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i'll tell ya what... this is damn interesting NEWS... i could speculate on why it hasn't hit the msm but we all know what a waste of time and brainpower THAT is...

first we hear about gov. schweitzer giving the metaphorical finger to bush by requesting montana's nat'l guardsmen be returned from iraq in time to help with the forest fire season and now the legislature decides it has a few things to say too... strong stuff and so very, very cool...

2005 Montana Legislature


2005 Montana Legislature

(more past the fold)


 WHEREAS, the citizens of Montana recognize the Constitution of the United States as our charter of liberty and that the Bill of Rights enshrines the fundamental and inalienable rights of Americans, including the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and privacy; and

     WHEREAS, each of Montana's duly elected public servants has sworn to defend and uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Montana; and

     WHEREAS, the citizens of Montana denounce and condemn all acts of terrorism by any entity, wherever the acts occur; and

     WHEREAS, terrorist attacks against Americans, such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, have necessitated the crafting of effective laws to protect citizens of the United States and others from terrorist attacks; and

     WHEREAS, any new security measures of federal, state, and local governments should be carefully designed and employed to enhance public safety without infringing on the civil liberties and rights of innocent citizens of Montana and the United States; and

     WHEREAS, certain provisions of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001", also known as the USA PATRIOT Act, allow the federal government to more liberally detain and investigate citizens and to engage in surveillance activities that may violate or offend the rights and liberties guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions.


     That the 59th Montana Legislature supports the government of the United States in its campaign against terrorism and affirms the commitment of the United States that the campaign not be waged at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of citizens of this country that are protected in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is the policy of the citizens of Montana to oppose any portion of the USA PATRIOT Act that violates the rights and liberties guaranteed under the Montana Constitution or the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in accordance with Montana state policy, in the absence of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity under Montana law, the 59th Montana Legislature exhorts agents and instrumentalities of this state to not:

     (1) initiate or participate in or assist or cooperate with an inquiry, investigation, surveillance, or detention under the USA PATRIOT Act if the action violates constitutionally guaranteed civil rights or civil liberties;

     (2) record, file, or share intelligence information concerning a person or organization, including library lending and research records, book and video store sales and rental records, medical records, financial records, student records, and other personal data, even if authorized under the USA PATRIOT Act, if the action violates constitutionally guaranteed civil rights or civil liberties; or

     (3) retain any of the intelligence information described in subsections (1) and (2) of this clause if the information violates constitutionally guaranteed civil rights or civil liberties.

holy shit, folks... i am awestruck at their clarity and courage... hats off...

Originally posted to profmarcus on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:28 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow! (none)
    Yes, yes, yes, yes YES!!!!!

    And in Montana, of all places.  

    •  yeah, wow indeed...! (4.00)
      recommend this... i think it really needs to be seen...

      "We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo

      by profmarcus on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:28:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True Conservatives.... (4.00)
        ... are aghast by the Patriot Act.  The Patriot Act is a perfect exemplar of big brother government running the lives of individuals, something true conservatives abhor.  I know Montana has voted for a bunch of Dems recently but I think that this isn't because a liberal wave has hit Montana but because true conservatives have no place in the Republican party, which is now run by neo-cons and theo-cons.


        Organizing my thoughts about how to win from 2005 forward -

        by FredFred on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:58:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pardon my French, but (none)
        Vive le resistance!

        "We cannot let terriers and rogue nations hold this nation hostile. - W, 09/09/00

        by Bob Love on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:37:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  From the Billings Gazette (4.00)
    House condemns Patriot Act

    Montana lawmakers overwhelmingly passed what its sponsor called the nation's most strongly worded criticism of the federal Patriot Act on Friday, uniting politicians of all stripes.

    The resolution, which already galloped through the Senate and passed the House 88-12 Friday, must survive a final vote before it officially passes.

    Senate Joint Resolution 19, sponsored by Sen. Jim Elliott, D-Trout Creek, says that while the 2005 Legislature supports the federal government's fight against terrorism, the so-called Patriot Act of 2001 granted authorities sweeping powers that violate citizens' rights enshrined in both the U.S. and Montanan constitutions.

