Gun Control And The Well-Regulated Militia Update

December 4, 2012

By Russell D. Longcore

(Editor’s note: I wrote this back in May 2009. I’m updating it today. Apparently, sportscaster Bob Costas and other mindless state-worshippers still cannot wrap their brains around the concepts of Natural Law. Of course, they would have had to actually learn the concept in order to forget or ignore it.)

Gun control is today’s subject. The issue has regrettably popped up onto the national radar screen after Jovan Belcher, a nobody NFL player, shot and killed his girlfriend and then did the criminal courts system a favor by killing himself. (In the USA, there are about 221 homicides EACH WEEK in which a gun is used.* But the rest of those people weren’t major or minor celebrities, so they must not count.) Those who would outlaw gun ownership are undaunted and patient. They know that another celebrity shooting, school shooting or mass murder will eventually occur in the United States, and that the event will propel this issue back onto the front pages and lead stories in the news media. So, let us examine the issue of gun control in light of history and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

For today, we will suspend the debate about whether the Constitution has any validity. Let’s just all stipulate that for this argument, it does.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

Any State with a well-regulated Militia would be capable of defending itself from Federal tyranny or foreign invasion. Over the past two hundred years, the individual States have forgotten that their security as a free State relies upon a well regulated Militia. The first two phrases in the Amendment shed light on today’s power structure in the United States. The Federal government now has standing armies, navies and an air force that far outnumbers any state militia. So, state sovereignty has been destroyed. Now states are more like counties…no sovereignty, only slave territories of a cancer-ridden, predatory Federal system. So the very opposite of the Second Amendment has become true, stated thus: “A Well-Regulated Militia, being unnecessary to the security of a Serf State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall indeed be infringed.”

Let’s consider the definition of the word “arms”.

The Second Amendment does not define the word “arms” but leaves it open to definition and expansion in the future. “Arms” were not only firearms, but any weapon that could be used to defend one’s life or property. Why then do the anti-gun advocates only single out firearms as the focus of their desire to disarm Americans? Why not archery equipment, swords, knives, or sharpened sticks?

Next, let’s look at the word “infringe”. The Webster’s Dictionary defines “infringe” in two ways pertinent to this discussion; from the Latin “infrangere”:(1) “to break; to violate or go beyond the limits of: (2) to encroach upon.” In order to further explain the Second Amendment, the definition of the word “right” must also be considered, and is: “something due to one by law, custom or nature.” The “right” is the thing not to be infringed by government. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson writes of mankind being “endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable Rights.” The definitions above speak directly to rights endowed to humans by natural law, and to the nature of man as a created being subject to God’s authority. These rights were among those enumerated as “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Therefore, the Second Amendment states that the right to keep and bear arms is one that is endowed by our Creator under natural law and shall not be broken, violated or encroached upon by the Federal government. It validates the concept of personal property ownership, in this case one’s own person, and the principle of self-defense.

Read What Are Unalienable Rights? to grasp the concept of Natural Law and Unalienable Rights.

Many gun control advocates support, and have been successful in the criminalization of the ownership of certain automatic and semi-automatic weapons, the so-called “assault weapons”. They now seek to restrict the ownership of nearly all firearms by private citizens. Yet the issue of advancing technology was not an issue that the framers of the Constitution even considered worthy of mention. These were learned men, and were well aware of the technological improvements that were made in weaponry just in their lifetimes. They knew world history and knew that guns and gunpowder were relative newcomers to the art of war.

But please consider: at the time of the Revolutionary War, did not the Continental armies possess the same technology of armaments as the Redcoats? Yes.

Hadn’t the Colonial citizens owned and used firearms since the early 1600s? Yes!

Did the English soldiers have cartridges for their rifles while the Colonials had only musket and ball? No. Musket, ball and cannon were the leading technologies of the day.

Did only the King have the ability to build ships, forge cannon and cannonball? No. John Paul Jones was a privateer, which is basically a government-sponsored pirate, preying on English ships. His first wartime command was aboard the ship Providence, owned by New England businessman John Brown. The Providence bristled with cannons.

Both of the combatants in the Revolutionary War had the same technology in armaments. The Continental armies consisted of fighting citizens, taking up their rifles and pistols, forging cannon and going to war against superior numbers in the British army and navy, but not against superior weapons.

Therefore, when it came time for the framers of the Constitution to consider the Amendments, they did not even mention the possibility that the private citizen should be prevented from owning the same weapons as the military. Ladies and Gentlemen, the militias of the Colonies WERE the military!! Could it be that they considered the threat of government tyranny greater than that of citizens owning the latest, most advanced weapons? If the Continentals had the same technology in armaments as the British military, how is it that today’s politician has concluded that (a) semi-auto firearms are not necessary for a citizen to own, (b) full-auto firearms have mostly been outlawed, and that (c) firearms should be OK as long as they are used for hunting or sporting purposes? Where in HELL did this hunting and sporting idea come from?

One of the beauties of the Constitution is its simplicity. The Second Amendment is written with no ambiguity in clear, simple words. Words have meaning. For decades now, those who would subjugate our citizens with Federal and State tyranny have fought to redefine the words of the Second Amendment. They have been successful in passing unconstitutional laws that do in fact infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms. The framers understood that with freedom comes responsibility, and that the ideas and acts of men have consequences. Yet they entrusted to future generations this simple Amendment. They possessed the foreknowledge that this newly-formed government would have the same potential as governments throughout history to decline toward tyranny and totalitarianism.

Finally, you might want to take a look at Ammo: Isn’t It Obvious? which is likely the next logical step for Washington to take to disarm America.

Liberty lovers, tyranny is usually not completed in one grand sweep. There is no single foreign enemy that is going to invade America and enslave its people. It is much more effective when the tyrants enslave people a tiny bit at a time. Tyrants are patient, and the people are usually too busy living their lives to care. It’s death by a thousand little cuts. And you still end up dead.

The Right To Keep And Bear Arms is yet another great reason that secession is the ONLY solution for individual liberty and property rights in North America.

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

*CDC stats 2009

© Copyright 2012, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Keep Moving Folks. Nothing To See Here.

November 14, 2012

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By Russell D. Longcore

The title is what cops say to gapers and rubberneckers at accident scenes. And I’m telling you that this story about secession petitions is a non-story. But I could be wrong. Happened before…

I was on the air Monday on WJCN 1360 am in Philadelphia from 3:00 to 4:00, being interviewed about secession. Loved it…caught some drive time listeners. The host, Susan Payne, was all excited about the story she had seen about secession petitions that have been sent to the White House. She mentioned a Washington Post article about the petitions. She asked me to comment.

I read the Washington Post article which quotes excerpts from the Alabama secession petition. Then I went to the WhiteHouse.gov website and actually read all the petitions. And nearly all of them are written incorrectly, beginning thus: “We petition the Obama Administration to Peacefully grant the State of _______ to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government.”

That is not the method whereby a state secedes. This is tantamount to an employer asking his employee for permission to fire the employee. Although the petitioners and signatories are sincere in their desires, they exhibit a breathtaking ignorance of history, law and the Constitution. I am also a product of government schools, but I did not stop reading books when I received my high school diploma. So while I would like to blame Federal schools for the mind-numbed populace, the numbing was self-inflicted by “Them The People.”

Reminds me of the Pink Floyd song, “Comfortably Numb”… “Just a little pin prick…..”

There are certain states that do not need to ask permission to secede from the Union because the Federal Government in Washington DC is not a party to the agreement between the states. DC has no standing, as they say in court proceedings. Any state properly secedes when it prepares an Ordinance of Secession and presents it to the other states.

An Ordinance of Secession is not a petition. It is a declaration of independence that revokes and dissolves the union between that state and the other states.

I can assure you that these petitions are not being taken seriously in Washington. Fact is, they welcome the diversion from the CIA Petraeus story.

