Courage to Resist?

Today the federal government is literally everywhere. It has its nose in everything, and it has been that way for a long, long time.

In the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison warned us that if the federal government were to have the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, its power would continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on power.

The principle behind these resolutions, that the power of federal government must be checked by state governments, has gained resurgence in recent years, and is growing more every day.

Those sound like nice words, but what does this mean precisely in application?

In order to restore usurped constitutional authority, a State must be prepared, at some point, to resist federal intrusion. In the American tradition, there is a long history of States doing just that. Georgia nullified the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chisholm vs. Georgia (1793); New England States nullified fugitive slave laws; and earlier New England townships nullified Jefferson’s embargo and the war of 1812 declared under Madison’s administration.

While over the last few years, dozens of states have literally said NO to Washington DC on issues ranging from national health care to medical marijuana, the real ID act, gun rights and more – some people feel that to really activate the constitution for the future, something more will be needed.

One idea, which will take a great deal of courage on the part of the People and their state governments, is to establish what’s being called a “Federal Tax Escrow Account.”

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“Deregulation Caused the Financial Crisis”

Sick of that one?  Me too.  Here’s the quick note I sent someone who asked Professor Walter Block this very thing. “I cover this in detail in my forthcoming (February 7) book Rollback.  For now, I’d ask your friends for specific examples of deregulation that led to the present crisis.  They can’t name one.  There isn’t…

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1984 in 2011

This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date…” 

George Orwell was as prophetic as anyone when he penned one of the greatest literary works in the history of man–1984. What is 1984? You should know; you LIVE in a quasi-1984 society. A society where Big Brother’s everywhere (or at the very least, has the technology in-place and the court precedents to spy on anyone, anywhere). A society in which you’re not to think, as a matter of fact, to think outside-the-box, to be libertarian, and to love liberty, these are seen as Thought-Crimes. You’re coming against the system and the system’s not happy about it.

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Health Care Freedom Act Introduced in South Carolina

A flurry of Health Care Freedom Acts – both as bills and resolutions for state constitutional amendments – have been prefiled for the 2011 legislative session in South Carolina. As of this writing, there are currently 4 that have been introduced. The following are the bill numbers, links to the full text, and a brief overview of the direction of the legislation:

House Bill 3011 (H3011)

A resident of this State, regardless of whether he has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer, or a plan sponsored by the State or the federal government, must not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage. No provision of this title renders a resident of this State liable for any penalty, assessment, fee, or fine as a result of the resident’s failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage.”

Senate Bill 5 (S0005)

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Nine Thousand Dollars

According to Wolfram|Alpha, the world population is 6.79 billion people and the annual global GDP is $60.63 trillion.  Divide $60.63 trillion dollars by 6.79 billion people and you get 8,929.31 dollars per person (per year). Remember this number when you hear people, especially those from the United Nations, talking about “redistribution of wealth“, ecojustice or…

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We Want to be Our Own Masters!

The question has been asked “Who are you taking your country back from?” this is a very reasonable question, and deserves to be answered.

When you look at government through the lens of sovereignty the answer becomes clear. We were raised with the notion that we control our own lives, liberty, and happiness as long as we don’t deny others the same and play within the rules we get to keep those natural rights by virtue of our Creator; or our humanity as you will. Government was instituted to protect and defend those God given rights; our freedom does not originate from the bill of rights, the bill of rights is a restraining order on the Federal government.

To further protect our natural rights from government, power was divided into a compound republic (one with many parts) where each was to jealously guard its authority from the others and preserve the balance of that power so that no single part of the whole would become powerful enough to deny us those rights.

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Left Wing Nationalism

Historicism, as this humble author understands it, is the belief that nations advance along a pre-selected historical timeline towards there eventual end. It assumes that each nation is locked into its path to its endpoint and that there is nothing anyone can do about it which is why we are constantly told by the far left that no person can have any idea outside a society’s own unique culture. Any thought an individual had simply did not originate from their own minds but from society’s own collective thought pool and the particular period in which we are suppose to be deriving those thoughts from are always the tiny segment on the historical timeline in which we happen to exist on in the present. It establishes that we are powerless to think anything other than what the historical moment dictates.

The natural result is that our thinking naturally evolves to a more perfect state as history moves forward. The eventual end was what that society was always advancing towards which was its own perfection but since each society has its own historicist timeline then each nation is advancing towards its version of perfection. This establishes an almost religious way of thinking within that society in that it establishes that there is a perfection that exists within that society and that good and evil is always defined as how close a person is to that end. This is why conservatism is linked to all of our nation’s evils while progressivism (liberals) is linked with those undoing those evils. They see themselves as undoing the old which is always evil and ushering in the new which is always the good since it brings our nation closer to its eventual end in which our society will reach perfection.

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Getting Beyond the Anti-Earmark Crusade

As a former adviser to one of Congress’s most ardent foes of earmarking, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), I’ve served time on the front-lines of the battle to end the corruptive practice. Yet, I never felt quite comfortable about the mission. At the same time I was assisting the senator in his floor battles against the likes of ex-Sen. Ted Stevens (Porker-AK), some of my other colleagues had been instructed to help Oklahomans get “their fair share” of subsidies from various federal grant programs.

There just isn’t much difference between the activities funded via earmarking and the activities funded by standard bureaucratic processes. The means are different, but the ends are typically the same: federal taxpayers paying for parochial benefits that are properly the domain of state and local governments, or preferably, the private sector. As a federal taxpayer, I’m no better off if the U.S. Dept. of Transportation decides to fund a bridge in Alaska or if Alaska’s congressional delegation instructs the DOT to fund the bridge.

Therefore, earmarking is a symptom of the problem. The problem is the existence of programsthat enable the federal government to spend money on parochial activities. I recently made this point in an op-ed on earmarking:

Critics of the Republicans’ earmark ban have a point when they argue that it won’t save a lot of money. While the tawdry and often questionable uses of earmarked money draw a lot of attention, it represents less than half of 1% of total federal spending.

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