Are we Done Waiting Yet?

With the recent decision by the Supreme Court not to even hear the case against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, I have to ask a familiar question to the majority of people who still value the Constitution.

Are you ready to take the responsibility to defend our governmental charter? We have the power, we need to get our local leaders to stop the wholesale selling out of our rights.

It really is that simple. For decades maybe even a century, those of us who value the Constitution sat on the sidelines waiting for the Supremes to get a chance to take up some of the unconstitutional violations, expecting them to “enforce” the Constitution at last. We looked the other way as New Deal judges steadfastly enforced a previously dismissed Hamiltonian version of the Constitution in effect vesting the federal government with unlimited power subject to specific exceptions rather than the previously established limited version guided by the enumerated powers that had previously bound the government.

We wanted to believe that we lived in a free country where the government had only limited power, and the primacy of the individual was respected. We believed in it so much that all the violations including such things as improperly declared wars, the New Deal, internment camps, spying on citizens, without warrant, asset seizures without due process, public humiliation of citizens at airports violations of the rights of free association, etc. were lost on us.  We couldn’t fathom that the very institution that we were told in school was responsible to hold the government in check was just a bunch of highly connected lawyers with no interest in “limiting” the powers of the federal government. We assured ourselves that these issues would be rectified if only these violations were brought to the attention of these high and prestigious stalwart guardians of the Constitution.

Are we ready yet? The proof of their complicity could not be more compelling if they were the ones who enacted these policies themselves.

On our watch, we have observed the “Supremes” refuse to strike down nationalized healthcare requiring that we all purchase products from private corporations or be fined. Structuring our healthcare in this way strips us of our right to choose our healthcare options, or at least requires us to buy the it from the cronies who paid DC the most. What enumerated power is the federal government exercising to force us to buy insurance from the golf buddy of some important Senator?

I understand the hesitation to act,  even the skepticism that you can really make a difference. You were taught all through school about how our wise leaders had our best interests at heart, and we just needed to trust them for long enough to allow their grand plan to come to fruition. I am here to tell you the lawless things that they are doing now is the end of their plan. These thugs want nothing less than total domination.

On our watch, we have now observed the “Supremes” slam the door on the final federal recourse.  With their refusal to hear the NDAA case, they have allowed through inaction (if we leave it here) people to be snatched up for something as simple as contributing to a charity, or writing an article,  maybe less. Truth is that nobody knows what can get you indefinitely detained. The feds refused to clarify in court when directly asked by a judge. Now I ask what is the enumerated power being exercised to hold somebody indefinitely in detention without due process? The president is commander and chief, but we are not in a state of war right now (at least none has been declared, and the AUMF is not nearly specific enough to define an “end of hostilities.” required to end the detention.)  Let’s not leave it here!

Don't sue the feds in FEDERAL court and expect Justice!

Don’t sue the feds in FEDERAL court, and expect Justice!

Are you ready yet to join me and take action ourselves? The Supremes will never limit the Federal governments power.

On our watch, we have overseen the Supremes allowing the feds to outlaw a plant. To the point where they refused to allow a dying woman the medicinal benefit of relief it would have given her. Saying that she had no right to break the law to seek this relief. But again I ask what is the enumerated power that the feds are exercising in making this plant illegal? If this was 1920, you could say that this power was somehow connected to the Volstead amendment, but that was repealed, and thus that power was removed. So what is the enumerated power that this particular federal law is in pursuance of?…

Again I ask, Are you ready to help limit this monstrosity using the proven method of local and state resistance instead of waiting for the Supremes to let us down one more time?

Earlier, in my Grandfathers time, the Supremes handed down the absolute worst precedent ever. Wickard V Filburn. In this case the Supreme court allowed the Feds to regulate how much grain a farmer was allowed to grow on his own farm even for his own consumption. They said it was based upon the fact that he would buy less based upon the amount he grew even though it was not only not sold in interstate commerce, it was not sold at all. If they can regulate this, what can’t they regulate?


Combine the Supreme Courts refusal to “enforce” the Constitution, with the obvious acceleration of illegal acts happening in DC today. I have to ask the question one more time… Are you ready to take some responsibility and defend the Constitution at home. Your state legislatures have all the authority they need to stop the Feds. What they lack right now is the political will. Will you give it to them? They may not act if you ask them, but they definitely wont act if you don’t You can find the tools to limit the feds at the Tenth amendment center. We have been fighting this battle in state houses across the country. If nothing else in this article sticks, please remember that the fight for DC is over, We lost. If we are to pull this thing out of the fire, we need to win the battle of Salem.

