Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Carnival of Ohio Politics, now at #128

The Ohio Republic participates in the Carnival of Ohio Politics, a digest of Ohio political blogs. This week, the rotating editor (editrix?) is Jill Miller Zimon of Writes Like She Talks, an diverse mix of mostly politics, leavened with feminism and Judaism.

You can access the Carnival each week from the white box in the middle of the right column. I encourage you to add the Carnival to your Favorites (or Bookmarks); and if you are a blogger, to add your own to it. Submissions are accepted until 9 pm every Tuesday for publication the next day.

China packet

Two quick takes on China:

First is an item from the Associated Press. President Bush met with Chinese human rights activists at the White House yesterday. The President's hypocrisy on human rights is getting downright breathtaking. If he really cared about human rights, he would close Guantánamo and rescind about 30 Executive Orders having to do with national security that basically rip the First and Fourth Amendments out of the Constitution. But I guess human rights are only good for the other guys...

Second is today's lead story from the Columbus Dispatch. According to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, Ohio lost 102,000 jobs to China, just since 2001! And we Ohioans are supposed to put up with this, why? And the Feds are doing what to help?

Does anyone care about our interests? Or are we so addicted to Wal-Mart that we don't even care about our interests?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Repeat after me: There is no such thing as Federal Funds!

At least Craig Roberts got the word in this letter to the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph. He protests that too many people are asking the Feds to do something as though the Feds had unlimited resources. All tax dollars come from our pockets (and as he correctly points out) those of our children and grandchildren. (At least I don't have the $455,000 needed to pay off my share of unfunded national obligations).

We need to get the word out. Now, again, repeat after me: "There is no such thing as Federal Funds!"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scholars debate impact of Zogby Poll

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published the results of the Zogby Poll (see below). I strongly object to the map they chose to publish, on both religious and political grounds (excuse me, people, but the entire State of Ohio is not in the Bible Belt -- nor, for that matter, is it a Canadian-liberal "blue state", either...) However, the content of the article is sound, correctly representing the schools of thought on the constitutionality of secession; and the comments are interesting.

This kind of coverage from the mainstream media (also see this item from radio station KTRH in Houston) indicates that the idea of secession is far less taboo than it was even a few months ago.

I think everyone, including myself, was surprised that the support for secession was as high as 18% across the U.S., which should tell everyone that we have a serious problem -- and it is getting worse.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Middlebury Institute/Zogby Poll: Middle America most resistant to secession

The Middlebury Institute, in conjunction with the Zogby Poll, has released a three-question survey on Americans' attitudes toward secession. Following are the results, nationally and for the Central region, which includes Ohio. Other regions were East, West, and South):

1. I believe any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic:

US: Agree 22%, Disagree 73%, Not sure 5%
Central: Agree 19%, Disagree 78%, Not sure 3% (Central region had the weakest support for secession).

2. I believe the United States' system is broken and cannot be fixed by traditional two-party politics and elections:
Agree 44%, Disagree 53%, Not sure 3%
Central: Agree 43%, Disagree, 53%, Not sure 4%

3. I would support a secessionist effort in my state:
US: Agree 18%, Disagree 72%, Not sure 10%
Central: Agree 15%, Disagree 74%, Not sure 11% (Support is weakest in the Central region).

Additional details from Zogby. I obtained the Central region figures directly from the Middlebury Institute.

The results do not surprise me. Judging from an earlier poll that asked about support for President Lincoln's policy for preserving the union (in which Ohio registered one of the highest percentages in the nation), I would expect that a state breakdown would have even fewer (maybe 12-13%) of Ohioans saying they would support a secessionist effort here.

On the other hand, with such a large percentage believing that the system is broken beyond repair, it offers hope that with education on the subject, Ohioans might become more receptive -- particularly if it focuses on the Federal role in our economic situation and they come to understand WIIFM (What's in it for me).

Ohio 6th in US in home foreclosures

A word to policymakers in Washington who think the economy is humming along just fine, thank you: Get a clue.

Today's Columbus Dispatch (online) reports that Ohio is struggling with an accelerating rate of home foreclosures.

"The number of households facing the foreclosure process more than doubled in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to data released today. Nationwide, 739,714 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice during the quarter, or one in every 171 U.S. households, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. said."

