The Secession Party

December 1, 2010

by Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

(Editor’s Note: Langbert is starting to think clearly. But the idea of a Secession Party maintains the notion that liberty can be re-established by politics.)

The United States of America has become too large and needs to be broken in two. As well, New York and other states that have an urban-rural split ought to be split. The nation has become too large to manage, as today’s Congress attests. This would be so even if ideological differences did not divide the nation and the states. The nation should be broken up into a red nation and a blue nation and New York should be broken up into upstate and downstate.

The Secession Party would aim to dissolve the union, undoing the work of Abraham Lincoln and reasserting the aims of the anti-Federalists, who opposed the scope and extent of federal power that came to pass under Washington.

When the United States was established in 1789, there were approximately four million Americans and 65 members of the House of Representatives. That is 60,000 Americans for every Representative. Today the nation’s population is 310 million and there are 435 members of the House of Representatives, 713,000 Americans for every Representative. Only special interests and financial donors have full access to Representatives. Increasing the number of Representatives would be administratively difficult because a House as representative as it was in 1789 would have 4,800 Representatives.

Historical Precedent

One nation in western history has been equal to the United States in terms of its power: Rome. By the late third century Emperor Diocletian established a rule of four, whereby two senior and two junior co-emperors oversaw a quarter of the Roman Empire each. He also began a shift of power from Rome to other cities. Ultimately, Byzantium, later named Constantinople, survived the western Roman Empire by nearly one thousand years. Diocletian could not have anticipated that quartering the Empire would allow part of it to survive. I claim that halving the United States into free and social democratic halves would allow the free half to survive as the social democratic half sinks into a dark age.

American Decentralization

The forces that encouraged Diocletian to think in terms of decentralization are at play here. Management theorists recognize that there are limits to rationality. The way to run a large firm is to break it into operating divisions. Likewise, the Founding Fathers or Federalists, including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, believed that the federal government needed to be combined with decentralized states. Under the Constitution the states are responsible for much administration. Part of the reason is that the states are better able to represent their citizens. Large scale leads to complexity which makes management and representation difficult from the center. The federal government suffers from centralization without representation.

The Civil War began an assertion of federal power that has escalated past the point of diminishing returns. The Civil War’s cause, prevention of the expansion of the “slave power” was just. But a side effect of the Civil War was squelching of important aspects of states’ authority. It was not and is not clear that states do not have the right to secede or to nullify their participation in the union.

Progressivism a Form of Insanity

Recently, I had a discussion with an attorney who believes that regulation is desirable. I pointed out to him that workers’ compensation does not work. He agreed. I pointed out that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) has not worked well. He did not know much about it, but he was willing to agree. I pointed out that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which was meant to limit monopoly, has had the effect of expanding the size and power of big business. I pointed out that the Federal Reserve Bank has massively subsidized the wealthy at the expense of the poor. I pointed out that Social Security turned out to be a wealth transfer vehicle from the 21st century’s workers to the 20th century’s retirees. He offered no meaningful counter-arguments, only to say that the sub-prime crisis was due to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. But he could not explain how, after 75 years of securities regulation Wall Street is more destructive than it was in the 1920s.

Despite the long list of regulatory failures, the left-wing attorney believes that regulation must be increased. He suffers from a religious mania with which it is impossible to argue.

A recent study found that about two or three percent of government agencies are ever terminated. In contrast, 80 percent of businesses fail within their first five years. People who believe that government programs, no matter how destructive, cannot be terminated are incapable of rational discussion.

Since there is no common ground between those of us who believe in freedom and those who believe in socialism, there is no longer common ground required for a single nation. The United States was founded on a belief in freedom. But half the nation believes in the slavery of social democracy, in tyranny of the majority. The union is no longer tenable.

Large Scale Has Advantages

Large scale has advantages. These include the ability to support a strong military and to permit large scale economic activity. However, there are limits to these kinds of advantages, and there is no reason why independent units cannot permit large scale economic activity across borders.

The advantages of large scale have limits as do the advantages of small scale. There needs to be balance. But under the influence of New Deal Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans the nation has discarded the notion that small scale offers any advantages. When government employees are paid 40 percent more than private sector employees, it is just in the centralizers’ opinions. When private sector firms innovate, it is greed and must be regulated. No degree of centralization is sufficient for America’s big government mono-maniacs.