About a Constitutional convention

Nullification: Not enumerated, not forbidden, thus reserved for the people or the states

Nullification: Not enumerated, not forbidden, thus reserved for the people or the states

The constitutional convention has not yet been tried as a method of amending the constitution for good reason. The fact is that the Con Con is an admission of failure.
The most recent Con Con was in 1787, and rather than simply fulfill their mandate of amend the articles of confederation, the delegates to that convention simply unrolled a completely new version of our governing documents most commonly referred to as the Virginia plan. Through wrangling, and political deal making, the current Constitution was penned, and state conventions started to debate passage. Never once was it considered to simply amend the articles as they were instructed. They were scrapped, just like our current Constitution would be if we form another Con-Con.
The fact is that the representatives of liberty that would be sent to any Convention would be vastly outnumbered by the representatives of vast and arbitrary state power. These are the purveyors of war machines, the beggers, the thieves being slopped currently at the federal trough. All that need be done is observe the results of the most recent federal congress’s attempts to limit the budget deficit. Even with all the cards (any bill raising revenue must originate in the House, and any spending must be approved by the house) they allowed the debt limit to be raised 3 times (most recently completely suspended, so no number is actually in force now). They have fully funded Obamacare, and bailed out insurance companies to mask its failure. Unemployment has continued on extended to 2 years.
If this is all that the biggest election victory for the Constitutional conservatives” can achieve, what makes anyone think that we will be successful in a convention fighting off the forces of socialism/fascism that will surely try to buy the convention results? And don’t fool yourself, besides the outlier freedom fighter who is in favor of the Con con (Levin, Natelson, Gutzman), you have big time leftists such as George Soros, Alliance for Democracy, Center for Media and Democracy, Code Pink, Independent Progressive Politics Network, Progressive Democrats of America, Sierra Club, Vermont for Single Payer. The “move to amend” website can be found here with all the left wing organization literally begging for us to make this mistake.
So let’s look at the methods the conservatives are counting on to limit this Con con. From “convention of states” website “The two real controls on the possibility of a runaway Convention are: 1. The States adopt the subject matter of the Convention in advance, and it is binding. 2. Thirty-eight states must approve the proposed amendments coming from the Convention.” So the fate of the Constitution rests upon the delegates to a Con Con staying faithful, and resisting the calls for both socialism, and fascism that call out (and pay) day and night in politics. If this wasn’t enough, each state gets to appoint 1 and only 1 delegate (according to the same website.) Look around you and ask yourself if Oregon’s delegate will be from the left or the right? If we propose a repeal of the 17th amendment, who thinks that will be the only subject debated? Another method of limiting the Con Con has been voiced is to pass a law making it a criminal offense to debate anything beyond the proposed amendments, but to what good could the laws of today be against the people who are writing the laws of tomorrow? The delegates could just as easily include immunity for themselves, and their co-conspirators in the new Constitution that they create out of whole cloth. There is no control conceivable that can limit a convention of the states, they are unaccountable, unlimited, and more importantly unlimitable!
Surely the same group expects the convention to be a conservative one. And to show this they explain that 27 of the state legislatures are controlled by Republicans, This is not much solace for those of us who have taken a close look to the “conservatives” that currently control the republican leadership. I can give examples of their lack of conservatism, and more examples of their lack of fidelity to the Constitution, but I am sure any reader of this will have his or her own examples, so I will save space.
Given all of these drawbacks, and the fact acknowledged by all who push for a con con that the federal government just ignores the constitution, why would we risk so much as to call a convention? The proponents of a Con-Con will try to claim that the feds abide by the constitution as reviewed by SCOTUS, but they ignore many examples of even this low bar being ignored. Such examples would include the 2012 NDAA, Undeclared wars, and military operations without congressional approval, the Patriot act,TARP, the continuing bailouts of banks, insurance agencies, unions, automotive companies. Obamacare (even under the arguments that it was a tax and not a fine, it did not originate in the house as would be required for a tax). Just to name a few. Congress, the Senate, The Supreme Court, and the President don’t so much violate as simply ignore the constitution, and they don’t even try to hide it anymore. What makes us think any amendments would be followed (or even if they were, that they would be construed by the feds as the convention intended?)
One last objection, is that and article5 convention takes years to organize, and if the amendments are proposed in advance (assuming such a thing was possible,) the leaders in DC would have all that warning to find creative ways of skirting the language of the amendments. People from Milwaukie Or. may remember the response to the lightrail initiative by the city council. They simply borrowed the money the law would have forbade the day before the election. That is a significant hurdle to clear in even making a Con-Con a worthwhile expenditure of time.
The alternative Nullification/interposition:
Since the founding, states have used the Constitutional method of resisting federal overreach, by simply refusing to allow the laws that violate the Constitution to be enforced (nullification.) The Constitutional basis of Nullification is the tenth amendment (which amends the constitution including the supremacy clause.) The supremacy clause makes all federal laws passed that are “in pursuance of” the constitution the supreme law of the land. For laws that are not “in pursuance” the tenth amendment reserves these law making powers to the states and the people respectively.
This means when the federal government enacts laws that are unconstitutional the states are empowered by the tenth amendment to pass a law (or laws) that declares the laws are null, void, and of no force within the state. These laws can take many forms such as mere refusals of cooperation with the feds (such things would leave the law in force, but refuse assistance of state police, local deputies, jails manpower etc.), or they can be in the form of empowering people to pass gold contracts as California did to nullify the greenback. Or they could be in the form of simply legalizing things that the feds have made illegal (such as medical marijuana.) One more rare, but no less constitutional form would be to enact penalties for any federal or state officer caught trying to enforce the unconstitutional law.
Nullification was first used in 1798 to oppose the alien and sedition acts by Kentucky and Virginia. These 2 states passed resolutions to oppose the acts citing the tenth amendment and coining the term nullification. Through history this was used to resist federal overreach on such issues as the fugitive slave act of 1850, the greenbacks floated by the union during the civil war as America’s first experiment in fiat currency that caused runaway inflation, and almost cost the union the war, opposing conscription by Daniel Webster, and many more.
Recently the states have again picked up this valuable tool. With it they have started protecting 2nd amendment rights, fighting back against the NDAA indefinite detention provisions, fighting against the individual mandates in Obamacare, as well as the whole law, some attempts have even been successful in limiting abortions, even making it murder if performed after detectible heartbeat. On the other side of the aisle, the left has virtually been able to end marijuana prohibition using the same tool.
The biggest upside of the nullification method in this debate has to be the lack of any possibility that the convention which is all powerful will run away, and implement some far left socialist government in the process of attempting to fix America’s serious problems .
In conclusion I need to point out as I started, there are a great many honorable and knowledgeable people who are in favor of a Con-Con, and I do not want to disparage their intents. I wish them much luck, and if they are successful I pray that the enormous pitfalls do not stop them. To the extent that their efforts are towards amendments that actually improves things, I wish them god speed. I will spend my limited time working towards a strategy that I believe holds far greater promise of limiting the federal leviathan in my lifetime.  That strategy does not depend upon unaccountable delegates to resist human nature, but rather on simple resistance to undelegated powers by local governments Nullify Now.