    Oh yeah, and it's bipartisan.  Statement by one of the Republicans involved:

    "Sometimes we just take liberty for granted in the country," said Rep. Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman, who keeps a plant called "the Liberty Tree" on his legislative desk.

    Koopman said his Liberty Tree was "blooming for this bill."

    "Frankly, what it says to me is that civil liberties are a bipartisan issue in Montana," said Rep. Rick Maejde, R-Trout Creek, who led the House debate for the resolution.

    Elliott said he was "very, very pleased" the resolution had such support.

    •  Are my eyes deceiving me? (4.00)
      Or are there actually sensible, decent Republicans in Montana's state legislature?  Hopefully this will inspire more change at the local/state level in the right direction.

      Pack up the Uhaul, I'm movin' me to Missoula!  (Well, actually, I'll just be there in ten days on tour)

      •  Montana's different in many ways (4.00)
        As far as I can tell, sure, they do have a few asshole Republicans in their legislature (some of them were whining about Schwitzer's new budget, of course).

        However, by and large, Montana politicians are primarily interested in civil liberties as well as the defense of the Bill of Rights (and that doesn't mean just the Second Amendment).

        •  Spelling (none)



          That would be "Schweitzer".

        •  Not Just the Second? (4.00)

          Wait a minute. We have Republicans willing to acknowledge that Americans have rights other than to own firearms? For example, the right to freedom of religion and association? Will wonders never cease?

          Monsters think it's all right to be a monster, after all. - Hitherby Dragons

          by RHunter on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:54:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey (none)
            Some of us Democrats like the Second Amendment too ;-)  
            •  Second Place! (4.00)

              We do?

              Wow. It's like I've passed into another dimension. Come to think of it, that would explain why everyone I've seen around me has goatees...

              Monsters think it's all right to be a monster, after all. - Hitherby Dragons

              by RHunter on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 06:52:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'll Second that... <n/t> (none)
            •  Me too (4.00)
              We can't at the same time want the power to keep monoplies from being created by businesses in this country because they destroy the competition workers need to have any power or upward mobility...

              and then turn around and give all our guns away while the government maintains a monopoly on destructive force through its military.

              We must have the right to compete with the government at any time which they might try to become a monopolistic dictatorship... and that is why the second amendment is in fact a very liberal value.

              Also why we would make massive headway if we could somehow embrace it. I dare say that we could pass any progressive social reform we wanted in this country if we only came clearly around on the right to bear arms.

              Silent consent or active dissent, the choice is OURS.

              by Alphakafka on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:04:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well said! (none)
                Way to give this a capitalist/populist angle. Are you in politics?
                •  I'm not, I plan to when I'm older,... (4.00)
                  but I'm really working on this so that modern liberal politicians can have a completely clear platform if they wish to use it some day. I'm so tired of words like communist and socialist being thrown around our necks unchallenged, especially when our opposition is so entwined with support for corporate monopolies, and also as they are much more susceptible to the creation of dictatorships.

                  The way we can differentiate ourselves is in saying that we are for the purest form of competition possible. One where the rich and corporations don't become subsidized with finances and other advantages which protect them so that they never have to compete.

                  And that is because it is obvious that the stronger our principle of equal competition, the stronger our distribution of wealth. And the distribution of wealth is something which I personally believe must be focused on.

                  I am also tired of hearing "progressive" when they people mean modern liberal. I would much prefer it like how Fonda's character in Easy Rider wears a jacket with the flag on its back even though he is very liberal. Talk about having pride and being bold in expressing the promise of pure freedom the flag can represent to him.

                  Have some pride in the term liberal. The fact that idiot conservative talk show hosts attack it every day makes me want to wear it as a badge of honor even more. Yes, I am their opposition, thanks for using the term daily so that I can use it to undeniable prove boldly to anyone who asks that I am in fact opposed to your fascist viewpoints.

                  The constitution, I believe, is on our side... and we should use it. And while we're at it, we need to pluck that American flag right out of the "right's" defiling paws. They sure as hell don't deserve that honor, as they will trample freedom whenever the opportunity arises. They honestly do not deserve the right to be the arbiters of the symbols of freedom, because they do not represent it.

