Minnesota “Dreaming”

Steve Timmer, the attorney who posted the video embedded below on YouTube, mocks Tenthers, like Sue Jeffers, talk radio host and candidate for Minnesota State Senate, Krysia Weidell, for advocating nullification. Yet he fails to offer a single convincing argument against nullification. He instead attempts to abuse them, rather than refute them. He loosely paraphrases Andrew Jackson, saying that the seventh president once described nullification bills as “insurrectionist” and “treasonous”. Finally, he claims that nullification will lead to “constitutional anarchy”.

Watch it:

I assume that Steve Trimmer is referring to a sentence in Andrew Jackson’s Proclamation Regarding Nullification, written for him by Edward Livingston, in which he pleads with the people of his native South Carolina:

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GOP: Cut Whaling History Subsidies, Save Nation

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor’s “YouCut” project has released a new video that attempts to visually underscore the impropriety of sticking future taxpayers with a mountain of federal debt.

The video begins with a voice saying “You wouldn’t do this to your child’s piggy bank” followed by visuals of a child’s piggy bank being smashed with a hammer. The voice then says:

But Democrat controlled Washington is leaving a $13 trillion debt for your children and future generations. It’s time Washington got its fiscal house in order. Start changing the culture of spending in Washington by voting on YouCut today.

That’s a wee bit disingenuous considering that Republicans and Democrats alike are responsible for the massive federal debt.

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Political Correctness at Monticello

I went on a tour of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, yesterday with some friends.  It had been a long time since I had visited The Great Man’s home, and I fully expected to be exposed to a strong dose of political correctness, which now pervades all of American society.  It didn’t take long before the school-marmish tour guide announced that “historians tell us” that Jefferson fathered six children with slave Sally Hemmings.

She didn’t say which historians say this, nor did she indicate why anyone would expect historians to have knowledge of DNA science, which would be necessary to come to such a conclusion.  Nor did she mention that there are many prominent scholars who have objected to (and ridiculed) this assumption.  For example, as Professor Marco Bassani writes in his great new book, Liberty, State, & Union: The Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson:

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A scholarly look at commerce and the Constitution

Robert Natelson did extensive research on the meaning of  the word “commerce” in relation to the expanded interpretation of the Constitution’s commerce clause favored by progressive legal thinkers. He scoured 17th and 18th century case law, legal works and legal dictionaries, as well as lay usage of the word. His research showed commerce was almost exclusively used in connection with trade – not a broader range of economic activities.

Natelson wrote:

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Charlie Dent vs the Constitution of the United States

“Mr. Dent, as a 20-year career politician, you have sworn an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution multiple times. This document with its 9th and 10th amendments greatly limits the powers of the federal government. I believe you have broken your oath innumerable times, but in the spirit of debate, can you please explain where…

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The pig is dead

The great anthropologist Joseph Campbell said one of the legendary moments in the spirit life of America was when the Lakota shaman, Black Elk, turning and pointing north to northwest, said to the poet Flaming Rainbow, “There is the center of the world.” Then he said, “but wherever you are is the center of the world.” He might have been right the first time, because Black Elk’s Dakotas are awakening. Just as the rest of us up here in the northeast seem to be falling into a deep post-industrial slumber.

This current recession in no way resembles the Great Depression when “world economy” basically consisted of England, Germany and the U.S. as historian Niall Ferguson has been saying. Much of the world is not in recession and they will grow at the disadvantage of others. Germany is doing well and Brazil is at 7%. China and Germany are creditor nations and as Jim Rogers says, the U.S. is now the “greatest debtor nation in history.” But for our purposes here in the Land of the Free, we can see that the U.S. economy is REGIONALIZING in this recession. The red states are bountiful with commodities and agricultural products and are generally very healthy. There is, says Rogers, “a definite shift from financial centers to the producers of real goods.” One size government no longer fits all in politics and in economy. In a word, blue is on the wane, red is on the rise. And the post-industrial urban blue asks – demands – a pension from the rural and agricultural red.

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McConnell has it about half right

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell jumped on the bandwagon and joined the chorus calling for the federal defunding of NPR in the wake of the summary firing of news analyst Juan Williams for making a controversial statement about Muslims.

“I’ve voted to cut their funding in the past, and will again,” McConnell said in a statement. “With trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see, I think the federal government ought to be re-examining all of its expenditures to make sure we are focused on creating an environment where the economy can return to health and can begin creating sustainable private-sector jobs.”

The Williams flap created a nice bur-ha-ha and the perfect opportunity for elected officials and wannabes to toss some political hay. But while throwing around high-minded platitudes about free speech, liberal bias and budget deficits, most politicians, McConnell included,  completely miss the real principled reason why NPR should not receive federal funding.

Quite simply, the Constitution grants no authority for Congress to fund radio stations.

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Another Tenth Amendment Task Force Critique

Connor Boyack, of the  Utah Tenth Amendment Center, recently submitted his article, Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing? This article supplements his based on a recent experience and opportunity to meet with Congressman, John Culberson, of Houston.

The event was the Institute of Hispanic Culture’s annual gala, a formal, black tie event hosted in one of Houston’s premier hotel ballrooms.  It was a very nice event, with a number of influential people making appearances, such as Congressman, Pete Olson, Texas Supreme Court Justice, Eva Guzman, and some others.

Before the program began, the customary meet and greet at the bar outside of the ballroom was conducted for about an hour or so.  I had the pleasure to speak with the aforementioned leaders, all of whom are very decent and hard-working people.

John Culberson is a very well-liked Congressman in our area.  He fits the conservative persona seemingly well.   There is not much to dislike, and in fact, he always gets my vote.  Nevertheless, I thought I would share what I find to be the typical flawed approach to the Tenth Amendment Task Force, since Representative Culberson is one of the Force’s members.

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Tom Woods on Nullification, this November at the Mises Academy

Writes J. Grayson Lilburne: The Mises Academy is pleased to announce Nullification: A Jeffersonian Bulwark Against Tyranny, a four-week, online course with Thomas E. Woods, starting November 16. From the description: Nullification, the Jeffersonian mechanism of state resistance to unconstitutional acts of the U.S. government, has returned to the news in recent years, and is the subject…

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