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Maine Nullify Obamacare Effort Expands

Contact: Chris Dixon
Main Tenth Amendment Center Director
O: 207-212-2614
chris.dixon@tenthamendmentcenter.com
www.maine.tenthamendmentcenter.com

For Immediate Release:Aug. 22, 2012

Androscoggin Co. GOP passes resolution calling for special session to nullify PPACA

AUBURN, Maine – The Androscoggin County Republican Party overwhelmingly approved a resolution asking Governor Paul LePage to call the Maine legislature to special session and consider legislation nullifying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Monday night. 

Durham Town Republican Secretary Jason Greene introduced the measure. Only two of the more than 100 members in attendance opposed the resolution.

Nullification legislation would declare the PPACA unconstitutional, and authorize the governor and state lawmakers to take steps to block implementation of the federal health care act.

Greene called state intervention the key to stopping implementation of a federal health care program that is clearly unconstitutional and will take away the right of Mainers to make their own health care choices. He compared resistance to the PPACA with Maine’s refusal to implement the Real ID Act during the Bush administration. (more…)

Androscoggin County GOP Passes Nullification Resolution

Yesterday evening, the Androscoggin County Republican Party capped off an exciting evening with the overwhelming approval for a pro-resolution. With large turnout due to the Grand Opening of their new Headquarters just prior, there were many people on hand for the vote.

Durham Town Republican Secretary and Maine Tenth Amendment Center Androscoggin County coordinator Jason Greene took the microphone in New Business to introduce a resolution calling upon Governor Paul LePage to recall the Legislature to a special session to nullify Obamacare. Greene was solid with his introduction, getting the crowd pumped up with cheers in opposition to Obamacare. He then included a brief history, both early American and then recent, by discussing the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and then connecting it to Maine’s leadership on the REAL ID Act. “Because of this, the law is basically gone and is not being enforced” he told the crowd. “We can do the same with Obamacare!”

Following the reading of the resolution, he officially made the motion, seconded by Turner Town Republican Secretary Amanda Christakis and Auburn City Republican Chair and Maine Tea Party founder Pete Harring. With over one hundred people present, both citizens and legislators, the resolution was only opposed by two individuals. It passed, overwhelmingly.

Androscoggin County Republican Committee has taken the lead, a lead hopefully other county committees will follow. If the talk in opposition to Obamacare is genuine, and not simple campaign rhetoric, than this is a no-brainer. The only answer we have left is to nullify!

ACTION NEEDED: Governor LePage’s Special Session

Multiple media outlets are now reporting that Governor Paul LePage is planning to call the Legislature back for Special Session to enact legislation. He would not, however, go into specifics.

Mike Tipping, author of the Tipping Point column at the Bangor Daily News, has the recording and transcript posted in his article, found here.

It is unclear at this point whether or not the focus is nullification. But we’re not going to wait and see if it is. We need people to spread the word about the possibility and contact the Governor’s Office about nullifying Obamacare. We can’t wait until after the November elections and the uncertain future beyond that. Even if President Obama becomes a one-term president, former Governor Romney would not take office until January of next year. Further to the point, the Republican presidential candidate’s “repeal and REPLACE” rhetoric does not ensure the specter of Obamacare will not live on.

In the spirit of the Jeffersonian tradition and living up to Maine’s leadership among states, we must encourage the Governor to do what is right. When the federal government exceeds the boundaries of the compact, the Constitution, the rightful remedy is nullification, according to Thomas Jefferson. Maine lived up to what James Madison said was it’s duty, by in 2007 interposing and refusing compliance with the REAL ID Act, a privacy nightmare and terrible financial burden upon the States.

Our time to act is here. Below is the link to the Suggestions and Ideas form on the official website of the Governor. We need you to fill it out and urge Governor LePage to make nullification of Obamacare a focus of this Special Session, and then spread the word. We need everyone doing this.

Message at this link, and then share it: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/citizen_services/ideas-suggestions.shtml

Let’s do this, Maine!

