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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Leak of Secret Trade Document Reveals Sovereignty-Destroying Courts

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Why has the Obama administration kept the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement text secret from Congress and the American people? 

A newly leaked TPP chapter reveals at least one huge reason: The TPP text proposes creating tribunals (courts) that could overrule the decisions of our state and federal courts, as well as our local, state and federal laws — and our state and national constitutions.

The tribunals would be presided over by arbitrators (judges) appointed by the Secretary-General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an institution of the World Bank Group. The ICSID is housed at the World Bank’s headquarters complex in Washington, D.C. The ICSID receives its funding from the World Bank and the ICSID’s governing Council is chaired by the President of the World Bank. So the proposed TPP tribunals are, in essence, a means for transferring judicial authority over vast areas of domestic law to “arbitrators” picked by the World Bank — and the central bankers and the giant commercial/investment bankers that run the World Bank.

On March 25, the international organization WikiLeaks released the “Investment Chapter” of the still-classified Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that the Obama administration has been secretly negotiating for the past several years. Despite repeated calls from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as legal scholars and law professors for the administration to make good on its pledges of transparency, the TPP negotiations have remained a closed, secret  process — except for the representatives of major corporations and Wall Street banks, along with other privileged “stakeholders,” who are not only given access to the TPP documents, but even allowed to participate in negotiations.

The WikiLeaks release of the TPP’s Chapter 2 on investment should assist patriots who are trying to build opposition to this dangerous agreement that represents a giant step toward regional and global government. It also confirms what The New American has reported over the past several years: that TPP was following in the footsteps of NAFTA, the WTO and other “free trade” arrangements that are rapidly eroding U.S. national sovereignty and independence.

Among the significant articles included in Chapter 2 is “Article II.21: Selection of Arbitrators.” This section tells us, among other things: “The Secretary-General [of ICSID] shall serve as appointing authority for an arbitration under this Section.” It states further: “if a tribunal has not been constituted within 75 days from the date that a claim is submitted to arbitration under this Section, the Secretary-General, on the request of a disputing party, shall appoint, in his or her discretion, the arbitrators not yet appointed.”

As we have noted in previous articles, Secretary of State John Kerry has been a key operative in overseeing the TPP negotiations. While he was a U.S. Senator, Kerry supported and voted for NAFTA. Years later, when NAFTA tribunals began overruling U.S. law and U.S. court decisions, Kerry used the innocence-through-ignorance defense, claiming to have been completely blindsided by the Chapter 11 tribunals that were in the agreement he voted for. 

"When we debated NAFTA," Kerry told the New York Times, "not a single word was uttered in discussing Chapter 11. Why? Because we didn't know how this provision would play out. No one really knew just how high the stakes would get." But it is not true that “no one really knew” of the danger from the tribunals; this publication, along with others warned of this very danger. But Senator Kerry and other NAFTA supporters chose to ignore, or scoff at, those warnings. Moreover, it was his duty to know what was in the agreement before voting for it; the claim of ignorance is a self-incriminating excuse.

In its unauthorized release of the purported TPP text on March 25, Wikileaks provides this description:
This is an advanced January 2015 version of the confidential draft treaty chapter from the Investment groups of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks between the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei Darussalam. The treaty is being negotiated in secret by delegations from each of these 12 countries, who together account for 40% of global GDP. The chapter covers agreements on investments from one TPP nation to another, including empowering foreign firms to “sue” other states’ governments, as well as regulations around investor-state dispute settlements and tribunals. This document was prepared by TPP investment chapter negotiators in advance of the informal round of negotiations held in New York City 26th January to 1st February, 2015.
The WikiLeaks release also highlights another audacious feature of the TPP that we have reported previously: not only are the negotiations being conducted in secrecy, and not only are the TPP text documents being withheld from the public and the public’s elected representatives, but even more outrageous is the effort by the TPP negotiators to keep the agreement (or at least certain portions of the agreement and the negotiating process) secret for four years after it goes into effect! At the beginning of the newly released Chapter 2 is this classification notice: Finish reading

What’s Wrong With Silver?

Which silver?  Paper silver or real silver?


Silver prices are largely set on the COMEX futures – paper silver.  

