If you’ve gone ahead and read it, you know the basics. As Charlie Savage and Scott Shane explain, Obama Administration lawyers say killing an American would be lawful if an “informed, high-level official” determined three things:
- That the target is a ranking Al-Qaeda figure.
- That he or she poses “an imminent threat of violent attack” against America.
- That capture is not “feasible.”
That raises a lot of questions. What threshold of evidence, if any, must a high-ranking official meet to determine that someone is Al Qaeda? The burden is apparently less onerous than two witnesses testifying in open court, which the Constitution requires for a treason conviction. But the memo specifies neither an evidential threshold nor a protocol for meeting it. That is troubling.
PLEASE CONTINUE READING THRU LINKS. THE TOP LINK IS THE DOC ITSELF….
THE LINK BELOW IS TO A COLUMBIA LAW STUDY ON DRONES AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana
Wednesday, February 6, 20131:00pm
The Capitol Annex Building 700 Capitol Ave Loop, Frankfort, KY, 40601
Support the cause, the senators need to feel and hear your voice. Meet us at the Capital Hill Annex building and show your support for SB 11 (Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Bill). Chronically ill Kentucky citizens that have been debilitated by disease need your support. Please help our cause by coming out to the rally. You can also further support our cause by making an appointment to see your senator the same day. We can’t do it without you.
UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL!
We can make this happen!
Kentucky Veterans for Medical MarijuanaRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
FRANKFORT, Ky. — With support from some of the state’s top politicians and claims that it would create thousands of jobs, an effort to legalize industrial hemp — the less-potent cousin of marijuana — may have its best chance of passing the Kentucky General Assembly.
Opposition from the Kentucky State Police helped kill earlier efforts to legalize hemp, which can be processed into fiber for clothing or provide an oil used in skin- and hair-care products. Once legal, hemp production in the United States was centered in Kentucky. Production fell nationally after the mid-1800s, as cotton surged.
State police still oppose legalizing hemp, arguing in part that because the plants look virtually the same as marijuana it could impede drug enforcement efforts.
But the proposal to legalize hemp has gained momentum from the alliance of Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, state Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Paul Hornback, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
“This is something that you don’t have to borrow any money (for) that will have an immediate impact of thousands of jobs,” Comer said, based on an assumption that processors and manufacturers would locate in Kentucky if it is one of the first states to approve it. “We’re ahead at something that relates to economic development for once, so let’s pursue it.”
Comer and Paul say the state police concerns are unfounded because growers of industrial hemp would be licensed and global-positioning system devices would identify legal crops and reveal others as illegal.
Comer’s Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Hornback, a Republican from Shelbyville, was filed earlier this month just before the legislature adjourned until February.
The bill would require growers to be licensed annually and have their backgrounds checked by the Agriculture Department. Each licensee would be required to plant a minimum of 10 acres to eliminate people who aren’t serious from getting licenses.
Growers would have to keep sales contracts for three years and provide names of hemp buyers to the department.
Hemp seeds produce plants with less than 1 percent THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, which has between 3 percent and 15 percent THC.
Comer said he believes there are 22 votes in the 38-member Senate in favor of the bill. But if it isn’t assigned to Hornback’s committee by Senate President Robert Stivers and other Senate leaders, it may never get to the floor.
“I’m afraid I see problems in the Senate,” Comer said.
Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, said some members are uncomfortable with the bill.
If the measure passes the Senate, it likely will face an even tougher battle in the House, where Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McKee, a Democrat from Cynthiana, has blocked similar bills from getting a vote in the past
McKee has said the state police concerns resonate with him.
“I think we have some questions to answer, but I certainly don’t want to close any opportunity for viable agriculture,” McKee said earlier this month.
Gov. Steve Beshear said on a Lexington radio call-in show recently that his “only hesitation” is law enforcement concerns.
Even if an industrial hemp bill passed in Kentucky, it would still need federal approval. Federal drug policy effectively bans growing it, although other countries, such as Canada, allow it.
Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, has supported federal legislation to enable hemp production by classifying it separately from marijuana. Paul and Comer appeared together at the Kentucky State Fair last year to talk about their support for industrial hemp.
If legalized, Comer said he doesn’t see corn and soybean growers in Western Kentucky switching to industrial hemp, but he said it would be a profitable alternative for growers in hillier areas whose land is now used for grazing and pasture.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is excited to present this live online conference exploring how communities can be safer without the death penalty. The conference will be broadcast over the web and will be approximately one hour in length. View the conference right here, on this page!
This will be a video conference with presenters live in California, Maryland and Massachusetts. We need your help to advertise this event.
Join us for a fascinating discussion addressing the question, “does the death penalty actually keep us safer?” with Charles Ogletree, Harvard University and founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Ron McAndrew, former warden of Florida State Prison who conducted that state’s final electrocutions, Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person exonerated from death row using DNA evidence, and Jerry Givens, former corrections officer from Virginia who put 62 men to death during his 17 years as an executioner.
Send us your questions in advance by tweeting them to #abolition2012.
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States Legalizing Marijuana Will Violate Federal Law, Trigger Constitutional Showdown: DEA, Drug Czars
The Huffington Post | By Matt Ferner Posted: 10/15/2012 3:13 pm EDT
On a Monday teleconference call, former Drug Enforcement Agency administrators and directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy voiced a strong reminder to the U.S. Department of Justice that even if voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington pass ballot measures to legalize marijuana use for adults and tax its sale, the legalization of marijuana still violates federal law and the passage of these measures could trigger a "Constitutional showdown."
The goal of the call was clearly to put more pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to make a public statement in opposition to these measures. With less than 30 days before Election Day, the DOJ has yet to announce its enforcement intentions regarding the ballot measures that, if passed, could end marijuana prohibition in each state.
"Next month in Colorado, Oregon and Washington states, voters will vote on legalizing marijuana," Peter Bensinger, the moderator of the call and former administrator of the DEA during President Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations, began the call. "Federal law, the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions say that this cannot be done because federal law preempts state law."
Bensinger added: "And there is a bigger danger that touches every one of us — legalizing marijuana threatens public health and safety. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, drug driving arrests, accidents, and drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Drug treatment admissions are up and the number of teens using this gateway drug is up dramatically."
Bensinger was joined by a host of speakers including Bill Bennet and John Walters, former directors of the While House Office of National Drug Control Policy; Chief Richard Beary of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); Dr. Robert L. DuPont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and who was also representing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and several others.
In response to the drug warriors calling out Holder again to take a strong public stance against these marijuana legalization measures, Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group behind Colorado’s Amendment 64 said to The Huffington Post:
We believe anything claimed by participants on the call today needs to be taken with many grains of salt. These people have made a living off marijuana prohibition and the laws that keep this relatively benign substance illegal. The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.
This is an election about Colorado law and whether the people of Colorado believe that we should continue wasting law enforcement resources to maintain the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Our nation was founded upon the idea that states would be free to determine their own policies on matters not delegated to the federal government. The Controlled Substance Act itself acknowledges that Congress never intended to have the federal government fully ‘occupy the field’ of marijuana policy. We hope the Obama administration respects these state-based policy debates. If Amendment 64 is adopted by the people of Colorado, there will be sufficient time before any new businesses are established for state and federal officials to discuss the implications.
Today’s call elaborated on a September letter that nine former DEA heads sent to Holder strongly urging him to oppose Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon. "To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives," the nine said in the letter to holder obtained by Reuters.
A month before the 2010 election in California, Holder vowed to "vigorously enforce" federal marijuana laws and warned that the government would not look the other way and allow a state marijuana market to emerge. California’s Proposition 19 was narrowly defeated in 2010 and the pressure is on Holder again to voice opposition to these 2012 measures.
When pressed by a reporter during a Q & A following the call if the group was at all surprised that Holder had not yet made a statement about the measures, former drug czar John Walters replied, "I think it’s shocking. All you have to do is say things that this administration has already said. It would help enormously and I think it would defeat these measures."
