Category: The American Constitution


The New American

George Will Promotes Plan to Grant President Legislative Powers

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In an April 9 opinion piece published in the Washington Post, commentator George Will praises the Goldwater Institute’s Compact for America and its component calling for an Article V constitutional convention.

Will points out a few of the proposal’s “benefits,” insisting that the balanced budget amendment (BBA) that it aims to enact “delivers immediate benefits to constituents.” Unfortunately, Will’s analysis of the Compact for America ignores several of its distinctly unconstitutional provisions.

First, before state legislatures vote for an Article V con-con proposal such as the Compact for America that could cause real and radical damage to our Constitution, they should first consider whether a balanced budget amendment is necessary and whether it would actually repair the damage already done by a Congress committed to ignoring the constitutional limits on its power.

The fact is that determined citizens and state legislators could rescue the United States from its financial peril without resorting to opening up the Constitution to tinkering by 38 or more state-appointed delegates, many of whom would be bought and paid for by special interests and corporations.

Imagine for a moment the brand of “conservative” delegates that might be chosen by state partisans to represent them at an Article V convention. It isn’t unlikely that Arizona might choose John McCain, Jan Brewer, or Sandra Day O’Connor. New York might send Michael Bloomberg. South Carolina could appoint Lindsey Graham. Similar selections could be predicted in every state.

Next, there is no historical proof that a balanced budget amendment would drive Congress back to within its constitutional corral. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that about 80 percent of expenditures approved by Congress violate the U.S. Constitution. That fact wouldn’t change by adding an amendment to the Constitution.

Whether these bills spend our national treasure on unconstitutional and undeclared foreign wars, billions sent overseas in the form of foreign aid, expanding the so-called entitlement programs, or redistributing wealth via corporate and individual welfare schemes, none of these outlays is authorized by the Constitution.

And don’t forget, a committed, concerned, and constitutionally aware citizenry can balance our budget more quickly than any balanced budget amendment and without the danger of letting the wolves of special interests and their political puppets into the constitutional hen house.

Third, rather than forcing Congress to adhere to spending money in only those areas specifically permitted by the Constitution in Article I, the Compact for America’s Balanced Budget Amendment specifically allows Congress to spend money on anything, no matter how unconstitutional, so long as the amount does not exceed the limits set in Section 2 of their BBA. If approved, the CFA’s BBA would do nothing to break Congress of its unconstitutional spending habits, habits that have nearly ruined the economic might of this Republic.

In fact, under the CFA’s budget-balancing scheme, Congress could continue spending on projects and programs not authorized by the Constitution.

Section 3 of the CFA’s BBA explicitly authorizes an increase in the federal debt limit to 105 percent of the actual debt level on the effective date of this amendment. That hardly sounds like a balanced budget and is not something true conservatives should support as a remedy to a runaway federal government.

 

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Man in despair over billsOr Adding A National Sales Tax To The Income Tax?   

The stated purpose of Compact for America, Inc. is to get a balanced budget amendment (BBA) ratified.  Here is their proposed BBA.  State Legislators recently introduced it in Arizona. 1

The gap between what this BBA pretends to do – and what it actually does – is enormous. It has nothing to do with “balancing the budget” – it is about slipping in a new national sales tax or value-added tax in addition to the existing federal income tax.

We have become so shallow that we look no further than a name – if it sounds good, we are all for it.  We hear, “balanced budget amendment”, and think, “I have to balance my budget; they should have to balance theirs.”  So we don’t read the amendment, we just assume they will have to balance theirs the same way we balance ours – by cutting spending.

But that is not what the BBA does.  In effect, it redefines “balancing the budget” to mean spending no more than your income plus the additional debt you incur to finance your spending.  To illustrate:  If your income is $100,000 a year; but you spend $175,000 a year, you “balance” your budget by borrowing the additional $75,000.  See?

Under the BBA, Congress may continue to spend whatever it likes and incur as much new debt as it pleases – as long as 26 States agree.  And since the States have become major consumers of federal funding, who doubts that they can’t continue to be bought?  Federal grants make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets!  The States are addicted to federal funds – who thinks they won’t agree to get more money?

The BBA enshrines Debt as a permanent feature of our Country; gives it constitutional approval; does nothing to reduce spending or “balance the budget”; authorizes a new national tax; and wipes out the “enumerated powers” limitation on the federal government.

Let’s look at the BBA, section by section, using plain and honest English.  And then let’s look at how our Framers wrote our Constitution to strictly control federal spending.

Compact for America’s BBA

Section 1 says the federal government may not spend more than they take from you in taxes or add to the national debt. [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 2 accepts debt as a permanent feature of our Country – the “Authorized Debt”. This is the maximum amount of debt the federal government may incur at any given point in time.

  • Initially, when the Amendment is ratified, the “authorized debt” may not be more than 105% of the then existing national debt.  So!  If the national debt is $20 trillion when the Amendment is ratified, the federal government may not initially add more than 105% of    $20 trillion [or $1 trillion] to the national debt.
  • After that initial addition to the national debt, the “authorized debt” may not be increased unless it is approved by State Legislatures as provided in Section 3.

Section 3 says whenever Congress wants, it may increase the national debt if 26 of the State Legislatures agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

Section 4 says whenever the national debt exceeds 98% of “the debt limit set by Section 2”, the President shall “impound” sufficient expenditures so that the national debt won’t exceed the “authorized debt”.  And if the President doesn’t do this, Congress may impeach him!

This is a hoot, Folks!  I’ll show you:

  • No debt limit is set by Section 2!  The national debt can be increased at any time if Congress gets 26 State Legislatures to agree.  Can 26 States be bought?
  • Section 6 defines “impoundment” as “a proposal not to spend all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress”.  Who believes Congress will impeach the President 2 for failing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress?

Section 5 says any new or increased federal “general revenue tax” must be approved by 2/3 of the members of both houses of Congress.

Now pay attention, because this is a monstrous trick to be played on you:  Section 6 defines “general revenue tax” as “any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax” levied by the federal government.

And when you read the first sentence of Section 5 with the definition of “general revenue taxin place of “general revenue tax”, you see that it says:

“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote…” 

Do you see?  This permits Congress to impose a national sales tax or value added tax in addition to the income tax, 3 if 2/3 of both houses agree.  [Yes, you read that right.]

 

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Independence Hall, where the 1787 Constitution was crafted

Q: How are amendments to the federal Constitution made?

A: Article V of our Constitution provides two method of amending the Constitution:

  1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
  2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress calls a convention to propose amendments.

Q: Which method was used for our existing 27 amendments?

A:  The first method was used for all 27 amendments including the Bill of Rights which were introduced into Congress by James Madison. 3

Q:  Is there a difference between a constitutional convention, con con, or Article V Convention?

A:  These names have been used interchangeably during the last 50 years.

Q:  What is a “convention of states”?

A:  That is what the people pushing for an Article V convention now call it. 

Q: Who is behind this push for an Art. V convention?

A:  The push to impose a new Constitution by means of an Article V convention (and using a “balanced budget” amendment as justification) started in 1963 with the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.  1    Today, it is pushed by:

Q:  Why do they want an Article V Convention?

A:  The only way to get rid of our existing Constitution and Bill of Rights is to have an Article V convention where they can re-write our Constitution.  Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Michael Farris’ “Convention of States”, said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

Q: How can they impose a new constitution if ¾ of the States don’t agree to it?