A company can post the margin and sell short thousands of contracts with no actual metal available thereby creating artificial supply.  The reverse occurs when some company buys thousands of contracts.  It is a paper game, but unfortunately it has tremendous influence on the price of real silver.

What’s wrong with paper silver?  Paper silver has been aggressively sold and that pushes prices down – just the opposite of what occurred between 2009 and April 2011.  What is wrong with paper silver is … probably nothing.  Buyers and sellers do their thing, sometimes in fractions of a second, and they define a price for paper.

What’s wrong with physical silver?  The usual – the paper markets set the price for the physical markets and drive prices to unsustainable highs and lows.  We are currently at the low end of the cycle.

How do we know the price is low and due to turn up?  Of course we have no guarantee (my crystal ball is being repaired) but we can look at the demand and charts.  Steve St. Angelo publishes excellent analysis on physical supply and demand for silver.  Read his many articles, but a summary is:  silver supply is weak and global investment demand is strong, especially at these prices.

The silver to gold ratio shows a clear pattern for the past 44 years.  When silver prices are low so is the ratio, and when the ratio is high, look out below.  Silver moves higher faster than gold and crashes more quickly, hence the volatility in the ratio.  Examine the (smoothed) chart for the past 10 years as an example.  The ratio is now quite low and so is the price of silver.  History shows that exponentially increasing debt creates exponential increases in consumer prices, currency in circulation, and gold prices.  Debt will increase – this is as certain as tomorrow’s sunrise – and gold prices will also increase, albeit erratically.

Silver to Gold Ratio
Other analysts suggest gold and silver have not reached their final lows.  They may be correct in the short-term (not my take), but in the long-term, prices for both metals will go substantially higher.  

Examine the monthly log scale chart of silver.
Silver Monthly
Note the massive correction in prices, and the deeply oversold (monthly) condition of the RSI (Relative Strength Indicator) and the TDI.  Prices have been ready to turn up for several months.  Prices may not rally this week but they will soon.  Stacking silver is good insurance.

What could go wrong with our political and financial systems that might assist silver prices?

The US recently sent 3,000 troops and 750 tanks and other military vehicles to Latvia on the Russian border.

Russia Starts Nationwide Show of Force:”  45,000 Russian troops plus war planes and submarines are performing military drills.

Over 20 central banks have reduced interest rates in the past few months.  They are not reducing interest rates because their economies are strong.  Hint:  more QE.

Great Britain joined the Chinese backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, clearly in opposition to US interests.  Germany, France and Italy did the same.  US influence is declining and Chinese and Russian military and economic influence is rising.  

How long will the dollar be the ONLY reserve currency in the world?  When those excess dollars flood back to the US, after they are no longer needed elsewhere, how much inflation will that create for the U.S.?

Economic wars and hot military wars increase debt and commodity prices.  Gold and silver will see another rally, probably one that surprises almost everyone.

Gary Christenson
The Deviant Investor

Putin Is About To Nationalise Rothschild Central Bank

A big stretch maybe, but a fascinating prospect...we'll see. Whose side will you be on?

His effort to stabilise the declining Ruble.

Posted by: Neon Nettle  |@Neon Nettle
 on 18th March 2015 @ 10.26am



putin is to nationalise the rothschild controlled central bank of russia in an effort to stabilise the declining ruble  © press
Putin is to nationalise the Rothschild controlled Central Bank of Russia in an effort to stabilise the declining Ruble.
Putin is to nationalise the Rothschild controlled Central Bank of Russia in an effort to stabilise the declining Ruble. 
Euro-med.dk reports:
Under the Constitution, the CBR belongs to a foreign State – the City of London – and is taking orders from London and Washington. This bank can only print money corresponding to its cash in foreign currency, which is not sufficient for Putin´s purposes. The CBR even has to buy (worthless) US bonds for the dollars paid for Russian oil – whereby the dollars return to the FED!
Moreover, Putin is under pressure from the West, which wants to overthrow and replace him with Western-minded oligarchs. Thus, the US ambassador to Moscow, Tefft, is said to have made it very clear: “We will displace Putin from office and install our people as leader of the government (he even mentioned the person by name) and appoint ministers”. -

Therefore, Putin now needs a strong army to prevent Russia’s submission to the US.

Fyodorov said in an interview: A split in the Russian elite took place two months ago, as part of the elite decided to stay with Putin.

Putin then made his decision, which defines the events to follow. Furthermore, the logic of 1) a state of emergency or 2) geopolitical war entered into force, while we are under pressure.


What this means is, a. Americans now cannot diminish their pressure, while b. we just enjoy the pressure, because it forces us technologically into national liberation: For many years, we could not obtain de-offshoring, but American pressure has performed this in one day.

Putin must now mercilessly clean the 5th column – in “Our Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy.
 

But above all, Putin sees the West as the big speculator against the ruble.

To put the plan straightforward: 1. A split in the government, 2. Identification of the fifth column in government, in business, in the media, 3. purge 4. a parallel active position on the Ukraine, because Ukraine and Russia is the same – like Putin said. With these words he defined his position and strategy for Russia.

Nationalization of the Central Bank of Russia would be the first signal and mean the final breach with Rothschild´s City of London / the British Empire / the “British (banksters) Crown” and its tool, the United States. Their Relationship has been tense since Putin´s seizure of the Rothschild/Chodorkowsky’s Yukos shares. 

Therefore, Putin hesitates with the nationalization. He also still needs authorization to enforce his plan as a strong man. For this he needs a “great necessity” which is supposedly imminent because of US aggression.
via NeonNettle
 

FRAUD CENTRAL: Government Corruption Big Time

Government Corruption Has Become Rampant

The Cop Is On the Take

Government corruption has become rampant:
  • Senior SEC employees spent up to 8 hours a day surfing porn sites instead of cracking down on financial crimes
  • NSA spies pass around homemade sexual videos and pictures they’ve collected from spying on the American people
  • Investigators from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of the regulator’s employees surfed erotic websites, hired prostitutes and accepted gifts from bank executives … instead of actually working to help the economy
  • The Minerals Management Service – the regulator charged with overseeing BP and other oil companies to ensure that oil spills don’t occur – was riddled with “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity”, which included “sex with industry contacts
  • Agents for the Drug Enforcement Agency had sex parties with prostitutes hired by the drug cartels they were supposed to stop
  • The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
  • The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud. Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
  • Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not. The Treasury Secretary also falsely told Congress that the bailouts would be used to dispose of toxic assets … but then used the money for something else entirely
  • Warmongerers in the U.S. government knowingly and intentionally lied us into a war of aggression in Iraq.  The former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest ranking military officer in the United States – said that the Iraq war was “based on a series of lies”. The same is true in Libya and other wars
  • The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officersbloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
The biggest companies own the D.C. politicians.  Indeed, the head of the economics department at George Mason University has pointed out that it is unfair to call politicians “prostitutes”.  They are in fact pimps … selling out the American people for a price.

Government regulators have become so corrupted and “captured” by those they regulate that Americans know that the cop is on the take.   Institutional corruption is killing people’s trust in our government and our institutions.

Indeed, America is no longer a democracy or republic … it’s officially an oligarchy.

The allowance of unlimited campaign spending allows the oligarchs to purchase politicians more directly than ever.    Moreover, there are two systems of justice in Americaone for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else.

But the private sector is no better … for example, the big banks have turned into criminal syndicates.
Liberals and conservatives tend to blame our country’s problems on different factors … but they are all connected.

The real problem is the malignant, symbiotic relationship between big corporations and big government.

Source

Broward Cty Sheriff Deputies "assist" US Fed Troops in Training for Incarcerating US Citizens


Other states and their local police sure to follow...

Troops Training To Intern Citizens In Fort Lauderdale

Posted by Edmondo Burr


Video: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Shot last week, shows military and law enforcement practicing  internment during martial-law style training.
Eu Times reports: The clip shows armed troops arresting role players on the street before a column of prisoners are marched towards a mock internment facility. Black Hawk choppers are also seen whizzing between buildings.

The exercise was accompanied by very little media coverage.
A Sun-Sentinel report said that Broward County police would be “assisting members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces who are undergoing urban warfare training.”

The drill, which was held in locations the military refused to disclose beforehand, began on March 17 and ended on Friday. 200 military personnel from all four branches, Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy, took part in the exercise.

