Category Archives: Freedom documents and Arguments

James Madison: Father of the Implied-Powers Doctrine The Future of Freedom Foundation

TGIF: James Madison: Father of the Implied-Powers Doctrine The Future of Freedom Foundation.

by  July 26, 2013

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined.” Strict constructionists are fond of this quote, and often cite it in defense of their view that the Constitution established a government of strictly limited powers.

But did it?

One way to approach this question is to look at Madison’s record. Some people will be surprised to learn that the author of the Constitution was also the author of the implied-powers doctrine, which would seem to run counter to the few-and-defined-powers doctrine.

The U.S. Constitution, of course, was America’s second constitution, the first being the Articles of Confederation (1781–1789). The Articles did little more than formalize the confederation of soon-to-be sovereign states, leaving few powers to the single-branch national government. (It created Congress only, no executive or judiciary.) This government lacked two powers that national governments routinely exercise: the power to tax and the power to regulate trade. Indeed, the power to tax is so essential to the identity of government that we are warranted in calling what the Articles created a quasi government. For its revenue it depended on the power of the states to impose taxes on the people, but it could not tax the people directly. (Attempts to permit the national government to impose a duty on imports failed.)

The bare-bones Articles left little for ambitious politicians to work with. What was a statesman to do? Less than two weeks after the Articles took effect, Madison hit on a solution. As a member of the Congress, he proposed an amendment:

A general and implied power is vested in the United States in Congress assembled to enforce and carry into effect all the articles of the said Confederation against any of the States which shall refuse or neglect to abide by such determinations.

Note the phrase “general and implied power.”

As his biographer, Ralph Ketcham, wrote, “Madison sought as well to make the mode of enforcement explicit: Congress was authorized ‘to employ the force of the United States as well by sea as by land’ to compel obedience to its resolves.”

The amendment, along with others that would have bulked up the central government, failed. (Ketcham noted that Madison then became “more devious”  in his attempts to enlarge its powers.)

The view held by Madison and other Founders that the central government was too weak paved the way to the convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Albert Jay Nock called this the “coup d’etat,” because rather than amending the Articles per its mandate, the convention, which worked behind locked doors, started from scratch. (Changes to the Articles would have required unanimous consent of the states. But the proposed Constitution set its own rules for ratification: only 9 of 13 states were required.

As Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson: “The evils suffered and feared from weakness in Government … have turned the attention more toward the means of strengthening the [government] than of narrowing [it].”

This was echoed by James Wilson, a well-respected judge from Pennsylvania and an ardent nationalist: “It has never been a complaint [against congresses] that they governed overmuch. The complaint has been that they have governed too little.”

Madison’s interest in implied powers is indicated by what didn’t get into the Constitution. For example, the Articles of Confederation contained this language in Article II:

Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expresslydelegated to the United States, in Congress assembled. [Emphasis added.]

Nothing like this appeared in the Constitution drafted in Philadelphia. On the other hand, the document did extend to Congress the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”

This is the “necessary and proper” clause so feared by the Antifederalist critics of the proposed Constitution. As the Antifederalist “Brutus” wrote, “No terms can be found more indefinite than these, and it is obvious, that the legislature alone must judge what laws are proper and necessary for the purpose.”

Once the Constitution was released to the public, its champions set out to sell it to a skeptical populace. Wilson sought to assure the people that the government’s powers were expressly limited by enumeration:

The congressional authority is to be collected, not from tacit implication but from the positive grant expressed in the [Constitution].… [E]very thing which is not given [to the national government], is reserved [to the states].

But this assertion was met with incredulity by many who read the document. Jefferson responded:

To say, as Mr. Wilson does that … all is reserved in the case of the general government which is not given … might do for the Audience to whom it was addressed, but is surely gratis dictum, opposed by strong inferences from the body of the instrument, as well as from the omission of the clause of our present confederation [Article II], which declared that in express terms.

Arthur Lee of Virginia also scoffed (PDF):

Mr. Wilson’s sophism has no weight with me when he declares … that in this Constitution we retain all we do not give up, because I cannot observe on what foundation he has rested this curious observation.

The lack of something like Article II of the Articles of Confederation, along with the lack of a bill of rights, created enough concern about the proposed Constitution that its advocates felt compelled to promise to make things right.

After ratification, the first Congress, largely on Rep. Madison’s initiative, set to work writing a bill of rights. (Other nationalists would have just as soon broken their promise.) Twelve amendments made the final cut in the congressional committee. Amendment XII (later to become X when two failed to be ratified by the states) read,

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It was a pale reflection of the old Article II. On seeing this language, Rep. Thomas Tudor Tucker of South Carolina rose to amend the amendment by inserting the word expressly before the word delegated.

