Are We National Socialists?

This is part of some E-Mail correspondence I am having with a friend of mine who is a socialist.

“Glad we agree on some things. Health care is a contentious issue, and can be hard to prove what is truly best for the people. We haven’t had a free market in health care for 50 years.  We were near the bottom in infant mortality back then, just like we are now, but were actually closer to the best percentage wise than now. However, infant mortality has dropped drastically across the board in all nations. Improvements in technology have made things better than doctors could have ever imagined 50 years ago.  But this is for sure:  When government gets involved in subsidizing something, the price will go up. The same is true in health care as it is in education. And while improvements in technology have drastically improved health care, which sort of mitigates the cost issue, they have not had the same affect on education.

I don’t believe there is any grey area on the right to trial.  The founders believed, as do i, that we are born with certain unalienable rights.  They wrote a document that restricted government to help the people protect those rights. What Obama has now codified into law not only violates his own government’s founding documents, it violates my natural rights as a free man.  As far as political excuses, there are none.  If he came out and said the first three sentences of this paragraph and then added, “this is why I am vetoing this version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. When congress can get this bill to fund the troops back on my desk without trampling all of our rights, I will sign it,” he would be the most politically popular president in the last 40 years.  But beyond that, say following the constitution and not shitting on the right to trial wasn’t particularly popular with right wingers (it is by the way).  There is no excuse for codifying military dictatorship in this country.  None. If that were the true reason, it would be bad. The truth is even worse.

Obama demanded that he have the authority, not congress, to indefinitely detain citizens. In an earlier version that passed through committee Congress had exempted citizens and Obama threatened to veto that bill until they gave that power to him.  He had, after all, already acted like he had that power whether codified or not (He had assassinated an American citizen without due process and released no evidence, of course he has the right to indefinitely detain them).  He did not want any limitations to his office, The King. The only difference is our King is elected instead of inherrited.

Don’t believe me? Evidence.

Whether or not you support a candidate depends upon your priorities.  Particularly with informed voters, this can explain severe differences of opinion.  For me, I have firmly become an antiwar civil libertarian.  If i had to, it would be extremely hard for me to choose which is more important, anti war or civil liberty.  I might lean towards my own civil liberty because that affects my family much more directly. Still, those two principles are so core to my beliefs that it is almost unbelievable they are not more popular, that only one candidate in the race (including Obama) values them.

You can value the Department of Education more than your civil liberties or the policy of endless war.  That is well within your right. But don’t get confused and think that prioritizing the Department of Education means that you are prioritizing education itself.  The Department of Education was founded in 1980 amid controversy.  How much worse was our education system in 1980 than it is now?  We spend a whole lot more money per child, including federal funding from the department of education.  Has throwing money at the problem solved it?  The answer is unequivocally no.  What else has the Department of Education done?  Mandated more standardized testing.  The only way for schools to get the federal funds is to implement more standardized tests.  Educational experts all know that standardized testing does not help educational outcomes.  They are essentially a waste of time.  Who benefits from more standardized testing? The federal government who gets the data and can monitor the population more efficiently while also justifying its existence.  What else has the department of education done? The No Child Left Behind Act.  What teacher, liberal or conservative, supports this piece of shit act?  It creates more work with no more pay (effectively decreases pay per hour worked) for teachers, expands the ever expanding educational federal bureaucracy, adds more standardized tests, and does not increase educational outcomes.  Are we better off with the department of education?  Have we seen a miraculous, nay, a minor improvement in educational outcomes in the past 33 years that justifies its existence.  Absolutely, unequivocally, the answer is no.  I too value education, but I do not support more federal involvement in it and I think we were better off without federal involvement.  Either way, federal involvement in education is not my number one priority when I vote.  My priorities are civil liberties and anti-war.

