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by Kevin Gutzman
America’s national holiday is the 4th of July, the anniversary of public promulgation of the Declaration of Independence. The 4th of July, like many other government holidays, is surrounded by numerous myths. Some of the most notable:
1. The 4th of July is a celebration of the U.S. Constitution.
Actually, the U.S. Constitution’s purpose was to remake the American governments of the Revolution by making the system less democratic. The delegates from 12 states who met in Philadelphia in summer 1787 had been sent by the states to recommend amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they instantly decided to meet in secret, and then the nationalists among them tried to win adoption of a national – rather than a federal – constitution.
2. The 4th of July was the day that the 13 states established their independence.
No, it was not. In fact, Virginia established its independence on May 15, 1776, when its revolutionary Convention adopted resolutions for a declaration of rights, a permanent republican constitution, and federal and treaty relationships with other states and foreign countries. It was because the Old Dominion had already established its independence – had, in fact, already sworn in the first governor under its permanent republican constitution of 1776, Patrick Henry, on June 29 – that Virginia’s congressmen, uniquely, had been given categorical instructions from their state legislature to declare independence. Virginia was not the only state whose independence was not established by the Declaration on the 4th, as New York’s congressional delegation did not then join in the Declaration. In short, the states became independent in their own good time – some on July 4, some before, some after.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
“I think most people are concerned with the IRS.”
-Malcolm Forbes, when asked if he was afraid of terrorism.
“Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn’t even get out of committee?
-F. Lee Bailey
“Communism is like one big phone company.”
“Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them.”
“Why doesn’t everybody just leave everybody else the hell alone?”
“Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”
“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
“No man’s life, liberty and property are safe while legislature is in session.”
by Jason Rink
This is a brand new experience for me. I wrote for my high-school newspaper back in Cincinnati, Ohio. I wrote for my college magazine in Rochester, New York. I have written chapters of books, blog posts, and news articles.
But, this is the first time I have ever put together an entire newspaper. Let me say that over the past week I have developed a whole new appreciation for the work that Sherry Mann has done over the last couple of years.
I know that it will be hard work to continue putting out “fiercely independent news and information.” That’s a tall order, and one that is sure to create some enemies. I know that I will print things that people won’t agree with. I will print things that make people angry. I will print things that challenge accepted paradigms.
I will also leave things on the editing table. I will choose not to print things. And that will make some people mad too.
Even so, what I really desire is for this to be a publication that truly represents the grassroots liberty movement in America. We all have issues we are passionate about. We all have truth that we feel is not getting out to the masses. We all want to do our part to preserve freedom in this country.
We all want a place to make our voices heard.
by Tom Franklin
Despite encouraging words from politicians and the establishment media’s talking heads, it is clear to me, and I believe most Americans who do not live in a regime ivory tower, that we are not coming out of the recession. In fact, things appear to be getting worse as unemployment continues to rise and businesses cut salaries or shut down. The fears that this recession could turn into another Great Depression are very real, as we have lost so much of our capacity to create wealth and the federal government seems determined to use up any remaining capital fighting endless wars, funding endless entitlement programs, and spending trillions of dollars on non-wealth-creating “stimulus” programs while handing out even more trillions to their bankster buddies and corporate cronies. However, another 1930s-style depression is not what keeps me up at night with worry.
America could survive another Great Depression if it was like the last one. Sure, it would be extremely painful, but it would be manageable, as it was before, and eventually we would come out of it, despite the fact that the government would most certainly make all the wrong moves along the way. However, what really terrifies me is a hyperinflationary depression.