According to the record, Madison objected that “it was impossible to confine a government to the exercise of express powers; there must necessarily be admitted powers by implication, unless the constitution descended to recount every minutiae.” (Emphasis added.)

Tucker’s amendment failed, and failed again when submitted to the whole Congress. (According to the record, “Mr. Tucker did not view the word ‘expressly’ in the same light with the gentleman who opposed him; he thought every power to be expressly given that could be clearly comprehended within any accurate definition of the general power.”)

Thus, the man who promised that the powers of government under the new Constitution would be “few and defined” now said that any constitution must have unenumerated implied powers. His colleagues should not have been surprised. In Federalist 44 Madison had written that “No axiom is more clearly established in law or in reason than that wherever the end is required, the means are authorized; wherever a general power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it is included.”

Even earlier, before the convention, writes biographer Ketcham, Madison “opposed a strict definition of ‘the extent of Legislative power’” in advising Kentuckians who were contemplating a state constitution.

Madison was right, of course. No constitution could expressly enumerate all powers without appending an endless list of minutiae. There must be implied powers — and that’s the danger of any constitution. Implied powers of course must be inferred, and inference requires interpretation. Who is likely to have the inside track in that process: those who seek to restrict government power or those who seek to expand it?

This post was written by:

Sheldon Richman is vice president of The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of FFF’s monthly journal, Future of Freedom. For 15 years he was editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s FamiliesYour Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State. Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling.Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: “I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank… . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility…” Sheldon’s articles on economic policy, education, civil liberties, American history, foreign policy, and the Middle East have appeared in the Washington PostWall Street JournalAmerican ScholarChicago TribuneUSA Today,Washington TimesThe American ConservativeInsightCato Policy ReportJournal of Economic DevelopmentThe FreemanThe World & IReasonWashington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Liberty magazine, and other publications. He is a contributor to the The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. A former newspaper reporter and senior editor at the Cato Institute and the Institute for Humane Studies, Sheldon is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He blogs at Free Association. Send him e-mail.

© The Future of Freedom Foundation

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Don’t Eat Your Dog

Now I am sure some of you will be pissed off by this. Some will really like it. My reason, as usual, for putting it up is to get people to think about why they believe what they believe. Whatever that happens to be. If you don’t know why you believe something you are just a drone so…you must then explore various ideas and come to your own well thought out conclusions. Most people have not done this. (E)

 

 


Government Secrets and the Need for Whistle-blowers

From Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier

June 10, 2013

Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

The Guardian delivered this revelation after receiving a copy of a secret memo about this — presumably from a whistle-blower. We don’t know if the other phone companies handed data to the NSA too. We don’t know if this was a one-off demand or a continuously renewed demand; the order started a few days after the Boston bombers were captured by police.

We don’t know a lot about how the government spies on us, but we know some things. We know the FBI has issued tens of thousands of ultra-secret National Security Letters to collect all sorts of data on people — we believe on millions of people — and has been abusing them to spy on cloud-computer users. We know it can collect a wide array of personal data from the Internet without a warrant. We also know that the FBI has been intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can use the microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug — presumably only with a warrant.

We know that the NSA has many domestic-surveillance and data-mining programs with codenames like TrailblazerStellar Windand Ragtime — deliberately using different codenames for similar programs to stymie oversight and conceal what’s really going on. We know that the NSA is building an enormous computer facility in Utah to store all this data, as well as faster computer networks to process it all. We know the U.S. Cyber Command employs 4,000 people.

We know that the DHS is also collecting a massive amount of data on people, and that local police departments are running “fusion centers” to collect and analyze this data, and covering up its failures. This is all part of the militarization of the police.

Remember in 2003, when Congress defunded the decidedly creepy Total Information Awarenessprogram? It didn’t die; it just changed names and split into many smaller programs. We know that corporations are doing an enormous amount of spying on behalf of the government: all parts.

We know all of this not because the government is honest and forthcoming, but mostly through three backchannels — inadvertent hints or outright admissions by government officials in hearings and court cases, information gleaned from government documents received under FOIA, and government whistle-blowers.

There’s much more we don’t know, and often what we know is obsolete. We know quite a bit about the NSA’s ECHELON program from a 2000 European investigation, and about the DHS’s plans for Total Information Awareness from 2002, but much less about how these programs have evolved. We can make inferences about the NSA’s Utah facility based on the theoretical amount of data from various sources, the cost of computation, and the power requirements from the facility, but those are rough guesses at best. For a lot of this, we’re completely in the dark.

And that’s wrong.

The U.S. government is on a secrecy binge. It overclassifies more information than ever. And we learn, again and again, that our government regularly classifies things not because they need to be secret, but because their release would be embarrassing.

Knowing how the government spies on us is important. Not only because so much of it is illegal — or, to be as charitable as possible, based on novel interpretations of the law — but because we have a right to know. Democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function properly, andtransparency and accountability are essential parts of that. That means knowing what our government is doing to us, in our name. That means knowing that the government is operating within the constraints of the law. Otherwise, we’re living in a police state.

