Don’t Be Distracted by the Fake Government Shutdown

If you have been watching CNN, you would think the sky was falling. Our ‘public servants’ have been whining and crying endlessly about how their precious bureaucracy has been shutdown. To these arrogant elitists, this means that the sun won’t shine and the grass won’t grow. However, the state of the country hasn’t changed very much in spite of the alleged shutdown.

In reality, the feds are still drone-bombing children, creating a 1984-style surveillance state, molesting people at airports and racking up astronomical amounts of debt to fund all of this deviousness. And of course, Obamacare is still being implemented in the state of Michigan thanks to the disgraced backstabber Rick Snyder.

The feds are hoping since a small amount of federal workers are temporarily laid off that the American public will panic and forget about the mountain of government incompetence and corruption that is evident at every level. As distracted as many Americans are unfortunately are, they are too fed up with the status quo to forget about how the numerous ways they have been tread upon by government. They see the prices of their food and gas going up, they see the dismal job market, they see the bizarre unhinged behavior of their government officials. All the propaganda in the world cannot keep the American people in the dark any longer.

The good news out of this turmoil is the polarized nature of government. The political system has been polarized for quite some time, but it has to be at a record level right now. This is good news because when these guys are at each others throats, less things get done. When less things get done, it is far less likely for the government to destroy the economy and our basic rights. It is really that simple.

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Oxford, Mass Passes Strong Non-Binding Resolution Against Indefinite Detention

Just days after Albany, New York passed a resolution as a statement of intent against indefinite detention, the Town of Oxford, Massachusetts followed up with another.

Under Massachusetts home rule law, a local community organized as a town preserves the open town meeting or the representative town meeting as their governing body rather than by the vote of an elected body like a town council.  On Wednesday, by popular vote, the People of Oxford approved – nearly unanimously – a strong resolution primarily drafted by People Against the National Defense Authorization Act (P.A.N.D.A).

NO LEGAL EFFECT

Like the one passed in Albany, the resolution in Oxford is not legally-binding – it is a mere statement of opinion and intent.  It holds no force of law over the activities of town employees, or anyone else for that matter.  But, it is a strong first step towards resisting and eventually nullifying indefinite detention (and other) unconstitutional federal powers within the Town, and the state of Massachusetts.  As noted in our report on the Albany resolution, a non-binding resolution – with no force of law – is an important step because it follows James Madison’s blueprint to resist federal acts within the states.    There are 4 steps which James Madison advised for us to take to stop federal powers, and such a resolution is an important piece of that puzzle.  (learn more below)

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A Glimpse into the Basement: Government is Force

This government shutdown gives us just a little glimpse into the basement under Washington D.C.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Most attribute the quote to George Washington, although that remains questionable. But whether the first president uttered those words or not, they stand no less true.

Sometimes when I talk about tyranny, or the danger of centralized power, people accuse me of hyperbole. Honestly, sometimes it is. But any honest study of history reveals mtrushmorethat centralized governments rarely “care” for the people they lord over. They become self-serving institutions detached from the people, obsessed with maintaining their power and extending their authority.

The so-called government shut down cracks the door just a tad and allows us to peek into the dark basement below Washington D.C. I find what I see chilling.

The U.S. government is a bully.

Since the government partially closed last week, we’ve caught glimpses of this petty “I’ll show you mentality.”

The feds shut down websites.

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A Lesson from the “Shutdown”

We have entered week two of the federal government’s “shutdown” and, amazingly, Americans are still hanging in there.  This is a fact that has chagrined federal politicians to no end.  In an effort to convince us all that we really need our omnipotent overlords, federal agents continue to execute their directive which, as one federal employee has unhappily admitted, is “to make life as difficult as possible.”

So far their actions have included closing national parks, barricading monuments, holding elderly vacationers hostage in Yellowstone and, horror of horrors, shutting down Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.  If I didn’t enjoy the silence I would ask someone to tell FLOTUS that Twitter is free.

Sure, these are annoying maneuvers, but they’re fairly innocuous.  They seem more like an overgrown temper tantrum than the triumphant return of the Dark Ages.  On one level it’s actually been pretty entertaining to watch the federal government work so hard at trying to make us miss them.  On another level it’s a little sad, kind of like a jilted teenager trying to make his ex-girlfriend jealous by going to prom with his sister.

Either way, it’s a little hard to miss them when 80% of federal bureaucrats are still on the job, the NSA is still spying on us and our earnings are still being stolen from our paychecks.

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Seth Barrett Tillman on the Debt Ceiling

Regarding this post, Seth Barrett Tillman writes:

There is a new view that the President has authority to sell newly issued government debt, absent congressional authority (i.e., Congress’s raising the debt ceiling).
Professor Epps, Dorf, and Buchanan et al. may be right or they be wrong about the constitutional point. (Disclosure: My own view is that they are wrong.) But it does not matter if they are right or wrong. The Constitution is not the relevant body of law.

The relevant body of law is fiduciary duty law. No trustee, director, or officer of a primary dealer (the organisations which actually buy newly issued federal debt) would touch debt issued by the President absent either (1) congressional consent, or (2) Supreme Court approval of the practice. Any such purchase by a primary dealer would be clear violation of its fiduciary duty of care to its stockholders. Full stop. Ex hypothesi, Congress will not have consented: that’s why the President’s action would be unilateral. Likewise, judicial approval could only happen (long) after the Treasury sells the debt. To sell the debt, the Government would have to agree to an astronomical premium, and that would leave the government much worse off than not selling debt at all.

Epps, Dorf, Buchanan and other make an interesting theoretical point (like some which I have made!), but wholly impractical point (ditto). The President cannot sell debt on the credit of the United States absent congressional authority. It is a matter of private law, not public/constitutional law.

Very well put.  And it reminds me of a further point regarding Section 4 that I intended to make yesterday.  Far from supporting a unilateral presidential power to issue debt, Section 4 points the opposite direction.  It says (emphasis added):

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Before You Rejoice

Before you rejoice that the government has seized an alleged terrorist in Libya who was indicted for planning the notorious 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, before you join the House of Representatives in a standing ovation for the Capitol Hill Police who killed a woman whose car struck a White House fence and who then drove away at a high speed, and before you commend the New York Police Department for quickly getting to the bottom of an alleged assault by a motorcycle gang that tormented a young family on a city street, please give some thought to the rule of law.

Last weekend, a team of Navy SEALs kidnapped a Libyan, Abu Anas al-Libi, off of a public street in Tripoli. The Navy men did not have a warrant for his arrest, did not have the permission of the local authorities or the Libyan government to carry out this kidnapping, and were unlawfully present bearing arms in public in Libya. Many of al-Libi’s alleged accomplices already had been arrested, prosecuted and convicted in the U.S. The U.S. could have sought his extradition, as it did with some of them, had President Obama not bombed the American-friendly government of Col. Moammar Gadhafi out of existence, without a congressional declaration of war.

Obama apologists have praised this maneuver as a bloodless way to obtain justice without using drones to kill. (How low we have sunk when Obama can be praised for not executing someone with a drone.) Secretary of State John Kerry, acknowledging that al-Libi is innocent until proved guilty, has claimed that the rule of law was followed here because he will be brought to a civilian U.S. court for trial. Former George W. Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey claimed that because the embassy bombings constituted an act of war, the kidnapping of al-Libi was a lawful wartime assault, and he should be tried before a military tribunal.

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