Both Colorado and Washington’s pot ballot measures are quite popular with voters, according to recent polling and have been backed by an increasingly diverse group across a range of ideological perspectives.
In Colorado, if marijuana is legalized it would be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
- by Steve Williams
- October 10, 2012
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has again treated us to his “textualist” reading of the Constitution, telling an American Enterprise Institute audience that unfettered abortion access, “homosexual sodomy” and the retiring of the death penalty are all “easy” to decide against.
“The death penalty? It’s easy. Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy,” Scalia told the AEI faithful.
“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added. “Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”
Scalia’s mantra is that the Constitution is not to be treated as a living, breathing document whose promise of Liberty evolves with its people, but rather an iron-clad relic that should be read as it was set down, and in only that way.
This illuminating talk from Scalia comes as several marriage equality cases stand ready to be taken up by the Supreme Court, a number that will directly challenge the federal law that bans the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act.
Another case on the Supreme Court’s docket in the coming months, likely after the November elections it would now seem, will be the Proposition 8 case where a federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the voting majority of California violated state and federal guarantees of equal protection in 2008 by defining away the right to marry a same-sex partner.
Scalia, a Reagan appointee, has sat on the bench for much of the life of the gay rights struggle. He has consistently found cause to rule against gay rights. Most notably, Scalia dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that would serve to eventually make unenforceable state level bans on sodomy.
In the dissent Scalia, while terming the sodomy ban “facially neutral” even though the Texas ban applied solely to homosexual acts, wrote:
Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.
While this may give us a rather face-slapping clue as to Scalia’s overall opinion of gay rights, the case may be of particular interest in that, with his dissent, Scalia found room to criticize the Court’s majority for its concern over the criminalization of sodomy leading to discrimination, citing that this ignored the will of the people:
So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously “mainstream”; that in most States what the Court calls “discrimination” against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal.
Proposition 8′s defenders have harped, seemingly to play a tune to which a conservative judiciary might hum, that the voting people of California, through the democratic process, decided against gay marriage and therefore the will of the people should stand — this of course sidesteps the fact that minority rights will nearly always and by their nature find disfavor at a majority poll.
While Scalia’s approach to law, his “textualist” attitude, seems to give him easy answers on topics like abortion restriction and, to quote again “homosexual sodomy,” one can’t help but feel that a judge who knows how he will rule before he has heard the individual cases at hand might be going in with a level of bias that is, to say the least, concerning.
However, for those of us familiar with Scalia’s views on a variety of topics, none perhaps more eyebrow-raising than his refrain that sex discrimination is Constitutionally sound, Scalia’s latest volley against reason and equality, and his apparent admission that being a Supreme Court justice is “easy” when it comes to issues like these, will not be a surprise.
Equal rights proponents were never looking to Scalia for affirmation, but then Scalia’s celebrity has already been cemented among religious conservatives, legislators like Scott Brown, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has said he would be looking to appoint similarly minded judges.
Scalia’s latest AEI talk serves, then, as a healthy reminder of what that would mean for America.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Washington, D.C. — Late last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. Ten years after the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) filed its petition, the courts will finally review the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic value of marijuana. The D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on October 16th at 9:30am.
“Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “This is a rare opportunity for patients to confront politically motivated decision-making with scientific evidence of marijuana’s medical efficacy,” continued Elford. “What’s at stake in this case is nothing less than our country’s scientific integrity and the imminent needs of millions of patients.”
ASA filed its lawsuit in January, challenging the July 2011 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denial of the CRC petition, which was filed in 2002. The DEA is the final arbiter on petitions to reclassify controlled substances, but other agencies are also involved in the review process. Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance in that rescheduling petitions are encumbered by politics and therapeutic research is subjected to a unique and overly rigorous approval process.
