself as a part of it. To attack the bureaucracy is to attack him. To deny the validity of the bureaucracy is to deny the validity of his existence. His very personality and ego are tied to the machine, so he will spit and rage against anyone who refuses to conform. This is why it is not uncommon at all to find a wild collection of logical fallacies within the tirades of the average statist. Statists act as though they are driven by reason; but in reality, they are driven by seething bias.
A perfect example of this insanity is the article “There Are No Absolute Rights,” published by The Daily Beast.
Let’s first be clear about the kind of rag we are dealing with. The Daily Beast was launched by Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker who was also a British citizen until 2005. I would say she’s a kind of female Piers Morgan. For anyone who might take that as a compliment, trust me; it isn’t. Brown and Morgan are European collectivists who immigrated to America just to tell us how our Constitutionally conservative heritage of independence is outdated; meanwhile, the EU is in the shambles of failed socialism. We used to drive such people into the ocean, and now they breathe our oxygen while telling us what is politically “fashionable.”
In 2010, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek, a magazine notorious for its statist crush on the Federal government (and now out of print). To say that The Daily Beast is a socialist platform and a mouthpiece for the Administration of President Barack Obama is an understatement, but I would point out that the website also tends to agree with politicians and judges on the right that also promote a “living document” interpretation of the Constitution. Whether right or left, if you believe that the Bill of Rights is up for constant interpretation and revision or outright destruction, then you are the bee’s knees in the eyes of The Beast.
The article focuses on gun rights and how silly conservatives foolishly cling to the idea that some lines in the sand should never be crossed in terms of personal freedom. In a rather mediocre and rambling analysis, The Beast uses two primary arguments to qualify this stance, essentially asserting that:
1) Compromises have already been made to the Bill of Rights; therefore, nothing is sacred.
2) Even some Republicans agree with compromises to the Bill of Rights when it comes to other Amendments, so why are we being so childish about “reinterpreting” the 2nd Amendment?
First, the revisionist methodology of the Bill of Rights consistently ignores the history of its writing. The colonists and Founding Fathers of our Nation, having successfully triumphed in a bloody revolution against what many then considered the most advanced elitist military empire on Earth, had absolutely no trust whatsoever in the concept of centralized government. Many of the colonials were anti-Federalists who believed that an overly powerful central government was a threat to future liberty. They felt that an immovable and unchangeable legal shield had to be created in order to ensure that a tyrannical system never prevailed again.
Thomas Jefferson said:
“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
This statement includes modern governments as well. Technological advancement does not change the rules surrounding timeless inherent moral principles, as much as statists would like to argue otherwise.
The colonials demanded the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution as a prerequisite for the establishment of the Federal government. This means that the Federal government owes its entire existence to a very strict agreement made on the Bill of Rights. By extension, if the Bill of Rights is politically diluted or denied, then the legitimacy of the Federal government must also be denied, for it has violated the very charter that gave it life.
The writer of the article, Michael Tomasky, lists numerous transgressions against our Constitutional protections; but he does not do so in the spirit of activism. Rather, he lists them as examples of how “compromise” on our freedoms is necessary (or somehow inevitable) in the name of the collective good. He claims Republicans are perfectly willing to sacrifice certain liberties, like freedom of speech, privacy or even Miranda rights, in the name of political expediency.
I wholeheartedly agree that our civil liberties have been whittled away by the establishment. I also agree that many so-called Republicans have betrayed the founding values of our culture and even voted to diminish or destroy the 2nd Amendment. But let’s think hard about the faulty logic behind Tomansky’s position. Do two wrongs or hundreds of wrongs really make a right? Tomansky is saying that because we have failed as a society to fully protect our freedoms and because our government has been successful in criminally neglecting them, we should simply give in and relinquish all freedom.
He would respond to this accusation by claiming that he is not calling for the relinquishment of all liberties, only the liberties he thinks are dangerous to society. The problem is, that is not how the Constitution was designed. Amendments can be made, yes. But amendments contrary to the Bill of Rights are not Constitutional as per the original agreement made after the revolution. The Bill of Rights was meant to be sacrosanct, untouchable — period. No Federal law, no State law and no Amendment can be enforced that violates those protections. The Bill of Rights was not created as a rule book for what the people can do; it was created as a rule book for what government cannot do. Once you remove hard fast restrictions like the Bill of Rights from the picture, you give the government license to make its own rules. That is how tyranny is born.
As far as Republican attacks on the Constitution are concerned, Tomasky has obviously never heard of the false left/right paradigm. He finds solace in the totalitarian actions of neocons because neocons are not conservative; they are statists, just like him. Ultimately, there is no right or left. Only freedom and decentralization, or slavery and collectivism. There are those who revel in control, and those who rebel against control. The rest of the debate is nonsense and distraction.
Tomsky opines: “Imagine what conservatives would think of a group of liberals who insisted, while threatening an insurrection, on a pure and absolute interpretation of the Fourth or Sixth Amendment–and imagine how ridiculous they would look to average Americans.”
