Why Your Representatives are Not Representing You

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.

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Understanding The 10th Amendment

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.

Government wins.

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.”

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Surprise: Law Professor Misinterprets Supremacy Clause

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.

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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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Do the Secessionists Have As Much Courage As the Nullifiers?

By now, anybody who even casually follows the Tenther movement and the liberty movement in general has likely heard about the secession petitions circulating.  Yesterday, I had personally gone from only hearing about Louisiana, to hearing my State of New Jersey had one too, to hearing the count was up to twenty States.  That could be an old number by the time this makes it into the Tenth Amendment Center blog.

The language of these petitions is interesting, as they “ask” the federal government to let said States peaceably withdraw from the United States.  Although I confess to having signed, originally for Louisiana upon first finding out, and then for New Jersey, it was more out of curiosity than anything else.

Apparently, any State circulating these petitions requires a minimum of 25,000 signatures within thirty days in order to receive a White House response.  Texas has nearly double the required signatures, and Louisiana is likely a day away from hitting the threshold.  Several states are beyond halfway there.  Check to see if your State is on the list.  While you’re at it, go ahead and sign, so you can get your response.  The most likely response from the White House is a familiar word to anybody in the nullification movement, “No.”

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Hungry for Freedom

It is probably fair to say no President, First Lady, or candidate for said office has ever left a campaign event, state dinner or probably any meal in general saying, “Gee, I wish I’d had more to eat.”  Yet none before the Obamas entered 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have claimed the authority to tell us what they want us to eat, while they eat what they want.  Plenty of kids across these 50 States have probably said that with increasing frequency in response to new federal mandates regarding school lunches.

While our First Lady is able to enjoy her favorite pizza, children in a Kansas school have made a video in protest.  Other students have said the portrayal is accurate, with students claiming they are still hungry throughout the rest of the school day.  There is so much wrong with this situation, it almost encompasses all the problems facing the Tenther movement today.

First, the school administrator interviewed said the solution in the past has been to make adjustments to the school lunches when there were complaints, but the new federal “laws” left him with his hands tied.  A word to that administrator personally, RESIGN!   Your primary responsibility is the well being of the students in your school.  You ought to know better than the people in Congress, the White House and the untold numbers of executive agencies trying to appear significant by churning out new rules.  You should even know better than the nine self-proclaimed demigods on the Supreme Court.  Show some spine and make the adjustments without their permission.  You want input on improving school food?  Go to your community first.

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EPA to World’s Hungry: “Let Them Eat Cake”

Ethanol corn mandates are not just useless.  When people are starving, these policies make the problem worse.  Much worse.

What’s the number one reason we riot?  The plausible, justifiable motivations of trampled-upon humanfolk to fight back are many—poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, etc—but the big one is more primal than any of the above.  It’s hunger, plain and simple.  If there’s a single factor that reliably sparks social unrest, it’s food becoming too scarce or too expensive.  So argues a group of complex systems theorists in Cambridge, and it makes sense.

But how accurate is the model?  An anecdote the researchers outline in the report offers us an idea.  They write that “on December 13, 2010, we submitted a government report analyzing the repercussions of the global financial crises, and directly identifying the risk of social unrest and political instability due to food prices.”  Four days later, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire as an act of protest in Tunisia.  And we all know what happened after that.

“Recent droughts in the mid-western United States threaten to cause global catastrophe,” Yaneer Bar-Yam, one of the authors of the report, recently told Al Jazeera.  “When people are unable to feed themselves and their families, widespread social disruption occurs.  We are on the verge of another crisis, the third in five years, and likely to be the worst yet, capable of causing new food riots and turmoil on a par with the Arab Spring.”

Did you catch that?  “Recent droughts in the mid-western United States threaten to cause global catastrophy,” Why are recent droughts such a threat?  Because,

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A Fork in the Revolutionary Road

[This essay was first published on the author's personal blog]

Mitt Romney was officially made the GOP’s nominee last week and now the Ron Paul revolution is over. After nearly thirty years in public office the good doctor is gracefully retiring from politics, and while it’s not following a term in the oval office, he’s no-less started what may be the greatest mental brushfire in American history. And now with millions of people inspired by the message of liberty, the obvious question is “what’s next” for the remnant?