“The goal is to prepare participants in realistic, unfamiliar training conditions before they deploy for combat overseas,” states the report. Residents were advised “not to be alarmed by the Black Hawk helicopters in the sky.”

Broward County also saw similar drills back in March 2014, when Navy SEALS practicing storming a university building from a helicopter.

Concerns continue to circulate that such drills are designed for dual purpose and are part of a plan to acclimate Americans to accept martial law in a time of national emergency.

As we have exhaustively documented, the fact that preparations are being made to use the military during domestic unrest is manifestly provable.

Jade Helm, an upcoming military drill that will involve nine states, caused controversy after Texas and Utah were labeled “hostile” territory in documents related to the exercise.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Was Hillary Clinton, While Secretary of State, Running a Secret Spy Network?

 Monday, March 30, 2015

Sidney Blumenthal with Bill and Hillary
Clinton at the White House (photo:
courteesy of Maureen Dowd)
A trove of emails released two years ago show that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had access to intelligence from a private spy network run by an old confidant.

In 2012, the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time associate of Bill and Hillary Clinton, was accessed by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. 

Blumenthal’s emails, which were posted on the internet, showed he’d had correspondence with Hillary Clinton via her private email account. They revealed that Blumenthal was providing back-channel intelligence to Clinton about Libya’s civil war in the run-up to the Benghazi disaster, according to a report from ProPublica and Gawker.

One of the emails pointed out the deteriorating security situation right before the Benghazi consulate was stormed, citing “an extremely sensitive source” who pointed out the numerous bombings and kidnapping of aid workers and diplomats by those thought to be loyal to the late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi, ProPublica reported. Despite the information gathered by Clinton’s network, she said after the Benghazi attacks of September 2012 that U.S. intelligence officials had had no advance warning of the threat.

The reports Blumenthal sent to Clinton appear to have been compiled by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) clandestine service in Europe. Drumheller left the CIA in 2005 and started his own security business.

In addition to Libya, the memos deal with subjects ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s discussions with her finance minister to the make-up of the South Korean cabinet.

But much of the attention was focused on Libya. There’s even one email exchange suggesting that four people be sent to neighboring Tunisia to aid the Libyan opposition. “Sid, you are doing great work on this,” Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. “It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7–10 days for 4 guys,” one email read.

A Clinton spokesman said all the Blumenthal emails in Clinton’s private email account have been turned over as part of the 30,000 pages of communications relayed to the State Department.

When Clinton was named secretary of state, she wanted Blumenthal to come work for her. But then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is said to have vetoed that plan because of Blumenthal’s attacks on Obama during the 2008 presidential primary campaign.

-Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network (by Jeff Gerth, ProPublica, and Sam Biddle, Gawker)
Blumenthal Emails (Cryptome) (pdf)

The Costs of Compulsory Education



by

Education elites and their political cronies have implemented countless initiatives aimed at reforming education. From the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, every plan put forth has resulted in nothing but inefficient expenditures, new layers of bureaucracy, and continuing declines in student achievement.

Education will only be reformed once parents and entrepreneurs are free to create real alternatives to the broken systems that exist today. Repealing compulsory-education laws and allowing parents to spend their education dollars freely should be the first steps in this direction.

Curiously, compulsory-education laws, which conscript children into state-regulated programs of study, are rarely discussed in the context of education reform; these laws' ostensibly benevolent nature allows demagogues to marginalize detractors and quell any attempt at serious discourse. This results in far-reaching regulations that control how private actors educate, and thus prohibits students from getting the individualized education they need.

The origin of compulsory education was characterized by oppression and forced assimilation. The modern movement was initially led by Martin Luther and the early Protestants, who sought to inculcate the masses with their religious views. Despotic Prussia was the first to enact laws at the national level, and compulsory education quickly became a weapon of choice for states seeking to destroy troublesome cultures and languages. In the United States, Massachusetts began enforcing mandatory attendance in 1852, and by 1918 every state had enacted similar legislation. The primary impetus for policymakers was to assimilate poor immigrant children; labor unions were also ardent supporters, as they sought to decrease the supply of labor in the workforce.

Current laws vary by state in details, but they are quite homogeneous in spirit. All require a minimum amount of instructional time (ranging from 160 to 186 days annually) at approved institutions. The majority of Americans between the ages of 5 and 18 are compelled to meet this requirement, with several states enforcing slightly more lenient laws. Although parents are free to pursue private education for their children, such options are almost always regulated by state governments.