Party System Committed to Large Scale

Left-wing Democrats and the Rockefeller Republicans claim to hate each other. But both favor large scale. The Democrats have ritualized regulation. The Republicans have ritualized big business. The fact is that big business would not exist without big government, and vice-versa. Just as regulation has repeatedly failed even as the Democrats mindlessly chant its mantra, so has big business repeatedly failed as the Republicans chant its mantra.

Need for a Pro-Secession Party

The election of Barack H. Obama has proven that American democracy no longer functions. The nation is too large to represent its citizens. Smaller units are needed now. The two party system is too corrupt to permit the decentralizing impulse. A new, pro-secession movement needs to energize America.

Copyright 2010 Mitchell Langbert.

Mitchell Langbert is associate professor of business at Brooklyn College.


Stop Worrying about Words on Paper

November 26, 2010

by Jeff Matthews

A recurring debate always arises when critics argue with proponents over the language included in various state-level nullification resolutions and bills. They argue over whether certain provisions are lacking, improper, will not be effective, etc. I, too, criticize such language from time to time. It is natural to do so when we think in terms of the “rule of law.”

However, the “rule of law” is only a fiction for some invisible, greater authority upon which our conduct is claimed to be justified. Let me explain it by this question: Are federal usurpations legitimized if legislative nullification efforts are not successful? Clearly, the continued ability to engage in a wrong does not make it right. So, if our rights to redress for our grievances do not end with our state legislatures, where do they end? In what way are our remedies bounded?

The most limiting aspect of the movement to reclaim state, local and individual sovereignty is that so many proponents are looking to the “rule of law.” The right words – the right concepts in the right place – seem to dictate so many thoughts on the “proper” strategy. Looking back at America’s procurement of its independence from Britain, where did all of our words take us? Britain did not read our declarations, our pleas, and our demands and conclude, “Well, my dear boy, we do believe that makes perfect sense. You shall have your independence. Cheerio!”

Words mean nothing. Popular sentiment means everything. Do not worry about the “why,” the “how,” and such, when it comes to scriveners’ attempts to accomplish our ultimate objectives. These are just acts of scriveners.

The Constitution says nothing about nullification. Nullification is simply implied out of the fact that there must be some remedy somewhere when the federal government usurps its powers. Most certainly, the Constitution does not prescribe a procedure for nullification. Madison and Jefferson simply made up the procedure they attempted to implement.

Where does it say that in responding to federal usurpation, we may only resort to measures which confine us to not treading on the sovereignty of the federal government? The Constitution is written with an assumption that our respective governments will operate within their confines. It says nothing about the rules of the game when the compact has been breached. It should be clear that in this paradigm, it is a “no-man’s land” where anything can go.

More particularly to this last point is a concept within contract law. Contract law principles are useful to those who view the relationships created by the Constitution as contractual or as a compact. Suppose Paul Plaintiff enters into a contract with Don Defendant to mow Don’s lawn for fifty dollars. Paul shows up with his equipment and is ready to begin when Don says, “I am not going to pay you.” Must Paul still comply with the contract and mow Don’s lawn?

The contract is breached. Once breached, the aggrieved party is no longer required to perform under it. Thus, our efforts to reclaim state, local and individual sovereignty are not restricted in any way. The Constitution does not limit the means by which we may redress our grievances. Therefore, bear this in mind when evaluating legislative measures proposed by local representatives.

Sure, they might be improved in ways that make them better reflect the people’s sentiments, but these words are not what count. What counts is whatever it is that happens when enough people have had enough of the overreaching, corruption and incompetence which emanates from Washington.

Jeff Matthews is a practicing attorney in Houston. He graduated from the University of Texas, School of Law in 1993 and was licensed that year.

Copyright © 2010 by Tenth Amendment Center


A Review of “Nullification” by Dr. Thomas Woods

September 11, 2010

courtesy of PalmettoRepublic.org

Thomas Woods is a libertarian author and a student of the Austrian School of Economics and has recently written a treatise on state’s rights entitled “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.” I have a lot of respect for Dr. Woods after watching many of his videos on YouTube including the classic: “Interview with a Zombie” in which he parodies the typical ignorance and prejudice of the mainstream media. I also have read his book “Meltdown” in which he details the financial collapse of 2008 and fairly spreads the blame around to all of the various government personalities and entities that caused that catastrophe. Dr. Woods is a very intelligent man and, more importantly, he has the unique talent of being able to take his uncommon insight and knowledge and turn it into understandable material that is both easy to read and easy to comprehend.