A: Only amendments require ratification by ¾ of the States (see Art. V). But a new constitution would have its own new method of ratification – it can be whatever the drafters want.  For example, the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a referendum called by the President.

Q: Can a convention be stopped from proposing a new Constitution?

A:  No.  Once the delegates are duly appointed & assembled, they are acting under the inherent authority of A People to alter or abolish their form of government [Declaration of Independence, 2nd para]; and have the sovereign power to do whatever they want at the convention.

Q: Is this what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787?

A:  Yes.  Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.  But the delegates ignored this limitation and wrote a new Constitution.  Because of this inherent authority of delegatesit is impossible to stop it from happening at another convention.  And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you.

Q: Did the delegates at the Convention of 1787 introduce a new mode of ratification for the new Constitution?

A:  Yes. The Articles of Confederation required the approval of all 13 States for amendments to the Articles to be ratified.  But the new Constitution provided it would become effective if only 9 of the 13 States ratified it (Art. VII, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution).

Q:  Who would be delegates at a Convention?

A:  Either Congress appoints whomever they want; or State governments appoint whomever they want.

Q: Who would be chairman at a convention?

A: We don’t know.  But chairmen have lots of power – and George Washington won’t be chairman.

Q: But if the States appoint the delegates, won’t a convention be safe?

A: Who controls your State?  They will be the ones who choose the delegates if Congress permits the States to appoint delegates.  Are the people who control your State virtuous, wise, honest, and true?  [Tell PH if they are, so she can move there.]

Q: But aren’t the States the ones to rein in the federal government?

A: They should have been, but the States have become major consumers of federal funding.  Federal funds make up almost 35% of the States’ annual budgets. The States don’t want to rein in the feds – they don’t want to lose their federal funding.

Q: Did Thomas Jefferson say the federal Constitution should be amended every 20 years?

A: No! In his letter to Samuel Kercheval of July 12, 1816, Jefferson wrote about the Constitution for the State of Virginia, which he said needed major revision.  And remember James Madison’s words in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from the end):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

The powers delegated to the feds are “few and defined” – what’s to amend?  All else is reserved to the States or the People – so State Constitutions would need more frequent amendments.  Do you see?

Q:  Did Alexander Hamilton say in Federalist No 85 (next to last para) that a convention is safe?

A:  No!  He said, respecting the ratification of amendments, that we “may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”.  But today, our State legislatures don’t protect us from federal encroachments because:

  • We have been so dumbed down by progressive education that we know nothing & can’t think;
  • State legislatures have been bought off with federal funds; and
  • Our public and personal morality is in the sewer.

Q: Did Our Framers – the ones who signed The Constitution – think conventions a fine idea?

A:  No!

“Conventions are serious things, and ought not to be repeated.”

 

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Image Source  :  Sodahead.com

Interesting  how Americans standing their ground  and  fighting  back  against  an  out of  control government  and  their jackboot  thuggery are violating the  law. 

Yet  the Politicians with their L.E. thugs who lie, steal , cheat  and abuse the American People  everyday  are  law  abiding ?

Perhaps it is time  to  teach these self aggrandized  public servants what  Americans are  capable  of  and  just  who they  truly  work for!!

You are  right about one thing Mr. Reid, this is  definitely  not  Over……..

 

~Desert Rose~

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The New American

War on the West: Why More Bundy Standoffs Are Coming

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The federal government’s over-the-top police action against the Bundy family ranch is an ominous portent of more to come, as rogue agencies and their corporate/NGO partners attempt to “cleanse” the West of ranchers, farmers, miners, loggers, and other determined property owners.

On Saturday, April 12, the federal bureaucrats backed down. Faced with hundreds of men and women on horseback and on foot who were armed with firearms and video cameras — as well as local television broadcast stations and independent media streaming live video and radio feeds across America — the Obama administration called off the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) operation to confiscate hundreds of cattle belonging to Cliven Bundy, the current patriarch of a respected pioneer family that has been ranching in Nevada’s Clark County since the 1800s.

Supporters from all across the United States had converged on the Bunkerville, Nevada, area in support of Bundy, who is the

“last rancher standing” in Clark County, due to a decades-long campaign by federal agencies and allied enviro-activists to drive all ranchers off of the range. After a tense standoff, orders came down from above for the surrounded and outnumbered federal agents to “stand down” and turn loose the Bundy cattle that had been corralled.

 

On Saturday, before the resolution of the standoff, The New American talked to Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), as he headed from a meeting of public officials to a press conference at the Bundy Ranch. He was very grave and worried at the time that the situation could spin out of control, and that federal agents might open fire on citizens. He also expressed his exasperation at Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Clark County Sheriff Douglass Gillespie. “If Governor Sandoval and Sheriff Gillespie were doing the jobs they were elected to do, they would have stopped this from getting to a dangerous point,” Sheriff Mack said. “There are lots of things they could have done to defuse this situation, including telling the Feds to ‘stand down,’ and to assert their own jurisdiction and force the federal authorities to obey the law, including the Constitution and the laws of the state of Nevada,” he noted. “I have a very bad feeling about this,” he continued, adding that he hoped the tensions would be deescalated and a peaceful outcome negotiated.

Fortunately, most likely due to the national attention that the Bundy situation was receiving, federal officials backed off, the demonstrators and supporters remained peaceful, and a violent confrontation was averted. However, that does not end the affair. Members of the Bundy family and supporters, such as Sheriff Mack, expressed concerns that the evacuation of the federal police force might be a feint, and that there may be plans for them to return the following day, or as soon as the supporters and television crews had departed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose personal financial stake in the Bundy eviction has been called into question, let it be known that he wants to see the matter pursued.

“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told NBC’s Nevada affiliate KRNV on Monday, April 14. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Senator Reid, Nevada’s senior senator, is very incensed when the American people, i.e., ordinary citizens, “violate the law” — as he puts it — but he says nothing about the more serious violations of the laws and the Constitution by public officials, such as himself or the BLM officials.

This is the same federal BLM that Chief Judge Robert C. Jones of the Federal District Court of Nevada last year ruled had been engaged in a decades-long criminal “conspiracy” against the Wayne Hage family, fellow ranchers and friends of the Bundys. Among other things, Judge Jones accused the federal bureaucrats of racketeering under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations) statute, and accused them as well of extortion, mail fraud, and fraud, in an effort “to kill the business of Mr. Hage.” In fact, the government’s actions were so malicious, said the judge, as to “shock the conscience of the Court.” Judge Jones granted an injunction against the agencies and referred area BLM and Forest Service managers to the Justice Department for prosecution.

Has Attorney General Eric Holder prosecuted any federal officials for criminal activity and violation of the Hage family’s constitutionally protected rights? No. Has Sen. Harry Reid denounced this lawlessness and criminal activity by government officials and call upon President Obama and Attorney General Holder to protect the citizens of his state from the depredations of federal officials under their command? No.

Huge Federal Footprint: And a Boot on Every Neck

With attitudes such as those expressed above by Sen. Harry Reid, it is almost a certainty that the recently defused Bundy Ranch standoff will be replayed again — and in the not-too-distant future. And the outcome could be much less amicable for all concerned.