Welcome to the Androscoggin County, ME Tenth Amendment Center

Newly forming – a local chapter for the TAC in Androscoggin County, ME. Heading up this effort is Jason Greene. Contact him directly to get involved – here

Open Letter to the Maine Legislature

To all those who are elected to serve the people of Maine, under an oath to stand for the Constitution,

When the Constitution was young in 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts was passed, which featured a provision that made speaking ill of the government a crime. Kentucky, led by Thomas Jefferson, and Virginia, led by James Madison, helped pass nullification resolutions in opposition of the  unconstitutional legislation.  Fast forward five decades and multiple northern states took a stand to nullify the pro-slavery fugitive slave laws, federal legislation that demanded runaway slaves be returned to their owners. Flashback to just six years ago, when Maine led a nullification movement that now includes over half of the states in the Union against the REAL ID act.

The extended history lesson will be spared further, but take note of this. Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and defended the unconstitutional expansion of federal power. This came after multiple colleagues of yours indicated, while refusing to support Representative Aaron Libby’s Obamacare nullification bill, that it was not viable and that it was a better route to take this to the Supreme Court. This, while knowing that SCOTUS ‘ record on decreasing federal powers is terrible, became the dominant view.

The court, as history suggested it would, let the Constitution down and voted to uphold an expansion of federal powers. After all that wasted time and money, we now stand at a critical point. President Barack Obama was just delivered a victory and one he surely ride into November, and if his reelection stands, the court could swing more against the Constitution. Will the court save us then?

Thomas Jefferson once wrote in a letter that he found the view that the court is the top authority as wrong, for it would reduce us to an oligarchy. He later observed that the safest depository for the powers is in the people. These are the same people who delegate the authority to the government so it may exist, and the same people who put their faith in you to defend their interests, by voting for you.

How would he suggest we respond? How should we respond to Obamacare? Nullification. This is “the rightful remedy”, according to Thomas Jefferson, as written in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, would write in the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 that it is the duty of the State to interpose when these violations occur.

Many of your colleagues have involved themselves in the spread of the anti-Obamacare rhetoric, and even the anti-Obama rhetoric in general. The federal takeover of the healthcare industry is bad and it’s a soundbite that works well with re-election campaigns in full swing. But do you believe it? If you do honestly, then there’s only one solution left: nullification.

Many of your colleagues also have involved themselves in the spread of anti-Obama rhetoric about this being the end. This is why everyone must unite around Mitt Romney, as the story goes, because everything could be game over if not. Do you believe this? if you do, then the only solution is to not wait until after the election to introduce legislation, but convene an emergency session of the legislature to enact it immediately.

But then again, this all could be just a simple election stunt. We’re going into November and in addition to votes, you require money to campaign for enough votes. It could be just rhetoric to feed your audience. If I’m wrong, however, then it’s your moment to prove it. The time is now to act. Are you prepared to stand for something?

I encourage you to do so, and if you have any questions about the topic, contact me at chrisdixonime@gmail.com. We can make this happen.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to the action you will take for the citizens of Maine.

For liberty,

Chris Dixon
State Coordinator,
Maine Tenth Amendment Center

After the Statement: The Next Steps Towards Liberty

Maine State Representative Richard Cebra (R-Naples) has been a reliable defender of the Tenth Amendment over the years in Augusta, sponsoring resolutions that reaffirm the importance of the Tenth Amendment to bills nullifying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Recently, he has been joined by individuals like Representative Melvin Newendyke (R-Litchfield), who introduced the Intrastate Commerce Act and Representative Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro), who had a few bills in such as P.P.A.C.A. nullification and Defend the Guard. Never before, has there been a stronger movement towards the Tenth Amendment in Augusta. This tradition, like with the Tenth Amendment Center itself, started with the opposition to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which would’ve steered the nation towards a national identification card.

One could only imagine the words George Orwell might have to say about the world around us. The visionary of a dystopian future or a man of warning unheeded, he has written a lot of what did come true. There is Animal Farm,  which showed how a new government formed on equality becomes totalitarian and powerful because of lust and greed. Even more well known is Nineteen Eighty-Four, which carries two major themes: the power of propaganda and the expansion of the police state.

We’re at a defining moment in history.

Trillions of dollars in debt, a number in the financial world difficult to stomach (unless you have enough propaganda artists), and because of the turmoil, a government slowly chokes it’s clinching fingers upon the throat of the Constitution. Both sides of the spectrum have seen grassroots uprisings that threaten the establishment in both parties, with Occupy on the left and the Tea Party on the right. Each has their issues, whether it be social justice or elimination excessive taxation, and it has fueled it’s growing relevance. But they, like their establishment counterparts, fail to come together towards any meaningful goals. The media still remains successful in maintaining a dark and politically bloody divide.

Liberty has failed to unite up until this point, because of various issues. Capitalism has been given a bad name because of corporatism, and thus, the mere mention of the former incites hatred from the left. But is capitalism all that bad? Not so much, as the big corporations would not have the big government steroids that enable a much larger advantage over the smaller, fair players. On the right, social conservatism enables them to rival their counterparts in the competition for biggest big government policies. Best way to save the economy? Restore constitutional governance? Make sure two consenting adults do not enter into a contract that does not affect anyone else, simply because it is not of our approval.

It would seem as though we’re never going to find common ground. Can we?

Enter National Defense Authorization Act.

REDEFINING THE DIVIDE

As previously established, the divide has always been conservative vs. liberal or Republican vs. Democrat. Ayn Rand once noted that there is only one real battle, and that is freedom vs. tyranny. Republicans fight those bad people in the other party that believe in economic slavery and the Democrats fight those bad people in the other party because they believe in social control. Nevermind that Republicans have Medicare Part D and TARP to brag about, while the Democrats continue to insist on social freedom while protecting the government control over that freedom.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 changed everything. Republicans and Democrats found themselves under the same rallying call. Groups scattered at every corner of the spectrum, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Tenth Amendment Center, began standing up to the bill. The point of controversy? Sections 1021 and 1022. The first deals with detention without trial, with the second dealing with military custody.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-California) claimed in an article on RedState that the bill did nothing more than confirm what was previously known as of the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force: that the  ”affirm that the military may lawfully detain foreign individuals who are engaged in armed conflict with the United States. He further states that the provision “explicitly exempts U.S. citizens from the requirement.”

All is well, right? Once again, the government solution is always the answer to the problem, right?

Congressman Justin Amash (R-Michigan) however offered a different perspective. While many government figures in the executive and legislative branches have claimed it does nothing more than merely confirm what the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force authorized, Congressman Amash notes that it already authorized indefinite detention. So when Section 2011 of NDAA confirms what we already knew, it does technically uphold the indefinite detention.

In a very careful and complex way, we were nearly fooled. In regards to the bill’s successful passage, Congressman Amash correctly observed, “The NDAA’s backers succeeded in part because of the bill’s length and complexity.”

But we won’t get fooled again. And so goes the infighting within the Republican Party, while Democrats rally against it as well. For political gain?

For liberty.

MAKING A STATEMENT

The Tenth Amendment Center’s NDAA legislative tracking page has a few resolutions passed, a couple half way there, and several introduced. The most recent statement was made by Maine, with the House voting in favor on March 19th and the Senate doing so twenty-four hours later. Although the resolutions themselves are non-binding, they send a clear message: we won’t back down.

This is an important first step to put states on the map. Virginia, Utah, and Maine have all successfully done so. 47 states remain. In the meantime, it is important for these three states to move forward and take the lead. Putting force to the statement, by taking a stand, will encourage others to take the time and effort to stand up.

TAKING A STAND

The Tenth Amendment Center offers three pieces of draft legislation, for varying levels. The first, which the three states noted above have done, is a resolution affirms the roles of government and calls on the federal government to backdown. Although three states have taken this on successfully, NOBODY has made it beyond this point.

Yet.

