The crazy train has left the station in the Arizona legislature

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Screenshot-11I have had Democratic senators in the Arizona legislature, who shall remain nameless, assure me that there are enough reasonable Republicans in the Senate to defeat the crazy train bills that we have become used to in recent years. Yeah… about that.

The Birthers-Birchers-Secessionists of the Tea Party in the Arizona legislature have been riding the crazy train off the rails of late.

Yesterday, the Senate gave voice approval to the Glenn Beck "Agenda 21" wingnut conspiracy bill sponsored by the Birther Queen, Sen. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley. Arizona Senate OKs bill rejecting UN declaration on environment:

The Senate voted Wednesday to make it illegal for state and local governments to recognize the United Nations or any of its declarations as legal authority here.

While some lawmakers have always been suspicious of the U.N., the focus of this measure is that organization's Rio Declaration, adopted in 1992, which deals with issues of environment and development.

"The only thing that would be prohibited under my bill is if it's unconstitutional," Burges said.

"It asks the people to stand up and to support those things that support the Constitution, which is the guiding principles of this country," Burges continued. "The Constitution is what has protected us against an overreaching government all of these years."

Sen. Burges was joined by her fellow wingnut, Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber — you remember him, he's the Neo-Confederate dead-ender sponsoring the "nullification and secession" ballot measure, SCR1016, which would have voters decide in 2014 whether to declare that Arizona can reject federal actions it deems unconstitutional and refrain from dedicating resources to enforcing them. (This measure passed the Senate earlier this month on March 4).

Sen. Crandell said "I don't think that we here in the states, under the Constitution of the United States, need other nations telling us what we need to do in our country that our people have fought for the freedoms that we have."

The legislation goes beyond the question of recognition of U.N. declarations.

It would make it illegal for state or local governments to spend any money to any group "that espouses the usurping or overthrow of the Constitution of the United States." That is based on the conclusion that the U.N. gets the support of not only member nations but also "numerous independent, nongovernmental organizations to implement its agenda around the world."

A final roll-call vote is scheduled for today before the measure goes to the House. Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic has an appropriately snarky post today. Arizona Senate moves to thwart global conspiracy ("basically Burges’ bill is a testament to crackpottery.")

This pair of troglodytes really need to familiarize themselves with the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Also, Neo-Confederate dead-ender Sen. Crandell ought to be concerned about that provison in Burges' bill about any group "that espouses the usurping or overthrow of the Constitution of the United States." That would include the Birthers-Birchers-Secessionists of the Tea Party who just voted for his nullification and secession bill. Doh! By the way, insurrection and rebellion are already against the law. 18 USC Chapter 115 – TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES | Title 18 – Crimes and Criminal Procedure | U.S. Code.

Earlier this week, the Glenn Beck conspiracy theorists, who apparently got burned in his Goldline fraud – "The company’s business model was built on systemically swindling and scaring its mostly elderly clientele into purchasing overpriced gold coins, prosecutors in California alleged, leading the company to settle for $4.5 million in refunds to its customers," Beck-backed gold fraud? – Salon.com – are looking for a way to unload their gold coins while living out their paranoid end-times apocalyptic fantasies.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported that Arizona lawmakers back gold, silver as currency:

Arizona lawmakers say the global economy is on the precipice of financial ruin and the U.S. dollar could soon be worth less than the paper used to make it.

These doomsayers are pushing forward legislation that would declare privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender, no different under state law than the U.S. dollar printed by the federal Department of Treasury.

The measure is Arizona’s latest jab at the federal government, which prohibits states from minting their own money. It also reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money.

[Note: Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids the states from issuing "bills of credit" (paper or "fiat" money) or making anything but gold and silver coin legal "tender." There is no corresponding explicit prohibition against the federal government, nor any explicit authorization. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution specifically gives Congress power to "borrow money" and also power to "coin money and regulate the value" of both U.S. and foreign coins. The federal government first issued paper money in 1861 in order to fund the Civil War by an act of Congress, the Legal Tender Act of 1862. The Legal Tender Cases, Knox v. Lee and Parker v. Davis (1871), and Juilliard v. Greenman (1884), upheld the constituionality of the Act.]

“The public sees the value in it,” said Republican Rep. Steve "Secession" Smith, of Maricopa. “This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind.”

The bill, which advanced in a 4-2 vote by a House committee Monday, states that gold and silver should be legal currency not subject to tax or regulation as property. The Republican-led Senate gave the bill its blessing in February in a 17-11 partisan vote.

The bill would let people use the precious metals as money as long as businesses agree to take them. If made law, it would take effect in 2014.

* * *

Keith Weiner, president of the Gold Standard Institute, which supports gold-backed currencies, said he envisions a system where people can pay for goods and services with debit and credit cards backed by gold and silver.

[Gold-backed money fell out of favor during World War I because the U.S. and many other countries needed to print more cash to pay for the war. In 1971, President Richard Nixon formally abandoned the gold standard.]

Paper money is a “recipe for worldwide bankruptcy,” Weiner told Arizona lawmakers Monday. “Everybody is going bankrupt on this system so we need a sound and honest money system, such as gold and silver.”

After his testimony, Mr. Weiner was seen loading his garbage into a DeLorean before driving off shouting something about going "Back to the 19th Century!"

DeLorean

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