The MIAC Report: An Update

I’m hearing from multiple sources that the MIAC Report previously mentioned on this blog here has now officially been rescinded, and that an apology either has been made or is in the works.

Why?

The report did NOT, as noted in the previous post, state that all Libertarians/Ron Paul Supporters/people who fly the Gadsden Flag/etc were terrorists.

It simply said that domestic terrorists tend to also be people that support the same things as the people mentioned above.

Just as in the case of international terrorism, just because you happen to believe a certain way does NOT automatically imply that you are a terrorist.

At the same time, however, because of the image of a certain religion, adherents of that religion face a public image/relations problem that must be overcome.

Unfortunately for us in the Liberty movement, there have been many high-profile domestic terrorism cases, and almost all monsters who committed these acts believed similarly to us, yet did not mind using violence to achieve their objectives.
[Continue Reading]

[UPDATED] HB 614 FAILS!!!

HB 614, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that Jason Pye and I warned you about yesterday and I asked you to call your Senator about has FAILED in the Senate by a vote of 25-29-1-1. Senator Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) did not vote on the measure and Senator Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) was excused.

Of the local delegation, only Senator John Bulloch(R-Ochlocknee) voted against the measure. Senators John Crosby (R-Tifton), George Hooks (D-Americus), and Freddie Sims (D-Albany) all voted for the measure.

I was watching the debate and had the live download going, so I hope to be able to post video of the debate soon, as Senator Preston Smith (R-Rome) did an AMAZING job speaking against this measure, both when questioning the measure’s sponsor – who happens to be Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth), who is running to be your next Lt Governor – and when in the well speaking on his own.

Indeed, one particularly insightful quote from Senator Smith was this:

“We are at the end of the day, the guardians of liberty for our citizens.”

The problem is this: The following Senators chose NOT to guard our liberty, and instead voted to allow the State to monitor even further and more obtrusively your private medical decisions:
[Continue Reading]

Legislative Alert: HB 614 ‘The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act’

The following is from my good friend and colleague Jason Pye via his blog, JasonPye.com: (Note here that ‘tomorrow’ refers to TODAY, Monday, March 30 2009, as this post was written last night.)

Tomorrow, the Georgia Senate Rules Committee, and possibly the entire Georgia Senate, will consider HB 614, the “Georgia Prescription Monitoring Program Act” which would establish a state surveillance system for the monitoring of prescribing and dispensing of certain medications (Schedules II, III, IV, or V). Included in the database would be most pain relievers, anxiety medications, sleep aids, anti-diarrheals, and anything containing Codeine such as Robitussin.

This bill is bad social and fiscal policy and it violates the privacy and due process rights of Georgia citizens enumerated in the Georgia Constitution.

This bill is bad social policy because it allows government intrusion and second-guessing of the doctor-patient relationship. It treats Georgia citizens not as civilized people but as children who need to be monitored and controlled.

Also, as noted by the American Cancer Society, several studies indicate that prescription monitoring programs have a “chilling effect” on healthcare professionals’ prescribing of needed medication to legitimate pain patients for fear of being investigated by law enforcement.

This law is also bad fiscal policy. Once the initial federal funding for this program has run out, Georgia citizens will be left to foot the bill, which the U.S. Dept. of Justice estimates to cost the state up to $1 million annually. In our current economic crisis, this is not only fiscally irresponsible, it is downright immoral. Moreover, this program will not withstand judicial scrutiny and a lawsuit in its defense will cost the taxpayers that much more money.

This bill also violates the privacy and due process rights of Georgia citizens. It gives the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency access to the private medical records of Georgia citizens without probable cause.
Under Georgia law, no law enforcement official can lawfully obtain any part of a Georgia citizen’s medical record without first obtaining the patient’s consent or a court order, such as a search warrant or a subpoena. In Johnson v. State, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that “the State is not entitled to exercise indiscriminate subpoena power as an investigative substitute for procedural devices otherwise available to it in the criminal context, such as a search warrant.”

In King v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court reiterated that “In this state, privacy is considered a fundamental constitutional right and is ‘recognized as having a value so essential to individual liberty in our society that [its] infringement merits careful scrutiny by the courts.’” It also noted that “[p]ermitting the State unlimited access to medical records for the purposes of prosecuting the patient would have the highly oppressive effect of chilling the decision of any and all Georgians to seek medical treatment.”

There are alternative, much more reasonable methods of accomplishing the same ends of this legislation without the egregious constitutional violations of this bill’s means. Please stand up for our privacy and due process rights. Please do not pave the way for Orwell’s big-government 1984. Please vote “NO” on HB 614.

This is a very well written piece that says everything I would have thought to say and more. I’m going to add a ‘SWGA Politics feel’ to it with this, and I close:

Because of everything Jason just said, I must most strenuously OPPOSE this measure.