RealtyTrac looks at default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions.

"Ohio ranked sixth on the list, with one foreclosure for every 134 households... Toledo had the worst rate in Ohio, ranking it 21st among major markets nationally, with one foreclosure for every 92 households. The Cleveland area ranked 26th, and Dayton came in 29th. Columbus ranked 31st with one foreclosure for every 122 households. The Cincinnati market ranked 41st on the list."

Particularly significant:

"Bank repossessions accounted for 30 percent of total foreclosure activity, up from 24 percent in the previous quarter. Economists estimated 2.5 million homes nationwide will enter the foreclosure process this year, up from about 1.5 million in 2007."

In other words, people are losing their homes because they cannot pay back loans which were funded with money that came out of thin air (see my Federal Reserve Bank label) and for which the banks assumed only minimal, if any, real risk. I agree that people should pay their debts, but there has to be a happy medium between bank profits, homeowner security, and contracts that people can understand. Government that acts in the public interest would work to find it. If you think this Administration will do so, I'll be happy to sell you my home for twice its market value.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Must secession be violent?

Recently, I encountered this reaction to the secession idea from a writer at the Ohio Freedom Alliance forum:

Since the topic of Secession was raised a few weeks ago. I can not understand why the secessionists members of the OFA desire to take extreme measures to Secede From the Union? When We the People still have the tools to bring our elected representatives to justice. And I do know some members have stepped up to the plate and even got in there Representatives face. Public accountability is a very good thing. I personally will support any Legislation or Law Suit brought forth to impeach members of Congress , the Senate and the Executive branch who have failed to uphold their oaths of office to Support and Defend the Constitution.

I totally agree, and support those efforts, including Rep. Kucinich's impeachment petition. I strongly agree that we need to hold our public officials to accountability, remove them from office when they fail to act in the public interest (and, contrary to most political scientists, I believe there is such a thing as the "public interest", but I grant that it is an abstract idea, and often a matter of opinion). I grant that we have the tools. Unfortunately, experience has shown that, with rare exceptions, they do not work.

My question to the Secessionists. Do you the Secessionists support secession though the legislative process? or by other means? The Libertarian party dose not support Violence in order to achieve political goals, Neither do i support violence.This issue just blows my mind.

I have stated unequivocally that I am opposed to the use of violence to secure Ohio's independence. The Ohio Republic's stated purpose is"... to advocate the peaceful, legal independence of Ohio from the United States of America. In it, I shall discuss the philosophy that will underlie the new political system; the emotional, legal, and practical issues involved in achieving independence; and highlight news of differences between the State of Ohio and the United States Government."

Violence defeats the purpose for two reasons: first, it merely begets greater violence against us from a régime that is all too eager to use it, and second, it destroys our moral authority -- consider the examples of Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. King.

However, the legislative process will not work, either; because it will not be seen as a sufficient expression of the will of the people on a matter of this magnitude. The method used by the Confederacy -- that of state conventions, was the standard method at the time for revising state constitutions, and was generally recognized at the beginning of the War for Southern Independence, even by the U.S. Congress, as being a lawful expression of the will of the people. Since that time, we have developed the initiative and referendum (added to the Ohio Constitution in 1913), which I believe would be even better, since it would constitute a direct mandate of the Ohio people.

Now, I am not delusional. If an ordinance of secession were to be put before the Ohio people today, I would expect a vote of approximately 87% in opposition (based on the results of a survey I shall post in The Ohio Republic shortly). However, with education and the crises I think are coming (loss of liberty and collapse of the dollar), the idea may gain popularity very rapidly.

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. No third party in the United States has elected a President since Abraham Lincoln. No third party has ever gained a majority, or even a significant minority, in Congress. We have tried reform over and over again. There was an extensive reform movement in 1912-1913, which produced many excellent changes at the local and State levels -- and some horrible ones at the Federal. In my lifetime, we have had George Wallace trying to rise above his segregationist roots to provide an alternative to two parties between which there wasn't "a dime's worth of difference" -- this in 1972. John Anderson tried to take a more moderate tack in 1980. Ross Perot got 20% of the popular vote in 1992 and not one electoral vote! The Libertarian Party has run in every election since, when, 1976?

Reform clearly isn't working. We have allowed our Federal Government to become corrupt beyond all repair. If Ohioans are to regain our freedom, we must try a different approach.Understand that advocating secession is not the same as advocating sedition (advocating the overthrow of the government by violence or other unlawful means) -- or treason (giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war). We are not seditious, because if the other 49 states all want to remain in the Union, they are welcome to do so, or to paraphrase the rabbi's blessing in Fiddler on the Roof, "God bless and keep the President of the United States --- far away from us!" As to treason, we all agree that there is no legitimacy to the war in Iraq, so withdrawing our soldiers from that war would be a highly moral act showing that we really care that they risk their lives for a cause worth defending. I invite you to read more about my thinking in The Ohio Republic. I suggest you begin with my Basics label, then move about as you please.

Independence: more than political change

This post from Seven Days, an independent newspaper in Vermont, returns me to one of The Ohio Republic's earlier themes: that independence has to be economic and cultural, as well as political. This article cites many constructive actions that we can take in Ohio (whose largest industry is, remember, agriculture) to reduce our dependence on far away sources of food and daily necessities. It ends with the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves -- in place of refighting a war that took place nearly 150 years ago.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rep. Kucinich's impeachment update (with apology)

After making an admittedly snarky remark June 30 about Rep. Dennis Kucinch , I have found that he actually did propose a sensible resolution for impeachment of the President and Vice President. Unfortunately, you won't find it in the mainstream media, but I think Congressional Quarterly is trustworthy.

1. Hearings will be held in the House this Friday, July 25.

2. Rep. Kucinich is also offering an online petition that he will deliver to express the outrage of our people that this Administration continues to pursue an unjustifiable war and economic policies that are ruinous to most of our people. I encourage you to sign it.

Since we are less than six months away from inaugurating a new President, I don't think there is much chance that such a resolution will pass; but I think it is important to have it on the record that we just didn't let the Bush Administration slide with the "high crimes and misdemeanors" we all know they committed.

Rep. Kucinich, please accept my sincere apology, and please carry on with the resolution!

Why secession is such a tough sell

When I discuss secession to friends and acquaintances, the usual first reaction is that I have completely taken leave of my senses. The objections I encounter happen to be the same as those Thomas Naylor (of the Second Vermont Republic) very effectively addresses in his essay "12 Reasons Why Secession Is Still Such a Tough Sell in Vermont and Elsewhere." All of his reasons and his answers are as valid for Ohio as they are for Vermont -- and some may be more so given Ohio's much larger population and economy.

His concluding point, however, is the most worrisome. He says that Vermonters are complacent (but you could substitute Ohio for Vermont throughout this paragraph).

"Most Vermonters are too fat and happy to ever consider the possibility of actually confronting the American Empire. So ingrained in the Vermont psyche is the myth of Lincoln that our problems will have to become a lot worse before a majority of Vermonters will seriously consider secession as the ultimate form of rejection of a doomed nation. That day may be closer than most imagine.

"When all is said and done, there is but one word to describe why secession is such a tough sell. That word is ignorance."

I will add that Prof. Naylor has written an important new, and appropriately titled, new book on secession. I have not yet had the opportunity to read it; but having read some of his other work, I am sure it will be well worth reading.

U.S. promotes mass killings in Iraq

From Vermont Commons, which is probably getting fat on my virtual buckeyes:

Peter Phillips, a professor of sociology and media researcher, has found that we Americans collectively have become mass murderers:

"The United States is directly responsible for over one million Iraqi deaths since the invasion five and half years ago. In a January 2008 report, a British polling group Opinion Research Business (ORB) reports that, 'survey work confirms our earlier estimate that over 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have died as a result of the conflict which started in 2003…. We now estimate that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 is likely to have been of the order of 1,033,000. If one takes into account the margin of error associated with survey data of this nature then the estimated range is between 946,000 and 1,120,000'.

"The now estimated 1.2 million dead, as of July 2008, includes children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, cab drivers, clerics, schoolteachers, factory workers, policemen, poets, healthcare workers, day care providers, construction workers, babysitters, musicians, bakers, restaurant workers and many more. All manner of ordinary people in Iraq have died because the United States decided to invade their country. These are deaths in excess of the normal civilian death rate under the prior government.