I’m going to conclude with a facially inflammatory comparison.  But I believe it is deeper if you can look past the initial shock.  Comparisons to national socialism are flagrantly and flamboyantly tossed around by meager opposition to whatever party is in power.  Usually the comparison is only skin deep and purely based on a dislike for the person in power, not actual policies.  But what was national socialism?  Well, it’s in the name.  National socialism prioritized socialist policies in the homeland and warfare outside of it.  Nationalistic pride was a major tenet, “We are the best, we are number one, everyone else isn’t on our scale, isn’t as good as us, etc.”  Sound familiar? “Nobody is as free as we are.” This propaganda primed the population to be able accept the vicious atrocities they would soon commit to “the other, the less good, etc” in the name of spreading the greatness of their empire (“democracy” in our terms, “Our form of government is the best and it must be exported by force”).  How often do we hear about the million and a half Iraqis that are dead because of our warfare policies?  How often do we hear about the less than 5,000 dead American soldiers?  One a lot more than the other, even though they are a lot less.  I bet you didn’t even know how fucking stark those differences are (How could you unless you looked it up? You won’t hear it on the radio or on TV or in a newspaper).  I’m going to repeat that.  1.5 million dead compared to less than 5,000.  Many, many of those are civilians including women and children.  It is impossible to repeatedly bomb a nation for 9 years and only kill “terrorists.” Furthermore, 1 million terrorists never even fucking existed!!!!  We killed millions of innocent people, or people who became so pissed off at being invaded and having their infrastructure decimated that they picked up arms against it.  It was a manufactured war! Clearly some lives are valued more than others by our leaders and our media, and therefore our populous. Marketing works, why else would companies spend millions of dollars on it?  The only difference between marketing and propaganda is that governments buy propaganda and companies buy marketing.  Repeat something enough and it will stick.  They are terrorists, they killed our soldiers, etc.  Just to be clear, I am not comparing Obama or even Bush to Hitler.  I am comparing the public policy priorities of our nation with that of national socialism.

They had fervent national pride, so do we. The started preemptive wars, (Hitler framed them as preemptive) so do we.  They valued socialistic policies like national healthcare over everything else (a major tenet of the national socialist party), so do we.  They were extremely war like, so are we.  They allowed their elected representative (Hitler was elected) to take powers that were not delineated to him, so do we. Hitler promised he would return the powers when he leaves office and that he would not abuse those powers, so do we:  Obama said as much in his signing statement for the NDAA.  “Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”  The point is not whether or not I trust Obama, or even the next guy, not to abuse his claimed power.  The point is that if he has the power he says he does, then we are not free.  The slave that is granted temporary freedom without punishment by his master is still a slave.  What makes him a slave is not the current freedom he does or does not enjoy in the moment, but the fact that on his master’s whim he can be taken, indefinitely detained, and beaten without a right to trial or any other recourse.  He must take it upon his master’s authority.

You are completely free to choose what priorities you base your vote on.  If national healthcare is the most important, so be it.  For me it is antiwar and civil liberties.

This is probably the absolute best article on the tradeoffs voters are faced with this election cycle.  I hope you have time to browse it.”

Heil The Republicrat Nazi Party!

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What you can do right now for the Constitution and your Liberty

From the Tenth Amendment Center http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/01/11/what-you-can-do-right-now-for-the-constitution-and-your-liberty/#more-11241

What you can do right now for the Constitution and your Liberty

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 9:16 — 8.5MB)

by Michael Boldin

From mandates to milk. From weed to war. And everything in between. Very little of what the federal government does is authorized by the Constitution.

While the Constitution is clear that the federal government is one of limited, delegated powers – in practice, without popular resistance, the federal government people do whatever they please. They tell us we have to buy a health insurance plan, what size toilet we can have, and what kind of light bulbs we can buy.  They read your emails, listen to your phone calls, monitor your bank accounts – and even claim the power to arrest and detain you indefinitely, without due process.

For far too long, the United States Federal Government has deployed troops to every corner of the world, waged offensive wars without a declaration by Congress, silenced and kidnapped its enemies, authorized the torture of prisoners, engaged in espionage, imposed crippling embargoes, pillaged our resources, taken our property, and destroyed our economy and our environment.

On top of it all, these government people tell us – the sovereign people – what IT has the legal authority to do, instead of the other way around.

