IndyTruth Blog
Now is time to proclaim our 10th Amendment right 
Thursday, February 5, 2009, 11:37 PM - Activism, Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
In reference to federal raids on medical marijuana shops in California, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said today, "The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind."

If this truly is the new President's policy, it may be the key for Americans to restore their liberty during the Obama presidency. Our best strategy for restoring liberty may be to start with the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified December 15, 1791 as the finishing touch on the Bill of Rights: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Eight state legislatures are currently considering resolutions which assert a state's authority under the Tenth Amendment to handle issues not delegated to the U.S. government by the Constitution. These are Arizona, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington. Former gubernatorial candidate Andy Horning has proposed a resolution for Indiana, but it does not yet have a sponsor in the state assembly.

States will most likely have a reason to pass a resolution like this and to challenge the federal government if there is a specific issue it wishes to handle itself. In Oklahoma, the effort is motivated by a desire to pass strict immigration laws. States such as California and Michigan could do it to protect their allowance of medical marijuana.

States will most likely have a reason to pass a resolution like this and to challenge the federal government if there is a specific issue it wishes to handle itself. In Oklahoma, the effort is motivated by a desire to pass strict immigration laws. States such as California and Michigan could do it to protect their medical marijuana laws.

On the issue of marijuana regulation, the Supreme Court ruled in the 2004 case of Gonzales v. Raich that it fit within Congress' role of regulating interstate commerce. The six Justices who voted on the side of the federal government neglected the fact that growing a few plants in your home for personal use doesn't involve any interstate commercial activity.

The Justices who voted against the federal government made some very important statements of dissent.

Justice Clarence Thomas: "Our federalist system, properly understood, allows California and a growing number of other States to decide for themselves how to safeguard the health and welfare of their citizens."

More from Justice Thomas:
If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress' Article I powers -- as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause -- have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to "appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce...

If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance to the people of New York that the "powers delegated" to the Federal Government are "few and defined", while those of the States are "numerous and indefinite.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "Federalism promotes innovation by allowing for the possibility that "a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country"

There is still a case to be made that the federal government has no business raiding medical marijuana users in states that allow it. And it appears that President Obama wants to respect the states' decision on that issue. There are many other federal regulations against which we could make this same argument, and we should pressure our state governments to exercise their constitutional authority to handle those issues or allow their citizens to handle them independently. If there is ever a time in our lifetimes to proclaim our Tenth Amendment right, that time is now!
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Wasteful pork in the Obama “stimulus” bill 
Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 05:19 PM - Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
The idea of an economic stimulus bill is to improve the state of the economy. One has to wonder what these provisions in Obama’s $900 billion stimulus package would do to help the economy:
  • $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
  • A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
  • $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
  • $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
  • $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
  • $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters
  • $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.
  • $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
  • $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
  • $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."
  • $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
  • $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
  • $500 million for state and local fire stations.
  • $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.
  • $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.
  • $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
  • $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
  • $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • $850 million for Amtrak.
  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
  • $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
  • $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
In the free market, a company can only spend money on something useful. It is not profitable for a company to waste money on producing a useless product that nobody will use. For the government there is no incentive. It could spend $850 million on trains that nobody rides, and there is no consequence. Since the government cannot create wealth out of thin air, it has to be redirected out of the free market and into the hands of the government through taxes or inflation of the money supply. Government spending draws resources from productive endeavors in the free market to wasteful government projects. This will only further weaken the economy. The key to fixing our economic crisis is to get money out of the wasteful hands of the government and back into the pockets of the American people, where their spending, saving, and investment will use it to stimulate the economy.

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Should Libertarians Compromise on Property Taxes? 
Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 01:42 AM - Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
A post by Liberty Pile at Bureaucrash posed the question of whether libertarians should make compromises. He starts with a quote from Murray Rothbard, "the day-to-day compromises of supposedly ‘practical’ politics get pulled inexorably in the collectivist direction." The key for us to approach compromise is to not sacrifice any freedom in exchange for another. An action is not compromise if it grants a segment of liberty and does nothing to remove any segment of liberty.

The matter of compromise was a sort of the theme of our last Indianapolis Libertarian Meetup (or maybe it's always the theme for libertarians). We discussed whether libertarians should support Governor Mitch Daniels' property tax caps. Most people seemed to be in agreement that these caps would not guarantee lower taxes in any way, and that reducing spending is the only way to accomplish that. By supporting these caps we would give nothing up in exchange for the caps. However, the caps do not offer any actual tax relief, so we would gain nothing either. Shifting taxes around only sustains the system we are trying to fight. I would interpret this as a compromise because we would reinforce a system of unfair taxation.