"The magnitude of these deaths is undeniable. The continuing occupation by US forces guarantees a mass death rate in excess of 10,000 people per month with half that number dying at the hands of US forces — a carnage so severe and so concentrated at to equate it with the most heinous mass killings in world history. This act has not gone unnoticed...

"The American people are faced with a serious moral dilemma. Murder and war crimes have been conducted in our name. We have allowed the war/occupation to continue in Iraq and offered ourselves little choice within the top two presidential candidates for immediate cessation of the mass killings. McCain would undoubtedly accept the deaths of another million Iraqi civilians in order to save face for America, and Obama’s 18-month timetable for withdrawal would likely result in another 250,000 civilian deaths or more.

"We owe our children and ourselves a future without the shame of mass murder on our collective conscience. The only resolution of this dilemma is the immediate withdrawal of all US troops in Iraq and the prosecution and imprisonment of those responsible. Anything less creates a permanent original sin on the soul of the nation for that we will forever suffer." (Emphasis added).

Failing that, the only alternative is for Ohio to declare its independence from the United States and bring home all Ohioans serving in the U.S. military who accept Ohio citizenship, to form an armed force designed exclusively for the defense of our own borders.

Quote of the day

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

-- Samuel Adams

A virtual buckeye to the Romans 15:4 Project blog. This link also contains an interesting endorsement of the Oklahoma sovereignty resolution, which has become a very hot topic throughout the blogosphere.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I can't believe I really saw this...

... or maybe, unfortunately, I can.

Family Security Matters actually published a post to advocate that President Bush become a dictator for life. It has since been withdrawn, but De Magno Opere found an archived link. I am linking to the post in De Magno Opere* because I liked their comment.

* A virtual buckeye goes to them, too.

A horror flick ... and it's a true story!

I went to see a horror flick yesterday, "Washington You're Fired!" which documents in excruciating detail (for 1 hour, 45 minutes) exactly how the Bill of Rights has been shredded by the present Administration.Especially horrifying was a long, long list of Executive Orders taking over practically everything in the event of a declared emergency. It made Adolf Hitler look like an amateur.

Friday, July 18, 2008


What the United States Government owes in long-term obligations, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle's blog. That's $53 trillion, or $455,000 for every household.

Meanwhile, the Feds' reaction looks like this:

What, me worry?

One thing is certain, the Feds are MAD all right. Stark, raving mad.

Post corrected 7/21: The original post indicated that the $455,000 was for every "man, woman, and child." I never said I was a wizard at math...

Ask not for whom the bell tolls ...

It tolls for thee.

Robert Owens, independent candidate for Ohio Attorney General, found this recent decision by the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals:

"Judges of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the president can legally, by simply labeling an individual an “enemy combatant,” imprison anyone, citizen or not, without due process for months, years, decades — or indefinitely.The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier three-judge panel’s decision which ruled that the government lacked the power to detain Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar legally in the United States on a student visa, who had been charged with credit card fraud and making false statements as part of the 9/11 investigation. Keep in mind the Bush administration is not accusing al-Marri of having any connections to al-Qaeda or the Taliban or fighting against U.S. forces. He is accused of being involved in an unproven terrorist plot, which he denies.

"That didn’t stop the judge who was the swing vote in the matter, William Traxler, from opinionating in the ruling (page 28): 'As pointed out by my colleagues, the Constitution generally affords all persons detained by the government the right to be charged and tried in a criminal proceeding for suspected wrongdoing, and it prohibits the government from subjecting individuals arrested inside the United States to military detention unless they fall within certain narrow exceptions. See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 755 (1978)' ('In our society liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.') The detention of enemy combatants during military hostilities, however, is such an exception. If properly designated an enemy combatant pursuant to legal authority of the President, such persons may be detained without charge or criminal proceedings 'for the duration of the relevant hostilities.' Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507, 519-521 (2004)."

It gets even worse.

"Under the current state of our precedents, it is likely that the constitutional rights our court determines exist, or do not exist, for al-Marri will apply equally to our own citizens under like circumstances. This means simply that protections we declare to be unavailable under the Constitution to al-Marri might likewise be unavailable to American citizens, and those rights which protect him will protect us as well. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is therefore advocating a circumvention of basic constitutional rights by the president of the United States and the courts. And this power, once invested will carry forward to all subsequent presidents and courts. They have determined that they will be the 'deciders,' specifying who will and who will not be afforded due process under constitutional law."