We need whistle-blowers.

Leaking information without getting caught is difficult. It’s almost impossible to maintain privacy in the Internet Age. The WikiLeaks platform seems to have been secure — Bradley Manning was caught not because of a technological flaw, but because someone he trusted betrayed him — but the U.S. government seems to have successfully destroyed it as a platform. None of the spin-offs have risen to become viable yet. The New Yorker recently unveiled its Strongbox platform forleaking material, which is still new but looks good. This link contains the best advice on how to leak information to the press via phone, email, or the post office. The National Whistleblowers Center has a page on national-security whistle-blowers and their rights.

Leaking information is also very dangerous. The Obama Administration has embarked on a war onwhistle-blowers, pursuing them — both legally and through intimidation — further than any previous administration has done. Mark Klein, Thomas Drake, and William Binney have all been persecuted for exposing technical details of our surveillance state. Bradley Manning has been treated cruelly and inhumanly — and possibly tortured — for his more-indiscriminate leaking of State Department secrets.

The Obama Administration’s actions against the Associated Press, its persecution of Julian Assange, and its unprecedented prosecution of Manning on charges of “aiding the enemy” demonstrate how far it’s willing to go to intimidate whistle-blowers — as well as the journalists who talk to them.

But whistle-blowing is vital, even more broadly than in government spying. It’s necessary for good government, and to protect us from abuse of power.

We need details on the full extent of the FBI’s spying capabilities. We don’t know what information it routinely collects on American citizens, what extra information it collects on those on various watch lists, and what legal justifications it invokes for its actions. We don’t know its plans for future data collection. We don’t know what scandals and illegal actions — either past or present — are currently being covered up.

We also need information about what data the NSA gathers, either domestically or internationally. We don’t know how much it collects surreptitiously, and how much it relies on arrangements with various companies. We don’t know how much it uses password cracking to get at encrypted data, and how much it exploits existing system vulnerabilities. We don’t know whether it deliberately inserts backdoors into systems it wants to monitor, either with or without the permission of the communications-system vendors.

And we need details about the sorts of analysis the organizations perform. We don’t know what they quickly cull at the point of collection, and what they store for later analysis — and how long they store it. We don’t know what sort of database profiling they do, how extensive their CCTV and surveillance-drone analysis is, how much they perform behavioral analysis, or how extensively they trace friends of people on their watch lists.

We don’t know how big the U.S. surveillance apparatus is today, either in terms of money and people or in terms of how many people are monitored or how much data is collected. Modern technology makes it possible to monitor vastly more people — yesterday’s NSA revelations demonstrate that they could easily surveil everyone — than could ever be done manually.

Whistle-blowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power. What’s important here are government programs and methods, not data about individuals. I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior. Do it carefully and do it safely, but — and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs — do it.

If you see something, say something. There are many people in the U.S. that will appreciate and admire you.

For the rest of us, we can help by protesting this war on whistle-blowers. We need to force our politicians not to punish them — to investigate the abuses and not the messengers — and to ensure that those unjustly persecuted can obtain redress.

Our government is putting its own self-interest ahead of the interests of the country. That needs to change.

This essay originally appeared on the Atlantic.

EDITED TO ADD (6/10): It’s not just phone records. Another secret program, PRISM, gave the NSA access to e-mails and private messages at Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Skype, AOL, and others. And in a separate leak, we now know about the Boundless Informant NSA data mining system.

The leaker for at least some of this is Edward Snowden. I consider him an American hero.

EFF has a great timeline of NSA spying. And this and this contain some excellent speculation about what PRISM could be.

Someone needs to write an essay parsing all of the precisely worded denials. Apple has never heard the word “PRISM,” but could have known of the program under a different name. Google maintained that there is no government “back door,” but left open the possibility that the data could have been just handed over. Obama said that the government isn’t “listening to your telephone calls,” ignoring 1) the meta-data, 2) the fact that computers could be doing all of the listening, and 3) that text-to-speech results in phone calls being read and not listened to. And so on and on and on.

Here are people defending the programs. And here’s someone criticizing my essay.

Four more good essays.

I’m sure there are lots more things out there that should be read. Please include the links in comments. Not only essays I would agree with; intelligent opinions from the other sides are just as important.


Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?

 

Original Article:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-al-qaeda-in-iran/5332593

US-Canada Claim Iran-Al Qaeda Ties Despite US Funding Al Qaeda in Iran for Years

OsamaTVSpeech

As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by “Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.” The Globe and Mail, in its report, “Canada joins U.S. in alleging al-Qaeda has operatives based in Iran,” states:

“To many, it came as a surprise that the RCMP is alleging that two terror suspects arrested in Canada on Monday were supported by al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.