And it hasn’t mattered what political party has been in power or what individual has occupied the White House.  Year in and year out – federal power always grows and your liberty is always worse off.

So for those of you who believe that the path to the Constitution and your liberty is not through the federal government – but instead through Jefferson, Madison…..and other state capitols around the country – here’s a few steps that you can take right now.

1.  Contact your state legislators right now.

With state legislative sessions getting underway all over the country, the time to put pressure on your state to nullify unconstitutional federal acts is now.  Not next year, and not sometime this summer.  Not next month or next week.  Today – not tomorrow – right now.

Think of one federal issue that’s extremely important to you.  Focus on just one right now.  Contact your state legislators and politely but firmly demand that they do what Thomas Jefferson and James Madison advised – stand up for the Constitution in your state today.  And it’s easy for them to do this – by introducing a bill rejecting a particular federal act

Let them know that they won’t be alone!  Over the past few years, legislators around the country have been introducing bills to reject federal acts on issues across the political spectrum.   Let them know that you’re watching what they do this year, and that while you recognize they have many legislative ideas on deck already, that you expect them to take action on at least one thing to push back against Washington DC.

Let them know that you can get them help with model legislation and even with talking points  Let them know that we have proof that when enough people and enough states stand up and say NO to Washington DC, there’s not much the feds can do to force their unconstitutional federal laws, regulations and mandates down our throats.

And when you get responses by phone, mail or email – make sure to let us know about it here at the Tenth Amendment Center – info@tenthamendmentcenter.com.

2.  Educate your friends and family

Share as much of this information as possible with friends, family, people you meet who express an interest in limiting federal power.  Some of the most important articles and pages to send to others include:

Thomas Jefferson’s Other Declaration – by Derek Sheriff
The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows – by Tom Woods
The Untold History of Nullification: Resisting Slavery – by Derek Sheriff
The Tenth Amendment Center’s legislative tracking page
Model Legislation from the TAC – to recommend bills for introduction in your state

3. Disobey.  Seriously.

Whether it was the stamp act in the 1760s or the fugitive slave act in the 1850s, to nullify requires people defying government edicts. In the spirit of Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Samuel Adams – when enough people say NO, change can and will happen.   So that’s why step # 3 is to Disobey….Seriously.

Now I’m not recommending that you go out and just start defying every law in existence.  With resistance comes risk – and it’s your choice as to just how much risk you’re willing to take.  And whether that risk is small or great, every bit is essential.

For decades, courageous pot smokers have been defying every law imaginable – on possession, cultivation, commerce and more.  They’ve defied Congress, the Executive Branch the DEA and even the Supreme Court.  And today, because so many people decided that they would make their own decisions about whether or not they could use a naturally-occurring plant – there are now 15 states that have backed them up by passing laws allowing such use.

I’ve asked this question in speeches around the country, and ask it again tonight – when the feds try to enforce a law restricting your right to keep and bear arms, or requiring you to purchase a particular health insurance plan – will you have as much courage as the pot smokers?

4.  Rinse and Repeat

Doing these three steps once and going back to Facebook to look at some food pictures isn’t going to get the job done.  With that, step #4 is simple – rinse and repeat.  Within reason, these steps should become part of your life.  Find time every week to do something – anything – that helps our growing movement succeed in nullifying every unconstitutional federal act.

5.  A bonus action item for you – Join the TAC Team

If you really want to get active, here’s a bonus action item for you.  Consider joining the Tenth Amendment Center team by applying for a role in our state and local coordinator program.   You can do that online atwww.tenthamendmentcenter.com/local-coordinators/

SAM’S ADVICE

With an unconstitutional growth of federal power that’s happened for over a 100 years – and seriously accelerated in the last ten – sometimes it’s hard to focus on just what should be done.

Become a member and support the TAC!

These four steps are something that you can do in less than one hour each week.  And while that may not seem like a lot to you, you can always do more too.  But, a little something every week from thousands of people WILL make a difference.  Everyone in our growing Tenther community is extremely grateful for you doing your part for liberty.