And this is but one of many incidents that can be expected, because the Bundy family are not the only victims in the federal crosshairs. The BLM, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and other federal agencies own and/or control hundreds of millions of acres of the 12 western states. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not as large a landlord as some of these bigger agencies, but it exercises enormous regulatory clout over both private and public lands, air, and water. And while the EPA’s draconian, arbitrary, and costly regulations affect the entire country, they fall especially hard on the states in the West, where the federal impact is already massive due to the outsized footprint of the federal agencies.

federal landAs the accompanying map graphically demonstrates, there is a striking difference between the federal government’s claim to physical real estate in the states of East and the Midwest versus those of the West. In Maine, for instance, federal agencies occupy only 1.1 percent of the state’s land area; in New York it’s a mere 0.8 percent. The federal government claims only 1.8 percent of Indiana, 1.6 percent of Alabama, and 1.7 percent of Ohio. But in the Western states, the federal footprint covers from nearly one-third to over four-fifths of the area of the states.

 

Read More Here

 

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Ron Paul: Feds May Come Back With Way More Force ‘Like Waco’

Watch Video Here

by Fox News Insider // Apr 14 2014 // 5:32pm

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul was on “Your World” this afternoon to discuss the battle between a Nevada rancher and the federal government.

The federal government says Cliven Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees, and authorities seized many of his cattle. Bundy then declared a “range war” on the government, prompting a standoff between Bundy’s supporters and the government. The government has since pulled back.

Paul said the government could come back with more force because it doesn’t give up power easily, citing the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidians’ compound in Waco, Texas. He said this issue poses the question of who should own the land.

Paul said Bundy has virtual ownership of the land because his family has been using it for so long.

“I think land should be in the states, and I think the states should sell it to the people,” he said. “You need the government out of it.”

Hear more of Paul’s thoughts in the video above.


Read more on the Nevada ranch standoff:

Feds Pull Back in Nevada Ranch Standoff

Nevada Rancher Renews Fight Against Big Gov: ‘We’re Standing Up for the Constitution’

 

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Sheriff Mack travels with other CSPOA members to stand with Nevada rancher against the BLM 

 
Many of you have called or emailed regarding the storm brewing between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the BLM.  We all know how we feel about the all-too-frequent bullying of individual citizens by various Feds with their usurped, unconstitutional powers.  It’s an epidemic that must be stopped.Well, we want you to know we ARE doing something about it, and thankfully this time we’re not alone.  Sheriff Mack is leaving early Saturday morning for an emergency trip to Bunkerville, Nevada, along with other members of the CSPOA posse (hopefully that’s some of you!) to stand vigil and find a peaceful resolution to this conflict (i.e., the feds going home).AND this late-breaking news as per Lyle Rapacki today:

State Senate President Andy Biggs and House of Reps Speaker Dave Livingston have both agreed that Arizona should be involved in supporting CSPOA and Oath Keepers in going to Bunkerville, NV to support the movement for freedom there with the Cliven Bundy family. State Senators Al Melvin, Chester Crandall, and Kelly Ward along with State Reps Brenda Barton, Bob Thorpe, Kelly Townsend and Warren Peterson are all planning to be at the Bundy ranch by Sunday morning. Furthermore, they all plan to attend the Press Conference Monday afternoon with the CSPOA and Oath Keepers along with the Bundys and other sheriffs and public officials from across the country.

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We hope you understand how HUGE this is, that state senators and reps are supporting the CSPOA and the Oath Keepers!  We are not alone!

 

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A Delegation of state legislators, lead by Washington State Representative Matt Shea, along with a  delegation of current serving Sheriffs, lead by Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and military and police members of Oath Keepers, are converging on the site of a stand-off between federal law enforcement and Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy, to prevent bloodshed and to stand in defense of hardworking rural Americans who are under assault by a runaway federal government.

LAS VEGAS, NV, April 10, 2014

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA.org), led by retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, and the Oath Keepers organization (oathkeepers.org) are assisting Washington State Representative Matt Shea in organizing a delegation of current serving Western state legislators and Sheriffs to travel to the site of a tense stand-off between Bunkerville, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The delegation is traveling to Nevada to support a coalition of current serving Nevada legislators being organized by Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, of Las Vegas, to stand vigil at the Bundy ranch to prevent Federal Government provocation of violence resulting in another Ruby Ridge or Waco type incident.  They also hope that their example of oath-sworn public servants defending the rights of the people will prompt Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to honor their oaths of office by taking real action to defend the rights of the Bundy family, the rights of all Nevadans, and the sovereignty of the State of Nevada.

Yesterday, April 9, 2014, Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore served the first watch in this vigil shortly after Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, was tazered by BLM “Rangers” during a heated confrontation.  [The video of that confrontation can be seen with the full article on the Oath Keepers web site, www.oathkeepers.org]:

The courage and resolve displayed by Ammon Bundy and his relatives is inspiring, and may well go down in history as a watershed moment – a turning of the tide.  But the above video also amply demonstrates the heavy-handed behavior of the BLM that risks escalating an already volatile situation into open bloodshed, that, once begun, may spiral out of anyone’s control.

It is necessary that current serving public servants step in-between the protesters and the BLM, to protect the rights of the people and to prevent violence against them by the militarized federal law enforcement that are massing near the ranch to continue the forced confiscation (theft) of  Bundy’s cattle, while they also restrict all access to huge tracts of public land, and attempt to restrict the free speech of protesters with their absurd “First Amendment Area” (which the protesters are ignoring, to their honor).

The Oath Keepers organization, comprised of 40,000 current serving and former military, police, and first responders, is also calling on its members and all other patriotic Americans to join the vigil at the Bundy ranch under the leadership of the current serving legislators and sheriffs.  The goal is to have at least one current serving state legislator and at least one sheriff on the ground at all times until this is over.  And they will be backed by a large number of military and police veterans, as well as dedicated patriotic Americans from all walks of life, to interpose and defend the rights of the protesters and to keep an eye on the actions of the BLM and any other federal law enforcement present, to prevent a recurrence of the horrid abuses seen at Ruby Ridge and Waco, and to hopefully pressure the Clark County Sheriff and the Nevada Governor to step up and do their constitutional duty.

Regardless, please tell everyone you know to be praying for a peaceful resolution to this situation and for the safety of the brave patriots headed there and on the ground there right now.

Please read the entire press release  
on the Oath Keepers web site, oathkeepers.org 

 

Read More Here

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Historic! Feds Forced to Surrender to American Citizens

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 Liberty Blitzkrieg

Why the Standoff at the Bundy Ranch is a Very Big Deal

If you haven’t been following the unfolding drama at the Bundy Ranch about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas you need to start now. The escalating confrontation between irate local residents and federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has the potential to take a very dangerous turn for the worse at any moment, as hundreds of militia members from states across the country are expected to descend upon the area and make a stand with 67-year-old Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

Before I get into any sort of analysis about what this means within the bigger picture of American politics and society, we need a little background on the situation. The saga itself has been ongoing for two decades and the issue at hand is whether or not Mr. Bundy can graze his 900 head of cattle on a particular section of public lands in Clark County. Cliven Bundy has been ordered to stop on environmental grounds to protect the desert tortoise, but he has stood his ground time and time again. As a result, the feds have now entered the area and are impounding his cattle. According to CNN, Between Saturday and Wednesday, contracted wranglers impounded a total of 352 cattle. The Bundy family, as well as a variety of local residents have already had confrontations with the BLM agents. Tasers have been used and some minor injuries reported. Most significantly, militia members from across the country have already descended upon the area and it seems possible that hundreds may ultimately make it down there.

