Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A timely reminder for Democrats and Republicans

"It is essential to note that an electoral mandate does not give a president of a democratic state a blank check to do whatever he and his party desire but merely authorizes them to implement their campaign commitments within the bounds of the government's powers in the Constitution and its explicit and implicit principles."

Unfortunately, that quotation did not come from an American newspaper. It came from the Taiwan Times*, which then quotes their Constitution as holding that "the sovereignty of the ROC [Republic of China, formal name for Taiwan] shall reside in the whole body of citizens."

When we put too much hope or trust in a Presidential candidate, we risk giving up part of the sovereignty that rests in America, as in Taiwan, with the States and with the people.

* This is in the context of allegations that the president is attempting to negotiate away Taiwan's sovereignty in secret negotiations with the People's Republic of China -- something we will probably need to think about in the context of the "North American Union".

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"One nation under God ..." indivisible?

Joseph Farah, a columnist with WorldNet Daily thinks it's time to admit that we can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again -- at least not while the two colors of states espouse conflicting values and worldviews:

"I've lived through some turbulent years of American history, but I have never seen our country more polarized, more divided, more ripe for – dare I say it? – breakup, dissolution, a secessionist movement.

"I admit I'm unafraid of radical ideas – if those radical ideas are just, righteous, moral and godly. I believe it's time for radical ideas – just as it was time in 1776.

"Frankly, I don't see a way to unite a people as divided as Americans are today. We are trying to pretend we're one nation when we are really two [or more]. ...

"It's not a Republican vs. Democrat split – as the current election illustrates. I know many Republicans would find themselves more comfortable in the country of no standards. I also suspect many Democrats would actually find themselves more at home in the nation of the Bible, Declaration and Constitution. Isn't it time for separation? Is the breakup of the union really such a difficult thing to consider? When there are no new lands to discover, what choice do we have? ...

"America was founded as a sovereign, independent nation. The vandals want to yield sovereignty to global authorities and make America interdependent. America was founded with a federal government that was to be constitutionally limited in scope. The vandals have already succeeded in obliterating the enumerated powers.

"America was founded as a nation of self-governing free people and sovereign states with significant authority reserved to them. The vandals have placed America under the shackles of a central government to which the states and people are subordinate.

"America was founded as a nation of people 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' ...

"We already are two peoples [the "red states" and the "blue states" with irreconcilable differences sharing one nation. It's time for an amicable divorce – with each people free to pursue their own way. I don't know how to make this happen. But I think it's time to start talking about it – start working toward it. I don't want to live under the consequences of the actions of the vandals. I don't want my children to do that.

"There ought to be a choice. Maybe we can live side by side in peace as two nations, but we can't live freely as one people any longer.

"The moral justification for secession was found in our Declaration of Independence. It says governments are created to protect our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It also says, 'Whenever a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.' ...

"What choice do we have but to break the bands that tie us together? Actually, to be honest, those bands have already been broken – by those who have, over time, grabbed control of our lives in a thousand insidious ways over the last 200-plus years. It's time to move this debate forward – front and center. It's time to begin asking the real questions. It's time to restore liberty to America.

"There's only one way to recapture the greatness of America. That is to start over – with only those willing to play by the rules. Let those who don't believe in rules have their own country to destroy. "

By the way, that word "indivisible" sticks in my craw, which is why I said I do not recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.

You scratch my back, and I'll whip yours...

There is an old saying about politics, "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours." However, that does not apply to Ohio and the Bush Administration. Ohio was crucial to both Bush victories, but as the Plain Dealer online site cleveland.com notes, the favor was not repaid. In fact, he shows that Ohio is much worse off than it was in 2000.

"The U.S. economy's eight-year roller-coaster run of decline, recovery then more decline has left Ohio with the second-worst record of job loss in the nation, a private economist says.

"Of the 50 states, only Michigan, with its 'unprecedented, Depression-level' loss of 496,900 jobs since 2000, or 10.5 percent of its work force, exceeded Ohio's decline of 213,300 jobs. The Ohio total accounted for a 3.8 percent drop in employment between September 2000 and September 2008, according to Charles McMillion, president and chief economist of MBG Information Services in Washington, D.C. ...

"'I've analyzed jobs data closely in Ohio and Michigan. These two states, especially, have just had eight awful years,' he said in a phone interview. 'Even before the current downturn, a lot of people, including me, had become terrified about what's happening there, where you depend economically so much on manufacturing jobs.'

"His tally revealed that the nation added 5 million jobs over the eight years he studied, a 3.8 percent increase in overall employment. That might not seem too dreadful.

"To put that figure into perspective, though, McMillion came to a startling finding
in his national jobs analysis: 'This 3.8 percent gain is by far the weakest eight-year gain in jobs on record back to 1939.'

"'That was the year, in the latter period of the nation's Great Depression, when the government began tabulating jobs data in the manner it still uses. That makes the data comparable.'

"McMillion said the previous worst eight-year job market was from 1953 to 1961, when job creation grew 8.3 percent -- more than twice the recent rate. In order for unemployment to remain flat, the country must generate an increasing number of new jobs each year. That's because the population grows two ways: Births outnumber deaths, and immigration accounts for a considerable number of new residents who often become job seekers. Important to Ohio and other states in the Great Lakes industrial region, the U.S. manufacturing sector has lost 22.2 percent of its jobs since 2000. McMillion's analysis shows that the decline was 2.5 times the percentage loss for any eight-year period since monthly data began flowing 69 years ago.

"The latest report shows how each of six job sectors fared in Ohio. Over the eight years, construction and manufacturing took the biggest dives. Construction shed 10.6 percent of workers, while manufacturing lost a whopping 25.4 percent, or 257,600 jobs.

"Meanwhile, private education and health services grew to become the biggest sector, with 804,300 employees, up 17.3 percent since 2000. Government remained second, growing 10.2 percent to 787,600 jobs in Ohio. McMillion said much of that has been in public schools, colleges and universities. Over these eight years, the country spent $5 trillion more on imports than it made from exports. ..."

Virtual buckeye to De Magno Opere.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

North American Union by the back door

Unfortunately, we have to get this from a Canadian newspaper, Toronto Globe & Mail.* The paper's writer, John Ibbotson is sure that Barack Obama is going to be elected, and now that their Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has been re-elected, Mr. Ibbotson thinks that they should do something big. Like forming a European Union between the United States and Canada, leaving Mexico out.

It is a horrible idea. We need more decentralization, not consolidation. It will export all of our goofiness to Canada, and repeal the US Constitution.

Virtual buckeye to Sebastian Ronin of the Novacadia Alliance.

* If you click on the link, make sure to read the comments!

Why I didn't vote for President

You can stop your mailing and calling to me now. My absentee ballot is in the mail. I wonder what impact early voting will have on the various campaigns -- especially how much money and effort will be wasted in the late days of the campaign, because the people they contact will have already voted.

Here is my comment to "Open Thread: Why Vote for Your Candidate?" in Have Coffee Will Write: on the Presidential election (revised to reflect the decision made):

The decision on whether to vote for a Presidential candidate has been a dilemma for me. On the one hand, it feels wrong to leave the spot blank — if you don’t vote for a particular office, you lose your right to complain about the person who gets elected. On the other hand, I am a secessionist, and it makes little sense to vote for the one office that is dedicated to holding together the Union.

The secessionist got the upper hand.

I would point out that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain have voted the same way on 25 major issues, and on another list of 31 issues, voted the same way 44% of the time; which suggests that George Wallace was right when he said “there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference” between the two major parties. Some people would consider my choice to be a wasted vote — but we won’t have better choices until we have the courage to vote for them, and voting for the “lesser of two evils” is still voting for an evil (at least in one’s own mind).

Plate tectonics

Tim Higgins at Ohio's Just Blowing Smoke has an interesting theory on the development and death of political parties. He compares them to the plate tectonics in the earth's crust -- that is, they rub together and form mountains (political parties) which erode over time. He notes that the Democratic-Republican Party was founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1792 to enforce a stricter interpretation of the Constitution; then the Republican Party in 1856 which came to espouse a stricter interpretation of the Constitution; and now that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans do so, he sees a new mountain range rising (the Libertarian Party). I hope he's right, because we need a strong third party with a Consitutionalist bent, but we don't have millions of years to wait...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time to liquidate the Empire

Pat Buchanan doesn't mince words. While that's nothing new, this post from antiwar.com tells the truth in his common-sense manner. We are borrowing billions from rich Arabs to protect rich Europeans. We don't have enough troops, and certainly not enough money, to keep troops in 100 nations; especially when we just committed over $850 billion (for starters) to the bailout and find it politically impossible (so far) to cut back on the entitlements.

Our solution: Use the military for national defense only and let the rest of the world sort itself out. If we can use diplomacy to help others solve their problems, fine; but our "big stick" will soon be whittled down to a pencil.

Oh, and by the way, if we adopt a defensive posture for our military, we might be amazed at how much we can cut back on the Homeland Security budget -- that is, if Homeland Security were really intended to protect us from external threats (rather than internal dissidents like myself).

Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.

An inconvenient truth

Ohio's voter registration scandal cuts both ways. I agreed with the Democrats about the conduct of the 2004 election; but now Democrats who are jubilant about the U.S. Supreme Court decision on voter registration need to remember that the U.S. Appeals Court decision that was overturned still found their Secretary of State in violation of Federal law.

Then we have this: “Well, I tell you what, it helps in Ohio that we’ve got Democrats in charge of the machines.”- Barack Obama (Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 4).

I hope Bob Fitrakis* is taking notes.

* Outspoken critic of the 2004 general election in Ohio.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The bailout could not happen in the Ohio Republic

Aside from hostile public opinion (evidenced by the mail and e-mails sent to Ohio's Congressmen and Senators), the bailout would be a violation of the Ohio Constitution (Article VIII, Section 4):

§4 The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual association or corporation whatever; nor shall the state ever hereafter become a joint owner, or stockholder, in any company or association in this state, or elsewhere, formed for any purpose whatever. (1851)

Clarification: A commenter to this post noted that the Ohio Department of Development does issues loans to small businesses, in apparent violation of this section. Further research has shown that §§13-15 of Article VIII* specify that §4 is to be ignored in carrying out the purposes of those sections. Those sections authorize the State to issue bonds for the purposes of economic development, housing, and coal technology; and were adopted by the people between 1974 and 1985. Loans to small businesses would appear to comply with §13, but I may not be construing the section correctly.

My point about the bailout remains valid to the extent that the bonds authorized by §§13-15 of Article VIII can only be used for capital improvements; whereas the Wall St. bailout is intended to support the regular operations of the firms being assisted.

* See pp. 52-53 of the Ohio Constitution.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For the record

This is the State flag of Ohio, adopted in 1902.

It is not an "Obama flag". We are proud of our State flag, and it is quite neutral politically. Please advise your favorite out-of-state pundits of same.

Some of the comments that led to Michelle Malkin's post would be funny if they weren't so hatefully ignorant.

Virtual buckeye to Mike Tuggle.

Abolish the Federal Reserve!

I have added a link at the bottom of this blog to AbolishTheFederalReserve.com, which provides some excellent educational materials on why the Fed is harmful to our society and financial well being.

A few days ago, I also linked Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller, which provides a humorous analogy to explain the effect of the Fed and this bailout on our monetary system. More has been added to the story -- here are the links: 1, 2, 3, 4 .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thank you, Todd Palin!

Secession is now on the table. Examples from today alone:

Capitol Hill Blue uses the Alaska example to thoroughly demolish the arguments against secession. (However, I also agree with the cautionary note of one commenter that an independent Alaska would create a temptation for Vladimir Putin).

Amos Wright at Examiner.com in Cleveland uses the Todd Palin story to look at what he thinks the Alaska Independence Party really means, then explains why secession is not always wrong. In addition to backing up Capitol Hill Blue (above), he cites excellent examples of why secession was a good thing in some other parts of the world.

Joel Henderson at Civil War Talk makes an excellent point about State sovereignty:

“It seems that without this sovereign power of a state to enforce the Constitution against the others, it would be utterly meaningless, except as a list of mere SUGGESTIONS and un-enforcable promises for voters and their chosen officials to consider or ignore as they pleased.”

The New Conservative has an interesting take on State sovereignty in the wake of the Oklahoma resolution:

“And we have the right to take powers from the federal government, granting them to the states in special elections and state constitutional changes - challenging the federal government on their authority over state's sovereignty.”

Finally, we have Michael LeMieux in Restore the Republic acknowledging the real root of the bailout: the addition of the 16th (income tax) and 17th (direct election of Senators) Amendments to the Constitution, and the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. While I have a reservations about the “patriot” movement, I will count anyone as a friend who wishes to restore Constitutional government. One of the problems we do have is that the movement for freedom in America is highly fragmented – we have “patriots”, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, two political parties (Libertarian and Constitution), groups like the Ohio Freedom Alliance, secessionists, and many others trying to pursue the same object.

The right of secession is a necessary control on the growth of Federal power. I advocate exercising that right, because I am not confident that the entire nation can reverse its course at this point; but I am willing to be proven wrong. I am working along both tracks because above all, I want all of our people to be free and to regain the opportunity to live up to their potential.

Why voting for a major party Presidential candidate doesn't make sense

PeaceChicken's blog at the Ohio Freedom Alliance* gave it a light touch, but it makes perfect sense: On 31 major issues identified by the Washington Post, Senators McCain and Obama agreed an average of 44.7% of the time. She specifies 25 votes where they voted the same, then offers a (black) humorous voting guide.

One of the reasons I promote secession is that there really is no hope that the American people can take back their government. The kleptocracy has controlling interest in both parties, and will ensure that only candidates acceptable to it are nominated or elected.

If you don't want to go along with them, then either leave the President slot blank (which is the only view a secessionist can justify), or vote for the third-party candidate that most closely matches your views.

* See my comment on the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Ohio Freedom Alliance

A commenter to a previous post noted that several members of the Ohio Freedom Alliance were members, or influenced by the publications of, the John Birch Society. While I agree with him that the JBS takes some rather peculiar positions on personal liberties; in general, I find that they have been unfairly maligned for wanting to move toward a system more consistent with the design of the United States Constitution. That said, I have never been a member of the John Birch Society, and I have no desire to join.

The Ohio Freedom Alliance is a separate organization, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds in support of political projects to strengthen the role of the US Constitution in modern politics. It was inspired by Ron Paul's movement, with which I mostly agree.

I find that I am somewhat less libertarian than the OFA, being perhaps more suspicious of human nature when left completely unregulated by government.

Update May 18, 2009: I have also found that the John Birch Society's reporting of facts is usually correct.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bailout pressure

The truth is coming out about the bailout. Here is an excerpt of an address by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) in the House of Representatives, in which he states that the White House engaged in fearmongering by threatening a 2,000-point drop in the Dow-Jones Industrial Average, and the imposition of martial law.

Virtual buckeye to Ed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Palin puzzle

Dave Harding at ProgressOhio.com would like to know, if Sarah Palin wasn't a secessionist, then why was she palling around with them? Maybe because the AIP did not have another candidate for governor, thus formed part of her conservative base?

My question is, if Sarah Palin is a secessionist, why is she running for Vice-President?

Secession of the mind -- comes first

The Conservative Heritage Times, commenting on the state (of mind) of Jefferson in northern California and southern Oregon, stresses what I have already stated. Political secession cannot come until we have mentally declared our independence from the United States.

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Best government money can buy...

Here are some statistics from the Center for Responsible Government (via Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty), listing the ten top contributors to the McCain and Obama campaigns. Note that the contributors listed in italics gave to both campaigns, and that eight of Sen. Obama's contributors gave more than Sen. McCain's largest contributor.

Goldman Sachs $739,521
Citigroup Inc $492,548
Google Inc $487,355
JPMorgan Chase & Co $475,112
UBS AG $419,550
Lehman Brothers $391,774
Sidley Austin LLP $370,916
Skadden, Arps et al $360,409
Morgan Stanley $341,380
Latham & Watkins $328,879

Merrill Lynch $349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
Goldman Sachs $220,045
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
Credit Suisse Group $175,503
Wachovia Corp $147,456
Bank of America $133,975
Lehman Brothers $115,707
Bear Stearns $108,000

Virtual buckeye to The Virginian Rebel.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Now that the bailout has passed...

Here's what to expect, from Pajamas Media in Mason, near Cincinnati.

Virtual buckeye to BizzyBlog.

And a nice related quotation:

"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." -- Edward R. Murrow

Friday, October 3, 2008

Looking for arguments against the bailout?

I have added a link to all of our bailout-related posts, which also appears on the list at right.

Ten more reasons to reject the bailout

Congressmen, listen up!

Catherine Austin Fitts offers a unique perspective on the global financial system and on the political economy. Her background includes Managing Director and member of the Board of Wall Street investment bank Dillon Read & Co. Inc., Assistant Secretary of Housing - Federal Housing Commissioner in the first Bush Administration and President of Hamilton Securities Group, a Washington DC investment bank. And she opposes the bailout for these reasons, which I am taking the liberty to reproduce in full* from her blog:

(1) Crime that pays is crime that stays.
There is reason to believe that Wall Street and those they represent are holding loans without collateral, multiple loans secured by the same properties, and other fraudulent instruments among the “troubled assets.” Based on the secret “Treasury Conference Call” with 800 Wall Street insiders, we know the deal proposed to be passed by Congress isn’t the real deal promised to Wall Street.

(2) This smells like obstruction of justice.
Bail-out without due diligence of so called “troubled assets” is a perfect way to hide documentation of financial crimes. It is also a perfect means to launder both the past ill-gotten gains and new federal money spent recklessly and without necessary safeguards and oversight mechanisms. Be very suspicious when they tell you “we just can’t tell what’s in these troubled assets.” We can assure you that the federal government has field offices all across the country that deal with significant amounts of real estate and mortgage assets on a daily basis. If Treasury refuses for more than a decade to comply with the laws, with approximately $4 trillion missing (and counting), it is not competent to manage $700 billion of taxpayer money while its arm is twisted by Wall Street.

(3) Wall Street owes the federal government
We need to get stolen money back from the banks that served as depositories for the US government (including trillions for which the Pentagon and HUD could not account) and punish them, not create another opportunity for them to game the system and engage in criminal enterprises to rob consumers. To the extent there has been regulatory wrong-doing, let’s not let the miscreants leave town with the evidence.

(4) Good guys are shut out.
A bail-out provides no way for honest leaders to come to the fore and use their creativity and expertise to restore balance and integrity to the system or for unproductive and poorly-managed banks that contribute to current over-capacity in the banking system to die a dignified death.

(5) This results in more investment in the “bubble economy.” Spending massive amounts on non-productive uses (“buying” worthless credit default swaps, mortgages with no collateral and derivatives, which could even include the derivatives used to manipulate the precious metals markets) as opposed to productive uses (repairing infrastructure, creating alternative energy systems, supporting inventing and production of “green” products) is inflationary.

This bail-out will drive prices of food, water and energy up for the people who can least afford it.

(6) Bail-out does not result in capital circulating in healthy ways.
The bail-out of Wall Street and too-big-to-fail banks and insurance companies that are getting bigger by the minute by swallowing up other failing financial institutions (and creating more institutions that are “too big to fail”) does not result in trickle-down to those whose money was stolen in recent swindles (S&L, dot.com, current housing crisis), i.e., the taxpayers/middle class and working poor.

(7) These arrangements will result in more
Centralized “fixes” are sure to result in black holes, no-bid contracts and other scandals.**

(8) The bail-out drains the real economy, rather than invests in the real economy.
The US economy can’t be productive or grow if consumers don’t have jobs and can’t afford to purchase goods and services. Real stimulation of Main Street is accomplished through productive investment, not
bail-outs that shift money to unproductive sectors. We should use all of our precious resources to reinvest in our people in the real economy.

(9) It props up sectors that need to downsize and
There is significant overcapacity in the financial and banking sectors. Brainpower and talent needs to stop blowing financial bubbles and shift to economic activities that create real value.

(10) It is a temporary “fix” to keep Wall Street afloat until after the election.
Our resources are better invested in permanent, long-term solutions. This bail-out will not fix anything. Rather, it will help the perpetrators get away and ensure that the ultimate day of reckoning is worse.

The Administration wants to drain the real economy to bail out Wall Street. It seems to us that the more appropriate plan would be to require Wall Street to return the $4 trillion plus that is missing and use that to rebuild the real economy.

We think the time has come to reverse the flow. Go to any business school in the country. That is what they teach. Money should move out of unproductive sectors into productive sectors. The bail-out does just the opposite.

“Just say NO!”

The "sweeteners" (the increase in the FDIC coverage on deposits to $250,000 and tax cuts) do not address the problem. Congressmen, listen to Ms. Fitts: "Just say NO!" And while you're at it, abolish the Federal Reserve!

Virtual buckeye to Ed.

* I ask Ms. Fitts' forgiveness for this. I have copied it because of the urgency of the situation we are all trying to address, and the need to add authoritative arguments opposing the "bailout".

** Have we forgotten the corruption involved with Iraq's "reconstruction" already?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ohio secedes!

... at least in Homer Simpson's world, according to YouTube and the Defamer Australia blog. The episode, in which Homer attempts to vote for Barack Obama, is scheduled for broadcast November 2.

Gotta get going, I didn't think it would happen so fast! (laughing out loud)

Finally, some common sense on the bailout

David Harsanyi at the Denver Post has the right idea. Let's just step back and do nothing just yet. He asks what is to me a perfectly reasonable question: "Are there really only two choices: a depression or nationalization?" He wonders why the rush. Why aren't elected officials taking time to see whether we can affort the bailout without spending cuts, seeing whether the private sector can assist in rescuing financial institutions? "Elected officials could have explored these questions rather than scattering for political cover," he writes. "Conceivably, there is more to governance than the path of least resistance. There must be more to a debate than fear and/or loathing"

After the political smoke has settled, we have to ask ourselves whether it is such a good idea to have government, which had a large hand in creating the problem, take complete responsibility for solving it.

Mr. Harsanyi then quotes Jeffrey Miron, an economics professor at Harvard: "Most of our worst ideas are reactions to emergencies — some imagined and some real. We're in a fix. There will be consequences. But every now and then, the solution to a crisis is to do nothing. Especially when what we're doing is an assault on all those pesky principles we're supposed to be protecting in the first place. "


A reminder why we should abolish the Federal Reserve

From the King's Right Site in Cleveland:

"Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”
-- Andrew Jackson
History records that he succeeded, and America had no central bank from 1836 to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, which again brought corruption, speculation, and the present crisis. The only way to sound money and sound banking practices is to repeat President Jackson's action, and abolish the Federal Reserve, returning to specie-based currency!