Saturday, August 29, 2009

"It ain't [America] anymore"

I personally think the poster in question is in bad taste. However, bad taste does not trump the First Amendment:

Virtual buckeye to Gordon Gekko at taxmanblog.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ron Paul on secession

This goes back to April, but is worth reproducing at any time. Dr. Ron Paul gives a 4:40 video giving the short course on the legitimacy of secession. He also predicts that the United States will break up when the dollar collapses -- no matter what.

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion for reminding me of this.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-2009

My purpose is not to contribute to the hagiography being built up around the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. I disagree with, probably, 90% of what he stood for in his public life. I pray that he is at peace, and that his family will find comfort in its sorrow.

One of the problems with being in public life is that everything, the good (able to work on bipartisan projects), the bad (Chappaquiddick), and the ugly (protesting windmills in Cape Cod) are out front and in public. The privacy we ordinary mortals take for granted is denied to such people. Of course, it is part of the price one pays for being a public person; but it is something that most of us hypocritically tend to forget.

If a health care bill is passed, it would be fitting that it bear his name; but I object to the idea that a health care bill should pass just because he supported it. This is not the first time "memorial legislation" has been offered. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the time was billed as a memorial to his brother John. Legislation should always be judged on its merits and on nothing else.

Health care legislation is too complex and too intrusive to even be considered at the federal level. At the state or local level, it needs to be considered very carefully with the needs of all the competing interests taken into account.


This YouTube video is of a news story coming out of Boston, in which the Massachusetts Senate passed a health emergency bill which mandates, among other things, that persons refusing the vaccine will be fined $1,000 per day and face jail time of up to 30 days.

This unfortunately gives credence to the notion that there is more up than containing a flu outbreak. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say that all this meticulous preparation at state and federal levels suggests that the whole thing is being planned. Otherwise, state and federal governments and pharmaceutical firms are risking a massive waste of money and effort to contain what could prove to be nothing at all; or, because of virus mutations, could prove to be ineffective.

Sad to say, the truth is that I don't know better.

Virtual buckeye to FrankRep at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fascism defined

jcbrook at Vermont Commons quotes Carroll Quigley, Georgetown professor* and noted chronicler of the insider class, which he admired. Fortunately, Dr. Quigley valued truth over fawning:

"Fascism is the adoption by the vested interests in a society of an authoritarian form of government in order to maintain their vested interests and prevent the reform of the society." (Tragedy and Hope, p. 55o).

I guess we do live in a fascist society...

* I have a graduate degree (M.S. in Foreign Service, 1975) from Georgetown, but never had a class with Dr. Quigley. I have sometimes thought that the reason I was meant to go there (not having benefitted professionally from the education) was to better prepare me for the present situation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zogby releases new poll on secession

Zogby has released a new poll on secession:

One question included on this survey asked whether the respondent agreed or disagreed that any state or region had a right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic. Overall, 35% of those surveyed agreed that a state or region had a right to peaceably secede, while 52% disagreed, and 13% were not sure. Groups that were more likely to agree were conservatives (49%), Protestants (40%), those between 18 and 29 (45%), McCain voters (46%), and Republicans (43%).

Compare the results with last summer's poll. Most interestingly, secession finds its greatest favor with younger voters. The percentage agreeing that a state had the right to peaceably secede increased from 22% last year to 35% this year. Oddly enough, the idea finds more favor with Republicans, Protestants, and former McCain voters; however, it would be shallow to suggest that secession is only a partisan notion, especially since younger voters have been trending more independent and Democratic.

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British nurses plan to turn down swine flu shot

I have long had a suspicion that this so-called swine flu "pandemic" was being planned -- in much the same way as the Iraq war was planned. Otherwise, I cannot imagine why governments are putting so much planning effort into preventing an epidemic, when the extent of the epidemic is unknown and at this point unknowable.

According to Daniel Martin at the (London) Daily Mail (Aug. 18), 30% of nurses surveyed by Nursing Times will refuse the vaccine, 33% said maybe, and just 37% said that they would definitely "have the jab."

Among those who would refuse the vaccine, 60% were concerned about the safety of the vaccine, which the article notes, will not have been fully tested before it is administered to the public. Another 31% do not consider the risks of swine flu to be severe enough to warrant taking the vaccine.

The comments of two of the nurses are telling:
- "I would not be willing to put myself at risk of unknown long-term effects to facilitate a short-term solution."
- "I have yet to be convinced there is a genuine health risk and it's not just Government propaganda."


Of course, the British Government disagrees. The director of immunization for the British Department of Health finds that nurses have a duty to their patients and to their families: "I think you solve these responsibilities by being vaccinated."

Never mind that children under the age of 3 will not be tested, even though they are to be among the first to get the vaccine -- and that it can cause Guillain Barre Syndrome, which can lead to paralysis and even death. According to the Wikipedia article on Guillain Barre Syndrome,

GBS is a rare side-effect of influenza vaccines, with an incidence of about one case per million vaccinations. Other estimates suggest the incidence of GBS among those receiving the vaccine was one case per 105,000 and that the GBS was not directly due to the vaccine but to its being contaminated with a bacterium that triggers GBS.

Then there is this: "A mass swine flu vaccination in the U.S. in 1976 caused far more deaths than the disease it was designed to combat."

All right then. Please explain to me again how this vaccine will promote public health?

Virtual buckeye to jcbrook at Vermont Commons.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hawai'i observing muted 50th

According to this article by Mark Niesse at the Associated Press, Hawai'i isn't celebrating its 50th anniversary of statehood, it is observing it in a muted fashion.

Organizers of the observation are not even willing to call it a party. It is simply a "commemoration," one that is sensitive to a painful history of the Hawaiian monarchy's overthrow and unresolved claims of Native Hawaiians.

The main event is a low-key daylong conference reflecting on Hawaii's place in the world. Behind the tourist-friendly tropical images of beaches and sunshine, many remain uncomfortable with the U.S. takeover of the islands and the idea that businesses have exploited Hawaiians' culture.

This is in contrast to Alaska, which celebrated its 50th earlier this year with fireworks, concerts, and displays of native culture. Both states entered the Union as the result of flawed referenda, which offered the residents only two choices: statehood or continuing as a territory; in defiance of the United Nations Trusteeship agreement (to which the United States was a signatory), stating that such elections should have four choices: statehood, territory, commonwealth (like Puerto Rico), or independence. The referenda were further flawed by the fact that all military -- resident and non-resident -- stationed in the two states were permitted to vote, and were pressured to vote in favor of statehood. The Alasks Independence Party and several Hawai'ian groups note this in their arguments for independence.

"This newfangled idea of celebrating statehood shows that people don't understand Hawaii's history, or if they do understand, then they're celebrating a lie, a theft, that essentially stole a people's right of self-determination," said Poka Laenui, a Hawaiian and attorney who has worked for independence for more than 30 years.

Don't be too surprised if Hawai'i ends up being the first state out. Like Vermont and Texas, Hawai'i was established as an independent nation prior to statehood. It has a distinct culture, and is perfectly capable of making it on its own. In fact, an independent Hawai'i could become something of a regional power in the Pacific, by becoming the largest of several Polynesian nations in the region.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Unhealthy debate

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been accused of going around saying that those who are opposed to the Democratic health care plan are "unamerican." Actually, she has been misquoted. She said that those who were going around disrupting town-hall meetings were unamerican. However, this is not the first time she has leveled this particular accusation.

Is it possible that the reason for disruption is that opponents were not being given a chance to voice their opinions, or even, to attend, as Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown attempted to do at Ohio State University yesterday?

This certainly is not the first time we have caught the Left attempting to replace serious dialogue with namecalling, but it might be the first time we have caught such prominent Democrats engaging in the practice.

I have not weighed in on health care, simply because I have not yet heard what the actual proposal is. I have heard a lot of shouting on both sides. For me, national health care will be a difficult sell. The federal government has a less than stellar record with the administration of social service programs, especially when financial responsibility is taken into account. A state, perhaps, could undertake it (and it appears that Utah is doing so successfully), but not the Feds.

Health care insurance is a difficult topic, because:
1. There are many interested parties, and their relationships are complex: physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, patients, government, pharmaceutical firms, medical supply manufacturers...
2. It is difficult to strike a balance between fostering personal responsibility (no unnecessary visits) and encouraging visits when they are needed, or for prevention.
3. Young people (naturally) don't want to pay, but the elderly need more care than they can pay for.
4. It is difficult to develop a plan that can contain costs without rationing care or denying a patient his right to his preferred physician.

What we need is a free and open debate about health care, where all the issues are aired and discussed. Secret town-hall meetings, closed agendas, and namecalling do not serve the public interest.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is there a natural anti-liberty mindset?

Former Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski wonders. In this article, written for the Campaign for Liberty, she traces the roots of anti-liberty thinking (or what one of her commenters flat-out called cowardice) to the public education system. She also notes that the most respected professions seem to be in the government sector and enforcement-related: firefighter, police officer, scientists, doctors, nurses, military officers, and teachers. The least respected professions (other than Congressmen) all have to do with making money in the private sector.

She contends that Americans have been educated to passively accept authority in return for the government providing security (a point that is probably obvious to readers of this blog).

Dr. Kwiatkowski's conclusion:

Is there a natural anti-liberty mindset? No, there is not. Children want to ask questions, to explore, to experiment, and to think. People truly want charity, or as that word is also understood, kindness and love. In such an environment, liberty flourishes. But there is an artificial anti-liberty mindset promoted incessantly by all things state, and by all things political. It can be rejected, combated, and I hope, destroyed. The first step is to recognize that the anti-liberty mindset is not natural -- in spite of the state’s sustained and subtle messages to the contrary.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Maurice Thompson explains what the Liber-TEA rallies are about

Maurice Thompson, of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, appeared on Ohio News Network's Capitol Square program to explain where this grass-roots movement is coming from.

Virtual buckeye to the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Research.

Ending racism

One of the most frequent objections that has been raised to the state sovereignty resolutions is that they are somehow racist. I have seen this objection in the media, heard it from Sen. Ray Miller in response to sponsor testimony for SCR 13, and have encountered it among African-American coworkers. For many people, the concept of state sovereignty evokes memories of the States' Rights movements that attempted to preserve racial segregation in the South prior to passage of the Civil Rights Act. I have already alluded to the peculiar and highly emotive meaning of "sovereignty" when associated with Mississippi history.

It is difficult for a white to discuss racial issues openly, because of a widespread assumption among blacks that whites have a genetic predisposition to insensitivity on the issue, something that certain radio talk show commentators seem to display to excess. Which leads to the conclusion that no white could possibly make a constructive contribution to the dialogue. Which makes impossible the resolution to the problem.

However, I suggest (with George Bernard Shaw) that all generalizations are untrue, including this one. The root of all racism (black and white) lies in overgeneralization. When Dr. King called on us to "judge others by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin," he was challenging us to overcome some assumptions that are hard-wired into our belief systems.

In May, I challenged Leonard Pitts, Jr., on his views about secession. Now, however, I want to support him in his warning (published in the Columbus Dispatch Aug. 8) that racism is a subject to be dealt with sensitively; not just by whites, but by blacks as well.

Mr. Pitts is rightly critical of those who use race in demagoguery, whether it was Glenn Beck's careless comment about President Obama having a "deep-seated hatred for white people," or the inflammatory statements of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Mr. Pitts asks:

What wound in all American life is more raw than race? What is more likely than race to suddenly flare into conflagration? Our most ruinous war was about race. Our greatest social revolution was about race. We have seen a hundred riots and rebellions fueled by race. Race is a major component of our most vexing issues: health care, education, the environment, crime. It is our most profound and oldest regret, a tender spot on the American psyche.

I agree with him that what really matters are our collective hopes. Mr. Pitts, hopes, as I do,

that we will all someday evolve the courage, the compassion, and the inter-cultural trust to face the hard truths of race head on, and thereby validate that self-evident truth upon which the country was founded.

To get there will require us to get past our overgeneralizations about race. Sometimes this will require courage to go against ingrained stereotypes as Columbus City Council candidate Alicia Healey has by embracing libertarian ideals (third video here).

It will require us, in some instances, to rethink our politics; because these state sovereignty resolutions, and these demands for states' rights have nothing to do with race. They are to protect all of us in our right to do what we feel is best for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

One of the goals of state sovereignty is to begin reducing government to a human scale -- that is, one that is understandable to all of us, and manageable by those we elect. One that promotes equality of opportunity for all; and, at least in my opinion, will bring us closer to the kind of society Dr. King envisioned when he wanted us to be judged by the content of our character, and not the color of our skin.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Presentation to Wooster 9-12 Project posted

The PowerPoint presentation to the Wooster 9-12 Project has been posted to The Ohio Republic's documentation site.

This is the first time I have tried to use this technology, and I was unable to add the audio and automated slide changes; however, the file is .html and will work when you advance the presentation manually using the space bar.

I spoke to what I understand is a record turnout (I counted 74 present) of persons who showed a deep interest in the state sovereignty resolutions.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Please read this parable for our time. To describe it further would spoil it.

The Empire strikes back

Bryce Shonka at the Tenth Amendment Center sees parallels between current events and Roman history -- parallels that we ignore at our peril. From the Tenth Amendment Center website (The original title was "Obama's Imperial Decree: Target Oklahoma"). I have condensed the article somewhat.

Remember the good old days, when one only had to watch out for the Federal Government’s twisted interpretation of the commerce clause to justify tyranny?

Well those days seem to be long gone. The Obama Administration has been employing an old tactic lately – what some might call an imperial threat – and they’re not doing it overseas, either.

The state of Oklahoma is now the target of a direct challenge from US Attorney General Eric Holder, who is using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as justification to violate Oklahoma’s sovereignty as affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

In a letter written to the State Attorney General in April, the Federal government used aggressive language, bringing up the possibility of withholding Federal funds
appropriated for Oklahoma. The reason? A proposed amendment to the State Constitution, which requires voter approval, that would make English the official language of the State.

“What it indicates is the Federal Government’s contempt for the states, in this case Oklahoma, and for the idea of federal — as opposed to national — government. AG Holder believes that Oklahoma is an administrative subdivision of the USA, and that it is perfectly right for him to coerce Oklahomans to do his will. Who cares whether he has ever been to Oklahoma, met an Oklahoman, or thought about Oklahoma?” said Kevin Gutzman, an American historian and New York Times bestselling author.

Oklahoma is not alone as a state challenged by central authority in recent months. Recently, federal firearms licensees in Tennessee and Montana received a letter from another Federal agency, the ATF, who had also issued a decree wrought with hubris - claims by the Federal government of their legal supremacy across the land.

“Both of these letters, particularly this letter to the Attorney General of Oklahoma, are very officious,” observed Rob Natelson, professor of law at the University of Montana. “It reminds one eerily of the kinds of communications that started to come out from the Emperor [beginning in the 2nd century AD] to the local cities of the Roman Empire, beginning the course of the ultimate destruction of local government...”

He continued with a strong, decisive tone, “Almost everyone who’s studied in that area agrees that the effect was to sap the life out of the empire, so that everything flowed to the center. All that counted was the Emperor and his bureaucrats…and his courtiers. I look at this and I see this letter which gets close to looking like an order from the central government down to a sovereign state legislature, and I say…WOW. This looks like something that Septimius Severus would have sent to the local officials.”

In Columbus, Ohio last weekend, a rally in support of State Sovereignty drew around 7,000 people. Judge Andrew Napolitano addressed the rally and made similar comments indicating the nature of our current point in US history.

“In the long history of the world, very few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. This is that moment and you are that generation”

Are these men ‘crying wolf’?

“[The DOJ] are not violating any law by sending these letters, but there’s a change in tone, there’s a new and disturbing tone in them. At least the ATF letter was addressed to individuals. This one is addressed to a state legislature - really, it’s a bit much. Besides the fact that there’s the tone, there’s the fact that they sent the letters at all. Most of the letters that were sent out by the emperor were called rescripts, and that’s almost what [the letter from Holder] looks like. The one difference is that a rescript was usually a reply to a request for advice. In some ways this is worse than a rescript because this is unsolicited. A better way to compare it would be to an imperial constitutio - an imperial decision or decree.” Natelson added.


Worldwide trends in recent political elections do exhibit signs of a move away from central planner candidates, a trend the United States has been contrary to for nearly a decade, but perhaps the pendulum has reversed itself.

“As the economy grows increasingly complicated, increasingly interdependent and increasingly technological, centralized control (which never worked very well) works less and less, and people are less willing to stand for it. This reflects a visceral gut
reaction people have against centralized control, because they know from their own life it makes no sense, though it always takes time for those mega-trends to filter into the political class,” Natelson continued.

“Eventually, when a mule gets hit over the head enough times it figures out what’s going on, and eventually the politicians will figure out what’s going on, too.”

People in the US are coming together by the thousands, demanding decentralization and nullification of Federal powers. Never before have the political elites had to contend with a non-partisan political force on such a massive scale. A storm seems to be brewing; a maelstrom of everyday Americans rallying around the document designed to keep the government in fear of the people - instead of the other way around.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I will be speaking in Wooster Monday evening

I will be representing The Ohio Republic and the Ohio State sovereignty movement at a meeting of the Wooster 9-12 Project, to be held Monday, August 10, 6:30 pm, at the Wayne County Library, 220 West Liberty Street, Wooster.

My topic will be "State Sovereignty: What's In It for Me?" The presentation will be posted here following delivery.

Washington is selling servitude

This comes from Brian Roberts, a Texas entrepreneur of innovative software products, who is looking at current events from an entrepreneur's perspective, via the Tenth Amendment Center:

Washington is selling servitude.

We watched as they destroyed the financial sector by forcing banks to give loans to people that could not afford them… then they stepped in to “save the day” by gaining direct control of our financial sector.

We watched as they destroyed a once powerful automotive industry through excessive regulation and labor union control… then they stepped in to “save the day” by gaining direct control of our automotive industry.

We listened as they verbally assaulted capitalism when government regulations were to blame. We watched as they asked the American people to fund a $1 trillion dollar stimulus bill, they yelled emergency as they slipped cash from our children’s pockets to their political allies.

We watched, as they worked to destroy the rule of law by arbitrarily dictating revised terms to legal contracts and installing a Supreme Court justice that promotes social justice over rule-of-law.

We know, they intend to control our children, it’s written in the GIVE Act.

We know, they intend to control our resources, it’s written in the Cap and Trade Bill.

We know, they intend control of our very lives, it’s written in the Health Care Bill.

We know, they intend to control our votes, the 2010 census is now controlled by the White House and the ones registering voters are corrupt.

We watch and wait as they install unaccountable czars for dictating not representing.

We watch and wait as they increase “organizer” funding from millions to billions of our tax dollars. And we wonder how these groups will be used to steal our life, liberty and property from us.

The fifth sentence of the Declaration of Independence states, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Our product of freedom is competing with an illegal product. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to sell servitude. It’s that simple. The 10th Amendment positions our competitor as an outlaw and recent actions in Washington
reaffirm this claim. This brings us to our first point of strategic significance:

A movement based on the 10th amendment is undeniably lawful and moral.

Please read the rest of the article, which develops these points nicely.

If you haven't contacted the General Assembly in support of HCR 11 and SCR 13, do it now. Use the Ohio Freedom Alliance State Liberty Action Mailer (SLAM) tool to easily send out e-mails.

Virtual buckeye to JBZ at the Ohio Freedom Alliance.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday's Liber-TEA party successful!

Organizers estimate the crowd at 10,000 to hear Judge Andrew Napolitano speak at the Ohio Statehouse. Here are the YouTubes of Judge Napolitano and Columbus City Council candidate Alicia Healy speaking to the rally, courtesy of the Ohio Freedom Alliance:

Text of Judge Napolitano's speech (from the Tenth Amendment Center)

Judge Napolitano, Part 1

Judge Napolitano, Part 2

Alicia Healy

Another Tea Party has been scheduled for Athens Sat. Aug. 22, 11 am- 1 pm at the Athens County Fairgrounds. Here is a link for additional information.