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by Tom Burghardt
hat tip: Antifascist Calling
A truism perhaps, but before resorting to brute force and open repression to halt the “barbarians at the gates,” that would be us, the masters of declining empires (and the chattering classes who polish their boots) regale us with tales of “democracy on the march,” “hope” and other banalities before the mailed fist comes crashing down.
Putting it another way, as the late, great Situationist malcontent, Guy Debord did decades ago in his relentless call for revolt, The Society of the Spectacle:
“The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation. From automobiles to television, the goods that the spectacular system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly reinforcing the conditions that engender ‘lonely crowds.’ With ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own presuppositions.”
And when those “presuppositions” reproduce ever-more wretched clichés promulgated by true believers or rank opportunists, take your pick, market “democracy,” the “freedom to choose” (the length of one’s chains), or even quaint notions of national “sovereignty” (a sure fire way to get, and keep, the masses at each others’ throats!) we’re left with a fraud, a gigantic swindle, a “postmodern” refinement of tried and true methods that would do Orwell proud!
By Matt Mayer
hat tip: Buckeye Institute
March 11, 2010
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 Michael Boldin
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
March 15, 2010
“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.
Current Nullification Efforts:
Potential Future Efforts:
- Patriot Act
- No Child Left Behind
- State-Initiated Constitutional Amendments
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
In 1798 Thomas Jefferson secretly drafted another declaration few people know about…
by Derek Sheriff
Most Americans know that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of “The Declaration of Independence”, the most important of all our founding documents.
Yet few of them have even heard of another document that I would say might be the second most important declaration he ever wrote: The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. He drafted them secretly while he was serving as vice president. It was written in response to the hated Alien and Sedition Acts which were passed under the Adams administration during an undeclared war with France.
The acts authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States, and criminalized any speech which might defame Congress, the President, or bring either of them into contempt or disrepute. You could compare it to the Patriot Act, but really it was much worse. Either way, The Alien and Sedition Acts were probably Thomas Jefferson’s worst nightmare.
Some people are surprised to learn that in response to these acts, Jefferson did not hold up the First Amendment in protest. Rather he invoked the Tenth Amendment, which states that:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Essentially, he argued that by passing and enforcing the Alien and Sedition Acts, the federal government had over stepped its bounds and was exercising powers which belonged to the states.
In other words, the Alien and Sedition Acts were acts of usurpation.
by Michael Boldin
The following is based off a speech I gave at the first annual Tenth Amendment Summit in Atlanta, GA on February 26, 2010.
How can a “crazy” Californian and a “conservative” Georgian be friends? It’s simple – through the principles of ’98. In 1798, the John Adams administration signed into law that Alien and Sedition Acts, which made it a crime to publish “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the government or its officials. In practice, it was used to quell the freedom of speech in dissent against the sitting administration.
In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Thomas Jefferson responded:
“the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government”
But wait – that’s not all. He went on to say that all undelegated powers exercised by the federal government are “unathoritative, void and of no force.” And, that a “nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.”
There’s been plenty of people talking about nullification lately, but many people don’t know what it really means. I can think of no better way to define it than how my friend Derek Sheriff from the Arizona Tenth Amendment Center has done:
Nullification is not secession or insurrection, but neither is it unconditional or unlimited submission. Nullification is not something that requires any decision, statement or action from any branch of the federal government. Nullification is not the result of obtaining a favorable court ruling. Nullification is not the petitioning of the federal government to start doing or to stop doing anything. Nullification doesn’t depend on any federal law being repealed. Nullification does not require permission from any person or institution outside of one’s own state.
Nullification is something that’s already happening around the country – and Derek explains the process:
Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.
by Paul C. Wright
Global Research, March 3, 2010
If you are one of the millions of Americans locked into long term debt service, your road to debt serfdom was likely paved by a mortgage, home equity loan, credit cards, or a combination of all three.
When the U.S. economy began to melt down in 2007 and entered a rapid period of decline in 2008, all eyes were fixed on the subprime mortgage crisis. Though the mortgage crisis, triggered by spurious lending practices and unprecedented risky investment bank practices, was undoubtedly the dominant factor affecting the American consumer in 2008, credit card debt and default was also making a contribution to the deteriorating economy and collapsing standard of living. As the subprime mortgage crisis accelerated, the increasing number of people falling behind on payments or defaulting on credit card debt was largely ignored by the media, with only a sporadic story or two being aired or printed by the major news outlets. Stories finally started receiving vastly more media attention in 2009 as the problem became too large to ignore. Credit cards, once a status symbol and the prized possession of the American consumer, had quickly become the bane of the American consumer.