To me, the argument of who is right and who is wrong in this situation is the least interesting part of the story. I have noted time and time again that the feds are becoming increasingly out of control and belligerent to American citizens. We know the stories (think Aaron Swartz) and we know the overall trend. However, the reason the Bundy Ranch confrontation is so interesting, is that for whatever reason this particular incident seems to be striking a chord of dissent. It is often times the most random, unforeseen and innocuous things that spark social/political movements. This standoff has it all.

…..This picture basically says it all:

Bundy ranch

 

Read More Here

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The Truth About the Nevada Rancher’s Standoff

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Nevada Cattle Rancher Wins ‘Range War’ With Feds

PHOTO: Federal agents clash with armed protestors over a ranchers 20-year tax fight.

A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.

Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.

Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a “range war” against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.

“I have no contract with the United States government,” Bundy said. “I was paying grazing fees for management and that’s what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay.”

The federal government had countered that Bundy “owes the American people in excess of $1 million ” in unpaid grazing fees and “refuses to abide by the law of land, despite many opportunities over the last 20 years to do so.”

However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said.

“We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner,” he said.

The roundup began April 5, following lengthy court proceedings dating back to 1993, federal officials said. Federal officers began impounding the first lot of cows last weekend, and Bundy responded by inviting supporters onto his land to protest the action.

“It’s not about cows, it’s about freedom,” Utah resident Yonna Winget told ABC News affiliate KTNV in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy told ABC News.

 

Read More Here

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Screenshots  Of  FAA Records For No Fly Zone Over  The Bundy Ranch

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Federal agents back down in stand-off with armed cowboys  1 photo Federalagentsbackdowninstand-offwitharmedcowboys1_zpsaef4e7e9.png

Federal agents back down in stand-off with armed cowboys  3 photo Federalagentsbackdowninstand-offwitharmedcowboys3_zps3e63d363.png

Federal agents back down in stand-off with armed cowboys  2 photo Federalagentsbackdowninstand-offwitharmedcowboys2_zps8aff68c7.png

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Federal agents back down in stand-off with armed cowboys: BLM release cattle after they were surrounded by militia following agreement to stop targeting rancher in modern-day ‘range war’

  • Bureau of Land Management would not enforce court order to remove  cattle and was pulling out of the area
  • Politicians have compared the standoff to Tienanmen Square
  • The Bundy family says they’ve owned the 600,000 acres since 1870 but the Bureau of Land Management says they are illegally grazing
  • The dispute began in 1993 when land was reclassified as to federal property to protect a rare desert tortoise, the government claimed
  • Federal officers stormed the property this week with helicopters and snipers to back up about 200 armed agents
  • They have reportedly seized around 350 of Cliven Bundy’s 900 cattle
  • Cattle were handed back to rancher after tense standoff
  • Tensions escalated after private militias poured in to support the family

By Ryan Gorman and Dan Miller and Meghan Keneally and Jessica Jerreat

Hundreds of heavily armed militia members celebrated their victory over federal law enforcement officers on Saturday after they secured the release of Cliven Bundy’s captured cattle.

In an embarrassing climbdown, the Bureau of Land Management retreated from its high profile standoff with Bundy and his rag-tag bunch of anti-federalists after the BLM attempted to forcibly capture nearly 1,000 of his cattle.

The militia member showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals’ return to rancher Cliven Bundy. Some protesters were armed with handguns and rifles at the corrals and at an earlier nearby rally.

Victory: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

Victory: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

Thanks: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, on April 12, 2014

Thanks: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, on April 12, 2014

 

Bundy, 67, doesn’t recognize federal authority on land he insists belongs to Nevada. His Mormon family has operated a ranch since the 1870s near the small town of Bunkerville and the Utah and Arizona lines.

‘Good morning America, good morning world, isn’t it a beautiful day in Bunkerville?’ Bundy told a cheering crowd after his cattle were released, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A number of Bundy’s supporters, who included militia members from California, Idaho and other states, dressed in camouflage and carried rifles and sidearms. During the stand-off, some chanted ‘open that gate’ and ‘free the people.’

A man who identified himself as Scott, 43, said he had traveled from Idaho along with two fellow militia members to support Bundy.

‘If we don’t show up everywhere, there is no reason to show up anywhere,’ said the man, dressed in camouflage pants and a black flak jacket crouched behind a concrete highway barrier, holding an AR-15 rifle. ‘I’m ready to pull the trigger if fired upon,’ Scott said.

Wild west: The Bundy family and their supporters drive their cattle back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. after they were released by the Bureau of Land Management on Saturday

 

Fanatical: The edge of a Cliven Bundy supporter camp is shown near the Virgin River Saturday, April 12, 2014, near Bunkerville, Nevada

Fanatical: The edge of a Cliven Bundy supporter camp is shown near the Virgin River Saturday, April 12, 2014, near Bunkerville, Nevada

 

The dispute between Bundy and federal land managers began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands that are also home to imperiled animals such as the Mojave Desert tortoise.

Support: An armed civilian waits nearby in some bushes as the Bundy family and their supporters gather together under the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

Support: An armed civilian waits nearby in some bushes as the Bundy family and their supporters gather together under the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

 

Land managers limited the Bundy herd to just 150 head on a land which the rancher claims has been in his family for more than 140 years.

The government also claims Bundy has ignored cancellation of his grazing leases and defied federal court orders to remove his cattle.

‘We won the battle,’ said Ammon Bundy, one of the rancher’s sons.

Hundreds of Bundy supporters, some heavily armed, had camped on the road leading to his ranch in a high desert spotted with sagebrush and mesquite trees.

Some held signs reading ‘Americans united against government thugs,’ while others were calling the rally the ‘Battle of Bunkerville,’ a reference to a American Revolutionary War battle of Bunker Hill in Boston.

The large crowd at one point blocked all traffic on Interstate 15. Later, as lanes opened up, motorists honked to support the demonstrators and gave them a thumbs-up sign.

Las Vegas Police Lt. Dan Zehnder said the showdown was resolved with no injuries and no violence. Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie was able to negotiate a resolution after talking with Bundy, he said.

The fight between Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management widened into a debate about states’ rights and federal land-use policy.

Anti-federalist: Armed militia members stand guard on a hilltop overlooking a Clive Bundy supporter camp near the Virgin River Saturday, April 12, 2014, near Bunkerville, Nevada

Anti-federalist: Armed militia members stand guard on a hilltop overlooking a Clive Bundy supporter camp near the Virgin River Saturday, April 12, 2014, near Bunkerville, Nevada

 

The dispute that ultimately triggered the roundup dates to 1993, when the bureau cited concern for the federally protected tortoise in the region.

The bureau revoked Bundy’s grazing rights after he stopped paying grazing fees and disregarded federal court orders to remove his animals.

Kornze’s announcement came after Bundy repeatedly promised to “do whatever it takes” to protect his property and after a string of raucous confrontations between his family members and supporters and federal agents during the weeklong operation.

Bundy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement praising the agency for its willingness to listen to the state’s concerns.

 

 

Victor: Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, after officials called off the government's roundup of cattle

Victor: Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, after officials called off the government’s roundup of cattle

 

And they're out: The Bundy family and their supporters drive their cattle back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. after they were released by the Bureau of Land Management

And they’re out: The Bundy family and their supporters drive their cattle back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. after they were released by the Bureau of Land Management

He earlier criticized the agency for creating “an atmosphere of intimidation” and trying to confine protesters to a fenced-in “First Amendment area” well away from the sprawling roundup area.

‘The safety of all individuals involved in this matter has been my highest priority,’ Sandoval said.