The Sunni-based al-Qaeda and Shia Iran belong to different branches of Islam that have been at odds historically. But in recent years U.S. officials have formally alleged that Iran has allowed al-Qaeda members to operate out of its territory.”

Both at face value and upon deeper examination, this assertion is utterly absurd, divorced from reality, and indicative of the absolute contempt within which the Western establishment holds the global public. In reality, the West, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in particular, have propped up and perpetuated Al Qaeda for the very purpose of either undermining or overthrowing the governments of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya,  Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and beyond.

Regarding Iran in particular, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker piece titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” would state:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

In a follow up, Hersh in his 2008 New Yorker piece titled, “Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran,” spelled out a damning indictment of US involvement in bolstering, arming, and funding terror organizations, not linked to, but described as actually being Al Qaeda.

Of American support for Al Qaeda the report states (emphasis added):

The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers—in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.

The report would continue by stating (emphasis added):

One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support.

The manifestation of this insidious conspiracy can be seen playing out across Syria in which US-backed terrorists openly operating under the flag of Al Qaeda are locked in a catastrophic sectarian bloodbath with the Syrian people and the Syrian state’s closest ally, Iran. The conflict in Syria exposes that the machinations revealed back in 2007-2008 by Hersh, are still being carried out in earnest today.

Clearly, US-Canadian claims that Iran is somehow involved in harboring Al Qaeda within its borders, when it has been the West for years propping them up specifically to overthrow the Iranian government, are utterly absurd. In reality, while the West uses Al Qaeda’s presence both within Iran and along it peripheries to undermine and ultimately overthrow the Iranian government, it in turn uses these very terror organizations to induce paralyzing fear across Western populations in order to consolidate and expand power at home.

Additional Reading: For more information on just how much support the US has provided Al Qaeda terrorists in Baluchistan versus both Pakistan and Iran, please see, “US Attempting to Trigger Color Revolution in Pakistan.” For more information on the US’ delisting, arming and training of the terror organization, Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK or MKO) versus Iran, please see, “US to Delist & Arm American-Killing Terror Cult.”

Continue reading


The Battle Continues

The preceding article spoke of recent revelations about policies of deliberate intimidation against African-Americans and Hispanics by the NYPD that have been coming out in a court case filed against that department. It is disturbing but telling.

I have no doubt that from what I have read over the years that this is policy in most police departments in any city where there are African-Americans and or Hispanic/Latino people in any numbers. I can remember back in the 70’s working in a Des Moines, IA Emergency Room and hearing the kinds of things the cops would  say about Blacks in the community. From what I read now about the arrests not much has changed in central Iowa.

White people are afraid of dark-skinned people. 

Once you get past our  swaggering we are very concerned they will hurt us because of all the Bull Shit we have been taught about them by the culture. They are violent, unpredictable, short-tempered, white haters blah blah blah. So what is the response? Well we must keep them under control and Stop and Frisk is one of the psychological warfare techniques that has been used.

It is warfare because white Americans have a tendency to declare a war on anything we fear or don’t understand. Consciously in some truly evil cases as here, and unconsciously in many of the rest of us. Most of us are unaware of our prejudices, and here I do mean those of us of any skintone. The enemy actually are a few individuals who through manipulation, theft, murder, genocide, and numerous other nefarious activities have brought about a separation of peoples.

By convincing us to fight one another, to distrust one another, to hate one another, they have effectively prevented us from “finding them out”. But the are BEING FOUND OUT! Through the Internet, through prayer, through revolution, through any number of means that the Creator is allowing they will and are being EXPOSED for what they are. Workers of iniquity and dealers in darkness. They are evil to the core and Daddy is going to deal with them SEVERELY.

This exposure is beginning in a case like this where it is evident that the tactics carried out by the NYPD were and are racist and deliberate attempts to rob individuals within the African-American and Hispanic communities of their Constitutional Rights. More importantly, it is evident to this writer and hopefully to others who are watching that this is about attempting to rob people of inalienable rights. Rights that all people everywhere are born with. 

The Right to travel free and unhindered without fear of harassment. The Right to freedom from search or seizure without warrant or strong suspicion of having committed a crime. These are rights that everyone has by reason of having been born into the world. They cannot and should not be subject to government control. So long as an individual is causing no one harm and there is no reason to suspect they have been involved in causing someone harm they should be left the hell alone.  

That, of course, is the whole point and has been all along. The minions (a servile dependent, follower, or underling) who are these Chiefs of Police, the Commissioner, even The President and other leaders of nations are merely puppets. While it is good they are being exposed we must remember they only serve. The path to those at the top will be paved with their poor souls. They will be mentally crushed as the plans of their masters continue to fail and they realize they chose the wrong side.

