bully-spotlight

Who’s the Bully?

A Texas football team recently beat an opponent 91-0 and the mother of one of the opposing players filed a bullying report with the school system.

According to ESPN.com, “Buchanan spent an hour in the superintendent’s office this week and the school is currently investigating, as mandated by the state. The Aledo principal told Buchanan that a written report is expected in the next day or so, something required by state law. Buchanan — who is in his 21st season as head coach at Aledo and said he has never been accused of bullying — said he has the support of the Aledo administration.”

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Why We Need a Constitution

Cross Posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center.

Bear with me. We need some background before I get to my point.

In the article, “On Violence, Government, and Self-Deception”, I offered three possible philosophical stances on violence. Those were,

1.) Pacifism: No violence under any circumstances; 2.) Non-Aggression: Defensive violence is allowed, aggressive violence is not; 3.) The end justifies the means. Aggressive use of violence is allowed, “for the right reasons”.

I also noted that,

In order to develop a personal philosophy about government, one of the first requirements is to come to an understanding of one’s beliefs about violence. When is it OK to use violence and when is it not? This understanding is necessary because at it’s core, all of government is violence.

At the time, I described my own personal philosophy towards violence as “non-aggression”. My understanding of that phrase is similar to how it is stated by Tom Woods, here, “nobody should initiate aggression against anybody else“. Alternatively, wikipedia describes it, thusly, “In contrast to nonviolence, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violence used in self-defense or defense of others“.

Of course, taken to its conclusion, strict adherence to the non-aggression principle requires elimination of the state because taxation is a form of aggression. Knowing that, I have been aware of the contradiction between my actions and my beliefs when I promote state level legislation and adherence to the US Constitution at the same time as believing in the principle of non-aggression. I don’t like it when there is inconsistency between my beliefs and actions, so the attempt to resolve this conflict has been a frequent area of thought for me during the last few years.

Eventually, I came up with this simple thought experiment:

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A Founder’s Case Against A ‘National’ Government

File:LutherMartinBig.jpgOn June 27-28, 1787, for over three hours, Luther Martin, Maryland’s Attorney General and delegate, objected vehemently on the floor of the Constitutional Convention. Transcripts of Mr. Martin’s remarks were recorded into history by Robert Yates (NY) and James Madison (VA). Madison was author of the Virginia plan, which Mr. Martin vigorously debated at regular intervals throughout the Convention.

Upon his arrival at the Philadelphia Convention, Luther Martin pondered possible remedies, as was his charge, to amend the Articles of Confederation, ratified and adopted March 1, 1781. An air of mystery presided over the statehouse, as the founders and framers conducted the work of the Grand Convention.

Mr. Martin reflected on his arrival to the Convention, on June 9, 1787, in a speech given to the Maryland Delegation on November 29 of that same year.

When I joined the Convention I found that Mr. Randolph, of Virginia, had laid before the Body certain propositions (the Virginia Plan) for their consideration, and that the Convention had entered into many Resolutions, respecting the manner of conducting Business, one of which was that seven states might proceed to Business, and therefore four states composing a Majority of seven, might eventually give the Law to the whole Union.

Different instructions were given to Members of different states – The delegates from Delaware were instructed not to infringe on their Local Constitution – others were prohibited their assent to any duty in Commerce: the Convention enjoined all to secrecy; so that we had no opportunity of gaining information by a Correspondence with others; and what was still more inconvenient, extracts from their own Journals were prohibited even for our own information.

One of the critical issues debated after the introduction of the Virginia Plan was the distinction between the differing types of general governments, particularly a federation and a national government. A federation exists by a compact, or contract, resting upon the good faith of the states, contrasted with a national government exercising complete control over the operation of the states. The nationalist position of the Virginia Plan was repulsive to many delegates, including Mr. Martin, who opposed the prospect of a central government. He argued it would consume the sovereignty of the states.

Beginning his remarks on the floor of the Constitutional Convention, Mr. Martin addressed the function of a general government.

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Whose Rights are They Anyway?

At a gathering of TEA Party and Liberty groups leaders this past weekend I repeatedly heard them refer to our constitutional rights in questions put forth to a candidate running for political office. At any other setting, I would have corrected them, but I felt it was not my place to correct them since it wasn’t my event and I was a guest.Bill of Rights Redacted

I was wrong; I should have.