Because straight-forward nullification may not be viable because of it’s mainstream reputation and the lack of awareness among the mainstream, it is necessary to take steps. First, the resolution. Then, the non-compliance act. The non-compliance act is an actual law and is binding, which takes the next step of refusing state support of the indefinite detention provisions of the federal law. State agencies would be lawfully required to refuse compliance with the federal government in enforcing the National Defense Authorization Act.

Only then, can a state tackle the final step of the nullification act, which would take the non-compliance act a step further by also making the federal law illegal and setting penalties for those who attempt enforcement.

CAN IT BE DONE?

It seems like a difficult idea to stomach for some: the small little state government taking on the behemoth that has become of the federal government. How can a state government, who relies on the federal government for funding on many projects, possibly stand it’s ground?

Flashback to where it all began: the launch of the Tenth Amendment Center and the jumpstart of the modern nullification movement. 2006 saw what has never occurred before on such a large scale and so fast, as many states moved forward to refuse compliance with REAL ID. States either outright refused to allow the bill to move forward in their territory, or they refused to fund the compliance of it, as the States were forced to foot the bill.

Now that the big scary beast has been taunted, it’s going to strike back, right? Funding cuts or threats thereof, federal agents hitting the ground running?

Think again.

March 2, 2007 came around and after the bill’s passage on May 11, 2005, the federal government was still facing heavy resistance it was not used to. The result was the announcement that enforcement would be extended for two years, with the deadline now December 2009.

That was that. The federal government means business and they’re going to put their foot down, right? The states won’t have any impact.

Think again.

The new year rolled around in 2008 and resistance still hadn’t calmed, despite the best hopes from the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. who want to perform the noble deed of keeping us safe from ourselves. Come the 11th of January, another announcement came from the federal government: you’ve been extended, until 2011.

Well, we were lucky to get this far without any real push back. Even with half of the states in the union, at the very least, standing their ground, we were still due to fail. Right?

Wrong.

March 2011 rolled around without much change in the situation, as states still refused to stand down. Still frustrated, but not giving up after six long years, the federal government sent another message to the states: once more, you have been given another chance. The current extension has the date of implementation at January 15, 2013.

Nobody has backed down still. An extension is likely coming, seven years later.

WE THE PEOPLE

We the people have spoken on various issues, with the Tenth Amendment being applied to right-wing issues such as healthcare, as well as left-wing issues such as the wars. Although the Constitution knows no partisan boundaries, it is used in partisan politics as a weapon to win elections and damage one’s foes. It has become a tool for gain, instead of a shield for the people.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, with it’s indefinite detention provisions, changes everything. With Occupiers and Tea Partiers, liberals and conservatives, coming together, the people are putting aside their petty differences to stand for what’s right.

United we stand, divided we fall. The message rang true after September 11th, 2001 and it still remains a fact of reality. We, as the greatest experiment in liberty that human history has ever known, must remain united. We can point fingers in our local coffee shops as arguments echo down the halls of Congress, and we can bicker all day, but it will divert us.

This is what the establishment wants. This is what tyranny relies on.

Division leads to easier submission.

But we’re Americans. As a free people, strong and principled, we’re better than that. And we’re going to prove the world wrong by relighting the torch of liberty and holding it high for all the world to see.

And we will do it with nullification.

ACTION NEEDED: NDAA Resolution In Maine Legislature

Representative Richard Cebra (R-Naples) has submitted a Joint Resolution that will be voted on early this week. HP 1397, “Joint Resolution Memorializing The President of the United States and the United States Congress to Review Portions of the National Defense Authorization Act”, would send a clear message on behalf of the people they represent, that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Although there are a large number of co-sponsors, giving it a strong shot at passage, we must not stand down. We need to act immediately as it could be voted on as soon as Monday. If your Representative and Senator are not on the co-sponsor list, please contact them and urge them to support this legislation.

TO READ THE TEXT, CLICK HERE.

TO READ SPONSOR/CO-SPONSOR LIST, CLICK HERE.

If you are unsure of who your Representative and Senator is, please look it up at the official State Legislature website’s directory.

