Thursday, April 30, 2009

US States to Fed: Our Guns are None of your Business.

At least 3 US State have passed or introduced bills telling Uncle Sam to go and get stuffed over guns.So, what will the Fed withhold from Montana to force compliance? Highway money, education money, health care and drug funding for seniors?

In a bill passed by the Legislature earlier this month, the state is asserting that guns manufactured in Montana and sold in Montana to people who intend to keep their weapons in Montana are exempt from federal gun registration, background check and dealer-licensing rules because no state lines are crossed.

A bill by state Rep. Leo Berman exempting Texas-made firearms, gun accessories and ammunition sold within the state from federal regulation and law -- including registration -- was heard in a House committee on Monday.

"With the appointment of Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general, we have the most anti-Second Amendment attorney general in the history of the nation," Berman said. "What we're saying with this is there are some guns not subject to federal regulation. We have guns and gun accessories and ammunition here that are not subject to their regulation."

Prime sponsor Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, attracted 10 co-sponsors and said the bill is both a measure to allow manufacture of guns and a statement that Alaska intends to reclaim some of its rights. Alaska has seen rights eroded in the oversight of navigable waters, fish and game, and access to natural resources, Kelly said, but can reclaim rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
"We will handle the regulation of it," he said.
Kelly said the federal government has regulated firearms in part though the oversight of interstate commerce. The bill addresses that by exempting firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories that are manufactured and retained in the state. Guns and ammo that fit that criteria should be exempt from federal regulation, including registration, he said.

Michael Badnarik Quote

People are usually surprised to discover that I hate the phrase "constitutional rights." I hate the phrase because it is terribly misleading. Most of the people who say it or hear it have the impression that the Constitution "grants" them their rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. Strictly speaking it is the Bill of Rights that enumerates our rights, but none of our founding documents bestow anything on you at all [...] The government can burn the Constitution and shred the Bill of Rights, but those actions wouldn't have the slightest effect on the rights you've always had.
  • Source: Good to be King (2004)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spain investigates what America should

Spain investigates what America should

"A Spanish court has initiated criminal proceedings against six former officials of the Bush administration. John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith may face charges in Spain for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay."

Interesting reading. If found guilty, they can be arrested if they set foot in any country that is a party to European extradition convention.

Want to Retake Your Government? Learn to Work Together.

Want to Retake Your Government? Learn to Work Together.

Every election, half the people complain that the wrong guy won. Democrat or Republican, odds are, the winner will be one of them. But why? Year after year, people complain yet you never see any other parties getting in, even in the small elections, odds are good that despite our rich number of parties, it's a Democrat or Republican in there.

Behind the "Big Two", the most popular parties are the Libertarian, Green and Constitution parties. Despite years of work though, none have gotten close to winning any major elections. Why is this? Some will point at ballot access issues, road blocks, legal challenges, and a deck stacked against any 3rd party. There is that, but none of that is in fact, insurmountable.

Maybe it's time for these 3rd parties to take some pages out of history and change tactics. They are out numbered, out gunned and out funded by their entrenched opponents, yet stupidly continue to attack head on, and lose.

In the 2008 US Presidential election, Barack Obama changed the rules. He set records doing so. The avalanche he set off is still moving, months after his election. The third parties need to study this, learn from it, and adopt it to their messages.

Something else they must do. Learn to work together.

Barack Obama raised $533 Million, and won 69.5 Million votes. John McCain raised $379 Million, and won 60 Million votes. Third party candidates Ralph Nader (I), Bob Barr (L), Chuck Baldwin (C) and Cynthia McKinney (G) combined raised less than $7 Million and only won 1.7 Million votes combined.

Now, because they are locked out of the debates, because the media only mentions them as an after thought, rarely do they get to present their positions next to the Big Two. But, what if they pooled their war chests. Now, they could take out bigger ads, buy longer spots, and make their voices carry that little bit farther.

Of course, they would also have to start compromising on various points. Everytime a third party starts to gain some headway, it seems it fractures and creates spin offs. I've lost track of how many Libertarian spin off parties there are.

If the thirds want to win, they need to stop taking their balls home and nitpicking. Win some elections, then you can change the world. Until you win, it doesn't matter how right your cause is, especially if only 20 people can hear you speak.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Rush Towards Socialism – and How To Stop It by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

The Rush Towards Socialism – and How To Stop It
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

It only took the Obama administration a couple of weeks to prove that the national leadership of the Democratic Party is guided by totalitarian-minded socialists who seek to create an omnipotent government. The U.S. government is now controlled by people who have been dreaming of living out their utopian socialist fantasies ever since the fantasies were brought to their attention in college decades ago by their Mao/Castro/Che Guevara poster-hanging, capitalism-hating, communistic professors.