A crucial point sprang into my bourbon-sotted mind as I wrote this article. The US Constitution was written and ratified (allegedly) by the thirteen sovereign nations that were the original thirteen colonies that fought and won the First North America Secession of 1776. Get it? Thirteen nations…not 50. Later, West Virginia was carved out of the State of Virginia by Lincoln and his cronies. Texas was a sovereign nation when it was granted statehood. And Hawaii was a sovereign nation that was overthrown by DC and stolen. ALL THE REST of the states that now exist WERE NOT NATIONS prior to their statehood. Some states were formed when sovereign nations actually DONATED land to the Federal Government. Most of the states were TERRITORIES, and not sovereign nations. And the territories were owned by Washington DC.¹

A reasonable argument could be made that any current state that was not a sovereign nation at the time it was granted statehood might have a difficult time seceding from the United States of America and getting shed of Washington. Understand that I am not an attorney, and I’m only offering my opinion on this date. I have not read the State Constitutions of any of the US States. More information may come to me that will cause me to change this opinion.

Looks to me like Texas is the front runner in the race to be a new nation!

Dump DC: Six Letters That Can Change History.

Copyright 2012: Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

¹ Wikipedia – List of US States by Date of Statehood


State Sovereignty and Secession Part II

November 13, 2012

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by Sarah Goodwich

Here’s how to secede.
 The US is not a sovereign nation; if it were, then unilateral secession would be impossible, since there is no such thing as an “escape clause” from a sovereign nation.

Rather, each state is sovereign unto itself, via its People; that’s why the Constitution was ratified by popular vote in each state, not an act of the legislature. In essence, each state is a sovereign nation, and its People the ruling sovereigns.

The problem in 1861, was that the states defended themselves as an act of revolution rather than plain national defense; and by failing to assert the legal fact of their sovereignty as strongly as they could, they tacitly allowed the northern state’s claims of collective sovereignty to stand unopposed; this gave them the necessary domestic and foreign support needed to mount a successful military invasion and victory, while likewise prompting the Confederacy’ Napoleonic attempt at counter-invasion which met its Waterloo at Gettysburg.

This in turn resulted in a sustained occupation and censorship, which existed to date, with the truth only recently surfacing due to freed communication via the internet.

In order to secede, a state simply needs to assert the fact of its status as a sovereign nation by international law, via the recognition of two or more existing sovereign states– as with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the Treaty of Texas, or the later recognition by the other American states formed out of its territories.

This likewise involves the historical declaration of each state being popularly sovereign, with its government deriving its powers by consent of its citizens, with the ensuing right to alter or abolish their government at will, along with its treaties and other foreign policy; for this was the manner in which they ratified the current Constitution to create a new federal republic among them.

Nor was this a national constitution in which any state relinquished its sovereignty as a separate nation in order to become a single collective sovereign state; but rather the sovereign People of each state expressly re-delegated powers differently from the prior federal republic formed by the Articles of Confederation– while the new, current federal republic likewise remained a strictly VOLUNTARY international association of sovereign nations.

Therefore, asserting these facts, the People of a state merely need convene as a sovereign People, and manifestly declare their intention to formally and officially withdraw from this international federal compact.

The federal government then has two possible responses:
 the first is that it can accept the declaration, and that is the end of it.

The second, is that it will refuse the declaration, fabricating a false history in order to justify it; and this can then be refuted and exposed, proving the federal government to be in hostile invasion and occupation of the state, while subjecting it to military duress. This will then require separate dealing, as with any hostile enemy occupying a sovereign nation in violation of international law and recognition.

That’s really all there is to it. Only one state needs to thus declare its sovereignty in order for to establish this precedent, which follows that likewise established in 1787 when each state unilaterally seceded from the 1781 Confederation.
 Some falsely claim that this was an existing union which simply changed its tenets, however plain history refutes this myth.

Therefore to recap, the People of a state must convene and assert their state’s national sovereignty, refuting the current regime’s claim of sovereign national authority over them; and the rest will be up to the regime in order to accept or refuse it, and the manner thereof; and the resulting course of action by the state in response.

In no case could there ever be a “civil war,” nor was there ever; for a civil war by definition is a domestic incident within a sovereign nation, never between separate ones as in 1861, as established by original intent of the states themselves. Post-invasive suppression and propagandizing of the facts are not history; they are merely censorship, and clearly cannot change prior original intent, or its retention of sovereignty.

As such, those who claim that a “civil war settled the law” are merely mistaken, since neither invasion nor hostile occupation and censorship can change a nation’s sovereignty by merely suppressing the fact thereof.

Convention, and declaration, thus remain the path to secession, accompanied by assertion of supporting fact and dissolution of contrary propaganda.

Sarah Goodwich can be reached at: sarahwitch@comcast.net.


Flash Editorials April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012

By Russell D. Longcore

The Nation I: Twelve Secret Service agents and ten military personnel went to Colombia on an advance security detail before the President attended a meeting in Cartagena last week. They stuck to the old adage…”wheels up, rings off.” When they got there, they rounded up at least 20 hookers and did what men do with hookers. The next morning, one of the agents tried to stiff (yes, I know) his paramour and she called the cops. I don’t know what the big furor is. Men of too much power and too little morals regularly step out of line. And military personnel? Please! Ever been to the area just outside a military base? More titty bars, porn shops and massage parlors per square mile than anywhere else. I’m just thinking that they were good consumers trying to get a volume discount. It’s laughable that anyone in America cares about this while this President is taking American into the gulag as fast as he can. Perspective, folks…perspective.

The Nation II: This week, the Virginia Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that nullifies the National Defense Authorization Act. The governor has promised to sign the bill. You remember where Virginia is? Sharing a common border with Washington DC? This is a small glimmer of hope that the states haven’t completely caved in to DC’s plans for America. But signing a bill don’t mean shit. Let’s see what Virginia law enforcement does when some Federal goon tries to enforce the NDAA on a Virginia citizen. I hope the Virginia law allows for clapping a Fed in irons and throwing him in jail…if he didn’t get shot first.

The Nation III: George Zimmerman had a good week. One judge recused herself from his case, and in Friday’s hearing, another judge granted him bail at $150,000…of which he only has to post 10% to be free from the Greybar Hotel. In a newsclip, I saw Zim’s lawyer questioning one of the detectives in the case. He asked him if the police had any evidence who started the fight that ended in Martin’s death. “No,” the cop replied. The attorney was trying to make the case that a charge of Second Degree Murder was a politically motivated charge, not based in facts. Zim’s lawyer won. Naturally, the family of Martin was not happy.

International I: India successfully launched a missile on Thursday that can carry a nuclear warhead up to 5,000 kilometers. Why isn’t Washington having a hissy fit? Iran doesn’t have anywhere close to this technology. And India is buying oil from Iran with gold and rupees. Answer: because India has a billion people and isn’t cowed by DC. Answer 2: India also has lots of gold and is one of the BRIC nations. India doesn’t need America, except to pay for Tech Support and Customer Service.

International II: In Bahrain, the government and protesters are having constant violent clashes, and much blood is being spilled on both sides. The Formula One Grand Prix event is supposed to be held there Sunday, but race officials are talking about canceling the event. That’ll show em. Nothing worse than a spinout when a tire runs through a puddle of blood.

Business: I saw a video Friday by Gerald Celente, founder of the Trends Research Institute. He was talking about how the rich and powerful can steal billions in fraudulent scams and go scot free, yet if you or I steal a pack of gum from the 7-11 we will be face down on the pavement with a cop’s knee on our neck. And he’s right. When banks and investment houses can play fast and loose with your money, you don’t really own it. Here is Celente’s money quote: “If you don’t have your money, it’s not yours.” The only money you can count on is the money that you physically hold and can touch. Celente has liquidated all his paper investments and is 100% in gold and silver. In fact, Celente had made a purchase of gold on a future delivery contract through MF Global, and when that company went bankrupt, there went his gold purchase. He said he’s recovered about 60% of his money, but the rest is gone. And this video by Celente only backs up what I have been telling you now for months…How much of your savings and investments should you keep in stocks, bonds and mutual funds? Only that amount you are willing to completely lose. Liquidate ALL paper assets right now and get into precious metals that you can hold and touch.

That brings me to tonight’s commercial message. Quick Question: Do you know how much invested money it takes for you to earn $1,000 month in income without touching the principal? The math is easy. $1,000 a month is $12,000 a year, right? But what kind of return on investment can you expect these days? Could you get a 3% return? Maybe. But let’s use that number. You would have to have $400,000 in some investment that earned 3% a year to get yourself $1,000 a month. Next question: How many of you could live on $1,000 a month? Don’t you need $3,000…$4,000…$8,000 or more to live? And we haven’t factored in the inflation rate, which is about 3% and is going higher. Do you have $1.2 million, or $1.6 million…or $3.2 million in investments? No young families I know have that kind of money. Only a few six-figure income earners that I know have it either. And in an economic depression…which we are in NOW…putting that kind of money away is next to impossible. But there’s a business in America right now that throws off monthly income just like an annuity. It’s my energy business. Think about your utility bills. You pay your energy bills every month, and every month, your energy provider earns a little profit on your payment. Now multiply that times thousands. Folks, there is a huge amount of money in the energy business, and you could get paid just like the big monopolies. Imagine owning a business that throws off income every month on a life-essential service that every adult that lives indoors pays every month. To learn more about this unique business, and see if this business is right for you, go to: MasterpieceEnergy.com. Look to the left and click on “The Ignite Business Plan” to learn about a truly recession-proof business.

Economy I: The number of actual new unemployment claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 367,550 in the week ending April 14, a decrease of 22,916 from the previous week. Yet, the Labor Department reported 386,000 new jobless claims last week. I know that many of you just skip over this because this heading is always the same, showing how breathtakingly stupid the Labor Department is. But think a little deeper, friends. Labor is only one Federal department or bureaucracy. You’ve seen how the GSA acts when no one’s looking. And the Secret Service imbroglio is merely the tip of the iceberg. ALL OF THE bureaucracies are wildly wasteful, and they know that Americans won’t do ANYTHING about it.

Sports: OOPS! At a team event, the parent of one of the University of Alabama’s football players was holding the $30,000 Waterford crystal football-shaped trophy when he caught his shoe on a rug. He dropped the trophy which shattered on the floor. Team officials are looking for a way to replace the trophy. Excuse me? This is easy. The parent likely has homeowner’s insurance, which provides liability insurance. File a claim with his insurer, and call Waterford. They still remember how to make the trophy…they make one each year. Done.

Entertainment: So sorry to hear of the passing of two enormous talents in music. Levon Helm, the founder of The Band, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer. A gentle man, superb musician and a gentleman, he was still performing until recently. And Dick Clark died this week from a heart attack. Clark founded “American Bandstand,” the teen music show that started all other rock music shows. I remember in the early 60s that “Bandstand” came on ABC at noon on Saturdays. Everybody I knew tried to be home for the show on Saturdays. You might not know that Clark also created and produced the American Music Awards show that has been fantastically successful for decades. Both men made enormous contributions to American music.

Dump DC: Six Letters That Can Change History.

Copyright 2012: Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Flash Editorials April 14, 2012

April 14, 2012

By Russell D. Longcore

The Nation I: Thank God, Rick Santorum quit the Republican Presidential race. But give the man his due. This guy did more with less resources, less integrity and less intelligence than all the other candidates. After spending every moment trashing Romney, how is he going to turn 180° and support Romney? There is a simple answer, folks. The answer is that none of the stuff he said over the last year was true or mattered one whit. If Santorum was driven by deep convictions and unshakeable morality, he could not tell America how horrible Romney was as the Republican candidate and then smilingly throw his support to him at the convention. Santorum is a mega-hypocrite. So he’s the perfect Republican. You folks will probably get to vote for him in 2016.

The Nation II: In the ongoing George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin story: On Tuesday, his lawyers got in front of some microphones and said that they were quitting. Seems the Zimster went into hiding and was not calling them. So they bailed. Then that night on TV, the talking heads started decrying Zimmerman’s erratic behavior. My thoughts? First, just because George wasn’t talking to THESE lawyers doesn’t mean he wasn’t talking to SOME lawyers. I’m guessing he was trying to get better representation, since he is now getting a guided tour through the Florida legal system. Remember that the New Black Panthers put a dead-or-alive bounty on Zimmerman. I’d probably disappear too.

The Nation III: Angela Corey, Florida State Attorney stepped to a press conference podium smiling widely on Wednesday night, 6:00 pm Eastern, and announced that they would “seek justice for Trayvon.” How about justice for Zimmerman? They had already issued a warrant for Zimmerman’s arrest on Second Degree Murder charges. At the time of the press conference, Corey divulged that Zimmerman already surrendered voluntarily and was in custody. Folks, if you saw this press conference, you saw a woman with her mind already made up about the outcome. By the way, the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law was written exactly for this kind of assault…the assault on Zimmerman by Martin. Martin didn’t have a mark on him. Read it yourself.

International I: Let’s talk about the Middle East for a moment. Aside from Israel, which is a rogue nation entirely undeserving of American support, let’s concentrate on the Arab world. Folks, from the western shore of the Mediterranean to the border of India, along the northern shore of Africa and surrounding the Persian Gulf, all of the peoples are some form of Islam. The conflicts, overthrows, Arab Spring, and civil wars are Sunni versus Shi’ite…the two major Islamic groups. Washington has no understanding of Islam and the tribal culture of the Middle East. So it blithely wades in to confrontation after confrontation with its imperialism goggles on, convinced that Arabs and all those other brown-skinned oily types will love democracy if they would just try it. Hey Washington! The Islamic world has no societal history like Europeans, and will not accept the government of the Great Satan America or any other infidel European nation. Sure, you can force them or bribe them for a time. But like the Afghanis, the Islamists know that you will tire of the fight or go broke and just go away. Then they will return to tribalism and carve another deep notch in the stock of their AK-47s. The notch right next to the one for the Soviet Union.

International II: Washington is not the Great Satan, though. But it is the Great Whore. There is no issue for which DC will not play both sides against the middle. In Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington wages war against the Taliban and the so-called Al Qaida group. But in Syria, DC is working with them to overthrow the Assad government. And the only reason to overthrow the Assad regime is to weaken Iran. DC could not care less about the Syrian people, and are sending vast amounts of armaments and electronics to the rebels. There is no behavior or action for which Washington is, or could be, controlled by a core belief and a conscience. The American foreign policy of the Middle East is about The Dollar, folks. DC is doing whatever it takes to keep the Dollar as reserve currency for oil payments. If DC thinks that overthrowing every Middle East government and installing its puppet will keep the Dollar as world reserve, it will do it. I just think that Iran will be the place where Washington finally gets its comeupuppance.

Business: According to ZeroHedge.com, Apple’s market capitalization is greater than all of the companies in Greece, Portugal and Spain combined. Know what you call this? A Bubble. Apple stock is trading at seventeen times earnings. I know that’s not crazy high, but normal stock trades at about a third of that. And this kind of market value is not sustainable. I predict that an awful lot of investors, private and institutional, are going to get hurt when the bubble bursts.

That brings me to tonight’s commercial message. Quick Question: Do you know how much invested money it takes for you to earn $1,000 month in income without touching the principal? The math is easy. $1,000 a month is $12,000 a year, right? But what kind of return on investment can you expect these days? Could you get a 3% return? Maybe. But let’s use that number. You would have to have $400,000 in some investment that earned 3% a year to get yourself $1,000 a month. Next question: How many of you could live on $1,000 a month? Don’t you need $3,000…$4,000…$8,000 or more to live? And we haven’t factored in the inflation rate, which is about 3% and is going higher. Do you have $1.2 million, or $1.6 million…or $3.2 million in investments? No young families I know have that kind of money. Only a few six-figure income earners that I know have it either. And in an economic depression…which we are in NOW…putting that kind of money away is next to impossible. But there’s a business in America right now that throws off monthly income just like an annuity. It’s my energy business. Think about your utility bills. You pay your energy bills every month, and every month, your energy provider earns a little profit on your payment. Now multiply that times thousands. Folks, there is a huge amount of money in the energy business, and you could get paid just like the big monopolies. Imagine owning a business that throws off income every month on a life-essential service that every adult that lives indoors pays every month. To learn more about this unique business, and see if this business is right for you, go to: MasterpieceEnergy.com. Watch the opening video about “Lifestyle.” Then look to the left and click on “Defining Moments” to learn about a truly recession-proof business.

Economy I: The number of actual new unemployment claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 381,875 in the week ending April 7th, an increase of 62,530 from the previous week. Yet, the Labor Department reported 380,000 new jobless claims last week. Whether it’s upside or downside, the government cannot tell the truth. But do not forget that over 381,000 people had their lives changed for the worse last week in America. Do not believe anything either the Republicans or Democrats are saying about this economy.

Sports Part I: Bobby Petrino, head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks, got his ass handed to him this week by the University. Seems that Coach was riding his motorcycle and lost control, crashing on the side of a road. Didn’t kill him…didn’t really injure him much. But then the shyt started dripping onto the fan blades. Petrino had a passenger he didn’t disclose…his mistress, 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell. Where, oh where was the girl after the crash? She must have scooted. We’ve learned that Petrino handed a cherry job (pun definitely intended) in the Recruiting Department to Dorrell after over 150 other candidates applied for the job. Then the Coach failed to disclose all this stuff after the accident. Once the Athletic Director and University President learned how much Poon-hound Petrino was thinking with his little head, they fired him “with cause.” That usually means that the fired guy did something that violated his contract…in this case, likely a violation of the morals clause. His booty call cost him $18 million he won’t get paid now. The Razorbacks went 11-2 last season with a lot of starters returning this coming season. But here is the thing that I hate most. Petrino is married with four kids. He betrayed them and humiliated them. And finally in this story…we down here in Atlanta are loving the fact that Petrino got the axe. He came to the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 as a head coach and quit mid-season to run to the Arkansas job. Atlanta hates Bobby Petrino. Now Fayetteville and Little Rock do too.

Entertainment: I went to see The Hunger Games last Saturday. As an action adventure movie, it’s very well done. But then you have to think about the underlying story, which is that some of the states of the USA tried to secede, Washington defeated them and is now punishing them for their insolence and treason. The fact that the despotic State would choose 12 children to fight each other to the death is much like Washington today. The power elite, regardless of party, has no compunction whatsoever about shoving 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds into the desert to carry a rifle and get their limbs blown off. Then Hollywood makes movies like The Green Zone, Jarhead and The Hurt Locker that glorify military service. The best part of this movie is the back story, which is that this book trilogy is wildly popular with the young. That bodes very well for the future. Young people today know that are forced at the point of a gun to pay into a Social Security system that they will never get to use. They know that the national debt has been hung around their necks, not the Baby Boomers. All you have to do to get a taste of the youth disillusionment is to go to a Ron Paul rally. Doctor Paul packs football and basketball stadiums on college campuses and shares a message of solutions, not just platitudes. Go see the Hunger Games. And thank the ticket sales girl that you can see a great movie for only about ten bucks.

Dump DC: Six Letters That Can Change History.

Copyright 2012: Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Flash Editorials March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012

By Russell D. Longcore

The Nation I: It is reported that Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant last Saturday. That’s not quite true. Yes, he did have heart surgery, but it was to install a heart that had never been there before.

The Nation II: John Corzine, the former President of MF Global, was found to have personally placed orders to move billions of dollars out of his own customer’s accounts into wildly risky Credit Default Swaps. And this criminal will not see one minute of jail time for his felonious actions.

The Nation III: Did you buy a lottery ticket for the Mega Millions lotto game for Friday night? The jackpot is an estimated $650 million, an all-time record. If you tune into this website next week and find it unchanged, you’ll know I won and I retired. I guess I could leave a final video saying goodbye. We’ll see…

The Nation IV: President Barry has been running around making speeches this week about how the big oil companies are making huge profits, that he wants to take their tax benefits away from them. Just like a socialist to blame everybody for the shit that he caused. Ladies and Gentlemen, the reason that American are paying north of $4 a gallon for gasoline is that Barry and the Congress borrowed trillions of dollars and then flooded the world with them. America, what you’re experiencing is INFLATION, not obscene corporate profits. When the value of the dollar drops, it takes more dollars to buy the same products and services. All of Washington lies, friends. They caused our economic trouble. They just count on you being too stupid to know the difference.

The Nation V: And here’s another stupid thing Obama is saying lately. He keeps telling audiences that the rich have to “pay their fair share.” I could go on for hours about this one, but let me make one point. I’ll even concede the high ground of the lexicon, and accept the ridiculous concept of the “fair share.” I will pay my fair share as a taxpayer after, and only after, Washington starts SPENDING its fair share. Spending $1.40 and only taking in $1.00 is not fair. Borrowing trillions is not fair. And a Federal budget running north of $2 trillion a year is not fair. When DC gets serious about making real spending cuts in current year budgets, then and only then will I come to the table and talk about paying my fair share.

The Nation VI: Final Obama story, I swear to God. I don’t want to create nausea in you fine viewers and readers. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for and against ObamaCare this week. And many State Attorneys General were in attendance. But this is being handled in the wrong place. No state should come hat in hand to the US Supreme Court and ask for standing and a ruling against the FedGov. The State legislatures should pass laws nullifying the ObamaCare law in its entirety, with monetary and criminal penalties for Feds who try to enforce the law in states. Oh…I forgot. The state governments have accepted that they are little more then provinces of the kingdom and must bow to Washington. There is an old saying…“You train people how you want to be treated, even when you do nothing.” Apparently, the states like being slaves.

The Nation VII: Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement this week of globalist former president George HW Bush. So the New World Order has started to show its hand as to its chosen candidate. Folks, don’t you get it? The election system is rigged. If you continue to vote, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

International I: Pope Bennie spent three days in Cuba last week and met briefly with hard-to-imagine-he’s still-breathing Fidel Castro. So there they were together, face to face…two despots…one man representing a system whereby human beings are oppressed and impoverished while their human liberty is stolen by repressive laws, dogmatic rules and fear…and Fidel.

International II: Myanmar…formerly known as Burma, is having a national election soon. The Union Solidarity and Development Party is led by President Thein Sein. The nation has an autocratic president, a rubber-stamp parliament and a strong military. Even if the seats in parliament that are up for grabs are won by the opposing party, nothing will really change. Sounds exactly like the United States. Even the name “Union Solidarity and Development Party” is like Washington. The Federal Government is the honey pot for the unions in America, and in the USA, “development” means “fund-raising,’ like the Development Department of your favorite charity. So it’s unions and raising money in DC. Congratulations, Washington. You’re just like a repressive totalitarian regime in Southeast Asia. Or perhaps Myanmar is like you.

Business: Today’s business report is a lesson in trends. Electronics retailer Best Buy is in deep trouble. This week, they announced that the company is closing another 50 stores and laying off over 400 employees in management and support. Same store sales are down over 2%, and they are headed for doom like their old competitors Circuit City and CompUSA. Why? Because lots of shoppers go to the Best Buy stores to test out various electronics and games, and then go to the Internet to make their purchases for lower prices. Best Buy is trying to switch from its big-box-store format to smaller stores in a bid to save the company and maintain profitability. How is this about trends, you ask? Being on the back side of a trend is a ticket to oblivion. Think about all the trends you’ve seen come and go in your lifetime. Remember leisure suits, and disco, and vinyl records, then reel-to-reel tape machines, and cassette tapes, and urban cowboys, and day traders, and music on CDs, and pagers? And cell phones in a bag or the size of a brick? Trends are also some of the economic bubbles America has experienced, like the stock market run-up of the mid-80s with the Black Monday crash of 1987, the tech boom of the mid-90s to early 2000s, and the real estate boom that just collapsed in 2006. When a trend is building, it’s easy to make money. But on the down slope of a trend, lots of people go broke. If you were the best vinyl record manufacturer in the USA, who cares? And if you are betting your financial future on a sunset industry, you are in for some rough times ahead. So in business, don’t you think it would be best to take advantage of any trend that is gaining momentum…rather than losing momentum?

That brings me to tonight’s commercial message. Energy is the last industry in North America to deregulate. Think about all the industries that have deregulated in the last hundred years…shipping, trucking, air travel, long distance services, the phone companies, and more. When deregulation happens, there is always a massive transfer of wealth from the old monopolies to the new competitors. Companies like UPS, Fedex, Sprint, Verizon, Southwest Airlines and Airtran….none of them existed until deregulation happened. And now energy deregulation is sweeping across America. The energy industry is also the biggest industry ever to deregulate, a $500 Billion a year giant. The new trend, my friends, is energy deregulation. Here’s my question: Do you want to take advantage of a fast-growing trend that will continue growing over the next 20-30 years? Every adult that lives indoors pays an energy bill every month. Energy is a non-negotiable life-essential monthly expense. Many people will pay the light bill before the rent simply because if they don’t, the utility will cut off their service. But YOU can position yourself so that you get paid a monthly income when hundreds or thousands of individuals and businesses pay their monthly energy bills. Those visionaries who get in early stand to make fortunes over the coming years! To learn more about my Energy business, go to: MasterpieceEnergy.com. Watch the opening video about “Lifestyle.” Then look to the left and click on “Defining Moments” to learn about a truly recession-proof business.

Economy I: The number of actual new unemployment claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 319,349 in the week ending March 24, down only 33 from the previous week. Yet once again, the Labor Department reported 359,000 new jobless claims…a number higher than the real number by over 39,000!! For an administration that wants to get re-elected in November, these bureaucrats certainly have forgotten how to cook the books to make Obama’s economy look better. If they just told the truth. But what was I thinking? The Federal Government NEVER tells the truth.

Sports: The NCAA Final Four is Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas. Who do you like? I like coach Rick Pitino of Louisville. He’s been to the Final Four six times with three different schools. They spanked Michigan State to get there. Go Cardinals.

Sports II: Coaching legend Bill Parcells will be the head coach for the New Orleans Saints for this coming season, replacing Sean Payton who has been suspended from coaching for A YEAR by the NFL for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal that put price tags on opposing players. Good choice by the Saints. Parcells sure knows how to win, although he wasn’t able to put together a winning program as the VP for the Miami Dolphins.

Entertainment: The movie Hunger Games opened on March 23rd and took in $152.5 million in its first weekend. If you want to see a fantastic film that is entirely Libertarian in philosophy, see this flick. And remember that this book series is wildly popular with teens. So What? That means that the upcoming generation understands that big government is the enemy, and they will be looking for an alternative. Secession is the answer to all their questions.

Dump DC: Six Letters That Can Change History.

Copyright 2012: Russell D. Long core. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Constitutional Quizzery

March 12, 2012

by Tom Baugh
StarvingTheMonkeys.com

(Edtitor’s Note: Tom shows the path to secession. Attaboy, Tom!!)

Despite a continual degradation of liberty in these united States, the patriot blogosphere continues to be energized with sentiments such as “keep your hands off my Constitution”, “let’s restore the Constitution”, “if you don’t like my Constitution then you should get the hell out”, or “I can’t wait to kill all the people who don’t like my Constitution”. Or variations of this same theme.

While such emotional reactions probably feel good to the reactionary spouting them (who is, by the way, trying to articulate perfectly legitimate concerns about something having gone terribly wrong in this country), they ignore some simple facts about the Constitution itself. Without going into all the details about the facts which support a Hamiltonian power grab (Boston T. Party does a fine job of this all by himself in his Hologram of Liberty”), splitting hairs about “of” or “for”, or devolving into yet another academic Spooner tug-fest, we can let the Constitution speak for itself.

First, however, I would like to slice and dice some of the founding documents so that we can see Constitutional reality. For our purposes here, the founding documents can be divided as follows:

a. The Declaration of Independence (DoI).
b. The seven articles of Constitutional power.
c. The Bill of Rights (BoR).
d. The remainder of the amendments to the Constitution.

Pop Quiz (which should be a breeze for those Constitutional scholars so confident of their patriotism that they would easily exile or execute those with whom they disagree, freedom of speech notwithstanding):

Question 1: Of these four divisions, two are about liberty, one is about centralized government control, and the remainder patches holes discovered in that power over time. Can you name which is which?

Question 2: Of these four divisions, which is the one that most patriot types have in mind when considering ideas such as “oathkeeping” versus “oathbreaking”?

Question 3: For the division given as the answer to the previous question, what enforcement provisions exist to ensure the rights described therein are protected?

Question 4: Other than individual cases which don’t amount to a hill of stacked crap, when throughout the entire history of the nation have those rights been protected in any crisis of any magnitude (hint: Katrina), crises being the only time in which preservation of rights is essential?

OK, I could go on and on, but I run the risk of losing some of those who are starting to get a nagging, uncomfortable feeling. Let’s get rid of the nagging and make sure it is a full-bore deliberate uncomfortable feeling instead, and grade those papers. Get out your red pens, gang.

Answer 1: This first question should be easy. Only the DoI and BoR are about liberty. I think we can all agree that the concepts in those two documents are essential to a free people. In contrast, the seven articles of Constitutional power delineate the power structure established by, and powers granted to, the central government. The other amendments primarily patch holes in that framework when too much actual liberty threatens to squirt out at the seams.

Answer 2: Again, an easy question. Most patriots, especially military veterans, have in mind the BoR when thinking warm fuzzy thoughts about Constitutional oaths. But you can be sure that high office holders are instead only thinking about all that power vested in their offices when they take an oath. Both groups are correct, but only one of them carries the day in any meaningful way, which brings us to…

Answer 3: There is no enforcement language whatsoever for the Bill of Rights. Any prohibition without enforcement is merely a suggestion. Or propaganda, depending on your point of view. And so …

Answer 4: Whenever your rights bump up against the power of the high office holders or their mid- to low-office minions, you lose. Every time. Wherever or whenever you think Americans have been free in the past, it is just because the feds (read as “enforcers for the elites”) hadn’t gotten around to walling that place off yet. The tyranny has always been lying there dormant, waiting to be used, and leaks through the cracks in times of crisis. But now, it’s all crisis, isn’t it?

Now, the usual patriot answer is that “wee the people” have somehow let down “wee the people” by not marching on DC with our NRA-sanctioned sporting arms and straightening out “thee the people” in those high offices. Again, this sounds good, but the fact it has NEVER happened, and NEVER will, is due to one simple provision in all of that power stuff we usually skip over while paging one-handed over to the good stuff in that Bill of Suggested Rights If They Aren’t Too Inconvenient When They Matter Most.

Bonus Question:

Care to guess which one provision totally pulls the rug out from under any patriot movement based on purely Constitutional principles? For additional credit, what other provisions support this view?

(tick tock tick tock)

Don’t feel bad, it took me years to get this one, too…

(tick tock tick tock)

Hint: It’s in Article II…

(tick tock tick tock)

Another hint: Look in Section 2 of that Article.

(tick tock tick tock)

Let’s read it together:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…”

Catch that?

Oh, you know, that little part where it says that if you want to have a militia, that the President owns it? And, by extension, the only valid militia is that of your State, which the President owns, too (check history, the real one, not what you learned in public school, for numerous examples before you argue the feel-good patriot-fantasy to the contrary). So, in effect, my patriot friends, by swearing to the sanctity of the Constitution, you have handed over your one means of enforcing compliance with that Bill of Rights fantasy. See also that militia stuff buried within the Article I, Section 8 laundry list, as well as in Article IV, Section 4.

These provisions of centralized Constitutional power are why there has never been, and will never be, any meaningful resistance to increasing national control and encroachment of every issue of life for each one of us. We are on a one-way path to oblivion, since our best means to resist has been carefully crafted to be meaningless from the start. Sure, form a militia, which, by the way, is the absolutely and ethically correct (albeit unlawful) reaction to our circumstances. But, after doing so, then all of your oathkeeping Constitutionalist buddies, you know, the ones in the officially sanctioned police and military militias, will demand that said local and/or private militia then answer to the President, and by extension to the elites who actually run this country. Said powers, will of course, demand that said militia disband and go home.

Despite Second Amendment propaganda, you have no Constitutional recourse of last resort to oppose with force the laws of the (capital letter) United States, including laws such as NDAA. Which means, of course, that any local militia opposition fantasies are strictly un-Constitutional, by definition.

Checkmate on the first move. Well, actually, before you even get to move.

