The Partial Mistake of Relying on the 10th Amendment

10th AmendmentThis is primarily going to be a work of opinion rather than fact gathering and research this evening. And that might mean that the article ends up not being all that long. But I think that this is important and should be discussed so that we don’t fall prey to making the same mistakes on a smaller scale. My focus tonight is on the recent 10th Amendment movements. I believe I recall the number being 34 of the states have taken action in some form to reaffirm state’s rights under the 10th Amendment. I support those who are making that move, but not for the same reason as many others are supporting them. So I want to discuss them, and their reasoning, and the flaw in thinking that this is the ultimate answer to the problems that we face in dealing with government today.

What does the 10th Amendment say? Simple enough:

Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People
(Ratified 12/15/1791).

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.

Bill of RightsI think that seems pretty straight-forward, although there are many in Washington DC and throughout the states that seem to have no concept of it, or are willing to ignore the 10th Amendment in order to “serve the greater good”. Remember those that tell you this fallacy, that it is OK to ignore state’s rights in order to serve the greater good. Because those folks will be willing to ignore any of the other rights that the Constitution points out that we have (and never forget how I worded it, the document points out that we have those rights, not that it grants them to us, an important distinction). So in light of the federal government ignoring the 10th Amendment, we have seen a large number of people supporting the idea of states reaffirming their rights under this premise.

Now here is where I am struggling with this concept. Many of you on this site, in our discussions, have espoused two distinct things that you support, albeit having done so in different conversations. It is clear that a majority on this site support the idea of state’s rights and the reaffirmation of them. We have conversations and you make comments saying so. In other conversations, many of those same folks support the idea of VDLG, or more specifically scrapping the concept of government as it stands and finding a more moral or or ethical way forward. You see government as it exists today as “bad”. This may or may not put you in direct contradiction. Each of you will have to answer this for yourself once I explain what I mean.

Don't Tread on Me RedLet me say up front that this does not apply to folks who are more in line with G.A. Rowe. GA does not contradict himself whatsoever in this concept. He supports a return to the roots of the Constitution. He does not waver from that, and I respect that he doesn’t contradict himself in this way. He believes that the government, as defined in the Constitution, will work for the people and can be controlled and used wisely. So this article is in no way aimed at him. That debate is for a different time, and wages between GA and BF regularly.

But for the rest of you, you have to answer for yourself if this contradiction exists in your thinking. This is for those who believe that the federal government is stealing when they collect most taxes. This is for those who are beginning to grasp the concept of individual liberty and our inherent right to it. For those who believe in their heart that government, through the use of immoral measures infringes on that right. For those who believe that the representatives we elect no longer work to represent us. For those who believe that government should not take from one person via force to give to another person. For those who believe that all the bad things that BF, JAC, PeterB, myself, and others are saying about the government we are seeing in Washington DC and the need for a real change, not Obama’s version…..

Jefferson Change We Can Believe InWhy is the state government any different?

Because it is smaller? State governments still collect taxes against our will. State governments still take from you by force to give to someone else. State governments still force their will upon you. State governments still force other people’s will upon you. State governments still impose on business, ruin public education, enforce through violence, lie to our faces, and take from us the fruits of our labor. State governments are exactly the same as the federal government…. only smaller. If we agree that what government is doing is immoral, then why is it less immoral if it is done by your state government? Or even your local government?

Folks I submit to you that supporting a 10th Amendment movement for the reason that you think state government is “better”, is insane. If you want to support a 10th Amendment movement, then how about we move right past the “are reserved to the states respectively” and go right to “or to the people”. Wouldn’t that make more sense?

Now with that all being said, I promised to explain why it is, if this contradiction can exist, that I would support the 10th Amendment movement that is going on. And my answer is simple, because it is a step in the right direction. The problem with the federal government is the centralization of power. All the power of government is centered in Washington DC, in the hands of 545 people. And those 545 people who have ALL the power, are not interested in helping us. They don’t care if the sick have health care. They don’t care if the economy improves. They don’t care if Bob the Builder loses his house. They care about power, and that is why for 100 years they have worked to consolidate and centralize it in Washington DC, in federal government.

Rights Breakdown BumperDecentralization is the first step in getting the power back into the hands of the people, because in the end the people are the ONLY ones who care about their individual liberty. The state government is smaller. And smaller means more able to be opposed by the people. You have heard from some of us that the only hope for change is at the local level. Because that is the only place where you can effect real change; at home, where the issues matter to a high percentage of voters. If we can decentralize the federal government and get a majority of the power in the hands of the states, we have accomplished step one.

Live Free or DieIf we have done that we can begin to decentralize the power of the state (or not, it is up to the people of that state) in order to get the majority of the power into the hands of local governments. And local governments are where we have the ability to organize and really affect change to how things work. If you know taxing the crap out of the wealthy in your town means that they will pick up and move to the nearest town that doesn’t tax the crap out of them, you might think a lot harder about stealing from Peter to pay Paul. More importantly, at the local level you can organize and find ways to fund what needs funding without the need to collect taxes against the will of people. And don’t tell me it can’t work, because tribes of people all over the world have governments that look nothing like the government as we view it today, that serve the public good without doing the harm that our version of government does.

So now I will leave it to all of you to tell me where I am wrong, what I am missing. I am sure that I am missing something because I didn’t research and I took a very general approach to this subject.

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Comments

  1. Cyndi P says:

    Hey USW. I agree with you on this. The 10th Ammendment is only a start. There is still the issue of the clueless voter. Some states are in pretty bad shape, while others are still in good shape.

    Smaller is better, but you still need voters and leaders with integrity. Without that, you just have a smaller mess. So, where are the voters and leaders with integrity to be found these days? Once they’re found, how is the Left’s smear machine over come? I believe Sarah Palin does have integrity, but look how the Left treats her. Is the answer to vote for the candidate the Left hates the most? 😉

  2. Hey, USW . . .

    I know that this was not aimed at me, however I need to say something here. You are right on the nailhead about the tenth amendment being the first step, because it is the first step that I see we need to take to get our Federal Government back under control – and that is with a call by a two thirds majority of the States calling for a Constitutional Amendment Convention. Anyway, that is my idea.

    About the States asserting their States Rights under the Tenth Amendment, well if the individual States can pull together and do that then we in those individual states have a better shot at getting our State Government back under control as by doing the aforementioned the State Governments will be heading in the right direction and all we folks have to do then is just give them a good nudge in the right direction to complete the process.

    In closing I have to say that this is one of the better posts that you have done. It should bring out more conversation about real things rather than concentrate on philosophy (philosophy discussions are a good thing, but not while we are in free fall about how we should pull the ripcord and with which hand – you can run out of sky that way).

    FYI – I will be out of touch for the better part of August. Taking a little trip with my blushing bride of 40+ years . . . 😉

    • GA:

      Why can’t any one State sue the Federal gov’t about any one subject where the Federal government has usurped the State’s/Peoples right to (or not to) legislate?

      Let this one subject be taken through the Federal court system for ajudication by the Supreme Court.

      If the Supreme Court agrees, the States can just go about ignoring the Federal gov’t directives on States Right issues. Suing them whenever they try and withhold Federal monies to force compliance or instead directing all business in the State to forward all Federal monies to the State for transfer to the Federal gov’t.

      If the Supreme Court disagrees, we know there is no such thing as State Rights and I am sure that this would make a majority of the States want to call a Constitutional Convention.

      Not sure I know what I am talking about here so attack the idea.

      If the People will stand up to get the State to stand up we can put down the Federal government where it oversteps boundaries.

      GarthD
      Stand Up, Stand Up for State Rights

      • Black Flag says:

        Garth,

        Do you really believe the FEDERAL courts will rule against the FEDERAL government?

        • BF:

          No, but, don’t you have to prove the invalidity of the Federal court system – before, you can say you have tried.

          GarthD
          Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

          • Black Flag says:

            I suppose slamming one’s head into a brick wall does validate the “at least I tried”. Painful, though.

            The challenge I see is that it is merely a ploy by the State to say that they tried.

            They will make statements, stomp around, and then fall back in line. They will say to the People “See, we tried but the law of the land says “No”. Now everyone go home and pay your taxes”.

            • BF:

              “They will make statements, stomp around, and then fall back in line. They will say to the People “See, we tried but the law of the land says “No”. Now everyone go home and pay your taxes”.”

              This could happen but a State could also stop following Federal dictate and let the chips fall as they may. Texas might have the fortitude to stand up.

              Surely that will not happen if Kay Bailey Hutchison becomes governor in the next election. She will just bring the federal mentality back from the Senate.

              If the State does not stand up — it is then up to the People to take back their rights. Taxpayers are now full bondage slaves to the non-producers yet they might throw off their chains.

              Two possible scenerios might come into play:
              1) “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”,
              2) “Take This Job and Shove It” by 50% of the top 25% of our taxpayers (Shrug, Atlas, Shrug).

              We were once the country with much liberty — we no longer are.

              If scenerio 1) came about we know what that would mean. History repeating itself.

              If scenerio 2) came about the lack of money being paid to the Federal government would bring it to its knees.

              When the Revolution started it was undertaken knowing that failure would mean bondage to Britain. It was the knowledge of that slavery that gave much impetus to most of the men to stand up.

              The situation in this country is worse than it was at the time of the Revolution. Then they were just turning on the heat under the pot of frogs. Today, the frogs are in danger of being boiled. If that is not enough to cause them to get out of the pan, they deserve their fate — being eaten by their fellow man (a socialist). The nice thing to know in this scenerio is that after all the producers are eaten, it will come down to socialist eating socialist. Having to eat something that foul is fair payment to those who would take from Peter to pay Paul.

              GarthD
              Damn It People — Stand for your RIGHTS

    • GA,

      I’m with you on this, it’s not the answer, but would be a start. I also think the states abusing their power would be resolved by people leaving the oppressive states for those that respect individual rights. Would it not be funny to see California and New York empty except for actors and politicians?

      “May the road rise to meet you,
      May the wind be always at your back,
      May the sun shine warm upon your face,
      The rains fall soft upon your fields,
      And until we meet again,
      May God hold you
      In the palm of his hand.”

      • Cyndi P says:

        LOI,

        A couple of years ago my family had made the decision to leave California. It was no longer affordable. We had decided to move to New Mexico. Unfortunately, the housing market had begun to crash, and the houses went unsold. We didn’t want to lose more money. We believed that the market would come back in a few months, maybe a year. That hasn’t happened. Things have only become worse. I think when when people have nothing left to lose, the exodus will begin in ernest. I wonder where most of the people will go. How many will read the writing on the wall and not just move to another state, but another country? I’m seriously looking into it myself. Right now, the US is still the best place on the planet, but as that change keeps coming, other countries will look more appealing. The thing I find most disturbing is the social climate. The Liberals are full of hate and anger. They are directing it conservatives. Anyone who opposes Obama’s POLICIES is denounced as a racist. No true dialog can take place. I see violence in America’s future. Once that starts, I think we can expect the economy to really tank.

        • Cyndi,

          Sorry about your situation. It might be better to take a loss on your home, if you can sell. A decent three bedroom home costs $65-85,000 here, and you can build for $55 to 65 a sq. ft. A lot depends on you source of income, but rural America has a lot going for it.

          Had a liberal cousin leave L.A., moved to S. Carolina. I wonder how them fleeing the consequences of liberal policies did not awaken some thoughts, but she was/is an Obamanite.

          I have idle thoughts about other countries, but think that even if things get really bad here, most other countries will fare worse than us. I think the south will be the quickest to rebound, centering on Texas.

          Agree on liberals filled with hate and anger. 13.2 vs 2.1
          Wonder what the number of name calling here is? When Flag is insulted, he does not respond or makes a funny.

          Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the Presidential election:

          * Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29
          * Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000
          * Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million
          * Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2.1

          Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory Republicans won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

          Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…”

          On the economy, I think it will tank if they pass another major spending bill, healthcare, cap & trade, stimulus, etc. If no more follow, I think we will have a very slow recovery.

          • Thanks, LOI. My situation is not as bad these days. Two years ago it took a job oversees. I had a feeling the economic situation was going to get a lot worse. I’m now on a government contract. I live in the BQ and eat in the chow hall. My expenses consist of a $30 phone bill and whatever goodies I like to keep in my room. I still have the house. I was living in Florida at the time the family decided to move to NM. I left CA when I was 20 years old. I couldn’t afford it then anymore than I can afford it now. I’m letting my friends live in the house for free. I pay the mortgage and they pay the utilities. He keeps his antique Vette in the garage next to my Hyundai, and his police squad car in the driveway. It helps both of us out.

            My family was very upset that I chose to go overseas again. What can I say? I gotta do what I’ve gotta do. I have some wriggle room now, financially speaking. Not a bunch of money piling up but a little extra at the end of the month. I like the part of the world I’m living in now. I doubt I’ll stay in this particular country. The US government pays lots of money to be here, but it doesn’t seem to make past the politicians and their families. I’m told there’s a lot of corruption. There is a neighboring country that is somewhat better off. I’m looking into that. One of my main concerns is what will happen there if the US declines like I think it will? A weak and bankrupt United States will affect our allies. No matter how much Obama’s supporters believe he will make the world a better place, non supporters in other coutries will have some hard decisions to make. I’ve bought myself some time. I’m watching and evaluating. The next couple of years will be very telling.

            • Cyndi

              Sounds like you will land on your feet no matter what happens. And you are looking where to jump if the need arises. I don’t know anything else any of us can do in today’s world.
              If you can afford to keep the house, there is a good chance it will regain its value in 10-15 years, so think of it as an investment. Every silver lining has a touch of grey.

              Must be getting early, clocks are running late.
              Paint my love a morning sky, its all cold.
              Dawn is breaking everywhere, light a candle, curse the glare
              Draw the curtains I dont care, but its all right
              I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.

              I see youve got your list out, say your piece and kiss off.
              Guess I get the gist of it, but its all right
              Oh well anyway, sorry that you feel that way.
              Every silver linings got a touch of grey
              I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.

              Its a lesson to me, the ablers and the beggars and the thieves
              The abcs we all think of, try to win a little love.

              I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years
              Its even worse than it appears, but its all right

              Cow is giving kerosene, kid cant read at seventeen
              The words he knows are all obscene, but its all right
              I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.

              Shoe is on the hand that fits, thats all there really is to it
              Whistle through your teeth and spit, but its all right

              Oh well a touch of grey, kinda suits you anyway,
              Thats all I had to say, but its all right
              I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.

              Its a lesson to me, the devils and the east and the free
              The abcs we all must face, try to save a little grace.

              Grateful Dead

          • LOI,

            Thanks a ton for the statistical data from Professor Olson – reminds me of the ‘Red map and Blue map’ during the elections. Yet, I am one who espouses that this type of data should be published to the inth degree! Thanx again!

            jps

  3. Hey, USW . . .

    I know that this was not aimed at me, however I need to say something here. You are right on the nailhead about the tenth amendment being the first step, because it is the first step that I see we need to take to get our Federal Government back under control – and that is with a call by a two thirds majority of the States calling for a Constitutional Amendment Convention. Anyway, that is my idea.

    About the States asserting their States Rights under the Tenth Amendment, well if the individual States can pull together and do that then we in those individual states have a better shot at getting our State Government back under control as by doing the aforementioned the State Governments will be heading in the right direction and all we folks have to do then is just give them a good nudge in the right direction to complete the process.

    In closing I have to say that this is one of the better posts that you have done. It should bring out more conversation about real things rather than concentrate on philosophy (philosophy discussions are a good thing, but not while we are in free fall about how we should pull the ripcord and with which hand – you can run out of sky that way).

    FYI – I will be out of touch for the better part of August. Taking a little trip with my blushing bride of 40+ years . . . 😉
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  4. USW – I agree that state government is really no different from the federal, however, you must start somewhere and it seems that if the Fed keeps coming out with all these mandates that states must follow, that is where we must start. Slow down, stop, change at the Fed level then work down to each individual state.

    I’ve tried to keep up with both the Fed activities and my state’s and it is nearly impossible to do! I wish WI would take a stand against the Fed, unfortunately, they want to be just like them. Change is coming though!

    Have a good Friday everyone – GA, safe travels to you and Mrs. GA!

  5. I am all for the decentralization of the majority of federal government. As said by many, it is the logical first step in regaining control…even if I do live in Louisiana where traditionally the State Government is as crooked as any out there. I believe with the current Governer it is better, but the snakes are still out there lurking.

    It is my opinion that the federal government is too far removed to have any type of a grip on state or local level concerns. They are just too enamored with themselves, or that is the impression I get, to be concerned with us “little” people…

  6. I read an interesting article this morning about how several politicians are giving up on doing town hall meetings with their constituents because alot of people who oppose their views are disrupting the meetings.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090731/pl_politico/25646

    It makes me think that these polticians are now just going to outright ignore the people all together and do what they want.

    Getting more power to the individual states is the first step in regaining some form of control over the monster that the federal government has become. I stands to reason that if the politicians at the state level were held more accountable by the people of that state and what their wishes were that they would take that states wishes to the federal level and make a stand for those they represent or lose their cushy jobs come next election. Start locally…city then county then state.

    Problem is getting the people invloved…thats the hard part EXSPECIALLY here in California.

  7. Black Flag says:

    As you know my position on this:

    Federal government over World government
    State government over Federal government
    Civic government over State government
    Community Group over Civic government
    Individuals over Community.

    Each step dissolves the centralization of power.

    If men are evil, therefore we need government – if we centralize the power into government, evil men will take it.

    Consistent decentralization of power will stifle tyranny. It will not eliminate evil men. But it will make them infinitely less dangerous.

    • Black Flag, D13, G. A. Rowe, Kym, Garth, Cyndi P., and the rest of this esteemed audience, greetings!

      BF, your notion of government as explained in the post I’m replying to is precisely what I believed those who were involved in the founding of this nation were trying to do, albeit exponentially. In fact, if one were to engage in historic research there can be no other premise drawn that pursuant to the Magna Charta and other English documents this was the very philosophy the founders utilized.

      In fact, most Constitutional scholars will readily agree with the notion that ‘jury duty’ was one of the first community responsibilities a person had within their respective communities. Moreover, to defray the influence of the known unethical and greedy mongrels at the time, they further demanded that it be by a ‘jury of their peers.’

      Most, if not all of you bring extremely substantive insights and thoughts to this site; and that is why I enjoy my two hours per day or more just hanging out. If I may, I would recommend that each of us again look at the 9th Amend. 10th Amend and especially the 14th Amendment insofar as the 14th is supposed to be the amalgamation of several of the previous Amendments.

      Kym, California gives one of the most marvelous examples of what State’s can do that the Federal government can’t do…in re: Pete Wilson.

      Try and visit…Cheers!

      jps a.k.a. The Thinker

      • Black Flag says:

        Jon-Paul

        The Articles of Confederation were far more closer to the ‘ideal’ than the Constitution.

        The Constitution came to be because it lacked federalism – which Hamilton wanted, and Jefferson fought to avoid.

        A return to the Constitution will not solve a darn thing.

        I agree wholly with the jury duty theory. Juries became the root of all law. They dispensed with evil law and reinforced good law on their decision – immune to legislature. Again, the community always performs better than the State.

        Of course, jury nullification now becomes a reason to remove a juror. The State understands where the power is, and acts overtly against it.

        • BF,

          No argument from me vis-a-vie the Articles of Confederation; indeed, your assessment is perfect regarding the need for federal (or federalism) intervention was tantamount or the ‘United States’ would never have been united. Back then as we all know, the national government was totally dependent upon the states for just about everything.

          The only reason I said anything about the Amendments was simply because I got a brand new book on original meanings and original intent by the framers; however, this book is fascinating with its description of the 14th Amendment. And just as most of the Bill of Rights is misunderstood the author’s of this book were detailed and quite expansive. (If anyone hasn’t noticed I have a propensity for the 14th insofar as it is perhaps the most abused of all the amendments.)

          Just one other issue – although Jefferson wanted a small central government (same with Andrew Jackson!) – his administration was exactly the opposite. And lastly, the notion that the community always performs better than the State is quite indicative of Madison’s fears of big government; meaning, the smaller the governing entity the less availability for corruption. Cheers!

  8. JayDickB says:

    I’m not sure decentralization is a complete answer, but I think it would be a huge step in the right direction. I’m not a believer in “magic bullets” where one major step will cure all or even most of the problems. I think many small steps over time will be required. The reasons I think decentralization (states rights if you will) would be a big improvement are:

    1. Being smaller in every way, especially in the scope of their influence, state governments would not be able to do as much damage. They could do enormous damage in each state, but it would be hard for one state could directly affect the whole country.

    2. The lower down the government chain, the more responsive to citizens governments are likely to be.

    3. States would be in competition with each other on many fronts. This would give people real choices to live in a place where government is more to their liking. States with unwise policies would, over time, depopulate, a politician’s nightmare.

    For decentralization to be effective, the powers of the central government would have to be very severely restricted, probably more than the original constitution envisioned. See my post yesterday. I think yesterday we ended up with two things the central government would have to do:

    1. International affairs and defense, including border security.
    2. Adjudicate disagreements between states.

    There may be others, but that’s all that comes to mind.

    • Black Flag says:

      Your #1 is unnecessary.

      #2 – why should a federal government care about a disagreement between two States? The matter is between them…..

      • JayDickB says:

        #1 Are you saying no defense at all is necessary or just that it could be provided another way?

        #2 So, the states could always work out whatever disagreements they have? Or, they could just remain unresolved?

        • Black Flag says:

          (1) Militia and civilian defense is more than enough to deter attack.

          (2) Personalize it: does an agreement or disagreement (resolved or not) between the two people sitting in the coffee shop across the street make any matter to you?

          • USWeapon says:

            Personalizing it does not work. A disagreement between two states may in fact have an effect on me, or on the federal government.

            • Black Flag says:

              How so?

              You live in Texas and Idaho and Montana have a potato trade problem….
              ….

              …and Texas has what dog in that fight?

              • USWeapon says:

                You take a very simplistic view of the world in this case. First, since we are going to go with simplistic hypotheticals, let’s suppose that I am a produce re-seller who gets my potatoes from Idaho too. A trade problem between the two may end up with Idaho drastically altering the trade agreement with Texas based on the outcome.

                Perhaps I live in Texas but also own a ton of land in Idaho.

                Or perhaps the trade problem in Idaho affects the potato companies that are on the New York Stock Exchange. Potato shares plummet causing a run on Lay’s potato chip stock that I own.

                The point is that the world has become far too connected to assume that a dispute between two states has no impact anywhere else.

                There’s my dog.

  9. Black Flag says:

    But do not hold any hope about the 10th Amend.

    The statement promote the general Welfare and To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; will prevent any serious threat to federal power.

  10. USW….the following is an article that slightly relates to the 10th Amendment and I will have a Supreme Court Ruling on States Rights after that but as it relates to Texas, primarily. I attempted to put in bold, the tenth amendment part and its quotes.

    Texas proves limited government works
    July 29, 2009
    Tax and Budget ReformGovernment ReformCampaign UpdateElection 2010National IssuesState and Local IssuesEconomic Opportunity
    The Washington Times
    Rick Perry
    Austin, Texas, and Washington are a little more than 1,500 miles apart, but the differences in governing philosophy could be measured in light years.
    Both towns feature well-intentioned public servants and impressive capitol domes, but they seem to represent the polar opposites in the ongoing debate over the benefits of limited government.
    In Texas, we have long based our approach on individual liberty and initiative, believing that families, entrepreneurs and individual citizens deserve the opportunity to strive and succeed — with minimal government interference. After regular, 140-day legislative sessions every two years, Texas lawmakers go home to live under the laws they pass.

    Limited time at the Capitol not only requires state leaders to focus on the essentials, it also reduces the mischief unrestrained government can do. Limiting state government in Texas has led to balanced budgets, low taxes, a predictable regulatory climate and a fair legal system.
    For example, our just-concluded legislative session yielded a balanced state budget, tax relief for 40,000 small businesses, and it left $9 billion unspent for future state needs.

    States that have overspent, overtaxed and overregulated have seen greater deficits, job losses and even population loss. Texas proves that fiscal discipline, lawsuit reforms and prioritizing accountable public education can create huge dividends for citizens, taxpayers, employers and government.

    Washington clearly marches to a different drummer, with Congress meeting in seemingly endless session. It seems the majority view inside the Beltway is that a benevolent, all-knowing government can expand, decide and encroach without limit because individual Americans simply cannot be trusted to make right choices. I believe this mind-set is driving the explosive growth of the federal government’s size, spending and intrusiveness.
    America’s Founders would be appalled at the way their federal successors are riding roughshod over individual liberties, contemplating even more tax increases and intruding further into private enterprise.

    Who among them could have imagined federal appointees calling the shots at banks and manufacturers, a budget deficit topping $1.7 trillion and an army of federal auditors descending on nearly every community in America to rifle through the drawers of anyone using stimulus dollars? Who today thinks that Congress and the Obama administration’s big-government plans are the best choice for our personal health care decisions?

    In this era of unprecedented, unfettered government expansion, those of us in “flyover country” have little recourse other than exercising our First Amendment rights by speaking up. That spirit is the guiding force behind the “tea parties” that have sprung up all over America on tax day and on Independence Day, as well as the growing passion for state sovereignty.

    That spirit led me to stand with a bipartisan group of Texas legislators earlier this year to support a resolution honoring the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution simply restated the Constitution’s principle of federalism: Powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or the people.
    Given its traditional passion for the Bill of Rights, I was surprised at the left’s angry reaction when we called to affirm its vital 10th Amendment. Since its founding, our nation and its citizens have been well-served by the principles of federalism, including the premise found on Page 123 of the Federalist Papers: “The State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.”

    Washington’s current fiscal excesses and unprecedented expansion have placed the protections and powers embodied in the 10th Amendment at risk. As the federal government expands before our very eyes, those of us who value freedom are simply sounding the alarm with every means available. We cannot remain silent while the powers-that-be in Washington methodically dismantle the system that has allowed Americans to determine their own destiny, compete on their own merits and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

    I sincerely hope that our nation’s durable principles prevail and keep our states and local communities from becoming mere functionaries of a bloated federal government. Together, citizens across the nation – regardless of political party – can remind this administration and Congress that the Framers of the Constitution deliberately limited the powers of the federal government.

    When Washington’s power to tax, regulate, mandate and meddle is restrained, American families are free to enjoy the liberty upon which our nation was founded. Limited government works.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/29/austin-

  11. Ray Hawkins says:

    ….A perspective with regards to local government – I have worked for and with the smallest units of government – from County government down to Township government and some School Boards. I will offer simply that political machinery, inefficiency, ineffectiveness and lack of economy exists all the way down to those levels – just in varying degrees. I’ve worked with County level row officers that could care less on what is good for the citizenry based on what their offices do – they were simply, like many of their cohorts, on their way to higher office. In the County where I live now there is well entrenched political machinery that runs down to the lowest levels of elected office. To suggest that decomposing power down to that level is the answer is not something I can get on board with. There are ample smart people regardless of affiliation that can get it to work – they are just usually too lazy to do so.

    • I respectfully disagree. When the government is reduced to that level, more control can be had by the PEOPLE. The problem I see with your experience is that that level of government was not in place during your experiences. If it had and most of the control was at a local level, perhaps folks would not be clammering to climb the ladder.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        That is a fallacy Terry – and I know not only local governments are created equal. I live in one of the mostly densely populated Counties in Pennsylvania. The local has several thousand employees and departments too numerous to count. Oddly, it is a Republican dominated County and the majority of row offices and Commissioner seats have always been held Republicans – they apparently can be fans of ‘big government’ as well, even at the local level. A smaller County with a smaller footrpint may indeed be different.

        • Then that is at issue as well. Where is the need of local governments to be so huge? It matters not if it is Republican or Democrate…they are equally as reprehensible as each other. The whole political scene has devolved to a level of finger pointing…no matter which one is in power.

          When one party IS in power such as now, and in the not so distant past, it removes any check and balance that might be in place. If things were on a more local level, perhaps it would embolden people who feel that their say means nothing to speak up and take a more active role in government.

          I don’t believe it could be worse than the current situation…

        • JayDickB says:

          Ray – Hope you recovered from your AC deprivation.

          Local government can be just as bad in its area as federal government. But it doesn’t cover as much area, so the overall damage is not as great. And, if it’s really bad, people won’t move there and will leave if they can. Losing population would not please the politicians and might motivate them to fix things.

          • Jay, I don’t think that works either. I live in Argentine Township in Michigan. Population, approximately 2500. Mostly layed off from GM at the moment. Our local pols, and the ones in the surrounding small towns and townships only think that more money will solve all the problems and keep raising taxes on those of us who are left. Our schools suck and yet all we do is throw money at them. Rewarding bad behavior, as usual.

  12. More on the view of the State of Texas and the 10th Amendment.

    Texas Constitution does state (in Article 1, Section 1) that “Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States…” (note that it does not state “…subject to the President of the United States…” or “…subject to the Congress of the United States…” or “…subject to the collective will of one or more of the other States…”)

    Our current governor believes this and has stated publicly this.

    Both the original (1836) and the current (1876) Texas Constitutions also state that “All political power is inherent in the people … they have at all times the inalienable right to alter their government in such manner as they might think proper.”

    “Likewise, each of the united States is “united” with the others explicitly on the principle that “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” and “whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends [i.e., protecting life, liberty, and property], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government” and “when a long train of abuses and usurpations…evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

    It is this statement that caused an uproar in he Congress of the United States when delivered by our governor.

    Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700, 703 (1868) US Supreme Court (USW, this decision relates largely to secession but affirms the 10th amendment as well)

    The Court, led by Chief Justice Salmon Chase (a Lincoln cabinet member and leading Union figure during the war against the South) pretended to be analyzing the case through the lens of the Constitution, yet not a single element of their logic or line of reasoning came directly from the Constitution — precisely because the Constitution is wholly silent on whether the voluntary association of a plurality of states into a union may be altered by the similarly voluntary withdrawal of one or more states.

    It’s no secret that more than once there had been previous rumblings about secession among many U.S. states (and not just in the South), long before the South seceded. These rumblings met with no preemptive quashing of the notion from a “constitutional” argument, precisely because there was (and is) no constitutional basis for either allowing or prohibiting secession.

    An objective reading of the relevant portions of the White decision reveals that it is largely arbitrary, contrived, and crafted to suit the agenda which it served: presumably (but unconstitutionally) to award to the U.S. federal government, under color of law, sovereignty over the states, essentially nullifying their right to self-determination and self-rule, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, as well as the current Texas Constitution (which stands unchallenged by the federal government).

    Where the Constitution does speak to the issue of powers, they resolve in favor of the states unless expressly granted to the federal government or denied to the states. No power to prevent or reverse secession is granted to the federal government, and the power to secede is not specifically denied to the states; therefore that power is retained by the states, as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment.

    The Texas v. White case is often trotted out to silence secessionist sentiment, but on close and contextual examination, it actually exposes the unconstitutional, despotic, and tyrannical agenda that presumes to award the federal government, under color of law, sovereignty over the people and the states.

    The point that our governor pointed out is not intended as another secession movement but that the Constitution of the United States is silent on this. States Rights have not been taken away except by presumption. The tenth amendment is near and dear to our hearts down here almost as much as the second amendment.

    Now, my knowledge of the entire content of the US Constitution is lacking but I am making myself conversant as we speak. I will research and look for law and amendments to the US Constitution that has changed the wording and intent of the 10th Amendment. I am told that there are no changes but I will research further.

    • Black Flag says:

      The problem with any secessionist movement:

      The right to cede is an inherent right of the People, thus of the any American State.

      But the same argument the State will use against the Feds will be precisely the same argument a group of people will use against the State.

      Once secession becomes an argument, it quickly will dissolve the whole ‘STATE’ top to bottom.

      That is why there are wars. The ‘government’ knows this. It is not to stop a particular entity from coming into existence – it is to stop the dissolving of the entire apparatus of the State itself.

      The Fed. Government attacks the People trying to cede – forcing the People to create a State and government to enforce itself against its parent.

      When the ‘child’ demonstrates its governmental ability – that is proves that it can enforce itself on its own citizens – the parent ceases its war (or wins it if the child is too weak). What is left in place is, of course, another government.

      The threat of secession is the gravest threat to the STATE and all government.

      • Agreed….to your statement that the threat of secession is the greatest threat to the State and all government. I hope you read that I do not, nor do the people of Texas, do not want any part of secession. I am merely showing that even in the case of secession, the Supreme Court made a ruling as it pertained to the 10th Amendment, in that it did not dissolve the 10th Amendment nor did it take State’s rights away. Its ruling was presumptive and, would probably be rendered unconstitutional today. This is the belief of many attorney’s today. AND most importantly, the US has not challenged the validity of States rights as yet. There is a lot of presumption out there but the 10th Amendment is unchanged.

        I am not smart enough to figure out the correct approach but I do believe that Texas will constitutionally challenge any encroachment of the 10th amendment under our (Texas)current beliefs and with our current leadership and this includes most legislators in Texas.

        One very important point. Our governor refused any stimulus money that had any strings attached to it, as I have already pointed out. There were some other governors that were forced to accept stimulus money. I personally feel that one reason that we (Texas) have not been openly challenged is because we will fight it where others have not. We also do not care if the US government denies highway funds or federal funds. Texas has one of the largest economies in the world as an independent State and we can handle our own problems and have proved it in the past. Our budgets are still balanced with some surpluses. The facts, I think, speak for themselves. I can only hope that our independence and our fiscal responsibility and our leadership willing to take a stand on the 10th Amendment will catch on. It is going to be interesting.

        • Black Flag says:

          I am, of course, a secessionist – it is a human right of association (and, thus, disassociation). To force people together is evil.

          I am aware the thread-thin balance that this causes in dealings with a government. They know that one thread will unravel the entire State and government. Hence, it would take the wisdom of Solomon to ensure secession without war. I don’t see any Solomon in government or in the secessionist movement.

          • You are quite correct….so when Texas does decide to become a Republic once again….you moving here?

            • Black Flag says:

              Let me put it this way…..

              …there are a lot of worse places in the world…

            • USWeapon says:

              I am

            • I’m thinking of giving up my (Packer) cheesehead and becoming a Cowboy fan!

              You make a good rep for your state D13! I remember the first time I visited Texas and saw all the “Don’t Mess with Texas” signs; thought it was kind of an unfriendly thing – now I want that!!!!!

      • Flag, found something that reads like your posts. Are you ghost writing on other sites?

        U.S. trade deficit dropped 52 percent between January and May of this year, as compared to the January-through-May periods of the two previous years

        http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4031

        • Black Flag says:

          😉 Of course!

          I write a lot so who knows, but probably not.

          There are a lot of eyes-open, intelligent people (like here on the blog) who figure out things – so it would be natural to have a few think as I do, within the shades of a rainbow.

    • D13:

      Do you have 30 amp power into which I can plug my motorhome.

      GarthD
      On the road again, on the road again — I just can’t wait to be on the road again.

      • But of course…want to drive down to get it?

        • D13:

          I can be there in an hour. I’ve got a trailer to hold the 50 mile long extension cord.

          You have any plans to be at the 9-12 March and Rally in Fort Worth on 9/12. My wife and I will be there.

          Heard Dodd found his prostate cancer thru self examination — while he was conteplating the health care bill — he took a look around.

          GarthD
          Want to be a leader — get in front of a parade

  13. Ray Hawkins says:

    …..Allow me to offer an example from some of my experience in business. I have worked and with and now for companies that seem to rival the combination of Federal and State government entities. Large corporations with many differing and sometimes competing business objectives that grew by varying combinations of organic and inorganic processes (M&A versus internal expansion). In this cases I have seen the advent of highly, but not always (100%), effective shared services models that can enable operation of both centralized and decentralized business processes. For example, in my current company there is high decentralization, largely based on geography, and intentionally done so to put decision making and delivery closer to the localized markets. Centralization is used to facilitate and own fiduciary duties, strategic development, governance, and enterprise level processes (e.g. policy, branding, vision, marketing). In between this are the shared services – those services which on paper appear enterprise, but provide service both enterprise wide, locally and in some case supportive of local needs. IT is typical and good example.

    (Following is a mash-up example from current and past experience)

    As a shared service it has reporting lineage at the corporate level but numerous dotted lines to various stakeholders. At the geographic business unit level there is ‘local IT’ that is the feet on the ground to service localized/specialized needs – be it ‘break fix work’ or application development. The shared service supports the local IT efforts but primarily through standards development and support and heavy lifting through things like running data centers and deploying extremely expensive and complex enterprise level applications (ERP, CRM, Security and so on). For some IT functions the shared services view of that function may be very broad – such as resources. We’ll see far more resources for Information Security at the SS level than local level. Other areas will see the opposite – such as Business Continuity. BCM/BCP is provided by SS from a policy perspective (e.g. ‘here are the minimum controls that need to be in place’) while locally the IT BCM/BCP function is more likely to have deeper resources since they are closer to the local needs of the business.

