August 8, 2014

I can no longer abide this fantastical, "Hang 'Em High" bluster. [Bumped]


Regarding the assertion that "The solution begins with buying the wood for the gallows to be built on the Mall in Washington. It’s only then that we have truly faced up to what we have to do to fix our country." as found in The Top 40: America’s Colonial Class AGoyAndHisBlog says:

Sorry, but I'm finding that I can no longer abide this fantastical, "Hang 'Em High" bluster.

First, an untouchable oligarchy wielding the full might and technology of the most powerful military machine ever conceived by Man simply chuckles at such empty threats, assuming such threats are acknowledged at all.

Second, and more importantly, any viable - constitutional - solution to the dilemma we face can only begin once we understand who the "pod people" really are, what made them the way they are (or, more accurately, what has permitted them to remain the way they are), and what has facilitated their ascendancy over virtually all of society.

Action taken without that understanding is not a search for a solution, it's a quest for payback. A Reign of "justice - prompt, severe, inflexible" smacks of Revenge, not of Reckoning, and - at least in my very frustrated opinion - will only reinforce, rather than obviate, the root cause of the cyclic flow of history that our society is now poised to repeat.

What frustrates me, personally, is that anyone who looks back at their own transformation - from marxist/leftist/self-righteous/anarchist/activist into a fully-realized adult with a sense of individual responsibility and moral maturity compatible with Enlightenment values - ought to see a Truth that uniquely positions them to begin that understanding (yes, Bill Whittle... and neo-neocon... and Gagdad Bob... and Gerard... and so many others... I'm looking at you as well as myself). Maybe that requires some outside-the-box thinking; maybe it requires a Red Pill and rescue from The Matrix; I don't know. But somehow, there must be some way to ignite the intellectual, spritual and emotional wherewhithal required to examine this question.

There's a Catch-22 built into human social development that is observed in the parabolic trajectory of every past fallen society - from the Sumerians to the Mayans to the Athenians to the Romans to the Bourbons to the Ottomans to the Britons to the Russians. Unless we figure out the secret to this Catch-22, which our forebears clearly did not, we will soon be joining them on the ash heap of their remains; and that heap includes the gang who thought the solution to their dilemma began with buying the wood for guillotines.

IMHO, the Founders understood a great deal about this Catch-22 and did everything they could manage - given the milieu in which they acted - to neutralize and overcome it. Their great success was not just the institutionalization of individual liberty, but the insitutionalization of a Republican Form of Government based on individual sovereignty and specific, limited delegation of authority, which inverted the social order as compared to every society that had preceded them. Few people are aware of - much less understand the magnitude of the paradigm shift inherent in - that inflection point today.

Yet somehow, contrary to every sentiment that motivated the creation and ratification of the Constitution, today we find ourselves in a society where the individual is all but completely subordinated to a relentlessly-expanding federal government. The paradigm shift has been undone in practically every way that matters. Not only that, the levers of power in that government are in the sweaty, incompetent grip of "pod people" who are utterly oblivious to the socially suicidal implications of the policies they demand.

Clearly, something - many things, in fact - went very wrong on the road from 1788 Philadelphia, which saw perhaps the greatest advance in human liberty ever to occur, to our southern border of 2014, which has recently seen one of the greatest crimes committed against the Constitution and the People of the U.S. - by their own government - in all of our history.

The solution to our dilemma begins not with buying wood, but by identifying, acknowledging and understanding those things that went so wrong in this nation's past. The solution requires a thorough understanding of how these missteps led to the fundamental transformation of a Republic, comprised of sovereign States, to a de facto empire, ruled by a permanent oligarchy - presently comprised of "pod people" - who maintain control through the illusion of two-party "democracy" as a carrot and the lingering threat of military force as a stick. The solution requires repair, not reprisal, using the Constitution as a basis and its ratification as a guide.

If we are a nation of laws, not men, then the solution to our present dilemma must be sought in the reformation of those laws, not the hanging of men.

I'm not suggesting that this process won't require the use of force at some stage. But I submit that any notion involving the use of force that does NOT have popular support and a coherent plan based on, and inspired by, the values expressed in our Constitution, is little more than a silly pipe dream.

Posted by: AGoyAndHisBlog at July 19, 2014 4:07 PM


Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 8, 2014 6:41 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

A bunch of self-sufficient colonial types in 1788 makes for a good democracy. So much wealth was created that it allowed the weak and the vicious to proliferate. Universal suffrage provided the political class the opportunity to bribe the underclass into giving up their liberty. This is where entropy gets it's nose under the tent.

For a functional, responsible elected government you need either better people or limited suffrage. The pod people would rather destroy the country than allow either of those options to be implemented.

Posted by: Tim at July 19, 2014 5:49 PM

How to restore the constitutional republic without undertaking actions almost guaranteed to result in a state 180 degrees at odds with that goal? That is the question. It will require more than fine theory or an attempt to impose a rule of law to which many - far too many - are now actively and openly hostile.

I don't recall who wrote it and I am too lazy to look it up but to establish and maintain a truly free republic requires - that's REQUIRES - a moral and religious people. Absent this there is no way that the old republic can be reinstated for the simple reason that the majority is incapable of making it work. It is just too demanding, requires too much self discipline, too much study and involvement, too much commitment. It demands too much time away from the endless quest to satisfy lusts, exact retribution for real or imagined affronts to self esteem and to keep oneself amused, distracted or rendered oblivious in any way one pleases.

The quest for Truth is time consuming and difficult. The pursuit of pleasure, "rights" that demand the subjugation of others to fulfill and self-satisfaction is far easier and brings far more in the way of accolades and endorsements than any effort to find out what is Real and True and Right. Any effort in that direction brings puzzlement, ridicule and - eventually - censure and persecution. Not to mention that the pay is lousy.

There are still people, many people, who are educated (not indoctrinated), seek wisdom and Truth, strive to do right, work hard, deal honestly, speak plainly and truthfully and to be responsible citizens and servants of God. These people could establish a free republic along the lines of the old republic but I believe they will have to do it by separating themselves from the old nation state and I doubt the powers that be in the old nation state will let them do it without a fight which there is certainly no guarantee they will win.

Posted by: scory at July 19, 2014 6:19 PM

I am pretty certain that all free peoples, all republics are suicidal. That they have a limited run - very limited - and then descend inevitably into tyranny or chaos. Its happened again and again in history, and will keep happening until kingdom come.

Human beings are not perfectible on this earth. We'll not find the system that works for everyone all the time. We cannot reach utopia, we will never extinguish the evil that leads to the fall of liberty. Its an innate part of us all, a cancer in our souls that cannot be extinguished by right system or strength of will.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at July 19, 2014 6:27 PM

The banana republics are full of people who long for freedom and individuality. They protest daily, tweet to each other where the next barricade, burning tires, burning trash cans will appear. What do they protest? Lack of justice, lack of water, lack of food, lack of voice. The government waits them out, arrests a few key leaders. And basically ignores the protests. By sheer dint of non-affirmation, the gov't moves on, the populace re-routes, and the protesters go home.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 19, 2014 6:39 PM

scory -- It was John Adams who said it. Adams is the most neglected and overlooked of all the founders, but the most necessary.

Posted by: AbigailAdams at July 19, 2014 7:26 PM

If building gallows is but a foolish dream it is as least an inspirational and allegorical one. Restoring the American Constitution piece by piece does not even bear that quality. Under full male suffrage, and finally universal suffrage, the single quality of change which it has it has shown itself capable of is corruption. The Bill of Rights were a redundancy insisted upon by the anti-Federalist to resist what they knew would follow. Bless them, but we are done now.

As to the future, when human vision is not entirely delusional it is limited to what is dark. The wisdom of Burke and Tocqueville tells me that light appears but suddenly and only then do well prepared men of action seize the opportunity, not "long and arid dissertations". If our future is to be inspirational it is not beyond our competence, it is beyond our imagination.

Posted by: james wilson at July 19, 2014 7:42 PM

Well, Mark Levin's "The Liberty Amendments" is a place to get educated for the restoration to come.

Joan of Argghh! please remember that the 'banana' republican citizens of Cuba did overthrow the somewhat bestial tyrant Batista not too many years ago. Unfortunately that revolt was led by the fully bestial Castro brothers and the murderer extraordinaire Che Guevara.

And didn't the 'banana' people of Honduras block the attempted usurpation of power by President Zelaya and his staff of stalWARTS -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hugo Chavez?

Malcolm X spoke of the ballot or the bullet. What percentage of citizens in the USA who were eligible to vote last time around actually voted?
THOSE are the saps you should be castigating and educating! The SFB mortician-politicians should receive, at tax-payer expense, ear-to-ear enemas.

The Puppeteers can be pulled from their putrid perches when more of US, as in USA, pull the levers in our voting booths. And don't tell me that too many voting machines and electronic counting are rigged in favor of the Oligarchy. If you believe it, when was the last time you and your neighbors attended your town's council meeting demanding an investigation of the Board of Elections?

We should be asking, 'When did so many of us become such sniveling, hopeless, faithless blobs?' What a disgrace! If you are not guilty or ashamed don't come crapping on me. The blobs, thank God you have enough of a conscience left to feel guilty/ashamed for a good reason -- you-all I welcome your dumping on me. Blessings.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 19, 2014 9:13 PM

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage'

Posted by: chasmatic at July 19, 2014 10:58 PM

"I am tired of fooling around," he said. "As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves." The Colonel by Carolyn Forche

“The people in power will not disappear voluntarily.” Burroughs

Posted by: chasmatic at July 19, 2014 11:14 PM

A few observations:

First of all, I contend that proper operation of a democracy does not depend on a moral and religious people. Moral, certainly; but religion has nothing to do with it. And may actually be harmful, if that religion is anything other than moderate Christianity (or perhaps Hinduism or Buddhism ditto).

I also contend that in the 21st century (this might be different from the 18th) a democracy requires an electorate who are well educated. Why? Simply because a semi-illiterate and semi-innumerate electorate with no appreciation of history, basic science and a few other things is far too easy to fool. Spout some carefully tweaked statistics and some half-baked science and you're away.

And finally, "moral" above has absolutely nothing to do with sexual morality. It has to do with willingness to properly examine the issues and financial and political probity. What someone does in the bedroom has little to do with what he does in the boardroom or on the Congress floor.

I don't care whether a politician goes at it like a hyperactive rabbit in his own time, as long as he doesn't take bribes.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at July 20, 2014 2:43 AM

Mr. Nelson, having lived in and often visited many a banana republic, I know whereof I speak. I follow their news, their twitter feeds, and facebooks. I've even spent time in a Communist "republic" not far from our own contiguous United States.

This I will concede: none of these populaces have guns for personal defense. In light of new technologies, I think our personal guns have merit but not ultimate sway.

Cuba, funded by Russia, is taking over Venezuela. Their troops are kidnapping the protesters and jailing them. How are the Cuban troops paid? By being allowed to loot the department stores and take home booty to their decrepit homes in Cuba. Honduras, lacking the financial backing necessary due to Obama's shut-out of their brave attempt at lasting prosperity and freedom is faltering under the immense political pressure this has wrought.

As noted above, those in power don't give it up because it's the right thing to do. Boots on necks. They mean to rule us. We've just been dull to the clarions all around us.

Like Cubans, our populace is now mostly placated with some sort of opiate, and if not placated then highly agitated with some other sort of amperage that does not serve justice, merely aggression. It's a helluva time to be alive.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 20, 2014 6:15 AM

Think of it as a responsibility scale.
On one side you have the gov't responsibility.
The other has individual responsibility.
The scale is way out of balance.

Get rid of 90% of the gov't and 90% of the citizenry will stand up and be adults.

The rest will die or be killed off as the parasites they are.

I see it's time for this again:


From The Life of Colonel David Crockett, compiled by Edward S. Ellis
(Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884)

David Crockett
Member of Congress 1827-31, 1832-35

One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in it's support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

"Mr. Speaker-- I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

"I began: "Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and----'

"Yes, I know you you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

"This was a sockdolager....I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

"Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intended by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest.... But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.'

"'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, For I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.'

"'No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the back woods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings in Congress. My papers say last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some suffers by fire in Georgetown. Is that true?'

"'Well, my friend, I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve it's suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.'

"'It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to anything and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose.If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief.

There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the suffers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditable; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.

"'So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch it's power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you...'

"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, for the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head, when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully, I have heard many speeches in congress about the powers of the Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.'

"He laughingly replied: "Yes Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the distinct, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.'

"'If I don't,' said I. "I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'

"'No Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none.. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.'

"'Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-by. I must know your name.'

"'My name is Bunce.'

"'Not Horatio Bunce?'


"'Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.'

"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him --- no, that is not the word -- I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times a year; and I will tell you sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian, lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted---at least, they all knew me.

"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying: "Fellow-citizens --- I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgement is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.'

"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

"And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

"'It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.'

"He came upon the stand and said:

"'Fellow-citizens --- It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.'

"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the reputation I have ever made, or shall ever make, as a member of Congress.

"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday.

"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many verywealthy men-- men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased -- a debt which could not be paid by money --- and the insignificant and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 20, 2014 6:36 AM

A nice bit of apocrypha from the life of Colonel Crockett. There are those who would dismiss it as a fable, and it may well be. But Aesop told a few himself; it doesn't make the lesson less true, if the Truth be in it.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 20, 2014 8:11 AM


"Power never takes a back step only in the face of more power."

- Malcolm X

Obama & company usurped power from the inside. The best, and maybe the only way to counter that is to clean house.

The military is the only force that can succeed. They would get hearty approval from most of society.


Posted by: Smokey at July 20, 2014 10:06 AM

The people of the US were a self-selected elite until the frontier disappeared and the cities became the centers of population. That was when the tipping point came in changing the laws to prefer the government to the individual (direct election of Senators, income tax, etc.). The US then became no different than the Europe that the original colonists sought to escape.

Original frontiersmen and pioneers could live off the land. Space colonists would need to live in company towns until they can survive on their own using engineered microbes that consume rocks and spit out edibles. This is not as weird as it sounds; look at the story on an Ace of Spades Overnight Thread about bacteria that eat and poop out pure electricity:

Posted by: Natty Bumppo at July 20, 2014 10:13 AM

"The solution requires repair, not reprisal, using the Constitution as a basis and its ratification as a guide."

The unbinding of America lies in the issue of who has the right to vote.

In the beginning, only White property owners could vote. This was obviously a flawed concept in regards to the issue of the melanin within someones skin.

But what about Property Owners?

These days anyone over 18 has a right to vote - whether they are a dependent on foodstamps, Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid or not.

The difference between a Socialist and a Charity Organization worker the issue of how the money is obtained:

Voluntary vs involuntary. Christian vs Conqueror.

Such a small distinction and yet such a world changing one. But its in this smallest of scales that turns a freedom into tyranny.

All that would be needed is a slight alteration on all the tax form that allows you to check a box:

"Will you donate money the the "United States Charity Programs" to the poor, unemployed, sick and old or will you not?"


The inherent barrier to this solution is that too many voters are already dependent on this free stuff and will fight tooth and nail to not lose it - thus voting the Big-Staters/Socialists/Totalitarians into power again and again.

The solution is so simply and sadly so late.

If we are to keep our freedom, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Posted by: cond0011 at July 20, 2014 2:57 PM

Woah. This was a surprising find this afternoon...

The variety of responses is encouraging. Well, most of them. An assertion like "you are very naive" (which appears in the other thread), without any rationale to support it, renders such a reply little more than ad hominem and, thus, doesn't leave much room for discussion, or room for much of a reply other than "eh... no, I'm not naive at all".

It seems obvious that the pressing question posed by the growing crisis of the day is: What Is To Be Done?

Clearly, some (a few? many? most?) folks want to examine this question in the context of retribution, i.e, against those who are (most recently) responsible for the transgressions we see as destructive of our liberty. This context - e.g., (metaphorical?) references to constructing gallows on the National Mall - offers little in the way of examining how the transgressors came to wield such destructive power in the first place, or how future transgressors will be deterred. I've personally come to see this approach as short-sighted, at best, and potentially disastrous, at worst, and have tried to explain why. I have to assume that the explanation provided significant motivation for Gerard to promote the comment to a blog post but, FWIW, I didn't detect much acknowledgment or discussion of that explanation in the responses above.

I prefer to examine this question based on one critical, underlying premise: that the question is an existential one. I therefore choose to examine this question within boundaries that are as objective, rational & moral as my limited faculties can define.

Contrary to the apparent assumptions expressed in some of the responses here (and elsewhere), I'm also a realist. I recognize the glaring lack of objectivity, reason and morality which defines the forces responsible for this crisis, and entertain no illusions that those forces will be brought to heel solely by reformation of our laws (as others who would restore the Republic and the primacy of the Constitution seem to do). As a realist I've also grudgingly begun to acknowledge that very few in our society fully recognize who or what these forces are and, more importantly, how and why those forces have once again come to threaten the liberty, prosperity, happiness, peace and civil order of what, by rights, ought to be a society capable of flourishing indefinitely.

In fact, rather than conducting a thorough examination of the crisis' root causes, it seems that a disturbing number of Americans prefer a retreat to the relative familiarity of the tribe, and the pursuit of various forms of battle: verbal, legal, political, rhetorical and, soon - apparently - physical, armed conflict. Despite the clinical evidence that recognizes this inclination toward tribal identity, I personally find the lack of imagination and lack of humanity inherent in that approach to be... distressing.

The paradigm shift I referred to yesterday, to my mind, is the essential element required to examine the question of What Is To Be Done. That shift is completely overlooked in much of the various commentary purporting to address this question. Acknowledgment of that shift's monumental significance is an arguably rational basis upon which to reject much of the fatalistic commentary lately offered in consideration of What Is To Be Done and which, among other recommendations, engenders this fantastical, "Hang 'Em High" bluster.

In that context, just as one example, we see the US as it currently stands being compared to a "banana republic". This criticism is certainly fair enough as far as it goes. That is, there are certainly some aspects of the present condition that validate this comparison. But those limited aspects are a far, far cry from encompassing the whole of our governing structure, much less the whole of our society. As a basis upon which to formulate any objective, rational, moral plan to restore the Republic - especially as it references past societies and cultures whose history, ethnicity, character and form of government are wildly different from ours - this comparison is just too simplistic.

Similarly, the fatalistic commentary mentioned above appears to rely on an apples-to-asteroids comparison. Reference to the Tytler historical cycle, and (IMHO, defeatist) surrender to the notion that we are doomed to repeat the cyclic rise-and-fall of past civilizations and societies necessarily discounts the potential that is inherent in the paradigm shift that occurred in this nation in 1788. That shift, for the first time in human history, signaled an opportunity to break that cyclic crash into a dark age every so-and-so-many years or generations. While that shift certainly did not change human nature, it provided a radically new framework that was specifically designed - at least as far as it went - to more comprehensively accomodate that nature. The effort was imperfect, since the humans that crafted it were imperfect. But despite that imperfection - and, I would submit, despite the ongoing effort to corrupt it that began during its first years of life, and which has continued from that day to this - the shift embodied in that effort produced the most exceptional example of human society to date.

So... what produced this exceptional example? Was it a change in human nature? As noted above, I think anyone would agree that this new form of governance didn't achieve that - didn't even set out to do that, in fact. What it sought, and largely achieved, was a way to leverage human nature as it was.

So what is it that makes anyone think the dilemma we face can be addressed by punishing men for what is clearly in their nature to do? Surely, those who are (even justly) punished will simply be followed by more such men, who think they're more clever than the ones hanging from the gallows. That is... unless a reformation of the laws renders such efforts more difficult.

Howard Nelson mentioned Mark Levin's _The Liberty Amendments_. FWIW, I agree that this work is a valuable place to get educated. That said, I don't think Levin's proposed amendments would stand a snowball's chance in you-know-where of getting to the root cause of the dilemma we face. Simply put, the federal government, entrenched as it is and immune to all forms of accountability, ignores the entirety of the Constitution at its whim NOW. Reason dictates that adding more amendments - assuming they're similarly designed to constrain a criminal enterprise that ignores all constitutional constraints - won't even slow, much less reverse the current trend.

It's my opinion that the only action sufficient to this end is to explicitly declare in an Amendment that which is implicit (but universally ignored) in the Constitution and the first ten Amendments. The goal is to substantively reverse the usurpation of authority pursued by the federal government going back to Marshall's unilateral declaration of the courts' legislative authority in 1803, and to restore the sovereignty of the several States that existed prior to April of 1861 - and not only to restore it, but to strengthen it even more.

I've proposed an Amendment aimed at doing just this. It's certainly more severe than any of those proposed by Levin, but I don't believe it's any more radical than the Constitution was in its day. Rather than relying primarily on the "separation of powers" doctrine, which has utterly failed to preserve a legitimate federal government, it has the notable advantage and unique characteristic that it empowers the sovereign States to respond in a decisive way to federal usurpation. In short, per Friedman, and fully cognizant of the human nature responsible for the dilemma we presently face, it is a mechanism aimed at making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.

The Constitution and the first ten Amendments institutionalized individual liberty and the Republican form of Government guaranteed to each State. This proposal, cognizant of human nature, aims to institutionalize individual responsibility and the federal accountability that was missing from the Founders' initial effort - two critical elements that have proved necessary to protect that liberty, and which democratic traditions and institutions alone have proven insufficient to provide.

Posted by: goy at July 20, 2014 4:39 PM

The constitution has no built-in means of dealing with political based entities that violate it's provisions.

If a bureaucrat violates your natural rights what course of action do you have?

It's a rhetorical question as I believe no one has the moral authority to violate your natural rights in the first place.

Look at all of the constitutional limits on gov't that are ignored because there are no automatic means to prevent it.

Rules are only as good as the enforcement.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 20, 2014 7:46 PM

"The solution to our dilemma begins not with buying wood, but by identifying, acknowledging and understanding those things that went so wrong in this nation's past."

Start here - read, then carefully re-read & consider the arguments put forth within the anti-federalist papers against the conshitushun.


Then consider that the conshitution was illegal from day one, the country arranged as it was under the articles of confederation.

Then perhaps expand with:
Discourse on voluntary servitude - La Boetie
The Law - Bastiat
No Treason - Spooner
Our Enemy, the State - Nock
Hologram of Liberty - Royce

Posted by: itor at July 20, 2014 9:44 PM

I submit that we are at a point of diminishing returns. It is no longer cost-effective, if you will, to fix our governmental structure.
A return to nation states has been mentioned and deserves serious consideration.
Aristotle and Machiavelli used the dynamic of small groups, city states and nation states for their analyses.
Small group democracy is manageable, see reference:

as per goy: The Constitution and the first ten Amendments institutionalized individual liberty and the Republican form of Government guaranteed to each State. This proposal, cognizant of human nature, aims to institutionalize individual responsibility and the federal accountability that was missing from the Founders' initial effort - two critical elements that have proved necessary to protect that liberty, and which democratic traditions and institutions alone have proven insufficient to provide.

States rights will de-centralize and weaken Leviathan and as I have previously commented, “The people in power will not disappear voluntarily.”
A certain amount of force will be required to remove them. This is not bravado or macho posturing but an admission of real, if unpleasant, fact.
There is a quote around somewhere about the tree of liberty being watered with the blood of patriots, something like that. It must be done.

"There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare.
Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century ... Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it." W. S. Burroughs

Posted by: chasmatic at July 20, 2014 11:31 PM

When people no longer believe in the myth of the nation, that nation is doomed. If a powerful military is all a government needs to retain power, where is the Soviet Union?

Posted by: Al at July 21, 2014 5:07 AM

@itor - if there's something specific in all that, which points to some principle that you believe applies here, do tell! Spooner, in particular, discusses at length one of "those things that went so wrong in this nation's past," which I referred to in the initial comment. For the record, those things I see as destructive of the constitutional limits placed on the federal government were:

1. Marshall's baseless, unilateral declaration in Marbury v Madison, granting legislative authority to the judiciary branch, in direct violation of Article I, Sec. 1, which unequivocally grants ALL legislative power to the Congress.

2. Lincoln's unilateral decision to grant himself the authority to provoke and wage war on the several sovereign States and their citizens - the precise definition of Treason as specified in Article III, Sec. 3. This transgression - which killed or maimed over one million Americans - ultimately led to the fundamental transformation of the Republic, which was previously a voluntary union of sovereign States, into a de facto empire, which was thereafter ruled by an oligarchy in DC using the lingering threat of military force.

3. Lincoln's unilateral and deceitful declaration of "emancipation", which not only set the precedent for Executive violation of the Constitution, but which also countermanded Congress' recently passed Joint Resolution on the issue (i.e., the first iteration of the Thirteenth Amendment), which he had openly supported in his First Inaugural address. (Note to the slavery-baiters: this is not to say that the Thirteenth Amendment, as it was finally ratified, is in any way invalid or inappropriate.)

4. The so-called "Fourteenth Amendment", which was effectively "deemed ratified" (just as Obamacare was "deemed passed") in conjunction with the federal government's (read: the radical Republican Party's) heavy military coercion of the newly "reconstructed" Southern legislatures.

5. Promulgation of the radical Republican (formerly Whig) agenda made possible by the federal government's (read: the Republican Party's) rise to primacy: wealth redistribution from citizens to corporate interests in pursuit of Hamiltonian crony capitalism, onerous tariffs designed to generate federal revenue (which increased the cost of imported goods while protecting inefficiency & waste in domestic manufacturing), destabilizing fiat currency, central banking, the Federal Reserve and the tax on individual incomes (which was proposed, approved and submitted to the States for ratification by the Republican-controlled 61st Congress).

6. The Seventeenth Amendment, part of the ongoing federal effort to diminish State sovereignty.

State sovereignty has been effectively destroyed, while federal overreach and relentless expansion has been facilitated, by these six factors.

@chasmatic - "A return to nation states..." is very close to the theme that's been running through my thoughts on this for well over a year now. It's part of what inspired the Legitimacy amendment I'd propose if given the chance. In fact, such an arrangement is not terribly unlike that which existed in 1788, when the federal government exercised the bare minimum of authority over a collection of all but completely independent States. The States, in turn, were populated by citizens who self-identified as citizens of their State, not of the U.S. That all changed beginning around 1868, when the primacy of the federal government was established through military conquest and which primacy has since been perennially reinforced through the mythologizing and deification of Lincoln, whose unilateral provocation of war established it.

In fact, I believe it's a mathematical certainty that the looming collapse of the US will not look like the Second American Revolution OR the Second American "Civil" War. Rather, once the federal government declares default, as it surely must sooner or later, and can no longer fund a military or coerce States economically, I believe the events will more closely follow the collapse, chaos and balkanization experienced by the USSR in ~1991. This expectation is part of why I believe a reformation of our laws is so important. It's a fairly safe bet that at least SOME, if not all, of the newly-independent American States will endeavor to re-form as a nation, and in order to avoid the same federal encroachment that has led us to the abyss we presently face, the factors which precipitated that encroachment will have to be acknowledged and dealt with.

Posted by: goy at July 21, 2014 8:18 AM

I'm with goy. I'll save my comment since we're speaking the same language.

Posted by: Frogdaddy at July 21, 2014 11:17 AM

Tim, at 7-19-14, 5:49 PM spells out the problem pertinently, accurately, simply, tersely [PAST].

Chas, at 7-19-14, 10:58 PM, lays out the recurring 8-point cycle. Again in PAST fashion. And it appears we are somewhere amidst steps 7 and 8, girding ourselves for a variant of steps 1 and 2.

Ghostsniper at 7-20-14, 6:36 AM, shows us the [a?] way home via Davy Crockett's courage-of-conscience and Horatio Bruce's wise understanding of fundamentals and his rhetorical skill.

Goy at 7-20-2014, 4:39 PM, I believe errs in several important areas.
"...I recognize the glaring lack of objectivity, reason and morality which defines the forces responsible for this crisis ..."
The forces referred to, certainly since the death of JFK, have been carefully planning their usurpation, and very deliberately executing their takeover of our schools and federal government positions. Alinsky spelled out the process explicitly, and I think it was Lenin who emphasized the need to corrupt the attitudes of schoolchildren. "...lack of ... morality.., better said as: a different, antithetical form of morality to the one we are familiar with. Antithetical in the same sense as the Jihadists' sense of morality/decency/ethics.
And, ".. the "separation of powers" doctrine, which has utterly failed to preserve a legitimate federal government, ..." Ghostsniper at 7-20-14 7:46PM replies to the point, "Rules are only as good as the enforcement." He echoes Ben Franklin's "... a Republic, if you can keep it."

We, the people, are responsible for the present situation to the extent that we are putting forth inadequate effort for reformation to the 1776 ideals.

Read Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" for some other guidelines for strengthening our republic and its somewhat apathetic citizenry. I've heard it's also recommended reading at some of our military academies. Use the best and set aside the rest.

I'll get around to goy at 7-21-14, 8:18 AM in a day or so, unless the thought police find and put into solitary confinement my lost mind.

Benedictions to all for the education you provide.
And thank you GVDL for your patience and spaciousness.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 21, 2014 11:17 AM

@Howard Nelson - I'm not sure I see anything in your comment that describes an error in what I've expressed. But on the things you cited...

RE: "The forces referred to..." - I deliberately did NOT specifically identify the forces to which I was referring. Rather, I think you may be assuming here. In my follow-up, above, I have further noted that, from my viewpoint "[a]s a realist I've also grudgingly begun to acknowledge that very few in our society fully recognize who or what these forces are...". Yes, I'm being intentionally vague, because I believe a healthy discussion aimed at the identification of these forces - which are decidedly NOT just some amorphous body of "the left" - is a crucial step in developing safeguards designed to inoculate society from the deliterious impact of those forces.

RE: rules and enforcement - the proposed Amendment I have linked to above is directly aimed at that very issue. Sadly, with respect to the Franklin admonition, he didn't follow up that comment with the laundry list of factors that would work to degrade the Republic. However, Jefferson cited a fairly enormous one, which provides irrefutable rationale for the elimination of the judiciary's practice of "judicial review", a usurpation of the authority granted to Congress in Article I, Section 1:

"You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.

Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is “boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem,” and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control."

Posted by: goy at July 21, 2014 12:00 PM

Quite the pile of BS. The shit will hit the fan and you will die were you stand when your neighbors determine that you intend to be one of their overlords just as the reigning progressive elites want to be now. You are the establisment. Your kind will disapear.

Posted by: notmyunclesam at July 21, 2014 2:24 PM

Whittaker Chambers said it best, in a line from a letter to his children at the beginning of his book, Witness.

"Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness." --Whittaker Chambers

Although he can eventually realize he is wrong if he is capable of growth and becoming honest with himself, until that time he is immune to argument.

Keep fighting but pray.

Posted by: Dennis at July 21, 2014 2:49 PM

First, I deliberately mis-surnamed Horatio the Wise so as to throw off the search of NSA's past-life regression minions [a la the Terminator] for the real Horatio.
Second, Goy, your error, serious in one of your acumen, is to be deliberately vague where clarity and reality are needed. Thus my contentions as to the rise of the demofascisti in the USA since JFK's assassination. I was not vague, amorphous, vacuous, or otherwise immaterial in spelling out Alinsky and his soul-brothers sabotaging our school systems and oaths of federal office-holders, Their oaths?, to UPHOLD and DEFEND the Constitution, maimed as it may now be, not to HOLD-UP the patriotic populace. Yours are errors of omission, obfuscation, and commission.

I agree with your reading of Jefferson. What is your response to the anarchy that ensues when Supreme Court decisions are rejected and not implemented by equally nullifiable presidential and congressional decisions/laws/executive orders?

The answer as always is a well-informed citizenry, a democracy where all of the demos gets a fair shake before the law, such citizenry ready and willing to shed their blood [along with the blood of tyrants] for liberty rather than shat their blather for coercive libertinism.

We have neglected our responsibilities, that's it, impure and simple. One doesn't have to be a navel-gazer or navel-lint-picker to see this obvious obscene truth. Why obscene? Because our children and grandchildren will bear the brunt of our civic corruption.

And, lastly for now, I take issue with your elitist disparagement of the general populace, with your " Will you donate money ... to the poor, sick, ..." and your capitalized OPTION-BOX comment. USA citizens are this planet's greatest donators to charities among all the well populated nations. In NJ, our Income Tax form has a box for charity donations, some charities specified on the form and a line for the tax-payer to enter some other non-listed charity. And people give enough so that this section is continued year after year.

And Dennis, at 7-21-14, 2:49 PM. Buddhism, at least the Mahayana sort, thrives without a God as such. A moral system based in a supposed recognition of the essence of reality and this earthly form of its manifestation. As follows:
"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." [h/t]

Buddha preceded Jesus by a few hundred years. And Jesus said, "I am always becoming what you have need of me to be." "Before Abraham, I am."
So who's who. I've gone offside from this blog's argument; I thank you for our time together.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 21, 2014 7:22 PM

Howie at 7-21-12-4, 7:22 PM. Don't know why you had to leave, but you're welcome.

If you pass this way again in the future I would just like to mention that I didn't mention Jesus,
but if it's important who preceded who, "Before Abraham, I am", says it well.

Who is, Who was and always shall be.

Talk about being first in line!

Posted by: Dennis at July 21, 2014 10:25 PM

@Howard Nelson - "...your error, serious in one of your acumen, is to be deliberately vague..." - Hmmm... you seemed pretty comforatable assuming you knew what I meant... until I stated that the assumption wasn't necessarily valid. Oh well.

RE: "What is your response to the anarchy that ensues..." - Sorry, Howard, I don't have an answer for everything; only a starting point.

RE: "...I take issue with your elitist disparagement of the general populace..." - Huh? You're not responding here to anything I wrote.

Posted by: goy at July 21, 2014 10:52 PM

Great. Now we have to listen to you guys criticizing each other. Why don't stop hijacking this thread and continue flaming each other where we don't have to hear how oh so clever you are?

Goy, you and "Howie" (how condescending that appellative is) ought to get a table at the nearest Starbucks and sit there all day over double decaf no fat cinnamon dolce lattes, no whip cream, nattering at each other.

I suppose Gerard doesn't mind, it adds to his click count but it does get tedious for the less articulate, observant and vain of us.

Here, I'll show you how fatuous your comments are:
My uncle's name is Louie Lozko. We all called him "Letsgo Lozko". He raised bantam chickens.

You might take umbrage at my criticism and mean-spiritedness. Good. I hope you do.

Well, there's a whole lot in life I don't care much about, but I am pretty well centered in my own spirituality and the older I get I allow that there's probably about 23 different ways to get into Heaven. "Everybody's got their own way to butter their bread" as my father would say, "don't trust the priests, son, all they got a key to is the shithouse".

And besides, as I get older, I pay more attention to the evidence and less to the arguments.

When I see some of these folks running their game I want to say “Kid, I ran with bikers, shot junk, robbed banks; my hands have taken lives and saved lives when I was active military; I worked with the Billy Graham Crusade; I got a million miles of highway under my ass, slept with dogs, danced with angels, I got screwdrivers older than you … what ya gonna show me, uh?”

But I don’t. Nowadays I just kinda watch it all going down. Are there any questions about that? I can speak more succinctly if the message needs spelling out.

Since goy and to a lesser extent Howard Nelson always want to get the last word in I bet they respond to my disparaging remarks rather than to the homage I pay to one of the dear departed members of my clan. Odds 5 to 3 on that one.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 22, 2014 7:43 AM

@chasmatic: "Why don't stop hijacking this thread..." - Perhaps you should take a breath.

This thread is derived from a comment I authored, which Gerard graciously placed on the main page as a stimulus - at least I can only assume - for discussion. As such, it'd be hard for me to "hijack" the thread by participating in it, don't you think?

And who referred to Howard Nelson as "Howie"? I know I didn't. He stated that I had erred; when I asked how, the reply was a non sequitur, which I pointed out. That's not "criticism", it's an attempt to get the discussion back on track.

RE: "I'll show you how fatuous your comments are" - your example is not a comment I wrote, so it's not clear what you're trying to say here.

You seem to be reading this comment exchange as a typical internet "debate" in which two juvenile participants are trying to get in the last word.

Perhaps you should consider the possibility that it just might be an ongoing exchange of ideas that could potentially trail on indefinitely.

Posted by: goy at July 22, 2014 8:44 AM

"Perhaps you should consider the possibility that it just might be an ongoing exchange of ideas that could potentially trail on indefinitely."

Yikes. That long? I don't believe I want to be that civilized, but thank you anyway.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 22, 2014 10:04 AM

Ladies, ladies, ladies!

Everybody, step away from the computers and go outside in the sunshine and get some air, go for a brief walk, collect yourselves, then come back in here and conduct yourselves as coherent adults with their emotions in check.

Thank you.

Now, Can some one remind me, in 10 words or less, what this thread is all about?

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 22, 2014 10:53 AM

Ghostsniper, this blog and much of the ensuing discussion is summed up by AGoyAndHisBlog [reposted by GVDL on 7-21-14] comment, "If we are a nation of laws, not men, then the solution to our present dilemma must be sought in the reformation of those laws, not the hanging of men."

This misses the most important point that without enforcement, or agreement to observe those laws, the laws serve no purpose. We shirk our responsibilities when we do not make this a participatory democracy."The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings." We the People in their majority of ignorance, greed for freebies, altruism, guilt voted for the vipers that are strangling us. We the People must take intelligent responsibility for this republic to thrive. Necessary adhered- to laws will follow by those who care. Will those who care carry the vote?
The Founders new this, our citizenry in their majority have forgotten or don't care. Teach yourselves and children well, otherwise we'll go down in history as the Founderers.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 22, 2014 1:00 PM

It is about killing enemies of the United States.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 22, 2014 1:00 PM

My apologies to AGoy for my misdirected comment regarding 'elitist disparagement of the general populace,' which should have been directed at cond0011 7-20-14 2:57PM.
cond0011, regarding another difference between the Socialist and the Charity Organization: the S seeks to reduce all to dependency, while the C.O. seeks to help the receiver raise their self to self-sufficiency.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 22, 2014 1:55 PM

@Howard Nelson: "This misses the most important point that without enforcement..."

Of course it "misses the point"... as long as you're careful to cherry-pick that one sentence out of context.

Had you continued reading (or quoting), you would have seen that I was pretty clear about how, "I'm not suggesting that this process won't require the use of force at some stage." And had you followed the link I provided above, you also would've discovered a proposal for one possible mechanism aimed at restoring the Republican Form of Government - the balance - which was guaranteed by the Constitution as a part (no, not ALL, but a PART) of the enforcement mechanism envisioned by the Founders.

The point of my original comment, which I still believe was pretty darned clear, was that idle threats of a fantastical, vengeful nature - as characterized by the (metaphorical?) prescription for a new Reign of Terror - will simply be laughed at by the oligarchy presently in control. And furthermore, to make matters worse, such rhetoric completely misses the larger issue of HOW our Republic was subverted, WHO the transgressors and enablers were (and are), and WHAT has motivated each to do what they've done. Without some attempt to pursue that larger issue, without some attempt to understand the forces involved, you can hang all the people you want - evil will just make more.

In short: "Teach yourselves and children well" IS NOT A PLAN. Neither is "buying the wood for the gallows to be built on the Mall in Washington" a plan. And neither is "killing the enemies of the United States" a plan if you don't actually KNOW who those enemies are, what has motivated them, and what actually makes them enemies in the first place. Are we concerned with "the enemies of the United States"? Or are we more concerned with the enemies of the Constitution? The two are absolutely NOT the same.

I continue to be amazed by all the stout Defenders of the Constitution, who speak of the oaths they've taken and the blood they promise to spill in its defense... yet, of those, I can count on one hand the number who've expressed any actual faith the Constitution as a basis for restoring the Republic. It's a puzzlement.

Posted by: goy at July 22, 2014 3:09 PM

"I doubt the efficacy of teaching, though it's noble indeed to attempt it. Witness the enormous learning, wit, and insight of so many wonderful bloggers whose voices can now be heard.
Still, as entertaining as their efforts are, it seems to me that the effect of their work in defeating the liberal, grifter enemy is marginal." Colonel B. Bunny

No matter how much talking is done it will still get down to steel in hand and boots on the ground.
“The people in power will not disappear voluntarily.” Burroughs

Where will you be, goy, behind a desk or on the ramparts?

You need not provide a point by point response, merely answer the question.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 22, 2014 4:08 PM

@chasmatic, there aren't going to be any "ramparts". This isn't the French Revolution. It isn't the American Revolution or the "Civil" War either. This is collapse of a society from within.

As such - if history is any guide - it's a fairly safe bet that instead of "ramparts", there will be economic collapse, massive bank failures, asset siezures, a brief period of martial law, implosion of the federal and some State governments as they default on their debt, breakdown of social services, civil strife, shortages of basic necessities, widespread disease & starvation, balkanization and, eventually, a slow restoration of order, possibly effected by State and local governments if the Chinese don't seize the opportunity to annex that portion of the country that strikes their fancy most.

I have no idea where I'll be. Neither, I suspect, do you.

Posted by: goy at July 22, 2014 4:26 PM

@goy, I agree with everything you wrote in that last post except for most of the first sentence.

Any number of things could make this situation go hot in a nanny and when that happens all bets are off.

You seem to be unaware of the number of people from all around the spectrum that are a second away from igniting instantly.

We all have our breaking point and it's a lot closer than most people know, til they've snapped, then it's too late.

A chauffeur took a wrong turn and WWI was the result.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 22, 2014 7:20 PM

It's never too early to start slitting the throats of people attempting to harm you. Dawdle and you'll see your own purple juice slucing through your fingers. Be a boyscout, always be prepared.

If everyone on the Warren Commission had been found along rural roads gutted and burning this country would be in a different position than it is today, a position more aligned with the constitution, if that's your party favor of the day.

20 years of bloated pussification after WWII set the tone for the next 50.

The men in this country are outnumbered by the misfits, so they lay in wait, but for what?

A signal.

And they prepare, in all ways.
When it snaps it will be unholy on a scale never seen before on this planet, not unlike armageddon.

The skies on fire, water, air, and land poisoned by millions of dead bodies and radiation, violent, diseased bipodal carbon units patrolling for resources, escape will be rare.

Be the animal.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 22, 2014 7:33 PM

@ghostsniper, I know what you're saying. I'm well aware that a lot of folks are just itching to start shooting someone.

Thing is: I've been hearing this sort of stuff from the same group of people since at least 1993 - you know, back when the AWB "proved" that the feds were going to declare martial law and corral all of us "undesirables" in FEMA camps at one of the 10 designated Regions. Never happened. That said, I'm not discounting that it could, I'm simply trying to suggest that while everyone is busily preparing their bug-out bags, food stores and burying their ammunition, it might be prudent to look at a parallel, pro-active pursuit which leverages that Constitution so many people claim is so important that they're willing to fight and die for it... but who don't seem to have enough faith in it to actually use it for anything tangible.

Also - don't take this wrong - while it's gratifying that you do (provisionally), I'm not looking for anyone to agree with me. Given that I have no faith whatsoever in the federal government ever fixing itself, no matter who's elected there, I figure I have nothing to lose by trying to talk up that parallel approach, get anyone I can interested, beat some ideas against each other and hammer out an approach for some sort of actual activity that (a) goes beyond internet discussion, (b) doesn't start out by slitting throats and (c) focuses on restoring whatever aspects of the Republic can be restored - even if that just means helping more people to actually know what a Republic IS, how this country of ours was originally supposed to function, and what events in our history broke it, some of which I've enumerated above.

Posted by: goy at July 22, 2014 8:25 PM

All I know is what I read at the Woodpile Report. Every bit as knowledgeable, but condescension and fatuous-free: "Absent legitimacy it's a sprint to whatever irreducible power center presents itself."

How are you going to confront ANYone whose very culture, down to their language constructs, does not allow for personal accountability? Or believes no absolute and thus confers no legitimacy?

How presumptuous of me to prefer my experience to your arguments! Higher education has become Rockefeller among the cannibals, scribbling notes without understanding.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at July 23, 2014 3:15 AM

Ideas are good, mostly, they help define what is an isn't. I've created a number of businesses based on that very premise. I have unlimited ideas, but further thinking usually reveals them to be failures with maybe 1 in 100 successful. Edison said, "Ninety-nine percent persperation, one percent inspiration."

I personally believe there are a number of inherent flaws in the constitution and quite frankly I'm surprised it didn't fail long ago.

The very first word, "We" (the people), is a failure. Why? Because nobody gets to speak for me. I am quite capable of doing my own thinking and speaking.

The *social contract* ASSumption is an abomination. According to Black's Law Dictionary, to be legal, a contract must contain certain things most of which are lacking in this silly social contract.

The social contract is arbitrarily non-binding and binding at the discretion of one side of the contractors.

The parchment under glass is lacking in most of the basic requirements of a legal contract. There are no repercussions or recompense outlined for infractions by either side. How can there be agreement between parties when half of the story is not written and agreed upon?

Finally, the very premise of the constitution is based in a moral flaw. That one person gets to rule over another. Make no mistake, regardless of window dressing, when men with guns come to my home to steal my property a crime is being committed and moral injustice. A piece of paper cannot make this right, and if it is ASSumed to do so then all theft and acts of immorality are moral and right.

This thing is so tangled, the level of debt so great, that the only cure is a total reset of everything. Evil is the core and the core must be destroyed and in order to do so millions of people will be eliminated.

A reset, while hugely tragic, is the chemo to the cancer. Without it the parasite will kill the host. With it the host has a chance. The longer it takes for the reset to occur the worse it will be for all.

I don't look to the future with a smile but I am optimistic. I try to imagine a new world with most of the evil eliminated, a chance to try again.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 23, 2014 6:43 AM

@Joan: "All I know is what I read at the Woodpile Report." - I've read a lot of your posted comments Joan. I'm fairly certain that's not all you know. ;-)

That said, ol' remus' latest post is an excellent argument in support of a Legitimacy Amendment (as well as the need for a grassroots, middle-class awakening on this issue, and a strong movement to facilitate that awakening) which re-affirms the several States' authority to invoke a wholesale re-boot and radical downsizing of the federal government, along with its complex of adminstrations, bureaus, agencies, divisions, departments and entrenched bureaucracy. That's a concept I've been promoting for some time now, because it's become clear - to me, personally - that all this pseudo-confrontation with the federal leviathan, and obsessive focus on electing the "right" politicians there, is not only having no net positive effect, it's actually counterproductive ( ).

Specifically, if it really is true (and I agree with ol' remus that it is) that "legitimacy is no longer a serious constraint," then the questions that rise immediately to my mind are: At what point was legitimacy a serious constraint? Why was legitimacy a serious constraint at that point? When did our society begin to regress from that point? What events triggered that regression? How do we undo that regression and guide society back to that point? If ol' remus' mind immediately turns to how he can best adapt to lawlessness, well it simply indicates that he's resigned to this regression. That's fine. I'm not. If my expressing this opinion strikes you as "fatuous" or "condescending", I'm genuinely interested in knowing why.

RE: "How are you going to confront ANYone whose very culture..." - Sticking with ol' remus, I think he's already answered that, in part, by linking to an article at American Thinker entitled "Why I Am No Longer a Leftist" (which I strongly suspect was authored by the individual who used the "Robin of Berkeley" pen name there back in '09 - ).

That article - and the many instances of individuals waking up from the "leftist" fog, recounted in numerous writings, some of whom I referred to in the original comment - makes clear that this conflict isn't a matter of culture at all. In fact, it turns out that every bona fide culture examined in this context confirms this ( ).

Rather, it's a matter of human psychological development - the process of maturing from a normative, narcissist child, with an adolescent morality, into a morally mature adult. As such, one might more reasonably ask "How are you going to confront any adult child... etc."

The answer, I think, is that one doesn't confront a child, per se; one disciplines, one guides, one educates... above all, one firmly refuses to compromise. Our society's biggest problem is that the adults have largely abdicated their roles as parents, and have been allowing their children to remain children, well into adulthood, for the past two generations at least. Worse yet, the adults have come to view these moral adolescents as fully-realized adults in their own right, with a legitimate viewpoint, and have submitted to relentless demands of compromise with that viewpoint. In so doing, the adults have allowed their adult children to take control and, with that, allowed a morally adolescent viewpoint - which comprises a demonstrably socially-suicidal, collectivist fetish - to determine social policy. (Note well: this process is largely orthogonal to the process by which the federal government evolved from a weak, limited "general government" into the virtually omnipotent state it represents today.)

So I don't believe this is a question of culture; it's the product of a dysfunctional family dynamic. Furthermore, I would submit that this dysfunction can never support the emergence of a bona fide culture: the morally adolescent mindset it produces does not value the full range of intuitive ethics required to maintain a healthy society capable of surviving long enough to evolve a culture. This phenomenon is one of the "forces" to which I've been referring. And, in fact, I believe it's the key to understanding why legitimacy is no longer a constraint.

Finally, I don't believe that I've suggested or even implied that you or anyone else should be forced to "choose" anything, so I think it might be early to talk about presumptuousness. My original comment and ensuing responses are not some sort of challenge to those whose minds have - for whatever reason - slammed shut to the possibility of reformation. Rather, they're simply an expression of what I have chosen, and an explanation of why.

Posted by: goy at July 23, 2014 7:26 AM

@ghostsniper: "The *social contract* ASSumption is an abomination."

I'd completely agree with this.

I would dispute, however, that the Constitution - as originally ratified - is a "social contract" in the abominable sense of Rousseau's addled, collectivist, morally adolescent, secular theology. The Constitution is decidedly NOT an expression of that theology - it is diametrically opposed to that theology. That it has been misrepresented for decades is actually part of how we arrived at such a potentially explosive impasse.

The Constitution is - or, at least was originally ratified as - a contract between the several sovereign States, NOT between the People and the federal government, as is falsely portrayed today.

The authority to engage in that contract was delegated from the sovereign citizens - We the People - to their respective State legislatures, through republican (representative) principles used to secure and express their consent. As such, the Constitution was nothing more than a mechanism designed to provide (1) arbitration for any disputes arising between the several States and (2) facilities to provide for the needs they shared in common. Period.

As such, NOWHERE does the Constitution grant the general government any express or implied authority that can be translated in a way to assert that "one person gets to rule over another." Nowhere. THAT bogus, nationalist, imperialist notion is a concept that emerged during the fundamental transformation this nation experienced in 1865, which was later codified in the so-called "Fourteenth Amendment" (and further entrenched by the Seventeenth). This, as I've noted, is one of the inflection points that has facilitated the social regression leading to the federal government's evolution into a virtually omnipotent state, and it's the main reason (among several) why I think the concept of federal reformation by the States is so crucial.

RE: "The parchment under glass is lacking in most of the basic requirements of a legal contract. There are no repercussions or recompense outlined for infractions by either side." - This isn't really true.

With respect to overreach by the federal government, specifically, prior to 1861 the States engaged in various levels of nullification to deal with legislation that was destructive of their citizens' or their region's interests. This occurred in the context of issues ranging from the Fugitive Slave Laws to the Tariff of Abominations. The power of nullification is clearly one of those powers reserved to the States per the Tenth Amendment, as it is nowhere proscribed in Article I, Section 10 as one of those prohibited to the States and nowhere placed under the authority of the general government.

In fact, the Constitution is a virtually one-way contract which places virtually ALL onus and restriction on the general goverment and its administrators, and none whatsoever on the People. This is why the former are required to take the Oath of Office, i.e., to protect and defend the Constitution - NOT the "people" or the "Union" or the "country" or any other intangible entity - while the latter are required to take no oath whatsoever, as they are considered sovereign. THAT understanding is what has changed since 1788. And I think THAT understanding has led to frustration with the Constitution due to two related things - one a product of the other: (1) a fundamental misunderstanding of who the parties to the contract actually were, which is the product of (2) over 150 years of propaganda aimed at falsely establishing and maintaining the primacy of the federal government over the People. As one stellar example of this propaganda - apropos the Oath of Office mentioned above - the "Pledge of Allegiance", written by a socialist and popularized as part of the nationalist sentiment that began during the so-called "Reconstruction", was a statist effort aimed at inverting the existing hierarchy of authority expressed by the Constitution, i.e., by rhetorically subordinating the individual to "the United States of America".

RE: "This thing is so tangled, the level of debt so great, that the only cure is a total reset of everything."

I completely agree:

Posted by: goy at July 23, 2014 8:39 AM

"This thing is so tangled, the level of debt so great, that the only cure is a total reset of everything."

Ah yes, finally, that is it in a nutshell. What changes the periodic madness of crowds is the death of bad opinions through depression, not discussion.

That was true from the first market economies in the seventeenth century, and the failures were spectacular but brief.

Then came 1913 and 1933. Government was no arbiter, government was the supreme force in the room.

The madness of crowds is what government is, and government will do anything to stay alive and untouched. As it has done that, life is sucked out of everything else of value. Not least the mind and character of the citizen.

Without a Great Depression in government there is no cure. What shape that cure would take I have no idea, because I am only a fool, not a damn fool.

Posted by: james wilson at July 23, 2014 11:06 AM

Some stunning arguments presented by articulate and intelligent people. Enough diversity so the information presented is not stacked, one-sided, tape-looped.
Referring to Remus and a couple of others is like opening the window; it never hurts to have some fresh air.

The following is quoted directly from Remus' Woodpile Report
The Middle Class is the designated prey in all this. This is unwise. Middle class America is no less violent than any other people. They seem passive because they're results oriented.
They rise not out of blood frenzy but to solve the otherwise insoluble. Their methods of choice are good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement, roughly in that order.
Only when these fail to end the abuse do they revert to blowback. And they do so irretrievably. Once the course is set and the outcome defined, doubt is put aside.
The Middle Class is known, condemned actually, for carrying out violence with the efficiency of an industrial project where bloody destruction at any scale is not only in play, it's a metric.
Remorse is left for the next generation, they'll have the leisure for it. We'd like to believe this is merely dark speculation. History says it isn't.

All along I have been furthering the position that we must and we will resort to violence to achieve the reset that has been mentioned. I am a sixty-seven year old man with cancer and a past of patriotism, lethal violence, and spiritual awakening. I am not a hot-headed firebrand or bloodthirsty rebel intent on killing any who disagree with me or have the wrong colored eyes.
I am a member of the Middle Class referred to in Remus' essay. My assertion is based on the nature of the "ferals" which must be overcome in the reset.
All the "... good will, cooperation, forbearance, negotiation and finally, appeasement ..." will be put aside and arms taken up when flashpoints are triggered. We will see violence before we see rebuilding.
I am prepared to die for my beliefs and, frankly, I don't expect to survive to see the reset, the rebuild. It will take the better part of a decade to achieve.

goy, I think you write well (even though I barked at you a time or two). Good luck in furthering your proposal. In keeping with my fast-forward thinking on this subject I'm going to quit this discussion and go clean weapons and spend some time at the range. I won't even include the non-sequitur mention of my uncle Letsgo Lozko who raised bantam chickens.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 23, 2014 1:59 PM

@chasmatic: Cheers! I need to go prepare for an IDPA match, myself, so ...

Posted by: goy at July 23, 2014 2:14 PM

Well you retired folks have fun at the range, mid week, while I slave away on a building in Toronto, deadline fri. Sat though is shotgun day, as in tactical shotguns, and no less than 400 rds will be downrange by days end. My shoulder is already screaming.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 23, 2014 4:31 PM

Goy, thank you for returning to the fray.

As a Conversative, I tend to oppose all viewpoints including my own.
You say, 7-23-14. 8:39 AM, that, "The Constitution is -or, at least was originally ratified as ... NOT between the People and the federal government, ..."
As the signers of the Constitution, absent the Bill of Rights, were representatives of We the People of each state, these signers were MERELY carrying out the orders of the People as best these signers understood them. Noteworthy, is the fact that this understanding was a mis-understanding, forcing via popular pressure, the near immediate revision of the 'original' Constitution to include the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments.

This We the People forcing revision to protect rights of individual citizens belies your thesis that , "As such, the Constitution was nothing more than a mechanism designed to provide (1) arbitration ... between the several States and (2) facilities to provide for the needs they shared in common. Period." The Bill of Rights for the most part were established to protect We The People from familiar and unfamiliar depredations of government against their own citizens.

And if you think I'm cherry-picking your verbiage and nounage and intent, that you were referring ONLY to the pre-Bill of Rights Constitution, then I accuse [Zola, where are you?] you of deliberate obfuscation in an attempt to make a debating point rather than to advance the Argument to a better understanding of the truth. Truth? If it's true it must be true at all extremes, as well as all the in-betweens. Otherwise, the position taken or opinion expressed is simply a limited correlation with no necessary link to truth or reality.

Marinate your mind and heart in the God-dependent Declaration of Independence, and Preamble to the Constitution and let us meet again, paraphrasing Rumi, 'in that place beyond all right doing and wrong doing.' If I pull your chain, it's only to unshackle you.
As a Conversative, my guidance comes from the proposition, "Things are not quite what they seem; nor are they otherwise." Let us emphasize 'wise.' Not easy, but worthwhile, as you have stated many times.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 23, 2014 7:04 PM

Goy, before I take my sedation, is it true that some members of the IDPA (some, not all, and certainly not you), following the racket they make with their volleying, drink beer 'til 12 and pistol 2?

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 23, 2014 7:51 PM

@Howard: important stuff first... ;-)

The IDPA matches I've attended have been almost exclusively in the evening, typically on a week night. None of them has ended early enough for a regrouping at a local bar, or whatever. So, no - assuming I understand what you're asking - what you describe has never been my experience.

RE: "fray" - This is a "fray" now? Huh. :-)

RE: Bill of Rights - I think you might want to revisit the history on how/why this was added. Mason's initial proposal for this was roundly rejected, as opposed to being demanded, by the popular majority, as expressed by the delegates. States were considered sovereign, relative to the new general government, and most State constitutions already included a list of guaranteed rights. So the addition was considered redundant and even potentially problematic (i.e., would a federal Bill of Rights actually limit - through enumeration - those rights that would be protected, thereby possibly conflicting with existing State-level guarantees?). Popular sentiment was not what drove the addition of the BoR, it was added at the insistence of several States which made it a condition of the Constitution's ratification (Jefferson being a chief advocate among these). This wasn't driven by any "misunderstanding" regarding the nature of the new government; it was driven by an understanding of the nature of government itself, i.e., that all government tends to seek expansion of its authority, irrespective of limits placed upon it. As such, I reject any assertion that the addition of the BoR "belies" the clear purpose of the Constitution as a contract between the States, for the purpose of managing and administering those affairs arising among and between them.

RE: cherry-picking - Yes, you did, and thereby either accidentally or intentionally eliminated my comments about the use of force from my suggestion, completely changing my meaning. My position is that a constitutional approach must precede (and justify) any use of force. Gallows-building out of frustration simply isn't a solution.

And I haven't obfuscated anything. On the contrary, I'm trying to strip AWAY the knee-jerk, tribal proclivities, the distorted history, decades of nationalist propaganda and all the other elements that tend to overly complicate this issue. There's a reason why people act the way they do - a root cause. Proceeding from that root cause is the only way to understand the repetitive rise/fall/rise/fall cycle of human civilization and work toward constructs - which include, in particular, our chosesn form of government - that will lessen, and possibly someday even eliminate, the destructive effects of that cycle.

Posted by: goy at July 24, 2014 9:23 AM

Goy, first to your last point:

One does NOT have to proceed from the root cause of difficult, complex, long-term problems in order to generate healthful attitudes, solutions, and behaviors. If one chooses to take the root cause approach you suggest, do so.

At the individual level, all that's necessary is for the individual to experience healthful incentives and results in order for healthful change to occur. Dr. Milton Erickson and his 1000's of students proved this over and over again. Erickson's hypnotic and non-hypnotic strategic systems for having clients discover their own tactics and supports revolutionized psychiatric and nonpychiatric therapeutic approaches and revolutionized psychotherapy in many ways.
Instead of picking at scabs of sociopathy and incompetence, the client found their own healthful path to living, and reinforced those better behaviors by observing the more desirable results.

Bill of Rights -- As you say, " ... most State constitutions already included a list of guaranteed rights." 'Some' but not all? Included 'a' list, at least as encompassing as the federal BoR?
And what protections would the State resident have if the particular State was lax in enforcing their constitution's guarantee of individual rights?

You don't have to do a historical analysis of a person's pathology to incentivize them to change in a healthful direction.

Individuals make up the group.
Too often membership in groups causes shallowly understood and accepted ethics to be corrupted. Therefore, teach your children well is the strategy and obvious plan from numerous generations of family-based instructions and schooling -- that's how I and millions of others learned in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's. Those textbooks and school curricula are available for adaptation where necessary for today's kids. The plan, to be more specific, is already available -- return to the productive systems of yesteryear. The plan already exists, except for one step, the need to replace pious, degrading swill with beneficient will.

As discussed for the individual, analagously for the greater nation. WE have lost our way in many respects. The way forward is to learn from the remembered and documented past--remember the best and adapt it as necessary, include what's newer and better, examine, as many already have, schools in depressed areas that are thriving, students who enjoy learning and contributing to their communities, successful and unsuccessful charter schools, ... The answers, the successful plans are all around us. Do it!

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 24, 2014 11:55 AM

@Howard: "One does NOT have to proceed from the root cause..." - Now who's obfuscating... ;-)

You're conflating psychology and sociology here, in case that's not obvious.

It's usually (but not always) fine to encourage an individual to define their own path to mental health, assuming they don't suffer from some serious PD, and can be provided with the required information and techniques.

But this is a very different thing from encouraging an individual to define their own path to moral maturity. Mental health is not the same as moral maturity, and layers of clinical research focused on the study of morality show that one's level of moral maturity (or, conversely, moral adolescence) is what drives one toward a particular political ideology, which is a matter of sociology.

That - the impact of moral adolescence vs. maturity - is the root cause that short-circuits thoughtful consideration and critical thinking, leading to self-righeousness where moral concerns are involved. This phenomenon is almost completely ignored today, and it needs more study and more application in the context of constructing social systems, like government.

A good example of constructive thinking in this regard - which is currently based more on morally mature intuition than actual, clinical evidence - is the common suggestion that voting privileges should be earned, minimally through attainment of majority, preferably by having rendered some service to the society on whose governance they're voting and, better still, by ensuring that they have some degree of "skin in the game", for lack of a better description (e.g., property ownership, etc.). Each of these points to a demand for some degree of moral maturity, as applied to the electoral process - although, clearly, that is not the only social system impacted by this phenomenon. We certainly shouldn't have moral adolescents running our academic institutions, for instance; yet that's all we seem to find there.

RE: "what protections would the State resident have" - resident?? Surely you mean State Citizen.

The nationalist, who erroneously views the federal government as superior in authority to the States, thinks in terms of "State residents". The Constitution - the contract drawn up and ratified by the States to delegate limited powers to a general government, for the purpose of managing and administering affairs such as arose between or among them - refers to "Citizen[s] of the United States" (plural - as in 'many States', not as in 'one country') only in the context of eligibility for federal office; it recognizes State Citizens for all other purposes. This reference is most notable, again, in the context of issues arising between the States, e.g., in matters of the law (see Article III).

In any case, the Citizen in question would have whatever protections are afforded by the constitution, if any, of their respective State. Furthermore, there's nothing in the Bill of Rights that asserts otherwise; it could not, since - outside of very specific economic powers proscribed to the States in Article 1, Sec. 10 - it is an instrument which defines and constrains only the federal government. The understanding that State authority ruled over issues of rights was also expressed in Article IV, Sec. 2, Para. 3.

As such, the BoR was added as a guard against future encroachments by the federal government, not by the State governments. The latter was a concept introduced and foisted on the citizens of every State via the so-called "Fourteenth Amendment", by the nationalists who came to power after the Republic and State sovereignty had been - for all practical purposes - eliminated.

RE: "teach your children" - That ship, unfortunately, has sailed. Again, it's not a plan - at least not one that can rein in the out-of-control federal monstrosity before it causes a national collapse.

Posted by: goy at July 24, 2014 2:06 PM

Goy, good man, you are perhaps conflating psychology and sociology at 7-23-17-4. 7:26 AM, where you say. "Rather it's a matter of human psychological development -- the process of of maturing ... into a morally mature adult." I was simply agreeing with you and adding some additional factual support. And, emphasizing the need to teach your children well by known successful methods [i.e., The Plan].
I would add to your following paragraph something about the immense value of teaching age-appropriate negotiation-with-integrity methods, and that actions have consequences -- rather than insisting that a parent firmly refuse to compromise. Unless some action is dangerous or damaging why teach tyranny to a child? One of my daughters, at the age of 6 was already flummoxing me regularly with clever counterarguments which I yielded to on their merits.

"...Mental health is not the same as moral authority." Agreed. Importantly, mental health, appreciating right from wrong, fair from unfair, is the foundation, bone and marrow, of moral maturity. Teach yourself and your children well. Thereby, one's character projects into social interactions. effortlessly, powerfully, naturally.

Your paragraph starting, "A good example ... " echoes some of Heinlein's thoughts in 'Starship Troopers.' Good! Who without sin or prejudice will set the standards and ensure their application? Soulless robots? And who or what programmed the robots' adherence to fairness?

You chide me for use of the term 'fray,' commonly used to mean dispute, debate, argument. Battle of ideas and meanings was my intent. How could I have been more comprehensive, comprehendable and precise?

You take me to task for using the term 'State residents,' rather than my emphasizing resident. I accept your critique, and as a Conversative I herewith alter the term to 'State residents, whether citizen or alien.' Would you argue that felonies be allowed to be committed against such peaceful aliens, without State or federal government restraint or punishment of the aggressors? Surely, these aliens have some rights under our Bill of Rights -- and if you insist not, then they certainly have rights under our Declaration of Independence! The DoI to my mind is the moral/ethical/spiritual underpinning of the Constitution, and perhaps, the creed of Americans, "We hold these Truths..."

Goy, it seems to me you are misreading the BoR when you say, "As such, the BoR was added as a safeguard against future encroachments by the federal givernment, not by the State governments." Amendments 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 all refer to the people, as in, We the People, or person -- thereby superseding, as the case may be, State laws to the contrary or absent -- hearkening back to the DoI's paragraph 2.

Thank you for the impetus driving me back to the books. If I err again, please be explicit with your corrective comments. I'd rather be wrong and corrected than continue in ignorance.

If this thread permits I hope to meet you again regarding Lincoln, upon whom you opined.
Right now I must ungird what's left of my loins.
Be well.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 25, 2014 5:38 PM

@goy -

I take it you have not actually read any of the materials listed, presented to increase one's knowledge of the situation at hand? The specific is thus - the CONshitution was purported to strictly limit government. It did not. It can not. The anti-federalists warned of the abuses which would arise, and are proven correct, daily. Yet somehow you seem to believe that just one more amendment, a we really mean it this time amendment will fix the situation? Is that correct?

There really is NO limit on government power - the myth of limited government is a story for school children and the perpetually gullible. You see, should your proposed amendment pass, by what means would it be enforced? There exists not a single governor in the US willing to act against leviathan.

Please, the CONshitution was a shell game from the gitgo, created to re-enable the aristocracy recently deposed during Rev1. And it succeeded, and succeeds to this day fooling those lurching from one election to another, one "supreme" court ruling to the next, one legislative affront after another, one executive order on top of all the others. And then there is the bureaucracy - unbidden, unwelcome, unauthorized, unassailable.
Last but not least, recognize that every law every rule every regulation every policy creates a constituency that will not allow their priviledge to diminish, but demand it be increased.

Your brief listing of "Republic" data points chart an unmistakable trendline to the tyranny upon us today, yet even prior to the Whiskey Rebellion (not mentioned) this "Republic" was founded on a false premise, that being the framers (not founders) had authority to engage in creating a CONshitution. They did not - there is a reason that many signatories to the Declaration of Independence declined to attend the secretive gathering, they refused to be associated with the evil undertaking.

"The Constitution and the first ten Amendments institutionalized individual liberty ..."
Really? Please, how does the right of eminent domain ensure individual liberty? Or, "reasonable" searches? Or, suspension of habeus corpus? Quartering soldiers during war??

good luck with your amendment. or voting. or whatever.


Posted by: itor at July 25, 2014 5:49 PM

Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 31 Oct 1944:
"At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper -- no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point."

Churchill, House of Commons, 11 Nov 1947:
"Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all the other forms that have been tried from time to time..."

Mahatma Gandhi brought the British government to the negotiating table to fairly peacefully release its governance of then India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. Murderous hell followed between Hindus and Muslims, but that's not the point.

The USSR disintegrated from internal dissensions and external (Reagan policy) squeezes fairly peacefully.

Israel, fairly peacefully, convinced the British to give up their mandate over then Palestine.

What do we need to get off our collective backsides, and vote, get our neighbors to vote, present ourselves as candidates for some local office if we've time and stomach enough?
I recollect in the last presidential election the turnout was about 60% of those authorizable to vote. And most of the turnout were turncoats from 1776-1791 [for the BoR] principles and creed.
I mean, WWTFF, what was that fracas for?

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 25, 2014 6:45 PM

@Howard: "I was simply agreeing with you and adding some additional factual support." - I see your point. But you were discussing pathology. I was referring to human development as it pertains to social organization. Major difference.

And by continuing to rattle off into the weeds, you leave us posting at cross purposes. My focus here is on identifying root causes that point to a near-term plan which doesn't require the slitting of throats or the building of gallows as a first step. "Teach your children" is a generations-long proposition that will span far longer than the country's current life expectancy at the present rate of decline. I don't discount it as a general bit of common sense at all; I merely state that it is not relevant to the topic as I originally expressed it.

I'm going to ignore your dissembling on State residents vs. Citizens, since "aliens" is clearly NOT what you were referring to, above. ;-)

On the BoR, Amend's 2-10 all refer to the People and their recognized rights relative to the authority granted to, and wielded by the federal government, not by the States, which are superior to the federal government insofar as they are necessary for the government to have any authority at all.

Best of luck on the ungirding. My various thoughts on the Lincoln Mythology and the Leviathan State that is his legacy are here (there are links in the first couple paras. to sibling posts on the same topic): No need to burn Gerard's bandwidth on that score. ;-)

@itor: "I take it you have not actually read any of the materials listed..." - you assume incorrectly, and apparently didn't even bother to read my reference to Spooner.

Apparently - thanks to the fact that my philosophical reading on the topic was not LIMITED to those few sources - I came away with a different understanding of the Constitution, a Republic, and the means by which they could serve a nominally well-educated polity. One major problem is that - thanks to the lowest-common-denominator mandates foisted on the entire American citizenry and relentless pandering to public sector unions by a self-serving federal infrastructure - we no longer HAVE a nominally well-educated polity.

RE: "you seem to believe that just one more amendment, a we really mean it this time amendment will fix the situation? Is that correct? "

No, that's not correct. Mischaracterizing the proposal as "we really mean it this time" intentionally ignores the clearly expressed intent of the Amendment, which is to provide a practical, enforceable mechanism for federal accountability and downsizing, as well as the explicit rollback of federal overreach that is presently "only" implicit in the document as written.

RE: " There exists not a single governor in the US willing to act against leviathan. "

So all these stories about States suing over PPACA, as well as the less-publicized cases of resisting federal overreach, are just rumors? Hmmm...

RE: "how does the right of eminent domain ensure individual liberty? ..."

Where is the "right" of eminent domain even discussed in the Constitution? The term doesn't even appear. Neither does any concept remotely resembling "incorporation doctrine". Doesn't appear as though you understand the other examples you gave any better.

Posted by: goy at July 25, 2014 8:03 PM

I reject everything constitution and political.

I have a full life, as most people think of their own lives, and do not want to be encumbered with supervising others without just compensation.

It ain't my job, man.

A thug is a thug is a thug no matter the adornment and ASSumptions.

Posted by: ghostsniper at July 26, 2014 6:24 AM

Again you miss the mark, in caging my comments to pathology rather than to the full range of maladaptations that people experience, and how they healthfully resolve their difficulties.

Re your root cause thesis, I simply made the blunt point that your insistence on the need for that approach is contradicted by extensive real world experience.
Your repeated misunderstandings of the clearly stated Amendments 2 - 10, and my comments about them as clearly dominating any State's position on them, is surprising. Did you notice that I excluded Amendment 1 from my comments?
That was because Amendment 1 does NOT supersede State's authority in the areas specified.
In later years all States have come to accept the limitations on their authority as noted in Amendment 1.

Re: Re: Lincoln
Tho I am not a Lincoln scholar, I will log in as a student.
Yr comment about Lincoln''s unilateral decision to wage war on the several sovereign States, a treasonous act is ridiculous!
Fort Sumter, a federal site, had been attacked by Secessionist forces. Lincoln's oath of office demanded/commanded quick response from the Commander-in-Chief. Sovereign States you say. Completely wrong, as they were subservient to the agreed to federal government. Cripes, the states had no authority in a host of areas (treaty making, ...) where the federal government was the only authority.
To speak of Lincoln's action as treasonous is whacko! He was waging war against, not the United States, but against those who'd disunited themselves from the U.S. and attacked the U.S.
Lincoln the provoker of the war?? Why? Because he was opposed to extension of slavery to probable new states?
Bravo, for Lincoln for upholding the American creed!!

Posted by: Stug Guts at July 26, 2014 12:33 PM

Woah... clarification needed...

Stug Guts == Howard Nelson?

Why was I not informed!! ;-)

RE: "Amendment 1 does NOT supersede State's authority in the areas specified."

Then neither do the others. The Constitution defines a government and restrictions on it that are either subordinate to the authority of the States, or superior. You can't have it both ways at your whim.

All of the restrictions placed on the States are clearly enumerated in Article I, Sec. 10, and per the 10A, all other powers are reserved to the States, &c. "Congress shall make no law" applies as much to the Second through Ninth Amendments as it does to the First. No other interpretation makes sense, since the BoR was added to address the issue of potential overreach by the federal government, and expressly NOT the States which created it through ratification of the Constitution.

RE: "all States have come to accept the limitations on their authority"

No, they have not. That limitation has been foisted on the States by a federal government which - via the SCOTUS - has not only usurped sole authority over the limits of the federal government's authority (yes, that's circular and, yes, that arrangement is idiotic), but usurped authority over that of the States, as well. Given that the States which ratified the Constitution in order to create the federal government in the first place are the sole grantors of any and all limited authority it has, it should be quite clear to anyone with simple common sense that the present rearrangement is absurd. But edicts issued by the SCOTUS using tortuous legal "reasoning" - and, of course, the lingering threat of military force harkening back to Lincoln's unnecessary war - prevail.

You're referring here to "incorporation doctrine", which was not a factor until the Twentieth Century - long after the Leviathan State established by Lincoln and his radical Republican ilk had fundamentally transformed the former Republic into a de facto empire, leading us to the breakdown we're experiencing today.

RE: "I am not a Lincoln scholar"

That's made clear by your comments, which reflect a woefully simplistic understanding of the events between the Secession, in December, and Lincoln's decision, the following April, to send a fleet of warships and armed troops to seize Charleston Harbor, thereby committing what he knew would be perceived as an Act of War, forcing So. Carolina to defend herself. Virtually identical events occurred at Ft. Pickens, the written record of which was denied Congress per the equivalent of "executive privilege" ( ). For an exhaustive account of these events derived from primary sources, find a copy of John Shipley Tilley's Lincoln Takes Command. There are numerous other sources confirming these facts as well. That these facts are ignored in the version of history written by the victors is utterly irrelevant.

All I can recommend further is: get out more.

Posted by: goy at July 26, 2014 10:29 PM

Yes. Howard Nelson and Stug Guts are each other's doppelgangers, hanging out in the same haunts. A result of the new sign-in system on the sidebar which picked up an old Typepad ID. Big Boo! Boo! ,from the ghostly side.

Re your reply to my Amendments comments:
Of course you can have it more than one way when you're talking about different things such as the BoR. Many states had religious restrictions for their government officials. The approval of those states for the BoR necessitated Amendment 1's specifying, "Congress shall make no law ...." For that but none of the other 9 amendments. Not all states had all the people's protected rights as specified in the BoR. A BoR had been promised to the states prior to their reps signing the Constitution sans a BoR. The BoR was demanded by the People, who pressured their state's governments for such guarantees. No gov't entity gives up power to another entity unless the pressure is overwhelming. That's
Greed/Power/Necessity 101; not taught well in schools anymore.

Article 5 even has it more than one way for generating amendments -- one controlled by the Feds and the other controlled by the States

You then conveniently truncate my remark of the States accepting the limitations on their authority for restricting the 4 Freedoms, berate me despite my delicate sensibilities, and then open a different subject. I accuse you of cherry-picking AND nit-picking and obfuscation.

I have no quarrel with your point regarding usurpation and alteration of powers by the Supremes in many cases.

How could the Union warships due for Charleston harbor be considered tantamount to an act of war of war since this was a legitimate action by the legitimate U.S government, especially after failing negotiations? Did the seceders believe they had won a bloodless war and were now so disappointed at their own 'passive-aggressive' approach that they preemptively attacked Fort Sumter while Congress was out of session?
Heck, if one is trying to get a leg up on the competition, be careful to guard your own crotch. The seceders were dealing with Lincoln not Obama. And Lincoln called upon an applicable
George Washington statute protecting against insurrections, in addition to his considered emergency powers.

Your comment about history written by the victors being irrelevant is way overblown, wrong, and silly.
Churchill's WW2 histories are irrelevant? Histories of the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq wars by American historians pro and con those wars are irrelevant?
How have you ensured that the primary sources you refer to are all that are necessary and sufficient and accurately report purported events? What's the confabulation test you apply to the 20,000+ tomes written about the Civil War?

It seems Lamont Cranston or his doppelgänger has gotten to you. My mind's been in the cloud for a long time. If it rains I'll be washed down and out, deservedly.
Be well.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 27, 2014 12:55 AM


I agree that the root cause of the present messes we are in, and the worse ones coming, is a failure of personal education, and thus, a lack of individual morality in a large portion of the population. It takes exceptional individuals to overcome the present system of public indoctrination AKA Prussian system public schools.

This is, first and foremost, a war of ideas, and if the forces of Freedom are to win it, we must present a coherent set of principles applied consistently. "Life, Liberty and Property" are the Enlightenment watchwords rarely spoken today.

And yes, Lincoln was a bloody-handed tyrant.

Posted by: Historian at July 27, 2014 4:20 AM

@Two-Face: "Of course you can have it more than one way "

Sorry, no, you can't. By your interpretation, we may not as well even have a Constitution. And - surprise! - that's precisely the way the federal government has come to behave after decades of using your approach. ;-)

RE: "You then conveniently truncate..."

Sorry, forgot the ellipses. My reply addressed your thought in its entirety. And it stands as written. Incorporation is a modern invention of the federal judiciary; it is of a piece with the "living document" interpretation of the Constitution, and serially derived from a tortuous bucket-brigade of SCOTUS sophistry focused on relentlessly expanding the authority of the federal government far beyond its originally-defined scope - a phenomenon that every one of the Founders discussed in one way or another, and which was sent into overdrive by Lincoln's fundamental transformation of the previously voluntary union into a de facto empire of conscripted member States. The consequence of that train of judiciary abuse and usurpation (which is rooted in Marshall's extra-constitutional, unilateral declaration of the judiciary's authority over legislative powers) is the lawless, detached, wholly unaccountable government we have today, whose illegitimate actions now motivate its subjects to discuss the slitting of throats and the building of gallows...

RE: "Article 5..."

Article V is not an Amendment or part of the BoR. It defines powers reserved to the States regarding any future adjustments to the contract defined by the Constitution, and has absolutely nothing to do with constraints on State governments or State authority with respect to their own citizens. It is no way a statement of or argument for "incorporation". This might provide a clue as to why it required over a century to invent and promulgate that concept.

RE: "I have no quarrel with your point regarding usurpation and alteration of powers by the Supremes in many cases."

Well, this statement doesn't square with your rather flaccid acceptance of "incorporation doctrine", which is precisely defined as "usurpation and alteration of powers".

RE: "How could the Union warships..."

An exhaustive discussion on this is well beyond the scope of a blog comment. See Shipley's account. The WikiPedia version of events - which includes more than most Americans are ever taught about this topic - covers about 1/50th of what actually happened, all of it crucial to an understanding of how we ended up with a President, today, who behaves like a king.

RE: "Did the seceders believe they had won a bloodless war ..."

No. The seceding States believed they had peacefully seceded from a nation and a government that had openly declared its intent to redistribute their region's wealth, to fund the Hamiltonian crony capitalist policies of the newly minted, radical Republican Party (formerly Whigs - see also: Henry Clay, Henry Charles Carey and their mercantilist ilk). The seceding States believed they had peacefully seceded from a nation and a government which openly refused to meet obligations that were clearly expressed - and freely accepted by ALL States up to that time - regarding the return of fugitive slaves. The seceding States believed they had peacefully separated themselves from an increasingly corrupt, illegitimate and burgeoning Leviathan that had abandoned the principles upon which the US was originally founded. And they were absolutely justified in these beliefs. (cue the slavery-baiters...)

RE: "...they preemptively attacked Fort Sumter..."

This ridiculous statement assumes facts not in evidence, and that's being extremely polite.

As with Ft. Pickens - which saw the same deceitful, unnecessary, illegal, unilateral action taken by Lincoln with the clear intent of pushing southern forces to fire "first" in self-defense - Sumter sat unmolested by the South from the time Anderson seized the fort (without orders) until Lincoln's warships approached the harbor. That was a matter of MONTHS. The unsupportable notion that this long-delayed firing was "preemptive" is utterly ludicrous on its face, and is fomented by 150 years of demonization (of the South), which began during the so-called "Reconstruction" and which seeks to blame over one million American casualties on the southern States rather than placing the blame where it belongs: on the single individual who had the absolute power to prevent them. The notion that the firing on Sumter was "preemptive" is not supportable by any rational assessment of the events as they actually occurred.

But, again, one needs more than the WikiPedia version of events to understand any of this. See the book reference above; also this list: .

RE: "...statute protecting against insurrections..."

Sorry, but you can't START a war in order to then claim "emergency powers" - not with any legitimacy, anyway. And that's precisely what Lincoln did, a fact which Americans are programmed from kindergarten to ignore. The South's PEACEFUL secession in no way justified any UNILATERALLY directed use of force by the POTUS.


@Historian: I couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: goy at July 27, 2014 9:36 AM

Of course the words “eminent domain” are not found in the CONshitution – the CONCEPT however is embodied in the 5th amendment – surely you know that? The codification of private property seizure does not protect a right, it NEGATES a right – the right to own without interference anything including the products of ones life.

The Framing Lawyers were against a bill of rights, but in the end wrote it in such a manner that “rights” could be dismissed at will, either through legislative, executive, judicial or bureaucratic means. And what can one do about it? Write letters to the editor? Petition your masters? Run for orifice? Vote?

You see, all the counter efforts you propose are neatly packaged for you in a little box known as the CONshitution. And all are pointless exercises intended to squander your time, effort and life while accomplishing nothing. And that is by design. And operation.


Posted by: itor at July 27, 2014 12:36 PM

@itor: "...the CONCEPT however is embodied in the 5th amendment..."

No, it is not "embodied" there at all. The 5A is simply a declaration of the federal government's obligations in the context of an historical precedent which, in turn, is not directly addressed in the Constitution anywhere. It doesn't grant any new power to the federal government (or the States).

From a constitutional standpoint, the limit on "takings" could only be effected in one of two ways: (1) explicitly forbid the federal government from taking ANY property for public use or (2) constrain the federal government's actions in this regard through legislation implemented via republican - representative - democracy. Clearly, the former of these is impractical for obvious reasons, and so the latter method has prevailed by default. So if you have an issue with this - again - take it up with the legislators and the lemmings who keep re-electing them. The problem is not with the Constitution.

Similarly, all the juvenile complaints in your ongoing diatribe are not problems inherent in the Constitution, they are problems created by the relentless efforts of the federal government to ignore both its explicit limits, which are variously rationalized away, and its implicit limits, which are too frequently rationalized into implicit grants of newly discovered authority (like the authority to, in effect, declare the point where life begins).

In almost every case, this involves the federal government maintaining sole authority over the limits of the federal government's authority, as established via the extra-constitutional judiciary practice promulgated since Marbury (a prime example of an implicit limit being transformed into an implicit grant of new authority).

Posted by: goy at July 27, 2014 1:33 PM

@goy -

You're wrong. Again. The 5th destroys the sanctity of private property, and therefore of self ownership.

To repeat - EVERY evil embodied in the CONshitution was foreseen and warned against by the anti-federalists. Do you deny that as well?

Please - read your Spooner again. Or Nock.


Posted by: itor at July 28, 2014 5:03 PM

Oh yeah - Kelo vs New London:

"In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment."

You may recall that the "justices" were not elected. Ever. And cannot be removed by mere mortals.


Posted by: itor at July 28, 2014 5:13 PM

@itor: "You're wrong."

OK. Whatever you say.

re: "You may recall..."

Eh... I'm kind of the one who's been pointing this problem out to you, bub. I guess, in your unhinged rage and autistic focus on intentionally misspelling "Constitution", you've just been purposely ignoring my running commentary regarding how the problem is with a federal government (i.e., the judiciary) usurping authority over the limits of the federal government's authority.

Again, the problem is not with the Constitution. The problem is with a federal government that has been exceeding its constitutional mandate for over 150 years. There are constitutional approaches to remedying that (see above, I'm not going to rehash it again), but you don't seem to want to consider that. Enjoy prison.

Posted by: goy at July 28, 2014 5:42 PM

Unable to gain agreement on terminology or meanings of simple sentences, and applicability of different standards for different situations, I leave temporarily from this thread thanking all for spanking me to delve more deeply than I thought I had to into Civil War causes and responsibilities.
For what it may be worth I leave you all with the following reference materials which I will be marinating myself in:

1. "The Southern Side of the Civil War" 4th ed., by Michael T. Griffith, downloadable at no charge from --- a 60 page document, 2007. I just printed a copy.

2. Lincoln's 1st Inaugural Address. Easy to Google and print. A.L.'s position re secession and his obligations as he saw them.

3."Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words," by Douglas L Wilson, an inexpensive paperback

4."The Mind and Art of Abraham Lincoln: Texts and Interpretations of 20 Great Speeches" by David Lowenthal, 2012.
Lowenthal goes deeply into Lincoln's logic, references, philosophy, wordcraft, rationales for action. I plan to pickup a copy this week.

I thank Goy in particular for his tenacity, stubborness, and presentation of useful information all of which properly pressed me into education I sorely needed and will always need.

Up your intelligence, Americans!

