Subject: Re: [AMRadio] US Constitution? What's that?

D. Chester k4kyv at
Mon Oct 8 11:20:07 EDT 2007

The IARU Band Plan has no force of law or regulation, and does not have any 
precedence over FCC regulations.  This is not the same thing as a  treaty, 
which arguably takes precedence over the US Constitution and US law.

IARU is a voluntary international amateur radio organisation, sort of a 
"super ARRL".  It is supposed to look out for the interests of amateur radio 
wordwide, particularly regarding the perodic WARC conferences. It is like a 
loose international confederations of ARRL and the national amateur radio 
orginisations of other participating countries.

The problem is, the band plan sets the stage for regulatory agencies in the 
various countries to adopt part or all the band plan as "law" in their own 
countries.  ARRL and other groups may begin to exert pressure on US hams to 
follow the "Plan".  Various individuals and groups may petition the FCC to 
adopt its provisions into Part 97.  Even if ARRL goes public with the 
opinion that the band plan is merely a suggestion to be followed at one's 
descretion on a voluntary basis, we will have the constant annoyance of 
"radio cops" who will attempt to break into our QSO's to "remind" us that we 
"out of band" as prescribed in the band plan, or that our signals are "too 
wide".  Many of the radio-cop types will simply fail to understand that the 
band plan is strictly voluntary and not mandatory under the rules.

Regarding politics on this discussion group, I prefer to keep them ham radio 
related. For example, I may hate George Bush or I may love him, I may 
totally disagree with Iraq policy or think it is the best thing to happen to 
our nation since sliced bread, but those kinds of topics should be discussed 
elsewhere.  The "Ragchew" forum on is an ideal venue. But if the 
president or any other government official were to publicly announce a 
policy, or even if mere rumours of such a policy leaked out, that might even 
remotely somehow affect AM or amateur radio, then that IS an appropriate 
topic for discussion here, as long as it is kept within an amateur radio 

As far as over-the-air discussion goes, I have never had any problem with 
politics and religion.  For example, I strongly disagree with much (but not 
all) of what is advocated by the 3950 group, but I sometimes find them 
interesting to monitor, and do not like to hear them jammed, or Riley or 
other FCC official proclaim that their discussion is inappropriate for 
amateur radio. Who knows, if a group of AM'ers started up a controversial 
over-the-air discussion group, it might attract a  lot of listeners and 
recruit some interest in operating AM in general.  OTOH, one danger might be 
that extreme opinions discussed, extreme anti-government ones in particular, 
might freak out somebody in "authority" and cause them to quietly and 
underhandedly attempt to have restrictions placed on AM or eliminate it 
entirely, for the sake of retaliation.  That would be extremely 
anti-American and unconstitutional, but as one prominent government 
personality is said to have recently opined, the Constitution is "just a 
@#$%# piece of paper", and within the past couple of generations certain 
elements of the government have shown themselves to be highly untrusworthy.

I fully support the ideals of F.A.R.T.S. - the First Amendment Radio 
Transmitting Society.  Check out their web page at:


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