Actually, any true conservative would be standing right beside those liberals, as many of us in the liberty movement have done in the past in activism against the transgressions of fake conservatives like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney, with his dismal anti-Constitution voting record. Frankly, who cares what “average Americans” think about our battle for what is right? Does Tomasky base all of his personal convictions on what happens to be popular at the moment? I think so.
What statists also don’t seem to comprehend is that there is a factor in the fight over Constitutional law that goes far beyond the Constitution itself.
The Constitution, as a document, is not what we as Americans and human beings obtain our rights from. The Constitution is only a written representation of the inborn freedoms derived from natural law and inherent conscience. We are born with a sense of liberty and that includes a right to self-defense from any enemy, foreign or domestic. No amount of political gaming, twisted rationalizations or intellectual idiocy is ever going to change these pre-existing rights.
Tomasky insists that: “[T]he idea that any right is unrestricted is totally at odds with history, the law, and reality.”
He uses the tired argument that some restrictions on personal liberty, including restrictions on gun rights, are “reasonable” given the circumstances of the times. And, it only follows that he and other statists should be the ones to decide what is reasonable.
I disagree, along with millions of other Americans; and believe me, this is a serious problem for statists. If Tomasky and The Daily Beast want to impose their collective worldview on the rest of us and dismantle our individual freedoms guaranteed in natural law and the Bill of Rights, then I’m afraid they’ll have to fight us for them. In the end, legal precedence is irrelevant. Political precedence is irrelevant. Political party is irrelevant. Historical precedence is irrelevant. The theater of words is irrelevant. Statists need to understand that there is no alternative. There is no “silver bullet” argument that will make us forget what is fundamentally true. There is no juxtaposition of logic that will muddle our resolve or confuse our principles. Some rights are indeed absolute; and we will not yield them, ever. The statist “reality” is a far cry from what actually is; and soon, I’m afraid, they will learn this lesson the hard way.
…Two of the most vocal critics were law enforcement, Sheriff Dean Wilson of Del Norte County and Sheriff John D’Agostini of El Dorado County. Both sheriffs slammed the measures, claiming that they’d be utterly ineffective at reducing violent crime or preventing future mass shootings.
“These types of actions that we’re recommending today do nothing to take action against the things we’re trying to fight,” Wilson told the committee. “You are making criminals out of decent citizens, hard-working people. As sheriff, these are laws that I will not enforce, will never enforce.”
Sheriff D’Agostini doubled down on Wilson’s remarks.
“It’s going to do absolutely nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to curb violent crime with firearms,” said Sheriff D’Agostini.
The fact that California law enforcement is at odds with the senate Democrats on gun control actually mirrors a nationwide trend. In other states that have enacted tougher gun laws in recent months – Colorado and New York – police unions have openly stated their frustration and unease with the new legislation.
Aside from the sheriffs, Rob Young, a school-shooting survivor from the 1989 mass shooting at Stockton that left five people dead also argued that the proposals would only hurt law-abiding gun owners.
“Criminals do not play by the rules,” said Young. “They can care less about restrictions, assault weapons bans or current gun laws.”…
This comes from the folks at The Daily Sheeple. Just another way to deprive us of guns and to control us. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
by Eric Peters
It took “conservative” Republicans to trot out mandatory and market-based health insurance in the same mouthful. Don’t ever forget to thank them for this.
Well, it’s time for the next step: Mandatory gun insurance - also “market based” and “incentivized,” of course.
Here it comes, directly from one of the insurance Mafia’s chief consiglieres, Robert Hartwig. He is president of something called the Insurance Information Institute – which is an outfit funded by the insurance Mafia for the purpose of spewing propaganda favorable to the insurance Mafia and to wheedle for more laws that extort fresh “customers” for the insurance Mafia:
Mandatory gun insurance, he says, would “. . . (cover) individuals whose person or property was in some way injured or damaged as a result of the use of a firearm.”
What Hartwig avoids mentioning is the guns that will be pointed at gun owners who decline to be “covered.”
But why would anyone decline such a valuable “service”?
Perhaps so that they can afford to keep the gun. Or even buy one in the first place.
And here we come to the true object of this enterprise: To make the legal ownership of guns progressively more expensive, so that within a period of years, very few people except the affluent elites (and eventually, perhaps not even they) will be able to legally own guns. No registration – or confiscation (as such) will be needed. The public – most of it – will be disarmed via being priced out of the “market” using “incentives” provided by the insurance Mafia.
Or they will be criminalized – by the government – for not having bought the required insurance. Exactly as has been done already to car owners who fail to purchase the required insurance. And will soon be done to people who fail to purchase the required health insurance.
It’s quite brilliant, really.
The Mafia would “reward” gun owners who own fewer guns – and levy surcharges upon those who own “too many” guns – or guns deemed “too powerful” or “excessive,” such as those of a certain caliber, or which have magazines that hold “too many” bullets. Conceal carry? Higher risk – you pay more.
It will work in exactly in the same way that the insurance Mafia has made owning powerful cars and motorcycles – especially more than one – financially untenable for most average people. Gun owners who do not keep their guns stored unloaded and /or locked up – and therefore, largely useless for home defense - will be surcharged into penury. And just as the insurance Mafia is already pushing hard for in-car monitors for drivers, so also will the insurance Mafia push for random checks or in-home monitoring for gun owners – to “make sure” the guns are “kept safe.” Either accept these terms and conditions – or give up your guns.