Once you have contacted your legislature, do not stop there. The work is not over. Spread this on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking websites. E-mail the link to your friends, and encourage others to get involved. This is IMPORTANT.

The Tenth Amendment Center also offers three pieces of draft legislation regarding the National Defense Authorization Act. This Resolution is similar to the first piece, which is also a non-binding resolution.

There is also a non-compliance act, which would require all state agencies to refuse compliance with the federal government in enforcing the NDAA. The third piece of draft legislation is a nullification law, which would not only refuse compliance, but render the federal law void in Maine and impose penalties for enforcement.

All pieces of draft legislation can be found at the Liberty Preservation Act’s page .

If you feel strongly about any of the other draft legislation, please present the idea to your legislators. A non-binding resolution sends a strong message, but it’s only the first step towards taking a stand for our liberties and resisting unconstitutional overreach.

Any questions or comments, please contact Maine State Coordinator Chris Dixon at chris.dixon@tenthamendmentcenter.com. 

The Answer To The NDAA: Nullification

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been a heated topic of discussion across the Internet, while an ongoing media blackout continues. To their credit however, Fox News asked a question regarding the law at a recent Republican Presidential Debate. While former Senator Rick Santorum noted that U.S. citizens detained do have a right to have their day in court and Congressman Ron Paul stated the legislation was a breach of the judicial system, former Governor Mitt Romney gave President Barack Obama an endorsement of faith. Stating that he doesn’t think President Obama “will abuse this power,” he also said he would’ve signed the law.

And there were boos. But why? Shouldn’t all Americans favor locking up terrorists who wish to do harm to us?

If only the answer that simple. The trouble that arises for any member of the U.S. Government is that inconvenient thing called the law, which is supposed to be made pursuant to the Constitution. Article 6 clearly states that this document and all pursuant laws will be “supreme law of the land,” thus implying laws that are made in direct contradiction are null and void. Under the Constitution, citizens are granted the right to due process of law and cannot be stripped of that right without going to trial.

Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act states:

“[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

1021 (E), an amendment added by Senator Diane Feinstein, adds however:

“Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

The amendment by Sen. Feinstein is often cited in refuting the concern that American citizens could be detained indefinitely. Congressman Justin Amash (R-Michigan) however, refuted that claim in a Facebook post titled “The Truth About The New Detainee Policy in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).” He notes:

“The key to subsection 1021(e) is its claim that sec. 1021 does not ‘affect existing law or authorities’ relating to the detention of persons arrested on U.S. soil.  If the President’s expansive view of his own power were in statute, that statement would be true.  Instead, the section codifies the President’s view as if it had always existed, authorizing detention of “persons” regardless of citizenship or where they are arrested.  It then disingenuously says the bill doesn’t change that view.”

Rep. Amash then goes on to note that Sen. Feinstein had introduced a separate amendment that would state the section “does not include the authority to detain a citizen of the United States without trial until the end of hostilities.” While the former amendment passed 99-1, the latter amendment failed 44-55.

While both of Maine’s Representatives to the House, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, voted against the legislation, both Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe voted in favor.

The United States Congress has a strong history, especially as of recent, of strengthening the centralization of government and blatantly ignoring the Constitution. While Rep. Amash leads the fight on the Federal level, he is still among a minority in Washington D.C. that believes citizens are not criminals. With our current members unwilling to change their position and do the job they were elected to do, it would take election cycles over many years to replace them all and change the tide. Unfortunately, time is not something we can afford to waste.

“The rightful remedy” is nullification, as stated by principle author of the Declaration of Independence and later third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. “Father of the Constitution” James Madison also once stated it was the duty of the States to interpose when powers beyond the Constitution’s limits were taken on by the Federal Government. The purpose for this was not to create a state of disarray among levels of government, but rather to maintain the balance. Under the Constitution, the Federal Government is given a very specific set of enumerated powers, while all else, unless specifically prohibited, is left to the States.