In closing, there’s no better way to sum this up than with the words of Samuel Adams – “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds”

NOTE: The preceding was recorded at the close of Tenther Radio Episode 30. The show airs live online every Wednesday at 5pm Pacific Time here. Find us oniTunes at this link.

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin – and visit his personal blog – www.michaelboldin.com

Slip-Sliding Into Tyranny: The New American Way

As found on lewrockwell.com

Slip-Sliding Into Tyranny: The New American Way

by Charles Goyette

Recently by Charles Goyette: 3 Lessons From the European Mess

Pay close attention. This is how it happens…

President Obama found a moment of reduced visibility, in an unwatched hour on New Year’s Eve, to sign the latest assault on the Fifth Amendment. In signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 on New Year’s Eve, Obama knew the nation’s attention would be elsewhere, diverted by revelry, football, New Year’s Day, and a Monday national holiday.

In case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act allows the government to detain people indefinitely – yes, it includes American citizens who can be taken even on our native soil and imprisoned – merely on the basis of accusations.

The measure is “so radical,” says Human Rights Watch, “that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration.” And although Obama appended a signing statement as he put his name to the act, solemnly assuring the nation that the power he insisted on having won’t be used recklessly, it is a political gesture that has no more force of a law than attaching a little yellow sticky note to the bill. If the clear language of the Constitution itself cannot bind the governing classes, it is hard to imagine a post-it note having much effect on the current or future presidents now that the indefinite detention of Americans without trial has been legislatively countenanced.

There you have it in a nutshell, the new American way: Guilty until proven innocent.

This is how once-free people slip into state tyranny and slide into martial law.

Political figures are always careful to paper over their power grabs with spurious legalities and midnight measures, granting themselves the rights they are appropriating. No matter how flimsy the pretext, no matter how forbidden the act, everything must be formalized and enabled. Overturned rights and the pretext of legality.

That is how the Fourth Amendment was trashed… marginalized by a document called the Patriot Act.

And now the Fifth Amendment is under attack.

But you shouldn’t be surprised. If the president of the United States can have you, an American citizen, assassinated on his own say so, how much of a shock is it to find that he can have you arrested and held without any of that pesky Fifth Amendment due process business?

Of course, in trying to outdo Bush, Obama has all along claimed the right to detain Americans without interference from the Bill of Rights. In making this extraordinary claim, Obama relied on the 10 year old Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the measure authorizing the pursuit of those responsible for 9/11. But now this broad interpretation of the authority to go after the likes of Osama bin Laden has been extended to nullify whole sections of the Bill of Rights. Obama’s reading of his authority, radical to begin with, has now been handed to him in a statute, codified in a pile of paperwork called the National Defense Authorization Act, and tucked right in with the Pentagon’s budget.

It’s all part of the forever war on terror, after all.

And if the assault on the Fifth Amendment weren’t enough, the Sixth Amendment was put on the table as well. Remember, that’s the one about “a speedy and public trial” and “an impartial jury.” Well, that’s all but flushed. Forget “speedy.” And “public” just left town. You can now be detained without a trial at all. Indefinitely.

America’s Slippery Slope

How many points on the line does it take to recognize our downward slope into state lawlessness? Do we really need more than just the state claiming the right to arrest and hold the people without due process? Does it take more than the state assuming the right to assassinate them?

Warrantless surveillance? Torture? The state secrets privilege? Critics of the National Defense Authorization Act say it makes it easier for the government to render citizens to fascist proxy states where they can be tortured. Is that enough points on the line to see where we are headed?

Can the slide into state militarism be seen in serial wars, all undeclared? In the trillions of war spending that won’t be refused? Or in drones prowling overhead in what used to be called “our country,” but has now been renamed with a term that echoes Nazi Germany:The Homeland?

Perhaps it is a slope that can be discerned in the threat of violence as the first tool of diplomacy. In the paramilitary forces and SWAT teams that are now part of virtually every federal department and agency. In the Freudian envy with which local police departments across the land ape the dress and manner of military operations. In the TSA Viper (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams that have now moved their surveillance of the American people beyond the airports and put them on the open streets of das Heimland.