I read this book, “Nullification,” with the hopes of finding out exactly where I stand on the issue. I had a general understanding of the Principles of ’98 beforehand, but I wanted to get some added perspective on the issue and possibly find out about some things that I might not have been expecting. Obviously we at Third Palmetto Republic want Independence for the state of South Carolina, but independence doesn’t necessarily mean severing all political ties with the United States. It may be possible to remain within the union under the Constitution, yet regain control of our lives and control of the laws which govern us. At least, that was the possibility that I wanted to explore…

Dr. Woods begins his book with a detailed investigation into the concept of nullification using Thomas Jefferson’s Principles of ’98 along with selected writings from Federalists Hamilton and Madison, along with taking a look at the Constitution itself. He does an excellent job of establishing the legitimacy of the principle of nullification along with showing examples of how it has been used in the past. He defends the idea from baseless claims of racism by showing how nullification was used by abolitionist states to refuse the fugitive slave laws. He defends the idea from progressives by illustrating how the ratifying conventions of each state would never have adopted the constitution unless they were guaranteed that the newly created government would have ONLY the powers outlined in Article I, Section 8. The bulk of this book is this investigation and I must say it is the best I have seen in explaining the concept, the history, and the legality of nullification.

Next, Woods moves into a discussion of what nullification would look like today, citing some cases of modern day resistance to federal tyranny. The main case he points to is medicinal marijuana in California, where the state has decided not to enforce federal drug law, and despite some federal raids the people have decided to grow and sell the stuff anyway. He then takes on some objections to nullification, like the potential loss of federal funding, by saying that the people can just nullify the federal mandates and not need the funding. His basic premise is that if enough people within a state refuse to obey a federal law, and if a state refuses to enforce it, then the federal government is essentially powerless to do anything. He shows how several states are acting to nullify Obamacare, through various means from state government resolutions to lawsuits by attorneys general.

Finally, the book concludes with a series of historical writings that have a part in the history of nullification, from the “Virginia Resolutions of 1798, where that state refused to imprison people for speaking out against the government, to “Nullification vs. Slavery,” where Wisconsin refused to return a fugitive slave under the principle that the state was not required to abide by an unconstitutional law. Woods even includes John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Address from 1831, where Calhoun was defending the principle of nullification while serving as the Vice President of the United States. These documents cover about 70 years of history yet are astonishingly consistent in their message: whenever the federal government steps outside of the bounds of the Constitution, nullification is the remedy.

Dr. Woods does an excellent job and this book is well worth the read for anyone who is looking for a thorough reference on nullification. If you’re a fan of Tom Woods and you’ve already read “Meltdown,” then buy this book and read it as well. If you’ve never heard of Woods or of Austrian Economics, this book is a good introduction to the man’s style and hopefully will serve as a jumping off point for your self-education.

However, after reading this book, I am still not convinced that Nullification is a viable strategy to return Independence to the people of South Carolina. In the second chapter of the book, Dr. Woods attempts to refute the big three “gotcha” clauses in the Constitution (Article I Section 8)that the federal government uses whenever it wants to grow its power outside of the limits of the document: the general welfare clause, the commerce clause, and the “necessary and proper” clause. Unfortunately, Woods fails to disprove the accepted meaning of any of these clauses. For instance, let’s look at the General Welfare clause:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises , to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Now when I read that, I take it to mean: “The federal government can tax the ever loving **** out of us and spend it on whatever they like” and in fact, this is what they’ve done. Woods does mention that anti-Federalists such as Patrick Henry took objection to this clause, and “warned that the new government could thereby exercise whatever power it wanted on the grounds that it somehow promoted the general welfare,” yet he doesn’t delve any deeper into their position and instead gives the typical answer that “such fears were unfounded, the federal government, they said, had only those powers expressly delegated to it.” Woods then goes on to say:

James Madison was particularly adamant. The very structure of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, he said, ruled out such an interpretation. If the general welfare clause granted the federal government a general power to do anything that might advance the general welfare, why did this section of the Constitution then bother to list specific powers the government could exercise? Wouldn’t these specifics have been superfluous and absurd, on the heels of a general grant of power that obviously included the powers that followed and made their enumeration unnecessary? … Thus Madison wrote in Federalist #41, “For what purpose could the enumeration of particulars be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?”