‘Given the circumstances, today’s outcome is the best we could have hoped for.’

Nevada’s congressional delegation urged the protesters to be calm and to leave the area.

‘The dispute is over, the BLM is leaving, but emotions and tensions are still near the boiling point, and we desperately need a peaceful conclusion to this conflict,’ U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said in a statement.

‘I urge all the people involved to please return to your homes and allow the BLM officers to collect their equipment and depart without interference.’

The 400 cows gathered during the roundup were short of the BLM’s goal of 900 cows that it says have been trespassing on U.S. land without required grazing permits for over 20 years.

The dispute less than 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas between rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had simmered for days.

Bundy had stopped paying fees for grazing his cattle on the government land and officials said he had ignored court orders.

Mission accomplished: Supporters of the Bundy family hang a sign on the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

Mission accomplished: Supporters of the Bundy family hang a sign on the I-15 highway just outside of Bunkerville, Nevada

 

The dispute between Bundy and federal land managers began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands

The dispute between Bundy and federal land managers began in 1993 when he stopped paying monthly fees of about $1.35 per cow-calf pair to graze public lands

 

Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management

Cowboys and patriots: Kholten Gleave, right, of Utah, pauses for the National Anthem outside of Bunkerville , Nev. while gathering with other supporters of the Bundy family to challenge the Bureau of Land Management

 

Anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists camped around Bundy’s ranch to support him, in a standoff that tapped into long-simmering anger in Nevada and other Western states, where vast tracts of land are owned and governed by federal agencies.

The bureau had called in a team of armed rangers to Nevada to seize the 1,000 head of cattle on Saturday but backed down in the interests of safety.

‘Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,’ the bureau’s director, Neil Kornze, said in a statement.

The protesters, who at the height of the standoff numbered about 1,000, met the news with applause. Then they quickly advanced on the metal pens where the cattle confiscated earlier in the week were being held.

After consultations with the rancher’s family, the bureau decided to release the cattle it had rounded up, and the crowd began to disperse.

‘This is what I prayed for,’ said Margaret Houston, one of Bundy’s sisters. ‘We are so proud of the American people for being here with us and standing with us.

No horsing around: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released from a corral

No horsing around: The Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle were released from a corral

 

Cheers: Protesters pump their fists as cowboys herd cattle that belongs to rancher Cliven Bundy

Cheers: Protesters pump their fists as cowboys herd cattle that belongs to rancher Cliven Bundy

 

Firepower: Protester Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management's base camp where seized cattle

Firepower: Protester Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge next to the Bureau of Land Management’s base camp where seized cattle

 

Victory speech: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, informing the public that the BLM has agreed to cease the roundup of his family's cattle

Victory speech: Rancher Cliven Bundy, middle, addresses his supporters along side Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, right, informing the public that the BLM has agreed to cease the roundup of his family’s cattle

 

In an interview prior to the bureau’s announcement, Bundy said he was impressed by the level of support he had received.

‘I’m excited that we are really fighting for our freedom. We’ve been losing it for a long time,’ Bundy said.

An official with an environmental group that had notified the government it would sue unless federal land managers sought to protect tortoises on the grazing allotment used by Bundy’s cattle expressed outrage at the end of the cattle roundup.

‘The sovereign militias are ruling the day,’ said Rob Mrowka, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. ‘Now that this precedent has been set and they’re emboldened by the government’s capitulation, what’s to stop them from applying the same tactics and threats elsewhere?’

Roger Taylor, retired district manager with the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona, also said the agency’s decision to release the cattle will have repercussions.

‘The (agency) is going to be in a worse situation where they will have a much more difficult time getting those cattle off the land and getting Bundy in compliance with regulations,’ he said.

Deal: Cliven Bundy shakes hands with Sheiff Doug Gillespie on Saturday morning as the rancher comes to a deal to stop federal agents rounding up his cattle

Deal: Cliven Bundy shakes hands with Sheiff Doug Gillespie on Saturday morning as the rancher comes to a deal to stop federal agents rounding up his cattle

Show down: Ranchers on horseback and protesters gather at the BLM camp to try to claim back cattle the agency has already rounded up

Show down: Ranchers on horseback and protesters gather at the BLM camp to try to claim back cattle the agency has already rounded up

 

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Bundy Ranch Showdown! The Bigger Picture!

 

Published on Apr 12, 2014

 

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A dirty secret of the American judicial system is that juries are hardly fair and impartial

Jury selection these days is done with a wink and a nod.
Jury selection these days is done with a wink and a nod. (REUTERS/Art Lien)

Imagine you are a defendant awaiting trial on criminal charges that could send you to prison for the rest of your life. You are sitting at the counsel table during voir dire, the process by which a jury is selected before a trial.

The prosecutor asks a potential juror: “You haven’t heard any evidence. How would you vote?” The potential juror responds: “I would have to vote guilty.”

Your trial judge pipes up. He’s supposed to ensure that you receive a fair trial and that the jurors who will sit in judgment upon you are neutral, objective, and willing to see and hear the evidence with an open mind. The judge asks the prospective juror: “Could you return a verdict of not guilty if the government doesn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt?” The would-be juror responds: “I don’t think I would be able to.”

The prosecutor — who wants this juror on the panel because he wants to convict you — presses on. He asks the juror: “Let’s say the victim takes the stand [and] you flat-out don’t believe her. In fact, you think she’s lying. You look at her [and conclude], ‘I don’t believe a word coming out of her mouth.’ Are you going to convict this man anyway?”

The potential juror responds: “That depends. I still feel he was at fault.”

How would you feel if this juror were allowed to join the panel that determined your fate? Would you feel as though you had received a fair trial by an impartial panel, as the Sixth Amendment commands? Or would you feel that the trial judge had failed to protect your presumption of innocence?

My guess is you would feel cheated. I know I would. But yet this precise scenario unfolded in California in 2009. This juror was allowed to serve on this trial. And to date, no judge has declared it a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.

Now, in this particular case, the defendant, Jose Felipe Velasco, was accused of an extremely heinous crime. He was an alleged serial child rapist who had gotten a 14-year-old girl pregnant after having some form of sex with her 21 times. But that should not change our minds about whether this man should be presumed innocent and be entitled to a fair trial. Indeed, this is precisely why we have constitutional rights in criminal cases — so that fairness and due process come even to the despised.

R. Scott Moxley, a veteran reporter and columnist for OC Weekly, brought this story to national prominence this week — and it’s a remarkably ugly picture in every way. Not only were the charges awful, not only is this defendant as unsympathetic a figure as the criminal justice system churns out, but the way the case was handled was ignoble, too. Thousands of years’ worth of the presumption of innocence shouldn’t go out the window just because a defendant is accused of heinous crimes.

 

Read More Here

 

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The myth of the impartial juror

Crazy story from the OC Weekly about a sex crimes case in California.

After an Orange County prosecutor gave an opening statement, Juror 112 notified [Judge David] Hoffer that based on her own experiences she believes criminals should forgo trials in such sexual assault cases and go straight to prison to spare victims additional turmoil.

The prosecutor then asked the juror: “You haven’t heard any evidence. How would you vote?”

Juror 112 responded, “I would have to vote guilty.”

Statements by lawyers are not evidence, and Hoffer followed up with the juror, according to court transcripts reviewed by the Weekly.

The judge asked if she could return a verdict of not guilty if the government couldn’t prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I don’t think I would be able to,” the juror replied.

