Monday, November 29, 2010

Bumper sticker of the day

From the Ron Paul 2012 Facebook site:

Much has been written about the Wikileaks being released today. I understand both sides of the argument; but tend to favor disclosure over non-disclosure, because disclosure is what makes government accountable to the people.

The most sensible solution to the problem is for Congress to take the bull by the horns and define a strict and very limited policy for the classification of documents. In my view, the only reasons to classify a document are:
  • To prevent the disclosure of military strategy and tactics to an enemy while a war is in progress;
  • To protect an intelligence asset working abroad; and
  • To prevent premature disclosure of diplomatic negotiating strategy to the other parties.
There may be a few others that I have not thought of, but the reasons should still be very few and easy to define. In addition, all classified documents should include a mandatory review date. If the review is not held prior to that date, the document is automatically released (Military classified documents would remain so for the duration of the war).

I suspect that the Wikileaks disclosures will prove to be embarrassing to the federal government; which (1) is not sufficient reason to classify a document, and (2) suggests that, given the cloak of secrecy, officials will say and do careless things that would not happen if they knew that their actions were part of the public record. The threat of disclosure is also a potent weapon to ensure that the Constitution is being enforced.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord, on this Thanksgiving Day, we pause to remind ourselves that all glory and power belongs to You and to You alone. We rejoice that our Creator is a God both just and loving, who seeks only our joyful obedience in return for Your abundant blessings.

We thank You for our lives, our health, our sustenance of food, clothing, and shelter. We thank You for the gifts of freedom and opportunity that you gave our nation more than two centuries ago.

We confess, Lord, that we are unworthy of these gifts. We have become ignorant of Your Word, and forgotten that Your gift of freedom can only continue while we are ever watchful for those who seek to use against Your purposes.

You gave us plenty, and we made ourselves fat;

You gave us opportunity, and we made ourselves selfish;

You gave us inventiveness, and we used it for our own entertainment, to dull ourselves from the reality of this life, and to create engines of war that have brought terror and destruction to the world;

You gave us a Republic, and we turned it into an Empire for the benefit of greedy and unscrupulous men, who are now set to turn it against us, taking away everything that we have worked for.

Because You are a just God, we are entering a bitter winter of our own making; but because You are a loving God, we can hope that, by humbling ourselves before You and relying on Your strength and not our own, we will find the strength to put ourselves right, so we may feel the warmth of Your spring.

You have given us Your son, Jesus Christ, who taught us the ways of love and faithfulness. Following his example, we do not seek to strike down our enemies, but pray instead that You will create a miracle – one that will convict us of our wrongdoing and draw us closer to You, and will turn the hearts of our enemies – foreign and domestic – to the truth of Your love and justice.

Give us a lust for integrity, a greed for Thy wisdom, and rest from our petty worries. Give us a zeal for teaching and leading our fellow men to Your perfect ways; so that, when we face Your judgment, we may be allowed by Your grace to feel the warmth of Your love forever.

And let us never forget that You gave us Your perfect example in Your son, whose name we adore and cherish, and in whose name we humbly pray.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Which will it be: martial law or independence?

Scott Lazarowitz at the Bastiat Institute recounts the warnings of many writers to date that the U.S. Government is headed toward a police state:

We are unfortunately experiencing the culmination of the “perfect storm” for totalitarianism in America. The buildup of decades of state-worshipping indoctrination in our schools to the point of developing a prevalent police state mentality is not helpful to liberty, to say the least.

In this day and age of TSA porn Nazis and molestation sickos, which is a federal government policy run amok now at America’s airports, and which is a policy primarily to empower agents of the State to remind us mere subjects of the State’s supreme superiority, the real (albeit unstated) reason for any martial law will not be to “protect the public,” but to further empower the State. The real purpose of martial law would be to stifle political dissent and for the federal State to remind the sheeple who’s the boss, just like the TSA is doing.

So what are the alternatives?
Now, one solution to prevent a police state with martial law would be to undo the federal economic and monetary policies that have led the U.S. to the point of possible economic collapse...

But will that happen any time soon? Nope. We can’t rely on the same nincompoops and scoundrels in Washington who are committing these acts against our liberty to actually reverse themselves. As Perry Como would say, “It’s just impossible.”

A much more practical solution would be for the people of the states to nullify all federal laws and policies, police state dictates and mandates, a “de facto secession,” as Congressman Ron Paul had described. And not just any federal martial law that might be imposed, and ObamaCare, but especially the banking and legal tender laws that restrict competition in money and banking, and allow for competing currencies in the states and a return to the Gold Standard. (And don’t forget the important recognition of the individual’s right to bear arms.)

The people of the states have a right to nullify federal laws that violate their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, period. And they also have a right to fully secede from the “Union” as well. No one has a right to force someone else to be a part of an association against one’s will. The federal government has no moral right and no legal authority to force the people of any state to be a part of a “Union,” in which that union’s government is destructive of their liberty, prosperity and security. [Emphasis added.]

If we can save the Union by successfully implementing nullification resolutions and passing the "Repeal Amendment," this would be the most desirable solution to the problem. But if we can't, we must be prepared to break up. An individual has much more influence over Ohio's government than he has that of the United States -- and to the same extent our state government is more accountable.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Virginia may be on to something...

According to Rebellion, Virginia's top three elected officials have shown support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow a decision by two-thirds of state legislatures to override federal law.

The movement for the so-called "Repeal Amendment" could gather momentum next year, as state legislatures that shifted from blue to red after the November elections begin their deliberations....

Now this is one way we could restore our freedom and preserve the Union! Question is, will Congress have the guts to present it to the states? (I know the Article V convention is technically an alternative, but it is a dangerous one).

The cost of the nanny state

Gerald Ford said that "a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you've got."

In his Littlestuff-minoosha blog, Charlie Earl expands on that topic. (Don't forget to turn on your sarcasm filter).

Charlie concludes:

At the rate that we are moving right now, you may have your perfectly safe world in a short time. I hope that you will be satisfied to live in your tiny little box and never have the anxiety that comes from having to make your own decisions. Remember, though, if you dare to peek out of the box, you will pay the consequences. Big Brother expects you to stay in the box because you have everything you need.

I, for one, prefer to think and live outside the box.

The truth about TSA scanning

Russell Longcore, writer of DumpDC, recently took a flight from his home city of Atlanta. After noting the efficiency of the TSA scanners there (they added only five minutes to his waiting time), he makes this observation:

[I]f you think that the TSA is doing passenger screening in America for national security reasons, you are crazy. This entire Homeland Security/TSA effort is about controlling the American populace and showing them who is boss. Common sense has been abandoned in favor of political correctness. Passenger “profiling”…is verboten. Yet Israelis do profiling at their airports, and they have not had an incident since 1968.

Failure to profile not only inconveniences and humiliates ordinary Americans, it is a very heavy price to pay for "political correctness." Mr. Longcore continues:

Here is an excerpt from an article at Renful Premier Technologies, a London-based company specializing in airport security training.• "If the operator is unsure about the contents of a bag, pausing the machine to apply image enhancement and/or selecting to hold it, adds seconds or minutes to processing just one passenger out of many hundreds queuing to be checked in. And what if a passenger, intent on martyrdom, is carrying half the weapon on their body? Surely, the only method currently available to prevent that passenger from boarding would be to apply profiling. When Israeli screeners use Profiling to flag a passenger for further scrutiny, a ‘smart call’ is made. This is a well established and consistently applied procedure. A judgment is made on a passenger, based on a variety of factors including: intelligence that may already be known, the passengers body language, ticket details, answers to initial brief questions and other signs which make that passenger stand out. Do the ‘other factors’ include their race, gender, age and ethnic appearance? Yes. Are these screeners trained to apply judgments that are politically sensitive? Absolutely. From the results can one claim this method is necessary? Definitely. Profiling can be used to tighten security for the greater volume of passengers whilst not drastically increasing the cost to airlines and airports. This can only be achieved by focusing resources where they will be of most use; on the select few passengers that may pose a risk." [Emphasis added here and below]

Meanwhile, beginning his return home, he finds the TSA personnel detaining a frail 90-year-old woman in a wheelchair with a full body search! (Mr. Longcore learned the age of the woman from her daughter). He continues:
As I said previously, common sense has been abandoned entirely. When TSA employees accost wheelchair-bound old women and young children, it’s not really about passenger safety. They cannot truly believe that people like these described constitute a potential threat to the aircraft in which they will be flying. This is entirely about the appearance of concern, and the absolute intention to control the American populace.

The only scientific poll I have seen on this subject is that of CBS News (Nov. 15), which asserts that 81% of the American people support the scanning procedures. Only 37% believe that ethnic profiling is justified. While I have seen some vaguely question the way its questions were posed, the poll does meet known standards for scientific polling; and while I would have liked to have seen a larger sample, the one cited is large enough for the ±3% margin of error.

I hope that poll is wrong; because if 81% are really willing to endure that kind of humiliation just to take a plane, we will find ourselves at the end of Hayek's road to serfdom. The way back will be painful and will take generations.

"He who would exchange essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin). And be assured, we will soon have neither.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's not a good week for journalism at The Ohio Republic...

Fast on the heels of my errors on S.510, I have been advised that Glenn Beck lied to his viewers when he claimed that Wilmington, Ohio, did not receive any government money for its recovery. And official sources back up Mr. Beck's critics. According to the Advanced Recipient Reported Data Search:
  • The City of Wilmington received $246,623.00 in stimulus money;
  • The Wilmington City Schools received $2,295,625.38; and
  • Wilmington College received $59.818.00
In addition, Clinton County (of which Wilmington is the county seat) received more than $4 million in stimulus grants.

It is very disappointing to see a trusted source distort the truth in this fashion; but I would be doing my readers (and for that matter, myself) a great disservice not to report my errors when they are discovered.

If you want to see Glenn Beck in Wilmington Dec. 15, go ahead. But don't make the same mistake I did. Do some followup research!

Update on "Outlawing gardens"

My Nov. 18 piece "U.S. Senate bill seeks restriction on personal gardens" has done unbelievable things to my hit count. However, my standards are higher than that. While I do not always research thoroughly (and sometimes not enough), I do try to check the accuracy of what I write -- at least to confirm that there is a bill currently in the Congress that is cited by my source.

However, it appears that my piece might have inspired a reaction greater than what the facts justify. A writer to the Hoptown Hall Forum cited, which I generally consider to be a reliable source. Snopes finds that claims that S.510 would outlaw gardening and saving seeds to be "mostly false."

So I read the official summary of S.510. Farms and restaurants are specifically exempted from the inspection provisions of the bill, so Snopes is correct in saying that the bill will not outlaw gardening or saving seeds. It does not appear to mandate the use of chemicals.

However, there is no question that the bill would erect a vast bureaucracy to regulate food, which given the Executive's penchant for creating its own law; would likely have led to absurdities like the ones we have been concerned about.

But Snopes (properly) ignores the most essential point. No matter how broad or limited the powers S.510 would grant to the new Food Administration, it is still an unconstitutional intrusion on the rights of states to regulate what is mostly intrastate commerce.

The bill has not been acted upon since December 2009, and I suggest that the lame-duck session of Congress has bigger fish to fry in its last few days. But pressing for its defeat is still very much in order for any liberty-loving activist.

Go ahead and plan your 2011 garden. You're going to need it.

"The Constitution will never enforce itself"

In this speech, posted at the Tenth Amendment Center, Geoff Broughton, Colorado state coordinator for the Tenth Amendment Center explains why nullification is not only legal, but very necessary, if the Constitution is to be enforced against an out-of-control federal government.

Nullification is necessary, he writes, because power is a finite resource. The federal government can only increase its power by taking it away from the states and the people. For this reason, while we should be opposing acts in Congress like Obamacare and cap-and-trade, opposing it there is not enough. We must use our state legislatures to stand up to the feds when they exceed their Constitutional limits.

Mr. Broughton then raises an objection that I have often read in discussions on this subject: What about the Supremacy Clause? This is what he writes:

1997 “Mack/Printz vs. the US” Where two County Sheriffs sued the Federal Government over the Brady Bill. This was a law that forced county Sheriffs to run background check on their citizens who bought handguns at the expense of the county, and any sheriff who did not comply with this law would be subject to arrest. These sheriffs argued that this law violated the tenth amendment. This case was heard and ultimately won before the Supreme Court.

Justice Scalia writes for the majority, “…the Constitution’s conferral upon Congress of not all governmental powers, but only discreet, enumerated ones.” And in a direct challenge to this interpretation of the Supremacy clause, he writes, “It is incontestable that the Constitution established a system of dual sovereignty” he also states “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.”

But there is really a supremacy clause, and it states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” This clearly states the Constitution and laws that carry out, follow and continue the Constitution are the Supreme Law of the land. [Emphasis here and in the passage below is Mr. Broughton's]

General welfare clause? The centralizers love this one, too; but they ignore James Madison in the process:

The general welfare clause has been interpreted by those favoring a strong central government to mean that as long as the law was meant to be in the “general welfare” of the union, congress has the authority to pass it. The argument against this is the Virginia plan, which was introduced by Madison at the Constitutional Convention. This plan would have created a National Government that gave the central government the authority to do anything it wanted. It is important to remember this plan was rejected by the delegation, and more importantly, it was never ratified by “we the people”.

James Madison, considered the ‘father of the Constitution’ and the author of the defeated Virginia plan, stated the following about this interpretation of the “general welfare clause”.

“Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them.” Think on that a second. Now let me give you one of my favorite quotes from James Madison. “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”

While my posts stress the need to prepare ourselves for independence, I have also stated that independence is the last resort. The first resort is to use nullification to strengthen the United States Constitution against those who are establishing a tyranny in the District of Columbia. The success of nullification will make independence unnecessary.

But at all times, we must remember that government is instituted to protect the liberties of the people. First. Last. And all the time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Glenn Beck coming to Wilmington Dec. 15

Update Nov. 22: The statement below that Wilmington is recovering without government help is not true. Here is the correction.

I probably like Glenn Beck a little too much for my own good. I know he doesn't get it about Lincoln, is too pro-war any war to suit me, and has a bit too much of the huckster in him. On the other hand, it is obvious he has a good heart and has presented in a popular, easy-to-understand way basic the principal concepts of U.S. history and Judeo-Christian morality.

The story of Wilmington (county seat of Brown Clinton* County in southwestern Ohio a bit northeast of Cincinnati) has clearly touched his heart. Wilmington (population 12,000) was a freight hub for DHL, when that company decided to close it in November 2008. Two-thirds of the town had been employed by DHL.

However, the town is recovering, without governmental help. Apparently, most of the help is coming from local churches. Mr. Beck is visiting the town to show it off to America as an example of recovery without governmental help.

* My mistake. See comments for additional discussion.

Virtual buckeye to the Ohio Liberty Council on Facebook.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nullification, then if necessary, independence

My opinion of Vermont independence activist Thomas Naylor is similar to the one I have of his compatriot Kirkpatrick Sale. For whatever flaws they have as leaders, they are strong theorists. I just read a piece by Mr. Naylor in his Second Vermont Republic advocating a change in terminology from secession to liberation. Mr. Naylor writes:

As secessionists we need gradually to wean ourselves away from the use of the word secession and replace it with the more positive term, nonviolent liberation. We should refer to ourselves as a liberation movement rather than as a secession movement. The Civil War ended a long time ago and with it ended the possibility of ever having an intelligent conversation about the merits of secession. Among American political, media, academic, spiritual, and literary leaders secession remains strictly taboo.

He makes a highly valid point about the word secession, judging from my own experience with the word. Thanks to Lincoln, we can be sure that we will not turn the hearts of Ohioans with the word secession.

However, I also have problems with liberation. For me (and I think most right-of-Obama Ohioans) the word carries strong Communist connotations, as in the various Marxist "liberation" movements in the Third World during the Cold War, and even Patty Hearst's Symbionese Liberation Army. Liberation movements were ruthlessly violent. While Mr. Naylor himself is advocating nonviolent liberation, I suggest that the phrase is semantically self-contradictory.*

This blog advocates, and will continue to advocate, independence if all lesser efforts fail. Technically, it will meet the criteria for secession, and for liberation; but will be much more effective in capturing the hearts of patriotic Ohioans who seek to regain their freedom.

While I will not go back and change the words of every previous post (with nearly 900 posts, that would be a daunting task), I have removed references to secession from the labels. Secessionism is now Liberation from DC, and Ohio and secession is now Ohio Independence.

One more thing. Por favór, please keep Ché Guevara off our flags. He was a Communist murderer, not a freedom fighter.

* Or for readers who have enhanced vocabularies: oxymoronic.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

U.S. Senate bill seeks restriction of personal gardens

Update Nov. 22: Corrects some of the statements made here.

Called the "food safety modernization act", S.510 would outlaw gardening and saving seeds, in the name of "safety". Obviously, it is an unconstitutional violation of intrastate commerce, if anyone other than a liberty activist still cares about the Constitution. It would also enable the Department of Homeland Security(!) to make Manna Storehouse an ordinary occurrence. The Senate voted for cloture yesterday, with a Yes vote from Ohio's Sherrod Brown.

We must urge Sen. Voinovich and future Sen. Portman to vote against it; and let Sen. Brown that we are agin' him on this bill.

The only good thing I can say about it is the (black) humor it has generated in Facebook:

When gardening is outlawed, only outlaws will have gardens.

And these from Jeffrey Jordan.

I'll give up my tomatoes when they pry my cold, dead hands from around them.

Give me pickles or give me death.

God, guns, and grapes made this country. Let's keep all three.

An apple a day keeps the black helicopters away.

Hell, no! We WILL grow!

Don't tread on my beans.

Uncle Sam Wants You to Eat at McDonald's.

Ho, ho, BHO. How much dill am I allowed to grow?

Pumpkins don't kill people. People kill people.

Virtual buckeyes to Heidi Perron and Teri Cain Owens in Facebook.

Legislative Agenda for 2011

Earlier this year, I created a page to suggest a legislative agenda for Ohio this year. Because our House Speaker was "gutless wonder" Armond Budish, we were not able to achieve any of it. With both Houses in Republican control, we should be able to achieve at least some of our agenda next year.

The Tenth Amendment Center has provided a resource for model nullification legislation on a host of topics from intrastate commerce to firearms to Constitutional tender (what we have been calling "honest money"). I encourage all our readers, especially those who will be serving in the 129th General Assembly, to review the suggestions, and to consider what we should be doing come January.

What nullification legislation do we need next year? Or do you think that nullification is a waste of time and we should go straight to secession* ?

Write a comment with your suggestions.

* This is more extreme than I am willing to advocate right now -- but there is a possibility that future federal actions will push me to that point.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NULLIFY full-body scanning!

Following up on yesterday's post:

The new Ohio General Assembly has an opportunity to spare our citizens the indignity of the TSA full-body scanners. Pass an act declaring that the full-body scanner is illegal in Ohio, and that any TSA agent who uses one (or anyone who attempts to install a new one) in an Ohio airport will be subject to arrest by the county sheriff and prosecution in the Ohio courts.

While one may reasonably argue that civil aviation is appropriately a federal responsibility by citing its right to regulate interstate commerce (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8)*, the federal government is not responsible for passenger safety on the airlines. The airlines themselves have invested billions of dollars in aircraft, personnel training, and infrastructure. In most other businesses, security is the responsibility of the company. Why should airlines get a free ride and allow government to interfere with its operations in this way?

As I pointed out yesterday, full-body scans and groin checks are (in more ways than one) a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment. If security were left to the airlines, they would find techniques that are convenient and protect the dignity of their passengers -- otherwise, they will lose business to their competition.

What about the terrorists in our midst? The airlines and their insurance companies don't want their planes destroyed. No one wants the lawsuits that would follow from a terrorist attack. The airlines have the knowledge and the resources to come up with better solutions.

But the feds could do one thing that would eliminate the threat entirely. Get out of the Middle East and Afghanistan. Completely. I will explain how this enhances our national security in a future post.

So, newly-elected Ohio legislators, are you up to the challenge?

* Readers who object to my citations of the Constitution in the face of my recent "the Constitution is dead" arguments (here and here) are reminded that, under the rule of law, the Constitution remains the "supreme law of the land" until that unhappy day when it is repealed. The question we must ask ourselves when we face a violation is, do we live under the rule of law or the rule of men? Or stated more bluntly, will we live in freedom or in tyranny?

Inspired by a post by Andy Myers in Facebook, and by Sirius/XM radio commentator Mike Church.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Man threatened with fine for refusing TSA scan

If you're one of the holdouts who believes that our liberties are not under attack, read this story by Robert J. Hawkins of the San Diego Times-Union.

Saturday night, a 31-year old computer programmer from Oceanside, California, John Tyner, was preparing to take a flight from the San Diego International Airport to South Dakota to go pheasant hunting with his father-in-law. When Mr. Tyner entered the security area, Transportation Security Administration agents directed him to the full-body scanner. He refused the full-body scan, citing health and, uh, exposure concerns about the effects of the scan.

The agents left him with a choice. Either submit to the scan, a groin search (which he also refused), or leave the airport. But there's a catch. If he leaves the airport, he is subject to a lawsuit and an $11,000 fine. Mr. Tyner opted to accept this risk.

However, what probably galled the feds more than anything else was that he taped the entire experience on his cell phone and posted it to his blog two hours later.

Interestingly, there is a poll attached to the article that shows that 53% of the 6,630 people polled at the time of this writing believe that the intrusion and inconvenience of such scanning outweigh the security benefits. The other options were: "security officials should make exceptions for passengers who refuse normal procedures after determining they don't pose a security risk through other means", 27%; and "aviation security is essential and passengers must get used to the new rules", 18%.

I feel sadness for that 18% -- they have already accepted slavery.

Obviously, the TSA agents either do not know about, do not understand, or do not care about the Fourth Amendment -- but then I suppose they consider the Constitution to be a dead letter.

For the record, here is the Fourth Amendment (emphasis added):

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In other words, if we had a Constitution that was being observed, the TSA agents would have had to be able to explain (eventually to the satisfaction of a federal judge) why they believed Mr. Tyner to be a terrorist. I would be very interested in hearing what that explanation is...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Truth about the "movers and shakers"

I rarely get into the conspiracy theories surrounding the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, because there is little that can be constructively done about their influence at this time. However, it is important for all of us to at least be aware of their existence and the extent of their influence. I found this article from a blog called the August Review, which takes an unusually common-sense approach to this subject. The article agrees with previous reading I have done on the subject.

The article gives a good introduction to the Trilateral Commission, in particular; identifying its members in 1979 and at present; and discusses its role in U.S. policy. While it is highly readable, its content would be difficult to summarize here, so I will simply recommend that you check it out.

Another virtual buckeye to Andrew Scott McCleese via Facebook.

Does the United States still have a Constitution, or not?

That is the question the Supreme Court will answer, one way or another, in the case of William M. Windsor v. Maid of the Mist Corporation, et al. (Case No. 10-411, docketed Sept. 24).

Facts of the case, as reported by PRWire via

Windsor was named a defendant in a lawsuit (1:06-CV-0714-ODE) in which Christopher Glynn of Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, swore under oath that Windsor did a variety of things including the crimes of theft and bribery. Windsor stated under oath that Christopher Glynn made it all up and lied about absolutely everything that he swore. Windsor then obtained deposition testimony from Glynn and the other managers of the Maid of the Mist boat ride in Niagara Falls, and they admitted, under oath, that charges against Windsor were not true.

Despite this undeniable proof, federal Judge Orinda D. Evans declared that the grandfather of three should not have fought the lawsuit, and she forced him to pay over $400,000 in legal fees. Windsor appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, but federal judges Dubina, Hull, and Fay rubber-stamped Judge Evans' ruling. Windsor then took his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices said the appeal was not worthy of their consideration (writ of certoriari denied).

Windsor believes that the federal courts and nine federal judges violated the Constitution, the Due Process Clause, and the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

The link includes links to additional sites for those who are interested in the details. The case has been dragged through the courts for the last four years; but in essence, Mr. Windsor appears to have been stonewalled throughout the process.

The bottom line is, if the Supreme Court rules in Mr. Windsor's favor, it will open up charges of judicial corruption throughout the U.S. court system down to the district court in Atlanta. If the Supreme Court fails to rule at all, the above-named Constitutional provisions are effectively repealed.

There are no action items at this time -- the case will have to run its course -- but if the Supreme Court in essence rules against the Constitution, we will need to consider whether the Constitution can even work, since it anticipated three co-equal branches of government, all observing it as the supreme law of the land.

Virtual buckeye to Andrew Scott McCleese in Facebook.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today in history

150 years ago today, Alexander H. Stephens, who would later become Vice President of the Confederate States, delivered this address in support of the Union, to the Georgia legislature. It is a beautiful speech, which interestingly reflects my opinions stated Oct. 1. Here are a couple of passages:

In the first, Mr. Stephens is calling institutions those public and private organizations that maintained the culture and economy of the nation:

It was only under our Institutions as they are, that they were developed. Their development is the result of the enterprise of our people under operations of the government and institutions under which we have lived. Even our people, without these, never would have done it. The organization of society has much to do with the development of the natural resources of any country or any land. The Institutions of a people, political and moral, are the matrix in which the germ of their organic structure quickens into life, takes root, and develops in form, nature, and character. Our institutions constitute the basis, the matrix from which spring all our characteristics of development and greatness. Look at Greece: There is the same fertile soil, the same blue sky, the same inlets and harbors, the same Aegean, the same Olympus-- there is the same land where Homer sung, where Pericles spoke -- it is, in nature, the same old Greece; but it is "living Greece no more." (Applause.)

Descendants of the same people inhabit the country; yet what is the reason of this mighty difference? In the midst of present degradation we see the glorious fragments of ancient works of art-- temples with ornaments and inscriptions that excite wonder and admiration, the remains of a once high order of civilization, which have outlived the language they spoke. Upon them all, Ichabod is written -- their glory has departed. Why is this so? I answer this, their institutions have been destroyed. These were the fruits of their form of government, the matrix from which their grand development sprung; and when once the institutions of our people shall have been destroyed, there is no earthly power that can bring back the Promethean spark to kindle them here again, any more than in that ancient land of eloquence, poetry and song. (Applause.) The same may be said of Italy. Where is Rome, once the mistress of the world? There are the same seven hills now, the same soil, the same natural resources; nature is the same; but what a ruin of greatness meets the eye of the traveller throughout the length and breadth of that most down-trodden land. Why have not the people of that heaven-favored clime the spirit that animated their fathers? Why this sad difference? It is the destruction of her institutions that has caused it. And my countrymen, if we shall, in an evil hour, rashly pull down and destroy those institutions which the patriotic hand of our fathers labored so long and so hard to build up, and which have done so much for us, and for the world; who can venture the prediction that similar results will not ensue? Let us avoid them if we can. I trust the spirit is amongst us that will enable us to do it. Let us not rashly try the experiment of change, of pulling down and destroying; for, as in Greece and Italy, and the South American Republics, and in every other place, whenever our Liberty is once lost, it may never be restored to us again. (Applause.) [Emphasis added]...

This paragraph echoes what I wrote Oct. 1, when I said, "I anticipate that several nullification bills will be introduced and passed. If these and all else fail, I have little doubt that the liberty movement in Ohio can be persuaded to support secession – but such talk is clearly premature at this time."

I am for exhausting all that patriotism demands, before taking the last step. I would invite, therefore, South Carolina to a conference. I would ask the same of all the other Southern States, so that if the evil has got beyond our control, which God in his mercy grant may not be the case, we may not be divided among ourselves; (cheers) but if possible, secure the united cooperation of all the Southern States, and then in the face of the civilized world, we may justify our action, and, with the wrong all on the other side, we can appeal to the God of Battles, if it comes to that, to aid us in our cause. (Loud applause.) But do nothing, in which any portion of our people, may charge you with rash or hasty action. It is certainly a matter of great importance to tear this government asunder. You were not sent here for that purpose. I would wish the whole South to be united, if this is to be done; and I believe if we pursue the policy which I have indicated, this can be effected.

In this way, our sister Southern States can be induced to act with us; and I have but little doubt, that the States of New York, and Pennsylvania, and Ohio[!], and the other Western States, will compel their Legislatures to recede from their hostile attitude, if the others do not.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The sad truth about veterans

I respect those who have entered the armed forces of our country, and wish that what I am about to write were untrue; but when we look at the cost and the results to date of the very long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prospect of injecting ourselves into new wars in Iran and elsewhere, we need to wake up and realize that (paraphrasing Winston Churchill):

Never in the field of human conflict have so many given so much for so little.

The best thing our new Governor could do for our armed forces is to bring home the Ohio National Guard, and refuse to authorize any more deployments, except for emergency relief or defense against foreign aggression.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of puppets and men

Yesterday, some of my Facebook friends were all atwitter* about Glenn Beck’s series about George Soros, "The Puppet Master?” The evidence I have seen (not all of it from Mr. Beck – for example, go to verifies Mr. Beck’s statements about George Soros’ associations with organizations backing an extremely socialist agenda for the United States. In addition, a Google search on Mr. Soros lists many instances where Mr. Soros himself has been very open about his intentions.

But one thing troubles me. There is no question that Mr. Soros is very wealthy. According to Forbes (Sept. 10) he is the 14th richest American with a fortune of $14.2 billion. But even with that kind of money, it is difficult to understand how he can afford to give hundreds of millions of dollars to political causes without significantly decreasing his own wealth.

So here is my conspiracy theory, which has backing from some admittedly unreliable sources on the Internet. I think Mr. Soros is a front man for the Rothschilds. Proving such a connection will be difficult, because the Rothschilds are extremely secretive people (you will note, for example, that no one in that family appears in the Forbes list of the world’s richest people). And, for that matter, neither does anyone surnamed Rockefeller. Let me stress here, that while such theories have been used to support anti-Semitism, my conclusions are only against the power brokers, not Jews in general. **.

So I have a suggestion for Mr. Beck and his Blaze news organization. Start investigating the connections between Mr. Soros and the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. But be very careful. I suspect that, once you start down that road, your life will be in great danger.

In general, I believe that pursuing conspiracy theories is a waste of time – so why do I advocate investigating this one? Because the enemies of freedom are extremely wealthy and extremely powerful. The more we know about them – and the more they are exposed, the better we will be able to deal with it. Shine a flashlight on the rats and they will scatter.

There is a linkage between U.S. foreign and immigration policy that is detrimental to our interest (check out the connection between the Rockefellers and the American foreign policy establishment through organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission), the systematic robbery of the American people by Wall Street bankers through the Federal Reserve Bank, and the bankrupting of the federal and state governments. This linkage betrays an agenda that seeks a global concentration of power and wealth. These linkages are public record and are easily verifiable.

This is truly a battle of good vs. evil. Obviously, we cannot win it alone; but with God’s help, the wisdom to make the right calls, the willingness to dare greatly, and hard work, we shall win it.

Update Nov. 10:
Here is some additional background on George Soros, from The Blaze.

* sorry, couldn’t resist the temptation…
** For one thing, while I am a Christian, I have Jewish friends, and I am a life member of a Jewish
college fraternity.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Governor-Elect John Kasich

I have not written much about John Kasich in the last year. This was not a conscious decision on my part; but more because I had a “wait and see” mentality throughout the campaign. Until I made my final decision in early October to vote for Libertarian Ken Matesz, my jury was always out about Mr. Kasich.

I respect him, his passion, and his ability, but I do not trust him. As my Congressman (12th District), I admired his willingness to tackle the Washington insiders with his work on alternative federal budgets. On the other hand, his relationship with Lehmann Brothers troubles me, because I have to wonder how much he was influenced by Eastern Establishment values. In short, Gov. Strickland’s charge resonated with me.

His actions since the election make it clear that he will not pussyfoot around about resolving the $8 billion deficit. We all know there really is not much fat in state government today given the missions it has been asked to take on by the feds and the General Assembly. Yet a deficit that size (approximately one-seventh of the entire biennial budget) will have to cut a lot of muscle. When coupled with his desire to reduce the tax burden in Ohio, he will need both guts (which I know Mr. Kasich has) and creativity (which remains to be seen). A surgical approach won’t be good enough. Mr. Kasich will have to wield the meat axe.

His warning to the Statehouse lobbyists last week is a good start, as long as he is sure the Republicans in the General Assembly are solidly behind him. The pork barrel is just as ingrained in the culture of state government as it is in the federal. Changing that culture will take a great deal of courage and determination from our state legislators.

Mr. Kasich will defeat his own purpose if he thinks that state government services can simply be turned over to private contractors. Contractors usually cost more than state employees, and if my twenty years’ experience in state government is any indication (and I have had considerable exposure to contractors in my work), their efficiency rarely justifies the added expense. Furthermore, Ohioans have legitimate concerns about contracting out functions related to public safety, including prison management.

To successfully achieve his objectives, Mr. Kasich will have to risk losing “federal funds” for a while, so that he can redesign the safety net in an affordable manner. He will have to support a legislature that is willing to practice nullification aggressively, especially where the feds attempt to mandate additional state spending. He will need to aggressively lobby the Congress not just to scale back, but eliminate most of its fiscal demands on state governments.

Mr. Kasich will have to communicate a vision that will inspire the people of Ohio to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. No politician in recent memory has even attempted to do this, but the next four years are going to be very hard ones with the best of policies. Part of that sacrifice will be for already cash-strapped Ohioans to help their neighbors in need – personally and through their churches and community organizations.

This approach is the only one that holds with it the hope of preserving and strengthening a free society in hard times. Failure to act boldly will result in the destruction of our state government – and all of our freedom. On the other hand, success will bring us out of this crisis greatly strengthened, both materially and spiritually.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another reason not to get too excited about the GOP victory

Gary North, the contrarian economist and writer for, says that incoming U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will sell out the Tea Parties. How? By promising that the GOP will repeal Obamacare. If it fails now, they will keep up the pressure in the 2012 campaign, and elect a Republican President and U.S. Senate. In 2013, they will repeal Obamacare.

And then replace it with something else that will also be a budget-buster.

The truth is, the Good Old Boys of the GOP's first loyalty is to the Bigs: Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Banking.

There is only one way to keep that from happening. We have to keep their feet to the fire on balancing the budget and limiting powers to those provided in the Constitution. Constantly.

The next two years could be grueling -- but the alternative would be a lot worse.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"My country, right or wrong"

Often quoted out of context, here is what Missouri's U.S. Senator Carl Schurz really said:

In 1872:

“The senator from Wisconsin cannot frightenme by exclaiming, ‘My country, right or wrong.’ In one sense I say so, too. My country – and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” (Source: The Congressional Globe, vol. 45, p. 1287)

Chuck Baldwin tells us that Sen. Schurz then later expanded on this short statement in a speech delivered at the Anti-Imperialistic Conference in Chicago, Illinois, on October 17, 1899. He said,

“I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves . . . too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of TRUE patriotism: ‘Our country–when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’” (Source: Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, 1913, p. 119) (Emphasis in

Virtual buckeye to Chuck Baldwin in DumpDC.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Originally, the date referred to Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. The original plot was to assassinate King James I and establish a Roman Catholic monarchy in England. The day was celebrated in subsequent years as a service of thanksgiving that the king survived. However, that event launched oppressions against Roman Catholics in that country that did not completely end until 1850.

I'm not in favor of blowing things up, but it is good to remember the Fifth of November. In recent years it has come to be a day of remembrance in the struggle for freedom, following the V television series and the movie V for Vendetta, in which "V" launches a terrorist plot against a fascist government. This speech from the 1983 television series in YouTube is a stirring call to freedom against oppression, and is one of the finest speeches I have ever heard.

It reminds us that there are times when all of us will need to pay a price for liberty, not just our military.

Virtual buckeye to Gabe McGranahan

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's time to end the party -- we have work to do

Most of my friends in the Tea Party and liberty movements were ebullient as the Republicans regained control of the U.S. and Ohio Houses, the Ohio U.S. Senate seat, and Governorship. I remained quiet yesterday out of compassion, thinking that they should be allowed one day to bask in their assumed victory.

Assumed being the key word. All evidence to date points to the GOP as trying to swallow up the liberty movement so the party can destroy it. I hope and pray that I am wrong. If liberty-loving Ohioans are very watchful of their state and federal representatives, and put intense pressure upon them to reduce the size and cost of government, well and good. But if we don't, we will find ourselves two years from now being as unhappy with the Republicans as we were two years ago, and as we just were this year with the Democrats.

On a related note, I was extremely disappointed with the number of votes captured by Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates. While I did not expect any to win, I thought they would poll closer to 10%, setting them up for some victories in 2012. That clearly did not happen. They need some media (with many times more readership than The Ohio Republic) that will publicize their campaigns, and explain to the public why their views should prevail. They clearly won't get it from the existing newspapers and broadcasters -- and until such media do appear, nothing will improve for them. Sorry, it's just hard reality.

Meanwhile, we have to spring a few traps, like this one, described by Buttonwood at The Economist:

The Fed's Wednesday announcement on QE [quantitative easing -- the purchase of U.S. government debt, which is equivalent to printing money] is probably more market significant. There seems little doubt that some QE will be announced but there is room for uncertainty about how much. You can take your pick from today's data—weak numbers on personal incomes and a strong purchasing managers' index—and argue for a little QE or a lot.

I have argued before that QE might not work, given that bond yields are already low and banks are flush with cash. So it seems likely that the markets will be disappointed, however big the QE programme.

But there is also a nice irony at work. The tea party is opposed to massive government spending and bailouts. But QE is a way for the central bank to finance that government spending and to pump money into the banking sector. So on the day that the tea partiers may be celebrating, an unelected central bank will be carrying out a programme, probably totalling several hundred billion dollars, that will cut against everything the partiers stand for.

Preparing for the chaos to come

The signs are increasingly ominous that the political and economic systems we have known in the United States are about to collapse. While the collapse may not be preventable, it can be mitigated if we will face reality and are willing to act.
  1. Bring the Ohio National Guard home from Iraq and Afghanistan. If chaos erupts, we need them here to restore order, and to prevent the US military, or worse, foreign mercenaries, from imposing their idea of order upon us.
  2. Restore the Ohio militia for the same reasons, as provided in Article IX of the Ohio Constitution.
  3. Allow an alternative currency, based on silver (and optionally, gold), to be used in payment of state and local obligations. While the state is barred from coining money or issuing bills of credit, the state can under existing law accept gold and silver, and could pass a law allowing acceptance of currency fully backed by gold or silver. My suggestion is the "buckeye sterling," exactly equal to the old US silver dollar (now worth about $15 in Federal Reserve Notes). This way, pre-1965 US coins could be returned to circulation, because they would hold the same value.
  4. Begin supporting our neighbors' small businesses and buy our food locally. If we live where we can start a garden, buy seeds for next spring's vegetables and herbs.

If we do this soon, we will protect ourselves from the worst, while (for the moment at least) remaining in the union.

It's called preparedness.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The hyperinflation has already started

Here's the evidence, with some pithy comments by Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker.

And a not-so-very-nice reminder that I told you so. Repeatedly.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last words before the election

For those of you who are voting tomorrow, remember:
  1. The lesser of two evils is still evil.
  2. A vote for a Republican or Democrat in most races is rewarding the negative campaigning you have been complaining about for weeks.
  3. Expecting a radical change from the Republicans will do less good than whistling into the wind.
  4. No real change will come from either party in Washington -- our best hope for freedom is by electing radical Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists in Columbus.

I have said all I can say. The rest is up to you.