Isn’t it obvious? The Federalists (who were in fact interested not in federalism but in a strong central government) inserted the general welfare clause and then listed the enumerated powers to purposefully confuse the subject, to insert a “Trojan Horse” into the Constitution that they could later exploit. This is just like a modern day hacker who might give you a nice piece of free software that inserts just a small little bit of “extra code” that is harmless at first, but later is used to destroy your entire computer and all of your files. History, in fact, proves me correct in this, as any casual glance at the current stack of United States government legislation would show.

Woods then goes on to talk about my personally most hated founder, Alexander Hamilton.

It might be objected that Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first secretary of the Treasury, took a different, more expansive view of the clause. Of that there is no doubt. But we may question how much weight Hamilton’s position should carry. For one thing, prior to New York’s ratification of the Constitution, Hamilton noted in Federalist #17 and #34 that the clause did not mean that an area like agriculture would come under the purview of the federal government. But having given the people that assurance, Hamilton then declared, several years after the Constitution was ratified, that the clause did mean agriculture could be directed by the federal government. Which of these opinions is more weighty: the one intended to explain the Constitution’s intent to the people as they were deciding whether or not to ratify, or the opposite opinion given suddenly and after the people’s decision had safely been made?

Again, isn’t this obvious? The second one! Another way to ask this question would be: “Which of these opinions is more weighty: the one intended to swiftly push through the Constitution by pulling the wool over the people’s eyes, or the opposite opinion given after Hamilton and his speculator buddies were secure in their new government and had made a fortune by backing the Continental Dollar by the full force and credit of the newly created government? (thanks to the Constitution.) It seems to me to be readily apparent what the intentions of the Federalists were: to ram the Constitution through without much investigation from the public so that they could drastically centralize power and enact the same mercantilist system that the revolutionaries had just fought a war against.

There is another fatal flaw in the Constitution that comes into play here: the process of actually enacting a law, and how it fails to detail any sort of veto by the people of the general states (such as nullification.) To review: if congress passes a law and the president signs it into law, or if congress overrides a presidential veto, then that legislation is now a law. It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, the new law goes into effect. It is at this point that the people can resist the law and can appeal their case to the supreme court. This turns patriotic citizens into criminals if they think that a law is unconstitutional. They have to fight their case in court and then if they are lucky enough to be heard by the Supreme Court they have to fight federally appointed justices for their rights against the federal government. It is at this point that the Supreme Court falls back on one of the Trojan Horse clauses of the Constitution, then takes that citizen and makes an example out of them.

Unfortunately, I believe the same fate would befall a state that decided to nullify any law of any real consequence. Let’s say South Carolina decided to nullify the income tax. Oh wait, that’s a bad example, the income tax was made legal by the constitutionally afforded 16th amendment. Let’s say South Carolina decided to nullify Social Security, refusing to allow any further Social Security or payroll taxes in this state, and demanding that the feds reimburse those people who have paid into that program. The federal government clearly would not allow such a thing to happen, and so they would take various legal and financial measures to prevent it. They would certainly not reimburse any of us, and they could cut off South Carolina’s credit supply, unseat our representatives in Washington, stop all federal spending in South Carolina (military bases, SRS, SPAWAR,) or cut off all federal funding. I’m sure they would avoid any obvious calamities as to not upset the rest of the states, but as long as we remain under the federal dominion then they will simply find a way to prevent our independent action – just look at the recent case of the illegal immigration battle in Arizona.

Finally, my last objection to nullification is simply: why bother? In order to regain our independence from Washington and have the people of South Carolina control their government and therefore their lives, we would have to nullify about 99% of federal legislation in one fell swoop. Can you imagine all of the legal battles that it would take to do such a thing? How many times would we have to disprove the General Welfare clause, or the Commerce clause, and which supreme court justice other than Thomas would agree with us?

I say the answer is simple: secede. Secession is clearly the most justified, most moral, most responsible action we can take to restore independence and liberty to the people of South Carolina. How can we remain the members of a gang if we are going to pick and choose which rules we’ll follow? How can we hold such high regard for a constitution that gives our overlords the power to tax the ever loving **** out of us? We can’t. We must take responsibility for our own government and for our own lives, declare our independence, secede from the corrupt gangster U.S. government, and build a South Carolina that represents her people and protects their freedom.


Dear Rush Limbaugh:

July 28, 2010

I began to listen to you back in 1991…back when I was a rock-ribbed Christian Conservative Republican. Back then, my work schedule allowed me to listen to you every day, most days all three hours of your program. I could not get enough. You said all the things that I wanted to say…all of the things no one else dared to utter.