 

Read More Here

 

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Georgia Votes for Convention of States to Amend Constitution

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 02:38 PM

By Cheryl K. Chumley

The Georgia state legislature has passed a measure calling for a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution, a move long championed by many in the tea party movement.

The action restricts the convention to topics of limiting the power of the federal government and establishing term limits for federal officials. Georgia’s House voted 107-58 on Thursday to pass the measure, which previously had passed the state Senate.

“An Article V Convention of States would provide an opportunity for the citizens of this great nation to restore the balance of power between the states and the federal government,” Republican state Rep. Buzz Brockway of Lawrenceville said in a statement.

Brockway, the measure’s primary sponsor in the state House, urged “legislators in the other 49 states to join Georgia and call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”

Under Article V of the Constitution, such a convention can be convened when requested by two-thirds of the states, and it is one of two ways to propose amendments to the nation’s founding document.

The other method – by which all previous constitutional amendments have been initiated — requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. Ratifying the amendment then requires three-fourths of the states to approve it.

“A Convention of States to propose amendments is certainly a legitimate way to limit federal power,” Michael Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center, told Newsmax. “It’s one of the methods included in the Constitution to make necessary alterations to the document.”

Read More Here

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By March 6, 2014  

Georgia: First State to pass Convention of States Resolution

Measure calls for Convention to propose amendments to limit federal power

State Representative Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville) Celebrates Passage of Convention of States Resolution.

Convention of the States(Atlanta, GA) State Representative Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville) celebrated the passage today of Senate Resolution 736 by Senator Cecil Staton (R- Macon) in the Georgia House of Representatives. SR736 calls for an Article V Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution on the limited topics of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and establishing term limits for federal officials

Brockway, the resolution’s primary sponsor in the Georgia House said, “I’m proud Georgia has taken the lead on the very important work of restoring our Republic. An Article V Convention of States would provide an opportunity for the citizens of this great nation to restore the balance of power between the States and the Federal government. I urge Legislators in the other 49 states to join Georgia and call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. constitution.”

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AMTV AMTV

Published on Mar 5, 2014

In today’s video, Christopher Greene of AMTV reports that States are beginning to secede from the Union.
http://www.amtvmedia.com/re-direct-am…

 

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Texas Independence Day Highlights State’s Ongoing Secession Efforts

 

 


 

As Texas celebrated its annual “Texas Independence Day,” many in the state’s government leadership and ongoing secession movement say Texas is finally preparing to become an “independent nation,” from the United States. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

As Texas celebrated its annual “Texas Independence Day,” many in the state’s government leadership and ongoing secession movement say Texas is finally preparing to become an “independent nation,” from the United States. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

 

Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – As Texas celebrated its annual “Texas Independence Day,” many in the state’s government leadership and ongoing secession movement say Texas is finally preparing to become an “independent nation.”

 

The 178th anniversary of the 59 settlers’ signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence commemorates the Lone Star State’s March 2, 1836 break from Mexico to create the Republic of Texas. With the Alamo famously under siege, the delegates declared their independence and today the only state that ever won a war to become its own country celebrates March 2 as its own official “national” holiday.

 

The U.S. brought Texas in as the 28th state of the Union in an event known as the Texas Annexation of 1845.

 

But recent rhetoric from anti-tax Tea Partiers, libertarians and state officials alike suggests that the secession movement may be moving a step beyond parties and re-enactments, The Inquisitr reported.

 

Texas Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman has openly expressed the possibility of Texas secession.

 

Read More Here

 

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Texas Independence Day Brings Up Secession: Do Texans Still Want To Secede?

 

Texas Independence Day Brings Up Secession: Do Texans Still Want To Secede?

 

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Texas Independence Day is not only about celebrating separation from Mexico and becoming its own nation for a time. According to some, the Texas secession movement uses it as a time to discuss having Texas secede from the United States.

 

In a related report by The Inquisitr, most people would call efforts to have Texas secede illegal, but a careful reading of the Texas v. White Supreme Court ruling on the Texas secession during the Civil War era seems to leave a little bit of wiggle room.

 

Most people in the state celebrate Texas Independence Day with parties and re-enactments, but others point to the political movement still pushing for a Texas secession. For example, Texas Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman openly says seceding is still a possibility:

 

“Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”

 

Larry Kilgore is in the running to become Texas’ governor and he believes a “U.S. economic collapse cannot be avoided” and that the solution is for “”Texas to secede now or we will sink too.” Still, his chances at succeeding in his bid for the governorship are said to be relatively low compared to other candidates.

Read More Here

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Some Western Md. Residents Want To Form Their Own State

 

 


 

secession

 

 

Mary Bubala

 

WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — A tale of two Marylands: Western Maryland and the rest of the state. Fed up with high taxes and gun control, some people want to break away and go it alone.

 

Mary Bubala explains why they’re trying to form their own state.

 

There’s a storm brewing over the beautiful mountains and valleys of Western Maryland. More and more people in those five counties say Governor Martin O’Malley is out of touch and they want to break away from the rest of the state.

 

“I can’t imagine Maryland without Western Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

 

“Do you actually care about your citizens?” questioned Rob Parr.

“I certainly don’t live in a bubble and I go around the state all the time,” O’Malley said.

 

“Why don’t you want to listen to people that you don’t agree with?” said Suzanne Olden.

 

“I spend my whole day listening,” O’Malley said.

 

Scott Strzelczyk, Suzanne Olden and Rob Parr are part of a growing group that wants to rip Maryland in two, creating the nation’s 51st state. They met recently at O’Lordan’s Irish Pub in Westminster to tell WJZ they’re fed up with politics as usual in Annapolis.

 

“If your vote doesn’t count, it’s the same as having no vote. We’re not free,” Strzelczyk said. “We’re doing exactly what they did in 1776. I just simply want to live as a free human being with limited government intrusion in my life and that’s really why I do this.”

 

Read More Here

 

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Western Marylanders push to secede from state

maryland_gov_omalley.jpg

Feb. 10, 2012: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley testifies in support of a same-sex marriage bill during a committee hearing in Annapolis, Md.AP

A push by frustrated western Maryland residents to part ways with their state is gaining momentum as the initiative turns to social media to get its message out.

Residents in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll County, for months have been pushing an initiative to secede from the state and form a new one, called Western Maryland. Among the biggest problems the group has with Maryland are new gun restrictions, tax increases and what they call unfair district lines the group claims unfairly favor Democrats.

The western Maryland initiative now has nearly 9,000 Facebook “likes” since it was formed in July 2013. Activist Scott Strzelczyk  started the Facebook page as a way to bring dissatisfied residents together.

“Here at the state level, we’re controlled by a single party – Democrats – and we feel we have no other recourse,” he has told Fox News. “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

They also have a beef with the high-crime city of Baltimore.

“Little mystery why this is the case,” the group states. “We don’t want our tax dollars going to Baltimore City or other parts of the state to support the same old failed policies. The solution is simple. We want our own state.”

 

Read More Here

 

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CBN News

 

 

GREELEY, Colo. — If you mention the word “secession” most people think of the South during the Civil War. But today, a new movement is gaining steam because of frustration over a growing, out-of-control federal government.

 

A number of conservative, rural Americans are taking about seceding and creating their own states, meaning a new map of the United States of America could include the following:

 

  • A 51st state called Jefferson, made up of Northern California and Southern Oregon
  • A new state called Western Maryland
  • A new state called North Colorado

 

These are real movements gaining traction with voters across the country. Jeffrey Hare runs the 51st State Initiative in Colorado, an effort to fight an out-of-control legislature trying to ram big government policies down the throats of voters.