Or, become an outlaw – subject to potentially years in prison if they ever find out you failed to comply.
Every gun owner will be strongly “incentivized” to become a good little Clover – to do as he is told.
And most will.
Special Note:Eric Holder once stated that gun owners should be treated like smokers, and though he was talking about “shaming” our culture into compliance with the socialist agenda, it would seem some lawmakers are taking a different route. Like smokers, the idea is to TAX gun enthusiasts into oblivion, making the possession of only a couple firearms difficult, let alone an entire collection. Can a Constitutional Right be taxed? Apparently, some gun grabbers think so. And as they say, the power to tax is the power to destroy…
Brandon Smith, Associate Editor
If you can’t ban ‘em, tax ‘em.
Lawmakers looking to more tightly regulate firearms in the wake of the Newtown school shooting and other massacres are moving at the state and federal levels to introduce new taxes on firearms and ammunition.
The proposals range from the modest — a proposed 5 percent tax in New Jersey — to the steep — a proposed 50 percent ammo tax in Maryland. The bills follow efforts to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and expand background checks, measures that have had mixed success at the state level.
The taxes — much like so-called “sin taxes,” like those on cigarettes — serve a dual purpose. They can deter buyers, while using the extra revenue for favored programs. In this case, the sponsors want to direct the money toward mental health services, police training and victims’ treatment.
But firearms groups say a “sin tax” on firearms wrongly punishes law-abiding gun owners.
“If anything, gun owners ought to be getting a tax rebate for helping reduce crime,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
He said the purpose of the taxes is to “frustrate and limit the exercise of the Second Amendment.” While noting some of the revenue from these taxes and fees would go to victims’ services, Keane said those paying the tax are mostly not those responsible for gun crime.
“We’re obviously extremely opposed to try to tax the lawful exercise of the Second Amendment rights by law-abiding Americans,” he told FoxNews.com.
Firearms manufacturers already pay a federal tax, which goes toward wildlife conservation. A tax on sales would make firearms costlier.
Posted by ocoathkeepers in 10 Orders We Will Not Obey, 2nd Amendment, Bill of Rights, CA Oath Keepers, California Sheriffs’ Posse Call & Fundraiser, Constitution, County Sheriff, County Sheriff Project, CSPOA, Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey, Gun Laws, gun-control laws, Guns, Honor Your Oath, Martial Law, NDAA, NDAA 2013, Nullification, Nullify Now, OATH BREAKERS, Oath Keepers, Oath Keepers Billboard Campaign, Oath Keepers of San Diego, Oath of Office, OathKeepers, Operation Sleeping Giant, Orange County, Orange County CA Oath Keepers, Politics, Rallys/Protests, Shall Not Be Infringed, Sheriff, Sheriff Mack, Stewart Rhodes, Traitors, TSA, UN’s Agenda 21, Unconstitutional, Unconstitutional Patriot Act, United States military, US firearms, US History, Veterans, War on Terror, World’s Largest Private Army on February 9, 2013
Stewart Rhodes, Chuck Shea, and John Oetken will be gathering with the Oath Keepers in the area to formalize a Northern California Chapter. Please get the word out and spread this information and share the picture.
We will also be fundraising for the Oath Keeper Billboards to put up near Beale AFB California.
Editor’s note: This was originally found in 2008. The link is no longer functional.
“Continuity of Government” – A Threat to the Constitution
by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
The COGC Proposal
The “Continuity of Government Commission” (COGC), spearheaded by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, recently issued proposals for the operation of Congress following a catastrophic terrorist attack. Specifically, COGC advocates a constitutional amendment calling for the appointment of individuals to the House of Representatives to fill the seats of dead or incapacitated members, a first in American history. An examination of the proposal reveals that it is both unnecessary and dangerous.
Note that COGC is “self-commissioned,” its members being neither elected nor appointed by any government body. The biographies of the commissioners demonstrate that COGC is made up mostly of professional lobbyists. Of course COGC is well-intentioned, but the nation should know exactly who is trying to substitute their wisdom for that of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and other framers of the Constitution. I think most Americans would prefer that proposals to amend the Constitution come from elected lawmakers or grassroots efforts, not from think tanks and lobbyists.
One reading the COGC proposal cannot help but sense the familiar Washington conceit at work, a conceit that sees America as totally dependent on the workings of Capitol Hill. It is simply unthinkable to many in Washington that the American people might survive a period in which Congress did not pass any new laws. But the truth is that the federal state is not America. The American people have always been remarkably resilient in the face of emergencies, and individual states are far more equipped to deal with emergencies and fill congressional vacancies than COGC imagines.
COGC is Unnecessary
Every generation seems to labor under the delusion that it lives in the most dangerous and turbulent time in human history. COGC certainly proves this point. Its proposal provides doomsday scenarios designed to make us believe that the threat of modern terrorism poses a much greater risk to our government institutions than ever existed in the past. Yet is Congress really more vulnerable than it was at the height of the Cold War, when a single Soviet missile could have destroyed Washington? Surely Congress faced greater danger in 1814, when the British army actually invaded Washington, routed the city, and burned down the White House! Somehow the republic survived those much more perilous times without a constitutional amendment calling for the emergency appointment of Representatives.