                  So the things that can benefit us most, I believe, are this... Freedom, Competition, and the Constitution... but very much the combination of Competition and how it is inherent in the Constitution.

                  Of course it won't work if Dem Centrists adopt that message and destroy it through complete misuse for political gain. We do need idealists to run... but not "idealists" in the sense that we might imagine it.

                  We need those in the sense of "can not be bought".

                  If we could somehow nail that down, we could definitely take down an opposition which represents none of it.

                  Silent consent or active dissent, the choice is OURS.

                  by Alphakafka on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:02:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  The Libertarian Belt (none)

          This just emphasizes the difference between Montanan Republicanism and Bible Belt Republicanism. A lot of  Republicans here are really Libertarians at heart.
        •  Not a few (none)
          "A*hole repubs" in our legislature. It's a lot. Come on Plutonium Page, you are a scientist. Less than a dozen is "a few" a*hole republicans.  Near 50 is a shitload of a*hole republicans. Measurement is everything in science.

          Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

          by Ed in Montana on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:53:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  there's your wedge, dems (4.00)
    civil liberties, medical marijuana, living wages and stem cell research. hammer them home, and take the west.
  •  There are MANY others (4.00)
    A strange thing has happened in cities across America since the Patriot Act was passed in 2001. More than three hundred and sixty eight cities and four states have passed resolutions asking congress to change or roll back parts of the Patriot Act that threaten civil rights through unreasonable search and seizure and restrictions on free speech.

    The most compelling opposition to the Patriot Act and its implementation came from the most unlikely of sources, the 9/11 Commission Report. On page 394, the report states, "The burden of proof for retaining a particular governmental power should be on the executive, to explain (a) that the power actually materially enhances security and (b) that there is adequate supervision of the executive's use of the powers to ensure protection of civil liberties. If the power is granted, there must be adequate guidelines and oversight to properly confine its use." This burden of proof has not been met. There has not been adequate evidence presented to America to prove that our sacrifice of freedom has resulted in temporary safety.

    My new book, Growing Up Red, is NOW AVAILABLE at iUniverse.

    by ColdFusion04 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:31:00 PM PST

    •  The numbers/names of Anti-Patriot resolutions (4.00)
      Can be found here

      There are a lot of non crazy/non fundie GOP folks out there -- ie the libertarians or 'fiscal' conservatives -- but I find myself angrier & angrier at them. As nominal members of that party, they need to stand up, speak up & walk out. The media doesn't listen any more when we traitorous Dems denounce these Radical nuts, and every day that these libertarians remain allied with the Dobson/Falwell GOP I lose more & more respect for them...

      •  i definately agree (none)
        but, on the other hand, how many Democrats voted against the obnoxious and unconstitutional "Patriot" Act?
        •  Just 1 in the Senate (none)
          And he should be President in 2008.

          My new book, Growing Up Red, is NOW AVAILABLE at iUniverse.

          by ColdFusion04 on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 05:15:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  not totally fair (none)
          As Charles Rangel reminded us, a lot of them were scared and flustered, and almost certainly regret it now.  And in all fairness, almost all Democrats are in favor of letting it expire (it's a sunset law).

          All your vote are belong to us

          •  true (none)
            I was just trying to be fair about both sides.  I do not believe, however, that most of the Dems were "scared and flustered."  Some were, and some honestly supported the Act at least a temporary measure, but the bulk were just being politicians and buckling under pressure.   I recognize that the  Democrats in both Houses as a whole are 100x better than the GOP, but let us not fail to criticize them when they back down from principles.
    •  local governments often take a clearer view (none)
      Before the Iraq war, over 100 cities passed resolutions against going to war with Iraq without U.N. support.  But that seems to have been forgotten as we dissect the pre-war decision making. The popular belief, as presented in the msm, is that everyone was convinced that there were weapons of mass destruction and that there was wide spread support for removing Saddam. It is frightening how quickly history is rewritten.  If the Patriot Act passes again, will we have a similar memory loss?
  •  Must be their proximity (4.00)
    to Canada.
  •  The states! (4.00)
    It looks like the states are really going to be the turning point in this administrations policies.  We really need to focus on the 05 gov/state leg races and make sure decent progressives get these offices.  