The announcement of oral arguments comes just weeks after a study was published in The Open Neurology Journal by Dr. Igor Grant one of the leading U.S. medical marijuana researchers, claiming that marijuana’s Schedule I classification is “not tenable.” Dr. Grant and his fellow researchers concluded it was “not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.” The study urged additional research, and stated that marijuana’s federal classification and its political controversy are “obstacles to medical progress in this area.” Marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance (along with heroin) is based on the federal government’s position that it has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
For more than a year, the Obama Justice Department has been escalating its attacks in medical marijuana states, including dozens of new federal indictments and prosecutions. Though U.S. Attorneys often claim that the accused have violated state law in some way, defendants are prevented from using any medical evidence or a state law defense in federal court. If the rescheduling lawsuit is successful and marijuana is reclassified, federal defendants will then gain the basis for a medical necessity defense.
The ASA appeal brief asserts that the federal government has acted arbitrarily and capriciously in its efforts to deny marijuana to millions of patients throughout the U.S. ASA argues in its brief that the DEA has no “license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case.” ASA is urging the court to “require the DEA to analyze the scientific data evenhandedly,” and order “a hearing and findings based on the scientific record.” The panel of judges assigned to hear oral arguments includes Circuit Judges Henderson and Garland, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted medical marijuana laws that not only recognize the medical efficacy of marijuana, but also provide safe and legal access to it. Since the CRC petition was filed in 2002, an even greater number of studies have been published that show the medical benefits of marijuana for illnesses such as neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. Last year, the National Cancer Institute, a division of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, added cannabis to its list of Complementary and Alternative Medicines, pointing out that it’s been therapeutically used for millennia.
AFI: Several patient-plaintiffs are available for interviews
Mr. Britt is a 52-year-old resident of Long Beach, California, who developed polio as a child, which caused him to have scoliosis, a fused left ankle, shortened left leg, and bone degeneration in his left hip. Mr. Britt also suffers from epilepsy, depression and insomnia, and uses marijuana to treat chronic pain in his leg, back, and hip. Marijuana has reduced Mr. Britt’s seizures and depression, and helps him sleep. Although Mr. Britt has taken prescription medication such as Marinol, Robaxin, Soma, and Xanax, none has proven as effective as marijuana.
Mr. Krawitz is a 49-year-old resident of Elliston, Virginia, who suffered an automobile accident in 1984 while serving in the United States Air Force. Mr. Krawitz has been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as being totally and permanently disabled. Mr. Krawitz uses marijuana to treat chronic pain and trauma associated with his accident. He also use marijuana to treat central serous retinopathy. However, because of Mr. Krawitz’s medical marijuana use, he has been denied pain treatment by the VA.
Ms. Sherer is a resident of Washington, D.C. and the founder and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). In April of 2000, Ms. Sherer suffered a physical attack that has caused her to suffer from a condition that produced inflammation, muscle spasms, pain throughout her body, and decreased mobility in her neck. Because of multiple pain medications she was prescribed, Ms. Sherer suffered kidney damage. After her doctor recommended medical marijuana, Ms. Sherer successfully reduced her inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain. This prompted Ms. Sherer to found ASA in April of 2002 to share what she learned about the therapeutic value of marijuana and to change public policy.
D.C. Circuit announcement of oral arguments: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/ASA_v_DEA_Oral_Arguments.pdf
ASA appeal brief: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/CRC_Appeal.pdf
DEA denial of CRC petition: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/CRC_Petition_DEA_Answer.pdf
CRC rescheduling petition: http://www.drugscience.org/PDF/Petition_Final_2002.pdf
“Any person who has committed a belligerent act” against the US can be detained.