Then, in 1992, I moved to Cobb County, Georgia, into Newt Gingrich’s Congressional District. I joined the Cobb County Republican Party, the strongest Republican county party of Georgia. To me and to the other members, you were like a rock star. Then the Gingrich “Contract With America” swept Newt and others into leadership in 1994. Those were heady days in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia.

But I quickly became disillusioned by that close proximity to power. It became quite clear that the new Republican majority was only interested in consolidating power and controlling the Federal checkbook. During this time, I was reading Hayek, Spooner, Thomas Paine, Blackstone, The Federalist Papers, de Tocqueville, Bastiat…even Sun Tzu’s Art of War. I read everything I could find about history and the Constitution. The more I read, the more I could see the Republicans moving away from the Constitution.

So, I left the Republican Party and found the Libertarians. They seemed to have answers for all the deepest questions. But soon I discovered that they, too, were only seeking money and power. They simply wanted to supplant the Republicans and get their hands on the Federal checkbook. Plus, as Libertarians were more dedicated to liberty, they were also not prone to either compromise or cooperation. So organizing Libertarians is like herding cats.

I’ve kept reading and studying, and have moved into what could be known as Anarcho-Capitalism. I even took a break from listening to you for a few years, since my perception of you was that you became a caricature of yourself. I was also no longer interested in hearing the Republicans defended when the Party had clearly abandoned classical liberalism…the foundation for Conservatism.

For over a year now, I have been writing a blog entitled DumpDC.com. I have been following the growing secessionist movement in the United States.

And lately, I’ve been listening again. During the week of July 19th, you dedicated an entire program to the American Spectator article by Angelo M. Codevilla entitled ”America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution.”

Your comments on that day, and all the days since…show me that the Codevilla article was a kind of epiphany for you. You seem to have moved philosophically from support for the Ruling Class to the Country Class. And you agree that both Republicans and Democrats comprise that Ruling Class, and the Country Class is on the outside looking in. The Country Class and the Ruling Class hate each other, and will never able to come together.

I understand how excruciating it can be come to the realization that deeply-held beliefs must be cast aside. I am still making that journey, and I perceive that you are making that journey also.

You seem to be facing the realization that the American Federal Government, run by the Ruling Class, can never be fixed. Then you expressed the opinion that the Republicans are as threatened by the Tea Parties as the Democrats, since it is outsiders versus insiders.

But at this point, you still seem to think that the solution lies in electoral victories. You still preach that voters should fire the bums in Washington and replace them with more principled men and women who will keep their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

Mr. Limbaugh, the Constitution created the US Federal Government. The Federal Government is being operated exactly as the Framers intended it to operate. The US Constitution was designed to be ambiguous, to protect the Federal government from the citizens, and to perpetuate the Federal government into the future.

Further, the US Constitution has no legal standing. It is neither contract nor treaty. Though it may wish to be a perpetual pact, it cannot legally be handed from one dying generation to another without a legal document signed by all parties. I don’t know about you, Sir, but no one has ever asked me to execute a legal document in which I accept subjugation to the US Federal Government.

You are a very intelligent man, blessed with a keen mind and a rapier wit. You MUST be alarmed by the apparent and obviously irreparable state of the United States. You comment on the hopelessness of ever paying off the Federal debt load. You note the actions of foreign nations as they struggle with their own fiat currencies, and carefully try to sell off US Treasury debt while it still has nominal value. You comment that the Middle East wars are interminable and unwinnable.

Fixing Washington is a hopeless, quixotic quest, destined for abject failure.

Mr. Limbaugh, there is only one hope for mankind. There exists only one solution to the breathtaking tyranny being visited upon America by its own Federal Government.

That hope…that solution…is Secession.

I see you, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Neal Boortz, Mark Levin and most other talk radio hosts all valiantly trying to rally Americans to be properly horrified by the events happening all around us each day. (Mike Church seems to stand alone screaming for secession.) But that’s where it seems to end. We are bombarded by you folks with the myriad symptoms of the deadly disease, but the best cure for the disease is never tendered to us. It’s almost as if the name of this cure cannot be spoken…kind of like the name of Voldemort in the Harry Potter books or Sauron in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

There is a cure that is readily available. Secession is the cure for statism and Federalism.

Why is secession the new third rail of politics? Why is there such a noticeable silence about secession?

