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:


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…


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.