Tag Archives: constitution

Drones Across America

Drones cast a shadow over Constitutional rights

Senator Lindsey Graham recently told reporters today that his colleagues in Congress need to get behind Obama’s targeted killing program, and protect the president from “libertarians and the left.”

Graham said, “Every member of Congress needs to get on board. It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program…
The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”

A leaked Department Of Justice white paper explicitly says, “[T]here exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional questions.”

Davi Barker reported on SilverUnderground.com, “The Drone memo lays out three vague, easily-met conditions that allegedly justify the murder of Americans without a trial.

  • The target must be an ‘imminent threat’ in the broadest sense requiring no evidence or intelligence.
  • Capture of the target must be ‘unfeasible’ meaning U.S. officials consider attempted capture an ‘undue risk.’
  • The strike must be conducted according to ‘law of war principles’ which are not defined.

The Drone Memo redefines ‘imminent’ to mean its opposite. The ACLU calls it ‘vague,’ ‘elastic,’ and ‘easy to manipulate.’ According to the memo ‘the condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.’ In other words, classifying a threat as ‘imminent’ does not require any indication that it is actually ‘imminent.’”

We already know that several government officials think liberty-activists and other peaceful people are “potential terrorists” or some other kind of threat. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called activists from Food Not Bombs “dangerous food terrorists.” NH State Representative Cynthia Chase said “Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today.” And just one year ago, Congress authorized government use of unmanned spy planes in U.S. Airspace. The FAA projects there will be as many as 30,000 unmanned drones in American airspace by 2020.

Andrew Napolitano asked, “Would we live in a safer society if the government could cut down every law and abrogate every freedom and break down every door and arrest everybody it wanted? We’d be safe from the bad guys, but we wouldn’t be safe from the government. Who would want to live in such a society?” I certainly don’t want to live in that society!

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Justin Amash trashes “No Budget, No Pay” as unconstitutional

Earlier this week Darryl Perry wrote here at Hammer of Truth that the No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 325) was an unconstitutional measure, and a sure sign of Republican weakness to boot:

The 27th Amendment reads, in part, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of the Representatives shall have intervened.”

Despite the fact that the compensation is not changing, the bill could still be unconstitutional as it alters the scheduled dates of pay, which would be “varying the compensation.” It is unlikely any of the Republicans will challenge the bill, and the Democrats reportedly see “the legislation as a white flag on the part of the GOP, something that allows Congress to skirt the debt limit issue and move on to other fiscal arguments.”

On Tuesday, Justin Amash — a second-term, libertarian-leaning, Republican Congressman from Michigan — posted his take on facebook:

I voted no on H R 325, No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill has two parts.

First, the bill suspends the debt ceiling through May 18, 2013. In other words, it allows the government to operate as though there is no debt ceiling. On May 19, the debt ceiling will automatically increase by the amount borrowed during the suspension. Because the government borrows about $4 billion per day, this bill will likely increase the debt ceiling by $400 billion or more, without any cuts or reforms to reduce future spending. see more…

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Obama issues dictatorial gun proclamation, executive orders

President Barack Obama today was seen signing 23 executive orders on gun control in front of a group of children ignorant about their rights (the orders have yet to be published on the White House website for us to properly ridicule, so we’ll ridicule the whole affair).

Here’s the relevant portion of the accompanying proclamation from WhiteHouse.gov:

Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, shall conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it. The Secretary shall begin by identifying the most pressing research questions with the greatest potential public health impact, and by assessing existing public health interventions being implemented across the Nation to prevent gun violence.

Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 3. Publication. You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

His game of “Let’s play take away the guns from law-abiding Americans because a few assholes can’t act responsibly” has yet to be officially recognized by anyone with half a brain. Millions of Americans continue to wave loaded AR-15s and handguns with high-capacity lips and a copy of the Constitution in defiance of the latest effort to destroy liberties.

