Tenther Radio Episode 4: Paul Armentano, Robert Scott Bell

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In this episode, hosts Phil Russo and Michael Boldin are joined by Paul Armentano, the Deputy Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. His recent op-ed at CNN.com (read here) discusses the Ron Paul-Barney Frank legislation to return marijuana decision-making to the states, and he discusses his view that such decisions should be decentralized, and not in the hands of the federal government.

Paul also talks about the Obama administration’s about-face on marijuana policy and its recent use of threats to individual states to get them to stop implementation of medical marijuana programs in New Jersey and elsewhere. He also points out that in Vermont, Maine and other states, they ignored the threats and have gotten away with it. A blueprint for other issues too?


The Power to Make and Fund War Belong to Congress Alone

We finally did what John McCain, a Republican Party Presidential candidate, said that we should do in Libya and it was Barak Obama, the Democratic Party Presidential candidate and ultimate victor, who then did it—enforce a no-fly zone on another country who poised no military threat to the United States. Are there any real differences between the two major parties on foreign policy? Where is the authority for a single person to approve military action against another country which action has always been considered an act of war?

Although I have no sympathy for Moammar Gadhafi, how would we feel if Libya was the super power and did the same to us? Of course, I realize that this was done by coalition forces (mostly France and Britain) through the power of the United Nations, but whose kidding who: it is mostly our aircraft, our pilots, our ships and our Mohawk Missiles.

I am concerned about the constitutionality of this action by either a Democratic or a Republican President. The making and funding of war were clearly denied the President in the Constitution because he “had the most propensity for war.” Only Congress has the right “to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.” War requires the blood of our young warriors and this requires the permission of the people who are required to be the fodder in such. Only the peoples’ representatives can “provide and maintain a navy or make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces” and for “calling forth the militia…to repel invasions “ or “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States….” Congress is directly responsible for any acquisition of property for military use. All of this is in Article I, Section 8 and belongs to the legislative branch alone.


Petition Drive for Freedom of Choice In Pennsylvania’s Health Care

Editor’s Note: One of the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Coalition members received this message in e-mail from the Lehigh Valley Tea Party.  The message has been formatted by the PA Tenth Amendment Center for web display, but is otherwise unchanged.  If you are a Tea Party member, you may want to customize it for your own group to join the petition drive.  Going by the text of the message, if you want to join the Lehigh Valley Tea Party petition as an individual, it needs to be e-mailed today, July 13.  The sooner the better, it would appear.

Harrisburg will only act if they hear us speaking with one voice.   It is the position of the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center that HB42 and SB220 (a similar bill in the senate), represent the best alternatives available in this year’s legislative session for Tenth Amendment protection from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Tenther Radio: Tom Woods with Phil Russo and Michael Boldin

Add to iTunes EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom Woods will be the keynote speaker at Nullify Now! Kansas City. Get tickets here – http://www.nullifynow.com/kansascity/ – or by calling 888-71-TICKETS ******* Tom Woods discusses his recent blockbuster speech at Nullify Now! Los Angeles, how government is out of control in both domestic and foreign policy, a general overview…


Tenther Radio: Kevin Gutzman with Phil Russo and Michael Boldin

Add to iTunes Hosts Phil Russo and Michael Boldin talk with Kevin Gutzman, Author of the Politically Incorrect guide to the Constitution AND Virginia’s American Revolution” – the book Tom Woods’ Nullification is based on. They talk about two recent supreme court rulings – the Bond case that says individuals can sue the federal government…


Shredding the US Constitution

Has it really come to this?  Time magazine, one of our most respected magazines, seriously posing the question, “Does It Still Matter?” over the backdrop of the U. S. Constitution partially shredded as their cover page for their 10th Annual History and Fourth of July Issue.  The second page of the ten-page article, authored by Richard Stengel, has the U. S. Constitution completely shredded vertically.  This event signals a disrespect and ignorance of this document that I have not seen in my over 25 years teaching it.

The article’s overriding fallacy begins with the first sentence and continues throughout, “Here are a few things the framers did not know about: World War II, DNA, sexting, airplanes, the atom, television, Medicare, collateralized debt obligations, the germ theory of disease, miniskirts …” etc.  In short, “How can it be relevant, without great alteration for our day?”  Certainly the piece is a masterful explanation of the Constitution as a “living Constitution.”  Among other things it criticizes the “Tea Party and its almost fanatical focus on the founding document.”

The truth is that the Constitution has nothing to do with these things nor did it have for the new things of the 1800’s, nor will it have for a new list the following century after the one we are now in.  None of these things matter because this document is based upon human nature and natural law which do not change from century to century.  Man is still power hungry whether he rides a horse, drives a car, or flies an airplane.  Stengel does not seem to understand this.


Interview: The Rubber Hits the Road

Bryce Shonka, Tenth Amendment Center deputy director, on the Ed Dean radio show to talk about decentralization, nullification, revisionist history and Nullify Now! Jacksonville. “We need to get back to smaller government, letting our communities operate on an organic basis – with their best interest in mind instead of some bureaucrat’s best interest in mind.”…


Progressive Half Gets It

Adam Serwer at the American Prospect writes:

Recently, Cato’s C. Bradley Thompson wrote about neoconservatism, saying that neoconservatives “are and always have been, by contrast, defenders of the post–New Deal welfare state.” Other than David Frum, I’m not aware of too many conservatives who have offered forceful defenses of the New Deal welfare state. Rather, as neoconservatism has become the dominant foreign-policy ideology of the Republican Party, there’s been a hybridization of neoconservative foreign-policy aggressiveness with more traditional conservative hostility toward social insurance. As a result, America’s war expenses have become an untouchable driver of deficits that provide pretext for dismantling the welfare state.

Serwer is right about the neocons’ attachment to the military budget and foreign intervention, though he leaves out the Democrats’ record on this very issue — contrary to the usual neocon complaint, the Democrats have not in fact sought to “gut” the military.  Neither the Clinton nor the Obama record suggests any such thing.  It’s one big, corrupt system that we are tricked into thinking involves two diametrically opposed parties.


Strong Cities, Strong Communities: Bad Idea

When government officials come up with what they claim to be a wonderful new idea, I often think of an old Saturday Night Live skit from 1990 poking fun at commercials for blue jeans. The skit’s scene is a group of middle-aged buddies getting ready to play basketball in their new “Bad Idea Jeans.” Each guy optimistically announces a plan to do something that is actually a “bad idea.” For example, a character says “I don’t know the guy but I’ve got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figured…” and “BAD IDEA” flashes across the screen. (The skit can be watched here.)

The White House’s new “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative had that BAD IDEA screen shot flashing repeatedly in my mind as I read the press release:

Today, the Obama Administration launched Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2), a new and customized pilot initiative to strengthen local capacity and spark economic growth in local communities while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently. To accomplish this, federal agencies will provide experienced staff to work directly with six cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA. These teams will work with local governments, the private sector, and other institutions to leverage federal dollars and support the work being done at the local level to encourage economic growth and community development.

Additionally, communities nationwide will be eligible to compete for comprehensive economic planning assistance through a grant competition designed to spark local innovation. By integrating government investments and partnering with local communities, SC2 channels the resources of the federal government to help empower cities as they develop and implement their vision for economic growth.

The Wall Street Journal reports that federal officials from HUDLaborCommerce,Transportation, and the Small Business Administration will be “deployed” to the cities. In other words, the Obama administration wants to send bureaucrats from federal agencies that are notorious for wasting other people’s money to help local bureaucrats do a more “efficient” job of spending other people’s money. That’s like asking Anthony Weiner to fix your Twitter account.