Numerous states are involved in a general plan to stop President Obama and the federal government from further encroachment on the rights of the states and individuals, based on the Tenth Amendment and Article V of the Constitution. Their plan goes around Congress and the government, using nullification to do away with unconstitutional laws and a Convention of the States to Constitutionally check the power of the federal government, something that more and more people are supporting. Of course, the mainstream media is virtually ignoring the nullification and Convention of States movement, as they more or less support the expansion and overreach of the federal government. It has fallen to sites like this one, and many others in the alternative media, to share the news about nullification and the Convention with you. Many people have criticized the efforts by some states to nullify federal laws within their borders, claiming that states don’t have that power. But in reality, states do indeed have the Constitutional right to nullify federal laws like Obamacare or gun control.
Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, passed by both houses and signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.
Critics will often point to the “supremacy clause” of the Constitution as rendering state nullification illegal, but the Tenth Amendment Center argues otherwise.
The major argument used by those that oppose Nullification is the Constitution’s supremacy clause. But in fact, the arguments for the supremacy clause ARE the arguments for nullification. The major architects of the Constitution, and those that led the fight for its adoption, laid down what the supremacy clause meant during the ratifying conventions. By doing so, they defended state sovereignty, and set the stage for the negation of unconstitutional actions. [The Founders] established the means for the states to defend themselves and their citizens from a general government that exceeding its authority and that power is NULLIFICATION.
Then there is Article V of the Constitution, which spells out two methods for amending the document. The first method, and the only one used thus far, is through Congress. The second, and untried method, bypasses Congress and falls to the states, allowing them to call a Convention of the States, if two-thirds of the states agree and apply, for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. Any proposed amendments would need three-fourths of the states to agree on the amendment and then ratify it through their state legislators. Once that occurs, the amendment would be added to the Constitution and have the same power and authority as any other part of the document. Last year, around 100 lawmakers from several different states held a meeting at Mt. Vernon to discuss an Article V Convention, and get the process started. Since that time, a number of states have proposed or passed resolutions, or at least shown interest in a convention, but only a couple of states have actually officially applied for a convention. If the requisite number of states eventually apply for a convention, such a convention would likely be limited to considering only a handful of possible amendments. Those would likely include such things as a balanced budget, mandatory caps on spending or taxes, Congressional term limits, and increased oversight on federal agencies and courts, among other things. These are the two main methods for states to legally stop Obama and the ever-growing federal government, and reclaim their sovereignty and authority within their borders. The nullification route is fairly straightforward, and requires only the will of the state legislature and the people to stand up and resist the federal government. The Convention of the States is a far more involved and in-depth method, requiring cooperation from an overwhelming majority of states and the people, but the results would be more far-reaching and lasting than individual state nullification efforts.
Obama: New Foreign Policy Plan Includes Anti-Terrorism Fund, Continued Drone Strikes
By: Annabelle Bamforth May 28, 2014
Watch Obama Speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DIr2KieO3I#t=31
West Point, NY- In his commencement address to the United States Military Academy, President Barack Obama made many broad remarks about his new foreign policy plan for the United States. While defending past foreign policy procedures he hinted at less global involvement, saying “to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution.”
Obama expressed determination to find a balance between isolationism and interventionist practices. “At least since George Washington served as commander in chief, there have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that do not touch directly on our security or economic well-being,” said Obama. However, he continued that “it is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option. We don’t have a choice to ignore what happens beyond our borders. If nuclear materials are not secure, that poses a danger to American citizens.”
While declaring that the chances of a direct threat to the US are low, Obama remained adamant that terrorism continues to be a menace. He seeks to establish a $5 billion “terrorism partnership fund” that the White House said will train and equip other countries to fight terrorism. The fund would also be used to enact “expanded or enhanced DOD activities, such as Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Special Operations; and other activities,” according to a White House fact sheet.
Obama plans to cut military presence in Afghanistan down to 9,800 troops in December and slash that number in half 2015. His speech was filled with generalized statements such as:
“U.S. military action cannot be the only – or even primary – component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”
Despite reducing active military overseas and implying a humbler foreign policy, President Obama will continue the use of drone strikes. “Let me make one final point about our efforts against terrorism,” Obama said. “The partnerships I’ve described do not eliminate the need to take direct action when necessary to protect ourselves.”
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As Goes Walmart, So Goes America: “Major Holes Are Starting to Form In Its Business”
May 23rd, 2014
According to a recent report from Motley Fool, the behemoth’s same stores sales in the U.S. have dropped precipitously and internationally they have outright collapsed, signalling serious trouble ahead.
Wal-Mart has begun to lose its cache with consumers and major holes arestarting to form in its business.
Interestingly, Wal-Mart has hidden its financial problems from the headlines because challenges are different around the world, masking themselves in the overall picture.
But when you dig between the headlines you can see a company in serious trouble and could be the latest in a long line of leading retailers to go from boom to bust in the blink of an eye.
The problem for Wal-Mart goes far further than just cyclical swings in retail or a weak economy. Wal-Mart has long been able to lure customers with one-stop shopping and low prices, but consumer trends are now working against that core strategy. For cost conscious shoppers, lower prices can often be found online and more affluent consumers are choosing style and quality products over one-stop shopping.
