Nullification: As American as Baseball and Crackerjacks.

Secession: it’s the American way.  After all, without secession, the U.S. would never be.  We would still be a product of English imperialism.  But that’s not what happened.  The founding fathers decided that secession was required, and that free people have a right to secede from an oppressive government that was no longer “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  The Declaration of Independence stated that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”  America was built on the idea of secession.  Although secession is historically and morally significant, there is a far more effective tool to return sovereignty to the people.  It’s called nullification.

With the re-election of Barack Obama, secession dialogues are back.  The frustration with an ever expanding federal government, vast political differences, the unconstitutional “Obamacare,” NDAA, and many others, secession talk is running rampant.  Historically speaking, secession is an appropriate check on the federal government.  However, as our founding fathers were aware, a peaceful withdrawal from the U.S. is unlikely.  Nullification, which eliminates the need to secede, and avoids violence, is the “rightful remedy.”

Looking through history, and the words of our founding fathers, it’s easy to see their views on the rights of States to secede.  Take for instance Thomas Jefferson.  To understand his visions, we can simply look to his words.  In Jefferson’s first inaugural address, he said, “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union . . . let them stand undisturbed.”

Jefferson wasn’t the only one.  John Quincy Adams agreed that states could secede to create a “more perfect union.”  Even nationalist extraordinaire, Alexander Hamilton, argued that “To coerce the States [to remain in the Union] is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised.”  To the founders, the right to secede was engrained in the American spirit.  With the threat of secession looming, an ever expanding federal government, with ever increasing powers would cease to exist.  Secession is another check.  Just as the three federal branches check the powers of each other, secession would do the same.

America is the land of the free.  Free men are able to do as they please, which includes leaving something they no longer wish to be a part of.  If freedom is the goal, then secession is a right of free people.  As Murray Rothbard said,

 “Once one concedes that a single world government is not necessary, then where does one logically stop at the permissibility of separate states? If Canada and the United States can be separate nations without being denounced as being in a state of impermissible “anarchy,” why may not the South secede from the United States? New York State from the Union? New York City from the state? Why may not Manhattan secede? Each neighborhood? Each block? Each house? Each person? But, of course, if each person may secede from government, we have virtually arrived at the purely free society.”

Even without the words of our founders, the right to secede can simply be found by understanding our Constitution.  Given the fact that the federal government was created by a compact of the states, and that no single government (state or federal) is sovereign, but the people themselves that are sovereign, then it is the people that have the power to secede.  The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  Since the power of secession is not delegated to Congress, it is the sovereign citizens of the States that have the right to determine whether or not secession is the solution.

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Do Elections Really Make a Difference?

The fact the Governor Perdue has made a decision to work with the Federal government to implement a federal-state healthcare exchange in North Carolina should come as no surprise. She is a BIG government progressive politician and she is only doing what BIG government progressive politicians always do, bow down to the Federal government. The real problem is she is going against the wishes of the citizens of North Carolina, which rejected democrats both in the State House and Senate and for the governorship of North Carolina. She is attempting to tie the hands of the new State Legislature and the incoming governor-elect Pat McCrory, but was it nessary.

It has been reported in a Charlotte Observer news article that Governor Perdue said she preferred a state operated exchange, but chose the intermediate course so that governor-elect Pat McCrory and the legislature can make a future choice to go to a fully state run or federally run exchange. But this was not her decision to make she is and lame-duck governor making a choice for the citizens of North Carolina, a decision that does not need be made until after the first of the year.

In a statement Perdue said, “It will be an important choice and one the incoming administration is very aware of.”

Senate leader Phil Berger in a statement November 15, stating that Perdue was making a decision to an important issue that it should have been left to McCrory. “Let’s set the record straight — it is not necessary or appropriate for Governor Perdue to prematurely declare her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange. The initial deadline for the state to make this declaration is February 15, 2013 — three months from today. The voter’s elected and new legislature and the governor last week and policy decisions of this magnitude should be left to them.”

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A Tenther’s Guide to the Fiscal Cliff

Watching Republicans and Democrats squabble over the so-called fiscal cliff is like watching a duo of burglars arguing over who keeps your flat screen television. No matter which party prevails, you lose.

Tenthers, as a class, tend to be more pre-occupied with the liberty cliff, whose precipitous incline we fell off long ago. The other various cliffs – fiscal, debt, tax policy, entitlements – are really just the jagged rocks we’ve met on the way down. Which is why Tenthers tend not to wade into the whole fiscal cliff debate. If your causes are liberty, constitutional rule of law and sound currency, then it seems downright silly to sweat the details of how much the federal government should raise the debt ceiling to pay for foreign wars, Obamaphones and highways named after U.S. Senators.

Consider the numbers. The federal government now spends $3,800,000,000,000.00 per year. Various taxes supply about $2,900,000,000,000.00 of that amount. The free ride component – the annual deficit – has now accrued to a staggering $16,000,000,000,000.00 in national debt.

Faced with these appalling details, the Democrats (and Paul Krugman) respond with calls to tax and spend more. Republicans, the supposedly more fiscally continent of the two parties, grumble on about tax increases and then invariably capitulate to more borrowing and spending. And with the deck chairs on the Titanic nicely rearranged, the American people are once again free. By “free” I mean free to watch Dancing with the Stars and Real Housewives of Cleveland while an omnipotent federal government further enslaves us into a highly regulated, pathetically dependent blob of couch potatoes.

So what would a Tenther do? I’m glad you asked!  Here’s 4 steps a Tenther would take:

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NDAA Nullification Moves Forward in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – With the Feinstein Amendment passing the Senate Thursday, the national spotlight swiveled back onto indefinite detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act.