“Don’t try to Bend the Spoon”

bending the spoon“Do not try and bend the spoon – that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…

“There is no spoon.” – The Matrix

Don’t try to stop government from seeking power. That’s impossible. Instead, realize the truth: limited government does not exist. That means we need many governments competing and limiting each other’s power through fighting, usurpation and jockeying for tax dollars

Don’t try to bend the spoon!

In reality, most attempts to provide limited government (ie. government that does not trend towards tyranny) are very much like trying to bend the spoon.  We have to realize this truth – there is no spoon –  before we can understand the failures of the last century – failures of the conservative movement, the reform movement and before that the liberal movement.  All of these movements attempted in one way or another to give us “limited” government.

We still don’t have it.

So, with all of that brainpower seeking the key – a way to provide Americans with a stable government that does not trend towards tyranny, waste, fraud and abuse – why is it that we ended with exactly the opposite?

In the early 20th century,  government (state, local and federal) spent less than 5 percent of the average American’s earning total. Today. that number is close to 40 percent. And this is before we consider the impact of regulation.  For a great number of Americans,  the total jumps above 50 percent!  To put that into context, the American Revolution occurred when the British Crown demanded a 3 percent fee on paper objects.

My how things have changed.

More recently, since the 80s, we’ve been subjected to constant conservative complaining about government spending too much, even while conservatives have had control of the government for many years in that time-span. The spending level of America has pretty much increased non-stop all along.  By looking at the chart, it becomes obvious that conservatives have failed.  Why?

They tried to bend the spoon.

The anti-war movement of the 60s tried to end the war in Southeast Asia. The anti-war movement of the 2000′s tried to end the wars in Middle East.  These movements seem to have disbanded, and yet we have more troops in the region now than we did in 2008.  In reality, aside from a brief period in the early 90′s, we have been fighting one war or another since 1941. We have WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam war, the Cold War, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on Terror 2, the war in Iraq (one and two) and the war in Afghanistan. Not to mention Kosovo, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and on and on. We are currently in a state of perpetual war. Clearly, the anti-war movement failed. Why?

It tried to bend the spoon.

In reality, most movements to “limit” government share the same fate. The progenitors of the movement try to create a will within the government to make some change of policy, or to stop some horrendous practice, or to establish some new citizens government privilege that they think is indispensable.  But the movement invariably ends in failure because people trust that the federal government will somehow limit its own power.

Think about it – why would government do this?  Once the pressure is off, governments simply figure out a way to exercise the very powers put in place to limit them.

For instance, the 14th Amendment intended to ensure basic natural rights to freed slaves in southern states by constitutionalizing the Civil Rights Act of 1866.  But the amendment has become  a tool to force one size fits all federal programs on the states.  The commerce clause was intended to prevent tariffs between the states. Today it is a justification to forbid growing wheat on your own land for your own consumption.

Bending the spoon.

The Conservative movement of the 90′s tried to stop socialized medicine, and balance the budget.  Yet the debt is more than four times as large today as it was then.  And by the way, we have socialized medicine. Bush II helped that along with his Medicare prescription drug plan. The conservative movement failed.

It tried to bend the spoon.

Nullification approaches things differently.  Rather than trying to build a better government, it recognizes that governments are run by humans, and humans are fallen beings, subject to greed, fear, avarice, and corruption.  So instead of a better government, we strive to create a market of governments through decentralization. If all the states start nullifying unconstitutional acts, even if just to defend their own power because it is in their own self-interest, it would create an environment closer to that intended by the founders with the powers of the federal government few and defined, and powers remaining with the states and the people numerous and indefinite. Citizens would be able to choose the level of their oppression by location, the same way earlier generations did by relocating to the west.

If somebody wants lots of government services, they can go to a state that provides them.  If one state is abusing its citizens, then those people are free to leave. As a bonus, the surrounding states they relocate to will receive the tax dollars associated with those citizens.

Remember the spoon does not exist. Trying to make the government flawless is essentially trying to make humankind flawless.  Never trust government with unchecked power. And remember, checks must come from outside the system. The feds will never check themselves.  Limited government is an oxymoron!

Oregon Governor Signs Anti-Drone Bill Into Law

Written by John Lambert, cross-posted from

On July 29, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) signed the Anti-Drone Spying bill (HB2710) into law.

The new law will require law enforcement to obtain a warrant for drone use in all but a few cases.

Provides that drones may be used by law enforcement agency for purpose of surveillance of persons only pursuant to a warrant or in emergency circumstances. Provides that law enforcement agencies may use drones to intercept communications only as provided under laws relating to wiretaps other interceptions of communications. Requires destruction of images and other information acquired by use of drone within 30 days.

The bill also outlaws weaponized drones.

Representative John Huffman (R ) said, “I feel that we were able to craft our bill to get ahead of the curve and ensure people’s rights were protected — but also to let Insitu and other companies in the industry know that we are willing to work with them.”

The House passed its version of the bill 52-7 on April 15. The Senate passed the amended version 23-5 on June 10th. The differences between the two bills were resolved in committee, and it was sent to the governor for his signature.

While the exceptions for drone use raise legitimate concerns, as things existed, Oregonians had no protections against drone surveillance. Law enforcement agencies in Oregon could use drones any time, anywhere, with absolutely no parameters. Under the new law, drone use will be extremely limited and circumscribed.

With the recent revelations about the NSA’s spying programs, the federal government has shown little concern about protecting our rights. We know that the Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local government so they can purchase these drones.

What? No strings attached?


Of course, the DHS wants the information collected by the drones they subsidize to the local governments. Laws like this one are a means states can use to protect our rights by interposing themselves between us and the feds.

The Drone Game

At this stage in the ‘drone game,’ the feds are working hard behind the scenes to get states to operate the drones for them.

In fact, the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance being carried out by states and local communities is the Federal government itself. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so that those agencies can purchase drones. Those grants, in and of themselves, are an unconstitutional expansion of power.

The goal? Fund a network of drones around the country and put the operational burden on the states. Once they create a web over the whole country, DHS steps in with requests for ‘information sharing.’ Bills like these put a dent in this kind of long-term strategy. Without the states and local communities operating the drones today, it’s going to be nearly impossible for DHS plans to – take off.

In fact, this has been as much as confirmed by a drone industry lobbyist who testified in opposition to a similar bill in Washington State, saying that such restrictions would be extremely destructive to the drone market and industry.

Yes, Usually it’s Partisan; Get Over It

One criticism leveled against nullification is that it is usually a “partisan thing.”

In other words, most of the proponents of nullifying Obamacare are Republicans. Also, a vast majority of proponents of nullifying the war on drugs are Democrats.

This is a true statement.

With most nullification efforts now underway, the effort is partisan. This is not a real argument against the movement; it is simply an observation. In reality, any effort, with certain exceptions, will of necessity be partisan. (As it will be nullifying an act of the federal government controlled at the time by one party or the other).

Of course, these same critics would hold up the Patriot Act (passed by a Republican, and sustained now for five years by a Democrat) as some shining example of good governance. To these people, the fact that an act passed Congress, the Senate, and was signed by the president, gives automatic legitimacy, as long as some of the people who passed the bill were on both sides of the “aisle.” They would have you believe that the acts of Congress all represent the consensus of the nation at large.

But what is consensus?

At the national level, consensus cannot represent people who live in the barely represented small states like Oregon. In fact, this consensus could not even really represent the people of dense areas such as New York. In reality, the only thing an act passed by representative who mostly live in DC can represent is the consensus in DC!

For the same reasons, actions achieved through nullification at the state and local levels represent more consensus among those affected than ANY act of Congress possibly could. The people who have nullified (name your favorite target of nullification) have expressed far more support for any government action than even a unanimous vote in Congress. These are the acts of the local people against what is in effect a foreign power (DC).

Yes, mostly Republicans want to nullify Obamacare. And maybe it is because it was a Democrat plan, and they want a Republican plan, Yes, it is mostly Democrats who want to nullify drug laws. And maybe it is because they just want to get high. ( I would point out that I don’t think they do for either example above.) The fact still remains that the act of nullification is ONLY for unconstitutional laws (laws not “in pursuance thereof”), and it only effects the citizens of the state that so nullifies. In reality, who has standing to challenge their decision?

The other states are not affected, and the feds are a creature of the Constitution, NOT a party to it. What standing does servant have to tell the master that he must live under rules that were never agreed to? Regardless of who stands behind a law, Republican, Democrat or both, if it is passed at the state level to nullify an unconstitutional act, it represents more support amongst those effected than any act passed by a national legislature.

So, when we look at the Tenth amendment movement as a whole, we see a movement that is able to cross party lines with ease, since it is simply an attempt to enforce the Constitution on an unwilling lawless federal government. We accept all causes, as long as the cause in in pursuance of the Constitution – every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

Want to prevent the Feds from waging unconstitutional wars? We have ideas. Want to address spending on unconstitutional programs? We’re in. Want to stop a law that forces consumers to buy cartelized health insurance, or become a criminal? We’ve got your back. Want to stop the criminal element surrounding the war on drugs? Deal us in. Want to stop unconstitutional NSA spying? We’re on it!