 

“We’re at this point of irreconcilable differences,” Hare told CBN News.

 

Secessionist talk has filled town hall meetings and the divide discussed is not just ideological.

 

“It’s predominately left versus right, but it’s urban versus rural because you typically find more typical conservative values in rural America,” Hare said.

 

An Attack on Colorado?

 

That’s the crux of the issue. Rural Americans across many states feel they’re not being heard. Their laundry list is long and at the top of that list are stricter gun control laws.

 

According to Weld County, Colo., Sheriff John Cooke, the state legislature is out of control.

 

“They are out of touch with rural Colorado,” he said. “There is an attack on rural Colorado and it’s not just on gun control laws. It’s on several of the other bills that they passed.”

 

Government mandates on renewable energy, environmental policies restricting oil and gas drilling, and controversial social issues like gay marriage have also led to this divide and talk of secession.

 

Organizers want to create “North Colorado,” an idea that went to voters in 11 counties this past fall. But not everyone in Colorado thinks secession is a great idea.

 

“I don’t think that’s necessarily the way to make something happen within the area you live,” Colorado resident Greg Howe told CBN News. “You’re supposed to work within our electoral services.”

 

The so-called secession movement in Colorado had mixed results this past November. Some counties approved it. Others didn’t.

 

But the organizers of the 51st State Initiative are undaunted, saying this type of movement takes time.

 

“Movements take a while; education takes time,” Hare said. “People do have a hard time saying ,’I want to live in a different state,’ even though physically they live in the same house.”

 

“It’s hard for them since their lives have been Coloradoans,” he explained. “Their whole lives to say that ‘I’m going to be a new Coloradoan’ or ‘I want to live in the state of liberty’ or something different.”

Read More Here

 

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The Washington Times

Americans say no to the ‘monitoring’ of free speech

A First Amendment victory over an intrusive federal government doesn’t come along every day, but thanks to a deafening outcry from the American people, the Obama administration has just backed down from an unconstitutional plan to put monitors in newsrooms in a dramatic fashion.

Recently, the Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a program, euphemistically labeled a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” to place government monitors in the newsrooms of TV networks, “news and talk-radio stations,” and newspaper companies across the United States.

Imagine FCC monitors peering over the shoulders of editors, producers and reporters as they make decisions about what news to air and how to communicate it to the public.

This monitoring program, as Orwellian as it sounds, moved along toward implementation this spring, completely out of the public spotlight. That is, until FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai sounded the alarm, exposing the FCC’s “plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”

He was rightly concerned, and the American people took notice.

FCC monitors in newsrooms across America would pose a monumental threat to free speech and freedom of the press. The FCC already exercises immense control over broadcast stations through license renewal every eight years. These monitors would give the FCC the ability to intimidate the press on a daily basis.

The fact is, this was not a “study” in any sense of the word. The FCC began by developing eight categories of information that it prejudged as the “critical information needs” of the American public.

Sending monitors into newsrooms would be nothing more than a witch hunt to intimidate stations that don’t fall in line with programming that conforms to the predetermined “needs” of the Obama administration.

According to the program’s design, the station owners, managers and reporters would be asked intrusive questions about their “news philosophy” and “target audience.”

If these questions sound eerily familiar, it’s because they are some of the same questions demanded of Tea Party, pro-life and other conservative groups who have been wrongly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service: What is your philosophy? Who are your members? What issues do you promote?

 

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Gun Play, Arkansas

Author Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia

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Bid to punish gun-seizing cops gets Senate support

The Associated PressFebruary 19, 2014

— A bill to punish law enforcement officers who obey a hypothetical federal mandate to seize the firearms of Idaho citizens found no opposition on the Senate floor.

Lawmakers voted 34-0 in favor of the bill Wednesday, clearing its path to the House.

Sen. Steve Vick, a Dalton Gardens Republican who co-sponsors the bill with Meridian Republican Marv Hagedorn, touts it as a way to ensure Idahoans’ Second Amendment rights are protected.

The proposal is a response to fears that President Barack Obama will ban some guns.

Read More Here

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Boise Weekly

Update: Idaho Senate Un-Holsters Weapons Bills

Rep. Marv Hagedorn’s firearms-related proposal is far from the only gun bill to surface this session.

Former-Boise GOP Rep. Mark Patterson is no longer at the Idaho Statehouse–resigning in early January after it was learned that he had been arrested in Florida during the 1970s on a charge of rape. But Patterson’s fingerprints are all over a 2014 version of a bill that he tried to push through the 2013 Legislature.

The measure–this time being fronted by Sen. Marv Hagedorn–would punish Idaho law enforcement officials if they helped enforce any new federal firearms restrictions. The 2013 version passed in the Idaho House but died in an Idaho Senate Committee.

This year Hagedorn, a Meridian Republican, is trying a different strategy: tackling the Senate side of the Capitol first, before heading to the Idaho House where he would hope to have a better chance of passage.

“The first offense would be a $1,000 fine and a second offense would result in a misdemeanor charge,” Hagedorn told the Senate State Affairs Committee Feb. 10, outlining how law enforcers could become criminals if they assisted federal agents in enforcing an executive order that, in Hagedorn’s view, was in conflict with the Idaho Constitution.

Hagedorn said “in a nutshell” the issue came down to the possibility of a federal order that might lead to confiscation of guns or ammunition. But Boise Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk questioned where Hagedorn’s suspicions were rooted.

“Do you have any indication that any federal order or law is imminent in the next decade?” asked Werk.

“No I do not,” answered Hagedorn.

But Hagedorn’s request for a full hearing on the bill was granted by the Senate State Affairs Committee.

It’s far from the only weapons-related bill that the committee will consider during the 2014 session. Committee Chair Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Boise, is steering his own bill, which would allow people with enhanced concealed-weapon permits to carry guns on Idaho campuses.

(See updates on the guns on campus below).

Boise State University President Bob Kustra, in a Feb. 4 letter to his university community, cautioned students and staff that, “weapons on campus may in fact, lead to an acceleration of conflict in stressful situations.” Additionally, the Associated Students of Boise State, the official student government association, passed its own resolution in opposition to McKenzie’s bill.

Even Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter distanced himself from McKenzie’s proposal in remarks to a Feb. 7 gathering in the North-Central Idaho community of Craigmont.

“We give all these assets–these big buildings, these big campuses and everything–to the college president,” Otter told the crowd in Craigmont. “And we say you’re responsible and now we come back and say … you can make all the rules and regulations, except…”

Otter didn’t finish his sentence but reminded the gathering that any gun regulations should be crafted based on “doing the right thing.”

UPDATE: Feb. 12, 2014 10:45 a.m.

At 10:40 a.m. on Feb. 12, the Republican majority of the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee overwhelmingly approved a measure which would see more students, staff and faculty carrying firearms onto Idaho’s public college campuses.

“That concludes the business of the committee,” said the bill’s sponsor and committee chairman Sen. Curt McKenzie.

But that business didn’t include input from dozens of citizens, college officials and law enforcement officers who came to speak before the committee but were cut off at 10:30 a.m..

“The University of Idaho hasn’t even had a chance to speak. My (Boise) Chief of Police hasn’t had a chance to speak to the bill,” said Boise Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk who asked that the bill be held in committee at McKenzie’s discretion so that testimony could continue.