The scenarios offered by the commission, while theoretically possible, are highly unlikely to disable Congress. Remember, a majority of members assemble together in one place only rarely; even during votes most members are not on the floor together at the same time Inauguration ceremonies and State of the Union addresses often bring together a majority of members in the same place, but simple precautions could be taken to keep a sufficient number away from such events. Even a direct terrorist attack on the Pentagon failed to disrupt the operation of the Department of Defense. The COGC proposal exaggerates the likelihood that a terrorist strike on Washington would incapacitate the House of Representatives, and exaggeration is a bad reason to amend the Constitution.
Existing Constitutional Provisions are Adequate
It is important to understand that the Constitution already provides the framework for Congress to function after a catastrophic event. Article I section 2 grants the governors of the various states authority to hold special elections to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives. Article I section 4 gives Congress the authority to designate the time, manner, and place of such special elections if states should fail to act expeditiously following a national emergency. As Hamilton explains in Federalist 59, the “time, place, and manner” clause was specifically designed to address the kind of extraordinary circumstances imagined by COGC. Hamilton characterized authority over federal elections as shared between the states and Congress, with neither being able to control the process entirely.
COGC posits that states could not hold special elections quickly enough after a terrorist act to guarantee the functioning of Congress. But even COGC reports that the average length of House vacancies, following the death of a member until the swearing in of a successor after a special election, is only 126 days. Certainly this period could be shortened given the urgency created by a terrorist attack. We should not amend the Constitution simply to avoid having a reduced congressional body for a month or two.
In fact, Congress often goes months without passing significant legislation, and takes long breaks in August and December. If anything, legislation passed in the aftermath of a terrorist event is likely to be based on emotion, not reason. The terrible Patriot Act, passed only one month after September 11th by a credulous Congress, is evidence of this.
Also, advances in technology can be used to reduce the risk of a disruption in congressional continuity following an emergency. Members already carry Blackberry devices to maintain communications even if cut off from their offices. Similar technology can be used to allow remote electronic voting by members. Congress should focus on contingency plans that utilize technology, not a constitutional amendment.
States have a wide variety of electronic and telephonic technology at their disposal to speed up the process of special elections. Consider that popular television shows hold votes that poll millions of Americans in a single night! Yet COGC ignores alternatives to standard voting and incorrectly assumes that states will be in disarray and unable to hold elections for months.
COGC is Dangerous because the House Must Be Elected
At its heart, the COGC proposal is fundamentally at odds with the right of the people always to elect their members of the House of Representatives. The House must be elected. Even “temporary” appointees would be unacceptable, because the laws passed would be permanent.
The problems with appointment of “representatives” are obvious. COGC calls for a general constitutional amendment that gives Congress wide power to make rules for filling vacancies “in the event that a substantial number of members are killed or incapacitated.” Such an amendment would be unavoidably vague, open to broad interpretation and abuse. In defining terms like “vacancy,” “substantial,” and “incapacitated,” Congress or the courts would be setting a dangerous precedent for a more elastic constitutional framework. Members of Congress simply cannot appoint their colleagues; the conflict of interest is glaring.
Alternate proposals allowing state governors to appoint representatives from a list of successors nominated by members are no better. The House of Representatives represents the people, not the states. Single states often exhibit wide variations in political makeup even among voters of the same party. Appointment by governors, even though the successors represent the dead member’s party choice, could change the ideological composition of Congress contrary to the will of the people. Furthermore, voters choose an individual candidate, not a panel. They should not be required to consider the qualifications of a candidate’s potential successors.
COGC focuses on government legitimacy, arguing that a House of Representatives with only a handful of surviving members would not be seen as legitimate by the public. In fact the opposite is true: appointed “representatives” will never be seen as legitimate and in fact would not be legitimate. Without exception, every member of the House of Representatives has been elected by voters in the member’s district. Madison states in Federalist 52 that “The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government.” The very legitimacy of the House of Representatives is based on its constitutional status as the most directly accountable federal body.
The House passes numerous laws, often by voice vote, with very few members present. The legitimacy of those laws is not called into question. Even a House made up of only five elected members would have more legitimacy, as the living continuation of the only elected entity in government, than a House composed of five surviving members and 430 appointees. Furthermore, even a decimated House membership would have to pass legislation with the concurrence of the Senate, which could be restored to full strength immediately by state governors.
Consider a scenario COGC forgot to mention. Imagine a terrorist strike kills a majority of members of the House of Representatives. 200 members survive, and 235 are appointed by state governors on a “temporary basis.” This new body considers a bill that drastically increases taxes to pay for emergency measures, while suspending civil liberties and imposing martial law. The bill passes, with 195 elected members opposed and all 235 appointed members in favor. Only 5 elected members support the measure. Would the electorate consider this legislation legitimate? Hardly. Yet this is the type of outcome we must expect under the COGC proposal.
