As the idea of state resistance to NSA spreads and takes root in state legislatures across the country, the establishment that feeds at the trough of the growing police state is getting spooked.Details
I supported the Bush wars. Actually, his daddy’s wars too. And Clinton’s wars. In fact, I pretty much supported all of the wars.
My worldview has shifted 180 degrees over the last five years.
Since the war drums started pounding out their cadence, driving the march toward Syria, I’ve spoken openly about my opposition to intervention. I even made a photo expressing my anti-war sentiment my Facebook profile pic.
I admit; it feels a little weird. A bit uncomfortable. Kind of like putting on a shoe that doesn’t quite fit. Or maybe putting on a shoe that fits just right after spending most of my life sporting ill-fitting footwear.
Here’s the thing: supporting war isn’t hard. Rage and hate come easily. War is bellicose and powerful. In my warmongering days, I could simply ridicule opponents. Shout them down. Paint them as unpatriotic, unamerican, cowards and trample over them. They were weak. I was strong.Details
Cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.
On Tuesday of this week, the Norristown Patch announced that same sex couples can now marry in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The Patch went on to elaborate that the Montgomery County Register of Wills, Bruce Hanes, had “worked closely with the Register of Wills solicitor Michael Clarke and Montgomery County Solicitor Raymond McGarry to study ‘every aspect of the law,’” subsequent to a request for a marriage license from a same sex couple. That couple evidently bowed out, but Hanes went public with the county’s position – saying, “I cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s version of DOMA as I believe it to be wholly unconstitutional”.
From the Patch,
According to Hanes, he took the oath of office 19 months ago to uphold the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions, and cited Article 1, Section 1, of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which provides for the rights of men, among which is “pursuing their own happiness”
So what Hanes was saying was that he believed there was a conflict between the state law and the state Constitution and when the law conflicts with the Constitution, the Constitution takes precedence. In other words, Hanes was prepared to nullify the state DOMA law because he believed that it conflicted with the state Constitution.Details
Cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.
If you can only ever read one thing by Hayek, may I suggest: “Why the Worst Get on Top“, chapter 10 from “The Road To Serfdom“? I can’t say it better than he did, so I’ll just give you some highlights to whet your appetite.
“…We must here return for a moment to the position which precedes the suppression of democratic processes and the creation of a totalitarian regime. In this stage it is the general demand for quick and determined central government action that is the dominating element in the situation, dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome course of democratic processes which make action for action’s sake the goal….
… If the ‘community’ or the state are prior to the individual, if they have ends of their own independent of and superior to those of the individuals, only those individuals who work for the same ends can be regarded as members of the community. …
We had a really terrific weekend at the Tenth Amendment Center, and it just felt wrong for me to channel negative energy, despite concerns I had that I wanted to address. So instead, I decided to take some of those frustrations and use them to write something I considered more positive – a letter to a friend. Though I do have someone in mind, I also realized that there are other people out there in similar situations, and that you might have a friend you would write a similar letter to. If that is the case, please feel free to pass it along.
Dear Liberty Friend,
I want to say thank you.
Thank you for your hard work. For your family values. For working on behalf of people who don’t know and/or possibly don’t care that their liberty is slipping away day by day. Thank you for being a cheerleader to others of us who sometimes feel like we are just trudging through the muck. It’s nice to know someone’s got your back. Thank you for your friendship – and great conversation over cold beer.
I also want to say I am sorry.
I’m sorry for the jerks you’ve had to deal with, and that they didn’t recognize your value.Details
Reading Steve Benen’s article Nullification must never be on the table, I was left trying to decide: is Steve an idiot or a liar?
I’ll let you decide.
“Not to put too fine a point on this, but there’s nothing to discuss — state lawmakers can’t pick and choose which federal laws they’ll honor,” or so says Steve.
Well I guess it’s settled then. “There’s nothing to discuss.” Nullification is a no no!
What — you don’t buy his argument?
Well, neither do I.
When I saw his article, I was drawn to the picture of Abraham Lincoln standing in front of a Union Army tent with the caption “The last time we had a debate over nullification.”
Intrigued I read on. “For context, it’s worth remembering that there was a rather spirited debate in the mid-19th century over whether states could choose to ignore federal laws. The debate was resolved by a little something called the U.S. Civil War — those who argued in support of nullification lost.”
At that point, I alternated between laughter and complete disbelief. How could anyone make such a ridiculous statement? Steve should know those who argued in support of nullification WON!