S.1253 has become S.1867
H.R. 1540: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1540&tab=summary
S. 1867: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1867
Final Senate vote on the bill: http://1.usa.gov/NDAAvote
Final Vote in the House: http://bit.ly/NDAAHouseVote
How it unfolded in the Senate: http://1.usa.gov/NDAAsteps
NDAA Final Transcript from the Senate Floor: http://bit.ly/NDAAfinal
List of Twitter IDs for senators who voted for/against the NDAA: http://on.fb.me/TweetListNDAA
Impeach Every Senator Who Votes for “U.S. is a Battlefield” Bill that Violates Basic Rights”: http://bit.ly/Impeach
Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law: http://bit.ly/NDAAscoop
Laws governing recall – http://bit.ly/u1QNeH
Recall of state officials – http://bit.ly/cXXIL
Recall of local officials – http://bit.ly/1x04rd
Recall the ndaa traitors. – http://bit.ly/utc7wx
The full legislation and voting – http://bit.ly/lH31x3
Procedure for recall state and local officials pdf – http://1.usa.gov/7MMKXD
NDAA: Liberty Preservation Act – http://bit.ly/zIpCmXRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Saturday, 31 March 2012 21:09
How did it get this far? Even a naturalized citizen like me and tens of millions of others who took an oath to uphold the Constitution can clearly see that the United States is no longer a constitutional republic with limited powers.
Article I Section 8, which enumerates the federal government’s powers, has been ignored by Congress and the Supreme Court for nearly two centuries. Congress has passed laws that presidents from both major parties have signed that egregiously expanded federal power.
Cleverly, big government advocates have hung their hat on the Commerce Clause instead, which gives the federal government the power to “regulate” interstate commerce. By invoking the Commerce Clause, statists have created America’s unsustainable welfare state–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.
An accurate historical reading of the Commerce Clause turns this interpretation on its head. As Judge Napolitano has pointed out, the Founders wanted to make commerce “regular” in the fledgling republic by removing trade restrictions and other burdens so commerce could flow seamlessly between the states. In other words, the Commerce Clause was not intended to give the federal government open-ended power to interfere with business activity.
Moreover, a free society requires freedom. The ability of the people to invent, produce, trade, consume, save and enjoy the fruits of their labor is supposed to be the essence of America. In other words, a limited government, free enterprise republic needs the government to secure the borders and protect liberty, not order people how to live their lives.
If all the Supreme Court justices who heard the challenge to Obamacare this past week were faithful to their oaths to uphold the constitution, they would have excoriated the Solicitor General who was defending Obamacare, and castigated the President and the Congress for creating a law that was an affront to the Constitution—and an assault on the American people’s liberties. In addition, the Supremes should have taken one giant step for liberty by stating that they will strike down all laws that have been enacted that are inconsistent with Article I Section 8 of the Constitution. Maybe they will do so in their ruling about Obamacare that is due in June. However, I would not hold my breath that all nine justices will “see the light,” namely, that Obamacare is the latest statist piece of unconstitutional legislation that must be struck down.
If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, root and branch, the march to liberty could accelerate.
That would mean that Ron Paul has won, even if he is not elected president this year. The Ron Paul Revolution, the movement to restore the Constitution, is gaining strength day by day.
We have a long way to go to recreate a free society, but like all great journeys, we must agitate for what is right and honorable, a limited government republic, and not give up the fight worth fighting.
Murray Sabrin is a professor of finance at Ramapo College and blogs at www.MurrarySabrin.com.
RECENT COLUMNS BY MURRAY SABRINRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” —President John F. Kennedy
Tim McCown reports on the Examiner:
On Ron Paul’s website it was duly noted that H.R. 347 could make the First Amendment illegal. No one is really covering this bill and the major media call it non-controversial. The innocent sounding bill titled The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 was passed Tuesday with only three dissenting votes including Ron Paul, and passed unanimously in the Senate. This bill dubbed the Anti-Occupy law was passed without one single Democrat speaking up for the First Amendment.
Once this Bill is signed into law some including Ron Paul believe it will make it a felony to exercise your first Amendment rights of Free Speech. Several of those commenting opined that the nearly unanimous vote proves that despite all the posturing both parties stand shoulder to shoulder in their defense of the greed and entitlement of the 1% from the rest of us. When you couple this with the indefinite detention of Americans in the National Defense Authorization Act it is clear that Obama is part of a ruling corporate oligarchy and is surely no Progressive.
Read more here.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )