Smoky Mountains Sunrise
Showing posts with label States' Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label States' Rights. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2012

Virginia Will Not Cooperate with NDAA Detention

Sic Semper Tyrannis!
On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.  We hope South Carolina and other states will soon join the Old Dominion in standing up for freedom and the protection of her people from a tyrannical President and federal government.

HB1160 “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Little Rebellion

From Chronicles Magazine
By Clyde N. Wilson

Scandalously, Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and is as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

In the same year, 1787, in regard to what is known as Shays’ Rebellion, he wrote another friend, “God forbid that we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” A lack of rebelliousness among the people would demonstrate “a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

The “rebellion” in Massachusetts had alarmed many, especially the masters of that commonwealth, who were imbued with a Puritan longing for regulated behavior and saw the tax revolt of Capt. Daniel Shays and his farmers as a threat to their control. In Jefferson’s perspective, the “rebels” were merely adhering to good American practice. What, indeed, had the recent War of Independence amounted to but resistance to heavy-handed government? And such rebellions against unsatisfactory government officials and policies had been a regular occurrence during the long colonial history of the Americans, especially in the Southern colonies.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reasserting Federalism in Defense of Liberty

Ken Cuccinelli was elected the Attorney General of Virginia in November 2009. From 2002-2009 he was a member of the Virginia State Senate. Prior to that he was a partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli and Day, where he specialized in business law. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he has an M.A. in international relations from George Mason University and a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law and Economics.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 1, 2011, in the “First Principles on First Fridays” lecture series sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.

SOME FAVORITE VIRGINIANS OF MINE who inspired and crafted our federal Constitution—Mason, Madison, Jefferson, and Henry—also drafted the Constitution of Virginia. And in the latter, they included a critical statement that said, “No free government, nor the blessings of liberty, can be preserved . . . but by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

Our founders well understood that our liberty could not be preserved without frequently referring back to first principles. But while they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to defend those principles, we have often taken them for granted, as we have become complacent in thinking that government will take care of every problem.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oklahoma Voters May Nullify Fed Health Care Law in November

From LifeSiteNews
By Peter J. Smith

Voters in Oklahoma will be given a chance in November to decide whether they want to reject the core of the recently-enacted national health care reform, which includes taxpayer-funded abortion and requires individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, thanks to a legislative action that bypassed the objections of pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Brad Henry.

The state’s House of Representatives approved Senate Joint Resolution 59 with a strong bipartisan majority of 88-9. SJR 59 allows citizens to vote up or down a state constitutional amendment that would prohibit “forced participation in a health care system,” and allow individuals to pay directly for health services and carry private health insurance.

The House had waited to act on the Senate resolution, in hopes of overriding the governor’s veto of a resolution that would have enacted the ban via statute. However, after the veto override attempt failed last week, the House enacted the version putting the question to voters.

Because the SJR 59 is a referendum question, the decision will bypass the governor and go directly to the people on the November 2 state ballot. The measure is based on American Legislative Exchange Council’s model Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.

If enacted, Oklahoma will follow the lead of Virginia, Idaho, and Arizona in challenging President Barack Obama’s signature legislation on the basis of state law, but with a twist: the Virginia challenge to the health care bill is based on a state statute, while Oklahoma would up the ante with a constitutional amendment.

Voters in Florida and Arizona will also go to the polls in November to vote on constitutional amendments opting their states out of the national health care law.

“This constitutional amendment will provide Oklahomans with a powerful legal protection against the federal government’s attempt to insert itself into everyday decisions that affect their finances and health,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (R-Oklahoma City), the measure’s sponsor in the House.

He said that legislators were “adamant” that Oklahomans have an opportunity to reject a federal takeover of their health care.

“States have the authority to protect the liberty of their citizens,” Thompson said. “Clearly a close, functional relationship between doctors and their patients is preferable to one dictated by the federal government.”

Gov. Henry’s office condemned the passage of SJR 59, saying that the resolution would only drive Oklahoma into a futile lawsuit with the federal government that would be ruled unconstitutional for conflicting with federal law.

Twenty states are already suing the federal government for constitutional overreach in enacting President Obama’s health care reform.

The attorneys general of Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Utah, Alabama, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Arizona have filed a joint lawsuit in US District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Virginia is engaged in a separate lawsuit filed with the federal district court in Richmond, where the Justice Department has filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the case.