Liberty depends on a government of laws, not of men. This decision has thrown that whole idea out the window by making the laws dependent on the whims of men. When government is based on the whims of men, there is no law.

History may well record this decision, if it holds up in the U.S. Supreme Court, as the event that repealed the Constitution.

Quote of the day

Particularly appropriate right now:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

- Ronald Reagan

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why the Oklahoma resolution is significant

Walter Williams has a gift of writing what I think more clearly than I do. Here is what he has to say about the Oklahoma sovereignty resolution, about which I reported June 16:

"Federal usurpation goes beyond anything the Constitution's framers would have imagined. James Madison, explaining the constitution, in Federalist Paper 45, said, 'The powers delegated … to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.' Thomas Jefferson emphasized that the states are not 'subordinate' to the national government, but rather the two are 'coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole. … The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government.' "

However, Prof. Williams adds:

"Both parties and all branches of the federal government have made a mockery of the checks and balances, separation of powers and the republican form of government envisioned by the founders. One of the more disgusting sights for me to is to watch a president, congressman or federal judge take an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, when in reality they either hold constitutional principles in contempt or they are ignorant of those principles. State efforts, such as Oklahoma's, create a glimmer of hope that one day Americans and their elected representatives will realize that the federal government is the creation of the states. A bit of rebellion by officials in other states will speed that process along. " [Emphasis added]

Our House Concurrent Resolution 31 is a baby step in the same direction. Judge Andrew Napolitano calls America a "nation of sheep." But the sheep are starting to get restless...

A virtual buckeye to The Virginian Rebel.

A dictatorship of the judiciary

Veteran conservative thinker Paul Weyrich has sounded the alarm against judicial activism. Not that complaints of judicial activism are anything new, but Mr. Weyrich thinks it is infecting the conservative movement:

"I have listened as a debate is occurring over the proper powers of the courts and the tendency of some Americans to cede to the advocates of unrestrained judicial power victories to which they are not entitled.

"With respect to the courts, we need a revival of the rule of law based upon the constitutional principles laid down by those who founded this nation. ... Regardless of our votes, the defining judgments in our collective and personal destinies often are made by persons whom the American people have not elected to rule.

"We gave judges their robes and gavels so that they might resolve specific disputes between specific plaintiffs and defendants... They have no authority to redefine words and concepts in our laws to mean what they and their ideological partisans wish for them to mean.

"To Americans of previous generations this was obvious and fundamental. But for many in America today, this is meaningless, a mere technicality: judges are supreme because, well, because they just are."

The early history of the United States and of Ohio included several legislative impeachments and removals of judges for exceeding their mandate. It is a power Congress and the Ohio General Assembly could, and probably should, reassert. Because they do not, we do not hold our Federal judges accountable, since they are appointed for life. One other solution might be to consider a technical amendment to the Constitution that would set standards for judicial review.

A virtual buckeye to BizzyBlog.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Support HCR 31

The Ohio House has a concurrent resolution opposing the formation of the North American Union on the table in the State Government & Elections Committee since October of last year.

The North American Union is an attempt to merge the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a supernational union similar to that in Europe, with a common currency, and free movement across borders. In view of the difficulties we already experience with Mexican immigration, this would appear to be a highly dangerous development.

House Concurrent Resolution 31 expresses to the President and Congress of the United States the sense of the Ohio General Assembly that the North American Union should not be finalized.

While I personally believe that the language of the resolution is too weak, since the NAU would effectively repeal the Constitution of the United States (and for that reason alone would be grounds for secession), I am asking Ohioans to write their Representatives to support it, because a weak resolution is much better than silence.

Please write your State Representative to support HCR 31.

(If you do not know who your State Representative is, use the tool on the right side of the Ohio House of Representatives home page).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ohio election officials may face criminal charges

This just in, from Yahoo PR Web:

Eight members of the Ohio Election Justice Campaign filed papers on Thursday in United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, asking Hon. Judge Algernon Marbley to begin criminal contempt proceedings for the destruction of ballots from the November 2004 election.

Judge Marbley had ordered all ballots from all 88 counties to be preserved until the case King Lincoln, et al. v. Brunner, et al. (Civ. No. C2 06 745) was settled; however, boards of elections in seven counties have stated that they have destroyed all of their ballots from the November 2004 election, and the boards in 55 others have destroyed some of the ballots from that election.

The Ohio Election Justice Campaign also requested a special grand jury to investigate the ballot destruction and to issue a public report. This appears to substantiate charges made by Bob Fitrakis and others, reported in this space Dec. 21, 2007.

While I remain skeptical about conspiracy theories related to that election; the direct violation of a court order is a serious matter that does need to be investigated. If the special grand jury is empaneled and issues its report, we should all look forward to reading it.

A virtual buckeye goes to FrankRep at the Ohio Freedom Alliance Forum.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WALL-E's purpose

Michael Tuggle yesterday posted a review of the new movie WALL-E. After giving his impressions of the movie and sharing a quotation from another writer about its significance, Mr. Tuggle concludes with a profound statement that gets to the heart of the secessionist movement: (Hyperlinks are brought over from the quoted text.)

"Something is in the air. There's an unshakeable sense that something is profoundly wrong in this country, and it cannot be blamed on one politician, one party, or even on one war. The system itself is broken, unable to respond intelligently or even consider changing course. Its fundamental error, as WALL-E so graphically warns us, is that we have fooled ourselves into believing we are not part of Creation; that we are free when we are disconnected from others, from heritage, from purpose, from need. In fact, such thinking is self-destructive.

"In fact, true freedom is the freedom to express our authentic selves, and that occurs in those moments when we are working toward a cause greater than any one person. Tradition, community, and the urgency of finding and holding on to 'a sense of place and of history, a sense of self derived from forebears, kin, and culture,' as Chilton Williamson summarized it, are what give us meaning and make life worth living.

"Maybe that's what distinguishes man from the beasts -- we need occasional reminders of who we are and what we're about to keep us going. And maybe a little rebellion now and then, too."

Secessionism is not about ideology or politics. It is nothing less than an effort to reclaim our humanity.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Now hiring: grass-roots "volunteers"

Is anyone else as sick about this as I am? The Other Paper (Columbus) included this full-page ad on page 39 of the July 3 edition: "Activist Campaign Jobs. Elect Barack Obama." The body copy stated that the individual would be working for a contractor "to help elect Senator Obama and Democrats Everywhere." for a salary of $4,800-$8,000 over the summer.

This is not a partisan attack on Sen. Obama. For all I know, John McCain and any number of governors, senators, congressmen, etc., may do the same thing. What makes me sick is that the people are so far removed from their political process that people have to be hired to do grass-roots campaigning! This suggests that there are too few people who are passionate enough about politics to volunteer.

Just another example of how America has the best government money can buy...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Federal Reserve Bank: It's not just a conspiracy theory anymore

The Age, an Australian newspaper, dares to report what our media will not: The Federal Reserve Bank is under investigation by the International Monetary Fund. In a June 30 article, David Hirst uses a nice analogy to explain to his readers just what went on with the Federal Reserve in the wake of Bear-Stearns:

"Imagine the Reserve Bank of Australia, concerned that its friends in the city of Sydney (but perhaps Melbourne) who, having wallowed in wealth all their adult lives, were no longer gainfully employable and their wildly extravagant lifestyles were in danger, and, having the powers to intervene in the market, decided to do just that on their behalf.

"Imagine them offering to enter the market and buy shares that would prop up the foolish gambles of the bankers, gambles they had encouraged them, until recently, to take by providing them with cheap money. On top of that, they told this group they would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in credits to these same profiteers on the grounds they were so big and important to the economy they were indeed too big to fail.

"Then, imagine, despite pouring untold taxpayers money into stocks and allowing their cronies access to vast sums, the system continued to fail. So they announced they would need greater power and with it more secrecy. For its growing band of critics has, perhaps unwittingly and in the interest of public good, this has become the principal function of the US Federal Reserve."