There is likely a minority of children who benefit from compulsory education. While these outliers are by no means insignificant, the benefits accrued to them do not justify the aggregate effects imposed. To objectively evaluate the merits of such laws, we must fully account for all of their costs. Evaluating the effects on private forms of education is a good starting point.

Private schools and homeschools are rarely truly free-market alternatives to government-regulated education. By mandating attendance, states have a virtual stranglehold on the nature of private education. After all, in order to become a state-approved program of study at which "official" attendance is recognized, private actors are forced to satisfy some combination of curricular, reporting, and testing requirements.

In New York, for instance, homeschools must submit a notice of intent, maintain attendance records, file quarterly reports, and submit Individualized Home Instruction Plans for state approval. 
Additionally, students must successfully complete an annual assessment, including mandatory yearly standardized testing for grades nine and above. Perhaps most problematic, however, is its mandate that instruction given to a child must be "at least substantially equivalent to minors of like age or attainments at public schools," an edict clearly susceptible to abuse by state officials. This forces parents to comply with the belief systems of distant regulators who are free to define "substantially equivalent" as they see fit.

In the event that a parent's personal values oppose those of the state, the state's interests will ultimately prevail. This conflict prompted Murray Rothbard to note that at the heart of the compulsory-education debate is "the idea that children belong to the State rather than to their parents." If you attempt to challenge this notion, your child may be labeled "truant," and you may be subjected to fines, imprisonment, and the forcible return of their child to his or her zoned public school. Compulsory education thus imposes the state's definition of "education" on all parties falling under its auspices — even those pursuing a "private" course of study.

The state's monopoly on what defines "education" inevitably suppresses alternative views, thereby eliminating the complexity and diversity that should be prevalent in the market. Instead, a homogeneous system is used to serve heterogeneous students — yet another cost of compulsory education. READ MORE

States tell Feds to pound sand

The Internal Revenue Service gives subsidies when it wants. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Environmental Protection Agency redefine words on a whim in an effort to give themselves more power and more control over your life. “Legislating from the bench” has been superseded by this even more dangerous “lawmaking” by unelected, unaccountable federal agencies.


As Chapman law professor Ronald Rotunda noted recently, we “have come a long way towards governance by bureaucrats.” Some states, however, are taking positive steps in 2015 to thwart the effects of these unilateral — and wildly unconstitutional — acts.
The following is an overview of state legislation to thwart federal overreach that’s moving forward right now.

Federal gun control

Even though the ATF has, at least temporarily, backed down on a proposed M855 ammo ban, gun rights advocates should be alarmed. More of this should be expected moving forward, that is, more gun control no matter whom you elect to Congress.

In Arizona, however, a bill that would effectively block in practice any additional restrictions on the natural right to keep and bear arms has already passed the state Senate by a 17-12 vote and is due for further consideration in the state House in the near future. A similar bill passed the Montana Legislature and is going to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk, and another in Tennessee is up for a do-or-die vote in committee this week.

Other states like Ohio and Pennsylvania have seen legislation introduced, but not yet considered. Should any of the bills pass into law, they’d join Idaho, which in 2014 was the first in the country to pass legislation specifically designed to thwart any new federal gun control measures.

Broader bills have been introduced in other states, with the goal of addressing not just new federal gun control measures, but nearly all of them. Missouri HB1341 would make any federal gun control measure — past, present or future — invalid and unenforceable in the state. And two Texas bills, HB413 and HB422, would work together to do almost the same. Should either pass, they’d join Alaska, which passed a similar law in 2013.

Self-ownership

The Food and Drug Administration has a lengthy process for approving new treatments for people. In some situations, however, that long process can actually kill people.

Take, for example, the case of Mikaela Knapp, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer. She and her husband, Keith, launched a social media campaign to lobby drug firms and the FDA to give her access to a new gene therapy. Their efforts gained national attention and generated 200,000 signatures on a petition, but failed to win access to the treatment. The 25-year-old newlywed died a few months later.

In 2014, Arizona residents approved Prop. 303, a measure that now allows people the “Right to Try” some experimental treatments not yet approved by the FDA. They joined Colorado, Missouri, Louisiana and Michigan in passing such legislation.