Credit cards, while omnipresent now, were not always widely used by consumers to make purchases. At one time the credit card was seen as a novel and trendy idea, with a limited number of cardholders who were in effect members of a special club. Now, credit cards are viewed as essential purchasing tools that everyone must have, for status, transactional ease, and even necessity in some instances. Many purchases, particularly those related to travel and lodging, absolutely require credit cards. The overwhelming majority of internet vendors require a credit card for the purchases. In essence, it is nearly impossible not to have a credit card in the 21 st century. The credit card has come a long way in its short history.
Hat tip: Utah Tenth Amendment Center
Written by: Gary Wood
27. Feb, 2010
Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) introduced SB-11, Utah State-Made Firearms Protection Act on January 25th, 2010. By February 16th the legislative debates were over and the bill was passed by both houses and sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature. After 10 days of public debate, with both sides of the issue encouraging action Gov. Herbert signed this fundamental legislation into law.
In a written statement Gov. Herbert explained his reasoning. “There are times when the state needs to push back against continued encroachment from the federal government. Sending the message that we will stand up for a proper balance between the state and federal government is a good thing.” Opponents will spend the next several days declaring their stance and criticizing his decision. At the same time the federal government will realize Utah has joined with Montana and Tennessee as states serious about the need for our federalist republic to be restored.
Our federal government is to be supreme in all matters pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. The improper precedents and usurpations under the federal judicial rulings surrounding Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (known as the Commerce Clause) are not supreme simply due to the fact they are outside the original meaning. By signing SB-11 Gov. Herbert places Utah in a position of proper authority while pressing the issue of supremacy back into the courts. As more states join this courageous move governing can begin the necessary restoration that will ultimately lead to the protection of people’s rights and responsibility.
by Chuck Baldwin
February 26, 2010
There is a classic story about how no one had been able to capture a herd of wild hogs that was rooting up crops from numerous farms. It got so bad that rewards had been posted for anyone clever enough to corral the critters. But even this resulted in only limited success.
One day a stranger (who was a wily old trapper) came into town and–entering the general store–ordered a truckload of fence posts and fencing, along with some feed. When asked what he was going to use it for, he said, “I’m going to get those wild hogs y’all are having trouble with.” Of course, everyone in the store laughed at the overconfident stranger. A few weeks later, however, the stranger rode into town with the back of his truck tightly packed with the smelly swine.
When asked how he was able to accomplish what no one else had been able to do, the old trapper replied, “Simple. I started putting the feed out in a small clearing and the hogs began freely eating the feed. It didn’t take long and they were there every day. Then I put up the fence posts, but with no fencing. At first the hogs were a little skittish, but it wasn’t long and they ignored the posts. Then I began putting the fence up, but I left the gate off. Again, the hogs were skittish at first, but soon realized they could come and go freely, and before long, they were devouring the free food with a vengeance. Then, one day when the hogs were aggressively consuming the vittles, I slammed the gate closed.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what the old trapper did to the wild hogs is exactly what our soon-to-be oppressors are doing to us! What is worse, most Americans seem about as oblivious to the whole thing as that bunch of pigs. For anyone who is paying attention, however, the signs of growing enslavement are everywhere.
By Hans Bennett
Hat tip: Toward Freedom
(A review of the new book entitled This Country Must Change: Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA, edited by Craig Rosebraugh, Arissa Media Group, 2009)
From 1997 to 2001, Craig Rosebraugh acted as a public spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a self-described “international, underground movement consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action in defense of the planet.” On February 12, 2002, Rosebraugh was made to testify against his will before the US Congress’ House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. The FBI had recently declared the ELF the #1 domestic terrorist threat, and Congress had subpoenaed Rosebraugh demanding he help them investigate “eco-terrorism.” Rosebraugh had already received seven grand jury subpoenas from various federal investigations, but had always refused to cooperate. After he rejected this particular Subcommittee’s offer to voluntarily testify, they seemed to think that intimidation might help. They were wrong.
Rosebraugh invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 54 times that day, instead issuing his now-famous 11-page statement declaring that “the US government by far has been the most extreme terrorist organization in planetary history,” He cited a long list of crimes, beginning with the history of Black chattel slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples, and concluding with a long list of US military interventions since WWII. He argued that it was hypocritical to label the ELF “terrorist,” since all ELF actions had been directed towards corporate property, and had never injured anyone: “This noble pursuit does not constitute terrorism, but rather seeks to abolish it.”
Rosebraugh has since continued his public advocacy of direct action and has edited a new book entitled This Country Must Change: Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA. This collection of twelve essays, most written by current and former political prisoners, discusses the many problems with today’s corporate state and why the contributors believe a fundamental revolution is the only practical solution. Furthermore, Rosebraugh writes that “it is literally impossible to create fundamental political and social change by strictly adhering to only those methods approved by the government.”