Lest one have too much compassion they did make a choice. Yahoveh always always gives people a choice even if the enemy causes them to feel as though they do not. Even death is preferable to serving the evil one. So…there is always a choice. Daddy wins folks.


The Corruption of Individual Rights

Original article: http://www.thedailybell.com/28960/Tibor-Machan-The-Corruption-of-Individual-Rights

Whenever a good idea surfaces, there will surely be many who will try to hitch their wagon to it filled with corrupt versions that aim to serve numerous purposes having little to do with the original good idea. One example is the idea of individual natural human rights.

Some simply disagree with the idea, like Jeremy Bentham did, denouncing it in various terms (e.g., “nonsense upon stilts”). Others do not like going about it straightforwardly. Instead they try to recast the idea to mean what it didn’t. A good case in point is the idea of welfare rights.

The rights John Locke identified as belonging to every adult human being are prohibitions, aimed at spelling out a sphere of personal jurisdiction, a private domain, for us all, one within which the individual is sovereign, the ruler of the realm as it were. For example, one’s right to private property spells out the area of the world that one is free to use and roam with no need for anyone else’s permission; to enter this realm one must give one’s permission without which others must remain outside. One’s right to one’s life is similar. No one may interfere with one’s life without having gained permission, not even someone who means to do one no harm but only provide help (e.g., a physician).

The point of such rights is to recognize that every adult person is in charge of his or her life and property and others must not intrude. Why is this important? Because people make significant decisions about how they will live and if others intrude, these decision become distorted. Basic rights carve out the region of the world where the individual is in charge!

This is, of course, an irritant to all those who would just as soon have other people available to be used, bothered, nudged and so forth. The tyrant is fended off by individual rights, as is the meddlesome legislator and regulator. So instead of accepting this, such folks are bent upon recrafting the idea of individual rights. Welfare rights are like that. If one has a basic right to welfare, it means others must become involuntary servants to one’s objectives and may not tend to their own affairs in peace. The idea of basic individual rights establishes peace among people. They must deal with one another by consenting to the various projects one might support. One may not be conscripted and robbed. And this is inconvenient, of course, to people who don’t want to bother about gaining the consent of those whose support they seek. Instead of convincing them of the merits of their projects, they can skip this troublesome step and just tax and draft and otherwise make people serve them whether or not they want to.

People, of course, often should help others but that must be done voluntarily. There is no merit to such help if it is coerced! To avoid the perception that one’s support is coerced, the idea of welfare rights is fabricated! This needs to be resisted good and hard!

Tibor Machan is the R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University in Orange, CA.


Federal: Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers Introduce ‘Respect State Marijuana Laws Act’

The Less Federal interference the better (E)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Federal: Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers Introduce 'Respect State Marijuana Laws Act'United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with a bipartisan coalition of three Republicans (Reps. Rohrabacher, Rep. Justin Amash [R-MI], and Don Young [R-AK]) and three Democrats (Reps. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR], Steve Cohen [D-TN] and Jared Polis [D-CO]) are sponsoring House Bill 1523: the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act.

This measure seeks to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt from federal prosecution individuals and businesses, including marijuana dispensaries and/or retail outlets, who comply with state marijuana laws.

“This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states’ marijuana laws,” Rohrabacher said in a prepared statement, “It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal.”

You can write to Congress in support of HR 1523 using a pre-written letter when you visit NORML‘s ‘Take Action Center’ here:

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10475

Sincerely,
The NORML Team.

 

 


Hunger Strike at Gitmo: ‘We Are Dying a Slow Death Here’

End Guantanamo

End Guantanamo (Photo credit: jezobeljones)

Though Moorbey and I do not agree on solutions we do both agree that this government is evil and oppressive. It is time the people find something else other than the system we currently have. Here is another example of that idiocy. The prisoners in Guantanamo need to be sent home. They are not terrorists for the most part. those who are should be charged and tried. Except the US govt. is afraid of the publicity should the people get any further information about the horrors of that place. 

Moorbey’z Blog

Article posted here: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/hunger-strike-at-gitmo-we-are-dying-a-slow-death-here/

2013/04/14 · by 

By Pardiss Kebriaei April 13, 2013 MSNBC” –  I’ve just returned from Guantanamo, where my clients  and a majority of the other 166 men there have been on hunger strike for over  two months. Most of them have been cleared for release or will never be charged.  But the Obama administration has refused to send them home.

I met with men who are weak  and have lost between 30 and 40 pounds. They told me of other men who are  skeletal and barely moving, who have coughed up blood, passed out, and one who  tried to hang himself.
One of the men I met with,  Sabry Mohammed, a Yemeni who remains detained years after he was approved for  release by the Obama administration, said, “We are dying a slow death here.” Yet  the authorities say they will not let men die–they will force-feed them when  their body weight drops dangerously low, strapping them into chairs and forcing  a tube up their noses that pumps formula into their stomachs. The military  reports that so far, 11 men are being “saved” this way. Yet as one of the men  put it, the irony is that “the government will keep us alive by force-feeding us  but they will let us die by detaining us forever.”
Today, 166 men remain at  Guantanamo, more than eleven years after they arrived in hoods and shackles.  Most are being held without charge and will never be charged. The Obama  administration has approved more than half of the men–86–for transfer, but  hasn’t mustered the political will to overcome congressional hurdles, despite  saying it can and will. As their indefinite detention stretches into a second  decade, men are aging, declining and dying. Last September,Adnan Latif, a  husband and a father, a man twice cleared for transfer under the Bush and Obama  administrations, was the ninth prisoner to die. The current crisis at the base  had specific triggers, but there has been an emergency at Guantanamo for  years.
The strike was sparked in  early February, when prison authorities ordered searches of the men’s Qurans.  One man told me, “I won’t even touch the Quran without washing my hands, how  could I use it to hide something dirty?” The men viewed the searches as  desecration, which should hardly have been news to those in charge. A former  Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo once described the handling of the holy books as  “the most contentious issue” at the prison. Given the sensitivity of the  practice and the history of religious abuse at Guantanamo–acts like throwing  Qurans on the ground and shaving detainees’ beards as punishment–the authorities  should have known better. Indeed, former commanders did know better. In a 2009  review of conditions at Guantanamo, ordered by the Obama administration, a  commander at the base recognized that standard operating procedures “do not  permit searching of the Koran.” The rule reflected an “elevated respect” for  detainees’ religious concerns–a lesson learned from the early years. It is  unclear why that changed. Another of my clients said, “They are taking the camp  back to 2006.”
So far, prison authorities  have defended their actions and downplayed the scale of the strike. Inside the  prison, my clients have described various tactics used to make life even more  difficult and break the strike. Some have been life-threatening, like delaying  the delivery of filtered drinking water, forcing detainees to drink from the tap  of sink faucets attached to toilets in their cells. Before, there used to be  signs above the sinks saying it was not safe to drink the water. One man said he  would rather go without water than drink from the sink.
As the strike enters its third  month and the crisis deepens, the authorities must reach for a resolution before  someone dies. My clients are asking for assurances that their Qurans will not be  searched, or to hand them in altogether rather than see them  desecrated.
But the solution to the  broader calamity is closing Guantanamo, beginning with the release of men like  Sabry. He told me he does not want to die, he wants to return to his family, but  he and others are continuing the strike because they have been pushed too far  and this is the only means they have to protest peacefully. The only thing they  can control is their own bodies. It is an act of strength even as they are  growing weaker. They are desperately wanting to believe there is still a life  for them beyond the prison walls.
At the end of our meeting last  week, Sabry showed me a painting he made recently, of the prison surrounded by  mountains.  But outside the high, tight-mesh fence that encloses Camp 6, where  Sabry is held, there is ocean. “I don’t know what is outside. It is just what I  imagine.”  After more than eleven years, it is long past time for the United  States to send Sabry home.
Pardiss Kebriaei is a  senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who represents men  detained at Guantanamo. She is lead counsel for CCR on the targeted killing  case, Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta.

Revolutionary Daily Thought

This is about as well stated as anything on this subject could have been! (E)

Moorbey'z Blog

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That’s our problem.”: Howard Zinn, from ‘Failure to Quit

 

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Are Prisons Obsolete?

Many of my readers will dismiss this out of hand because the author is Angela Davis. That, I believe, would be a mistake. The fact that one may not agree with many of Davis’ views is in no way a judgement on everything she may express. The view that prisons need to be dealt with and, hopefully, eventually, completely destroyed is an idea well worth consideration. There might be some extremely rare, and I do mean EXTREMELY rare, circumstances where individuals need to be isolated from the majority of society.

Even then those individuals must be treated with respect and decency. They need to have living facilities where they can receive fresh air, good food and comfortable housing. We must switch to a view of attempting to help and restore them rather than penalize them while at the same time seeing to it that their victims are properly remunerated for any losses both emotional as well as actual. (E)


Hey Iraqis: How’s that “Liberation” Stuff Workin’ Out For Ya?

Center for a Stateless Society

building public awareness of left-wing market anarchism

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  on Mar 21, 2013

On March 19 Donald Rumsfeld, former US “Defense” Secretary and ongoing sociopath and moral leper, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War with this tweet: “10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.”

Just what “liberation” meant to Rummy, Dummy and Scummy can be seen from the agenda Paul Bremer implemented as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. Imagine the kind of “What I Would Do If I Were Absolute Dictator For A Year” list an entire army of ALEC staffers and Heritage Foundation interns would come up with, with the RIAA, MPAA, Monsanto, Halliburton and Blackwater egging them on, and that’s basically what Bremer did to Iraq.