To quote Professor Charles Rice, a distinguished Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School: “When it is not necessary to amend the Constitution, it is necessary not to amend the Constitution.” We must not allow the understandable fears and passions engendered by the events of September 11th to compel a rushed and grievous injury to our system of government. The Constitution is our best ally in times of relative crisis; it is precisely during such times we should hold to it most dearly. Rather than amending the Constitution, Congress should be meeting to discuss how to preserve our existing institutions- including an elected House- in the event of a terrorist attack. The Constitution already provides us with the framework, while technology gives states the ability organize elections quickly. The COGC proposal not only makes a mountain out of a molehill, but also acutely threatens the delicate balance of federal power established in the Constitution.
This article was written by Gregory Patin and originally published at Examiner.com
The U.S. government has spent up to $1.4 billion of taxpayer money since 2003 to create “threat fusion centers” under the guise of fighting terrorism. Yet a two-yearbipartisan report recently released by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found that these “fusion centers,” operating under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in efforts to engage national, state and local intelligence, have not yielded any useful information to support federal counterterrorism intelligence efforts.
Most people who rely on print and TV news probably have never heard of fusion centers. There are as many as 72 of these facilities. 50 state-based and 22 urban centers were set up during the Bush presidency in cooperation between the DHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Fusion centers contain large data warehouses that collect information from all 16 US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, NSA, the military, state and local police agencies, as well as privately owned corporations and organizations. That information includes the cell phone data and emails of every American citizen. There is one of these facilities in Madison near the Dane county regional airport, at 2445 Darwin Road. (See slideshow or view an interactive map of their locations here).
According to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the DHS described its fusion centers as “one of the centerpieces of [its] counterterrorism strategy” and its database was supposed to be a central repository of known or “appropriately suspected” terrorists. In theory, local law enforcement officers, in conjunction with DHS officials, conduct surveillance and write up a report known as a Homeland Intelligence Report (HIR) for the DHS to review. If credible, the DHS would then spread the information to the larger intelligence community.
The Senate report, however, found that the fusion centers failed to uncover a single terrorist threat and only gathered information that is used for ordinary criminal investigations that local law enforcement agencies are well-capable of doing. Even DHS officials told the panel the fusion centers produce “predominantly useless information” and “a bunch of crap.”
Five centers the Senate studied spent their federal terrorism grant money on “hidden ‘shirt button’ cameras,” cell phone tracking systems and other surveillance tools. They also spent taxpayer money on things like “dozens of flat-screen TVs” and SUVs, sometimes claiming that Chevrolet Tahoes were intended to help “respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) incidents.”
Here a few more details of what the Senate report reveals:
- A DHS intelligence officer filed a draft report about a U.S. citizen who appeared at a Muslim organization to deliver a day-long motivational talk and a lecture on positive parenting.
- An intelligence officer decided to report on two men who were fishing at the US-Mexican border. A reviewer commented, “I…think that this should never have been nominated for production, nor passed through three reviews.”
- A report was submitted on a motorcycle group for passing out leaflets informing members of their legal rights. A reviewer commented, “The advice given to the groups’ members is protected by the First Amendment.”
And more from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which filed a lawsuit against the FBI, DOJ and NSA regarding fusion centers:
- A DHS analyst at a Wisconsin fusion center prepared a report about protesters on both sides of the abortion debate, despite the fact that no violence was expected.
- A Texas fusion center released an intelligence bulletin that described a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the anti-war movement, a former U.S. Congresswoman, the U.S. Treasury Department and hip hop bands to spread Sharia law in the U.S.
- The same month, but on the other side of the political spectrum, a Missouri Fusion Center released a report on “the modern militia movement” that claimed militia members are “usually supporters” of third-party presidential candidates like Ron Paul and Bob Barr.
- In March 2008 the Virginia Fusion Center issued a terrorism threat assessment that described the state’s universities and colleges as “nodes for radicalization” and characterized the “diversity” surrounding a Virginia military base and the state’s “historically black” colleges as possible threats.
Like so many post-9/11 surveillance laws passed under the vague guise of “national security,” these fusion centers violate the civil liberties of ordinary Americans that should be guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other laws. An entire section of the Senate report is dedicated to Privacy Act violations and the collection of information completely unrelated to any criminal or terrorist activity in the HIRs.
The Senate report and the activity of fusion centers makes it clear that these facilities are designed to spy on American citizens, invading their privacy while doing nothing to stop terrorism. With all the talk in the Presidential campaigns about frivolous spending, perhaps these worthless facilities should be addressed, instead of Medicare or Social Security.
This may sound like a conspiracy theory, but it is reality. In fact, the one episode of “Conspiracy Theory” done by former navy SEAL and Governor Jesse Ventura that dealt with these fusion centers was refused to be aired by TruTV. In that episode he interviews a young woman from Missouri who was put on the terrorism watch list by her local fusion center for supporting Ron Paul in the Republican primary election. (See“banned” video to the left).
This is yet more evidence that America is turning from a democracy or constitutional republic into a corporate fascist state. Just look at the 14 defining characteristics of fascism and decide for yourself.