However, many are now anxious about how the government will try to enforce such ludicrous orders and bans being swiftly implemented (with New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s legislation being called “draconian” by the NRA). The flurry of legislation and imperial decrees now contrast to gun sales have hitting astronomical rates since 2008, and exploding in November/December of 2012.

One way in which Obama is flexing unConstitutional executive powers has been to direct doctors and mental health professionals to ask patients whether they own guns (and how many).

The answer to that line of questioning is obvious to liberty-lovers: NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS.

UPDATE: Interesting statistic of the day: the DEA has a budget of $2.415 billion (2010) and employs 10,784 (2009), while the BATF has a budget of $1.12 billion (2010) and employs 4,559 (2006). Obama has just budgeted another $500 million for gun control activities.

The War on Drugs has been an epic failure even though it has twice as many federal enforcers and funding. Does anyone seriously doubt the latest “War on Guns” will be any different?

UPDATE II: Scratch that previous update number, the apparent amount being budgeted for the attempt at a gun controlling police state is over $4.5 billion. The biggest expenditure is $4 billion “to help keep 15,000 cops on the streets in cities and towns across the country.”

That’s just over $260 thousand dollars per cop.

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Federal court rules flipping off cops constitutional

Huffington Post reports:

A police officer can’t pull you over and arrest you just because you gave him the finger, a federal appeals court declared Thursday.

In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”

John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute, but the charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

A federal judge in the Northern District of New York granted summary judgement to the officers in July 2011, but the Court of Appeals on Thursday erased that decision and ordered the lower court to take up the case again.

Richard Insogna, the officer who stopped Swartz and his wife when they arrived at their destination, claimed he pulled the couple over because he believed Swartz was “trying to get my attention for some reason.” The appeals court didn’t buy that explanation, ruling that the “nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness.”

If you’re planning on displaying your denunciation digit with your local boys in blue, you’ll definitely want to download and print out the full ruling (PDF).

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Ron Paul’s new year’s resolutions for Congress

As I prepare to retire from Congress, I’d like to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for my colleagues to consider. For the sake of liberty, peace, and prosperity I certainly hope more members of Congress consider the strict libertarian constitutional approach to government in 2013.

In just a few days, Congress will solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. They should reread Article 1 Section 8 and the Bill of Rights before taking such a serious oath. Most legislation violates key provisions of the Constitution in very basic ways, and if members can’t bring themselves to say no in the face of pressure from special interests, they have broken trust with their constituents and violated their oaths. Congress does not exist to serve special interests, it exists to protect the rule of law.

I also urge my colleagues to end unconstitutional wars overseas. Stop the drone strikes; stop the covert activities and meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Strive to observe “good faith and justice towards all Nations” as George Washington admonished. We are only making more enemies, wasting lives, and bankrupting ourselves with the neoconservative, interventionist mindset that endorses pre-emptive war that now dominates both parties.

All foreign aid should end because it is blatantly unconstitutional. While it may be a relatively small part of our federal budget, for many countries it is a large part of theirs–and it creates perverse incentives for both our friends and enemies. There is no way members of Congress can know or understand the political, economic, legal, and social realities in the many nations to which they send taxpayer dollars.

Congress needs to stop accumulating more debt. US debt, monetized by the Federal Reserve, is the true threat to our national security. Revisiting the parameters of Article 1 Section 8 would be a good start.

Congress should resolve to respect personal liberty and free markets. Learn more about the free market and how it regulates commerce and produces greater prosperity better than any legislation or regulation. Understand that economic freedom IS freedom. Resolve not to get in the way of voluntary contracts between consenting adults. Stop bailing out failed yet politically connected companies and industries. Stop forcing people to engage in commerce when they don’t want to, and stop prohibiting them from buying and selling when they do want to. Stop trying to legislate your ideas of fairness. Protect property rights. Protect the individual. That is enough.

There are many more resolutions I would like to see my colleagues in Congress adopt, but respect for the Constitution and the oath of office should be at the core of everything members of Congress do in 2013.

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