    In applying this to the conversation – clearly there are things destined for the top level and spelled out as such. There are things best done locally because better where the need can be identified and serviced. In between are the “shared services” whereby the Constitution spells out something either not at all or vaguely or ‘interpreted’ over time as belonging generally to the Feds. An example I oft think of is Education. That Dept., imho, should be largely leveled. A smaller body that focuses generally on standards or quality can be supported, but put the money into the local need where the people closest to the issues and problems can be equipped to solve it. There are numerous other examples where cost can be pulled out of what we do today, what is done from an “enterprise level” can focus more on strategy, standards and perfecting those things which truly belong at the enterprise level (e.g. Defense) and shared services can provide backbones w/o being the entire body.

    I hope all that makes sense. To me it does – but implementation lacks several key attributes (or has too numerous barriers in place). Instead of declaring false wars that are marketing gimmicks Government should declare war on itself. The next stimulus bill should focus on how to stimulate the government to clean itself up – the budget for the bill should be a negative rather than positive number.

    • USWeapon says:

      I have to admit, Ray, that at first I was wondering where you were going with all of this, but you wrapped up well in the end. I agree, that there are a couple of things better left to the federal government under our current system. Defense is the best example.

      Your comment on what the next stimulus bill should focus on left me laughing. That might be the best thing I have heard you say to date. It is an awesome idea. A -$700 Billion stimulus. Government must cut 700 Billion from it’s expenses imeediately.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Not to get sappy here – but as you may know both my folks worked for DoD – Dad at Ft. Ritchie, Site R and the Pentagon and Mom mostly at Letterkenney. Dinner was always a blast when they could talk about things not classified and how screwed up the Government is/was. Much of what I studied while at Ship U and then later in working with / befriending folks at the War College in Carlisle often painted a picture of waste waste waste. My own experiences in local government left me convinced that given the chance, people will find a way to screw it up, regardless of the level. Where I work now – we have been forced to run lean, run efficient and still get the job done. We have smart people who work their asses off to fix that problem w/o screwing ourselves and service long or short run.

        Because of where I work, we may soon be classified as critical infrastructure – which means we may be required to comply with a litany of NIST bullshit and federal guidelines for security and what not. Bullshit I say – this is where private industry can and will do a better job. Enable us to collaborate on strategy and objectives, but hold thineself accountable as well – none of this do as I say not as I do shit. I cannot wait to hit that conference I told you about offline – and see what new fangled crap the Feds will be singing when their own house is chock full of holes they can never seem to fix.

        And I’m dead serious about the $$$ thing – quit telling me how you’re going to spend either the same amount of money or more money. Tell me how you will increase your own efficiency and start saving money. Tell me how there will be completely transparent accountability such that no one is blaming a f’ing process for something not working right, or hiding behind ‘negotiations’ instead of owning up to their actions.

        • Ray, It seems your tired of all the government BS like most of us. Liked what you wrote, maybe we are not that far apart as we may think.

          Peace to you and your family!

          G!

          • USWeapon says:

            Ahhh, G

            Music to my ears. My reasoning behind the respect rule on the site from the beginning was that if we can eventually stap partisan bickering, we will find we all have far more in common than what separates us!

            • Yes, I’ve always felt that way. I feel that way with Chris as well, he’s quite headstrong, but I respect that, and he to will get tired of what we already are!

              G!

  14. Seems there is a lot out there on Tenth Amendment Movements.
    Results 1 – 10 of about 4,900,000 for tenth amandment movement. (0.39 seconds)

    Oklahoma. On February 18, its House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 1003 by a vote of 83 to 13, resolving “that the State of Oklahoma hereby claims 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 Constitution of the United States.” HJR 1003 also states “that this serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.” It directs that copies of the resolution be distributed to, among others, the president of the United States, the president of the U.S. Senate, and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/881-tenth-amendment-movement-taking-on-the-feds

  15. Black Flag says:

    In order for an act to be a crime, libertarians say, someone must be harmed there must be a victim.

    Anything that’s peaceful, voluntary, and honest should be tolerated regardless of whether we agree with it.

    The price of our own freedom is allowing others to be free.

    • As I recall, you once said the Madoff situation was not “violence”. You are right, there was (probably) no coercion, but based on what you’ve said above, many were harmed and victims and it certainly wasn’t honest.

      • Black Flag says:

        There is being harmed by your own decision – and being harmed by violence.

        A bank robbery is violent – Madoff was not. He was a liar and a cheat – but everyone willingly gave him their money

        • USWeapon says:

          So because he was a non-violent criminal that makes it OK? His taking people’s money fraudulently, by your own definition in the discussion with Judy below, means that he took away their ability to live. You said:

          People are hurt in robbing banks. Wealth is the difference between what they earn and what they spend to live. Stealing takes away their life.

          Isn’t this a contradiction? Or am I not understanding you correctly?

  16. BF,

    Your post at #15 is excellent. I hope people everywhere, not just at this site, can ponder that for a few moments. Thanks again for sharing your insight.

  17. Hi ya’ll! Let me just say that government, at all levels, just plain sucks. It is the beast that BF speaks of, and should be eliminated. At that point, let the cards fall where they may, we, Americans, can continue, just in a better direction.

    True Story that happened today. Our Dental Van provides for the poor throughout the community here, and today it was located at the Salvation Army. A patient had filled out his paperwork, and here is how the next part went.

    Chuck: Who’s your family doctor?
    Patient: Mahoning County jail.
    Chuck: NO, No, who’s the doctor that you see when you get sick?
    Patient: Mahoning County jail.
    Chuck: What do you mean?
    Patient: If I get sick or hurt, I go and commit a crime and get arrested, then see the doctor at the Mahoning County Jail.

    This last question was classic!

    Chuck: Did you vote for Obama?
    patient: Damn right I did!

    Same hour, Dentist to 24 yr old female patient: Do you have a medicaid card?

    patient: No
    Dentist: why not?
    patient: should I go have a baby to get on it?
    Dentist: Never mind.

    Have a great day!

    G!

    • Hey G-Man

      Just goes to show you how intelligent some people can be.

      • Judy, There was no intelligence displayed by these people, that’s the sad part. While I find their action humorous, I also find it sad. Since I;m not much on political correctness, these two people are just plain stupid.

        Thought for the Day: You can medicate the mentally ill, but you can’t fix stupid!!!

        G!

        • Judy S. says:

          Hi G

          I take it you’re a Ron White fan. Yes, it’s pretty pathetic when you have to deal with people like that. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

          We’re have some pretty intense thunder and lightning here, and we lost power for a bit, on top of that I lost my internet connection for a bit. Had some pretty heavy rain with pea size hail. Suppose to head out tonight, but coming back tomorrow.

          We get this every summer, but this year it came a little later than normal. It’s in the 90’s right now, and muggy as heck.

          And now back to your regular report about the government.

          • Ron White is quite god. Jeff Dunham, with his puppets kills me with laughter. I have a many hilarious videos of comedians that I can send you, Email USW, and he can give you my Email address, would love to share them, with you and anyone who likes to laugh, after all, we need to smile instead of worry and cry!

            G!

            • We have 3 of the Jeff Dunham’s video’s, and they are hilarious. My 2 favorites are Walter, and Achmed. I love the way Walter calls everybody a dumb ass.