Bremer’s CPA was a classic “night watchman state.” Remember all those priceless historical treasures the looters “liberated” from the National Museum while the U.S. looked the other way? With Night Watchman Bremer’s go-ahead, global corporate looters gave the Iraqi economy just as thorough a ransacking.

Bremer’s infamous “100 Orders” repealed virtually all of the Saddam-era legal structure — except for the 1987 Labor Code, which prohibited collective bargaining in the state sector. The state sector encompassed two hundred state-owned firms (a major chunk of the industrial economy), and Bremer wanted to “privatize” them in insider sweetheart deals with crony capitalists. Legalizing unions might gum up the works.

The CPA refused to unfreeze the assets of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). Bremer ordered US troops to storm the IFTU headquarters and kept it closed down for months. A local American commander helpfully told an imprisoned union organizer that Iraq was not a sovereign country, and that so long as it was under the administration of the CPA Bremer didn’t want unions.

Bremer’s 100 Orders also included Order 81 on “Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety,” which updated “intellectual property” law to “meet current internationally-recognized standards of protection” like the WIPO Copyright Treaty and Uruguay Round TRIPS Accord (which the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act was also passed to implement). Among other things, the new law criminalized saving seeds for the next year.

The entire legal regime Bremer implemented by decree was to remain the law of the land even after the restoration of sovereignty, until — and unless — it was supervened by a new constitution. The so-called “transfer of sovereignty” was to a government appointed by the CPA, enabling Bremer to evade the restriction in international law against a conqueror directly selling off state assets — while also leaving in place an “interim constitution” based on Bremer’s 100 Orders.

Article 26 of Bremer’s Constitution, stated that “[t]he laws, regulations, orders and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority … shall remain in force” under the interim government, until the “sovereign” puppet regime was replaced by general elections. As Naomi Klein observed in “Baghdad Year Zero” (Harper’s, September 2004):

“Bremer had found his legal loophole: There would be a window — seven months — when the occupation was officially over but before general elections were scheduled to take place. Within this window, the Hague and Geneva Conventions’ bans on privatization would no longer apply, but Bremer’s own laws, thanks to Article 26, would stand. During these seven months, foreign investors could come to Iraq and sign forty-year contracts to buy up Iraqi assets. If a future elected Iraqi government decided to change the rules, investors could sue for compensation.”

The “interim constitution” was designed to make its own replacement by referendum extremely difficult — among other things, requiring any new constitution actually approved by the people of Iraq (as opposed to decreed by Bremer’s fiat) to receive  at least thirty percent of the vote in sixteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces.

On top of everything else, Bremer appointed a whole slew of ministerial officials to five-year terms that would override any later decisions by an independent government.

Meanwhile, a “debt forgiveness” plan negotiated with creditor nations under IMF auspices used debt contracted by Saddam — debt that should have been treated as odious, and hence null and void — as a whip to coerce adherence to the Washington Consensus economic agenda.

This is the “liberation” agenda for which Rumsfeld and his fellow war criminals murdered hundreds of thousands, and physically crippled or psychologically scarred untold hundreds of thousands more. If that’s the kind of “liberation” you like, may you soon join Rumsfeld in hell.

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Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and holds the Center’s Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He is a mutualist and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political EconomyOrganization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for such print publications as The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation, and his own Mutualist Blog.


The Will Of The People Doesn’t Mean Jack To Drug Warriors

Center for a Stateless    Society

building public awareness of left-wing market anarchism

I can not say I always agree with all this site stands for but much is worth reading including the following article. (E):

Posted by  on Mar 7, 2013

The Associated Press reports that eight former DEA administrators are urging the Obama administration to sue Washington and Colorado over their voter-approved moves toward  marijuana legalization.

One former chief, Peter Bensinger, fears that successful legalization efforts will lead to “a domino effect” in the US.  Where have we heard that phrase before?  Bensinger continues breathlessly, “My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing … If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”

So drug warriors are losing their minds over Colorado and Washington.  Good!  We can only hope that Bensinger’s dire predictions come true and that more Americans are indeed waking up to the absurdity of marijuana prohibition.

The former DEA bureaucrats argue, accurately, that marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.  Even in cases involving medical marijuana, the federal government may abuse the commerce clause as a rationale to criminalize users, growers and sellers of marijuana (per Gonzales v. Raich).  The commerce clause has become the federal government’s drug war equivalent of  catch-all disorderly conduct statutes in the states.

Unfortunately, these goons have a solid case to present to US Attorney General Holder.  In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932), US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  But today’s political class views federalism as archaic.

Hopefully the administration will choose to ignore this thuggish recommendation.  But if they do decide to litigate, this will be another sign that the feds don’t give a damn about the  will of the people.  Liberty-loving Americans should respond to this federal intrusion with a massive wave of civil disobedience.