In all cases, the states assert that the federal mandate on individuals carrying health insurance or pay penalties, violates the prohibition against the direct taxation of individuals outlined in Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the US Constitution. They also invoke the Tenth Amendment reserving to states all powers not delegated to the federal government.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

After Arizona, Why are 10 States Considering Immigration Bills?

The Arizona immigration law set off a national powder keg. But state lawmakers are not shying away from the issue – and some appear to be inspired by Arizona.

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, seen here speaking at a Feb. 15 news conference, has called for his state to launch a crackdown on illegal immigration similar to the one passed by Arizona. John Prieto/The Denver Post/AP

From The Christian Science Monitor
By Daniel B. Wood

Given the anger sparked by Arizona's immigration bill nationwide – including protests and calls to boycott Arizona – the campaign promises of Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis could be seen as a bit of a surprise.

He has vowed to follow Arizona's lead and pass a tough new anti-illegal immigration law. “We are stopping the retreat. No more retreat,” he said in a local radio interview. “Federal government, if you are not going to do it, we are going to do it.”

Mr. McInnis's comments are but one example of how the Arizona firestorm has hardly scared off politicians in other states around the country. In some cases, it might actually be encouraging them.

Oklahoma is looking at passing tougher penalties for illegal immigrants caught with firearms. South Carolina might make it illegal to hire workers on the side of the road. In addition, state immigration legislation is also being considered in Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, and Colorado.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Thursday, April 8, 2010

State No. 6 Tells Feds to Stuff Their Gun Regs

Arizona declares weapons exempt from national firearms paperwork

A sixth state – Arizona – now has declared that guns made and kept inside its borders essentially are free from federal application, registration and ownership regulations in a surging movement among states that one supporter describes as a direct challenge to "a government monopoly on the supply of firearms."

Read the rest of this entry >>

Monday, March 22, 2010

12 States Ready to Launch Lawsuits against Federal Health Care Law

From LifeSiteNews
By Peter J. Smith

Virginia and eleven other states are readying the first battle with the federal government over the newly passed health care legislation, with their state attorneys general prepared to argue that the impending law and its mandates to buy health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution, and trample on individual and states’ rights. The lawsuits are poised to begin as soon as President Barack Obama has signed the now Congressionally-approved health care bill into law.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli first announced his plans to file suit in Richmond, saying the Constitution gives Congress no authority under the interstate commerce clause to force Americans to buy a product, let alone health insurance.

The new health care law requires that every American carry health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine to the Internal Revenue Service.

“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,” Cuccinelli declared in a statement.

“We believe the federal law is unconstitutional as it is based on the commerce clause. Simply put, not buying insurance is not engaging in commerce,” the attorney general added.

Cuccinelli warned that if the premise behind the law is accepted, then Congress has unlimited authority to regulate the lives of every single American.

“If you are not engaged in commerce, the federal government cannot regulate this inaction. Just being alive is not interstate commerce. If it were, Congress could regulate every aspect of our lives.”

A Cucinelli spokesman told the Washington Post that the attorney general plans to file the lawsuit "as soon as the ink is dry" on the bill signed into law by President Obama.

Eleven other U.S. states so far have banded together in another, separate lawsuit to fight the federal government, citing constitutional overreach in its health care bill. The attorneys general of Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington have banded together to launch the same lawsuit against the federal government.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster denounced the health care legislation as “an assault against the Constitution of the United States.”

“It contains various provisions and federal mandates that are clearly unconstitutional and must not be allowed to stand,” McMaster said in a statement. “The key question involved is whether personal freedom, state sovereignty and constitutional law will survive in America for future generations.”

“A legal challenge by the States appears to be the only hope of protecting the American people from this unprecedented attack on our system of government,” he continued, adding that he felt compelled by the oath he took “to uphold and defend both the United States and South Carolina constitutions.”

Idaho, which passed a bill mandating its attorney general sue the federal government if national health care reform were enacted, will likely join the fray once President Obama has signed the bill.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has also stated that he is in the process of considering legal challenges to the health care legislation.

Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey has also asked Attorney General Bob Cooper to investigate waging a lawsuit against the federal government over the health care legislation.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, over 36 states are considering some form of legislative action that would protect their citizens from different aspects of President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

South Carolina Senate Strikes a Blow for Liberty

This is a great day for liberty, and we thank and commend the South Carolina Senate for their support today of the sovereignty resolution (S.424).