It happens in every power grab in modern times. Like the National Defense Authorization Act, there is always a legalistic pretext upon which the power grab of the state relies. Lenin consolidated his control under the cover of a blizzard of legalistic decree-laws. Hitler promulgated his emergency decree “For the Protection of the People and the State” on the day of the Reichstag fire. That was followed by the “Enabling Act,” which declared that laws of the Reich could deviate from the constitution.

Paper pretexts all, slow-motion coups in the small hours conferring the appearance of legitimacy as they subvert the people’s freedom.

Of course, most of the national news media, the lapdog press, will miss the latest assaults on the Bill of Rights. But do not assume it’s because they were all hung-over. It’s easier to believe that they just don’t care. If there is any dissent at all about this power grab, it will not be because of the attack on your freedom. The national talk shows will see it as important only to the extent that it allows their favored team, red or blue, to move the ball down the field.

But where are America’s sworn defenders of the Constitution? With raised arms, all federal officeholders mouth the words, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

Where are the Democrats who made that vow, those who were worked into a frenzy by the Patriot Act and Bush’s abuses of the Constitution, including warrantless eavesdropping?

Where are they now that Obama’s abuses are out-bushing Bush?

They are in the same silent space occupied by the Republicans who denounced Clinton’s unconstitutional and undeclared warfare until Bush went to war without a declaration.

It is a silent space large enough to accommodate all the Republican and Democrats alike who make empty vows of empty words.

Believing not one thing or the other, they make fitting companions for the cowards Dante described as hateful to both God and his enemies:

“The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them –
even the wicked cannot glory in them.”

So pay close attention. This is how it happens.

January 12, 2012

Charles Goyette [send him mail] is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, now available in paperback. And coming in February 2012,Charles Goyette’s Freedom & Prosperity Letter.

Copyright © 2012 Charles Goyette


Notes From a Guantanamo Survivor

Lord help me if writing in support of a person who was previously accused of terrorism is deemed to be sufficient enough for myself to be accused of “supporting terrorism” by my government.  We know that Obama and the recently signed NDAA 2012 claims the right to indefinitely detain the innocent-but-accused-of-supporting-terrorism, holding the accused without the right to a defense.  Does this mean we will see The New York Times Editorial Board being water-boarded sometime in the near future?

January 7, 2012

Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor

By MURAT KURNAZ

Bremen, Germany

I LEFT Guantánamo Bay much as I had arrived almost five years earlier — shackled hand-to-waist, waist-to-ankles, and ankles to a bolt on the airplane floor. My ears and eyes were goggled, my head hooded, and even though I was the only detainee on the flight this time, I was drugged and guarded by at least 10 soldiers. This time though, my jumpsuit was American denim rather than Guantánamo orange. I later learned that my C-17 military flight from Guantánamo to Ramstein Air Base in my home country, Germany, cost more than $1 million.

When we landed, the American officers unshackled me before they handed me over to a delegation of German officials. The American officer offered to re-shackle my wrists with a fresh, plastic pair. But the commanding German officer strongly refused: “He has committed no crime; here, he is a free man.”

I was not a strong secondary school student in Bremen, but I remember learning that after World War II, the Americans insisted on a trial for war criminals at Nuremberg, and that event helped turn Germany into a democratic country. Strange, I thought, as I stood on the tarmac watching the Germans teach the Americans a basic lesson about the rule of law.

How did I arrive at this point? This Wednesday is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the detention camp at the American naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. I am not a terrorist. I have never been a member of Al Qaeda or supported them. I don’t even understand their ideas. I am the son of Turkish immigrants who came to Germany in search of work. My father has worked for years in a Mercedes factory. In 2001, when I was 18, I married a devout Turkish woman and wanted to learn more about Islam and to lead a better life. I did not have much money. Some of the elders in my town suggested I travel to Pakistan to learn to study the Koran with a religious group there.