Here’s where Wal-Mart’s story gets really interesting. Sales in the U.S. are beginning to struggle, but overseas the company’s profitability is in downright freefall.
In an earlier report we noted that economist John Williams says a deep recession will likely become official by Summer of this year, when the government releases it latest economic growth numbers.
According to Williams, consumers in America are strapped because of stagnant incomes and rising costs for food, energy and health care, leaving little money in consumers’ pockets for other purchases. “The consumer doesn’t have the liquidity to fuel the growth in consumption,” Williams says, a serious implication that is a key reason for why Walmart is seeing same store sales collapse and return on investment shrink across the board.
In June of 2009 trend forecaster Gerald Celente, in an interview on Infowars with Alex Jones, discussed the parallels between Walmart and the United States of America, suggesting that as goes Walmart, so goes America.
When you hear these advertisements where Walmart brags about everyday low prices, well sure, we’re turning into a Walmart economy.
With everyday low prices comes everyday low paying jobs. With everyday low paying jobs, comes everyday low quality. So every day America is sinking lower and lower.
Since then we’ve learned that a large percentage of Walmart employees make so little money that they have to depend on the government for nutritional assistance, joining nearly 48 million other Americans in the process. Morale at the company has always been low, as evidenced by the often sullen faces seen when being “greeted” upon entering a local store. This mirrors the general sentiment in many parts of America as the financial and economic destruction of the last five years takes it toll.
For many, Walmart has become the soup kitchen of the modern day bread line. One could even argue that the only reason Walmart hasn’t yet gone bankrupt is because of the surge of monthly customers who receive Electronic Benefits Transfers from the government and head straight to the low-cost retailer to spend their taxpayer subsidized income on food, clothing and other knick-knacks they offer.
Just as Walmart has been sinking over the last several years, so too has America.
Our national debt has skyrocketed, Americans dependent on monthly disbursements just to survive have hit historic highs, and there are more people out of the labor force today than there are working.
Taken in this context Walmart’s success or failure certainly seems to mirror that of the United States as a whole.
Like Walmert, iconic retailers Montgomery Ward, Sears, and K-Mart were once believed to be immune from the busts normally associated with economic downturns and new competition. The United States, another super power in its sphere of influence, also seems indestructible for these reasons.
Reality is catching up with both of them.
Wed, 28 May 2014 15:38:25 GMT
The Essential Role of Volatility, Stress and Dissent
Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
May 26th, 2014
Reader Views: 275
The individual or system that never experiences dissent, volatility or stress is systemically unhealthy and increasingly prone to sudden “gosh, I didn’t see this coming” collapse.
To say that volatility, stress, dissent are not just healthy, but essential for maintaining health sounds counter-intuitive. On an individual level, we try to avoid exertion, stress and crisis, and on a larger systemic level, our institutions devote enormous resources to minimizing systemic volatility and suppressing dissent.
In other words, the notion that stress and dissent are to be avoided is scale-invariant: it works the same for individuals, households, enterprises, economies, governments and empires.
What got me thinking about this was some recent research that suggests short bursts of physical exertion several times a day yields the equivalent positive results as 20+ minutes of strenuous workout in the gym.
Doing some strenuous exercise for 60 seconds a few times of day appears to trigger the same immune response and repair systems that longer duration exercise engenders.
Why does this matter? On a practical level, many of us have a hard time finding time to go to a gym every day. Those of us over 50 find that sustained vigorous exercise increases the odds of injury.
On a natural-selection level, the benefits arising from short bursts of strenuous exercise fits into our basic survival need to be ready to sprint, lift a heavy object, etc., that is, perform some brief exertion to escape danger or obtain the necessities of life.
In the hunter-gatherer world that shaped the human genome, calories are too scarce to squander on 20+ minutes a day of vigorous workout; the payoff simply isn’t worth the costly expenditure of calories.
So the fact that three 60-second bursts of exertion are enough to maintain strength and endurance makes sense in a natural-selection analysis in which the minimum number of calories are consumed to maintain the optimum sustainable fitness for survival.
There is another form of survival fitness, of course, the ability to walk/jog for miles/kilometers a day, day after day. We clearly need both types of fitness to be resilient and healthy.
The key to the benefits of short bursts of exertion (fort example, 50 jumping jacks or 20 burpees, etc.) is that this stress signals the body to rebuild muscle tissue and activate multiple immune responses to the damage caused by the exertion.
In terms of systems, stress, volatility and dissent are essential because only these forces trigger systemic reform, repair and rebuilding.
Anecdotally, I’ve found that a regime of brief exertions maintain strength despite significant gaps in sustained exercise; missing a week or so (due to illness, travel, etc.) doesn’t degrade one’s core strength much, once a certain level of fitness is reached.
Exertion also stresses the heart-lung systems, in effect pushing all the major systems out of low-volatility steady-state default settings.
This aligns with what we’ve learned about how systems respond when feedback and information is limited or suppressed. This is one of the key insights of Nassim Taleb’s work on black swans and risk. In manipulating systems to maintain a steady-state of financial stability, the Federal Reserve and the central state have doomed the entire system to collapse.