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 28, 2014 7:05 PM


One other very balanced bit of work on this topic - and fascinating, given its author - is found at the following:

Surpisingly, given the virtually impregnable groupthink on this question, Buchanan writes:

"...the South in 1861 had at least as strong a case for secession as the Federalists of the Hartford Convention, or ex-President John Quincy Adams, who threatened President John Tyler with secession if Texas were admitted into the Union. By the Jeffersonian test, that, to be legitimate, a government must rest upon the consent of the governed, the Confederacy had legitimacy by the time of Fort Sumter."

This is, of course, to say nothing of Lincoln's own sentiments on the powers of secession:

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable,-- most sacred right--a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government, may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much of the territory as they inhabit."

The very core of my own massive, personal disillusionment on this issue (fairly recently experienced), and that which brought about linking Lincoln's excess with the process that has led to Obama's is expressed in Buchanan's word here:

"What the Union took back in 1865 was not free men and free states, but defeated rebels and conquered provinces."

Past this point, there was no more Republic.

Posted by: goy at July 29, 2014 5:48 AM

Some of those chickens? The ones my uncle Letsgo Lozko raised? They were hatched, raised and died in the time it is taking this post thread to perish.
Simple minds like mine soon grow bored with stale pedantic rhetoric. Oh, the condescension too.
That's a hoot, the articulate debaters pissing on each other's boots, saying "it's rain".

Posted by: chasmatic at July 29, 2014 6:42 AM

Well, Chasmatic, that's helpful. I was thinking, in a similar vein, that there is a lot of pissing up a rope here. I love that people know their history, but, at some point one has to wonder what could such people achieve if they can't set aside their differences. This thread is perhaps not a microcosm of the current political morass...too many intelligent people for that. Nonetheless, nothing will come of it. The die has already been cast. I think it was the inimitable James Wilson, above, who had the best point: "...What changes the periodic madness of crowds is the death of bad opinions through depression, not discussion." Nothing is going to change until people can't get food. Nothing!

Let it go, people. No matter what, you will remain sovereign, if you have the stomach for it.

Thank you Gerard. And, where the hell is ScottM?

Posted by: John Hinds at July 29, 2014 1:37 PM

Well, JH, disputants can achieve quite a lot by compromising on what they grudgingly agree to do together, while continuing to pursue implementation of their unresolved viewpoints thru continuing activism -- peaceful when necessary, violent in various degrees otherwise.
The first is called negotiating in good faith, the second, near its extreme, is called a 'just' war. Gandhi's and ML King's struggles and successes are examples of the first sort. Our own 1776+ revolutionary war is an example of the latter sort. Starvation was not the impetus, continuing disenfranchisement were the driving force.
These nuances, niceties, if you will are of no interest to those simplifiers who prefer to see s extreme efforts or nonefforts as the only behavior possibilities -- that's called nowadays, "Obama logic," or a play on turds.

Some remain in the ring, regathering strength in their corners until the next round, while others catcall from the stands. Room for all in America.
Back in revolutionary war days 1/3 of the new Americans fought the British, 1/3 mildly supported the British, 1/3 quietly observed the mayhem. Up your open mindedness! Your brains will not leak away.
Surrender to hopelessness because of a sense of helplessness serves only one purpose.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 30, 2014 10:34 AM

As this thread continues engaging reasons for secession and union, it seems useful to agree on the standards to be used to judge the pro/con arguments. As we seceded from Britain, how about combining the Constitution's strictures and the positions of the secessionists and unionists, and compare to the serious, 20 or so, complaints raised in the Declaration of Independence? What points on each side rise to or exceed the complaint intensity of the DoI complaints? Were available alternate actions realistically precluded? What was being protected/defended at those times and the anticipated futures? Who would be the gainers and losers if slavery was prevented in new states and what would they be gaining or losing? What would be fair, right, just in DoI terms for all sides and do those positions supersede other positions in the DoI and Constitution? What were the rationales for the forecasting? Which side committed what serious offense first? Where are the statements re secession, in the DoI and Constitution about the rights, limits, responsibilities of the member states? You get the idea. If we agree on little else but the ambiguity of essential information, we have advanced the cause of citizens' responsibility, and recognized our own firmly held prejudices and postjudices.
Scholars immersed in these questions for years still disagree on Civil War essentials only because they are not all as intelligent, dogged, fair-minded, humble, and humbugged as we are.
Pile on as long as your piles demand it.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 30, 2014 4:13 PM

@Howard: FWIW, I've gone through some of the exercise you're suggesting in the past, so I obviously agree with you on that. I felt it was useful up to the point where I recognized that (1) the separation from England involved a very different social structure from what existed in 1860 which, in turn, was very different from today's status quo and (2) our attitudes today prevent us from objectively assessing the true motives of those whose actions determined the course of history 150+ years ago.

On this first issue I'm referring, specifically, to the relationship between the entities which separated themselves and the governing authority from which they separated.

The colonies / States were subordinate to - i.e., ruled by - the government of England. They separated and elevated themselves from under the rule of that government, declaring independence, using the rationale and justifications listed in the DOI.

The Southern States which seceded in 1860 in response to Lincoln's "election" - and, later in 1861, when Lincoln directed federal forces to invade the South - were not subordinate to the federal government in any way. On the contrary, the federal government held what limited authority it did solely through delegation of that authority from those States, as it was based on their choice to ratify the Constitution which defined that government.

Today we have an entirely third circumstance, where the States are still legally and constitutionally superior to the federal government but - because of the fundamental transformation that occurred in 1865, federally-declared "precedent" and a few very hinky constitutional amendments - the practical relationship is exactly the reverse. The current arrangement is diametrically opposed not only to the Founders' original creation, but also to the clear intent expressed in their writing of the time (which reflected the understanding and expectations of those State legislatures which ratified the Constitution in 1788).

So that evolving relationship is the first thing one needs to take into account in this context.

The second issue is more insidious because so few are capable of honestly considering it. That is: it's not legitimate to judge the mores, laws, sentiments, prejudices and institutions of 200 years ago based on contemporary notions, which are built on a contemporary, advanced set of scientific knowledge. In short, there is no "right" or "wrong" side of history - there is only history. This recognition is particularly impossible with respect to the slavery issue, and it's one of the main reasons why there is still such rabid disagreement on the various aspects of the so-called "Civil" War.

We don't like to acknowledge this, but civilized society of the mid-nineteenth century was just then coming to the scientific and social understanding that black Africans really were not just one step up from beasts of burden, to be sold and disposed of as property, as the Constitution required. Lincoln himself famously expressed this shifting view with comments he made during the Douglas debates, proclaiming sentiments which we - today - should rightly see as a textbook definition of true racism (not the politically-motivated sort). But most Americans, because they're taught to worship Lincoln and recite his vapid prose from memory whenever circumstances seem to warrant, would rather rationalize his racist statements as the words of a "complex" man whose thoughts on this issue "evolved", and it never even crosses our minds that this racist view expressed by Lincoln was actually the one held by the majority of free, white men in the North as well as the South.

This difficulty in placing oneself in the shoes of an 1850s American is particularly destructive because it completely prevents us from seeing the events as they actually occurred, the statements actually made, as well as the motivation behind them, and the facts as they actually stood when the US was fundamentally transformed from a voluntary union of States into a de facto empire of conscripted provinces.

Just as every criticism of the current administration is shouted down with RAAACIST!!!!!, every attempt to objectively examine all of the issues and events that divided the antebellum US is shut down with SLAAAAVERY!!!!!. I have seen folks I greatly respect, like Bill Whittle for instance, self-righteously proclaiming that "The Civil War was fought over States Rights...the rights of states TO OWN SLAVES!" You can Google that quote to find it and see how utterly resistant he was - at least 10 years ago - to any information that might disrupt this axiomatic truth. His follow-up effectively states: the history is settled; the debate is over; anyone who disagrees is a denier. Like most Americans, Bill had clearly never read that inconvenient clause in the Constitution which unequivocally recognized slavery as an issue of State - not federal - jurisdiction.

This is particularly painful to read today, but it is enormously instructive. Bill's declaration regarding "the historical record prior to 1861" was absolutely wrong - it in fact did NOT show that the South attempted secession for the reasons he claimed; but of course he was just parroting the assumptions most Americans are programmed with from kindergarten. Rather, secession was threatened in 1832 in response to the same issue that precipitated secession in 1860: the federal government's crony capitalist agenda, and its clear goal to fund that agenda through economic decimation of the southern States with a tariff that increased the cost of manufactured goods by almost 50%. In 1832, So. Carolina's threat of secession forced the Jackson government - with lots of saber-rattling - to back down and cut back the tariff. Slavery - pace Bill Whittle of 2004 - was not a factor.

I've let this post get long because this last bit is a critical illustration of the problem inherent in trying to have the discussion we need to understand how the federal government became a virtually Omnipotent State. I'm well aware there are folks lurking and commenting here that don't give a frack how it got that way, and that they intend to reduce its size with gallows, throat-slitting and other forms of physical violence. These thoughts aren't expressed for their benefit - as I've already stated, my position on that approach is that it is based on a lot of wishful thinking and very little faith in the Constitution some of them seem to hold in such high regard. I'm curious to know the thoughts of others who either (a) do NOT see the current situation as utterly hopeless or who (b) recognize that once the federal government collapses it will be essential to maintain some form of alliances between the various States of this country. The Constitution we have, IMHO, is perfectly suitable to that alliance, but it needs to be amended using the lessons we've learned from Leviathan over the last 200 years. Among those lessons is a full, objective understanding of our history from 1830 through 1890; and that is most definitely NOT the history that was written by the victors of the so-called "Civil" War.

Posted by: goy at July 30, 2014 8:09 PM

The majority are recipients of government largess. Thus, they have skin in the game, but in a sense not conducive to Liberty as discussed here. They support the axiom "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need."

Exactly how does one turn this around? We are a people disposed to wait for a Saviour. We want to be saved from ourselves. What's needed is we need to transform practically the whole population. I don't see that happening.

Agreed. "Deeds can't dream what dreams can do." Nothing is done without intention. So "intend" away. But don't expect a quick turnaround to this ship of state short of a catastrophe.

Posted by: John Hinds at July 31, 2014 5:01 AM

@John Hinds: "What's needed is we need to transform practically the whole population. I don't see that happening."

Yes. Agreed on the first point. But I think the second point is already disproved.

The whole population of the US has been transformed at least once already - from a society of largely self-reliant, can-do, Greatest-Generation-type individuals, into one with a critical mass of generationally-dependent lemmings waiting at the trough for that next/last meal before they race toward perpetual, dependent bliss... over the cliff.

That transformation was a function of two largely orthogonal phenomena.

The first of these was the evolution of the federal government, over time, from its original, constitutionally-defined scope - i.e., a government comprised of limited authority granted by the several States - into a virtually Omnipotent State which had seized control via military conquest and relentless usurpation of authority, transforming those States into subordinate provinces.

The second of these involved decades of effort by socialists, fascists, communists and various other "adult" moral adolescents ( ), who were empowered and spurred on by various sociopaths, messianic egomaniacs and wannabe despots who recognized the power in manipulating the mob. These efforts have culminated in the Omnipotent State - the federal government - being placed into the hands of individuals whose power is derived from Taxpayer-funded largess, and their legislative policies seek to perpetuate and deepen that dependency.

This transformation took time, granted, but a very fundamental transformation in the fabric of society did occur. And given the process involved, it would be silly to "expect a quick turnaround"... of society as a whole moving forward.

What's certain is this: the whole of society will be transformed again. The question is, will that transformation be directed, using anything we've learned over the last 200 years, or will it be left to chance, chaos and bloody riots in the streets. Personally, I think it's worth a modicum of effort to at least investigate the feasibility of the former, because when the federal government defaults and collapses - both of which are only a matter of time unless something quite drastic is done - the next transformation will not be pretty.

Society requires time to change, but the Ship of State is another animal entirely, and responds to a different set of forces. The key, to my mind, is to determine what those forces are and how best to leverage them. I don't believe anyone's doing that right now. The reason for this is that we're all programmed, to one extent or another, to look in the wrong place to take action.

Presently there is an enormous amount of time, effort, energy and money being applied toward electing the "right" people in D.C. These efforts are pursued by groups at all points on the political spectrum who haven't yet spent any quality time thinking outside the box within which our federally-directed, media-promoted programming traps us. Thus, they have yet to come to terms with the reality that the federal government can't be fixed from within; it is immune to that sort of change, and has been for decades, if not a century. The kabuki dance and the tribal politics in which virtually everyone is engaged is specifically designed to camouflage that immunity and motivate people to waste all of their time, energy, effort and money on the one thing that has no chance at all of turning the ship around, i.e., electing the "right" politicians to federal office.

IMHO, that time, effort, energy and money ought be redirected toward the one place we're all trained by our federal minders in the media never to look: the several States' legislatures. This redirection ought to be focused on one goal: paring the federal government back to a size and scope that reflects its original - constitutional - mandate, as previously expressed here: .

To your point, John (yes, sorry, I took a circuitous, but necessary route here), this effort does not require a transformation of the society. Rather, it requires the moxie to leverage the enlightened self-interest of State-level politicians who are, in many cases, already at odds with the federal government over any one of a number of issues. Obamacare and the immigration fiasco, together, provide the ideal context in which to focus these efforts. If even ten States were to begin seriously considering a Legitimacy Amendment (or equivalent), the benefits would be enormous even if the thing was never ratified. The national discussion that could be stimulated, leveraging the widespread disgust of the federal government - even among many of those looking for a handout - could push the politics aside just long enough to begin revealing the real root of the problem. The discontent of productive Taxpayers, whose wealth is being redistributed daily, ought to be focused on demanding States to take action in response. State legislators ought to be continually hammered with the proposition of retaining their State's citizens' wealth, rather than having it sent off by the hundreds of million$ to DC to support their perpetual incumbencies and bloated bureaucracies.

This approach has multiple benefits, but one big one is that it takes control of reformative resources OUT of the hands of the national GOP - which has demonstrated absolutely no commitment whatever to upsetting the status quo that keeps them employed in their phoney-baloney jobs - and distributes it to 50+ decentralized forces, working in concert toward the same goal.

Now, I have no illusions on this: more creative thinking along these lines would be required to develop it into a workable proposition. What I do believe is that the effort would be worth it, given the obvious alternatives if we do nothing.

Posted by: goy at July 31, 2014 7:43 AM

Great changes come with blood and iron, not with the passage of laws, especially when the laws have become a mockery of all that is just, good, and even handed but rather serves as a means for the annointed to steal from the populace without fear of retribution, because it is the law.

Passing additional laws to correct these mutations will solve nothing or else why would we consider the Constitution "living" and regard it as a joke? Those who counsel us to pass laws and work within the framework are the same as those who within the gulag urge greater trust in the gulag authories for reform. Such individuals are not to be followed or trusted.

