‘We’re Actually in Charge’

This past month I had the great privilege of attending the Ludwig von Mises Institute‘s summer program, Mises University. The week-long seminar in Austrian economics featured some of the best minds in free market academia and the most dedicated proponents of individual liberty. Among the lectures was “The Economics of the Drug War,” taught by Mark Thornton.

Primarily a course on the economics of prohibition, he spent some time on the recent efforts of state nullification via medical marijuana, and on the recreational use of pot in Colorado and Washington last year. Dr. Thornton explains not only the method by which state legislatures refuse to comply with unconstitutional and inhuman federal meddling, but he also covers the ways an individual can exercise restraint on federal overreach through jury nullification.

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Paying Tribute

The steps taken to consolidate the states into one homogeneous “nation” range from capitalizing on the complete ignorance of two words in the Supremacy Clause (pursuance thereof) all the way to the distorted doctrine of incorporation. And each layer of usurpation erodes the constitutional structure laid down by the founders.

However, the easiest way to get the states to do the bidding of a central government and destroy a union of sovereign states is not found in a bastardized interpretation of one sentence in the Constitution or Supreme Court legal gymnastics. Erosion of state sovereignty is much simpler.

It’s all about the “free money!!!”

What kinds of “free money” does the federal government slosh around? The feds use subsidies, grants, loans, drones, SWAT tanks, healthcare, and even defense contractor related jobs to bribe state and local governments to do their bidding.

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Where are Today’s Sons of Liberty?

We talk a lot today about how the Constitution no longer means what it used to and it no longer protects individual freedom and liberty as it used to. We say this because a government of limited and defined powers has steadily and without apology become a government of broad and undefined powers.  When a state should happen to assert its sovereignty and challenge the usurpation of power, the federal government issues a letter threatening to take them to court. The government knows that what the Constitution won’t allow it to do, the courts will.

But the situation is far more serious than what we thought.  Yes, our Constitution is and has been under attack. And yes, the relationship between the individual and the government has been fundamentally altered. But the document that perhaps may be even more significant to us as Americans, the Declaration of Independence, is also under attack. The attack, if we want to be intellectually honest, started with the man the government touts as the greatest American president Abraham Lincoln.

Just as the Constitution was fundamentally transformed as the American people slept and as they became virtual strangers to their own history and heritage, the Declaration has been eroded because of the same reason.

John Adams once said: “A constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  The American people don’t know how close they are to losing the very gifts they have taken for granted for so long.  We here today will enjoy the last remnants of freedom, but through our actions, our neglect, our spite, and our ignorance we may condemn our children and grandchildren to repurchase it, perhaps with their lives. It may be too late.

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