Our only goal is to try to stuff the feds back into the box designed by the Constitution. And we think this can be accomplished by the swarm of angry bees that are 50 states each nullifying multiple issues at their state level, with the feds unable to resist even a fraction of the nullifications. Eventually they will have to concede, and stop their attempts to usurp power from the states.

Bipartisanship, Republic, and Nullification

Often times, when politicians do something that is illegal (for the feds the word illegal is a synonym with unconstitutional), they attempt to defend their actions by claiming it’s “bipartisan.”

This status is supposed to put their actions beyond suspicion. This tactic is used by Republicans, and Democrats alike. It is an amusing exercise to examine the issues that are bipartisan. Usually, these are the things government is doing that has the least support amongst the citizenry. Things like going to war or spying on citizens, are usually bipartisan. The Patriot Act was bipartisan when it passed. So was TARP, bailouts, the Iraq war, etc.

In reality of course, mere bipartisanship does not elevate government actions above the law. For instance, no amount of support for the 2012 NDAA can reconcile the kidnapping citizens without due process (or even outright assassination, depending upon the interpretation by the president) with the Constitution. No amount of agreement can justify the invasion of a foreign country by the president without congressional action. No amount of proper procedure and agreement among parties can justify the blanket violations of life liberty and property that are endemic to the Obamacare bill. No amount of agreement, even among citizens, can justify a violation of the Constitution. Period. If the necessary agreement does exist, an amendment still must pass to make the action legal. That is what it means to live in a republic.

If we lived in a democracy, then simple agreement could justify such things. If we lived in a democracy, a vote to steal our neighbor’s possessions because he has more than we do would be sufficient to justify theft, and a vote to assassinate a fellow citizen because he scares us would be sufficient justification to kill him. In fact, a 50 percent+1 majority would be sufficient to do anything the majority wanted. Indeed, these are the reasons that a democracy is eternally at war with itself.

So, back to the bipartisan label. Remember when judging legislation to distinguish between lawfully passed, and lawful. To be lawfully passed, an act simply needs to garner a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, and get the president’s signature. For this, bipartisan makes a difference. On the other hand, to be lawful, a bill needs to be “in pursuance” of one of the powers granted to the federal government in the US Constitution. It does not matter that both Democrats and Republicans voted for it, or that the president signed it, or even that the Supreme Court validated it. All of those federal employees have a conflict of interest when it comes to determining “constitutionality.” When Congress is being “bipartisan,” we need to understand that we are at these times ruled by a one party system. In reality, we should cherish the infighting between the parties. Right now, with the people we have in charge, this infighting is the only thing that stands between us, and totalitarian rule.

Luckily, the Constitution contains within it an “enforcement clause.” Most people do not know about this enforcement clause, or they call it by a different name. Some people probably think it is Article3 (the Supreme Court). This is absurd. The founders would never have been so foolish as to trust the limits on the power of the federal government to the (federal) Supreme court. The enforcement clause is in reality the Ninth and Tenth amendments. By reserving powers to the states, and by limiting the scope of powers delegated, as the Tenth and Ninth amendments do respectively. The states have the powers necessary to enforce the Constitution on the feds through non compliance, nullification, and other stymieing methods.

This process has only been recently rediscovered after a century of disuse. The feds have grown obese with power they were never intended to exercise. During that time, alternate methods of limiting the feds’ power were tried, including “throwing the bums out,” the left right political battle – left protecting civil liberties, and right protecting economic liberties. This method almost always results in new people doing the same old bad things. Then there is suing in federal court to try to limit the power of the feds. This usually results in increased power in federal hands. And the feds simply ignore petitioning to stop what they are doing.

The one effective method of limiting government is nullification. It is the only method that relies upon government doing what it does best – taking more power. Elections rely upon a new member of government willingly relinquishing power. Suing in the federal courts relies on federal judges appointed by the president (federal), confirmed by the Senate (federal), and part of the federal government to limit the power of the federal government. And petitions rely upon federal agencies and the federal government to willingly relinquish power.

Nullification relies upon state governments to protect their power from other government entities (federal).

Any time you ask the feds in any form to give up power, you are expecting them to do something that it is axiomatically opposed to their own self interest. Don’t fall for the rhetoric when it comes to “bipartisanship.” Bipartisan is simply government doublespeak for stealing your liberties.

Oregon County Takes First Step Toward Nullifying Indefinite Detention

Originally written by Mike Maharrey, cross posted from Tenth Amendment Center


Earlier this week, Klamath County, Oregon, took the first step toward nullifying indefinite detention.

Congress codified indefinite detention into law in sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Despite assurances from administration officials and members of Congress that it applies “only to the terrorists,” a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional because of broad language that could apply to pretty much anybody. And the Obama administration has fought hard to overturn that ruling. (Read more about indefinite detention HERE and HERE.)

The Klamath County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution condemning indefinite detention under not only the NDAA, but also under “an authorization for use of military force or any similar law or authority claimed by Congress or the Office of the President,” calling it “unconstitutional and therefore unlawful.” The resolution also calls on the Oregon legislature to interpose on behalf of the citizens.