An idea we discussed was making property taxes fair and consistent, by setting a permanent assessment at the sale of a property. This would prevent the assessor from coming in and saying that you owe $1,000 more this year (I know people who had this happen last year). It would also let the market determine the value of the property, rather than the assessor's opinion.

Is making property taxes fair and consistent a compromise? If our ultimate desire is to eliminate property taxes, then one could argue that it is. I have heard many anarchist-leaning libertarians argue that authorizing any level of government is a compromise of liberty and permission of enslavement. While I agree with an anarchist society as the ideal, I do not see it as a compromise to move government in the direction of liberty even though it is not the ideal final solution. Assessing property value exclusively at the sale would reduce the government's ability to come and take my property away. While not granting me total rights to the property as I feel is the moral and constitutional solution, this is a restoration of a segment of my property rights. It does nothing to remove any amount of liberty from me. This is not a compromise because I make no new sacrifice, but I do gain something from it.

As long as we are moving in the direction of liberty and reducing the size of government, we are on the right path. As soon as we exchange a piece of liberty for a piece of authority, we are compromising our principles; we are compromising our liberty.
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International regulation of your house 
Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 09:09 PM - Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
All eyes are on Washington D.C. this month as a new Congress convenes and a new President is inaugurated. Honestly, so far this year, I have paid little attention to the Capitol other than enjoying the latest Kucinich video on C-SPAN Junkie. Instead, I am much more intrigued with what is happening at the state level.

Today, I heard about an exciting bill that would provide for gold and silver transactions with the State of Indiana (but more on that in a future post), and that got me browsing through the General Assembly web site to see what else our state representatives and senators have in store for us. A bill that caught my eye was SB 284, regarding the International Energy Conservation Code. What is the International Energy Conservation Code and how could some international institution get to dictate what Indiana does with its energy?

The synopsis of the IECC bill explains that it

Requires the fire and building safety commission to adopt the most recent edition of the International Energy Conservation Code before July 1, 2010. Requires the commission to adopt any subsequent editions of the code not later than 18 months after the effective date of the subsequent edition.

I was already concerned when I read this, because I am not sure what energy conservation has to do with fire and building safety. Is someone trying to use regulations intended to save lives as a means to serve some allegedly environmentalist agenda?

It turns out that they aren't only trying to do it. The IECC has already been adopted in a large number of states. In fact, in the 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct) Congress mandated that all states must review and consider adopting the national model energy standard. It is interesting that Congress feels it can mandate that states regulate something. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution comes close to giving the federal government the authority to regulate anything, let alone to mandate states to adopt regulations. 38 states and D.C. don't seem to mind, and have adopted some form of IECC or or national model energy standards for residential building codes (40+1 have regulated commercial codes). Indiana has adopted statewide standards older than 1998, which I would assume to mean they submitted to Congress' EPAct, but haven't let the International Code Council increase the bullying over the last a decade. Now that it is 2009, state senator Sue Errington (D-26) has decided that 10+ years behind is just too much. It is time that Indiana submit to the new world order of housing regulation.

The IECC might sound pretty to the average tree hugging Al Gore pupil. The Responsible Energy Codes Alliance brags that it

  • Effectively conserve energy
  • Minimizes increases in construction costs
  • Allows the use of new materials, products or methods of construction
  • Eliminates preferential treatment for particular industries or types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction.
From the perspective of someone who understands the nature of human rights and the intent of the Founders of our nation, it translates to

  • Increases the cost of building a house
  • Requires extra expenses that may be unnecessary for certain building projects
  • Requires one to jump through even more hoops to build a house
  • Prohibits the right to fully own property and choose what to do with it
Regulations like this inevitably rob individuals of reasonable choices that have no negative effect on themselves nor other people. If I attach a garage to my house, is IECC going to make me insulate it? If I am building a summer cabin that doesn't even have a furnace or air conditioner, is the IECC going to make me put special windows on it? So what if I don't do it? Whether or not the requirement is necessary the government has mandated it and will punish me if I do not meet it.

It is not the government's place to make this choice. As long as I am aware of what building materials are more energy efficient or even which ones are safer (likely thanks to Google), I can make the right choice for myself. Even if I don't make the most energy efficient choice, that isn't going to hurt anybody. However, if the government makes the choice, unnecesary expenses will be forced upon people and their private property. If the government chooses, somebody does get hurt.

Through the state and federal governments, the ICC regulates everything from plumbing and electricity to zoning. What will they regulate next, our rose bushes? I hope that Indiana will not hand over our property rights to Congress and the ICC by passing SB 284. It doesn't set a good precedent to let some committee in D.C. tell us what kind of pipes we can flush our fecal waste through.
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Andy Horning's Contract with Indiana 
Sunday, October 12, 2008, 11:45 PM - Elections, Opinion, Policy
Posted by Administrator
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about my favorite candidate out of all the political races happening around the nation for this November's election. It is Andy Horning, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Indiana, with his running mate Lisa Kelly for Lieutenant Governor. I had the pleasure of meeting Andy at an LP picnic and Lisa at a meetup event for the Ron Paul campaign. While they are not career politicians, these two candidates have a genuine enthusiasm for political change and the knowledge about issues and policy to back it up (Andy's points in the governor debates were history lessons as much as policy arguments!). Andy and Lisa are also running on a platform that I cannot imagine any Hoosier disagreeing with. They intend to follow the constitutions of the United States and the State of Indiana, the supreme rule of law of our land, and to serve the people of Indiana, not corporations or special interests.

Andy writes on his web site,

I will not abuse or refuse your rights…I will be the first real, constitutional, legal Governor Indiana has had in a hundred years. I will protect your rights, because that's the job, and that's the law.

That's no business. That's called Liberty, and I want it back.

He also writes,

The constitutional job of Governor is to enforce (or Execute) the Indiana Constitution, as well as to enforce federalism under the Constitution of the United States. The Governor swears an oath of office to do this. Should I become Governor, I'd be the first in a very long time to actually keep that oath, and make Indiana The Place To Be for the American Dream…just as the Indiana Constitution demands."

Our current governor, Mitch Daniels, has satisfied many Hoosiers by balancing the budget and attracting some new jobs to the state. However, he has also frustrated many of us and challenged the rule of law by changing our time zones to contradict our geographic location, selling our publicly constructed toll road to a corporation based overseas, attempting to build new toll roads with public-private partnerships by using immanent domain, and most recently supporting a plan to eliminate 90% of elected offices in the state, while placing powers traditionally under the authority of local communities into the hands of the state. (Would you like Child Protective Services to be a local support group or strangers who kidnap your kids and take them to the capitol?) As a teacher, I am also disappointed in Daniels' weak education policy, which stresses an all-day kindergarten program to increase graduation rates, rather than fair education funding which would support the schools most in need (communities in poverty which coincidentally get less state funding) and providing better education at the middle and secondary levels, where chances of graduation change dramatically.

I followed the Democratic primary race for governor in hopes of seeing a strong opposition to Daniels. The Democrats nominated Jill Long Thompson, a very smart woman but not a very promising candidate for governor. In her campaign and in the gubernatorial debates, Thompson has focused a negative campaign against Daniels without offering specific details about what she will do as governor. She has not demonstrated any plan to at least ease property taxes or balance the budget.

When I met Mr. Horning this summer, I finally became very excited about this year's race for governor. Andy has an understanding of political issues which tops that of any other activist I know personally. He studies the issues not as a politician or a lawyer, but as a hard-working American (more than a decade in product development and clinical engineering before residing on a small farm where he home schools three of his five children).

When I read Andy's platform, I realized that he would make a fine candidate for the Boston Tea Party, a young and non-exclusive independent political party which claims the world's smallest political platform" "The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose." With the party quickly growing this election season, I was asked to and accepted the offer to start and run our state affiliate, the Boston Tea Party of Indiana. We focus on solutions that come from the people and the free market, rather than the government. It's time the government stop working like a corporation with a monopoly backed by police and military forces and the world's largest arsenal of firearms, or as Andy Horning would call it, "a dangerous threat; proven by history to be the agent of oppression, slavery, genocide and war."

This Wednesday, Andy Horning, the best candidate in the race for Governor of Indiana, is having a "Contract with Indiana Moneybomb" as a final big fundraiser to air radio ads across the state. The Horning-Kelly challenge to you is, give $10 for each principle you agree with:

1. We promise to end corporate handouts.
2. We promise to obey the constitution, which was written to protect you.
3. We promise to reduce government spending.
4. We promise to cut property taxes by 50%, and replace that property tax with nothing.
5. We promise the freedom to choose your own lifestyle.

Watch the video including clips from Andy's debate appearances at

The only other political campaign I have been this excited about is Congressman Ron Paul's campaign for President. Please look into Andy Horning and send him $10 for each principle you agree with. The people of this state deserve more than the least bad of the two Republicrat candidates to be Governor of Indiana. They deserve the BEST candidate for the job. That candidate is Andy Horning.
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