HB 614: OPPOSE

Call or email your Senator NOW.

Leesburg Tea Party Press Release

Leesburg/Greater Lee County Tax Day Tea Party Planned

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 29, 2009

CONTACT: Mike or Susan Sabot

229 -869-6802 (cell)

msa651@msn.com

Grassroots organizations will mark April 15, 2009 with nationwide Tax Day Tea Parties

Building on the success of the February and March Nationwide Tea Parties held in multiple cities around the nation, grassroots organizations will once again come together on April 15th to protest out-of-control government spending and are timed to coincide with the date by which Americans must pay their federal income taxes.

Plans are under way for rallies to take place in more than 1400 American cities, 55 in Georgia, with more sites being added daily. The goal of these protests is to call attention to the unprecedented wasteful spending, bailouts, and uncontrolled deficits by Congress and the Obama Administration.

A partial listings of communities in Georgia currently planning Tax Day Tea Parties are can be fount at here and here

Leesburg Georgia is hosting a Tax Day Tea Party April 15, 5-7 pm on the Country Court House Steps. More information can be found at this Facebook event page and will be posted here at SWGA Politics as well.

Albany Georgia is hosting a Tax Day Tea Party April 15, 5-7 pm at the Post office

The Nationwide Tea Party Movement is giving voice to tens of thousands of Americans. Average Americans do not support mortgaging away our children’s futures, and the time to speak out against it is now.”

Information on The Tax Day Tea Party can be found at http://taxdayteaparty.com, the Georgia Tax Day Tea Party site, and World Net Daily.

An Introduction

I guess after running my mouth as a commenter, our favorite Libertarian has given me the chance to run my mouth as a contributor.  He asked that I post a bit of an introduction and let you all know a little about me.

First, my name is Tom.  I’m a married father of one young son.  I’m a Boy Scout leader and a veteran of the United States Navy.  I’ve been interested in politics for most of my life.  I’ve run the gamut politically, starting out a a raging liberal democrat and now a died in the wool libertarian.
I’m a member of GeorgiaCarry.org which fights on the state level to restore our gun rights.  The Second Amendment is very important to me, as you will see in my time here, since it is under attack currently.  However, I’m a staunch defender of all parts of the Constitution…even if there’s a section I disagree with.

So, with all that said, I look forward sharing my thoughts with you all!

Albany/Dougherty Consolidation: Former City Councilman Jay Cole email

This was forwarded out to me with a request that I post it here, so here goes:

From: Jay Cole
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:13 PM
To: Carol Fullerton; Freddie Powell Sims ; Ed Rynders
Subject: Albany Dougherty Consolidation

Ladies and Gentleman,

Let me start by thanking you for your service to the State of Georgia and to your constituents. I will be brief as I know you are extremely busy and have heard all of the arguments pro and con already about consolidation.

I served two terms as an Albany City Commissioner and am intimately aware of the inner workings of municipal government. I also served on the Consolidation Study Commission which required many, many hours of meetings, study and debate all in good faith that the City and County would follow our recommendation.

As you know, some of our locally elected officials have decided that consolidation is a bad idea and that the citizens are not intelligent enough to decide for themselves. They continue to pay “lip service” to the process but offer no alternatives. They must be awfully afraid of something! Losing their seat???

Carol and Ed, thank you for pushing the process forward and putting the pressure back on the locally electeds.

Sen. Sims, we need, want and deserve a vote on this matter.

LET US DECIDE HOW WE WANT TO BE GOVERNED!!!!!!!!!

Regards,

Jay Cole
Albany, GA.

Albany/Dougherty Consolidation: March 27 update

I’m working on several other very positive things for SWGA Politics right now, but I did want to mention everything that has happened with HB 800, the Albany/Dougherty Consolidation bill. The official vote record can be found here, where it should be noted that of the Representatives I normally track closely here on SWGA Politics, only Reps. Dukes and Greene voted ‘nay’ on the bill. Everyone else voted ‘yea’, specifically meaning Reps Cheokas, Fullerton, Hanner, Harden, Powell, and Rynders.

Also, local media has some very excellent coverage of all of yesterday’s events regarding this bill, and I’m going to point y’all out to them.

The Albany Herald editorial that should run in today’s paper edition can be found here, and says almost exactly what I would say. The Herald and I maintain that we don’t have a position on the consolidation itself, simply that voters should be allowed to decide their own fate, and that they should be allowed to do so in a primary or general election no later than the general election of 2010. The Herald also has an actual report on the issue as well – one that I would assume may very well be front-page coverage in their print edition.

Moving into the TV news realm, WALB has a report on Senator Sims opposing giving the citizens the right to vote on Consolidation and Albany Mayor Dr. Willie Adams’ reaction to the Consolidation Vote.

Finally, WFXL offers this report by Jana Barnello.