              As for the 4 others, like Jeff Foxworth, Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable guy, and Ron White, My 2 favorites are Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy.

              We’ve seen Larry the Cable Guy about, has to be 5 years ago at the Sliver Legacy. He was so funny I think I actually peed my pants I laughed so hard. We’ve seen Bill Engvall twice at the Legacy as well a couple years ago. We had really good seats, 13th row back. He talked about the free range chickens, and the way he told that story, just had me in stitches.

              I wish all 4 of them would come up together, that would be so much fun to see them all like that. Ron White was here a while back, but we didn’t know about it until all tickets were sold. Dang it all

              What ones do you have? I ask, because we might have some of the same. Right now, my oldest son has all our Jeff Dunham’s and our youngest has all our Ron Whits and Bill Engvall’s. But, sure I can send you my email address through USW Do I use his regular email address? Just want to be sure.

              Judy

              • G

                I take that back about where we saw Larry The Cable Guy. It was at the Reno Events Center, not the Legacy.

                I remember that, because that’s when our son was in Iraq on his first tour.

              • G

                I emailed USW and gave him my email address and asked him to send it to you.

                Judy

  18. In order for an act to be a crime, libertarians say, someone must be harmed there must be a victim.

    So I guess robbing a bank is okay then, as long as no one gets hurt in the precess. What a dumb ass statement that is, but then look who said it. I rest my case.

    • Black Flag says:

      People are hurt in robbing banks. Wealth is the difference between what they earn and what they spend to live. Stealing takes away their life.

      • That’s not what I meant BF. What I meant was, if a person was physically hurt, not financially. That was suppose to be sarcasm.

        • Judy S. says:

          Want to hear something ironic? When I said that statement about a bank being robbed, well, the bank I normally do my banking at, was actually robbed today.

          I pulled in the parking lot, and a gal who was going to go into the bank was told it was robbed just a few minutes before hand. I was getting out of my car when she told me that. She was just about to step into the bank, when a banker suddenly shut and locked the doors, saying they had just been robbed. If I was just a few minutes earlier, I would have been in that bank. Boy, you talk about fate. I guess.

  19. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon

    You take a very simplistic view of the world in this case.

    Or, how about you left a meaningless answer?

    Saying “No” hardly registers as an argument.

    First, since we are going to go with simplistic hypotheticals, let’s suppose that I am a produce re-seller who gets my potatoes from Idaho too. A trade problem between the two may end up with Idaho drastically altering the trade agreement with Texas based on the outcome.

    Why? If you have an agreement with Idaho – what does that have to do with Montana?

    Perhaps I live in Texas but also own a ton of land in Idaho.

    Or perhaps the trade problem in Idaho affects the potato companies that are on the New York Stock Exchange. Potato shares plummet causing a run on Lay’s potato chip stock that I own.

    Then you are an Idahoan.
    The point is that the world has become far too connected to assume that a dispute between two states has no impact anywhere else.

    There’s my dog.

    It is no different than any other contractual relationship.

    If I have a contract with you and you’re in a divorce, what right do I have to tell you how to divorce?

    I can have all the contracts etc. with you – and your divorce is not my problem. Its your problem.

    Sure I may be concerned and would act to protect my interests in my own way – but it has nothing to do with forcing you to deal with your divorce.

    • Again, you are providing answers that fit your argument but fail to address anything that I said.

      Why? If you have an agreement with Idaho – what does that have to do with Montana?

      If you want to pretend to not understand business well enough to understand that the relationship between those two states can affect me if there is a shared or mutual interest, go ahead. But you and I both know that you well understand what I am saying. You are simply dumbing it down so that you don’t have to address the complex relationships that exist in today’s business world.

      It is no different than any other contractual relationship.
      If I have a contract with you and you’re in a divorce, what right do I have to tell you how to divorce?
      I can have all the contracts etc. with you – and your divorce is not my problem. Its your problem.
      Sure I may be concerned and would act to protect my interests in my own way – but it has nothing to do with forcing you to deal with your divorce.

      We aren’t talking about a divorce. Again you are dumbing the issue down to fit your argument. You are a tremendous debater, no question about that. And you can continue to do so by creating simplistic examples that fit your argument. OR, you can acknowledge what I already know: you are too smart to not get what I am saying. Do you want to have the discussion in a way that allows me to see your side or your solutions to today’s problems? Or are you only interested in presenting every issue only in a light that serves your argument while ignoring the realities of the CURRENT world.

      Or perhaps the trade problem in Idaho affects the potato companies that are on the New York Stock Exchange. Potato shares plummet causing a run on Lay’s potato chip stock that I own.

      How exactly did “then you are an idahoan” help me understand how this relationship is irrelevant to the discussion?

      The point is that the world has become far too connected to assume that a dispute between two states has no impact anywhere else.

      How exactly did your simplistic divorce example and claim that it is “no different that any other contractual relationship” in any way address this statement? You are simply failing to acknowledge all of the very complex realities that exist in today’s world. Perhaps a dispute between those two states affects the oil supply contracts in place, or the oil supply contracts that will be done next year. Perhaps the argument between the states has the ability to have ramifications not just on Lay’s stock, but to drastically impact the entire stock market, and thus the economy. You can continue to try to address these questions by pointing to simple, and irrelevant examples, or we can have a discussion where we have honest dialogue and attempt to understand each other’s positions and perhaps find a solution we both agree on. But you don’t seem interested in having the honest discussion, only in proving through these odd examples that I am not right.

      • Black Flag says:

        You realize your justifications demonstrate that you believe in a world government, right?

        • I wasn’t providing justifications. I was offering ideas on why your simplistic answer didn’t really answer the question. I haven’t disputed yet whether your approach is better or worse. I haven’t offered any sort of answer on what the solution is. I pointed out the complexity of the problem.

          So drop the one world government accusation. You are well aware that I support no such thing. However, I will not attempt to find solutions to problems without ensuring that a thorough understanding of the scope, concept, and complexity of the problem is understood.

  20. Black Flag says:

    USWeapon

    So because he was a non-violent criminal that makes it OK?

    No, its not Ok at all.

    But it also is not ok to use violence on him either.

    Remember what I said about the thread back to the old paradigm?

    Guess what – you’re pulling on it.

    In a moral society you can only use violence in defense against the initiation of violence.

    He didn’t use violence – so you cannot respond with violence.

    There are a lot of other ways to respond, but that one is off the table.

    His taking people’s money fraudulently, by your own definition in the discussion with Judy below, means that he took away their ability to live. You said:

    People are hurt in robbing banks. Wealth is the difference between what they earn and what they spend to live. Stealing takes away their life.

    But he didn’t steal.

    They gave their money willingly to him.

    He can prove it. They all signed their checks, in their own hand, without duress.

    Not same as bank robbery under the duress of weapons and threat of death or physical harm.

    Isn’t this a contradiction? Or am I not understanding you correctly?

    No contradiction – initiation of violence ->respond with defensive violence

    No initiation of violence -> not allowed to use violence in response.

    So, think about it. If you can’t use violence to ‘punish’ Madoff and his ilk….

    ….how easily will you simply sign over your money to a confidence man?

    • Wait a second… how exactly am I pulling on any string? Because I asked you to clarify your statement and compare it to another statement that you made? I never once mentioned using violence on Madoff. I never once mentioned the word violence or coercion or punishment or anything else. I didn’t fall back on anything at all. In fact I didn’t make a single statement in the entire posting other than defining why I was asking the question. I offered a single interpretation of the two different statements that you made. And I asked three questions. I fail to see where a single thing I said constituted me falling back on some old paradigm.