Many hailed the passage of the amendment as the beginning of the end of federally sanctioned kidnapping. But the amendment contains several troubling aspects, including an assumption that Congress retains the power to legislate indefinite detention in the future. And as Tenth Amendment Center legal analyst Blake Flilppi points out in his in depth analysis of the amendment, it may not even strike down indefinite detention under the NDAA.

That makes it imperative that state and local efforts to nullify detention without constitutional due process continue.

In Michigan, those efforts cleared a hurdle Tuesday. The Committee on Oversight, Reform, and Ethics unanimously passed HB5768 and sent it on for a second reading in the full House.

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Educating Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on Health Exchanges

In a recent interview on Fox News, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell implied that his state might not set up a state insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. In fact, as things stand right now, he wouldn’t.

“If I had to make a decision today, we would not elect to have a state-based exchange,” he said.

But McDonnell is certainly leaving the door open for Virginia to do so. In fact, a year ago he stated that Virginia should operate its own health benefits exchange instead of defaulting to a federal exchange. And this month he indicated that he’s not willing to make the commitment one way or the other. “We’ll make it [the decision] by the 14th [of December]. If we don’t have any better information, we can’t have a state-based exchange, and we’ll join most of the other governors, including a handful of Democrats, who will opt for the federal default… we cannot have a system where they give us a price tag and limited information.”

Here’s some news for you, Bob. You aren’t allowed to set up a state health exchange in Virginia.

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Paying for Storm Damage

According to the New York Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s congressional delegation want the federal government to pay for $33 billion in storm damage from Hurricane Sandy plus another $9 billion for preventative measures:

“I understand the fiscal pressures that Washington is under,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I also understand the fiscal pressure that New York is under. And I know that the taxpayers of New York cannot shoulder this burden, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask them to shoulder this burden.”

I suppose one could make the argument that it wouldn’t be “fair” to make New York citizens foot the bill given that New Yorkers have helped pay for the cleanup following natural disasters in other  states. But is it “fair” for the residents of other states to subsidize rebuilding efforts on coastal areas that are prone to natural disasters? Is it “fair” for Gov. Cuomo – rumored to have eyes on running for president – to use Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity to get federal taxpayers to fund infrastructure projects that he would have otherwise had to ask his constituents to pay for?

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‘Due Process Guarantee Amendment’ Passes, Congress Still Able to Indefinitely Detain American Citizens

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to end the indefinite detention provision under NDAA has passed in the U.S. Senate.  The “Due Process Guarantee Amendment” has a purpose to prohibit the use of military force to detain a citizen, or lawful permanent U.S. resident, without charge or trial.

“Purpose: To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”

The amendment appears to end the controversial NDAA provision that allows the President to detain U.S. citizens he deems a threat, without a charge or trial.  However, there are many problems with this amendment.  Given the fact that the U.S. Constitution in no way gives Congress, or the President, the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without a charge, trial, or attorney (except in cases of rebellion or invasion), you have to wonder how this amendment improves upon the original NDAA bill.

In this amendment, it states:

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Michigan House committee votes down health care exchanges

LANSING, Mich. (Nov. 29, 2012) – A Michigan House committee has voted down legislation that would have authorized setting up a state-run insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Following extensive and spirited testimony from the assembled speakers on Thursday, the vote was 9-5 against House bill 3, substitute for Senate Bill 693, introduced by Sen. Jim Marleau. Two representatives abstained.

An intrepid group of Michigan Patriots from across the state, and with various affiliations, testified against state implementation of Obamacare exchanges.

The Tenth Amendment, nullification and interposition positions were well-articulated by the independent thinkers and grass roots activists. Tenth Amendment Center, Campaign for Liberty, Americans for Prosperity and Oath Keepers were among the groups with volunteer representation at the hearing speaking against the enabling legislation. Supporters of the Trojan Horse State Exchange proposal appeared to be primarily paid corporate and bureaucratic lobbyists, according to Health Freedom supporters on the ground.

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Nullifying ObamaCare: An Alternative To The Supreme Court Ruling

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare was constitutional.

The Administration takes this as a green light to implement ObamaCare to its fullest extent possible. Because the election went in President Obama’s favor, the Senate and House have lost any desire to overturn the law. Without the overturn, it looks like the law making Obamacare a reality is going to stand forever.

Or is it?

In order to make Obamacare work properly, as it currently stands, there are two mainstays of Obamacare that must be carried out on the state level. Each state must implement an insurance exchange and they must drastically expand Medicare according to the law. These two items of ObamaCare will cost the states untold millions of dollars to implement.

When federal law goes bad, it is up to the states to protect their citizens. The legal theory is called nullification. Nullification is the idea that any given state has the right to invalidate federal laws that they consider unconstitutional. Somewhere along the line the Supreme Court got it wrong in their reasoning. Accordingly, it is like saying that since the government has a stake in GM it can create a law that says we can only buy GM cars. If we buy any other type of car we have to pay an extra tax on it.

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Arizona will not Create a State Health Exchange

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will not be implementing a state-run health insurance exchange This is a key peice to President Barack Obama’s federal health care law (Obamacare). Brewer made her decision on Wednesday. Instead of an exchange, the federal government will set up an online marketplace for the state that will offer subsidized private health coverage to the middle class.

Her decision, according to her letter informing DC of her decision, was based on the costs and suspicions associated with a state-run exchange. Other concerns raised were the inability to customize unique policies for Arizona citizens and whether or not it was constitutional.

Brewer joins approximately 20 governors nationwide who have also denied creating state-run exchanges. Hospitals, insurance companies and business groups wanted Governor Brewer to implement a state-run exchange, claiming that it would give the state flexibility in designing a program to its liking. Groups such as the Goldwater Institute and the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center, stood in opposition.

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