But McKenzie said, “If we continued to hear from everyone, it would take us three or four more meetings.”

Ketchum Democratic Sen. Michelle Stennett, also pleading for a delay, said the committee was “being awfully hasty to run this vote through today. We haven’t had an opportunity to hear from all of the universities. It’s unfair not to have them speak.”

One of the colleges that was represented in the two-and-a-half hours of testimony Wednesday morning was the College of Western Idaho which argued that the measure, which would allow persons with enhanced concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus, would require significant security upgrades.

Even Republican Sen. Patti Anne Lodge asked for more time to review the costs that colleges would face if the bill were passed.

But ultimately, any effort to delay the bill failed, and the Republican majority moved the bill to the full State Senate with a “do pass” recommendation.

The vote was 7-2 along party lines.

Voting yes were: Sens. Curt McKenzie (chairman), Bart Davis, Russ Fulcher, Brent Hill, Chuck winder, Patti Anne Lodge and Jeff Siddoway.

Voting no were Sens. Michelle Stennett and Elliot Werk.

ORIGINAL POST: Feb. 12, 2014 9:30 a.m.

When the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee gaveled in an early morning hearing, which was moved to the Statehouse’s Lincoln Auditorium due to the large audience, there was only one item on the agenda—Senate Bill 1254, which allow individuals with enhanced concealed weapon permits to carry firearms onto Idaho’s public college campuses.
The sponsor of the bill is the committee’s chairman, Sen. Curt McKenzie. But McKenzie didn’t present his own measure. Instead, he allowed Dakota Moore, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association to introduce the bill.
Moore said he took personal offense at what he called the “stereotype” of a drinking culture and immaturity among college students. He also pushed back at Boise State University Dr. Bob Kustra’s recent letter to his students, staff and faculty that said there was “no recorded incident in which a victim—or a spectator—of a violent crime on a campus has prevented a crime by brandishing a weapon.”
“Just five days before he sent that email out, USA Today reporting about a shooting on a Florida campus where a man shot one of his attackers,” said Moore. “He was cleared of any liability.”
The Senate committee settled in for what was expected to take the better part of the morning, with McKenzie cautioning those wishing to testify that they would be limited to three minutes.
First up was interim University of Idaho President Don Burnett, testifying against the proposal, saying it would cut back the authority of the universities to use their best judgement in working with local law enforcement.
But the hearing took a definitive turn when Dr. Kimberly McAdams, a Boise State University psychology professor told the committee that she was in fear of her life.
“My life was recently threatened by a student,” McAdams said, her voice shaking.
McAdams said she was in particular fear of a student who has repeatedly threatened her, yet she felt unsafe in her classroom which has one door and one window.
“There would be no way for me to escape with my life,” she said. “I respectfully disagree with the presidents of Idaho universities who oppose this bill. They are not the ones directly in the line of fire. Please give me a fighting chance of saving my life and the lives of my students. This student has been fixated on me. Please support this bill. My life depends on it.”

Read More Here

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California Political News

by Stephen Frank on 02/13/2014

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101011-ATF guns-sm

Miracles do happen.  The most radical Leftist Federal Court in American, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has decided a case based on the Constitution.  They ruled that the Constitution allows honest private citizens to carry guns without interference from government.  No one would predict a decision based on the U.S. Constitution from these Fidel loving lawyers.

Of course this will go to the Supreme Court.  Still it is a start.  Imagine, being allowed to protect yourself from criminals!

“The 2-1 decision says San Diego County’s system of issuing permits to carry concealed weapons infringes on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If not reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision means law-abiding citizens will be able to carry concealed firearms in public.

“San Diego County’s ‘good cause’ permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense,” says the majority opinion, written by Judge Diarmuid O`Scannlain.”

101011-ATF guns-sm

California’s concealed weapons laws shot down

Central Valley Business Times,  2/13/14

•  Federal appellate court rules in San Diego case

•  “Impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense”
California’s laws against carrying a concealed weapon may have been shot down by a divided opinion of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 2-1 decision says San Diego County’s system of issuing permits to carry concealed weapons infringes on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If not reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision means law-abiding citizens will be able to carry concealed firearms in public.

Read More Here

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9th Circuit: The Second Amendment Protects the Right to Carry a Gun

A big decision from the 9th Circuit today. Per Eugene Volokh:

The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”

In other words, one has the right to carry a gun. The state can elect to recognize this by permitting either “shall-issue” concealed-carry or “shall-issue” open carry, but it cannot restrict or prohibit both.

Read More Here

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Court Tosses California’s Concealed-Weapons Rules

A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California concealed-weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The 2-1 ruling of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California counties were wrong to require law-abiding applicants to show “good cause” beyond self-defense to receive a concealed-weapons permit.

California prohibits people from carrying handguns in public without a concealed-weapons permit. State law requires applicants to show good moral character, have good cause and take a training course. It’s generally up to the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs to issue the permits, and the vast majority require an applicant to demonstrate a real danger or other reasons beyond simple self-defense to receive a permit. The 9th Circuit on Thursday said that requirement violates the 2nd Amendment.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said those requirements were too strict and ran afoul of a 5-4 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and said law-abiding citizens are allowed to have handguns in their home for self-defense.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Chuck Michel, an attorney who represented several San Diego County residents who were denied a permit and who filed a lawsuit in 2009, praised the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling.

“This decision is a very dramatic confirmation of the Supreme Court ruling,” Michel said.

Read More Here

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File:NSA-parody-logo-black.tif

A parody of the National Security Administration’s logo, created by EFF designer Hugh D’Andrade to help publicize EFF’s case against NSA illegal spying, 1st Unitarian v. NSA: https://www.eff.org/node/75009

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Tenth Amendment Center

The OffNow coalition has now marched state and local efforts to stop unconstitutional NSA spying right onto the agency’s front porch.

Late last week, Maryland State Delegate Michael Smigiel introduced the Fourth Amendment Protection Act to end all state cooperation with the National Security Agency (NSA).

Based on model legislation drafted by a transpartisan coalition organized by the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), HB1074 would ban Maryland state or local government from providing water, electricity or other resources to the NSA while it engages in warrantless mass-surveillance, and would make shared collected data inadmissible in state courts.

Smigiel said that even though the NSA has deep roots in Maryland, the state should no longer support an agency that ignores constitutional constraints and tramples on the privacy rights of the people.

“I want Maryland standing with its back to its people holding a shield. Not facing them holding a sword,” he said.

Ft. Meade serves as the home base for the NSA, and resource needs have created significant issues for the agency for more than 10 years. In 2006, the Baltimore Sun reported that the agency had maxed out the Baltimore-area power grid, causing insiders to fear that the problem “could force a virtual shutdown of the agency.”

While the NSA alleviated some of those concerns with new facilities in Utah, Texas and elsewhere, they still remain an issue. In December, the agency signed a new contract with Howard County, Md., to provide up to 5 million gallons of water per day to cool supercomputers in a new data center slated to open in 2016.

“Maryland has almost become a political subdivision of the NSA,” TAC executive director Michael Boldin said. “The agency relies heavily on state and local help. This bill bans all of it.”

Smigiel said the bill is not merely a symbolic gesture. The Elkton Republican has a track record of working with Democrats on civil liberties related legislation, and said he believes he can garner the bipartisan support necessary to move the bill forward.

BORDC executive director Shahid Buttar called coming together across party lines to oppose unconstitutional NSA spying “imperative.”

Read More Here

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