Though symbolic, we hope that the House will quickly add their support to this resolution which could lead to the nullification of ObamaCare, should socialized healthcare be foisted on South Carolina by the Democrat Congress.

May this resolution mark a new-found determination by South Carolina's General Assembly to oppose ALL unconstitutional mandates flowing from the federal government. The heart of this reaffirmation of states' rights under the United States Constitution says:

That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the State of South Carolina sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.

Be it further resolved that it is the policy of the State of South Carolina that:

No law shall interfere with the right of a person to be treated by or receive services from a health care provider of that person's choice;

No law shall restrict a person's freedom of choice of private health care systems or private health care plans of any type;

No law shall interfere with a person's or an entity's right to pay directly for lawful medical services; and

No law shall impose a tax, penalty, or fine, of any type, for choosing a health care provider, to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Be it further resolved that it is the policy of the State of South Carolina that the Attorney General will challenge the constitutionality of any provision enacted by the United States Congress that would violate any of the policies established by this resolution and join with other states that are like-minded to make such a challenge.

Be it further resolved that no state agency, agent, department, instrumentality, or subdivision shall cooperate or participate in any way with any mandate passed by Congress upon notification by the Attorney General that the mandate has been successfully challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction, and further provided that there is not an order to the contrary by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Be it further resolved that the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the Citizens of South Carolina and the State of South Carolina freedom from all laws and mandates that violate the rights granted under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Be it further resolved that this resolution serves as notice and demand to the federal government, as South Carolina's agent, to cease and desist immediately all mandates that are beyond the scope of the federal government's constitutionally delegated powers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Will 2010 be the Year of the 10th Amendment?

Will 2010 be the year of the 10th? According to Tenth Amendment Center founder, Michael Boldin, "With people looking to resist D.C. through state laws on everything from national health care to medical marijuana, the 10th Amendment appears ready to be front and center in the national debate this year."

In 2009, seven states passed sovereignty resolutions under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Two states passed laws nullifying some federal firearms laws and regulations. States with Medical Marijuana laws in direct opposition to federal laws reached thirteen. In 2010, some expect the ante to be raised significantly.

"Already, over a dozen states are considering laws or state constitutional amendments that would effectively ban, or nullify, any proposed national health care plan in their state, and we expect that number to reach at least twenty in 2010," said Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. "In conjunction with 20+ states that have already said "No" to the Bush-era Real ID act, another dozen or more considering state laws to nullify federal gun laws, and the steady growth of states refusing to comply with federal marijuana laws, some might consider what we see today to be an unprecedented state-level rebellion to the federal government."

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state nullifies a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or non-effective, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.

"Nullification has been used to stand up for free speech, resist the fugitive slave laws, reduce tariffs and more. It's a peaceful and effective way to resist the federal government, and might be our only hope for moving towards the constitution. Legislators drawing this kind of line in the stand should be commended," said Boldin.

Grassroots activists around the country are looking to the Tenth Amendment and nullification to bolster their efforts too. Tenth Amendment rallies are planned in at least 10 states before the end of January, including Virginia, Washington, Alabama and Texas. "These aren't tea party protests, or tax protests, or any of the other topics that were popular last year," said Boldin. "These are rallies solely in support of the 10th Amendment, State Sovereignty or Nullification - something that indicates a major shift from the grassroots, and shows potential for the growth of a popular mass movement in support of the Tenth."

A recent article in the New York Times included "Tenther" as a top buzzword for 2009. In response, Boldin said, "With people looking to resist D.C. through state laws on everything from national health care to medical marijuana, the 10th Amendment appears ready to be front and center in the national debate once again this year."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Health Care Nullification: Who Will Begin the Process in South Carolina?

One can only wonder at what price Senator Ben Nelson sold his soul and his vote in agreeing to support ObamaCare. Or what threats of blackmail the White House thugs may have used on the pathetic Nelson; but his betrayal will only strengthen the much needed revolution underway. It is a revolution of resurgent states' rights and the refusal by every citizen to don shackles. We are beginning to learn that the exercise of Constitutional rights is their surest protection.

Who will begin the nullification process in South Carolina?

“The several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government.”

–Thomas Jefferson

From The Tenth Amendment Center
By Michael Boldin

For the past few days, I’ve received loads of emails urging me to get active regarding the healthcare vote – most of which had a subject line similar to: “Last Chance to Stop National Healthcare!”