Thus, it is not only the right of the State, but their responsibility, to nullify the National Defense Authorization Act. The State Legislature and Governor must come together to make it known who has the power, and that they will protect Maine citizens’ rights. Sheriffs also must make it known that they will not allow unlawful arrests within their jurisdiction.

The Maine Tenth Amendment Center will pursue advancing nullification in Maine, with a push to get legislation introduced in Augusta and further spread the word about the tyranny rising in Washington D.C. A Facebook page has been created for this, “Mainers Against The NDAA“; Please “like” and spread the word.

We will stand by the Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions.

When The Law Becomes Wrong

Today is an important day for United States history. Across our country, Americans remember the life of a remarkable individual who took a stand against legislated injustice and refused to stand down when threatened with the unjust force of law. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of ideas, revolutionary for his time. As we’ve always been taught, from the cradle onward, what is the law must be obeyed without a second thought. If the law becomes tyrannical, then we are told that writing our congressmen is the proper cure, as if it actually works. But as recent history has shown us, it doesn’t; in fact, Congress isn’t shy about its total disregard for the Constitution, anymore. The Federal Government can search your house without a warrant and wiretap your phones without such, as well. United States citizens, who are guaranteed due process of law under the Constitution, can now be detained without ever having contact with a lawyer or standing before a judge. This punishment for a crime untried can be for an indefinite period of time, as a single member of the government can deem right.

But it’s the law, right?

Certainly, the Federal Government has it’s lawful powers and those must not be infringed upon; every piece of this great country’s government has a legitimate function. But the memories of a tyrannical government imposing its unjust, but lawful will from far away places was still fresh in the minds of our Founders when they ratified the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment was passed as the final part of the Bill of Rights, a series of amendments ratified to protect the individual from the Federal Government, to specifically keep the government within its boundaries.

But still, the Constitution is just an archaic remnant of yesterday’s generation, right? Everything the judiciary does today, without respect to whatever may be the supreme law of the land, is the law, right? Everything the Congress does today, without respect to whatever they may truly be restricted to, is law the law, right?

The very foundation of America was on resistance of government that claims powers that are not granted to it by the people. Our Republican form of government is incompatible with central tyranny. History shows us that government when left to its own will, unchecked, never results in good government.

Dr. King once issued one of the strongest warnings to the future regarding blind obedience to the law, when he stated “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

Although it is an extreme example, it is a very real one. Society must not neglect the lessons history wishes to teach, or a repeat of abuses will occur. In the case of Germany, what started with blind nationalism and a wish to restore a country’s dignity led to one man being given the power to accomplish this fact; the rest, is history.

In 1933, the Reichstag caught on fire and the result of this arson attack on Germany led to a power grab. The result was the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended many civil liberties and began the trend of intense prejudice that would become the violent Nazi legacy. An entire group of people, in this case being the Communists, were blamed for the fire and many were imprisoned within days. The individual responsible, Marinus von der Lubbe, may have been a Communist, but does that lay blame on an entire group of people? And so the problem of collectivist thought arises, but sadly, it only gets worse from here.

Early domestic opponents of the Nazis included political opponents, such as communists, socialists, and trade unionists. The first concentration camp at Dauchau was constructed just for these individuals, who had been demonized as a collective group to a point where national apathy could be achieved when the atrocities began. If a group is demoralized to a point, who will dare stand up for their rights?

Other victims of the Nazi regime were homosexuals, who were detained by the thousands. The Gestapo, carrying out the opinion of the regime that they defiled German blood, would round up many by the tens of thousands over a ten year period. For their supposed sexual abuse crimes, some were castrated and others were humiliated and tortured.

Several thousand Jehoval’s Witnesses were rounded up, as were several tens of thousands of Freemasons. The Action T4 program resulted in, in order to preserve the “genetic purity” of the German population, the round up of several tens of thousands of disabled individuals. Then there were the Romanis, Slavs, Serbs, Poles, and the Jews who were also rounded up and mistreated, subjected to cruel inhumane experiments, and executed.

And in one nation, this was the law.

There was no due process of law to protect these people, for if there were, it wouldn’t have occurred. Habeas corpus is an annoyance to a government with goals outside of justice. The Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazi regime, resorted to a series of tactics in violation of the Weimar Constitution. The Enabling Acts, which were passed by the Reichstag after the fire, overruled their Constitution.

But this was the law. And we shall, without question, obey the law, right?

Although thankfully, the United States has not fallen to this low, we still must not forget the lessons learned. The Nazi regime may have taught humanity that cruelty and oppression knows no boundaries, but it also taught us some serious lessons about collectivism and the law. The crimes against humanity committed by the Third Reich were the result of the denial of individual rights, by subscribing to the idea that an entire people, without regard to individual character, is guilty as a whole group. A single Communist had burned down the Reichstag, so all Communists were thus guilty of being violent arsonists. The further demoralization of an entire group leads to their demise being easier to swallow by the general population, for if the propaganda feeds it enough, a second thought will not be granted if it means protecting the interests of an infallible nation.

Martin Niemöller, a German pastor, is famous for a poem written after the fall of the regime. Written in remorse of his own inaction to help the victims of such tyranny, as well as about the inactivity of those around him, it lists a series of people who the Nazi government had come for. “When they came for…, I remained silent because I was not…”, and that was repeated a few times with different groups included. Then at the end, Niemöller, who himself was imprisoned at the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps, states “then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

This was all the result of intense prejudice and ignorance of the will of an unrestrained government.

Of course, this is why individualism is important. Individualism, an important pillar of the American Republic, is incompatible with racism. If one truly views each person as a miracle of existence, a free thinking being of limitless possibility, then racism is impossible. Racist thought is collectivist thought.

And a second important point, is that just because the law is the law, does not mean it is just. The U.S. Declaration of Independence is the greatest piece of resistance to tyranny in human history. The Declaration clearly states three principles in the beginning: each individual is created equally and with the same inherent rights that cannot be forcefully deprived (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”), the ultimate extent of government is decided from the people who it derives its power from (“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”), and thus the power to directly oppose the government’s will is just by the people when it oversteps its specifically delegated boundaries (“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”).

Nullification is the principle of keeping government in check, with the State acting on behalf of the people against unlawful powers claimed by the Federal Government. Thomas Jefferson, the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, stated in the Kentucky Resolution of 1798, “where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fœderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits.” Jefferson would go on to make the point, “that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.”

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, said in the Virginia Resolution of 1798, “in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil.”

Civil disobedience and peaceful resistance to unlawful acts of government is essential to maintaining a free government. Just as Northern States in the 1850s refused to obey Federal laws declaring that runaway slaves, individuals who were victims of legislated racism, were to be returned to their “owners” in the South, Martin Luther King Jr. refused to obey laws that were unjust, and thus not compatible with the natural law on which our Constitution is based upon.

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, remember that a central piece to the freedoms and liberties we enjoy in America are the principles of impartial justice and individual opportunity. When due process of law is deprived, when individual rights are infringed upon, and when such becomes widely accepted, history shows us that humanity walks down a dark road. This is why the principles of freedom and liberty are preferred by a people who wish to be secure in their individual pursuits, free from legislated prejudice. And in order to secure a prosperous future for our children, we must protect freedom against all tyranny.

Maine's Food Turf War

As reported yesterday by the Maine Tenth Amendment Center, the State has made good on its April 6th promise to prosecute farmers in towns that have passed a Food Sovereignty Ordinance. Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, has not backed down.

“It was not done as a statement. There were people who contacted our inspectors from that area, believe it or not, who were concerned that this might be a potential health problem,” Whitcomb told the Bangor Daily News. To his credit however, according to the same article, he acknowledges this is viewed as a larger “turf war.” No matter how many times Whitcomb stands by the summons against Brown, the fact still remains that this is a “turf war.” If it were not, then the letter would’ve never been sent to the municipalities who have passed or who were actively considering the ordinance.

