As a young lawyer, I worked for a little while on some of the litigation that grew out of the collapse of Home State Savings Bank (and much of the rest of Ohio’s saving and loan industry) in the mid-1980s. That’s not much of a surprise, since virtually every firm in town was involved in one way or the other. But it was an exciting case to be part of. I remember learning so much from some of the best lawyers in town. And I still recall Marvin Warner’s criminal sentencing.
Warner had been the head of Home State, and by the time the dust settled, he was about as popular as Old Man Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Warner was convicted on a number of charges related to the debacle. When he came before Judge Robert Ruehlman for the announcement of his sentence, he got a taste of what the local folks thought of him. Among other pronouncements, Judge Ruehlman told Warner, who had owned a substantial horse farm, that “[w]hen I get through with you, the only horse you will be riding is one of those horses in front of the K-mart on the little merry-go-round.”
Senator Harry Reid says, “the government doesn’t force you to pay taxes.” Reid says that he “doesn’t accept the phraseology” that the government “forcefully takes money from you.” Really, I am not joking. Oh … and he says that the reason our system is called a “voluntary” tax system is because we have deductions/loopholes that allow us to keep some of our money.
Just for fun, count how many times Reid says “voluntary” and “phraseology.”
I’m not sure how dated this interview is, but bear in mind that this is a U.S. Senator spending 4+ minutes denying the notion of government force and coercion. This isn’t the first time I’ve covered this topic.
Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada. She was killed by a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF in the Gaza Strip on March 16th, 2003.
“Cogitations from the Home Front”
hat tip: BigEye.com
March 15, 2010
The lid is blowing off a story broadcast by American TV on September 11, 2001. The question now is whether or not owners and managers of America’s mainline media will be able to continue burying facts, questions, controversy, speculations, and conclusions contradicting that day’s professionally crafted narrative. When will the American people be given access to documented facts unearthed over the years since that tragic and exceptional day?
We were told repeatedly, even while the towers in New York were still standing, that a man in a cave in Afghanistan was responsible. We were led to believe that he managed a group of Arab terrorists who flew our commercial airliners on 911. As proof, his picture was repeatedly flashed across major TV networks with the smoking buildings in the background. Today, our own FBI claims they lack any evidence linking that man to 9/11.
We are still repeatedly shown, in newspapers and on TV, photos of 19 “Arab terrorists” supposedly on the planes, with no other proof of their even being there. Poorly produced and obviously faked videos of the big boogyman have been trotted out periodically. Where were they produced? The “flying Arabs” keep turning up alive and well. Who stole, forged, and assumed their identities? Other Arabs? Why?
There have been many complaints recently about the way Washington works — or rather its recent failures to efficiently implement Obama’s policy priorities.
Paul Krugman compares the present state of American politics to the gridlock that afflicted 17th-century Poland. Use of the Liberum Veto froze the Polish parliament (the Sejm). Now senators are holding up new legislation in America. Many others have added complaints about special-interest groups and an alleged need for public financing of elections.
Evan Bayh cites partisanship and gridlock as reasons for his departure from the Senate. Bayh claims that it was easier to serve the public “in the old days.” Generally speaking, there is a feeling among many that the legislative process can and ought to work better, and that elected officials can and should do a better job of serving the public.
While critics of the status quo in Washington are no doubt sincere, there are good reasons to see their views as naïve. Ideology does influence the way many senators vote. According to one study, voter preferences are a minor influence on how senators vote, except for senators who face strong opponents in upcoming elections. In highly competitive politics, politicians must ignore more ideological and extreme viewpoints in favor of the centrist positions that Bayh favored. It is, however, quite normal to lack competition in a two-party system. There is a lack of competition in many areas of American politics, but this is normal.
With the March 2010 employment data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised its state employment data back to 1990 (www.bls.gov/eag/eag.oh.htm). As you may recall, our report, “State of the State: Two Decades of Weak Job Growth and Skyrocketing Government Costs Pose Daunting Challenges for Ohioans,” highlighted several sobering pieces of BLS employment data (original data from the report in parens below). The new BLS data paints an even more troubling outlook for Ohio.
Specifically, from January 1990 to January 2000, Ohio’s job market added 714,900 jobs (720,200), which was the 37th best in America. From January 2000 to January 2010, Ohio’s job market lost 635,000 jobs (544,100), which was the 2nd worst in America. From January 1990 to January 2010, Ohio had the 3rd (6th) worst job market in America — Ohio added a net of 79,900 jobs (176,100) over 20 years, or less than 4,000 per year (9,000) for Ohio’s 11.4 million people. This growth amounted to an increase in jobs of 1.9% (4%) from 20 years earlier. Only Rhode Island (-1.7%), Michigan (-2.2%), and Connecticut (-4.9%) had worse job markets.
As a point of comparison, in January 1990, Ohio had 714,800 (714,000) people working in government. As of January 2010, 781,900 (789,100) Ohioans worked in government. Thus, from January 1990 to January 2010, Ohio added 67,100 (75,100) government jobs. That means that for every 1.19 jobs created over those 20 years in the private sector, Ohio added 1 government job. This ratio is the 4th worst in America, exceeded only by New Jersey (.96), Connecticut (-1.93), and Michigan (-3.54).