Well, if you believe the only way to protect your rights is by begging federal politicians to do what you want, then these emails are certainly right. The vote went as expected, and so will the next.

So if you think marching on D.C. or calling your Representatives, or threating to “throw the bums out” in 2010 or 2012 or 20-whatever, is going to further the cause of the Constitution and your liberty – you might as well get your shackles on now. Your last chance has come and gone.

But, those of you who visit this site regularly already know that the Senate’s health care vote is far from the end of things – and you also know that even when it goes into effect (which I assume some version will), it’s still not the end of the road for your freedom.

The real way to resist DC is not by begging politicians and judges in Washington to allow us to exercise our rights…it’s to exercise our rights whether they want to give us “permission” to or not.

Nullification – state-level resistance to unconstitutional federal laws – is the way forward.

When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned.

It’s peaceful, effective, and has a long history in the American tradition. It’s been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.

Regarding nullification and health care, there’s already a growing movement right now. Led by Arizona, voters in a number of states may get a chance to approve State Constitutional Amendments in 2010 that would effectively ban national health care in their states. Our sources here at the Tenth Amendment Center indicate to us that we should expect to see 20-25 states consider such legislation in 2010.

20 States resisting DC can do what calling, marching, yelling, faxing, and emailing has almost never done. Stop the feds dead in their tracks.

For example, 13 states are already defying federal marijuana prohibition, and the federal government is having such a hard time dealing with it that the Obama administration recently announced that they would no longer prioritize enforcement in states that have medical marijuana laws.

Better yet, in the last 2+ years more than 20 states have been able to effectively prevent the Real ID Act of 2005 from being implemented. How did they do that? They passed laws and resolutions refusing to comply with it. And today, it’s effectively null and void without ever being repealed by Congress or challenged in court.

While the Obama administration would like to revive it under a different name, the reality is still there – with massive state-level resistance, the federal government can be pushed back inside its constitutional box. Issue by issue, law by law, the best way to change the federal government is by resisting it on a state level.

That’s nullification at work.

Over the years, wise men and women warned us that the Constitution would never enforce itself. The time is long overdue for people to start recognizing this fact, and bring that enforcement closer to home.

The bottom line? If you want to make real change; if you want to really do something for liberty and for the Constitution…focus on local activism and your state governments.

Thomas Jefferson would be proud!

Michael Boldin is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center

Friday, August 7, 2009

Obama's Imperial Decree: Target Oklahoma

By Bryce Shonka

Remember the good old days, when one only had to watch out for the Federal Government’s twisted interpretation of the commerce clause to justify tyranny?

Well those days seem to be long gone. The Obama Administration has been employing an old tactic lately – what some might call an imperial threat – and they’re not doing it overseas, either.


The state of Oklahoma is now the target of a direct challenge from US Attorney General Eric Holder, who is using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as justification to violate Oklahoma’s sovereignty as affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

In a letter written to the State Attorney General in April, the Federal government used aggressive language, bringing up the possibility of withholding Federal funds appropriated for Oklahoma. The reason? A proposed amendment to the State Constitution, which requires voter approval, that would make English the official language of the State.

“What it indicates is the Federal Government’s contempt for the states, in this case Oklahoma, and for the idea of federal — as opposed to national — government. AG Holder believes that Oklahoma is an administrative subdivision of the USA, and that it is perfectly right for him to coerce Oklahomans to do his will. Who cares whether he has ever been to Oklahoma, met an Oklahoman, or thought about Oklahoma?” said Kevin Gutzman, an American historian and New York Times bestselling author.

Oklahoma is not alone as a state challenged by central authority in recent months. Recently, federal firearms licensees in Tennessee and Montana received a letter from another Federal agency, the ATF, who had also issued a decree wrought with hubris - claims by the Federal government of their legal supremacy across the land.


“Both of these letters, particularly this letter to the Attorney General of Oklahoma, are very officious,” observed Rob Natelson, professor of law at the University of Montana. “It reminds one eerily of the kinds of communications that started to come out from the Emperor to the local cities of the Roman Empire, beginning the course of the ultimate destruction of local government.”

Professor Natelson is a widely-recognized expert on the framing and adoption of the United States Constitution, and on several occasions, he has been the first to uncover key background facts about the Constitution’s meaning. I knew this before our conversation. What I didn’t know, however, was that he’s also been studying Roman Law and history for the past 50 years, and is responsible for several works in that field.