This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. - The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
With local, state and DHS checkpoints randomly popping up all over America many of our citizens believe that we must comply with what more often than not amounts to unlawful requests and orders from law enforcement officials.
While driving through California, Steven Anderson came upon three such checkpoints and he chose not to play ball with officers who asked him, among other things, to prove his citizenship, prove his identity and pull over for further inspection and questioning.
When asked whether he was a citizen Anderson’s immediate response was, “that’s my business.” When advised that it was the officer’s job to ask the question, Anderson calmly responds by saying, “I don’t have to answer you, because I have rights as an American.” The law enforcement official courteously asks Mr. Anderson to do him a favor and pull over for further questioning, no doubt expecting Anderson to comply. But not today, as Anderson patently refuses to do so per his Fourth Amendment Constitutional protections. He subsequently makes his own request, saying to the officer, “no thanks, I’d like to just go on my way.”
All of it was recorded on a digital camera in Anderson’s car and out of view of officers.
What you’ll see below is a crash course in exercising your Constitutionally protected rights when faced with the threat of detention, interrogation and random searches by Federal or local law enforcement officials. You won’t see this one in mainstream media, and it’s something they certainly don’t teach in college:
Anderson: Is this Nazi Germany now, that I have to show my papers?
Officer: It’s a simple yes or no. I need an answer or we can detain you until we figure out whether you’re a U.S. citizen.
Anderson: Well, you know what’s more simple is the fact that my freedom is a little more important than you seem to think. Setting up checkpoints where people have to prove that they’re a citizen is not something that America is supposed to be about. So, I’m not sure if you understand that.
Supervisor enters scene: Grunt
Supervisor: Just pull up over there (points to line of detained cars)
Anderson: No, thank you… I want to go free on my way. Here I am just going about my own business and I don’t need to stop at a checkpoint to prove who I am because this is America. Correct me if I’m wrong – did I stumble into Mexico or is this still the United States?
Supervisor: This is the United States.
Anderson: Therefore, I should have the freedom to travel unmolested, because I’m in America here.
Supervisor: Ok, go ahead and go.
Score one for liberty and the US Constitution.
It really is that simple.
Sure, some officers will overstep their bounds in an attempt to intimidate and instill fear, but in this case cooler heads prevailed and the officer in charge understood that Mr. Anderson was on the right side of the law, and that their requests for him pulling over and showing identification at a random checkpoint were nothing more than requests, as no such mandate exists without probable cause that criminal activity is taking place.
Mr. Anderson stood up for his rights – his own individual rights. To be free and to enjoy the liberties reserved and protected for the people by the Constitution of the United States it falls upon each of us, as individuals, to ensure the rule of law.
On another day Mr. Anderson may have been detained, perhaps even arrested (unlawfully).
But today in America freedom prevailed.
“THE CONSTITUTION – On the Edge of Extinction”
from - The Parallax Prophecies -
By Ron Ewart, President
National Association of Rural Landowners
© Copyright Sunday, July 1, 2012 – All Rights Reserved
[Republished here by permission.]
“Rules, agreements, contracts and constitutions work fine, that is until they are broken by one or both parties and then their power to hold man’s avarice and greed in check begins to disintegrate rapidly. Disintegration is final when unresolvable conflicts arise between the parties. Unresolvable conflicts are all that is necessary to end up resolving those conflicts by the last negotiation alternative ….. war.” - Ron Ewart
“NOTE: When we started this column the U. S. Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the constitutionality of Obama Care. By now most of our readers are aware that the Supreme Court essentially up held Obama Care and by some twist of fiat logic, five of the justices, including the supposedly conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices, converted the individual mandate to a tax, even though the Congress and the President did everything in their power to say that the mandate was not a tax. We were tricked and lied to by the President and the liberals in Congress ….. again!
To say that we are angered by the Supreme Court decision is an understatement. The fact is, if Obama Care is allowed to stand, a Coup d’ etat by the federal government has been thrust upon the American people by the force of law and we are now just “subjects” of that government. We are no longer sovereign individuals with certain unalienable rights. Our rights are limited to what the government mandates. If Congress and a new president do not over-turn Obama Care, America ceases to exist as a Constitutional Republic and will become a Banana Republic. This conversion, or transformation if you will, has been a long time in coming and has been pushed for 10 decades by the Progressive movement. Obama Care, if not repealed in its entirety, completes this transformation. America and its people will be but pawns of a government that will rule by whim and Presidential executive orders, rather than by the rule of law. There are many Americans that will not take this decision lying down. The battle lines are drawn and if not resolved, it could lead to the “last negotiation alternative.”
It must be remembered that Obama Care is overseen by Health and Human Services, a cabinet bureaucracy under the President. The Cabinet Secretary of that bureaucracy serves at the pleasure of the president and must do his bidding, thereby giving the President the power to control your health care by his decision and his decision alone. This immense power eventually evolves into an Absolute Presidential Monarchy. That increase in executive power is the subject of this column.
Everyone talks a good game about America being a Constitutional Republic, but are we? The facts speak otherwise. Increasing Executive Branch power, eroding judicial power by its own decisions and congressional abrogation of power have changed America so drastically that it is but a shadow of its former self.