A number of writers and activists have weighed in on this topic and below is a collection of these valuable essays and commentaries with some of my own thoughts for the Paulbots and revolutionaries.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of the indispensable Antiwar.com, had this to say regarding the true nature of the republican party and their rules:

As for the rules governing the political process – they can be changed at a moment’s notice, and bent any which way, in order to facilitate this seizure. Ron Paul’s supporters in the GOP learned that the hard way, as the Romneyites used their control of the party bureaucracy at the state and national levels to retroactively change the rules in order to unseat duly elected Paul delegates. In Maine, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oregon, Oklahoma, and elsewhere, the party bosses have disenfranchised Paul voters – closing down party caucuses, rejecting as delegates anyone under 50, and calling the cops when all else failed.

This description of how the convention was governed – and the primaries leading up to it – is precisely how the state works in general. It’s evil and corrupting, and ultimately founded upon violence and coercion. The GOP’s rules are in essence no different from the “Pirate’s code,” which is “more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” to borrow from the famous movie line.

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True Believers Will Not Be Tolerated

Nowhere will you find more bipartisan cooperation between the political parties than in the protection of incumbents. These fraternities of political elites guard their domain with all legal and in some cases illegal means at their disposal.

Both parties look with disdain at “True Believers”. Oh, they will use them and talk their language but they never will become one themselves. “True Believers” think that what is needed is limited government, term limits and the Tenth Amendment, all the things that would limit the powers of incumbents and political parties. These “True Believers” are cajoled, flattered and made to feel that what they want is what the parties want also, but to the parties they are nothing but “useful idiots.”

As Tip O’Neill was reported to have said – “All politics is local.” And when it comes to running for state or local offices nothing could be more true. You want to run for political office then you had better make your intentions known and ask for the parties blessing. You will be required to court all the “right people” and to kiss the ring of the party chairman.

The Party will tolerate a lot of the Tea Party small government nonsense as long as they know you understand that if elected you will do what the Party leadership demands. But what they will not tolerate is you running against one of the parties faithful, an incumbent. But if you actually believe in small government and want to run against one of their own, that is blasphemy and will be fought against with everything in their power.

These “Political Party Incumbent Protection Plans” are put into high gear during the primaries. There will be no deviation from the party line and preservation of the status quo is paramount. This happens all across America but the most blatant example is what is happening in South Carolina. 179 Candidates Thrown Off Ballot for Minor Technicality since then even more Tea Party, limited government, Tenth Amendment Constitutionalist and other candidates going up against established long time incumbents in both parties were thrown off the June 12 Primary Ballot. Because of a poorly written law concerning paperwork filling the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled, …“if challengers do not file correctly, they risk invalidating their candidacy. However, if incumbents file incorrectly, they are fined $100 and continue with their campaigns.”

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Even When You Win You Lose

The degree to which someone will tolerate federal tyranny depends on if it is directed at them or someone else.

Both the left and the right use the power of government to push through their political agendas but nowhere is that more evident than at the federal level. With each new election no matter which side wins, the balance of power always tilts in the direction of more restrictions on individuals and diminution of the states.

In recent years, both parties have effectively used the federal government to cajole, bribe or force the states into submission with unconstitutional laws. But one issue has eluded the left, the elimination of the laws concerning marijuana and medical marijuana in particular. With repeated assurances from candidate Obama, that he would respect state laws legalizing medical marijuana the left felt that the War on Marijuana was over. Then with the election of President Obama and Democrat majorities in both houses of the Legislature, they knew that they had won.

Or had they?

The best-case scenario was the elimination of all federal marijuana laws or at the least non-enforcement. But what has transpired in the last year is the just the opposite, enforcement on all fronts. The more states implement new more lenient possession laws and legalize use for medical conditions the harder President Obama’s DOJ comes down on providers.

The left could not depend on conservatives or those that professed belief in limited government and expanded individual freedom. They knew that those professed beliefs were only for public consumption especially when Election Day was fast approaching; otherwise, it was Big Government Nanny State as usual. But how could the President not only abandon them but also become their biggest foe?

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