“During the 2nd century AD, the Roman Emperors began increasingly to interfere with local government and they did this with…letters…letters that look something like this,” continued Natelson, indicating the letter from Holder to Oklahoma. “They started out as almost advisory and they got increasingly peremptory. By the end of the 2nd century, there was very little local government left. You had very few people, therefore, willing to participate in local elections; very little patriotic spirit towards one’s own province or city. And this was the harbinger for the ultimate centralization of the Roman Empire.”

He continued with a strong, decisive tone, “Almost everyone who’s studied in that area agrees that the effect was to sap the life out of the empire, so that everything flowed to the center. All that counted was the Emperor and his bureaucrats…and his courtiers. I look at this and I see this letter which gets close to looking like an order from the central government down to a sovereign state legislature, and I say…WOW. This looks like something that Septimius Severus would have sent to the local officials.”

In Columbus, Ohio last weekend, a rally in support of State Sovereignty drew around 7,000 people. Judge Andrew Napolitano addressed the rally and made similar comments indicating the nature of our current point in US history.

“In the long history of the world, very few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. This is that moment and you are that generation”


Are these men ‘crying wolf’?

“Some people might think that’s a far fetched analogy but I can’t emphasize enough how important this development is seen by historians. When people think of the collapse of the Roman Empire they think of the fall of Rome in 476 AD. The conversion of Rome from a relatively free state - almost a Federation - into a totalitarian state, really picked up speed and accelerated during the 2nd century [AD], with this increasing intermeddling by the central authorities in local state government. That’s what it reminded me of,” recalled Natelson.

“[The DOJ] are not violating any law by sending these letters, but there’s a change in tone, there’s a new and disturbing tone in them. At least the ATF letter was addressed to individuals. This one is addressed to a state legislature - really, it’s a bit much. Besides the fact that there’s the tone, there’s the fact that they sent the letters at all. Most of the letters that were sent out by the emperor were called rescripts, and that’s almost what [the letter from Holder] looks like. The one difference is that a rescript was usually a reply to a request for advice. In some ways this is worse than a rescript because this is unsolicited. A better way to compare it would be to an imperial constitutio - an imperial decision or decree.” Natelson added.

His Roman analogy is worth considering, for several reasons. Rome may have ended up a brutal dictatorship, but it began through a series of treaties between regions, and in some ways parallels present day America.

“When you draw comparisons between the U.S. and ancient Rome, you have to be very cautious, though Rome does have lessons to offer us and the history and results of the relentless centralization of the Empire is one of them,” Natelson continued.


If there’s a case to be made that the US is headed for the same sort of central plan that sucks the life out of a Republic, it would be difficult to imagine who in the United States could be encouraged by such a trend, outside of DC’s beltway.

“Certainly state legislators in Oklahoma and congressmen from Oklahoma should put the Federal Government on notice that they will support a substantial reduction in the budget for Holder’s portion of the federal bureaucracy so long as he is trying to coerce them in this way.” recommended Gutzman.

Worldwide trends in recent political elections do exhibit signs of a move away from central planner candidates, a trend the United States has been contrary to for nearly a decade, but perhaps the pendulum has reversed itself.

“As the economy grows increasingly complicated, increasingly interdependent and increasingly technological, centralized control (which never worked very well) works less and less, and people are less willing to stand for it. This reflects a visceral gut reaction people have against centralized control, because they know from their own life it makes no sense, though it always takes time for those mega-trends to filter into the political class,” Natelson continued. “Eventually, when a mule gets hit over the head enough times it figures out what’s going on, and eventually the politicians will figure out what’s going on, too.”

People in the US are coming together by the thousands, demanding decentralization and nullification of Federal powers. Never before have the political elites had to contend with a non-partisan political force on such a massive scale. A storm seems to be brewing; a maelstrom of everyday Americans rallying around the document designed to keep the government in fear of the people - instead of the other way around.