The Separation of Powers doctrine, as established by the Founding Fathers in the three branches of government, is now just a mirage. The only thing that holds the federal government in check is the power of the states and after last week’s U. S. Supreme Court ruling, essentially striking down three out of the four major elements of the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, the states’ power is eroding as well.
Since President Lincoln, presidential powers have increased dramatically. Subsequent presidents have increased executive branch powers even more. Both president’s Wilson and FDR greatly expanded executive power and muscled the Congress and the Supreme Court to get what they wanted. Commander-in-Brief, Obama, has been working on his radical version of fundamental transformations since he took office in 2009. With any luck his advances toward his distorted vision of a socialist utopia will be brought up short this November.
With U. S. Supreme Court decisions in the last several decades, a seal of legal approval has been placed upon that expanded executive power. We are approaching what can only be described as an Absolute Presidential Monarchy and when the reader has absorbed what we present here, he or she should be shaking in their boots over the fundamental transformation of America that started long before His Majesty, Barack Hussein Obama, came on the scene. Obama has just accelerated the transformation and with malice aforethought. Reversing this long-running, clandestine transformation (the signature achievement of the Progressive movement) may be the task relegated to all of the freedom-loving people of the 21st Century, if it can even be transformed. America’s military and economic supremacy and exceptionalism may have been relegated to the history books because the people have been looking the other way for the last 100 years while the traitors amongst us and their lieutenants, were walking the halls of government, breaking the constitution and weaving a tangled web of laws and rules that even the most agile spider could not escape.
The systematic erosion of the U. S. Constitution has taken place over many decades, presidents and U. S. Congresses. Whenever the Constitution got in the way, the President or the Congress found ways around it, either by fuzzy interpretations of Constitutional clauses, or simply by ignoring the Constitution altogether. If there was no challenge to what the president or the Congress did, the action was affirmed as the law of the land by inaction. And even if there was a legal challenge to the action, that didn’t mean that a lower court, or the U. S. Supreme Court, would rule in accordance with the full intent of the Framers of the Constitution. Judicial activism was born soon after the ink was dry on the Constitution.
When societal biases entered the purview of the Court and courts became divided by political agendas, Supreme Court decisions became muddied by social and societal wish lists. Literal interpretation of the Constitution went out the window. Once the Constitution was broken, it was an easy matter to keep breaking it.
This gives rise to the question, why is the high court occupied by political ideologues in the first place? Why is adjudicating law and legislation being decided by politics and not be literal interpretation of the Constitution? Why do liberal judges and conservative judges vote as a block? To say that Supreme Court decisions aren’t driven by politics is to say that the Sun doesn’t rise in the East.
The 16th Amendment, which gave rise to the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service, broke with the Constitution in several ways, which we won’t go into here. The 1922 decision by the U. S. Supreme Court expanding the police powers of government to include zoning and land use planning, was an attack on the U. S. Constitution, not to mention freedom and liberty. Property rights were altered dramatically by this decision, giving government the right to tell you what you could or could not do with your land, forever changing the allodial character of privately held land as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. (”Beware, when government plans, freedom gets trampled in the dust!”)
Government’s police powers have been expanding ever since and with the advent of the United Nations’ version of Social Justice and radical environmentalism (Agenda 21), land ownership and 5th Amendment protected property rights have been all but eradicated.
Another case that took a huge bite out of the Constitution was the 1938 Erie Railroad vs. Tompkins. It severed the Constitution from the Common Law upon which it was based and substituted Common Law with Admiralty Law under the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), fully sanctioned by the U. S. Congress. Congress literally told the U. S. District Courts to change the law to whatever the courts thought it should be and they did. Now, all courts, state and federal, have adopted the UCC.
How the Erie vs. Tompkins decision evolved into Admiralty Law under the UCC is well defined in a treatise from the Fordham Urban Law Journal (Volume 8, Issue 3, Article 6) by Louis S. Robin entitled: “The Uniform Commercial Code as Federal Law: United States v. Kimbell Foods, Inc.” We have posted a link to this article at the top of the home page of our website at: http://www.narlo.org. (click on the picture for a PDF version of the treatise.)
But a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision has all but put absolute power into the hands of the Executive Branch, virtually circumventing the other two branches of government. In Chevron USA vs. National Resources Defense Council (June 23, 1984) the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that in absence of strict legislative instructions from the U. S. Congress, federal agencies (a creation of Congress but under the control of the Executive Branch) can do pretty much whatever they damn well please. But even worse, since the Federal agencies fall under the purview of the President’s Cabinet, an incoming President can totally undo what the previous President decided and vice versa. There is no permanency to the law and it can vary from presidential term to presidential term. The Congress can’t do anything about it unless it inserts itself into the executive branch and since federal agency decisions (rules) are often very technical, the Congress is reluctant to get involved.
NOTE: Congress doesn’t even read the legislation they are passing now and Speaker Pelosi had the audacity to tell the American people that Congress had to pass Obama Care so that they could find out what’s in it! This lady has got to be 10 cards short of a full deck.)