      So is that the tactic? If someone questions you or asks you to clarify what appeared to be a contradiction, you demean them as “falling back on the old paradigm”? Because if that is the case, that my simple question of roughly four sentences was enough for you to say I am falling back on some paradigm and unable to discuss it with you on proper terms, then I won’t bother. I have no need to discuss the topic if something as simple as asking for clarification results in being further insulted.

      • Black Flag says:

        Try simply providing an answer to Madoff without using violence on him.

        Give it a try!

        • I don’t have an answer. My point is, neither do you. He is a thief. Theft by deception is still theft even if violence was not used. If you can’t punish him, there is an impasse. Because your answer of shunning him after he has stolen Billions doesn’t work. And your answer that some criminal in South America was taken advantage of sure doesn’t work either, just ask the drug lords in those same countries.

  21. Hi BF

    Hey, i read what you and Bob were talking about on last night’s thread today, and I chimed in with something to him, but he never came back. Does he do that a lot? It was about where he was accusing you of stealing money from other people and such. Remember that conversation with him? I was curious to see what he had to say about what I said, but nothing. Oh well!

    Judy

    • Black Flag says:

      He was attempt his hand at a bit of Socrates Drilling.

      But it’s new to him.

      He’ll get better at it with practice.

      • It looks like he likes to argue a lot, and I was ready for him in case he was trying to accuse me of stealing money too. BTW, did you by any chance go back to that thread to read what I wrote him? What he said to you got my dander up and that’s why I said what I did about myself.

        • Black Flag says:

          Remember that most socialists and Statists argue from the position of emotion.

          You can sense that in their comments about ‘fairness’, ‘equal’, ‘care’ ….

          Rarely do they argue from a premise on principle. Principles get in their way. Pragmatism is their basic motive.

          Avoid falling into their trap – they can outfight anyone on emotion – they’ve trained themselves.

          But get them on their contradictions. They will almost always trip on this one:

          “Good for me, but not for you”.

          • For me I think I argue when it comes to common sense. Sometimes my emotions do get in the way, but I try not to let them interfere with what I’m trying to say. But then, it depends on the mood I’m in at the time, and who I’m arguing with, and about what.

            I told you before that I can be a very emotional person, or I can be very argumentative too. I try not to get into anybody’s traps, if I can help it.

  22. BF, I’m getting off for the night, I was awakened at 4 this morning with coyotes howling on the mountain behind our house, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Had a hard day at the lab, my bank got robbed this afternoon, had to go out of my way to deposit my check at the other one, traffic like you wouldn’t believe, and a whopping headache on top of it.

    Go up and read what I said about the ironic thing that happened today.

    Now, if you really want to do something nice for me, how about another one of you life experiences for this weekend. You told me about Morocco, and then there was also India on your list, but can’t remember the others. Why not pick one and go from there. I should be home most of the day tomorrow, so I would really love to read another one.

    So my dear, hope you have a good night tonight, and i hope I can catch you here tomorrow.

    Take Care BF.

    Judy

  23. More power to the States would effectively loosen the monopoly of power we have now, since people can still (for now) fairly freely travel between the states without too much trouble. Of course, drilling the power levels down to the local level (or further!) would increase the competition and mobility even more!

    I’m mostly just posting to get the comments via email, I love that stuff. 😉

  24. Black Flag says:

    Your ranting is a bit out of hand, so I’ll address some of your complaints here.

    1) Simplicity.

    You complain that often I reduce (what you think) is complex to a simple interaction.

    Follow:

    You (and almost everyone except notably Chris) have agreed with this statement:

    “X in Society governs by the consent of the People.”

    How Individual to Individual interacts must be the same as how a State to a State interacts which must be the same as how a Nation to a Nation interacts which must be the same as how a State to a Nation interacts which must be the same as how an Individual to a State interacts which must be the same as how an Individual and the Nation interacts.

    A=B=C=D=F therefore A=F

    Thus, any (apparently) complex interaction between any entity, -individual,state, or nation- can be reduced to a simple interaction example between you and your neighbor.

    …more to come

  25. Black Flag says:

    2)Methodology.

    You offer on your blog, regularly, complex problems of governance asking for discussion.

    That is like trying to solve the problem of crossing the ocean, and demanding that diesel ships be designed before you’ve even understood the concept of buoyancy

    From the first human raft, understanding current, to row boats to sails boats, understanding wind, and different sails until the first ocean-crossing voyages took 8,000 years or longer.

    From ocean sails boats to nuclear powered ice breakers took only 500 years.

    Once you have mastered the simple stuff, -and I mean really mastered it- the complex stuff, ironically, become very easy.

    It’s always good to keep in mind the complex issues, of course.

    But you’ll find solutions out of well-mastered hard-earned effort on the simple stuff.

    I’ve put on your reading list the book “The Race” – and the theory of constraints.

    “Every system has one, dominating, constraint”.

    Everyone knows what that constraint is – it is obvious – because it dominates. Working to solve that constraint relieves pressure on the whole system. Ignore all other problems because….

    ….when the dominating constraint is removed, the whole system changes. And, a new dominating constraint appears. Restart the process.

    The process is infinite – find constraint, fix, reevaluate the total system, find constraint, fix….

    Twiddling around other places of the system will not make substantial difference, AND when you finally address the primary constraint, it changes the system, which will tend to invalidate all the little twiddling around you did!

    This theory is responsible for changing my financial life. It made me rich. It can be used in every part of your life, including relationships with your spouse.

    Again, by addressing the primary constraint of a system, you simplify the system. The whole system need not be fixed all at once. And the systemic improvements, over and over again, where improvements make THE difference, improves the system the fastest and greatest.

    • Black Flag says:

      3) Definition:

      As noted, much confusion about solutions is caused by poor definitions – of objects and of the problem.

      Everyone knows ‘government’ when they see it – but look at the problem trying to define what government is – (not what they wished it to be).

      Without defining and understanding precisely what the entity is, it is impossible to understand the problems and solutions are moot.

      I personally don’t care if you pick a new word, or make one up – but stick to it – it prevents the bait and switch that Statists are adept at using against those that wish to ‘fix’ the State and like organizations.

  26. Black Flag says:

    One question keeps coming to mind- If government is such a grand and noble idea, why does it always have to be forced on people, and maintained and protected with a monopoly on force?

    (Thanks Kent!)

  27. 5LitreCat says:

    If you want to support a 10th Amendment movement, then how about we move right past the “are reserved to the states respectively” and go right to “or to the people”. Wouldn’t that make more sense?

    or to the people I’m confussed, isn’t it the people who elect the State Governments?

  28. SFC Dick says:

    wow, I stop back in and what do I read

    “Folks I submit to you that supporting a 10th Amendment movement for the reason that you think state government is “better”, is insane. If you want to support a 10th Amendment movement, then how about we move right past the “are reserved to the states respectively” and go right to “or to the people”. Wouldn’t that make more sense?”

    That sounds familiar.

    I’m a bit indisposed at the time. I stand under investigation, under guard and at the presipice of and article 32 hearing for assualting a commisioned officer. I’ll check back in after all the ugliness is over and I am found to be the nicest, if not best poor speller,innocent man in Afghanistan

  29. Good article.
    Excellent forum.
    I wish I had time to comment at now, but instead I’m leaving my calling card and keeping an eye on this site.
    Thank you!
    M

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