The administration’s main agenda is an explosion of federal spending and debt so large and outrageous that America will soon exceed Sweden in the proportion of the economy that is controlled by government – if it hasn’t already. That’s just for starters. They also want to sharply increase taxes on the most productive and hardest-working people in society; increase the capital gains tax to deter private investment; expand the welfare state; spend trillions on pure, pork barrel spending in a massive vote-buying spree; set all corporate compensation levels by governmental fiat; tax away the wealth of unpopular business people (only starting with those AIG executives); regulate and control all risk taking by private entrepreneurs; enforce a civilian draft to create a modern-day, American version of the Hitler Youth (See Rahm Emanuel’s creepy, Stalinist-sounding book entitled The Plan); nationalize entire industries, starting with the capital markets (they understand that there can be no capitalism without private capital markets); and double, triple, and quadruple the number of "regulators" who already regulate all aspects of human life in America.

At the recent G-20 meeting Obama even signed off on the creation of an international regulatory "authority" that could set compensation policies in American corporations. On top of this, there is a never-ending drumbeat of anti-capitalist propaganda coming from the administration and its worshipful mouthpieces in the "mainstream media."

What can be done? How can this rush toward totalitarian socialism be stopped? Will the Republicans find another old, angry geezer to appeal to the angry white male vote? How about another mumbling and incompetent Bush family heir? Will there be another Reagan who will talk libertarian while governing more like a European Social Democrat? Will they trot out another old "war hero" who will plunge us into war with Iran, North Korea, China, or whomever, to divert our attention away from the economic mess government has placed us in? These are the likely alternatives if we cling to the fantasy that "throwing the bums out" at election time leads to something other than another group of slightly different bums.

The fact is that the American people have been servants or slaves to their government for generations. It wasn’t always that way. When the Adams administration enforced the Sedition Act that made criticism of the federal government illegal, Jefferson and Madison responded with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves of 1798 that clearly stated that the people did not intend to allow the enforcement of this unconstitutional law within those two states. Section One of Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolve stated, for example, that "the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principles of unlimited submission to their General Government . . ." Other states supported Jefferson and Madison in their defense of free speech.

When President Thomas Jefferson imposed a national trade embargo and consummated the Louisiana Purchase, New Englanders, led by George Washington’s Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering, loudly threatened to secede. They decided against it (for practical economic and political reasons) at the Hartford Secession Convention of 1814, but their actions sent a clear message to national politicians.

Outraged by the embargo, the Massachusetts legislature used the language of Jefferson’s own Kentucky Resolve to proclaim that the embargo "was not legally binding on the citizens of the state" while denouncing the federal law as "unjust, oppressive, and unconstitutional" and reminding President Jefferson that "this state maintains its sovereignty and independence . . ." All the New England states, plus Delaware, did the exact same thing and nullified the embargo.

When Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of the United States, a precursor to the Fed, created 72 percent inflation in the first five years of its existence and corrupted politics with its politicized spending policies, citizens all over the country assisted President Andrew Jackson in eventually destroying the institution. The heroic Ohio legislature slapped a $50,000/year tax on each branch of the BUS, attempting to drive it out of business. "The states have an equal right to interpret the Constitution for themselves," announced the Ohio legislature, and it decided that the BUS was not constitutional. Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, South Carolina, New York, and New Hampshire followed suit.

When the War of 1812 broke out the New England states effectively seceded from the union by refusing to participate. A proclamation by the Connecticut legislature was representative of the opinions of New Englanders: "[i]t must not be forgotten that the state of Connecticut is a FREE SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT State; that the United States are a confederated and not a consolidated Republic," and that it was refusing to support the war.

When the 1828 "Tariff of Abominations" created an average tariff rate of 45%, applying mostly to Northern manufactured goods, South Carolinians clearly understood that this was a pure act of political plunder at their expense. They convened a political convention to utilize the Jeffersonian idea of nullification and refused to collect the tariff. They even got the South Carolina legislature to allocate $160,000 for the purchase of firearms with which to fend off any would-be federal tax collectors. The result was that they forced the federal government to lower the tariff rate.

During the 1850s the "middle states" of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey developed a very active secession movement that sought to either join a Southern confederacy, form a middle-states confederacy, or support Southern secession. (See The Secession Movement in the Middle States by William C. Wright). Their overriding desire was to separate themselves from the imperious New England Yankees.

When the Southern states seceded in 1860–61, Abraham Lincoln pledged his everlasting support for Southern slavery in his first inaugural address, an address in which he endorsed a constitutional amendment (the "Corwin Amendment") that would have forbidden the federal government from ever interfering with slavery. In the same speech he promised a military invasion and "bloodshed" in any Southern state that ceased paying his beloved tariff on imports which, at the time, accounted for more than 90% of federal tax revenue. The average tariff rate had just been doubled by the Republican-controlled Congress.

The Southern states, along with most people in the North, still held the Jeffersonian belief that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and when that consent is withdrawn the citizens have a duty to abolish the existing government and form a new one. Jefferson never wrote in the Declaration of Independence that the citizens have a duty to abolish the government and form a new one "as long as the other states all agree that you may do so." If the right of secession depends on someone else’s permission, then one does not have a right of secession. That was a fantasy invented by Lincoln, which he used to "justify" waging total war on his own country, murdering some 350,000 American citizens, including some 50,000 civilians. From that time on, government in America was no longer "for the people, by the people, of the people," as Chief Justice John Marshal once said in a phrase that was later plagiarized by Lincoln. From that time on the purpose of government has been for those who run it to plunder those who do not. Nullification and secession were no longer tools with which the citizens could control their own government.

The final nails in the coffin of government by consent were pounded in during the year 1913 with the advent of the federal income tax, the creation of the Fed, and the Seventeenth Amendment calling for the direct election of U.S. senators. The income tax and the Fed gave the federal government the ability to do whatever it wanted to do regardless of the Constitution – even to wage "undeclared" wars. These vast "riches" were used to make millions of Americans totally subservient to the state lest they lose their tiny government subsidies, and to bribe or threaten state governments to do whatever our masters in Washington, D.C. decree, lest they lose their cherished federal highway grants. The ability of the citizens to oppose the federal Leviathan by organizing political communities at the state and local levels was finally destroyed and the centralized, monopolistic bureaucracy that rules America and much of the rest of the world today was created.

The direct election of U.S. senators, as opposed to the original system of having them appointed by state legislature, ended popular control of the federal government. Today, candidates for the senate go to New York, California, China, or wherever the big money is that can be raised as "campaign contributions" to finance their political careers. The interests of such "contributors" are not necessarily congruent with those of the folks back home.

If American citizens are to resist the rush to Obammunism they must first give up on the fantasy that the Republican Party is anything but another cabal of crooks, conmen and clowns, just like the Democratic Party. The only realistic route to freedom, including a restoration of genuine free enterprise, is through the devolution of power away from Washington, D.C. via peaceful secession and nullification, the original American ideals.

Thomas Jefferson understood that democracy could never work in a country as large as the U.S., let alone one with more than 300 million people. In a January 29, 1804 letter to Dr. Joseph Priestly he wrote: "Whether we remain one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern." On the topic of secession, Jefferson continued: "[D]id I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power." When the New England Federalists were threatening secession, Jefferson wrote to his friend John C. Breckinridge on August 12, 1803 that if New England seceded and created a second confederacy, "God bless them both if it be for their good, but separate them, if it is better."

Unlike Lincoln, Jefferson did not believe in threatening "bloodshed" in the case of a "separation" or secession. He understood that such behavior would be a moral abomination and an unimaginable act of barbarianism. A civilized society does not wage total war on "our children," as Jefferson described the future citizens of a new state formed by an act of secession. Yet it is Lincoln, not Jefferson, who is portrayed by American court historians as a kindly, benevolent, and charitable angel.

The Constitution long ago ceased placing any meaningful limits on governmental power. This social contract between the American people and their government was destroyed long ago by Hamiltonian nationalists. Americans now live under a series of dictators (called "presidents") who all believe that they are essentially dictators of the world, capable of ordering the bombing of any place on earth without anyone’s approval. (Within weeks, Obama dipped his hands in blood by ordering a few bombs to be dropped in Pakistan).

As of this writing, several dozen states have reportedly issued resolutions in support of the Jeffersonian principle of nullification. These will all be completely meaningless unless the American public has the fortitude to actually enforce the resolutions and begin ignoring any and all federal government actions that they interpret as unconstitutional and illegitimate. In addition, citizens of every state should learn about the Second Vermont Republic which, for several years now, has been laying the groundwork for Vermont to secede and once again become an free and independent republic, just as all the states thought of themselves as being prior to 1865.

April 14, 2009
Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Counting Mexico's Guns

Obama says 90% are from the US, Fox says 17%, so, who's right?

From FactCheck:
(click for full article and stats)
Counting Mexico's Guns
April 17, 2009
Updated: April 22, 2009

President Obama says 90 percent of Mexico's recovered crime guns come from the U.S. That's not what the statistics show.

There's no dispute that thousands of handguns, military-style rifles and other firearms are purchased in the U.S. and end up in the hands of Mexican criminals each year. It's relatively easy to buy such guns legally in Texas and other border states and to smuggle them across.

But is it true, as President Obama said, that "[m]ore than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States?" Government statistics don’t actually support that claim.

The figure represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials. We can find no hard data on the total number of guns actually "recovered in Mexico," but U.S. and Mexican officials both say that Mexico recovers more guns than it submits for tracing. Therefore, the percentage of guns "recovered" that are traced to U.S. sources necessarily is less than 90 percent. Where do the others come from? U.S. officials can’t say.

Fox News has put the percentage of guns that have been traced to U.S. sources at only 17 percent, but we find that to be based on a mistaken assumption that throws its figure way off. We can't offer a precise calculation because we know of no hard information on the total number of guns Mexican officials have recovered. But if a rough figure given by Mexico's attorney general is accurate, then the actual percentage of all Mexican crime guns that have been traced to U.S. sources is more than double what Fox News has reported.

Is Congress creating a mandatory public service system?

Is Congress creating a mandatory public service system?

See here:

Michael Badnarik Quote

The Patriot Act [...] makes a mockery of the Sixth Amendment, which protects your right to a speedy and public trial, and your right to the assistance of counsel for your defense.
  • Source: Good to be King (2004)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

OpenCongress Summary:
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (formally the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act) authorizes a dramatic funding increase for AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs, and the creation of new programs for seniors and veterans. It establishes a goal of expanding from 75,000 government-supported volunteers to 250,000, and would increase education funding and establish a summer volunteer program for students, paying $500 (which would be applied to college costs) to high-school and middle-school student who participate.
President Barack Obama signed the legislation on April 21, 2009. While it authorizes $5.7 billion over six years, Congress must still approve the funding as part of the budget.
  • Official: To reauthorize and reform the national service laws. as introduced.
  • Short: Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act as introduced.
  • Popular: GIVE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as introduced.
Bill Status

Introduced March 09, 2009
Voted on by House March 18, 2009
Voted on by Senate March 26, 2009
Considered By President April 21, 2009
This Bill Has Become Law April 21, 2009

Service as Part of the Curriculum

1000-year Obambination? Will Your Tax Dollars Make 8 Million Goons ...

Barack Obama School-aged Indoctrination and Sedition Act of 2009 ...


A comment made at "Service.." wrote:

You're right that we should read the small print. According to Alan Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, this program can eventually "involve" as many as 8 or 9 million people.
So with that in mind, consider this bit of small print:
"those in an 'approved national service position' may not try to influence legislation, engage in protests or petitions, take positions on union organizing, engage in partisan political activities, or, among other issues, be 'engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of proselytization.'"
Isn't that scarey? Everyone involved in this program is forbidden to express their opinion on legislation? forbidden to petition or protest? forbidden to "engage in partisan political activities," to boycott or support a strike? forbidden to go to Sunday school or build a church?
During the campaign, Obama said he wanted to establish "a 'Civilian National Security Force' as big and as well-funded as the U.S. military. Melody Barnes, director of the White House domestic policy council, confirmed that this is it.
A lot of the small print seems unconstitutional to me. People should consult their representatives.
Also note, participation in this program is MANDATORY for anyone receiving school loans.
While I support the idea of some form of mandatory community service, I find the obvious rights violations, concerning.

I wonder.....did Congress read this?

Re: "Redistribute the Wealth"

Re: "Redistribute the Wealth"

How many Americans here have friends and associates who's deepest concern is who won what game or who's topic of conversation is always "man I got so wasted last night"?
But that's ok. Those of us who work hard, educate ourselves, start businesses, or work 2-3 jobs while putting ourselves through higher education....we can pay more taxes so that lazybones and slacker can have government subsidized health care (while we pay top dollar for ours), government subsidized heating and electric (while we pay for ours), and even free money to spend on lotto and lobster (while we watch our money and live frugally). It's ok. It's our "Civic Duty" to help those "unfortunates".

On education: I read several hundred books every year, own a thousand+, read 4 newspapers (onliine) daily (SF CA, Austin TX (2), Buffalo NY), plus dozens of discussions like this one every day. I've taken extra training classes, community ed courses, online training, and am at Borders/Barnes & Nobel or my local ibraries weekly. I also run history chanel, food network, HGTV, DIY and Discovery as background. If our "unfortunates" did 10% of that, they'd be miles ahead.

Schools today in the US are woefully behind the technical requirements. Teaching methods in many cases are outdated, classes are over crowded, and teachers are still using maps that show the Soviet Union, and still using text books that list Sadamn as the head of Iraq. Unfortunately, even if they were up to date, balanced, and truely designed to learn, even the best teacher can't teach when the student isn't open to learn, or isn't there in the first place. Kids don't want to learn because they know they can grow up, go on welfare and have the government pay for everything. They have no idea of the value of a dollar, not because it's arbitrary imaginary money, but because they aren't required to know how to manage it.

We argue people go bankrupt because of medical bills. Those lotto winners went bankrupt because they were incapable of handling money.

Before you redistribute the wealth, maybe you need to revamp your education system so that people will be able to handle that which you give them.

Then again, maybe it's time that kids learn that they aren't entitled to anything, anything! that they didn't earn themselves.
Copyright © 2009 Bob Hubbard. All rights reserved.