We DO NOT have constitutional rights; we don’t even have constitutionally protected rights.

We have inalienable rights, or if you prefer – unchallengeable, absolute, immutable, unassailable, incontrovertible, undisputable, indisputable, undeniable, natural or as prefer to call them God given rights.

These rights existed before the Constitution and they existed even before government.

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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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Arizona: AIMS Failed And So Will PARCC and Common Core

Benjamin Franklin said, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” I think that we can all agree that education is paramount to a successful society and that it would behoove us to create a system that promotes and accelerates. However, how do we ensure that our children are best educated?

There is a new program on the block that is getting snapped up by schools around the country called the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). In Arizona the AIMS test has been struck out and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has taken its place which uses the CCSSI platform. As of right now the teachers have been getting trained of how to teach a CCSSI based classroom. Next Governor Brewer must sign AZ HB2047 to allow the PARCC test be the new standardized test for Arizona. The third phase is for the PARCC test scores to be shared with the federal and other state governments to continue to standardize the test. AZ HB2563 requires the AZ State Board to enforce the PARCC testing. Neither HB2047 or HB2563 have been signed into law but Governor Brewer’s aide Matthew Benson stated, “At the heart of Common Core is the notion of implementing more stringent internationally benchmarked standards. She is 100 percent supportive of the concept.”

If we can encourage our politicians to vote NAY on HB2047 and HB2563, we’ve effectively stopped the Phase II of the implementation of the Common Core.

Debra Goodwin here at TAC has written a good overview of CCSSI and why it is bad in her article called Common Core: An Attack on Freedom and What to Do About it. Columnist Michelle Malkin wrote, “For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. Progressive reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multi-cultural claptrap.”

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Susquehanna County Resists Federal Gun Grab

Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania is the latest local community to take a stand against the Police State. They recently passed a 2nd Amendment Preservation Resolution that stands against the Feds trampling upon the Constitution in their neck of the woods.

The resolution affirms the natural rights of people saying that “any federal act, bill, law, rule or executive order that in any way infringes on our Second Amendment rights by attempting to reduce the private ownership of any firearm, magazine or ammunition shall be unenforceable in Susquehanna County.”

As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here)

The passing of this resolution also marks a rare instance where bipartisanship within government works to the benefit of the American people. The resolution was introduced by Republican Commissioner Michael Giangrieco and supported by Democratic Commissioner MaryAnn Warren, as well as the whole committee. It was passed unanimously.

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Bill Proposed To Keep Federal Hands Off Alabama-Produced Firearms

There has been a growing number of states recently looking to pass laws that nullify overreaching federal intrusions on Second Amendment rights with Alabama being one of the latest states looking to protect the natural rights of its citizens. Alabama Senate Bill 43 is called the ‘Firearms Freedom Act’ and it intends to ‘exempt from…

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Enemy of the State

In a published FOIA request, an Airman stationed in the UK was investigated after a mental breakdown caused by conflicting values of US military’s mission and her own political beliefs. She was found to sympathize with Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Wikileaks. She had admitted to communicating her political ideas with various organizations known for anti-war/anti-military sentiments on Twitter and to a UK journalist. She also attended the Julian Assange Trial. However, her own admission and tweets revealed that she was never asked to release any intelligence to these groups and denied volunteering any intelligence to any journalist or group. The US Airforce Office of Special Investigations filed a complaint report on matters alleging “Communicating with the Enemy.”

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 104: Communicating with the Enemy states:

“Any person who–
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;
shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.”

Who is the enemy in this document? Is it Julian Assange? Wikileaks? Journalists? Bloggers? Social media users? Those opposed to an unconstitutional and failed foreign policy? Anti-war organizations? The leaked document does not directly point to any person or organization but acknowledges who the Airman was in contact with and her activities surrounding her political beliefs. But, constitutionally speaking, who gets to determine the enemy?

The Constitution does not provide any structure to determine an enemy. An enemy could be those the US is at war with. Congress has the power to declare war but there is no framework as to what constitutes a declaration of war. In Federalist Paper number 3, it states, “The just causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence.”

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