Shock: Guilds Enriched Powerful, Harmed Society

I have interacted with quite a few opponents of the free market, both socialists and “traditionalists,” who have looked to the medieval guilds as a great example of how society can be organized without the alleged dog-eat-dog competition of the market. Under the guilds, competition was held in check. This means everyone was allowed to…


Obama Demonstrates Why ‘Government Efficiency’ Is a Joke

By the time I stopped working for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), I had concluded that the pursuance of so-called “government efficiency” was largely a misguided waste of time for a politician who was interested in achieving smaller government. (I’ve been pleased to see my old boss spend more time trying to cut and eliminate programs since my…


The State of Holland?

cross-posted from the Texas Tenth Amendment Center

In 1648, the Dutch earned their freedom from Spain. The amazing thing is that later this tiny country evolved into a major commercial empire. One reason, the Netherlands had for its time a lot of economic freedoms.

One example, the Dutch respected Freedom of Speech and allowed foreigners to come into their country to print books which were banned across Europe in order to keep them in circulation.

Much of that same spirit survives today with their lax rules on issues like drugs and prostitution. However, their membership with the European Union is restricting their freedoms. The EU and other nations are pressuring the Netherlands not to provide these goods and services to foreign guests visiting their country

We are often told while visiting a foreign nation, we should respect their laws and customs. I will never suggest to an individual while traveling to the Netherlands that they should do drugs or pay a prostitute for his/her services.

However, I do wonder where the United States has the authority to tell me that I can’t partake into these activities while legal there. Does a country have the authority to force their own laws on its citizens when they are not within their borders? The last time I checked, I don’t have a “Made In the USA” tattoo on my body


GOP Fingerprints on the ‘Christmas Tree Tax’

The Drudge Report’s headlining of a Heritage Foundation story titled “Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax” has created quite a stir. In fact, it is being reported that the administration is now going to delay its implementation due to the outcry. Conservatives and Republicans are particularly incensed. However, it appears that they might want to rethink their…


Nullification? It’s a Gamble!

cross-posted from the New Jersey Tenth Amendment Center

This election year was one of mixed results for the Nullification and Tenth Amendment movement. In some states, initiatives were on the ballots that, in one way or another, sought to remove the federal government from the decision making process on an assortment of issues. Some met with success, while others failed.

Ohioans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Issue 3, which nullifies ObamaCare’s health insurance mandate. While this is only a small part of the health care reform bill, it is a beginning. Hopefully, state legislatures, local governments and the people of their respective states will begin dissecting and nullifying the rest of the 2,000 page monstrosity.

Mississippi’s Personhood initiative (26) failed by a roughly 14 point margin. Had it passed, it would have recognized the unborn as persons from the moment of conception in their state. There was disappointment among Pro-Lifers, particularly Pro-Life Tenthers, that the measure did not pass. I would remind them that the firstTenth Amendment Resolution introduced in New Hampshire in 2009 failed in a vote that was expected to pass, given New Hampshire’s reputation for being very much its own state.

The people of the State of New Jersey re-elected incumbents in almost all the state legislative races. However, perhaps unaware they were nullifying, they voted yes on a non-binding initiative stating New Jersey should pass a law allowing sports betting in Atlantic City. While some would claim the feds have the final say, the first question asked in response should be, “Why?”


Finally, a Conservative Who Isn’t Naive on Foreign Policy

Andrew Bacevich, in his new book Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, takes apart the saccharine platitudes of the bipartisan foreign-policy consensus, ideas one is considered “crazy” or a “kook” for challenging, and finds that it is these platitudes themselves that are crazy, ahistorical, without foundation, etc.  Bacevich, a contributing editor of The American Conservative, considers why these ideas persist, and why they are foisted on the American public with such vigor.  Why should the U.S. still have troops in countries all over the world, where the conflict that brought them there no longer even exists?  He asks simple and obvious questions like that, the kind of questions that get conventional thinkers — i.e., the vast bulk of the political and media classes, not to mention a good chunk of the government-school-educated public — reaching for the matches to burn the heretic.

From the book: