Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tax and tax, spend and spend, tax and (oh-oh...)

Lori Montgomery at the Washington Post reports that Congress is taking a fresh look at a European-style value-added tax (VAT) to reduce the deficit and fund President Obama's health care program. A VAT imposes a percentage tax on the value added at each stage of production and sale.

Ben Sariwatta, at the Ohio Freedom Alliance forum, observed that in India, they have a practice called "black money," which refers to cash transactions made between individuals to evade taxes.

The higher the taxes, the greater the incentive to evade them. At some point, the level of tax evasion will become so great that Infernal Revenue will be unable to effectively enforce tax collections, which will only encourage contempt for tax law.

The Feds may want the VAT, the State will have to increase the income or sales tax, and Columbus and other municipalities want to increase the income tax. We are rapidly approaching the point where people cannot be (or at least cannot stand to be) taxed any more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Georgia paper fights secession trigger

The Georgia Senate's State sovereignty resolution has a secession trigger, which has one editorial board's knickers in a knot. The Valdosta Daily Times reports that in their poll following a column on the subject, approximately half of the respondents favored secession. They pull out the standard mainstream media arguments against the idea:

"Georgians would need a passport to travel to South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, or any other part of the U.S. Or if we just sneaked across the border, Georgians could be considered illegal immigrants in the U.S."

Technically, yes; but that would likely be a temporary problem. Georgia's secession would undoubtedly embolden other States (especially South Carolina) to do the same. As independent nations, the seceded States could negotiate something like a Schengen treaty to simplify movement among them.

"There would be no more federal funding for road projects, schools, construction, and various other amenities to which most Georgians have become accustomed. Of course, we could pay for all of these projects out of our own pockets."

And that's a bad thing? Georgians would also be allowed to keep all of the tax dollars they are sending to Washington! They could set up programs that meet their own needs, in their own way. The net result would likely be a large reduction in taxes.

"Meanwhile, what would happen to Moody Air Force Base and all of the other U.S. military bases throughout the state? The U.S. wouldn’t just let the nation of Georgia have them. Georgia couldn’t just block them off and hope the federal government wouldn’t make some effort to fortify the bases, reclaim them, etc. Perhaps, some folks may recall Fort Sumter, or something called the Civil War, for that matter."

Consider this, Georgians. You won't need all those military bases. You will think of national defense as just that -- defense of Georgia against foreign aggression. As to the War between the States (I'm surprised a Georgian used the über-Northern term), there is no reason secession could not be negotiated. The South is much stronger, industrially and morally, relative to the rest of the nation than it was in 1860. Given the desperate financial condition of the Federal Government, I wouldn't be surprised if offering the Feds, say, 2% of the national debt ($220 billion), spread over 20 years, proved sufficient to avoid war.

"And how many national and international businesses would want to locate in this experiment of a nation called Georgia? How many companies would remain?"

With lower taxes, your economy will boom. What does a corporation care what country it's in, as long as the conditions are favorable for business?

"How many folks would consider a General Assembly move to secede as nothing less than a coup?"

That's your call, Georgia. Apparently, half of the respondents of your poll didn't think it was a coup.

"How many Georgians would rather be considered Americans and move away? How many families would be split by secession, both within Georgia and throughout Georgia and the U.S.?"

There will be some who would prefer to remain in the United States. That is their right, and it should be respected. As to the families split by secession -- if the Republic of Georgia (uh, you're going to need a less confusing name), respects this right, the problem of splitting families is one for those families to decide.

"What do U.S. servicemen and women serving their country in Afghanistan and Iraq think when they hear that a state is considering secession from the United States of America? "

I imagine the troops from Georgia will be as divided as everyone else. If the purpose clearly is to expand the liberties of Georgians, reduce the tax burden, and enable the people of Georgia to develop their economy and culture in their own way, I imagine that most of the troops would prove to be in favor of secession. Soldiers and sailors have opinions like the rest of us -- they just choose to keep some of them to themselves while in the service.

"Secession would give a whole new meaning to those car magnets stating, “We support our troops.” The troops we support now will likely be the troops we would fight in the future. "

Rubbish. This is not 1860, people. It is more like 1775. Or, dear editors, do you think we would have been better off remaining in the British Empire?

Monday, May 25, 2009

But what did they fight and die for?

Yesterday, I delivered a sermon to two United Methodist Churches in the Columbus area, which I believe addresses the paradox we experience between the horrors of war and the reason our young people fight in them. It also, by implication, addresses the reason why secession is not disrespectful to those who serve in the military.

Verrry interresting...

The Virginia Rebel reports that "gold to go" ATMs are being introduced in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A piece of gold with a certificate of authenticity can be purchased for as little as $42.25. Since the euro is considered to be relatively strong at the moment, I can only imagine how well this would catch on on this side of the pond.

But I suppose the District of Coercion would make them illegal...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Secessionist classic now online

Alexander H. Stephens' book, A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, has been posted online at In a series of conversations ("colliloquies") originally published in 1868, the Confederate Vice President explains the relationship between the Federal Government and the States from the Constitution itself, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and the ratifying debates. He also discusses the views of Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, and relates it to the Confederate cause during the War Between the States.

The .html file is not terribly easy to read, being a direct scan from the original, which requires some adjustment to reading the footnotes as they appeared at the bottom of each page in the original. It also contains a number of helpful appendices, including the Confederate Constitution. On the other hand, the book is difficult to find, and is expensive to purchase (I bought mine about ten years ago for $80.00).

It is excellent reading for anyone who wishes to understand the Constitutional and legal bases for State sovereignty.

Liberalism and dropping population: is there a correlation?

My fellow Ohio blogger at taxmanblog, who calls himself Gordon Gekko, has been on something of a tear about liberals the last few days. While I personally think the conservative-liberal divide is becoming more and more a figment of conservative talk radio's imagination (the real divide being statist-libertarian), taxman does present some interesting data in this chartFive States have lost more than Ohio's just under 400,000, and the percentage losses in Louisiana (no doubt due to Hurricane Katrina), Michigan, and New Jersey are much larger than ours; but if you look at the chart in terms of red States and blue States, notice how red the left column is, and how blue the right one is.

If we want to reverse this trend, we need to start thinking like an independent nation.

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 5/20

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the most famous State sovereignty resolution of all, Texas' HCR 50 has been returned to committee on a point of order relating to the way it was sent to the floor. The setback is expected to be temporary.

The Feds are digging a deeper hole

We've known that for some time, but this chart and Bloomberg article from Akron's The Boring Made Dull present the evidence in high relief:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

State Sovereignty Information Reorganized

With the growth of the State sovereignty movement, my presentation of information in the right panel has grown longer and longer and longer... and much more unwieldy. To ensure the information is both accurate and maintainable, I have moved the data to a file (called ssr.htm) in the Ohio Republic documentation site. In that file, I have provided the latest status of all the resolutions and links to both the text and the history.

A link will be maintained at the top of this blog, giving the date the information was last updated. I hope this will prove to be of better service to you.

Further evidence that reports of the GOP's demise are not premature

The CNN Political Tickler reports that South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham got into a bout with hecklers at that State's Republican Convention Saturday. It seems that he wants a "big tent" party that "can compete in Connecticut and Pennsylvania" as well as in South Carolina. He then asserted that Ron Paul is not the leader of the party.

The lines are clearly drawn. Sen. Graham's thoroughly discredited neoconservativism or Ron Paul's politics of R[3VOL]UTION. It appears that the neocons are dominant in South Carolina.

The Republican Party, as I have observed, is dying rapidly, or as one commenter to the above post put it, "The GOP is circling the drain."

Virtual buckeye to James at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

"Secession is in the water"

... said New York State Senator Andrew Lanza of a bill he has introduced to separate Staten Island from New York City. The same article from discusses another proposal to make Long Island into a separate State (another idea that has been around for years) and makes a passing reference to a bill in Georgia in favor of secession.

I knew that the State sovereignty resolution SR 632 had passed the Georgia Senate April 1, but I had not read it closely. The resolution as presented in the link is wordy and dense (aggravated by the lack of breaks between paragraphs). However, it is the first resolution passed by a House of a State legislature to contain New Hampshire's secession trigger. This is a noteworthy milestone in American secessionism that should have attracted more notice at the time. Of course, the Atlanta media were not overly enamored with it, as shown in this column by Jay Bookman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As Mr. Bookman noted, even in Georgia's most conservative counties, two-thirds of the Republicans are still opposed to secession; so the resolution's timing is probably premature. Still, when we consider the state of the discussion as recently as January, secessionism has come a long way in a very short time.

And we have this declaration from Dan Weintraub in Vermont Commons, "It is time for Vermont to secede." Last October, Mr. Weintraub wrote a piece in Vermont Commons suggesting the idea half tongue-in-cheek. In today's post, he repents for not being more serious. His arguments echo those that have appeared in this space on many occasions, focusing primarily on the economic and environmental unsustainability of the Empire as it currently exists.

"Why secession? Simply put, because our nation can never recover from the decades of corruption and duplicity and greed that have led us to this abyss lest our leaders attempt to do so through means that are anathema to the righteous moral and ethical lives, hearts and minds of the citizens of Vermont. Our leaders will do anything to save the system. And we can no longer be party to such actions. It is time for us to leave...

"A nation borne of the dreams of Enlightenment righteousness has fallen prey to the greed and corruption and theft of the robber barons and Wall Street moguls. And it has gone on for so long, and the nation has incurred such massive amounts of DEBT, that no medicine can cure the disease. On every level, "large" has failed. Small communities--if prepared and coordinated---will be able to construct social, political and economic systems that will allow these communities to exist at a comfortable "subsistence" level."

Preach on, brother! At this rate, the July 4 State sovereignty rally in Columbus just might find some participants pressing for independence.

Virtual buckeye to Gabe McGranahan for the piece from .

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prize spurs officials to collaborate

Here's some good news from Northeastern Ohio, as reported by Patrick O'Donnell at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer:

An non-profit organization known as The Fund for Our Economic Future has posted $300,000 in prize money, to be paid for the best ideas to cut costs and improve services by sharing projects with neighboring cities. The 44 proposals come in various sizes, from the very small to the very large. The public will vote for the winners in a July vote.

All entries must involve cooperation between at least two government agencies to save money or improve services, with the prize being used to implement (not just research) the project.

Examples of proposals include joint equipment purchases, teleconferencing, building new facilities (such as parking and maintenance garages and a recreation center), and combining fire services (such as dispatch and arson investigation).

Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund, said that "many of the proposals may seem simple and obvious, but that's part of the point." Mr. Whitehead "hopes governments will find ways to follow even the proposals that do not win. 'The beauty of this thing is how much of it makes sense,' he said. 'It's all just logical stuff to do.'"

Ohio's tradition of practical innovation at work in the governmental sector! I hope this initiative proves to be wildly successful and spreads to the rest of the State! The other nice thing about it is that it promotes networking, a much more efficient alternative to the consolidation too often advocated for cost savings (for example, by Ohio columnist Thomas Suddes).

You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring

Following is a commencement address by Paul Hawken to the graduating class of the University of Portland, reprinted in full from It needs no comment from me.

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.

But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation... but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food, but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.

You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.

There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit.. And today tens of millions of people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, and non-governmental organizations, of companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.

The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. Think about this: we are the only species on this planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time than to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, challenging, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

Paul Hawken ( is a renowned entrepreneur, visionary environmental activist, and author of many books, most recently Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. He was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters by University president Father Bill Beauchamp, C.S.C., in May, when he delivered this superb speech. Our thanks especially to Erica Linson for her help making that moment possible.

Virtual buckeye to Carolyn Baker ("Truth to Power") at Vermont Commons.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting down to the brass knuckles

Why do some elected officials at the State level feel threatened by the Tenth Amendment and the State sovereignty movement? John Bowman at has some interesting thoughts based on a little-known sixteenth-century French philosopher, Étienne de la Boétie. In la Boétie's book The Politics of Obedience, he explains why ordinary people accept servitude:

"The fundamental political question is why do people obey a government. The answer is that they tend to enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall when the people withdraw their support."

Mr. Bowman applies this withdrawal of support to the growth of the State sovereignty movement. He asks the same question we have stated in this space many times, "Do the [people] not realize that they are merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that these federal funds could not be given them without having first been taken from them?"

The national solution to this problem would be to get Congress to end the Federal Reserve, the Infernal Revenue Service, and repealed the Sixteenth Amendment -- but we might as well expect to see pigs fly (outside of a monument in Cincinnati). The easier solution is secession. Once a State refused to allow the Feds to collect their taxes at the expense of its people and businesses, other States would have to follow suit, if for no other reason than that failure to do so would spark an exodus to the "free" State.

The State sovereignty resolutions are a license from the State legislatures to themselves to resist Federal authority where it is not Constitutionally warranted. Failure to assert our own sovereignty, then, is an admission that we prefer servitude to freedom.

Virtual buckeye to Gabe McGranahan, a leading State sovereignty activist in Ohio.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ohio House committee holds first hearing on HCR 11

The Ohio House State Government Committee held its first hearing on the Ohio State sovereignty resolution (HCR 11) Wednesday afternoon. By custom, the first hearing is usually reserved for testimony from the cosponsors. HCR 11's cosponsors, Reps. Kris Jordan (R-Delaware) and Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek) gave testimony in support of the resolution.

Rep. Martin discussed the Constitutional basis for the Tenth Amendment, and cited the No Child Left Behind Act, REAL ID, and a proposed transfer of terrorists from Guantánamo to Ohio as examples of how the Federal government has ignored the Tenth Amendment. He emphasized the non-partisan, non-secessionist nature of the resolution. Kris Jordan followed by noting that 35 other states have done the same, and by discussing a quotation of Thomas Jefferson, "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Rep. Matt Lundy (D-Avon Lake) asked both Representatives how Ohioans fear the Federal government, how liberties have been chipped away. The essence of Rep. Martin's answer was that Americans are fearful due to economic concerns, and that rights have been chipped away by Federal planning.

Rep. Lundy asked what Ohioans should do. Rep. Jordan answered that we should support HCR 11 and other language in support of sovereignty, then adopt State policies that implement these.

Rep. Lundy noted that Texas had put in stronger language -- why did we leave the secessionist language out? If there is greater Federal intervention, would Rep. Martin entertain the idea of secession? Rep. Martin's reply: "People aren't carrying pitchforks -- that kind of talk takes us out of serious debate, and we need serious debate on this issue."

Then Rep. Dale Mallory (D-Cincinnati), noting that Reps. Jordan and Martin had appealed so much to history, asked who George Washington's troops were fighting when they crossed the Delaware. The answer was that both Representatives were educated in the public schools and did not know the answer. (It was a trick question: the Hessians, British allies, were across the river).

It is hard to tell whether the testimony had any influence on the Democratic majority on the committee. On the one hand, the questions were more neutral than I expected. I thought that Rep. Lundy's question on secession was an effective ploy, brilliantly countered by Rep. Martin.

It will take considerable pressure by supporters of HCR 11, particularly in the districts held by the Democratic members, to secure a second hearing. Supporters (regardless of district) need to flood the Committee members with e-mails, letters, and phone calls in support of the resolution! Here is contact information for the House State Government Committee.

Republicans in the wilderness: Is there a way out?

Ed Gamble's cartoon published today in the Columbus Dispatch and other newspapers (no link available) neatly summarizes the problem with the Republican Party. It depicts the GOP elephant in the wilderness getting conflicting exit instructions from RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh. No one questions that the Republican Party is in the wilderness. My question is, is it worth the effort to get the Republican Party out?

The Republicans sold themselves out to the military-industrial complex when they bought into neoconservative big government at the Federal level. Their traditional principles, known as paleoconservatism, held for smaller Federal government, balanced budgets, and maximum personal and economic freedom. Today's Republican Party can claim none of these.

Face it, Republicans. There is no credibility left. America needs new political movements that people can buy into. Let's give the GOP a decent burial and go on.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's official now -- the Ohio Senate resolution is SCR 13

The State Sovereignty resolution was officially introduced in the Ohio Senate yesterday, and has been assigned the number SCR 13. I think 13 is going to be our lucky number...! Write to your State Senator and urge him or her to support SCR 13!

Oklahoma, corrected

A commenter to my post May 6 pointed out that that Oklahoma's HCR 1028 has only passed the House, and has not been enacted, as I reported. The resolution has passed its first hearing in the Senate, where approval is expected -- but has not yet occurred.

I have corrected the data in the right panel accordingly.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 5/6

Louisiana's Sen. A. G. Crowe introduced SC 2 Apr. 27. It was favorably reported out of committee today and is awaiting a floor vote.

The Tennessee Senate approved SJR 311 May 4 by a vote of 31-0. It had been introduced Apr. 16.

Both resolutions are similar to Oklahoma's.

Also see post below about Oklahoma.

Oklahoma passes State sovereignty resolution over Governor's veto

After Oklahoma's HJR 1003 received the veto of Gov. Brad Henry, Rep. Charles Key reintroduced the same resolution as HCR 1028. A concurrent resolution does not require the approval of the Governor, and according to NewsOK, was approved by both houses.

We therefore are happy to add Oklahoma to the States on the Enacted list!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Senators Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Timothy Grendell (R-Chesterland) will introduce a State sovereignty resolution Wednesday. While modeled on Oklahoma's, it contains language that has never appeared in another State.

One of the most interesting paragraphs effectively addresses the media assertion that the resolution is "secessionist": "... We believe in the importance of all levels of government working together to serve the citizens of our country, by respecting the constitutional provisions that properly delineate the authority of federal state, and local governments."

It includes a reference to Printz v. United States/Mack v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997), in addition to the more common reference to New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992). The resolution also quotes James Madison in the Federalist Papers Nos. 39 and 51.

Following is the complete text of the resolution (I shall post a .pdf file when it becomes available):

LSC 128 1004

128th General Assembly

Regular Session 2009-2010


To claim sovereignty over certain powers pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, to notify Congress to limit and end certain mandates, and to insist that federal legislation contravening the Tenth Amendment be prohibited or repealed.


WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: “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”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment signifies that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are often treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws directly contravene the Tenth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, We believe in the importance of all levels of government working together to serve the citizens of our country, by respecting the constitutional provisions that properly delineate the authority of federal, state, and local governments; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States, states in part, “The United States shall guarantee 32 to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court ruled in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states by compelling them to enact and enforce regulatory programs; and

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court, in Printz v. United States/Mack v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997), reaffirmed that 43 the Constitution of the United States established a system of “dual sovereignty” that retains “a residuary and
inviolable sovereignty” by the states. The majority of the United States Supreme Court noted in that case (521 U.S. 898, 921-922) :

“As [President] Madison expressed it: ‘ [The local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.’ The Federalist No. 39, at 245.

This separation of the two spheres is one of the Constitution’s structural protections of liberty. ‘Just as the separation and independence of the coordinate branches of the Federal Government serve to prevent the accumulation of excessive power in any one branch, a healthy balance of power between the States and the Federal Government will reduce the risk of tyranny and abuse from either front.’ . . . To quote [President] Madison once again:

‘In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each
subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. ‘ The Federalist No. 51, at 323”; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals by previous administrations, some now pending proposals by the present administration, and some proposals by Congress may further violate the Tenth Amendment restriction on the scope of federal power; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the State of Ohio hereby acknowledges and reaffirms its residuary and inviolable sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this resolution serves as notice to the federal government as agent of the states, to end federal mandates that are beyond the scope of the constitutionally delegated powers; and be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalty or sanction or that requires states to enact legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit authenticated copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of each
state’s legislature, and each member of the Ohio Congressional delegation.

John Kasich to run for Governor

It's official, according to Mark Silva at the Chicago Tribune. Former Congressman John Kasich is filing to run for Governor next year. Mr. Kasich is well respected among conservatives and moderate Ohioans who know of his career in the Congress, particularly in his role as a deficit hawk.

Mr. Silva continues:

"Kasich already is on the circuit: He served as the keynote speaker at the Richland County Republican Lincoln Day over the weekend and at a Columbiana County GOP dinner this week.

"'We've been drifting and we've got to stop it,' Kasich said at his most recent dinner. 'Ted Strickland is a nice man, but he's a caretaker governor when we need a man of action.'

"Kasich described the state of Ohio that he first came to know in the 1970s and said the state has come to have higher taxes and unemployment with fewer people to support it all.

"'The most important thing is to point out we need a major change in Ohio's economics,' he said. 'We need to restructure Ohio's government to help bring down the economic barriers so we can have good, high-paying jobs in Ohio.'"

Why the stimulus won't work -- in one simple lesson

Dan Weintraub in Vermont Commons gives a simple explanation of a town taking its stimulus funds to fix a few roads. Just one problem. The money isn't going anywhere, because everyone is up to their neck in debt, and governments need more taxes to service theirs.

It also makes a nice case for local currencies to strengthen local economies.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chinese: U.S. a poor credit risk

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is acknowledging in this report from Agence France-Presse what we have been saying for over a year -- China is getting leery of buying paper from a creditor that has over $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities (and growing).

After paying a visit to the Bureau of Public Debt, which trades bonds, he was "alarmed at how much debt was being bought by the US Federal Reserve due to absence of foreign investors."

In other words, he has just admitted that we're starting to print money.

But the Chinese are smarter than we are -- they're going to bail out before they need a bailout.

Virtual buckeye to JBZ at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Freedom from "isms"

Here is a cartoon made 50 years ago that packs even more punch today. I especially like the point that anyone who tries to exploit our differences (class, race, religion, etc.) is probably trying to take away our freedom.

Virtual buckeye to FrankRep at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

State Sovereignty Resolution Update - 5/2

Arizona's HCR2024 was voted out of House committee with the recommendation of "Do Pass".

Colorado passed a State Sovereignty resolution in 1994; but members of that State's Senate have decided to introduce a new one, SJM011, which the committee postponed indefinitely, which usually is equivalent to a defeat.

Missouri introduced another State sovereignty resolution, HCR13, which was adopted by that House Mar. 23. Hearings have been held in the Senate committee, but it has not yet made a recommendation. In contrast with the earlier HR212, HCR13 makes no reference to abortion, but is modeled (like most others) on the Oklahoma resolution.

When ideology supersedes country...

... there may be a good reason.

I am completing a bit of unfinished business following the April 15 Tea Parties and the fallout from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's statements on secession. Specifically, I would like to help Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., deal with his "jolt of unrecognition, that instant of worry for the state -- and future -- of the Union." Mr. Pitts' writing is worthy of respect. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004, and his concerns for the Union reflect those of many Americans today. He deserves a thoughtful response, which I hope this post will provide.

Gov. Perry, at a Texas Tea Party said,
"When we [Texas] came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we should be able to leave if we decided to do that. My hope is that America, and Washington in particular, pay attention. We've got a great Union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that?"

That remark struck Mr. Pitts as "surreal." He considers it "borderline traitorous" that a Governor of Texas (as opposed to a "yahoo from some group of gun-toting goobers") would make such a statement. From his perspective, it appears to be a case of the losing party in an election wanting out for ideological reasons.

"Country, after all," he writes, "is supposed to be that which pulls us together after everything else -- politics, race, religion -- has pulled us apart." This is a noble sentiment, and in different times, I would agree with him; but the issues raised at the Tea Parties, and which Gov. Perry is addressing, run much deeper than mere political posturing. They run to the very core of our being as a nation.

The title of this post is the one originally assigned to Mr. Pitts' column by the Miami Herald. The Columbus Dispatch attached a different headline, "Whatever happened to putting one's country first?" Secessionism is gaining strength, because the United States of America no longer has a Federal government dedicated to the purpose established for it in the Preamble to the Constitution:

"We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Forming a more perfect union" was achieved with the ratification of the Constitution by nine States. Consolidation into a single national government is not perfecting the union, it is abolishing it from the top.

"Establish justice"? This blog is full of reports of Federal abuse of the justice system.

"Insure domestic tranquility"? You may establish law and order at the end of a gun, but domestic tranquility means more than that. Domestic tranquility is the ability to go about your business secure in your knowledge of what is right and wrong according to the law.

"Provide for the common defense"? Can you honestly say that terrorism would be a threat if the United States did not have a military presence in the Middle East? Even if you wish to be so crude as to suggest that oil is indispensible to us we can stop purchasing it from the Arabs. There are fields we can still develop, and there are alternative sources of supply. My point is, were it not for our presence in the Middle East, radical terrorists would have no motivation to attack us. Eliminating their motivation strikes me as a much more effective defense strategy than the one we are currently pursuing.

"Promote the general welfare"? Dependence on government is not welfare. Enabling the economy to work with minimal governmental regulation lets the free market do the heavy lifting to ensure the prosperity of all of us.

"Secure the blessings of liberty"? Clearly, the record since at least 2001 has shown the Feds moving in the opposite direction.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from consent of the governed -- that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." (Emphasis added).

Mr. Pitts, there are times in history when unconditional loyalty is dangerous. Consider where we would be if the Thirteen Colonies decided to put King and Country first. Consider how different the world might have been if the Germans in the 1930s had decided that there were values higher than country.

Our founding fathers taught us that loyalty should be conditional. If the Federal government acts in our interest, we will respond with deep and enthusiastic loyalty. If it does not, and all other means of asserting our will fail, then we have an obligation to ourselves and our posterity to institute new government. We may decide that the problem was that governmental power is too big and too distant to keep us safe and happy, and if that is the case -- and many of us are convinced it is the case -- then secession is a peaceful remedy that gives the greatest respect to the rule of law. The only alternative is violent revolution. I, for one, would prefer not to annihilate myself and a large percentage of my countrymen in its pursuit.

Is America dead?

This is lifted from LostLiberty (take a virtual buckeye, PhreedomPhan!), who lifted it off another site (that I am not linking because it is noted for being a bit crude and off the wall). While I would not state the case in exactly this way, it reflects my sentiments in plain English that might especially appeal to younger adults:

"Is America dead? I have to ask this question because the answer may have serious ramifications to our lives. Each successive generation does not know what it has lost from the previous generations.

"This country has been in a steady decline to the point we find ourselves now. This country as of this moment represents absolutely none of its former glory. Think about that for a moment and what that means. We are no beacon of light to the world. Oh sure, third worlders view our nation as an improvement, but to a roach... a kitchen is Shangri La.

"People have been under an organized attack for a long time, and due to our lack of resistance they have been taking our liberties slowly and deliberately. Our state of affairs is so poor that our flag should be flown upside down in a state of emergency. Our constitution is so weak from our lack of interest that it barely protects us anymore.

"Inch by inch America is being overthrown. September the 11th was the incident that put an already in motion agenda on a fast track. We are one step away from total chaos with tyranny looming in the background.

"What is their one big dilemma? How to get an armed society to surrender it's guns and submit to a high tech nanny state. Take off your shoes citizen, your flip flops may be wired. Get chipped citizen, your identity must be known. Give up your sovereignty citizen, the global community awaits.

"Citizen slave. This is your reward for not giving a shit, for not resisting, for caring more about Paris Hilton than your own freedoms, for allowing yourself to be divided on every issue. And it's not just this generation. This result is the outcome of the apathy of our parents and grandparents as well. For allowing the Central Banks to steal our gold standard from us in the dark of night, to waging bogus wars for empire in our name... on and on.

"Get pissed off and fight. Not against smokers or old cars that smoke... but for your freedom. Fight for America not in foreign lands, but here at home. Take your own oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. Don't accept being put on a terrorist watch list for some trumped up reason you don't even know of. Stop acting like a caged animal and identify what freedom means to you and fight for it. What do you have to lose? A bunch of shit you don't own anyway? A night without American Idol?"

In other words, get off the couch and do something! Talk to your friends, your neighbors, your associates at work and remind them of just what it is we are losing!