A food safety risk? The summons lists some issues relating to Brown’s operations, based off of government tests of the product. The fact still remains however, that there are no cases of illnesses linked to the products, we just have the government’s word. And for those of you keeping score, the bigger corporations have developed an immunity to intervention from our great defenders in government. While many people get sick from E. Coli and Salmonella every year from disgusting factory conditions or general neglect in operations, the outrage seems to be calmed by a simple recall. And yet, nobody has become sick from Brown’s raw products, and he’s the next big threat.

Perhaps the big threat is Dan Brown. Perhaps the big threat does lie in each of the five towns that have passed the Food Sovereignty Ordinance. To maintain control, one cannot allow non-compliance to persist, as any Federal agency will tell you. Unfortunately, despite the change of leadership in Augusta, they still take pages from the Federal playbook.

Whitcomb didn’t stop there however, as he has implied an agenda is at work to undermine public safety. “It’s become a popularity contest versus human health,” Whitcomb is quoted as stating. Again, where is the human health problem? No illnesses have been reported in connection to Brown’s products.

Whitcomb did tell the Bangor Daily News that individuals had reported health concerns to the State. While perhaps there is a cause for concern, nobody was forced to purchase Brown’s product. It has become a big story over the last year that Blue Hill was among the five towns in a growing movement in defense of local agriculture, in direct defiance of Federal and State regulations. If any individual had any reservations, they reserve the right to not purchase the product. This is the nature of a free market economy, which many newcomers in Augusta have regularly attacked the previous Administration and opposing party for oppressing.

Contrary to the charge that this is a popularity contest with an agenda to undermine public safety, this is actually a movement to help local agriculture to prosper. The Republicans that now dominate Augusta have claimed that regulations have hurt the economy and that constant interference has injured otherwise prosperous businesses. It’s been often said that Democrats are the anti-business party. It appears to be however, that like in all other matters, the opposition to freedom is a bipartisan agreement among establishments.

So, as Whitcomb does observe, this is a turf war. The problem is, it shouldn’t be. Nobody has been forced to purchase Brown’s products, thus, there is no issue that the State should intervene in. If one has reservations, the simple answer is not to purchase it. We’re all responsible adults capable of making our own decisions. Beyond this, those who have decided to purchase Brown’s products have not gotten ill. So despite the claims from the State that there is a health safety risk, the facts would suggest otherwise.

Instead, the health risk that should be investigated is pasteurized milk, which studies continue to show it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. A Natural News article cited a report that found a “toxic chemical cocktail of 20 painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormones” in pasteurized milk. The article then continues, “In addition to containing drug-related chemicals such as niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen, the milk studied was found to contain the hormone 17-beta-estradiol. A form of the sex hormone oestrogen, the hormone was detected at three millionths of a gram in every kilogram of milk. Compared to niflumic acid, which was detected at less than one millionth of a gram per kilogram of milk, 17-beta-estradiol was found to have a much larger presence in the milk studied. Similar to the estrogen-mimicking bisphenol A (BPA), which has been found in a majority of plastic water bottles and food cans worldwide, 17-beta-estradiol can negatively impact the male hormonal balance in a way that can lead to unknown long-term consequences.”

The article continues on to state that farmers who do not shoot up their livestock with hormones and feed them chemically-treated produce have a much greater quality in milk, noting “Organic raw milk has been tied to a number of health benefits due to its role as a balanced food rich in vitamins and protein. Raw milk contains all 20 of the standard amino acids, which are considered to be the very building blocks of life.” It continues on to observe “it also contains a significant amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that has ties to increased fat loss and to improved metabolic function. The pasteurization process eliminates many of the nutrients that make raw milk a valued health food, virtually destroying the nutritional integrity of the drink.”

What is really the public safety risk, Mr. Whitcomb? Is there really a public safety risk, or just a possibility that the raw milk industry might actually win against the suppliers of chemically-loaded pasteurized milk?  Or that the people might actually disagree with the government and this resistance could present a serious problem for the control every controlling government wishes to maintain?

Stop the “turf war”, it’s a losing battle.