Rick Perry’s “Fed Up!” An Eagle Scout’s guide to states rights

If Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, gets up here any time soon and I have a feeling he will, he might take a look at Henry’s James classic, “The Bostonians.” He might find us today much as James found us then in 1886; feminists, utopians, New England Hindus, mesmerists and socialists, and feel some kinship to the more stalwart Confederate cousin, Basil Ransom of Mississippi, who eat his peas with a Bowie knife. But Perry, Eagle Scout, Texas rancher, C-130 Air Force pilot and governor longer and any in Texas history, is no Confederate. In fact, in his guide to states’ right, “Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” he writes that it was the South’s unwillingness to give up a way of life inexcusably based on the abominable practice of slavery that persuaded Congress to pass the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which compelled citizens of northern states to act against their conscience and help return escaped former slaves into bondage.

“Thus,” he writes, “while the southern states seceded in the name of ‘states’ rights,’ in many ways it was the northern states whose sovereignty was violated in the run-up to the Civil War.”

This book is one of the best things to emerge from the Tea Party movement and Perry is just the man to be doing the explaining. In time, it could be that all of this, including Sarah Palin’s carrying the flag these two years, was just prepping and plowing the fields to prepare for Rick Perry’s arrival on the national scene.

We are seeing an astonishing change of outlook in our times. Just one year ago Nadeam Elshami, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s aid, said questioning the Constitutionality of Obamacare was “ . . . not a serious question.” This week Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia said it is.

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Privatizing Roads

A major shortcoming of the deficit reduction plan concocted by the president’s Fiscal Commission is that it assumed that the federal government should continue doing everything it currently does. For example, the plan proposed a 15 cent per gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax to fund infrastructure projects. But why not allow the private sector to play a greater role in financing and maintaining infrastructure like roads?

That’s the topic of a new Reason TV video:

In the video, Bruce Benson explains that America has a strong history of privately-provided roads. Unfortunately, because government has come to dominate road construction, most citizens probably don’t stop to consider that the private sector can provide superior alternatives.

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