I made my plans just before 9/11. I was 19 then and was naïve and did not think war in Afghanistan would have anything to do with Pakistan or my trip there. So I went ahead with my trip.

I was in Pakistan, on a public bus on my way to the airport to return to Germany when the police stopped the bus I was riding in. I was the only non-Pakistani on the bus — some people joke that my reddish hair makes me look Irish — so the police asked me to step off to look at my papers and ask some questions. German journalists told me the same thing happened to them. I was not a journalist, but a tourist, I explained. The police detained me but promised they would soon let me go to the airport. After a few days, the Pakistanis turned me over to American officials. At this point, I was relieved to be in American hands; Americans, I thought, would treat me fairly.

I later learned the United States paid a $3,000 bounty for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently the United States distributed thousands of fliers all over Afghanistan, promising that people who turned over Taliban or Qaeda suspects would, in the words of one flier, get “enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life.” A great number of men wound up in Guantánamo as a result.

I was taken to Kandahar, in Afghanistan, where American interrogators asked me the same questions for several weeks: Where is Osama bin Laden? Was I with Al Qaeda? No, I told them, I was not with Al Qaeda. No, I had no idea where bin Laden was. I begged the interrogators to please call Germany and find out who I was. During their interrogations, they dunked my head under water and punched me in the stomach; they don’t call this waterboarding but it amounts to the same thing. I was sure I would drown.

At one point, I was chained to the ceiling of a building and hung by my hands for days. A doctor sometimes checked if I was O.K.; then I would be strung up again. The pain was unbearable.

After about two months in Kandahar, I was transferred to Guantánamo. There were more beatings, endless solitary confinement, freezing temperatures and extreme heat, days of forced sleeplessness. The interrogations continued always with the same questions. I told my story over and over — my name, my family, why I was in Pakistan. Nothing I said satisfied them. I realized my interrogators were not interested in the truth.

Despite all this, I looked for ways to feel human. I have always loved animals. I started hiding a piece of bread from my meals and feeding the iguanas that came to the fence. When officials discovered this, I was punished with 30 days in isolation and darkness.

I remained confused on basic questions: why was I here? With all its money and intelligence, the United States could not honestly believe I was Al Qaeda, could they?

After two and a half years at Guantánamo, in 2004, I was brought before what officials called a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, at which a military officer said I was an “enemy combatant” because a German friend had engaged in a suicide bombing in 2003 — after I was already at Guantánamo. I couldn’t believe my friend had done anything so crazy but, if he had, I didn’t know anything about it.

A couple of weeks later, I was told I had a visit from a lawyer. They took me to a special cell and in walked an American law professor, Baher Azmy. I didn’t believe he was a real lawyer at first; interrogators often lied to us and tried to trick us. But Mr. Azmy had a note written in Turkish which he had gotten from my mother, and that made me trust him. (My mother found a lawyer in my hometown in Germany who heard that lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights represented Guantánamo detainees; the center assigned Mr. Azmy my case.) He did not believe the evidence against me and quickly discovered that my “suicide bomber” friend was, in fact, alive and well in Germany.

Mr. Azmy, my mother and my German lawyer helped pressure the German government to secure my release. Recently, Mr. Azmy made public a number of American and German intelligence documents from 2002 to 2004 that showed both countries suspected I was innocent. One of the documents said American military guards thought I was dangerous because I had prayed during the American national anthem.

Now, five years after my release, I am trying to put my terrible memories behind me. I have remarried and have a beautiful baby daughter. Still, it is hard not to think about my time at Guantánamo and to wonder how it is possible that a democratic government can detain people in intolerable conditions and without a fair trial.

Murat Kurnaz, the author of “Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantánamo,” was detained from 2001 to 2006.

Obama Signs NDAA Martial Law H.R. 1540

This is a good video illustrating what is going on.  History is repeating itself.  Take a gander.  The video has gone viral.  The bill was signed last night (31st), tonight (1st) it already has half a million views.  Don’t be the only one to not see your future (If you are an American)!

Go here to view the bill. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h1540/show