By Darren Weeks
March 8, 2013
March 8, 2013
Mayoral resolution approved by council gives power to military
Martial Law is defined by Random House dictionary as:
1. the law temporarily imposed upon an area by state or national military forces when civil authority has broken down or during wartime military operations.2. the law imposed upon a defeated country or occupied territory by the military forces of the occupying power.
In my last article, I explored the Martial Law declaration that was issued in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and its devastation. I made the statement that I believe we are beginning to see the unfolding of a new norm. A trend seems to be evolving where local, state, or regional officials are using states of emergency or outright Martial Law declarations to deal with small-scale problems.
Since that time, we have seen three states — Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts — all issue emergency declarations, restricting travel, due to an anticipated snowstorm. One might ask how could it be that northern states might be so ill-prepared for a major snowstorm so as to warrant the suspension of thousands of individuals’ right to travel? Imagine... snow in the north! In the winter! Who would have thunk it?
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick issued an executive order on February 8th, banning all civilian travel with certain very specific exceptions — mainly emergency services, the media, and those contributing to critical infrastructure and resources. Numerous media sources reported that violation of the Deval’s order would carry with it a potential $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail! What if your wife was pregnant and you needed to get her to the hospital? Guess you’re out of luck, huh? What if you have some other emergency? Too bad for you! Your exception to the rule wasn’t mentioned in Dictator Deval’s order.
Aside from the fact that there are countless legitimate reasons for people to be on the roadways during a major snowstorm — many of which couldn’t possibly be foreseen by an executive decree — this “Deval” governor has no business restricting the people’s right to travel. Yet, that is exactly what he did, which is completely unnecessary and should be considered unacceptable to the populace. He should be immediately recalled, and state legislative guidelines should be put into place, making it a criminal offense to use executive orders for purposes such as this. Encouraging people to stay off the roads is fine. Mandating it under threat of massive fines and imprisonment? Not in a free society.
On the heels of that outrage, we now learn that on February 20th, Tucson, Arizona Mayor Jonathan Rothschild — yes, that’s really his name — issued Resolution #22006 (pdf) which declares a state of emergency in the city of Tucson.
Section 1 “recognizes” the leadership of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base “to make the appropriate decisions when balancing National Security and community needs when it comes to their existing and future military mission and assignments.”
What “future military mission and assignments” might warrant the need for the military to make decisions and address community needs? What “National Security” crisis could be foreseen as to warrant a military base to operate independently of duly-elected government representatives? The resolution doesn’t say.
Section 2 specifies, “The various city officers are authorized and directed to perform all acts necessary or desirable to give effect to this Resolution.”
Presumably, this would mean that all city officers, including the local police chief and city police officers would now be under the ultimate authority of the military, who in turn answer to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces — the Oval Office usurper.
The Resolution further states in Section 3: “WHEREAS, it is necessary for the preservation of the peace, health and safety of the City of Tucson that this Resolution become immediately effective, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Resolution shall be effective immediately upon its passage and adoption.” It then states that it was adopted by the mayor and council on February 20, 2013.
Prior to writing this article, this writer telephoned the Tucson mayor’s office to seek comment for this story. A lady answered the phone who said her name was Kimberly. When I questioned her about the purpose and intent of the resolution, she stated that she was “not at liberty to discuss” the matter.
Further pressing her on the fact that the resolution actually declares a state of emergency for the city of Tucson, I inquired as to what the nature of the emergency was that would warrant such a declaration. She indicated that there was no real emergency and that she “had been told” that the language was “standard language” used in all of their resolutions.
I then asked, “you mean every time the mayor signs a resolution, he declares a state of emergency?”
She then replied, “no” and proceeded to offer to take my name and contact information down, so that her communications director could call me back to explain.
As we send this article to be published, we are still awaiting that call.