According to John Williams at ShadowStats.com, in an article titled Hyperinflation Special Report, hyperinflation is not only possible, but inevitable due to the overspending of the federal government, and the printing press of the Federal Reserve, which as Congressman Ron Paul continuously reminds us, prints money out of thin air. Williams’ report is a truly terrifying read that insists that the coming hyperinflation could get so bad that we will have to resort to the barter system as the dollar will become nothing more than very rough toilet paper. He cautions that electronic banking will cease to work and for a time no one will have any money at all, not even inflated currency. You can certainly imagine the type of Hell on earth this will create for the American people.
by Maurice A. Thompson
Director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law
A History Rooted in Limited Government
In May of 1850, 108 men from across the state gathered to rewrite Ohio’s original constitution, adopted in 1802. This conglomerate of 37 lawyers, 35 farmers, ten editors, eight merchants, seven medical doctors, and the remainder comprised of blacksmiths, surveyors, and millers, set out with a specific purpose: “keep the power in the hands of the legislature, and then tie its hands.”ii To do this, the delegates to the 1850-1851 constitutional convention authored constitutional provisions that left behind a “self-acting Constitution.”
The Ohio Constitution is special because it was passed in an era where the people of Ohio believed in individual rights and resented the authority that attempted to interfere with such rights,” and “had no use for any central authority.”iv This period in the state’s history has a familiar tenor: it coincided with the average citizen’s growing awareness of “the mad rush to rob the state treasury and heap up debts to be paid by generations yet unborn,”v and recognition that the legislature had become “the pliant tool of individual greed.”vi Much like today, this “mad rush” and “individual greed” involved bailouts and gifts to private corporations that claimed to be necessary to our way of life, particularly railroad and canal corporations.
In 1850, to put an end to such things, Ohioans called a constitutional convention.
By Matt Mayer
President of The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy
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).
By Ron Paul
Statement before the United States House of Representatives, September 23, 2009
Government has been mismanaging medical care for more than 45 years; for every problem it has created it has responded by exponentially expanding the role of government. Points to consider:
1.) No one has a right to medical care. If one assumes such a right, it endorses the notion that some individuals have a right to someone else’s life and property. This totally contradicts the principles of liberty.
2.) If medical care is provided by government, this can only be achieved by an authoritarian government unconcerned about the rights of the individual.
3.) Economic fallacies accepted for more than 100 years in the United States has deceived policy makers into believing that quality medical care can only be achieved by government force, taxation, regulations, and bowing to a system of special interests that creates a system of corporatism.
4.) More dollars into any monopoly run by government never increases quality but it always results in higher costs and prices.
The Top Five Questions We Should Ask the Pentagon
by William J. Astore
hat tip: Tom Dispatch
When it comes to our nation’s military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What’s remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know.
There are many reasons for this state of affairs. Our civilian leaders encourage us to be deferential toward our latest commander/savior, whether Tommy Franks in 2003, David Petraeus in 2007, or Stanley McChrystal in 2010. Our media employs retired officers, most of them multi-starred generals, in a search for expertise that ends in an unconditional surrender to military agendas. A cloud of secrecy and “black budgets” combine to obscure military matters, ranging from global strategy to war goals to weapons procurement. The taxpayer, forced to pony up about one trillion dollars yearly to fund our military, national security infrastructure, and wars, is sent a simple message: stay clear and leave it to the experts in uniform.
The powerlessness of ordinary Americans in military matters is no accident. Recall the one-word reply — “So?” — Dick Cheney offered in March 2008, when asked to comment on popular opposition to the war in Iraq. The former vice president was certainly far blunter than Washington usually is, and for that we may owe him a measure of thanks. By highlighting the arrogant dismissiveness of Washington’s warrior-elite when it comes to American public opinion, he revealed more than he intended.
by J. H. Huebert
“Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra
Judge Andrew Napolitano opens his new book, Lies the Government Told You, with that quote, and that’s the book’s theme: the State is our enemy because it constantly lies, steals, and kills.
That’s a pretty radical idea, so this is a radical book.
This is not a book about “public policy,” about how we might limit the rate of government’s growth, or about how to “reform” this or that program. It’s not really even about “getting back to the Constitution.”
Instead, this book is about exposing the criminal acts of our rulers in Washington, and about abolishing and repealing powers and programs wholesale.