The same can be said of a political system that suppresses dissent, punishes whistleblowers and treats its entire citizenry as potential enemies of the state: the greater the suppression of dissent and transparency, the greater the certainty of eventual crisis and collapse.
In effect, the central state/bank insure the economy and society have lost the ability to respond positively to volatility and stress. Suppressing dissent and volatility guarantee systemic failure and collapse.
Taleb explained why in the June 2011 issue of Foreign Affairs: “Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.”
As Taleb has explained, the very act of suppressing volatility and dissent renders systems extremely prone to large-scale disruptions that are viewed as low-probability events, the infamous “black swans.”
In terms of human health, the systemic fragility that arises from a low-exertion lifestyle is masked by steady-state normalcy that appears superficially low-risk. The fragility is only revealed when the individual does some strenuous work, and the brittle systems are unable to respond to the stress and fail (for instance, a heart attack).
Political economies in which dissent, volatility and the stress of financial panics have been suppressed or eliminated by manipulation (for example, allowing banks to mark their assets to fantasy rather than to the market value of the assets) become increasingly fragile, as the repair/reform responses triggered by stress, dissent and volatility have been systematically eliminated.
In a healthy economy, dissent and the volatility of market-clearing insolvency act just like bursts of exertion, stressing the system enough to trigger repairs/reforms. Stripped of these signals, the systems ossify and become too brittle to absorb the shock of dissent/volatility/stress when these forces break through centralized suppression.
Diseases such as diabetes seem to be fostered by a steady-state lifestyle of a corrosive diet and no strenuous exercise. Since no signals of repair/reform are triggered, the individual/household/enterprise/economy gets more brittle and prone to failure with every passing day, even as risks of collapse appear minimal on the surface.
(It is important to note that anyone who is out of shape cannot just jump into a routine of strenuous exercise. Resilience, flexibility, strength and endurance must be built up slowly over time. Check with a doctor who is familiar with your medical history before starting a fitness program.)
The individual or system that never experiences dissent, volatility or stress is systemically unhealthy and increasingly prone to sudden “gosh, I didn’t see this coming” collapse. The individual who walks daily (i.e. aerobic exercise) is healthier than the couch potato, but the individual who routinely engages in short bouts of strenuous activity has the added benefits of triggering rebuilding/repair responses.
Political economies, government agencies, enterprises and communities are no different, as all systems respond the same way: either growing brittle and vulnerable by suppressing dissent and volatility or maintaining strength, resilience and adaptability by encouraging dissent and volatility.
Our centralized government and bank have spared no expense to ruthlessly suppress these essential forces of healthy systems at every turn. The cost of their gross incompetence has yet to be paid, but it will be paid, and in full, in the years ahead.
This essay was drawn from Musings Report 8. The Musings Reports are sent weekly to subscribers and major contributors.
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Is NYC ‘Fat-Shaming’ Students? Third-Grader Told She Is Overweight In Letter
By Oulimata Ba | May 23, 2014 01:05 PM EDT
Gwendolyn Williams, a third-grader at P.S. 29, was sent home with a letter that classified her Body Mass Index as “overweight.” (Photo : Twitter)
A New York City third-grader was sent home from school with a note declaring she is “overweight,” the New York Post reported.
At 66 pounds, 9-year-old Gwendolyn Williams is unhealthy according to the weight range the city’s Department of Education follows to classify girls her age. Titled “Fitnessgrams,” the letter said because Williams’ Body Mass Index is 19, she falls “outside of a healthy weight,” according to the letter obtained by the NY Post.
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“I’m 4-foot-1, and 66 pounds, and I’m like what?!” the P.S. 29 student told the newspaper after she received the letter.
“I just don’t think that it’s fair to be called overweight when you’re not really overweight,” the Staten Island girl said.
All students in the city’s public school system received the Fitnessgram, which carry the results of their weight and height that was measured last November.
Williams’ mother complained to the school’s principle about the letter, who told her that students were not supposed to open them.
“My response is, they’re kids. How can you believe they’re not going to open it?” Laura Bruij Williams told the NY Post.
The DOE supported the Fitnessgrams, saying they are “just one indicator…which helps students develop personal goals for lifelong health,” a spokeswoman told the newspaper.
But experts say the BMI reports can inflict damage to a child’s self-esteem.
Chevese Turner, from the Binge Eating Disorder Association, told the NY Post that BMI was created years ago by insurance companies that wanted to rate people’s health in groups instead of individually.
“Dieting, especially for kids, is the gateway drug for eating disorders, and so is the public shaming that can come with this,” Turner said referring to the Fitnessgrams.
“My organization and others believe that BMI report cars have no place coming from schools and can be more harmful than helpful,” Turner said.
In the meantime Gwendolyn, who likes to ride the scooter and plays softball, is not taking the Fitnessgram seriously.
“I know that I’m not overweight, so why should I believe the New York Department of Education?” she told the newspaper.
via Is NYC ‘Fat-Shaming’ Students? Third-Grader Told She Is Overweight In Letter : News : Headlines & Global News.