    "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

    by dmac on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:39:07 PM PST

  •  Jim Elliot should go up against Rehberg (4.00)
    Elliot's the sponsor of this.  I was really impressed by another resolution he introduced on corporate personhood. I think he's got the savvy, biography, the looks, and the skill to beat Rehberg if he tries...


  •  See! (4.00)
    Not all Dems are cowards!!! This happened because the Dems won big in Montana in 2004, making a "RED STATE" willing to stand up to the Bush/Cheney regime. Let us remember that Montana Dems are centrists (AND populists) who are pro-gun and pro-death penalty. Yet they are the ones who are standing up for our rights. We should not be too quick to divide outselves into "centrists" and "progressives" but rather be Democrats and do what's right.

    This is what we need to work for. Standing for the PEOPLE, whether as centrists or progressives, fighting EVERY race even in so-called "Red states," and aiming to elect Dems nationwide.

    Delenda est Sinclair!

    by mole333 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:49:48 PM PST

  •  Good, good stuff! (none)
    This is good stuff. Thank you Montana. The right wing totalitarian Bushie Republicans Do not represent The Will of The People of the United States of America.

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 05:59:59 PM PST

  •  My home state is slowly improving... (4.00)
    It's also helping to hammer out the basics of what will surely be our future election strategy for the West.
  •  Can I move to MT? <n/t> (none)
  •  Thanks for this. (4.00)
    I'm sending it to all the North Carolina state legislators I can reach.
    •  ready to diffuse? (none)
      Diffuse: "to pour out and permit or cause to spread freely" (courtesy of Merriam-Webster)

      We've long understood that there is a diffusion effect in legislation. A good (and sometimes bad) idea passes through a state legislature. This gives it the legitimacy to be considered by other state legislatures.

      The fact that this comes from Montana is an absolute political blessing. This is "solid, good, people" and not those guys in California or Massachusetts (Sorry, I love you guys there, and you're all great, but you know what I mean). This does have to be sent to state legislatures. North Carolina is a good idea since there are still some libertarian Republicans there. If you're in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Nebraska, send copies to your state legislators or anybody that you know working for state legislators. This is a bipartisan issue, and passage in any of these other state legislatures really seals this as a question of basic constitutional rights. Of course this should also go to blue state legislatures as well. But in getting passage in another purple or red state, it becomes very difficult to paint this as some sort of left-wing becomes an American idea.

      Oh, and calling on the state's congressional delegation to work on this issue is priceless.

      Making the world a little better place can be fun.

      by gradinski chai on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 10:55:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The beautiful thing is ... (4.00)
    The way it's written, any legislator in another state could pick it up, change a few words, and try to pass it there.

    We ought to sponsor a version of this in every state. And then open fire on anyone who votes against it.

  •  Ah, Montana! (none)
    Beautiful mountains. . .beautiful rivers. . . beautiful plains. . . beautiful wildlife. . . beautiful Big Sky. . . and now some beautiful politicians.

    I don't want to move up and out there -- UGLY winters! -- but would Montana mind moving down here to the 25th degree of N. latitude?

  •  I live in Montana... (4.00)
    ...and I heard it here first.  Thanks.
  •  Sending to Ar Legislature! (none)
     Lets keep this rolling! Fire up the keyboards to all your state reps. And even though futile it may still be worth the effort flood the email boxes of the corporate media!

    Protect Life Bring The Troops Home!

    by arkdem on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 07:38:57 PM PST

  •  Under the 10th Amendment (none)
    The states have total control over laws regarding Health, Safety, Morals and Welfare.  Wouldn't Homeland Security fall into that category?? How then is the USA Patriot Act Constitutional--it seems to be at odds w/ the 10th Amendment.  

    Maybe Pat Buchanan was right last week when he said "The 10th Amendment is dead as a doornail" (this from an ardent States' Rights Republican during the Civil Rights Movement)

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Sat Apr 02, 2005 at 08:11:23 PM PST

  •  50 States - 50 State Fight (4.00)
    (With appologies to WSC).