For many years, Americans have been told by a few courageous people, that the Federal Reserve was basically a scam to support a few wealthy bankers. And even today, most people dismiss that as a conspiracy theory; but when the International Monetary Fund, itself a creature of the same system that set up the Federal Reserve, decides to do a thorough examination of the U.S. banking system, you know that something is seriously wrong. Especially when that examination, a fairly common event for other central banks, is being conducted on the Fed for the first time!

Look for the dollar to really tank when the report comes out in 2010.

An interesting aside: According to the minutes linked above, the request was made by "JP Morgan Chase Bank, Columbus, Ohio." Their operations may be headquartered here, but let no one be fooled: it is not an Ohio bank, except perhaps as a legal technicality.

A virtual buckeye to Ed, who brought this to my attention.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Against the degradation of the States

On two previous occasions (Oct. 12 and Oct 17, 2007), I have given quotations from William McMillan Corry, “Against the Degradation of the States,” speech delivered in Canton, July 4, 1863. Here is a longer excerpt defining the relationship between the States and the Federal Government as envisioned in the United States Constitution. (Emphasis shown is in the original. Items in brackets are my explanatory notes).

“[The U.S.] Constitution is as much the Constitution of Ohio as the State Constitution, and because of the will of the people of Ohio, and not of the will of any other people. On that will of Ohio, and the conjoint wills of her sister States, the Federal Constitution becomes the common bond of union. It is not the Constitution of Ohio because it is the Constitution of the Union, but vice versa. And the Federal Constitution is within its sphere the law of both States and Territories …

“The State of Ohio will perceive how much of her own dignity and character are involved in this doctrine of the Federal system. She will shudder at the danger in which the contrary doctrine [that of the States being creatures of the Federal Government] involves herself as much as the other States. The moment she abandons her sacred duty, under her own social compact, of defending her citizens and herself from encroachment upon undelegated rights, or from interference with the sovereignty of the States, she consents to sink to the condition of a dependent corporation. The framers of our system resisted at every stage all such attempts in the [Constitutional] Convention [in 1787]. Edmund Randolph proposed it; Patterson proposed it. They wanted to give the Federal government the power to annul acts of the States which it thought repugnant to the Constitution, and the corresponding power of coercing obedience; but their efforts were made in vain, because the States never intended to allow their agent that power…

“The compact by its own terms furnishes the limit of Federal powers, and CONSENT is the only foundation of the system; the consent, each for herself, of the States, and as of course, no matter what other States may choose to do, or leave undone. We cannot say that the powers of the general government are unlimited, nor can we say that force can ever be substituted for consent. It follows that each of the parties, the States, must, in their last resort, decide on the question, whether an undelegated power [a power not delegated to the Federal Government by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution] has been exercised; and also, that an one of the States, may if she please, withdraw from the association. To keep her there by force, is to fly in the face of the system…

“Mr. Lincoln [and now Mr. Bush] and his advisers are proceeding upon an opposite theory of the Constitution. They hold that the Federal Union stands on a social compact of the whole American people, as the State of Ohio stands upon a social compact of the people of Ohio. It is not, they say, the agreement of thirty-odd States, but of thirty millions of people; and the States, [relative to] the general government, are not States, but counties only… The principal reliance of the nationalists is upon the language of the preamble to the Constitution: “We, the people of the United States… do ordain, and establish this Constitution for the United States of America,” which they say means a single community – the American people. But that language was not originally used. It was: “We, the people of Massachusetts, Virginia, New York,” etc., etc., “do ordain,” etc. “But … as it could not be known which States it would be, who made the first nine [the ratifications of nine states being necessary to enact the Constitution], the present phrase was substituted. In fact the non-approving States kept out of the Union for some years [Government under the Constitution began March 4, 1789. North Carolina did not ratify until November 1789, Rhode Island in July 1790, and Vermont in March 1791]… The States are sovereigns, and sovereigns may, of legal right, do what they please, where they have not specifically bound themselves either to time or place, which is not pretended, as a man may retire from any association, no matter how numerous or powerful, under similar circumstances.”

To my knowledge, the only contract voluntarily entered that cannot in any way be exited from in this life, is that of joining the Mafia. It is inconceivable and ridiculous to think that our Founding Fathers had any such idea.

Interestingly, it is Vermont which appears closest to becoming the first State to leave the Union. Here is a new paper from the Middlebury Institute offering a justification for Vermont’s secession.

Happy Secession Day!