Bryce Shonka [send him email] is Media and Grassroots director for the TenthAmendmentCenter

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bailing the Capitalists: Our Southern Fathers Told Us What To Expect

From Chronicles
By Clyde N. Wilson

“ . . . and bank-notes will become as plentiful as oak leaves.” —Thomas Jefferson

“They [the people], and not the rich are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labours and our amusements . . . our people . . . must come to labour sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses . . . .” —Thomas Jefferson

“But an opinion that it is possible for the present generation to seize and use the property of future generations has produced to both parties concerned, effects of the same complexion with the usual fruits of national errour. The present age is cajoled to tax and enslave itself, by the errour of believing that it taxes and enslaves future ages to enrich itself.” —John Taylor of Caroline

“A crocodile has been worshipped, and its priesthood have asserted that morality required the people to suffer themselves to be eaten by the crocodile.” —John Taylor of Caroline

“We are now making an experiment, which has never yet succeeded in any region or quarter of the earth, at any time, from the deluge to this day. With regard to the antediluvian times, history is not very full; but there is no proof that it has ever succeeded, even before the flood.” —John Randolph of Roanoke

“I said that this Government, if put to the test—a test that it is by no means calculated to endure—as a government for the management of the internal concerns of this country, is one of the worst that can be conceived . . . .” —John Randolph of Roanoke

“Why should the government pay the expenses of one class of men rather than another?” —John C. Calhoun

“A habit of profusion and extravagance has grown up utterly inconsistent with republican simplicity and virtue, and which was rapidly sapping the foundation of our government.” —John C. Calhoun

“It was impossible to force the minds of the public officers to the importance of attendance to the public money, because we had too much of it.” —John C. Calhoun

“It has been justly stated by a British writer that the power to make a small piece of paper, not worth one cent, by the inscribing of a few names, to be worth a thousand dollars, was a power too high to be trusted to the hands of mortal man.” —John C. Calhoun

“The banks have ceased to be mere moneyed incorporations. They have become great political institutions, with vast influence over the welfare of the community . . . .” —John C. Calhoun, 1837

“We must curb the Banking system, or it will certainly ruin the country.” —John C. Calhoun

“Special Privilege, corporate greed, concentrated wealth are divided throughout our Union between those who call themselves Republicans and those who call themselves Democrats, but the difference in name will not forever succeed in hiding from the people the fact that the Democrats of that sort want exactly the same government favors which are demanded by Republicans of that sort . . . . Through cunningly devised tax systems, bond systems, currency systems, bank systems . . . . these modern Highwaymen get boundless booty with minimum risk . . . . Under the Banking and Bonded Systems, all the Roads of Produce lead to the Rome of Imperial Plutocracy . . . . A fight over the offices there may be, and will be; but never a fight over principles.” —Thomas E. Watson, Southern Populist, 1916

“The present corporate economy cannot do other than oppose the private economy; it must by its very nature continue to lessen private opportunity and the security of the individual; and it must very often and finally propose the corporate exploitation of every individual and private right.” —Richard B. Ransom

“The essence of finance/capitalism is not free trade but free money.” —Richard B. Ransom

“The government is the executive committee of great wealth.” —Frank L. Owsley, Southern Agrarian, 1936

From its beginnings, the U.S. government was regarded by Southerners as a matter of liberty, honour, and American mutuality. From its beginnings, the predominant class in the North regarded the government as a source of profits. Southerners saw the Constitution as the people’s control over government power. Northerners saw it as an instrument to be manipulated to their advantage. This difference came to a head in the struggle between Hamilton and Jefferson. Jefferson and his friends (John Randolph, John Taylor, etc.) called Hamilton, Adams, and their friends “monarchists.” By this was meant not only that they favoured kingship, which they did, but that they wanted a strong central government built on patronage to the wealthy (at the expense of the ordinary hard-working producers). The patronage was to be paid through national debt, manipulation of the currency, and various types of business subsidy, which were falsely claimed to be necessary and beneficial to all Americans.

Jefferson and his friends (including a valiant minority of Northerners) managed to hold Hamilton’s schemes in abeyance for two generations, although they were constantly and aggressively put forward. Lincoln’s conquest and near-destruction of the South established the Northern program without any effective check. Yet Jeffersonian ideals continued to wield a certain power long afterward, right up to World War II. It is this Jeffersonianism that is the main theme of Southern history, and not slavery as trendy “scholars” today claim. The regime of the Republican George W. Bush and the Democrat Barack Obama (there is no difference) has now delivered the final death blow to the system of government and to the ideals of freedom established by our forefathers. The Constitution no longer exists except as a collection of minor procedural rules. The distinction between government spending for public purposes and for private profits has been abolished, as has the distinction between federal spending for national purposes and for merely local purposes. The government is now making sure that the economy is frozen so that those who are presently wealthy will remain so and that your and my children and grandchildren will pay the price in a diminished life.