My friends, despite what you want to believe about this nation, no form of government which criminalizes the right of any person to band together with his neighbors for armed mutual defense, against enemies foreign or domestic, can hold any validity in the mind of a free man.

Forget arguments about anarchist this, or Constitutionalist that, or any other ist you choose, this prohibition is the central nugget. By placing militias under the control of the Chief Executive, and providing for the use of that force to enforce compliance with laws, even, or especially, those laws which blatantly violate the Bill of Rights, we all lose.

Within two years of taking office, the first President showed exactly what central power was all about, by raising an army of 12,000 men to put down tax resisters in the Whiskey Rebellion. Review that little bit of history at your leisure. Note that the same founders who were aghast at a tea tax, and threw that famous Tea Party, didn’t take too kindly to the same behavior being applied to their tax against Appalachian corn tea out in the sticks (Yeah, I know, there’s that whole “no taxation without representation” slogan. But, who do you think gets more representation? You out in the sticks, or the elites with their checkbooks? If you think your vote actually means anything, or lets you make a meaningful or informed decision, you haven’t been paying attention to reality lately).

As you may recall, the private militias which had formed in the hinterland for mutual defense against that first major national tax were labeled as treasonous and enemies of the state. And the rest of the nation just lapped that rationale up. Just as the North lapped up a similar labeling of the breakaway South. And just as contemporary citizens lap up the idea that militia types are somehow dangerous to law and order as more than half of them wait for their government checks. See the pattern?

Your absolutely correct and noble desire to form a local militia to protect yourself against unconstitutional behavior is itself unconstitutional. Embrace that fact. The first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem, and we, my friends, have a big problem right there in black and white.

This is the document to which the Constitutionalists swear, and then wonder about the results in endless frustration. Lacking a constant brimming threat of imminent militia action, the national government has run amok, and will continue to run increasingly amok, all within Constitutional bounds.

As it was designed to do from the start for reasons you’ll discover once you open your eyes to see reality for what it really is.

Sadly, we are taught, and many of our Constitutionalist brethren believe, that the only alternative is anarchy and chaos. Anarchy and chaos is, of course, the natural end result of the path we are on. And sadly, there is no way back the way we’ve come, for a variety of reasons too numerous to list here. It is going to go all the way down, like it or not. Eventually, the US will run out of blood (regardless of even an inevitable draft someday) and treasure (regardless of how many nations from which we “democratize” valuable natural resources) necessary to pay the bondholders who own this country. Eventually, that little thing known as “the full faith and credit” runs completely dry no matter how many drag themselves up to wearily salute the tattered flag of the banksters’ state.

The question is, what then? What do we put in place to make sure the same juggernaut won’t be revived the next time around?

We’ve learned from this little quarter-millennial experiment that only a system in which universal local militia service is codified can protect you in any meaningful way or preserve civilization in any recognizable form. Only the Constitutional prohibition of the universal local militia renders immune from the consequences of their misbehavior tyrants at all levels, from the greenest cop to the highest office holders, including the generals who will one day come to crush your own private Whiskey Rebellion. It is for this reason that the proponents of the Bill of Rights struggled to check what they saw back then as a Hamiltonian juggernaut aimed at the throats of the individual citizen. A struggle which has now proven to be in vain.

As I said before, no form of government which criminalizes the right to band together with his neighbors for armed mutual defense, against enemies foreign or domestic, can hold any validity in the mind of a free man.

But that freedom comes with a price. And one facet of that price is that the individual citizen would have to participate, to man and woman up, to not delegate their responsibilities to unknown, faceless others. In a world in which even an invalid grandmother can spot targets out her farmhouse window and call for fire, the typical sandal-wearing 911-dialing man-mouse would become an endangered species. And civilization would thus lurch forward for the better as it crunches over the bones of those who gladly trade liberty for insecurity. Including those bones of those nobly misguided patriots who fear the prospect of local or regional warlords (read as “militia leaders”) so much that they eagerly not only accept, but actively promote, the yoke of the greatest warlord class in history in exchange for protection from those lesser shadows.

Does this mean our situation is hopeless? No, our situation is hopeless only so long as self-defined patriots think that restoring the Constitution, as written, is a viable path. As I have said many times, there is nothing broken with the Constitution that needs restoring; it is working fine and dandy, just as it was designed to do, which is to protect the elites from the rabble, foreign and domestic, who might otherwise take exception to unremitting theft and corruption under the color of twisted law.

The only valid path for us now is to stand aside while it all crumbles away. Let those who continue to fantasize about a republic which never was throw themselves into that self-defeating breach. Save them if they are willing to learn, but let them go if they won’t. Eventually, evolution will do what it always does, which is to correct error and reward, in its painful way, reality and truth.

A day will arrive when the last gasping pure Constitutionalist, bewildered to the end while defending his oppressors, has been crushed in the gears of the machine designed to feed the elites. Only then will those elites be stripped of the power to protect themselves from their victims. Stripped how? By local militias who refuse to yield more blood or treasure to their service. Universal service in militias under local control, my friends, is the only way forward. We’ve seen where the road leads without those local militias.

So, plan for that inevitable outcome. Organize your patriot militias, not to vainly restore the perfectly intact Constitution, nor to defend it for the benefits of the elite who have owned this country from inception, but to replace it when this house of cards finally collapses under its weight, preserving yourselves and your neighbors within that storm. Then, on the other side, let’s work together to restore the principles of liberty and put teeth into the rights of man with meaningful consequences enforced by local militias, unfettered by those who rightly fear them.

© 2009-2012 Starve Monkey Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


A Tale of Two State-Sponsored Killings

September 26, 2011

by William L. Anderson

(Editor’s Note: Executions…yet another thing that government regularly screws up and should never be trusted with.)

The other night, the State of Georgia killed Troy Davis for the alleged murder of an off-duty police officer. The execution was controversial because a number of witnesses who testified at Davis’ trial later recanted their statements. What was most interesting to me about that was that prosecutors had no problem accepting their testimony when it implicated Davis, but when those same witnesses later claimed to have been coerced and said that they lied because that was what police and prosecutors wanted, suddenly those same conveyors of truth had become “unreliable.” Likewise, those wearing the black robes of judges came to the same conclusion.

The case itself became a symbol of the state ramrodding through executions even though there could be doubt about the guilt of the convicted, and I join in the disgust and anger that others who have opposed this execution have expressed. However, Davis’ state-sponsored homicide was not the only execution in the USA that night; the New York Times had an Associated Press article about an execution in Texas:

White supremacist gang member Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed Wednesday evening for the infamous dragging death slaying of James Byrd Jr., a black man from East Texas.

There were no vigils and no protests of this government killing, and the headline in the NYT said it all: “White Supremacist Executed for Texas Dragging.” The placing of the two accounts together supposedly highlighted the contrast between the natures of the stories. In one, the state was killing a black man convicted of killing a white cop and there was doubt about the verdict, thus bringing together all of the political issues at once. In the other, we see a vicious, racist killer getting his just desserts in an open-and-shut case.

With Davis, we have a story about issues of racism, the killing of a state agent, and wrongful convictions, all wrapped in the ugly shroud of executions. One cannot put together a case with more political implications, and the response to it was what one would expect. The wounds of past injustices are great and only opened more when the State of Georgia injected poison into the body of Davis, and also injected more venom into our Body Politic. Racism. Cop killing. Wrongful convictions. Executions. There is nothing to add.

Brewer’s state-sponsored homicide brings different emotions. I remember seeing an African-American juror who had voted death to Brewer being interviewed on television afterward, and he said that while he opposed the death penalty, the nature of this case made such punishment justified. To put it another way, the horrific circumstances of the murder of Byrd and its racial and political implications permitted people to do away with their own principles and to support that which they normally would oppose. (To their credit, the family of Byrd asked for clemency for Brewer, while the family of Mark McPhail, the dead officer, supported Davis’ execution.)

He had participated in the murder of a black man, and was identified with groups that openly are racist. His views of others of a different race made it easier for those who say they oppose executions to support his being put to death by state authorities. Like Davis, who allegedly killed a member of a politically-favored group, police officers, Brewer not only had violated the life of someone else, but he had engaged in politically-incorrect behavior. Thus, the government apparatus that seeks to execute went into high gear in order to make sure that these alleged miscreants were to face the full fury of the law.