Let’s start by publicly shaming the DEA heads mentioned by the AP: “Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen.”  Get to know their names, libertarians.  They are your enemies!

Then, let’s publicize the efforts of these authoritarians to undermine the voters of Colorado and Washington.  Ask them why they continue to support a policy with openly racist origins which has resulted in mass incarceration.  Publicly reveal the motives  of the police agencies that enforce these laws .  When drug warriors drone on about “protecting the children,” confront them with the horrific reality of wrong door raids, slaughtered family pets and children terrorized with flash-bangs.  Wherever an apologist for prohibition gives a speech or attends a meeting, he or she should be met by throngs of boisterous picketers.

As we expose these petty tyrants, we should also seek opportunities to throw a wrench into the machinery of prohibition.  A mass movement of jury nullification in drug cases may be a promising tactic.  Prosecutors can use voir dire to remove one or two questionable jurors, but what if nullification becomes widespread?  They can’t remove all of us.  In the future,  we should view jury duty as a chance to liberate non-violent people from the state’s clutches.

In Tao Te Ching, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu writes, “The more laws are posted, the more robbers and thieves there are.”  Time and time again, this observation has been proven correct. The violence of the drug war is perpetuated by government, yet officials insist they must keep fighting.  In their vile attempt to protect their old turf, former DEA bosses show their true colors.  They are gangsters with federal pensions.  They will do anything to ensure that they and their ilk continue to get their cut of drug war booty.  It is up to us to expose their racket and to finish the job sensible voters in Colorado and Washington started in November.

C4SS Fellow Dave Hummels is a Left-libertarian writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Dave has over a decade of experience in the field of healthcare security and is also a licensed emergency medical technician.

 


News & Analysis From The Daily Bell

I would encourage all of my readers to subscribe to The Daily Bell™. Click on he Banner below to be taken to their site. (E)

News & Analysis

MONDAY, MARCH 04, 2013

Brilliant Polemic Defends US Freedom … and Demands Appropriate Incarcerations

By Staff Report

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away … Americans Are Acting Like Slowly Boiling Frogs … The German citizens were boiling frogs … the water heating up so gradually that they didn’t realize they had to jump out of the pot to safety. Because the exact same thing is happening to Americans (fear of terror makes people stupid no matter what country they live in), let’s remember exactly what we’ve lost in recent years … – Washington’s Blog

Dominant Social Theme: US freedoms are slipping away and they must be brought back again by the people themselves, using all due enforcement tools.

Free-Market Analysis: In another brilliant polemic, the famous Washington’s Blog lays out a substantial litany of what the US has lost in terms of rights, and from this article’s point of view it is mostly everything. It is an article containing both truth and sincerity.

We agree with it on numerous levels and are most in agreement with the idea that a kind Nazi fascism is overtaking the US. It began long ago but was immeasurably increased under the reign of George W. Bush whose family was enmeshed in Nazi funding until public rage forced the US government to strip the family of German investment assets in 1942.

Bush’s efforts, nakedly pursued but rarely reported, included the leveraging of a police state, the creation of “Homeland Security” with its overtones of the Nazi Fatherland and the repositioning of the US’s various intelligence and policing agencies as the sword of the state to be turned aggressively against the American people.

Under Bush, various trends noted by Washington’s Blog were immensely exacerbated. Washington’s Blog points out that currently the US government “is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.”

He also points out that the government is flying spy drones over the American homeland. “The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.”

And he adds, “Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history … The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.”

The article enumerates many other areas where rights are being lost, including the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to travel from place to place without harassment. The end of the article provides a powerful summation, pointing out that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom … and that it is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed.” And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people.

The article closes by reminding us that both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency “competed to weaken federal regulation and [tried] to prevent state investigations … against fraudulent mortgage lenders.”

This is an odd close and not the summation we were looking for. It leads to our one question: If the federal government is over-reaching horribly, then why is it wrong to “weaken federal regulation”? We’ve noted this contradiction. We don’t understand how one can be against the neo-fascism of the US Leviathan but still enthusiastic about bringing the US’s horrible and corrupt criminal justice system to bear … no matter the nature of the crime.

The prison-industrial complex, like the military-industrial complex, is a great US evil. It includes an illegally globalized FBI, an out-of-control civil policing establishment (at both the state and federal level) and of course, a penal-industrial complex that incarcerates more than half of those in jail around the world, increasingly in “privatized” penitentiaries.

Conclusion: Does not advocating its use – rather than its reform – perhaps undermine the very points that US patriots wish to make?

 


I Can Think Of No Reason To Add Anything To This.


Deagle @Neutrimedical Reports

This guy knows what he’s talking about. Worth listening to. http://www.tunewiki.com/posts/1345706982568710340


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