Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kerfuffle in Vermont

There has been a long-standing argument in Vermont about the relationship between Kirkpatrick Sale, certain Vermont secessionists and the League of the South, which has led a certain observer to conclude that the Vermont secessionist movement is "white supremacist."

I have been aware of this for nearly three years, and have chosen to ignore it for the most obvious of reasons -- it's not my battle. The only reason I bring it up now is that Prof. Sale has made a reference to The Ohio Republic that calls for a brief disclaimer.

Two years ago, I made the acquaintance of Sebastian Ronin, a secessionist in Nova Scotia, who wanted to develop a North American secessionist organization that would consist of elected representatives from legitimate, active organizations. At that time, I agreed to assist him in the effort to organize a "North American Secessionist Congress" that was to have been held in October 2009. The initial organizational efforts indicated to us that too few organizations would support such an effort, and it was abandoned.

This prompted Prof. Sale to make the following comment:

I would suggest that we have nothing to do with his call for a congress--and indeed I see no sign of any real group supporting him. He has one ally in Ohio, but that's another website individual, not a real secessionist organization.

Since then, Mr. Ronin has moved on to organize a group known as the Renaissance Party of North America, whose website I have reviewed; and in my opinion, it espouses certain values that I would associate with white supremacism. Soon after he began the movement more than a year ago, I defriended him in Facebook and have had only one further contact with him by e-mail. Thus, Prof. Sale's assertion that Mr. Ronin has "one ally in Ohio" is based on very outdated information.

The experience has led me to the conclusion that there is little value to forming any secessionist group on a continental scale. The desire for independence and the resources to achieve it must come from within each state on its own, in its own way.

I am not affiliated with any political or secessionist organization outside the State of Ohio, and have no desire to join any such organization. Within Ohio, I am a member of the Ohio Freedom Alliance and the Ohio Libertarian Party -- and I have made no secret about either one.

As to Prof. Sale's reference to me as "another website individual, not a real secessionist organization," I never claimed to be anything else.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A pledge to the gullible

I have finally read A Pledge to America, offered up to us by our Congressional Republicans. While I have read some comments on it, this post will only include my impressions of it.

Frankly, I am disappointed. Not surprised, but disappointed.

With this document, the Republican Party has placed itself on the same level as the Democrats. They don't really care about fundamental change that will help us preserve our liberty and stave off economic catastrophe. They just want to get back into power.

The sad part is, they just might get away with it.

Why do I say this?

The Republicans know what we want to hear. The Pledge begins:
America is more than a country.

America is an idea - an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government's powers are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any man or woman can - given economic, political, and religious liberty - advance themselves, their families, and the common good.

America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and dignity to determine their own destiny.

Fine words. The reference to the Declaration of Independence is a nice touch; which becomes a snare to the unwary reader in the very next sentence:

Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course. [Emphasis added]

The liberties of the people are in danger whenever the government has an agenda -- any agenda. Government is meant to carry out the agenda (if we have to use that word) of the people who elected representatives to it.

We live in revolutionary times. Merely changing an agenda will not resolve the problems we face. It is like trying to treat arterial bleeding with a Band Aid.

The GOP wants to require that every bill going through their Congress contain a citation of Constitutional authority. (I wonder how many times they will cite the catch-all "General Welfare Clause," which does not of itself confer any "Constitutional authority.") The Pledge displays a great deal of confusion on the Constitutional role of government. The following examples, taken from the document, display a rank ignorance of, if not contempt for, the limitations the Constitution placed on the federal government:
  • "We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values." That's nice, as long as the Congress doesn't try to legislate on any of those subjects. I wonder how long the conservative base will stand for silence on abortion restrictions and preventing homosexual "marriages." *
  • "Instead of pushing off our long-term fiscal challenges, we will reform the budget process to ensure that Congress begins making the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today's seniors and future generations." Please show me where the Constitution authorizes any entitlement program.
  • "We offer a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care." Repeal, great! Replace -- uh, please show me where the Constitution authorizes any government intervention in health care.
  • "End TARP once and for all." Good. Now, what will your corporate contributors demand in its place?

The Pledge contains a number of serious political problems as well:

  • "We will further encourage small businesses to create jobs by allowing them to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income." About the health care act requiring small business to report purchases of over $600 with forms 1099 to Infernal Revenue: "We will repeal this job-killing small business mandate." "We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011." All of these are baby steps in the right direction, but they only address symptoms. The problem is a system of collecting income tax that is too complex, too intrusive, too expensive, and totally unfair. The best thing to do is to abolish the income tax by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment. The second best thing to do is to institute a flat tax -- no deductions, no exemptions, no "progressive" rates, and no excuses. The rich still pay more than the poor, but get to keep what they earn.
  • "With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt." Uh-huh. You can't be serious about debt reduction if you're only cutting governmental spending by 4.3 percent! Ohio's state government has routinely cut spending by 10 percent and more in recent years! Restoring fiscal sanity will require sacrifices, both to the Congress and to those who hoped to receive the entitlements.
  • The Republicans want to "[impose] a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees." Now that's a lot of nothing, given the federal propensity to justify almost everything on the basis of "national security."
  • They also want to review every government program "to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs." Then you'll file the report in a box in the National Archives, right? How about sunset legislation?
  • "... we will reform the budget process..." Like you did during the George W. Bush Administration, right?
  • "We will give all Representatives and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote." To read the Health Care Act (2,300 pages) in three days would require a person to read almost 1,500 words of dense legalese per minute, allowing only four hours per day for sleeping and breaks. (The fastest speed readers can read about 1,000 words per minute -- most of us plod along at 200-400).
  • The Pledge makes it clear that the Republicans are still pro-war, any war: "We offer a plan to keep our nation secure at home and abroad that will provide the resources, authority, and support our deployed military requires, fully fund missile defense, and enforce sanctions against Iran..." This is not national security. This is more of the same old, same old. National security lies in minding our own business -- getting out of the Middle East for starters -- and in arming our borders and nothing else. The plan does address border security by ensuring that the federal government "fulfills its constitutional duty to protect our citizens and our Nation, working closely with our state and local governments."
  • "We will work to ensure foreign terrorists... are tried in military, not civilian, court. We will oppose all efforts to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend "Miranda Rights" to foreign terrorists." I have no objection to this statement, except in what it leaves unsaid. There is no commitment here to habeas corpus, one of the most fundamental human rights. We are untrue to our own commitment to personal liberty, if we decide that an accused terrorist should be locked up indefinitely without a fair trial. Not all accused terrorists prove to be guilty. That "fair trial" can be in military court according to military law, but even the worst of them are entitled to that much.

In summary, the Pledge to America is a slick political document appealing to motherhood, apple pie, hot dogs, and flagwaving conservatism. It offers policy solutions to a structural problem.

What is that structural problem? Just this. The Founding Fathers designed the federal government to consist of three branches that would be competing centers of power -- each jealous of its own prerogatives under the Constitution. They never imagined that the feds would evolve into a state of collusion, where a dictatorial President enlists a rubber-stamp Congress to approve vague legislation that a compliant Supreme Court upholds. Even that collusion could have been prevented if the Seventeenth Amendment (direct election of Senators) had not been adopted, stripping the states of their direct voice in the federal government.

The Republicans preach reform at a time when we need a revolution. Given Washington's love of power, I seriously doubt that the needed structural changes will ever occur on the federal level. This is why I preach secession -- returning power to governments on a more human scale.

So, voter beware. Remember, the lesser of the two evils is still evil. At minimum, support the third-party and dissident Republican candidates who understand the truth and are willing to proclaim it. Better yet, support candidates for the state legislature that will aggressively press for nullification of unconstitutional federal laws -- and if that fails, independence.

* I am not in favor either of abortion or homosexual "marriages", but neither should be regulated by law -- and certainly not at the federal level!

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Apology to America

I still haven't read the document that inspired this, but right now we all need some levity, which Travis Irvine, Libertarian candidate for Congress in Ohio's 12th District is more than happy to supply.

Keep in mind that the best humor is based on truth...

A dissenting view on the Constitution

... and one worth reading!

Gary D. Barnett at is "fed up with Constitution-worship." His argument is that Alexander Hamilton persuaded the other Founding Fathers to adopt a document that greatly strengthened the power of the federal government knowing that it would inevitably end in federal dominance over the states and the people. Interestingly, the very powers in Article I, Section 8, which most of us wish the feds would confine themselves to, are too much for him. While he acknowledged that there were flaws in the Articles of Confederation (the document that organized the federal government prior to the Constitution), he finds it greatly superior to the Constitution in its protection of individual rights. (While I agree with Mr. Barnett on this point, I also hold that the Constitution was, and is, necessary to resolve economic and foreign policy problems that were clearly evident by 1787).

He makes the important, and usually neglected, point that the Constitution does not grant rights to the people. Our rights come from God as part and parcel of our creation.

If we need a Constitution, Mr. Barnett writes, it should be one that the people themselves can enforce. It is true that there is a natural antagonism between freedom and government, which is made clear from this quotation from Human Action, by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, quoted by Mr. Barnett:

It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.
Mr. Barnett concludes:

I will put my faith in God, not men. I will have faith in freedom, not constitutions. Our salvation and return to liberty lies not in faith in men residing in the halls of congress, but in our belief in us as free and sovereign individuals.

The United States has the oldest written constitution still in force in the world. Perhaps the time has come either to extensively revise it (as Ohio did with its state constitution in 1912), or to replace it; however, its replacement must be done with extreme care, lest we come up with something even worse.

However, I suggest that the problem with the U.S. Constitution is not inherent to that document, but in our collective failure to ensure that it is consistently enforced on the federal government. We have not been jealous enough for our liberties, and the consequence is that many of them have already been lost. We have allowed the federal Leviathan to grow out of all sense of human scale, economically and militarily. We have trusted too much in our elected officials and relied too little on ourselves.

Rather than to attempt to repair the damage to the federal government, it might just be simpler to start over. A Republic of Ohio with 11.5 million people will be much more accountable to its people than a federal government of 310 million people ever will be.

Think about it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here's evidence that Ohio is opening its mind to secession

About a month ago, The Ohio Republic got picked up by several secessionist blogs when I made the following statement about my home state:

Ohio historically has been one of the most pro-Lincoln unionist of states, but my personal encounters with people suggest a rapidly growing acceptance of secession (especially if attempted gradually after a few nullifications of federal law). Ohioans today are less likely to be hostile to secession in principle than convinced that it will not work, or that it will result in an extremely violent federal backlash. If a poll were taken today, I think 20-25% of Ohioans would be open to secession, nearly double what I estimated from a Zogby poll two years ago.

Here is some additional evidence of that shift, coming from my friend Joe Bozzi, executive director of the Ohio Freedom Alliance, who posted this on their website today. Being quite brief, I will quote it in full:

Those who support concepts such as nullification and secession have often been accused of being un-American. However, that statement begs the question: what exactly does it mean to be American? America was founded on a tradition of self-government and local control which made us strong.

Unfortunately, in this century we have drifted more and more towards a centralized form of government. While more power, money, and decision-making has gravitated towards the central bureaucracy in Washington, it is not a coincidence that we have seen our standard of living start to flatten out and decline in this country. It is clear that we have been paying the price for moving away from an American form of governance and towards something more akin to a Soviet model of governance.

Nullification is an important way for states to opt out of unjust and illegal actions on the part of the federal government (individuals may also take recourse against injustice by opting out through jury nullification). Opting out of tyrannical and unjust laws will not result in the loss of the American ideal, quite to the contrary, it will only make it stronger. After all, what is America? Is it really the politicians and bureaucrats that claim to represent us in Washington? Or is it the the unique character and spirit of the people here in the villages, towns and cities across Ohio and this country? [Emphasis added].
Those who embrace nullification and secession are seeking a return to government by the people, which first requires that the system of government be on a human scale -- that is, one that the population can understand and relate to, and that those they elect can effectively manage.

I am not trying to kid anyone, including myself, that Ohio is anywhere near ready to secede. Ohio's readiness to embrace nullification is a question that won't be resolved until next year, when the health care amendment to the Ohio Constitution gets on the fall ballot, and a General Assembly elected this year will hopefully be more receptive to acts of nullification.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now THIS I can go for!

T-shirt on sale at ($14.95):

On his morning program (Sirius Patriot Radio 144), Mike Church directly stated his opinion that secession is a serious option for restoring our freedom, the strongest pro-secession sentiment I have yet heard on national media.

How to win friends and influence people, cont'd.

Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes of a Tea Party in his Texas city, in which secessionist activist Larry Kilgore knocked down all of the United States flags on the platform.
Later, [Mr. Kilgore] wrote on Facebook: "Many people were angry that I tossed their idol to the floor." He called partyers "idol worshipers."

I agree that too many freedom-loving Americans confuse love of country and its traditions with mindless nationalism; but theatrics like this, like those of the Latinos at the rally in Phoenix, only discredit their cause. And in Mr. Kilgore's case, it happens to be my cause.

Only by respecting people can we hope to persuade them. We don't have to act like the Three Stooges to get our point across.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Need more evidence that the feds are out of control?

Then check this out, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Seems that some anti-war activists (including historically peaceful Quakers) and Tea Partiers had rallies that aroused the suspicion of the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, a federally-funded organization advising agencies in Pennsylvania of possible terrorist threats.

And oh, yes, participating in public hearings will get you on their radar screen as well:
The reports ignited controversy earlier this week when opponents of Marcellus gas drilling learned that gas companies had received the "Pennsylvania Intelligence Bulletin" listing their planned participation in public hearings as part of a warning about potential terrorist threats to public infrastructure.
The Tea Party rallies were suspect because they "might attract white nationalists."
The bulletins alarmed Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell enough that he announced that the Institute's $103,000 contract will not be renewed in October. The State Senate is planning an investigation.

This is where our ultra-security psychology has taken us. Now, it is not enough to watch for crime being committed so the perpetrator can be brought to justice; we have to assume that some people are criminals because they hold certain political opinions.

Does anyone besides me have a problem with this? Courts can judge actions -- only God can judge what is in our hearts. But when government gets too much power, it wants to play God.

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion for the article and the graphic.

U. S. House Minority Leader signs Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment petition

... and here's the photo to prove it. Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) signed the petition to place on the November 2011 ballot an Ohio Constitutional amendment forbidding anyone from forcing Ohioans to purchase health care insurance.

West Chester, Ohio, September 19, 2010 – Congressman John Boehner, who represents Ohio’s 8th District, has joined thousands of other Ohio voters in signing a petition to allow Ohioans to vote on the proposed Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment. Boehner, the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, signed the petition while in his home district.

The Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment would free Ohioans from the individual mandates of Federal health care legislation. The amendment would preserve the right of Ohioans to choose their own health care and health care insurance coverage, and make their own medical decisions. As a Constitutional Amendment, it would specifically protect health care choice as a right of all Ohioans.

Twenty states have filed suit against the federal government to restore the rights set to be stripped from their citizens by provisions of the federal legislation, and several states have taken other measures to protect the rights of their citizens. Since the governor and legislature of the State of Ohio refused to act to protect their constituents, the Ohio Liberty Council, a volunteer group of conservative citizens, proposed the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment and has led the effort to place it on the ballot for a vote by all Ohio citizens. Not only did Ohio fail to act, but the citizens’ group was forced to obtain a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court to stop Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and the Ohio Ballot Board from blocking the petition effort by what many Ohioans consider an abuse of their powers.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DC and Mexico hypocritical on immigration policy

Mexico, because it builds a wall on its southern border; and DC, because it doesn't criticize Mexico either for restricting immigration from Guatemala or for sending immigrants up here.

Dave Gibson at the National Examiner cites an article from the Inter-Press Service (Wikipedia link, no direct link available) with the following very interesting news:
The Inter-Press Sevice (IPS) is reporting that the head administrator of the Mexican Superintendency of Tax Administration, Raul Diaz, has confirmed that his government is building a wall in the state of Chiapas, along the Mexican/Guatemalan border.

The official reason is to stop contraband from coming into Mexico, but as Diaz admitted: “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”

According to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights, 500,000 people from Central America cross into Mexico illegally every year.

Just as Mexican authorities have opposed the construction of a fence by the U.S., along our border with their country, Mexico is now receiving a great deal of criticism from the Guatemalan government.
... undoubtedly for the same reason that Mexico protests any effort to curb illegal immigration into the United States.

So why do we let Mexico have it both ways, against our own national interest? Let me suggest a reason. There is no political advantage to Guatemalan immigration into Mexico -- but if you can keep bringing in the illegal immigrants and load them up with federal entitlements, they will keep the Democrats in power forever.

However, if the elections go the way the pundits are predicting, the new Congress might have something about this. Or am I being too optimistic? Perhaps I ought to say, "the new Congress should have something to say about this."

Virtual buckeyes to Mike McCool.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

If a police officer knocks down your door in Ohio, you have the right to take his picture

Several of my friends in Facebook have posted a link to's article on how some states can use illegal wiretapping laws to prohibit a bystander from photographing a police officer committing brutality or making an illegal entry.

The good news is, Ohio is not one of them. In fact, recording a conversation on the phone without the consent of the other party is legal in Ohio, provided that the person recording is one of the parties to the conversation and is not a law enforcement officer (Ohio Revised Code 2933.52(B)(4)). My spot check of the ORC did not find any prohibition on the use of cameras by individuals to record the acts of police.

Ohio law is more effective than most at protecting the liberties of the people; but it is so because Ohioans stand up for their rights, with the help of organizations like the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. "Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty." - Jefferson

Friday, September 17, 2010

Protecting our Constitutional right to celebrate the Constitution

The Andover Tea Party (Ashtabula Co.) asked their township trustees to use Andover Park (left) to hold a Constitution Day rally. The trustees said no, it was "too political." With the help of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, the residents filed for and received a temporary injunction in federal court enabling them to hold the rally.

The trustees' attempt to block the celebration gained attention in the national media, including Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

On the other hand, Constitution Day is one Ohio city's major festival. Louisville (Stark Co.) calls itself "Constitution Town" and observes it each year with several days of festivals.

Thomas Jefferson on the Constitution

Wilton Strickland, writing for the Liberty Defense League (quoted in DumpDC), writes some observations on my favorite Founding Father writing about my favorite document. I thought it would be appropriate to share this on Constitution Day.

Thomas Jefferson was in France at the time the Constitution was being ratified. He technically could be called a Federalist to the extent that he favored ratification, in contrast with his fellow Virginians George Mason and Patrick Henry. However, he always stressed that the Constitution provided opportunities for the growth of federal power, which the people must be vigilant to prevent.

Mr. Strickland excerpts some of Mr. Jefferson's writings on the Constitution and the growth of federal government in Jefferson's lifetime. I encourage you to read the article. Here are two quotations I found particularly appropriate:

First, Mr. Jefferson calling for vigilance, and observing that secession might be the only way to preserve the liberties of the people:

[T]he States should be watchful to note every material usurpation on their rights; to denounce them as they occur in the most peremptory terms; to protest against them as wrongs to which our present submission shall be considered, not as acknowledgments or precedents of right, but as a temporary yielding to a lesser evil, until their accumulation shall overweigh that of separation. [Emphasis added]
And on the correct way to interpret the Constitution:

On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the [C]onstitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
Let us pray that his observations still have some value, since the Constitution is appearing more and more to be a dead letter to the federal government. If the federal government has in fact rendered the Constitution meaningless, it has broken its compact with the states; which is, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, a sufficient reason for a state to call for secession.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to win friends and influence people

Spray paint "Impeach [Arizona Governor Jan] Brewer" and "Deport [Sheriff Joe] Arpaio" on the U.S. and Arizona flags, lay them on the ground, walk on them, and put a toilet seat on the stars of the U.S. flag. I won't show the pictures here, but they are disgusting even to a secessionist. It was reported by KOLD-TV 13 in Phoenix.

While the protesters undoubtedly were reveling in their First Amendment rights, it is yet another example of things people can do, but shouldn't, if they want any support at all. I guess they figure that with our weak border security, reconquista is just a matter of time.

Virtual buckeye to Dave Dickensheets.

Look familiar?

Cartoon from the Chicago Tribune in 1934, but it could have been today. Look carefully at the plan of action in the lower left corner, and who is showing approval on the lower right corner. One writer has suggested that the character writing the plan of action appears to be Leon Trotsky.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Virtual buckeye to Rebellion.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Gubernatorial Debate -- a waste of time

I just got off from watching the major party candidates argue their cases on the Ohio News Network (video). It was a disappointing exercise in repeating the same charges, usually with no substantiation, and same statistics over and over again.

Mr. Kasich repeatedly charged that Gov. Strickland had increased taxes twice during his tenure, while Gov. Strickland insists that he lowered the Ohio income tax by 17%. Which of them is telling the truth -- or is Gov. Strickland using the Ohio income tax decrease to cover increases in other taxes?

Gov. Strickland was fond of emphasizing Mr. Kasich's experience at Lehmann Brothers as evidence of "Wall Street, not Main Street values," which appeared to gain traction when he noted that Mr. Kasich earned a bonus of over $400,000 the year Lehmann Brothers went under. Mr. Kasich, for his part, stressed the role he played in capitalizing the growth of Ohio business. This has been a continuing theme in the Governor's campaign, which raises a troubling thought: is he so desperate that he has to resort to negativity -- something incumbents rarely have to do?

Neither candidate offered any proposals for covering the $8 billion shortfall in Ohio's budget for fiscal year 2012. The only candidate to address that issue was not permitted to attend -- Libertarian Ken Matesz, who announced his plan on Monday.

We have to start taking a serious look at the candidates who will offer solutions to Ohio's problems, regardless of their party label (or absence of one). Too much is at stake to practice politics as usual this year.

Update 9/15: Usually, I have some problems with National Review Online's neoconservatism (here via National Public Radio, of all places), but Mytheos Holt's analysis has it nailed. And I totally agree, Ohio's major-party gubernatorial campaign is an exercise in class warfare that has no class to it whatsoever. (Virtual buckeye to Ken Matesz at Facebook)

How to fill the $8 billion budget hole

Ken Matesz, Libertarian candidate for Governor has an answer; but frankly, it takes my breath away. According to Marc Kovac at the Kent Record-Courier, Mr. Matesz wants to:

(Full text of speech)

        • Eliminate the Ohio income tax by fiscal 2013

        • Cut state spending by 40%

        • Immediately stop all state borrowing

        • Sell the Ohio Turnpike, the state universities, the Bureau of Workers Compensation, and all state parks and lands

        • Allow video slots at horse racing tracks

        • Reduce the prison population by 25,000 inmates
        I do not agree with all the points in the plan above (the Ohio Turnpike is a net revenue source that we need right now, and I have some problems with selling all of the state parks; though perhaps some of them could be targeted for sale). But his plan has one cardinal virtue. It is a plan, in contrast to the silence of his opponents.

        "Neither of my high-dollar, special-interest-supported opponents is prepared to make the tough choices that will position Ohio to become the freest, most business friendly, most family friendly and most productive state in the union," he said...

        He added, "We don't need a few more decades of Democrats and Republicans with the same policies that got us to where we are today. There really is no difference between the policies of Kasich and Strickland. Both of them are big government politicians, big spenders, who continue to offer no real solutions."

        Mr. Matesz's plan needs some tweaking; but again, at least it is a plan, and he deserves credit for formulating a solution to Ohio's toughest challenge. True leadership requires us as citizens to accept that the solution to a problem may be hard to take -- but will greatly benefit us later.

        As I wrote in an earlier headline, Mr. Matesz has laid down the gauntlet. Will either of his opponents pick it up?

        Remember, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Ohio needs solutions, not spin.

        Monday, September 13, 2010

        Speaking of racism...

        A wise person once said that when you point a finger at someone, three fingers point back at you. It has been widely remarked in the blogosphere and in some mainstream media how eagerly the liberal paints the libertarian with the brush of racism.

        If you really want to know what racism is, read this article by Walter E. Williams (left), one of The Ohio Republic's Champions of Liberty, who writes about how the liberal-controlled public education system has done the African-American community an enormous disservice by making high school easier for them -- setting them up for failure in college.

        Prof. Williams notes that, from 1870 to 1955, students of Dunbar High School, predominantly black, in Washington, D.C., regularly outperformed whites in the city's academic testing, and most of their graduates during this period went to college. Studies by Dr. Thomas Sowell (another Champion of Liberty) shows that black children in Harlem regularly equaled or exceeded the performance of white children in New York's Lower East Side in the 1940s and 1950s.

        Libertarians support equal educational opportunity for all. With good schools (not state and teachers' union-run) and good role models, any child can succeed in school, in college, and in life.

        So why do the liberals insist on doing these "favors" for blacks? Prof. Williams' explanation makes as much sense as any:

        Recruiting [a] youngster to be a failure is cruel, psychologically damaging and an embarrassment for his family. But the campus hustlers might come to the aid of the student by convincing him that his academic failure is a result of white racism and Eurocentric values.

        Sunday, September 12, 2010


        Today, I celebrate the third anniversary of The Ohio Republic. I do so with great satisfaction. It is hard for me to believe that this is my 826th post; and that within the next month, the Blogger page will have attracted its 60,000th page view. In addition, many people read The Ohio Republic as notes on my Facebook page, and in the Libertarian section of Before It's News.

        Most heartening, however, has been the response of my fellow Ohioans to the crisis of freedom that we face with an increasingly oppressive federal government. Three years ago, I could not have imagined the widespread support that the Tea Party and similar movements enjoy in this state; nor how nullification, and even secession, have begun to enter the political discourse in this state.

        I do not take credit for this change of attitude, but I take satisfaction in my effort to influence opinion in those directions. There remains much to say -- and The Ohio Republic will be here to say it.

        Saturday, September 11, 2010


        Last year and the year before, I wrote about the questions that surround the events of 9-11 -- whether they were really the work of Al-Qaeda, or were an "inside job." There is little point to rehashing these issues; because they may never be resolved.

        This year, however, we seem to be experiencing an attempt to whip up hatred of Muslims, beginning with the media-induced campaign against opening the Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, and continuing with the threatened burning of the Koran in Florida. My concern is not with either issue (which I have addressed in earlier posts); but with the way they are being hyped.

        Let me be blunt. All efforts to incite hatred are evil. Political and social leaders who preach hatred of others are pursuing agendas that should be questioned closely and shouted down.

        Martin Luther King, Jr., had the right idea when he preached non-violence. But the only way to guarantee non-violence is to practice it in thought as well as action.

        Those of us who want revolutionary change do so because we love liberty, and want to free our fellow Americans to achieve everything they are capable of. Hatred only strengthens the oppressor.

        Friday, September 10, 2010

        Libertarian lays down the gauntlet on income tax

        The Libertarian Party announced yesterday that its gubernatorial candidate Ken Matesz will announce a detailed plan for resolving Ohio's projected $8 billion deficit for 2011-2012. The plan will include a gradual abolition of the Ohio income tax.

        No such plan appears to be forthcoming from either of the major party candidates.

        The announcement will be held on Monday, Sept. 13, 2 pm, in the Ladies' Gallery at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

        "Serious problems call for serious candidates. The Matesz campaign and the Ohio Libertarian Party are ready to step up to the challenge with a detailed plan that eliminates the deficit while cutting taxes. The other major party candidates are unprepared to tell you their plans because they have none," said Libertarian Party Chairman Kevin Knedler.

        Thursday, September 9, 2010

        Telling the truth about Lincoln

        Continuing Glenn Beck week at The Ohio Republic:

        Historian and persistent Lincoln critic Thomas DiLorenzo explains (in how Mr. Beck has distorted history in his defense of Abraham Lincoln -- which is, at best, ironic, given the often controversial truth Mr. Beck has expressed on other historical subjects.

        Specifically, Prof. DiLorenzo cites these falsehoods:
        • Mr. Beck refers to the Confederate Constitution as the "Slaveholders' Constitution." As Mr. DiLorenzo points out, and I can confirm from my own reading, the Confederate Constitution was almost identical to that of the United States, Where it differed, it further limited the powers of the federal government by limiting its President to one six-year term, giving its President a line-item veto (a power that state governors were beginning to receive in state constitutions at the time), outlawing protectionist tariffs and subsidies to corporations, and removing the "General Welfare" clause.
        • Mr. Beck echoes the widely-held misconception that the War between the States was about slavery. It was not. It was about states' rights. Granted, the Confederates used states' rights to protect slavery -- but the difference is important, because states' rights covers a whole lot of territory that has nothing to do with slavery -- and as Prof. DiLorenzo points out, the strongest defense of slavery at the time came from Lincoln himself, in support of the Corwin Amendment. Lincoln didn't care about the slaves -- he wanted only to preserve the Union for the benefit of the New York bankers who supported him!
        • Mr. Beck has "adminrably" (to Prof. DiLorenzo) attacked the notion of "collective salvation" in every context except Lincoln's. As Prof. DiLorenzo points out, the spirit of the age in the North was of collective salvation -- by purifying the lives of the people as a whole through the temperance movement, abolition of slavery, and the abolition of Roman Catholicism.

        Glenn Beck urges his listeners not to take his word for it, but to research the facts for themselves. I agree. Especially when it comes to the facts about the War between the States, which Mr. Beck insists on distorting in the service of neoconservative statism.

        Wednesday, September 8, 2010

        CAN a church burn the Koran? Yes. Should it? No.

        On this issue, Glenn Beck gets it right (The link is mine):

        What is wrong with us? It’s just like the Ground Zero mosque plan. Does this church have the right? Yes. Should they? No. And not because of the potential backlash or violence. Simply because it is wrong. The more I reflect on what happened on 8/28 the more I realize the amazing power of GOOD.*

        We must be the better person. We must be bigger than our problems. Bigger than the times in which we live. Burning the Koran is like burning the flag or the Bible. You can do it, but whose heart will you change by doing it? You will only harden the hearts of those who could be moved. None of those who are thinking about killing us will be affected, but our good Muslim friends and neighbors will be saddened. It makes the battle that they face inside their own communities even harder.

        Let us rise above the current levels and elevate ourselves and our country. The only thing this act would prove is that you CAN burn a Koran. I didn’t know America was in doubt on that fact.

        Let’s prove to each other that while there are many things we can do, there are maybe many more things that we choose not to do.

        * I agree on this point also, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that his Lincoln- and military-worship works to undo our efforts to restore liberty in this country.

        Tuesday, September 7, 2010

        Wealthy Americans are emigrating

        The brain drain from Ohio is bad enough, but it gets worse, as John Gaver writes in DumpDC. He shows that up to two million of the wealthiest Americans have left our shores and have no intention of returning! Why? Because of the tax burden. While there is an expatriate tax credit on the books, many decide not to even bother filing a tax return. There is a risk in failing to do so -- but only if one wants to come back.

        The feds are so worried that in 2008, they slapped an exit tax on Americans obtaining residency abroad. Mr. Gaver comments:
        A true exit tax is considered to be one of the most ominous signs of a desperate government. The 10-year expatriation tax, passed in 1996, was bad enough. But, a pure exit tax would be far worse. But if you are waiting for that to happen, before you believe that we are in a world of trouble, then you can stop waiting. In fact, if you were waiting, then like so many other Americans, you missed it. In 2008, Congress passed and George W. Bush signed into law, the first ever US Exit Tax, as a part of the Heroes Earnings Assistance & Relief Tax Act (Public Law 110-245, at Sec. 301).
        Obviously, they do not buy into the idea that the United States is the land of the free. When will the rest of us get that memo?

        Saturday, September 4, 2010

        Understanding the gold standard

        Libertarians have been calling for a gold standard to replace our fiat currency (meaning, currency backed by nothing -- or even worse, currency backed by debt). But there are two kinds of gold standards, as Michael Rozeff points out in DumpDC: a free-market gold standard, which ensures that there is a natural relationship between gold (or silver) and economic activity; and a gold standard based on government-created currency. With a natural relationship (which requires that there is no governmental intervention, event that of coining the money), inflation is rare and mild, and the value of money tends to rise over time, protecting the savings of the people.

        The alternative, which, as Mr. Rozeff points out, is the one being pressed by the central bankers, is a gold-based world currency, which will in time become a fiat currency, just as the dollar did -- leading to periodic panics/depressions, and robbery of the people by the central bankers.

        The take-home is, we must watch what officials are trying to push on us.

        Only a return to a really free market, currency included, will act in the interest of all of us. Otherwise, we will continue the same old, same old, until we are robbed into slavery by the bankers and their friends in government.

        Read the link to gain a greater understanding of the underlying ideas.

        Thursday, September 2, 2010

        Ken Matesz is committed to cutting the income tax

        In fact, the Libertarian candidate for Ohio Governor is committed to cutting it out. In this video he observes that one of his opponents [Republican John Kasich] is starting to back away from his announced intention to do the same. Mr. Matesz explains why he is holding fast, and why it is important for Ohio that the tax be eliminated, along with the $7 billion it represents.

        Unfortunately, he did not discuss how he would handle the budget in light of such a cut; but he has promised another video in which this issue will be addressed. Mr. Matesz's website is .