Before Brewer was to be killed, he declined to make a statement; Davis, about to die, calmly expressed one last time that he did not do what he was about to be killed for allegedly doing. They were different men, different events, yet they are tied together and not just because they were executed on the same date in the same country.

Would Troy Davis have supported the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer? Would Lawrence Russell Brewer have supported the execution of Troy Davis? I don’t know. What I do know is that when it comes to state-sponsored killings, all principles are discarded. People become what they have hated, and supposedly-principled people become the worst of hypocrites.

People who say they are “pro-life” try to justify executions in that same light. John Ashcroft, who lost his U.S. Senate election in 2000 to a dead man, had enraged black voters in his state of Missouri because he single-handedly denied the appointment of a black judge to the federal bench because Ashcroft claimed that the judge “was soft on the death penalty.” Yet, Ashcroft was one of the most staunchly anti-abortion members of Congress and always was feted by “pro-life” groups for his legislative actions.

Likewise, many others who oppose state-sponsored killings of people convicted in the courts believe that taxpayers should be forced to fund the killing of children who are ready to be born, the “partial-birth” abortion in which a medical professional brings out the head of a child from the womb, stabs the back of the head with scissors, bringing death. Like those in the execution chamber, the child is not deemed worthy of staying alive by people in legislative office and by men and women wearing black robes, not to mention the editors of the “Newspaper of Record.”

What I am describing is a Culture of Death, and a state-sponsored Culture of Death at that. In fact, a society cannot degenerate into that awful culture without the prodding and the sponsorship of the State. In the end, the State itself becomes Death.

Government


I don’t know if Troy Davis did what police and prosecutors claimed and what jurors and judges believed, although given what I know about how the courts in the USA work, I have my doubts. On the other hand, no one disputes the perfidy of what Lawrence Russell Brewer did, and it is understandable why jurors were willing to discard their own principles so that they could order his execution.

As I see it, once we give the State the privilege of killing whom it may choose, things are set into motion that are expressly unjust and cannot be reversed. The fact that Brewer took part in a terrible murder no more justifies his execution than the chance – and only the chance – that Davis shot a cop to death justified the State of Georgia killing him. (The officer was off-duty, but the fact that he was employed as a police officer was enough to label Davis a “cop-killer.”)

By giving the State the power to kill others “legally,” we also must realize that the State will kill those whom are politically deemed unfit to live. Plenty of people commit terrible murders for which no one is officially put to death. Only when a killing is deemed politically-incorrect is someone executed, and if politics ultimately is to become the standard of who is to live and who is to die, then we have become people who have passed the Point of No Return.

Following Davis’ execution, the economist Robert Higgs wrote:

“Those who compose the state have estranged themselves from their fellows and arrogated to themselves the power of life and death. Heedless of natural law, they are cruelly selective and opportunistic in their obedience even to the “laws” they have made. They have traded their consciences for power and political place, and their souls are as cold as ice. They are, morally, the walking dead.”

I would add that other people who support such things also join those who are spiritually dead. That is where state-sponsored killings always lead.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D. teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Legal Obedience

September 5, 2011

by Walter Williams

(Editor’s Note: We are also not morally obligated to obey any government edict that attempts to stop any state from seceding from the Union. A state that submits an Ordinance of Secession to Washington has in effect revoked its contract with the Union and is no longer subject to any possible jurisdiction that DC might think it retains.)

What laws are we morally obligated to obey? Help with the answer can be found in “Economic Liberty and the Constitution,” a 66-page pamphlet by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Hornberger offers a hypothetical whereby Congress enacts a compulsory church attendance law that requires children to attend church service each Sunday. Parents are penalized if their children fail to comply. Would there be any moral or constitutional legitimacy to such a congressional mandate? The law would be a clear violation of one’s natural, or God-given, rights to life and liberty. As to whether it would be constitutional, we have to see whether mandating church attendance is one of those enumerated powers of Congress found in Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution. We’d find no such authority. Our anti-federalist Founding Fathers didn’t trust Congress with religious liberty, so they sought to protect it with the First Amendment to explicitly deny Congress the power to mandate religious conduct. Suppose there’s widespread popular support for a church-going mandate and the U.S. Supreme Court rules it constitutional; do Americans have a moral obligation to obey the law?

You might say, “Williams, while there are gray areas in the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court would never brazenly rule against clear constitutional prohibitions!” That’s nonsense. The first clause of Article 1, Section 10 mandates that “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” During the Great Depression, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Minnesota law that restricted the ability of banks to foreclose on overdue mortgages, thereby impairing contracts made between lender and borrower. To prevent this kind of contract impairment — routinely done under the Articles of Confederation — was precisely why the Framers added the clause.

Another, perhaps more egregious example of the Supreme Court’s impairing contracts came during President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, when the government nationalized gold and made it a felony for any American to own gold. Not only was gold ownership made illegal but it nullified all “gold clauses” in private and government contracts. Writing contracts in gold was a way people protected themselves against government theft, namely inflation. The Supreme Court upheld federal nationalization of gold and nullification of gold contracts in the famous Gold Clause Cases. Today many Americans have turned to gold, driving its price to an all-time high, as a safeguard against what they see as pending inflation. Here’s my question to you: If Obama and Congress enacted a law demanding that you turn in your gold, would you be morally obligated to obey such a law?

Decent people should not obey immoral laws. What’s moral and immoral can be a contentious issue, but there are some broad guides for deciding what laws and government actions are immoral. Lysander S. Spooner, one of America’s great 19th-century thinkers, said no person or group of people can “authorize government to destroy or take away from men their natural rights; for natural rights are inalienable, and can no more be surrendered to government — which is but an association of individuals — than to a single individual.” French economist/philosopher Frederic Bastiat (1801-50) gave a test for immoral government acts: “See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” He added in his book “The Law,” “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

After reading Hornberger’s “Economic Liberty and the Constitution,” one cannot avoid the conclusion that the liberties envisioned by the nation’s founders have been under siege, trivialized and nullified. Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe explained that “no one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he’s free.” That’s becoming an apt description for Americans who are oblivious to — or ignorant of — the liberties we’ve lost.

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics.

Copyright © Townhall.com. All Rights Reserved


Property Rights

July 27, 2011

by Armen A. Alchian
Library of Economics and Liberty

(Editor’s Note: Here’s a good basic lesson on property rights. One thing this author doesn’t talk about are the property rights inherent in a free-market hard money monetary system. That is, that a government is not stealing the value of your property…your money…through inflation by devaluing the money supply. That’s a deal-killer in secession. Either your money is your absolute property or it is not.)

One of the most fundamental requirements of a capitalist economic system—and one of the most misunderstood concepts—is a strong system of property rights. For decades social critics in the United States and throughout the Western world have complained that “property” rights too often take precedence over “human” rights, with the result that people are treated unequally and have unequal opportunities. Inequality exists in any society. But the purported conflict between property rights and human rights is a mirage. Property rights are human rights.

“The definition, allocation, and protection of property rights comprise one of the most complex and difficult sets of issues that any society has to resolve, but one that must be resolved in some fashion. For the most part, social critics of “property” rights do not want to abolish those rights. Rather, they want to transfer them from private ownership to government ownership. Some transfers to public ownership (or control, which is similar) make an economy more effective. Others make it less effective. The worst outcome by far occurs when property rights really are abolished.” (see tragedy of the commons).

A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by government or by individuals. Society approves the uses selected by the holder of the property right with governmental administered force and with social ostracism. If the resource is owned by the government, the agent who determines its use has to operate under a set of rules determined, in the United States, by Congress or by executive agencies it has charged with that role.

Private property rights have two other attributes in addition to determining the use of a resource. One is the exclusive right to the services of the resource. Thus, for example, the owner of an apartment with complete property rights to the apartment has the right to determine whether to rent it out and, if so, which tenant to rent to; to live in it himself; or to use it in any other peaceful way. That is the right to determine the use. If the owner rents out the apartment, he also has the right to all the rental income from the property. That is the right to the services of the resources (the rent).