“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.”
–Thomas E. Woods
The 10th Amendment Movement is an effort to push back against unconstitutional federal laws and regulations on a state level. The principle is known as “nullification,” and was advised by many prominent founders.
History of Nullification: While the media generally portrays nullification as being solely aligned with the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of misinformation. Nullification has a long history in the American tradition and has been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.
10th Amendment Resolutions
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do no carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however. If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must. CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT 10TH AMENDMENT RESOLUTIONS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Facing potential bankruptcy, the board that governs the once flush-with-cash Kansas City school district is taking the unusual and contentious step of shuttering almost half its schools.
Administrators say the closures are necessary to keep the district from plowing through what little is left of the $2 billion it received as part of a groundbreaking desegregation case. The Kansas City school board narrowly approved the plan to close 29 out of 61 schools Wednesday night at a meeting packed with angry parents. The schools will close before the fall.
Although other districts nationwide are considering closures as the recession ravages their budgets, Kansas City’s plan is striking. In rapidly shrinking Detroit, 29 schools closed before classes began this fall, but that still left the district with 172 schools. Most other districts are closing just one or two schools.
Emotional board member Duane Kelly told the crowd of more than 200 people Wednesday night, “This is the most painful vote I have ever cast” in 10 years on the board. Some chanted for the removal of the superintendent, while one woman asked the crowd, “Is anyone else ready to homeschool their children?”
Kansas City Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks said the closure plan had prompted some housing developers to consider backing out of projects.
“The urban core has suffered white flight post-the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education, blockbusting by the real estate industry, redlining by banks and other financial institutions, retail and grocery store abandonment,” Brooks said to applause from the standing-room-only crowd.
by Travis Irvine
Libertarian candidate for Ohio’s 12th congressional district
It has often been said — though not often enough — that democracies cannot be empires, and empires cannot be democracies. This has never been more evident than now, when our own “democratic empire” has become less and less representative of the people in these United States. However, this is a fault of representative democracy — the larger it gets, the less representative it becomes. It may still represent the majority, but as the represented population gets larger and wider in scope and diversity, the majority does not always make correct decisions for everyone in the population. Hence, the fewer people a representative democracy represents, the more representative it will be.
That is why our Founding Fathers saw the importance of having a constitutional republic oversee this collection of representative democracies, and for this collection of democracies to be ruled by law. They established what freedoms the people would always be entitled to, and specifically limited the government’s powers, therefore always allowing people to have a certain amount of authority over their government. Anything not addressed within those guidelines could be left up to the local government, so the people living in those areas could be as happy as possible.
All of these thoughts came to me while I traveled to Austin, Texas in February. I was visiting for a national Libertarian Party conference in preparation for my U.S. Congress run in Ohio’s 12th District against Pat Tiberi and Paula Brooks, and was completely blown away by the unique culture, intelligence and overall freedom of the City of Austin. It is hands down the most progressive libertarian city I have ever been to — thanks to its progressive libertarian people and local government.
Now I hope people are not scared when I use the term “progressive libertarian”. On the contrary, I think we are in an age when this is exactly the type of thing we need. The current state chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio has a nice coin of phrase I like to invoke when I can — “this is not your father’s Libertarian Party.” Because our culture has become more accepting of all kinds of people, libertarianism has become more about tolerating and accepting the individual, and less about invoking state’s rights just to restrict certain people’s freedoms.
Splitting the Sky, indigenous activist, seized by security forces in Canada last year when he attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of George W. Bush will have his day in court on Monday, March 8th. According to Professor Anthony J. Hall, this case will demonstrate whether Canada is ruled by law or fear and highlight the need for new principles, the Calgary Principles to amend the victor’s justice of the Nuremberg Principles, in light of the new impunities for high level crimes against humanity and the Earth in this era, and the need to protect and honor civil resistance to those high crimes.
Dacajaweiah, John Boncore, or Splitting the Sky, is not a man of few words. If you read his hefty 653-page autobiography, it is very clear that he has lived an extraordinary life and has survived more than his share of violence, to find deep within himself a well of energy and spirit enabling him to not only endure hardships, but to serve his people and the land in the timeless struggle against oppression and tyranny. From the Attica Rebellion to Gustafen Lake to Calgary in 2009, when he attempted a citizen’s arrest of George W. Bush, “Dac” has consciously taken a leadership role to politically challenge the powerful forces that dominate the North American continent. Brutally arrested for his action, he earned his “day in court” to voice not only his defense, but “to highlight the hypocrisy and criminality of the Canadian government for allowing Bush into Canada, and to firmly establish the legal defense of ‘civil resistance’, the duty of citizens to act when our governments and their agents are derelict in their duty. This will be very useful in the future to rein these criminals in.”
Prior to Bush’s visit, the Canadian group Lawyers Against the War asked Canadian officials to bar entry or try Bush for his suspected crimes since Canadian Law prohibits “people suspected of any involvement in torture or other war crimes and crimes against humanity from entering Canada for any period and for any purpose. The most recent report of the War Crimes Program affirms the necessity of barring war crimes suspects from Canada: ‘The most effective way to deny safe haven to people involved or complicit in war crimes or crimes against humanity is to prevent them from coming to Canada.’”