Posted by: Veritas at August 1, 2014 2:30 PM

The Constitution and its Bill of Rights may be smeared with the accumulated crap of political dungkopfs, but it won't stick, because the crap's nature is that it cannot adhere to Truth. Eventually the crap is washed away like the dust from the Statue of Liberty.
The proof is in the schooled and unschooled who march, sail, and fly off to defend that Truth.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at August 5, 2014 6:16 PM

@Goy and all.
The detailed primary documentation presented by Michael T. Griffith [see suggested Reading above], and the lack thereof in other respected writers on the subject, has convinced me that the seceded Southern states had the legal right to secede, for ANY reason whatever. This right was guaranteed in the 10th Amendment, was essentially recognized as allowable by acceptance of the conditions presented by Northern and Southern states for their ratifying the Constitution. Many of the Founders also spoke of this inherent right. Had those limiting conditions not been allowed, the US at its origination would have been reduced from 13 states to nine or fewer, the non-joiners becoming free, individual nations outside the original United States.
Thus, it appears the Southern states had the law on their side, and Lincoln was wrong, on the basis of things stated and left unstated in the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Whether morally/ethically the South was right and Lincoln wrong, depends on how one understands the 2nd paragraph of Declaration of Independence, and how Southern secession might continue the delay of freedom for their enslaved -- and increase the probability of slavery's spread to states not yet formed from the territories.
And further, how one considers the unfairness of the tariff system which was heavily biased against the Southern agricultural states, and in favor of Northern interests, will inform your viewpoint.

Many thanks to Goy for his indefatigable provocations for going deeper into the facts and context of the times, and many thanks to Gerard for giving us all space and time to dispute, to display heartfelt ignorance, and to learn from all.
I look forward to meeting again on some contentious subject.

A State's right to secede has not been prohibited by result of the Civil War -- the right is only deferred to a later time when domestic liberty is severely threatened.
I feel better mainly because I now more deeply respect the Southern side, combatants and noncombatants, who honorably fought and suffered, trapped somewhat by their dependency on slave labor for their economic survival, and their justifiable anger at the severe maldistribution of import tariff funds.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at August 6, 2014 4:16 PM

@Howard Nelson: thanks for the Griffith link!

Unless one is already emotionally committed to the nuclear (i.e., gallows) option, IMHO an honest man's objective assessment of the facts will reach the following unavoidable conclusions:

First, and most crucially: nowhere in our Constitution is the judiciary given ANY legislative power. Period.

Per Article I, Sec. 1, which clearly specifies that "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress", the courts are granted exactly NO power to repeal a law, to "interpret" a law beyond its formal expression (e.g., a FEE is not a "tax"; a PENALTY is not a "tax"), to rewrite a law or to find "derived" rights (e.g., the so-called "right" to abortion) that are not expressly specified in the Constitution or any Amendment. As such, nowhere is the judiciary granted the authority to "interpret" and render judgements on the Constitution itself. Since all Article III entities are subordinate to that instrument, Constitutional questions are - by definition - outside their jurisdiction. Therefore, constitutional questions must be dealt with by Congress or, when they cannot resolve them, by the States, themselves, either together, through Amendment, or separately, through nullification.

Virtually all other federal excess proceeds from this fundamental usurpation of authority, in precisely the manner that Jefferson predicted it would, per the doctrine of boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem, which is essentially the doctrine of our federal government.

Next, whether or not one is willing to objectively examine the emerging facts which demonstrate Lincoln's executive abuse - as they are slowly dug out from beneath the self-affirming layers of 150 years of "history" written by the victors - two glaring realities of the "Civil" War can no longer be dismissed as "revisionism" (as if revision, per se, isn't a duty of historians whenever "accepted history" is rendered unsupportable by new information).

The first of these undeniable realities is that the "Civil" War was NOT waged to "free the slaves", nor was it waged to "save the union". Pat Buchanan's detailed assessment, linked above, outlines this reality in detail.

The second reality is the fundamental transformation this country experienced as a consequence of federal usurpation beginning in 1860 and proceeding through 1940, which saw a complete inversion of civil authority from that originally established in 1788: placing the federal government at the top of a new hierarchy that rendered it utterly immune to any substantive form of accountability. The "union" that was saved by Lincoln - as Buchanan accurately observes - was nothing more than a collection of conscripted provinces, subordinated to the will of elitists in DC through the lingering threat of military force. Thereafter this nation was a Republic-in-name-only.

Since that time, the illusion of two-party democracy has been maintained by a third - may as well call it The Beltway Party - and leveraged to slowly transfer power over ALL civil affairs from the People and the States to the federal government, which now regulates, taxes, "engineers" and lectures on virtually every facet of every citizen's life. No grand "conspiracy" was required to maintain this illusion. Rather, this is how government adapts, in Darwinian fashion, to achieve its very natural inclination that was well-known to all the Founders - relentless hunger for expansion of authority.

The final unavoidable conclusion is this: the federal government is not going to fix itself, no matter who is elected to "serve" there. And furthermore - per the original sentiment that began this thread - hanging the criminals who PRESENTLY happen to be occupying the halls of that corrupted institution won't accomplish that either. The next batch, who will have carefully studied the mistakes of their predecessors, will simply pick up the baton and transform it once again into a scepter.

The institution itself - the entire federal government infrastructure - must be dismantled and rebuilt in the image originally envisioned by the Founders; it must be kept subordinate to the States, and the People, prevented from re-establishing footholds of usurpation over civil affairs, and forced to pursue ONLY the limited function it was not only designed to perform, but - as we have now seen following 200 years of relentless expansion - the only function that it can effectively perform. That function is the management and administration of those affairs and needs the States have in common, and the adjudication of issues arising between them.

As the past century of US history has demonstrated, federal usurpation of authority beyond these limited purposes has choked the entrepreneurial spirit and activity that led to American Exceptionalism; that usurpation has cannibalized the wealth-generating capacity of capital enterprise in order to feed the pathological and generational dependence demanded by the parasitical welfare state; and worst of all, that usurpation has now threatened the security of every citizen in this nation by throwing open our borders to every thug, every terrorist, every virus and every third world beggar on the planet.

Civil governance in a true Republic - that is, governance that impacts individual citizens' liberties, directly - can never rise above the State level. The reason for this is simple: a one-size-fits-all system of top-to-bottom social organization can never be adequate to the needs of a people as ethnically, regionally, geographically, racially, intellectually and ideologically diverse as the U.S. No gang of Central Planners, whether elected or appointed, can ever be smart enough or prescient enough or "expert" enough to design a system that can adequately addresses the needs of a nation such as ours. We are watching the reality of this inconvenient truth unfold before our eyes: without the PLURIBUS, the UNUM collapses.

Only the varied, distributed, de-centralized laboratory of several, individual, sovereign States can provide the substrate necessary to continually test, measure, re-test and choose - through genuine competition - the forms of social organization that best lead to prosperity, security, health, happiness, civil order and peace. The Free Marketplace of Ideas was not intended for words alone.

For all these reasons, authority over civil governance must be re-established as a function determined through the preservation of State sovereignty. Only the legislatures of the several sovereign States can accomplish that. And only by breaking out of our federally-programmed mindset - which focuses virtually ALL public attention on "fixing" the one entity that can never be corrected through "reform" - can that process begin in earnest.

Posted by: goy at August 7, 2014 9:43 AM

@ Goy. Well summarized and well argued.
Is there somewhere a consideration of the need to thwart the 'devil in the details' and the detailers themselves. Considering the State focus of laws, rules, and regulations, when a law is passed it seems some other agency is given the power for: implementing those laws, setting the rules of who is required to do what under what threats of punishment, determining who is to be served with what discriminatory favors, and so on. The distortions, the rot sets in.

Is it feasible in this age of easy, inexpensive communication to add a layer of review with acceptance required by the citizenry, of the details for implementing of those overarching proposed laws?
If so, our representatives, our delegates would need to be much more specific as to stated details of applicability and non-applicability, intent of the new laws being proposed, costs of continuing implementation of those laws, and source of funding to cover the costs. This would minimize the chance of using a particular law in a context for which it was not originally intended. Also, local citizenry would more easily become final arbiters of what they really want, need, and are willing to pay for. This process would slow the process of new law implementation, a good thing, I believe. No more of this 'We won't know what's in it until we pass it,' Pelosi disdain.
Leaving these essentials to some other is to close to leaving it to an unwanted 'Big Brother.'

Posted by: Howard Nelson at August 7, 2014 5:44 PM

@Howard Nelson: There is so much about our system of governance that is broken and corrupted by the "pushing up" (or "down", depending on how one views the hierarchy of authority) of all public policy to the federal level. The issue you bring up is a perfect example.

IMHO, the easiest and also the most effective way to set up a system that achieves what (I think) you're suggesting is, again, to undo the decades -long usurpation of authority, by the federal government, over civil law. This usurpation began around the time of the so-called "Reconstruction" and has never let up.

I believe that if it were left to the individual, sovereign States, civil law would go back to being more 'local' by definition and, therefore, more accessible to the citizen during its inception, discussion and promotion phases. Legislators responsible for this area of the law would also be more accessible and, as such, more accountable to their constituents.

But the most important aspect of this, I believe, is - again - the Free Marketplace of Ideas as applied to social organization. Simply put, in a nation where civil law is conceived, passed and enforced at a State level, if one decides that their State isn't acting in the Citizens' best interests, one is free to simply move to a State more suited to their vision of liberty. The beauty of the Constitution - at least as originally conceived - was that this availability of choice promotes an effective mechanism for competition between different methods of social organization: one can literally "leave the country" (i.e., their State) for greener pastures, but still enjoy the benefits of a common language, geopolitical security, standard currency and all the other aspects of life the federal government is actually supposed to be managing - in the interests of the General Welfare - rather than complicating our lives by telling us what insurance policy we have to buy.

As things stand in this country today, that competition doesn't exist because the choices between competing systems of social organization required don't exist. Social entropy rules, rather than innovation and synergy. The ever-expanding jurisdiction of the federal government has systematically imposed its will on virtually every aspect of civil life, which is bad enough from the standpoint of liberty-vs-tyranny. But even worse, this results in the homogenization of all of society with no regard to the consequences imposed on a wildly diverse people who are not all that well suited to the one-size-fits-all, centrally-planned "solution".

Finally, as demonstrated by our collapsing monetary system, collapsing national borders, collapsing foreign policy and collapsing faith in government, generally, we see that this federal obsession with micromanaging civil affairs has resulted in the "general government's" total failure to do the job it was actually granted the authority and responsibility to do in the first place.

At the risk of becoming tiresome, I have to repeat that it is only the several, sovereign States' legislatures that can address this slow breakdown. The federal government is never going to "fix" itself, no matter who is elected to serve there.

Posted by: goy at August 8, 2014 10:32 AM

I would add to the focus on State legislatures the need to adopt in ALL State Constitutions, allowance for ballot votes re: citizens' referenda, initiatives, as well as recall of State legislators and any other appointed or voted State government officials.
The more we drive the authority back to the citizen the better. If the citizen is not as well educated or cunning as the government official, he soon will be as he notices his bank account being drained by self-aggrandizing politicians, school board officials, and assorted sordid parasites.
How do we correct the inadequate civic education presented to our children? Put authority for schoolbook selection into the hands of town boards-of-education with advice and consent required from that local citizenry for the texts proposed.
Correlate the characteristics of the 100's of the most successful schools from around the country -- as defined by students' results, and adapt those features to less-well performing schools, until cause-and-effect relations emerge.

Teacher training, methods of conveying information, incentives for teaching and learning excellence, audio/visual learning tendencies of students, are among the factors to be considered.
Those surveys, correlations, adaptations, field testing of procedures and content, cause-and-effect relationships can, at LOW COST, be developed by State universities' schools of education and mathematics as thesis subjects for juniors/seniors/grad students.

Naturally, money can be saved by cutting away all of the fatheads in paper-shuffling school administration.

Why remain stuck in stupid, betraying the next generations of voting citizens?

Posted by: Howard Nelson at August 10, 2014 2:46 PM

I am neither as articulate nor as learned on the subjects at hand as our esteemed authors and commenters. I live in the now and I believe that the simplest solution is the best.
Also, the older I get I am more convinced by the evidence and less by the arguments. 'Round about now is time for me to mention that
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we've gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent." - Claire Wolfe

“The people in power will not disappear voluntarily.” Burroughs

Posted by: chasmatic at August 10, 2014 5:01 PM

@Howard Nelson: Yes! More of that - on all counts.

It's my firm belief that these are precisely the sort of corrections and innovations that will issue (and which were intended to issue) from a nation comprised of individual, sovereign States - as the US stood prior to 1865.

Ultimately, however, these are the kinds of decisions each State's citizenry can and must decide for themselves, rather than our present, nationalist arrangement where standards are all handed down with the accompanying threat of force by The Beltway Party, based on what's in their best interests.

When it fails, a single, homogeneous federal diktat comes crashing down on all 300M+ citizens (as well as their millions of illegal parasites), and takes their prosperity, liberty and economy down with it. Transforming Glass-Steagall's rational regulations into a new set of irrational regulations governed by the affirmative action agenda of the CRA is a perfect example of this.

Conversely, distributed civil governance can compete for "best practices" honors, with the inevitable fits-and-starts doing far less damage in the long run, because the effects of any failures are localized. Meanwhile the People, themselves, can pick the winners and losers in that competition, rather than the know-nothing-and-never-did-nothing elitists who ride the coattails of federal government's career corrupt-o-crats.

Posted by: goy at August 10, 2014 6:32 PM

“The people in power will not disappear voluntarily.” Burroughs


Perhaps, but you can certainly make them irrelevant.

It starts with you.

Posted by: ghostsniper at August 10, 2014 7:39 PM

They should hunt down and fillet the nuts and labias off spammers everywhere. Do it for the children.

Posted by: ghostsniper at August 11, 2014 6:13 AM

Will this article and the reams of comment suffer Death By Spam?

One can only hope.

Posted by: chasmatic at August 12, 2014 5:45 AM

Don't worry. Be happy. I weed it on a regular basis as you can see. Pulled out around twenty items of spam in the last day.

Posted by: Van der Leun at August 12, 2014 8:20 AM

It's been a long and fruitful and fascinating discussion. But all things must pass and, in order to prevent the proliferation of spam, I'll close comments on this discussion Tomorrow morning, Thursday.

Posted by: vanderleun at August 13, 2014 8:41 AM

FWIW, Gerard, I've appreciated the forum.

And the feedback.

Posted by: goy at August 13, 2014 11:01 AM