Finally, a private property right includes the right to delegate, rent, or sell any portion of the rights by exchange or gift at whatever price the owner determines (provided someone is willing to pay that price). If I am not allowed to buy some rights from you and you therefore are not allowed to sell rights to me, private property rights are reduced. Thus, the three basic elements of private property are (1) exclusivity of rights to choose the use of a resource, (2) exclusivity of rights to the services of a resource, and (3) rights to exchange the resource at mutually agreeable terms.

The U.S. Supreme Court has vacillated about this third aspect of property rights. But no matter what words the justices use to rationalize such decisions, the fact is that such limitations as price controls and restrictions on the right to sell at mutually agreeable terms are reductions of private property rights. Many economists (myself included) believe that most such restrictions on property rights are detrimental to society. Here are some of the reasons why.

Under a private property system the market values of property reflect the preferences and demands of the rest of society. No matter who the owner is, the use of the resource is influenced by what the rest of the public thinks is the most valuable use. The reason is that an owner who chooses some other use must forsake that highest-valued use—and the price others would pay him for the resource or for the use of it. This creates an interesting paradox: although property is called “private,” private decisions are based on public, or social, evaluation.

The fundamental purpose of property rights, and their fundamental accomplishment, is that they eliminate destructive competition for control of economic resources. Well-defined and well-protected property rights replace competition by violence with competition by peaceful means.

The extent and degree of private property rights fundamentally affect the ways people compete for control of resources. With more complete private property rights, market exchange values become more influential. The personal status and personal attributes of people competing for a resource matter less because their influence can be offset by adjusting the price. In other words, more complete property rights make discrimination more costly. Consider the case of a black woman who wants to rent an apartment from a white landlord. She is better able to do so when the landlord has the right to set the rent at whatever level he wants. Even if the landlord would prefer a white tenant, the black woman can offset her disadvantage by offering a higher rent. A landlord who takes the white tenant at a lower rent anyway pays for discriminating.

But if the government imposes rent controls that keep the rent below the free-market level, the price the landlord pays to discriminate falls, possibly to zero. The rent control does not magically reduce the demand for apartments. Instead, it reduces every potential tenant’s ability to compete by offering more money. The landlord, now unable to receive the full money price, will discriminate in favor of tenants whose personal characteristics—such as age, sex, ethnicity, and religion—he favors. Now the black woman seeking an apartment cannot offset the disadvantage of her skin color by offering to pay a higher rent.

Competition for apartments is not eliminated by rent controls. What changes is the “coinage” of competition. The restriction on private property rights reduces competition based on monetary exchanges for goods and services and increases competition based on personal characteristics. More generally, weakening private property rights increases the role of personal characteristics in inducing sellers to discriminate among competing buyers and buyers to discriminate among sellers.

The two extremes in weakened private property rights are socialism and “commonly owned” resources. Under socialism, government agents—those whom the government assigns—exercise control over resources. The rights of these agents to make decisions about the property they control are highly restricted. People who think they can put the resources to more valuable uses cannot do so by purchasing the rights because the rights are not for sale at any price. Because socialist managers do not gain when the values of the resources they manage increase, and do not lose when the values fall, they have little incentive to heed changes in market-revealed values. The uses of resources are therefore more influenced by the personal characteristics and features of the officials who control them. Consider the socialist manager of a collective farm under the old Soviet communist system. By working every night for one week, he could have made, say, one million rubles of additional profit for the farm by arranging to transport the farm’s wheat to Moscow before it rotted. But because neither the manager nor those who worked on the farm were entitled to keep even a portion of this additional profit, the manager was more likely than the manager of a capitalist farm to go home early and let the crops rot.

Similarly, common ownership of resources—whether in the former Soviet Union or in the United States—gives no one a strong incentive to preserve the resource. A fishery that no one owns, for example, will be overfished. The reason is that a fisherman who throws back small fish to wait until they grow is unlikely to get any benefit from his waiting. Instead, some other fisherman will catch the fish. The same holds true for other common resources whether they be herds of buffalo, oil in the ground, or clean air. All will be overused.

Indeed, a main reason for the spectacular failure of the 1980s and early 1990s economic reforms in the former Soviet Union is that resources were shifted from ownership by government to de facto common ownership. How? By making the Soviet government’s revenues de facto into a common resource. Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs, who advised the Soviet government, once pointed out that when Soviet managers of socialist enterprises were allowed to open their own businesses but still were left as managers of the government’s businesses, they siphoned out the profits of the government’s business into their private corporations. Thousands of managers doing this caused a large budget deficit for the Soviet government. In this case the resource that no manager had an incentive to conserve was the Soviet government’s revenues. Similarly, improperly set premiums for U.S. deposit insurance gave banks and S&Ls (see savings and loan crisis) an incentive to make excessively risky loans and to treat the deposit insurance fund as a “common” resource.

Private property rights to a resource need not be held by a single person. They can be shared, with each person sharing in a specified fraction of the market value while decisions about uses are made in whatever process the sharing group deems desirable. A major example of such shared property rights is the corporation. In a limited liability corporation, shares are specified and the rights to decide how to use the corporation’s resources are delegated to its management. Each shareholder has the unrestrained right to sell his or her share. Limited liability insulates each shareholder’s wealth from the liabilities of other shareholders, and thereby facilitates anonymous sale and purchase of shares.

In other types of enterprises, especially where each member’s wealth will become uniquely dependent on each other member’s behavior, property rights in the group endeavor are usually salable only if existing members approve of the buyer. This is typical for what are often called joint ventures, “mutuals,” and partnerships.

While more complete property rights are preferable to less complete rights, any system of property rights entails considerable complexity and many issues that are difficult to resolve. If I operate a factory that emits smoke, foul smells, or airborne acids over your land, am I using your land without your permission? This is difficult to answer.

The cost of establishing private property rights—so that I could pay you a mutually agreeable price to pollute your air—may be too high. Air, underground water, and electromagnetic radiation, for example, are expensive to monitor and control. Therefore, a person does not effectively have enforceable private property rights to the quality and condition of some parcel of air. The inability to cost-effectively monitor and police uses of your resources means “your” property rights over “your” land are not as extensive and strong as they are over some other resources such as furniture, shoes, or automobiles. When private property rights are unavailable or too costly to establish and enforce, substitute means of control are sought. Government authority, expressed by government agents, is one very common such means. Hence the creation of environmental laws.

Depending on circumstances, certain actions may be considered invasions of privacy, trespass, or torts. If I seek refuge and safety for my boat at your dock during a sudden severe storm on a lake, have I invaded “your” property rights, or do your rights not include the right to prevent that use? The complexities and varieties of circumstances render impossible a bright-line definition of a person’s set of property rights with respect to resources.

Similarly, the set of resources over which property rights may be held is not well defined and demarcated. Ideas, melodies, and procedures, for example, are almost costless to replicate explicitly (near-zero cost of production) and implicitly (no forsaken other uses of the inputs). As a result, they typically are not protected as private property except for a fixed term of years under a patent or copyright.

Private property rights are not absolute. The rule against the “dead hand,” or perpetuities, is an example. I cannot specify how resources that I own will be used in the indefinitely distant future. Under our legal system, I can specify the use only for a limited number of years after my death or the deaths of currently living people. I cannot insulate a resource’s use from the influence of market values of all future generations. Society recognizes market prices as measures of the relative desirability of resource uses. Only to the extent that rights are salable are those values most fully revealed.

Accompanying and conflicting with the desire to secure private property rights for oneself is the desire to acquire more wealth by “taking” from others. This is done by military conquest and by forcible reallocation of rights to resources (also known as stealing). But such coercion is antithetical to—rather than characteristic of—a system of private property rights. Forcible reallocation means that the existing rights have not been adequately protected.

Private property rights do not conflict with human rights. They are human rights. Private property rights are the rights of humans to use specified goods and to exchange them. Any restraint on private property rights shifts the balance of power from impersonal attributes toward personal attributes and toward behavior that political authorities approve. That is a fundamental reason for preference of a system of strong private property rights: private property rights protect individual liberty.

Copyright ©2008 Liberty Fund, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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