The 1984 U. S. Supreme Court decision also removed any federal agency decision (rule) from being adjudicated by the Supreme Court. This was somewhat altered by a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision in Sacketts vs. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wherein the Court ruled that an individual may challenge an EPA ruling in lower court, where before the individual had no judicial recourse against a federal agency ruling. The individual only had an administrative recourse and guess who controlled the administrative process ….. the EPA?
The 1984 decision by the Supreme Court is in direct conflict with the basic legal foundation established by the Marbury vs. Madison decision of 1803. The decision in the 1803 Supreme Court Case established the right of the high court to determine the constitutionality of the actions of the other two branches of government. In summary:
“Outgoing President John Adams had issued William Marbury a commission as justice of the peace, but the new Secretary of State, James Madison, refused to deliver it. Marbury then sued to obtain it. With his decision in Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle of judicial review, an important addition to the system of “checks and balances” created to prevent any one branch of the Federal Government from becoming too powerful.”
In the U. S. Supreme Court’s case of 1984, where absolute discretionary power was granted to the Executive Branch, the basic principle of judicial review was turned on its head. Thus, it is clear that more power has been granted to the President than was ever intended by the Founding Fathers.
Each new law that Congress passes brings more bureaucracies with virtually unlimited power, more government employees and greater costs, all of which leads to a higher national deficit, an increasing national debt and less freedom for the people. The new bureaucracies fall under the control of the Executive Branch, thus adding to the President’s ever-increasing power. A recent article in the “Sovereign Man” on-line magazine agrees and warns against the growing, unilateral power of the President. One paragraph in the article lays out the danger succinctly and we quote:
“The University of Chicago’s Richard Epstein warns that “government by waiver” is ‘among the most serious challenges to the rule of law in our time.’ The growth of the administrative state has concentrated enormous discretionary power in the president’s hands, and he can use that power to reward political allies and legislate by decree without the inconvenience of democratic deliberation.”
A case in point: The Dodd-Frank bank regulation bill created the “Consumer Financial Protection Board”, along with the “Financial Stability Oversight Council” and the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau”, giving each agency effectively unlimited power under the president. It is now being challenged on constitutional grounds. From an article in “The Volokh Conspiracy” we learn that:
“The State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, the 60-Plus Association, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed suit against the Consumer Financial Protection Board alleging that the CFPB, as currently structured, is unconstitutional. Specifically the suit alleges that the CFPB lacks political accountability because, among other things, the President cannot remove the Bureau’s director save for cause and Congress cannot exercise control over the Bureau’s budget. Further, the suit notes, the Dodd-Frank statute limits judicial review of CFPB actions. ‘As a whole, Dodd-Frank aggregates the power of all three branches of government in one unelected, unsupervised and unaccountable bureaucrat,’ commented former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, who is representing the plaintiffs.”
Ladies and gentlemen, when does it end? Or does it ever end? How do you stop politicians from passing law, after law, after law? How do you stop judges from legislating from the bench? How do you stop the bureaucracies, at all levels of government, from promulgating a million more rules that limit or erase our freedoms? “The Parallax Prophecies” predicts that you don’t stop them until they fear you and right now politicians, judges and bureaucrats have no fear of you at all. Why should they fear you? You’re not fighters, you’re just pawns, lackeys, ignorant voters and free-loaders to them.
But wait! What if a bunch of dedicated, fearless patriots, under the law, decided to go after each politician, each judge and each bureaucrat for malfeasance, misfeasance, violation of oath of office and corruption, one at a time? Since the entire system suffers from systemic corruption, then it shouldn’t be too hard to find one or more of these guys or gals that is dipping his or her bill where it doesn’t belong and expose them. When one politician went down to citizen scrutiny, other politicians would be looking around to see who was watching them. Their replacements would be put on notice as well. When one judge was impeached because he strayed over the line, other judges would be wondering if they were next.
The same goes for bureaucrats, like the one that spent almost a million dollars of your hard-earned tax money for a lavish conference in Las Vegas. If some concerned citizen had been watching him, he might have thought twice before going forward with his diabolical plan to steal your money and thumb his aristocratic, arrogant nose in your face.
We’re 310,000,000. There are only 545 of them in Washington DC and several thousand more in local and state government. We can’t count on them to watch themselves now can we? The checks and balances are gone and the 4th estate is more interested in ratings than they are in exposing government crime, corruption and fraud. It is our money that government is wasting and our freedom they are taking. As they are found of saying in the south, “We have a real dog in the hunt”, ladies and gentlemen. How hard can it be for thousands of us to trip them up and recall them, impeach them, or send them to jail? It can’t be that hard ….. can it?
Based on the foregoing and the very recent Supreme Court ruling on Obama care, we can only conclude that the Constitution is, for all intents and purposes, extinct. In the final analysis, it is up to us, We the People. Do we truly want freedom and are we willing to defend it no matter what it takes, or will we capitulate to an Absolute Presidential Monarchy? What we ultimately decide to do will determine whether freedom and American sovereignty will survive as intended by the Founding Fathers, or whether government tyranny will have been extended to its ultimate goal of ….. absolute power.
Stay in touch with NARLO!
Ron Ewart, President
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA 98027
425 837-5365 or 1 800 682-7848