Klamath County requests the Oregon State Legislature recognize the duty of the state of Oregon to interpose itself between unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government or its agents and the people of this state, as well as the duty to defend the unalienable natural rights of the people, all of which is consistent with out oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of Oregon against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Klamath County joins Coos County in condemning federal kidnapping and calling on Salem to act against it. These Oregon counties  join a chorus of local governments across the U.S. opposing indefinite detention.


The Klamath County Commission took a strong first step. The resolution sends an emphatic message to Salem, where state lawmakers have struggled to move state level indefinite detention nullification through the legislature. But the county can do more. The resolution does not carry the force of law, but merely declares the county’s position. Now activists need to seize the momentum and push for a binding ordinance prohibiting any county cooperation with federal indefinite detention. And other counties and cities in Oregon need to follow suit.

Counties and cities can refuse to assist any federal attempts at indefinite detention in their jurisdictions. These measures will not only provide  practical protections for their citizens, they will send a strong message to state legislators and put the pressure on to nullify federal kidnapping at the state level in the next legislative session.

Local governments won’t act without citizen input and grassroots pressure. The good news is a few dedicated individuals can make a difference at the local level.

That’s where you can step up to the plate.

Talk with your local representatives, local law enforcement, and even National Guard members. These local coalitions can stop indefinite detention through education, activism, and vigilance. Then nullify locally. Encourage your city, town, municipality and county to pass ordinances refusing to aid, enforce, or give resources to the military, DHS, or any other federal agency attempting detention under the NDAA.

You can find a model ordinance HERE.

The most important thing you can do right now: act locally.  On a local level, you have a far greater chance of finding an elected politician who will listen to you and work to pass this legislation.

Lost Lessons of the Weimar Republic

It probably will not surprise anyone to know that Pres. Obama is not the first president, or national leader, to want to institute gun control.

It constantly amazes me to find that the lessons of the past continue to be unrespected. The calls go forth to outlaw this; you don’t need that; it’s not “infringement” they say. Or more recently, they have taken to referring to disarming the citizens as “safety measures” instead of gun control. Meanwhile the Constitution was last amended on the subject of firearms in 1791 to read,
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”wiemar flag

If the Constitution does not say what you believe it should, you should amend it. Simply ignoring it has reduced America to something resembling third world dictatorship status over the last century of so. One wonders why the proponents of gun control have never taken the same path as the founders to rewrite the legal protections of American citizens. Maybe they fear that any attempt would lay bare their intentions of reducing the American populace to serfdom.

This article is addressed to any who are innocently following the path towards dictatorship and genocide laid out by someone else. If you think you are doing what sounds right, then I need to give you some historical perspective.

You believe in a civilized society, we don’t need to be able to defend ourselves? You think in a democracy government is by definition (since they are elected) immune from atrocities? Think that the majority will always be right, benevolent, and wise? Or just that America is “exceptional”, and with our form of government we will never have a dangerous government? You think the “checks and balances” will protect us? That judges will never let that happen here?

You are wrong.

To illustrate my point, I would like to describe the Weimar republic. I found the following in Wickipedia regarding the Weimar Republic

“In his book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, historian William Shirer described the Weimar Constitution as “on paper, the most liberal and democratic document of its kind the twentieth century had ever seen … full of ingenious and admirable devices which seemed to guarantee the working of an almost flawless democracy.”

The Weimar Republic must have felt much like we do since they chose their leaders, and since they could be removed by election, they had nothing to fear from gun control, right?


Fearing a revolution after disarming the military (as stipulated in the Versailles treaty), Weimar started with a complete ban on firearms ownership. With order restored somewhat in 1928, they changed to a strict licensing scheme requiring separate licenses for ownership, carrying, etc. With only ownership rights restored and only registration remaining, some modern day gun controllers would no doubt say they had all their rights and more than they should. Yet the Nazi’s used the simple Weimar database of gun owners to devastating effect.

After the Nazis took over in 1938, they wrote a new gun control law used to prevent any political enemies from getting guns, and to disarm the Jews. Since the old republic had a database of people who were registered to consult, the Nazi’s had an easy time completely disarming their enemies. And once they were disarmed, the Nazi’s wasted little time (as history sadly confirms) slaughtering the weak, and the (disarmed) masses of “racial inferiors,” as they saw them. The most devious twist here is that the new law actually eased up restraint on many people, but because they simply refused to renew permits for politically undesirables, nobody called it “gun control.” It was very much like the “gun safety” mantra of today. Simply put, gun owners were faced with the choice of turning in their guns, or becoming criminals. More interestingly, the US gun regulations of the 60s were modeled upon the Nazi gun control system. These are the same gun laws that remain for the most part in effect today.

People often forget that everything Hitler did, he did under color of law. The Nazi’s were elected to a majority position. Hitler took over Weimar democratically. The Modern day “democracy apologist” would have you believe the Jews should have just voted for somebody else… How absurd is that?

How about the courts? Wont they protect us?

They didn’t protect the citizens of Germany. They didn’t protect the Americans of Japanese/German decent in WWII. They didn’t protect the Cherokee. And, as it turns out, despite the high air of superiority, and all the deference we give to judges, they are merely human, simply highly connected lawyers, subject to graft, corruption, and vice just as every other person we give power to.

Trust needs to be earned. The noble “independent judiciary” acquitted four defendants of the Reichstag fire, so Hitler and the Nazis, simply convened a special court to convict these people anyway. In all, only one judge resigned in disgust after their power had been usurped, and reconfigured to work against the German people.

The government that is out of control was not, and will never be, the body to control its own excess. Consider Thomas Woods’ Rhetorical question: how much different would the history of the 20th century have been had Hitler only been in charge of Berlin?

As Patrick henry once famously said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined… The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”

Time to Shift Gears

As the legislative session in Salem comes to an end, it’s time to wrap up a few things – time to shift our focus to the very local -?- (Sheriffs, County Councils, City Councils), as opposed to the somewhat remote (Salem).  This means that for the next several months, the focus of activism in Oregon needs to be on the local.  This is not to say that we’re giving up on Salem, on the contrary, any local successes we have will feed into the momentum towards nullifications at the state level!

As kind of an end-of-session wrap up, I’d like to just recap what has been accomplished here in Oregon:

The Good

The Drone bill

HB2710 and SB71 both passed their respective houses of the legislature – unfortunately, they were not signed into law, but at the next full session, they will be more likely to pass.  These are bills that would extend the normal requirements for a mandatory warrant for the Federal Gov’s surveillance performed with a drone, as well as place controls upon federal drones in the state of Oregon.  Hopefully, in 2015, it will get further, but just having it passed in both houses shows that there is enough courage to defy the feds, as well as respect for privacy rights here in Oregon.

The Pot bill

HB3371 was introduced in the House, and even got through committee.  It was referred to revenue, and there it died.  However, I think the bill will be back and will have more success in 2015; this is, after all, Oregon- and if there is one thing ‘we’ don’t like being last in line for, it’s pot.  Washington has legalized it, and so has Colorado.  Please understand, I am not condoning pot use, I am simply backing this measure because it is not a federal issue.  Although I do not believe in prohibition, or government in control of consumption in any way (and of course I counsel my children against it), If there is to be prohibition laws, the legal way to accommodate these is at the state level (or through a constitutional amendment).  This bill would have legalized pot use, and treated it as it does alcohol (although it added an awful lot of layers of regulation).  I am still hoping for a pot bill that will not erect enormous amounts of government, but maybe we are not to that stage yet.

Obamacare nullification

SB282 was again introduced in the Senate to nullify Obamacare in Oregon.  This bill was unable to garner a single committee hearing, but if it had passed it would have made enforcement of any provisions within Obamacare a crime (even potentially levying fines and jail time against any officers or officials who attempted to enforce it). This bill did not make it far, but it took a lot of political capital to introduce it.

2nd Amendment preservation act

HB3006 – This bill was introduced in 2013, but like the Obamacare nullification, it was unable to get a single committee hearing.  This bill would have made it illegal to enforce any violations of the 2nd Amendment passed at the federal level.  This bill didn’t go far, but as with SB282… it took a lot of courage to simply introduce it.

The Sheriffs

When the Obama administration started making noise about gun control, several sheriffs in Oregon alone, stood up and made public statements. They sent letters to the administration, claiming they would not allow the feds to disarm the citizens of their counties.  This is a great point to put at the end of the “good” list, because it’s what we will need to continue with.  Over the next 18 months or so, there is virtually no chance of any nullifications making it through Salem- …mostly because the session next year is merely a budgetary session with a very limited amount of bill allowed to be introduced.

Going forward, we need to switch gears from making calls to legislators, to making calls to city council members, county council members and Sheriffs.  Please show some of the 10th Amendment center model legislations to these people, and try to get them to introduce them!  Remember, for each city council that passes a local ordinance in support of 2nd Amendment rights, and every county council that passes a bill making assistance in indefinite detention illegal, and for each and every Sheriff who unilaterally refuses to allow gun confiscations or registrations, the chances go up that when the time comes in 2015, Salem will have more courage… and will pass some of the nullifications that are introduced (not to mention, the improvement in liberty for the residents of the cities/counties effected).

Local action leads to statewide action.  These things give cover to courageous legislators and intimidate cowardly legislators into acting in the interests of the citizens they purportedly represent.  Also, as a whole, nullifications everywhere let DC know that their transgressions are not welcome, and that we the people are awake!  Over the next 2 years, I would like to challenge every reader of this article to approach at least 3 of your local representatives – be they council members, judges, Sheriffs, etc… – to nullify some offensive federal overreach at the level of which they control.  If we do this over the next 2 years, in 2015, The movement will be unstoppable!

Nullification is like a BBQ!

The feds are a tough cut of meat, grilling wont do.

The feds are a tough cut of meat, grilling wont do.

The current Federal government has been consistently growing Larger, more corrupt, and more importantly interconnected with corporate sponsors, and union lawyers over the last century – and as a result, it is very resistant to change. It is layered with career public servants who work tirelessly to justify their rent-seeking  jobs, and to ensure they will be able to retire after a long career. There are career politicians who no longer live in their districts in any meaningful way as Congress is virtually constantly in session. There are armies of lobbyists whose job it is to bribe the legislature into spending constituent money on non-governmental (let alone enumerated) functions. There is a judiciary (appointed for life) who rubber-stamp? any actions of their bosses and hiring managers as “Constitutional,” to put any action of the Federal government above suspicion. There is a military police apparatus fighting for more laws to enforce, and are demanding a more obedient subservient populace. There is a military-military contractor complex that fights to ensure we maintain a military infrastructure around the world, so that we can respond to any action overseas even before the local military (to the extent that the local government even has a military in place) can respond.

With all these layers, and the structural problems of the disenfranchised state legislatures, and the Federal reserve (monopoly money) funding system, and the first cut at tax revenues that the Feds get, (as well as the perception in the states that somehow “federal tax money” is free money to be spent as desired as long as it’s offered as “matching funds” or if it is spent instead of the states very own money (as if it comes from a different place)… The structure of the Federal government is complex. Any attempts to change it over the last several decades have been simple and quick.

For instance, one method is to sue the feds, (in Federal Court) – this is how conservatives recently fought Obamacare. Twenty-six attorney generals sued the Federal government in hopes that the ‘Supremes’ would strike down Obamacare as “unconstitutional.” They reasoned that the Constitution could not authorize a law that would force citizens to buy health insurance. Of course the Constitution does not authorize such an absurd concept! In fact, it doesn’t even authorize the Feds to run medicare or medicaid! But the Supremes could not -and would not- find that as a reality, and the ‘Supremes’ are Federal Judges – they will not rule against their bosses. The Conservatives on the Supreme Court simply rubber-stamped Obamacare.

Another simple method that was attempted was to “throw the bums out.” Again, Republicans attempted to do this to defeat Hillary care in the 90’s. Of course, once the new legislators would get into office, they’d have to deal with the corrupt apparatus of DC, and in doing so they would themselves become corrupt. This attempted “quick fix” has been tried virtually every 2 years since WWI, and yet the corruption just grows worse.

And yet one more supposed quick method is/are… petitions. Many people will circulate petitions to ‘demand’ that congress subject themselves to the same treatment they subjected us to, or to make them start treating certain people in certain ways, etc. Petitions in general amount to ‘begging the bully to stop beating us.’ It is very inefficient, and rarely works. Also, for each liberty regained by using petitions, we lose 10 freedoms as we petition.

The truth is… all of the quickie ways of shrinking the leviathan have failed because they were repeatedly approached in the wrong way. If we were to look at this metaphorically, by relating it to a cook-out, the quick-fix methods inferred as/to above would be the grilling aspect of the cook-out. Grilling  makes things hot in DC for a short time, and they cook the meat all the way through, but they do not really alter the meat’s Composition. A steak would finish grilling with relatively the same amount of fat it had in it pre-grilled; the toughness is not improved, and the flavor imparted on the meat is mostly superficial (save for marinades and seasonings). They cook fast, but leave the meat much as it started. A tough cut will end tough, a fatty cut will end fatty, and a flavorless cut will end flavorless. Ever grill ribs, they end up tough, and difficult to eat. Just like government.

Now, in comparison, nullification is more like a BBQ. With a slow-cooking method the fat is rendered through the meat, imparting flavor and making the cut more ‘lean’ overall. By using wood smoke, flavor is imparted on the meat beyond even what is found in the cut itself. After spending 3+ hours slow cooking over smoke at a low temperature, the meat falls off the bone; Cuts that were once too tough and unchewable at the time of butchery, become savory and melt in your mouth . Indeed, when you BBQ ribs you test for doneness by bending a rack and making sure the cut literally falls apart. When you are willing to spend the time to prepare meat in this way, tough cuts like brisket or ribs become some of the best meats available. Pork is cuttable by simply grabbing it and pulling it from the rest of the meat… no fork, no knife, just flavor.

Nullification uses a continuous low-heat method in DC. By nullifying one issue at a time in several different places, nullification softens the resistance in DC – as it cannot be fought head on. No sooner has the DC gang addressed one state’s nullification of one policy, that 5 more states have nullified other issues.  No sooner has the Supreme Court thrown out and deemed one state law as “unconstitutional” when another state takes up the same issue from a slightly different tact; or that same state simply ignores the ruling and continues on as it was.  No sooner has one politician denounced nullification for one issue, when another politician has embraced it in support of his favorite issue.

From defending the Guard… to Medical Marijuana… to sound money… to preserving the 2nd Amendment… to opposing the NDAA indefinite detention… to opposing socialized medicine… the Federal government is being BBQ’d right now. As we speak, the fat is rendering through the brisket. The IRS scandal, the spying on Americans of the NSA, and the opposing of socialized medicine has weakened American’s traditional fealty to the militarized version we have been spoon fed over the last century. People are waking up from supporting a huge police state to enforce drug prohibition. The smokey flavor is incorporated into the meat slowly as militarized police are seen killing peoples’ pets and breaking down the wrong doors, and ask themselves “what is our goal with this?” Americans are waking up to the realization…. that whoever is in power – be it Clinton, Bush, or Obama – the overall policies essentially stay the same. The meat is getting tender. Sue them in court and the feds will rule against you, petition and they will say no – but if you nullify their laws, if you say no to them, and if your state/Sheriff stands with you against the leviathan, things will at least change where you live.

DC is a tough cut of meat, we cannot expect to eat it if we just slap it on the grill. But if we BBQ it, the meat will eventually just fall off the bones. Don’t lose faith, we are winning! The smoke in your eyes is just proof that your fire is burning at the right temperature, and the meat is getting tender.