Clyde N. Wilson is a contributing editor to Chronicles. A retired professor of history at the University of South Carolina, he is the author of numerous books, including Carolina Cavalier: The Life and Mind of James Johnston Pettigrew and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. He is the editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Palin to Feds: Alaska is a Sovereign State

Constitutional rights reasserted in growing resistance to Washington

Resolutions affirming state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution have passed in seven states and have been introduced in twenty-nine other states. In South Carolina, H3509 passed in the House on 02-26-09, but the Senate resolution, S-424, was referred to subcommittee, where it died. In six other states the resolution has also passed in only one chamber of the legislature.

This movement to restore the Constitution and particularly the rights of states under its Tenth Amendment is coordinated by The Tenth Amendment Center. The determined efforts of the Obama Administration to grab power and subvert the rights and protections of individual liberty and states' rights make passage of these state resolutions a national imperative. But what is of even greater need are state leaders willing to stand up and assert those rights in policy and refuse the federal bribes, paid with state taxpayer money, that have done so much to erode the protections the founding fathers provided. Funded and unfunded federal mandates imposed by federal authorities must be vigorously resisted.

Support for this movement to restore state sovereignty should be a litmus test for anyone wishing to represent the people as a state or federal legislator. Legislators need to be asked why a resolution affirming the Constitution and its Bill of Rights is controversial.

A directory to the legislators of all fifty states is available here.

From WorldNetDaily
By Chelsea Schilling

Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.

Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution "claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Restore the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution Now!

We are delighted to learn that Senator Larry Martin, R-Pickens, chairman of the South Carolina Senate Rules Committee, has asked that chamber to give priority status on the Senate calendar to a resolution affirming our state's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This resolution is sweeping through the states, and plans are being developed for more concerted action among the states, to ensure that the federal government abides by the Constitution in the future.

As one would expect, Democrats have criticized this legislation as symbolic and having no "weight of law" in Washington.

We believe that a vote on this legislation will be enormously important in helping South Carolina voters sort out those state legislators who believe in the Constitution, from those who do not. Also, this should be a first step toward collaboration among states in standing up for their sovereign rights. Over twenty-seven states are considering or have enacted the resolution.

When these states unite in refusing the unfunded mandates, the unconstitutional interference in state matters, and refuse the shekels that are invariably followed by shackles, our republic will be restored and renewed in liberty and justice for all.

Those South Carolina legislators unwilling to stand up for the sovereignty of South Carolina should get out of Freedom's way. If they do not, voters will have a grave responsibility to remove them.

In the following video, Governor Rick Perry, a Governor cut from the same cloth as Governor Sanford, endorses the resolution introduced in the Texas legislature.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Historic Opportunity to Reassert States' Rights

Francis Marion, South Carolina's First Freedom Fighter

If ever there was a time for state leaders to stand up for freedom and the Constitutional rights and sovereignty of their states and say "no" to an increasingly fascist, thug-run federal government, this is it. Is Governor Sanford the only elected leader in South Carolina who sees what is at stake? Is there anyone else who recognizes the historic opportunity and the need to defend the rights and freedoms of our people and institutions? How can anyone reading the following editorial in today's Washington Times not recognize both the dangers and the opportunities that confront us?

South Carolina needs more than websites, transparency and public relations campaigns; it needs bold and decisive leadership.

The Roach Motel

Banks are getting trapped in TARP

Editorial from The Washington Times

Government bailout funds are the roach motel for financial institutions - they check in, but they can't check out.

Banks that were forced to take bailout money are running into political obstacles that prevent them from repaying it. The White House is unwilling to give up the additional control over the banks - the ability to make operational decisions, fire executives and dictate pay scales - that the bailout funds allow. All this has happened as the Congressional Budget Office has raised the estimated cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program to taxpayers by almost $200 billion to a total bill of $356 billion.

In many cases, this government dependency is not the fault of the banks because many were being run responsibly. According to Fox News judicial analyst and New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, banks with no financial problems were forced to sell stock to the government or face the threat of costly and harassing public audits. This happened to banks that had "no bad debt, no credit default swaps, no liquidity problems, and no subprime loans" and didn't want or need any government funds. Judge Napolitano called the government actions what they are: "classic extortion."

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