    Democrats shall go on to the end, we shall fight in Montana, we shall fight in Georgia and Texas, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the coastal Southeast, we shall defend our country, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the House, we shall fight in the Senate, we shall fight in each State House, we shall fight in each local and school board election; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, the United States or a large part of it were subjugated to the Christian Taliban, then our friends in Canada, Great Britian, Austrailia, Turkey and Western Europe armed and guarded by the democratic remnants, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the Rational World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the fundamentalist cult-mind.

  •  Packing my bags... (none)
    if hubby doesn't come with me, he can just consider himself a single Floridian.

    I'm going to MONTANA! (just as soon as I can afford it)

    •  Frank Zappa Once Sang... (none)
      Going to Montana soon
      Gonna be a dental floss tycoon
      •  I have to admit (none)
        I've lived a sheltered life.

        I really have to expose myself to more Frank Zappa. LOL

      •  What Zappa said (none)
        I might be movin' to Montana soon
        Just to raise me up a crop of Dental Floss Raisin' it up
        Waxen it down
        In a little white box
        I can sell uptown
        By myself I wouldn't
        Have no boss,
        But I'd be raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
        Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
        Well I just might grow me some bees
        But I'd leave the sweet stuff
        For somebody else...
        but then, on the other hand
        I'd Keep the wax N' melt it down
        Pluck some Floss N' swish it aroun'
        I'd have me a crop
        An' it'd be on top

        (that's why I'M movin' to Montana)

        Movin' to Montana soon
        Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon
        (yes I am)
        Movin' to Montana soon
        Gonna be a mennil-toss flykune
        I'm pluckin' the ol' Dennil Floss
        That's growin' on the prairie
        Pluckin' the floss!
        I plucked all day an' all nite an' all Afternoon...
        I'm ridin' a small tiny hoss
        (His name is MIGHTY LITTLE)
        He's a good hoss
        Even though He's a bit dinky to strap a big saddle or
        Blanket on anyway
        He's a bit dinky to strap a big saddle or
        Blanket on anyway
        Any way I'm pluckin' the ol' Dennil Floss
        Even if you think it is a little silly, folks
        I don't care if you think it's silly, folks
        I don't care if you think it's silly, folks
        I'm gonna find me a horse
        Just about this big
        An' ride him all along the border line
        With a Pair of heavy-duty
        Zircon-encrusted tweezers in my hand
        Every other wrangler would say
        I was mighty grand
        By myself I wouldn't
        Have no boss
        But I'd be raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
        Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
        Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
        Well I might Ride along the border
        With my tweezers gleamin'
        In the moon-lighty night
        And then I'd Get a cuppa cawfee
        N' give my foot a push...
        Just me 'n the pymgy pony
        Over the Dennil Floss Bush
        N' then I might just Jumb back on
        An' ride Like a cowboy
        Into the dawn to Montana
        Movin' to Montana soon

        Support citizen journalism? Be part of the ePluribus Media fund drive.

        by Bionic on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 07:32:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (none)
    Ever since Democrats took control of Montana, it's been looking like California. HELLO, you're supposed to be a RED STATE, remember?

    It's good to see that the now-dominant Montana Democrats are real Dems and not limp, DLC types.

    Yeah yeah, I know, the rapture is coming.

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:11:56 AM PDT

  •  Little by little...step by step (none)
    thank you Montana!

    Act as if it were impossible to fail. - Dorothea Brande

    by crkrjx on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 08:16:14 AM PDT

  •  PLEASE tell me... (none)
    ...that any college in Montana is looking for a music theorist. More and more I'm grooving on what is happening out in Big Sky Country.

    It's good to see the progressive tradition alive and well in the state that gave us Mike Mansfield.


    Walk In Brain - the finest blogging in my apartment building.

    by Wes F on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:46:06 AM PDT

  •  Real patriots (none)
    I used to live in Montana. Montana has a bad reputation simply because idiots tend to move there. People that actually grew up there aren't the conservative radicals you would think.
       Granted they are generally homophobic and racist, but they really do believe in civil liberties and the government leaving them alone.

      This doesn't surprise me.

    "The sun is not yellow, it's chicken." -Dylan

    by gjohnsit on Sun Apr 03, 2005 at 11:59:13 AM PDT

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