A history lesson for Steve from the “South Carolina’s Declaration of Causes” — “The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.”Details
Ever since food became easier and more profitable to create by machinery the government has tried to regulate it in some sort of fashion. The first English regulation of such was the Assize of Bread and Ale around the year 1266. In America the first endeavour into regulating food came in 1862 when President Lincoln launched the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Chemistry. These two organizations operated in what today we call the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Agriculture Department. Later on in 1906 the Pure Food and Drugs Act was passed and what we now call the Food and Drug Administration was formed. Through these early regulatory adoptions it was aimed to raise the standards in food and their truthfulness in packaging. The nutrition labels that we all now know were mandated in 1990 through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) and amended by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004.
But how far do we go in demanding how manufacturers produce and label their food? Specifically speaking, how far can we go on a federal level? On a state level? Already, we have numerous states with specific laws for food that is imported or exported from that state above and beyond the federal requirements.
This raises a question: should we rely on one-size-fits-all mandates from D.C.? Or would we be better served allowing states to determines the extent of their food labeling?
Considering the way big agribusiness manipulates the federal system, we might want to consider a more decentralized approach.
On March 26th President Obama signed HR 933 – called the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 – into law to stop the shutdown of the American government. Buried in this bill, we find the Farmer Assurance Provision – aka the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Lawmakers sneaked in Section 735 giving special privileges to companies that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMO), even allowing them to continue producing crops even if a court finds them harmful – which very well may not entirely be the case. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that he will introduce legislation in the Farm Bill of 2013 to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act.Details
In the time I have spent in the field of public policy, I’ve noticed people like to post on social media platforms, talk about, or blog about how their representatives do not represent them, or do not wish to hear their concerns and suggestions. It also seems many people generally treat public policy with great distaste. They make it their objective to deter people from voting, from “working within the system”, and from attempting to “change things from within.”
These folks are understandably angry because of a perceived lack of representation and diminishing faith in the constitutional system.
They may have a point. But how many times do you think those individuals have actually gone out of their way to communicate with their local or state representatives? How many people actually spend time working to direct change? How many people, out of the millions in our republic, actually spend time talking about solutions with their representatives?
Maybe part of the problem is that we aren’t proactive enough.
Our elected officials pack their days with committee hearings, floor sessions, speaking engagements, radio/television interviews, and press conferences. It’s reasonable to assume that their time is at a premium. So, if you want good representation, you need take the time to schedule a meeting. Then show up prepared with an objective, a solution, and a positive attitude. This will go a long way toward developing a strong two-way relationship with your representative. They aren’t used to this kind of effort, and it WILL have an impact.Details
The “winners” write the history, and always in favor of their side of the “argument”.
Government’s job is to “control” the people. Control takes power and power comes at a price: the people’s liberty. In a nutshell, government power stands as the enemy of liberty. And when it comes to the war between power and liberty, power generally triumphs.
And government writes our history.
Most people allow the government to educate their children and that means they learn the approved government version of history. Sadly, it is totally corrupt. Few Americans realize it and can’t, or wont, correct the mistake.
I will try to help correct a piece of the disinformation surrounding the 10th Amendment and put it all into the correct perspective for you.
We’ve watched government trample on the Constitution throughout most of our recent history. We do not have to look very far to see examples. President Bush’s Administration created the The Patriot Act, anything but patriotic. Throughout his terms in office, Bush completely disregarded what the Constitution said and wielded the arms of war with wanton disregard.
President Obama continues in the same vein with more anti-constitutional measures. When Congress does not do what Obama wants he creates Executive Orders with the force of law. Effectively legislating from the White House and overstepping his constitutional boundaries without any regard to the laws our country.
Our Constitution is a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. It enumerates the exact duties, responsibilities and powers of each branch of the federal government. In other words, the federal government ONLY has the powers over things that are specifically spelled out in the Constitution. ALL OTHER POWERS are reserved for the states and people. This is succinctly spelled out in the 10th Amendment.
“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.”
Have you ever read an article that you were not sure what stance the author takes on the subject but presents both sides of the argument at once? I had the distinguished experience recently when I was reading the article titled “Sheriffs, State Lawmakers Push Back on Gun Control” on the Newsmax website (see: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Gun-Control-Pushback/2013/01/17/id/471825). It was a little confusing until I got about half way through it and read a quote by Sam Kamin.
Sam is a constitutional law professor at the University of Denver. One would think that if someone was a law professor that they would actually know and understand the law. Or in this case, a constitutional law professor – who should then know and understand the constitution. It is highly unfortunate when people like Sam misspeak about a subject. Their title gives them some credibility so people think what they say is true because they are supposedly an “expert”. But, when they make a mistake it is still a mistake.
The Supremacy Clause of Article VI, Clause 2 reads:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Sam makes the comment that state legislatures can pass any laws they want but that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes such actions unconstitutional. He further states that when there is a conflict between state and federal law, the federal government is supreme. Nothing could be farther from the truth. His blanket statement implies that the state laws are not necessary and state governments are not necessary because the federal government and its laws are supreme.Details