In 2015, governors in Wyoming in Arkansas have already signed a Right to Try act into law. Bills in Virginia, Montana, Indiana, Utah and Mississippi have also passed the full legislature and are awaiting a signature from each state’s governor.

“These laws are a no-brainer,” said Mike Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center. “When someone is on their deathbed, the fact that FDA regulations would let them die rather than try, has got to be one of the most inhumane policies of the federal government. Every state should nullify the FDA like this.”

Farming

The total retail value of hemp products sold in the U.S. in 2014 was recently said to be at least $620 million. According to the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a nonprofit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, this includes items like nondairy milk, shelled seed, soaps and lotions, along with clothing, auto parts, building materials and various other products.

Federal regulations resulting in a de facto ban on hemp farming has created a situation where the U.S. is the world’s No. 1 importer of hemp, while China and Canada are the top two exporters in the world.

And while the Feds now “allow” hemp farming for “research purposes,” some states and individuals have taken action beyond what is permitted and are now harvesting crops for commercial purposes.

Hemp is already being farmed in both Colorado and Vermont. On Feb. 2, the Oregon hemp industry officially opened for business. 

One week later, the first license went to a small nonprofit group that hopes to plant 25 acres this spring. The Tennessee Agricultural Department recently put out a call for licensing, signaling that hemp farming will start soon there, too. A law by Gov. Nikki Haley in South Carolina in 2014 authorizes the same. Another passed this year in North Dakota is awaiting a signature from Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Hemp farming bills have also passed the New Hampshire House, the Washington State Senate, and committees in Connecticut and Missouri. Legislation has been introduced and will be up for consideration soon in Texas, Florida, Maine and elsewhere.

Surveillance

Former National Security Agency chief technical director William Binney called the agency’s practice of “parallel construction” the “most threatening situation to our constitutional republic since the Civil War.” This is the process whereby federal spying data is being handed off to local police for use in everyday law enforcement work, not just for investigating “terrorists.”

In 2014, Utah and New Hampshire passed bills to ban each state from participating in this practice. And this year, bills in Texas, Alaska, Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina and elsewhere have been introduced to ban all “material support or resources” to all federal bulk warrantless spying programs.

Passage would ban participation in parallel construction, but also take things further and withhold other resources like water, electricity or even trash pickup from state or local governments or agencies to any federal agency involved in the wholesale surveillance of anything and everything you do with your phone or Internet service.

Legislation to help block a recently revealed nationwide license plate tracking program has already passed the Virginia Legislature and the Montana House. Similar legislation is up for consideration in New York, Missouri, Vermont, Massachusetts and Oregon.

Obamacare

While the legal world awaits an opinion this summer from the Supreme Court in the King v. Burwell case, some states are considering bills that will help bring down the federal takeover no matter what the court opines.

Bills passed in the Arizona House and introduced in Texas would ban a crucial enforcement mechanism for the federal act, and set the stage for pulling the rug out from under it and bringing it down.

What’s next

Sometimes, however rare, a federal court will stop a federal agency from unilaterally giving itself more power. Sometimes, a federal agency will back down on a newly proposed rule, like the recent M855 ammo ban from the ATF, because of heavy public pressure. And even more rarely, although I can’t remember anything of note, Congress will actually repeal a law it passed, giving up its own power.

The truth of the matter is this: Federal courts cannot be trusted to limit federal power, and federal politicians cannot be trusted to limit their own power. Only the states and the people can do it now.

While these moves by states give liberty-lovers hope, there is no silver bullet to stop the runaway freight train that is the federal government. But instead of waiting years for a lawsuit, or a convention, or any other national-level process, these state nullification efforts chip away at the monster government right now — one state at a time.

What this gets down to is the power of the people. When enough people tell the Feds to pound sand, and enough states pass laws backing them up, there’s not much the Feds can do to force their unconstitutional laws, rules, regulations or mandates down our throats.

–Michael Boldin

Michael Boldin

is the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. Michael has a full schedule working as senior editor of the Center's website, writes a regular column, fields media interviews, and travels the country (when invited, of course) to speak to crowds about sticking to the Constitution — every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.[send him email]