The new cure-of-the-day is the concept of Nullification. Books are being written about nullification by Harvard-educated scholars like Thomas Woods. Organizations like the Tenth Amendment Center and Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty get all excited about nullification as if it is the new cure for cancer on the body politic. But Nullification begins with the premise that there is a substantive benefit to maintaining the Union. Then it naively posits that Washington will not resist nullification, rather would simply obey the wishes of the States.

Some are on a quest for a Constitutional Convention, believing that if We The People could just rewrite the Constitution, the Ruling Class would cease to rule.

Mr. Limbaugh, I do not see you in those new camps. But I still see you in the camp that believes that electoral victories will be sufficient to rein in Washington’s unchecked power. The Republicans and Democrats are the right and left wings of a dreadful bird of prey named Tyranny. Trading out old feathers in the wings of the Ruling Class for new feathers still maintains the Ruling Class. The bird still flies and still preys on the American people.

Secession seeks no overthrow of the United States, desires no further amendment, begs no permission. It is the embodiment of the natural law of freedom of association.

Secession instantly ends the tyranny coming from Washington to the seceding state. They are no longer subject to paying Washington’s bills, servicing its debt, obeying its draconian laws and regulations and bowing their knees to DC.

I suspect that the reason that talk radio and talk TV will not whisper the name of secession is that your employers consider secession “a bridge too far.” The main stream media still wishes to be blessed by the Ruling Class, and secession is a direct threat to the Ruling Class. Further, those in Washington who grant you access to power might rescind that access if you were to even begin discussing secession as a viable alternative to Federalism and the status quo. They might even consider you to be a threat to America, and label you a domestic terrorist. Then, advertisers from Corporate America might withhold advertising dollars, especially the advertisers who also suck at the Federal teat.

Perhaps that is the real reason. If the main stream media even began discussing secession, they could be placing ad revenue at risk. To actually promote secession as the only hope for liberty on the North American continent could be too risky.

I can think of no other reasons why secession is not discussed in an open and honest fashion. Secession is a big, revolutionary idea. Why not look at it from all sides? If secession has flaws, trot them out for all to see. If secession is not possible, prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But don’t cower in fear at its mere mention.

I hold hope in my heart that you will be a man of principle who is honest within his own heart, Mr. Limbaugh. You hold sway over a gigantic American audience, and I’m sure you are keenly aware of the responsibility that comes with that.

A good friend of mine once expressed to me his frustration with American politics and the events that bombarded him daily from the air waves. I will say to you what I told him:

Stop thinking nationally. Think locally. Act locally.

In 1964, Ronald Reagan said, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.” Mr. Reagan was wrong. The USA is not the last stand.

Secession is the last stand on earth for individual liberty. Who will be first?

Respectfully,
Russell D. Longcore

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


A Short Note About Nullification

July 11, 2010

In Nullification is for Sissies, I stated that nullification is based upon the premise that staying in the Union has some value, and that the Federal government should continue to rule over the states in all the areas of governance except the ones the states nullify.

I’d like to push that statement a little further with a challenge.

Can ANYONE reading this article name EVEN ONE benefit that ANY state enjoys merely because it is one of the United States of America? If you think you can, please write me a note and tell me what benefit you believe exists. I’ll consider your nomination and write about it…and I’ll give you credit. Hell, I’ll even throw in a free Ebook as a prize if you are correct and I cannot refute your nominated benefit.

I am trying to make a very crucial point here…that nullification will not be successful in thwarting the DC criminals in their endeavors to subjugate the American nation under absolute tyranny. Oh sure…some states “nullified” the REAL ID Act and point to it as an example of successful nullification. But Washington does not want to aggressively push REAL ID or it would have already begun the extortion process, just like it did when it forced states to crack down on drunk driving by withholding Federal funds for transportation and roads. When nullification touches serious substantive MONEY AND POWER issues, Washington will ignore nullification…or punish those that try it.

The Declaration of Independence says that in the situations we Americans find ourselves TODAY, we have a duty to either alter or abolish the United States of America…our “Form of Government” under this so-called republic.

So I contend that if a state is going to fight Washington on a serious MONEY AND POWER issue, and there are no tangible benefits to remaining a US State, and nullification proponents already expect a fight when they try nullification…why not jump all the way across the stream and secede?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


Nullification Is For Sissies

July 5, 2010

That title is kind of a throw-down challenge, isn’t it? That is exactly what I meant for it to be…a challenge to the present-day promoters of Nullification to entirely rethink and re-evaluate their foundational principles.

Nullification sound so reasonable…so diplomatic…so sophisticated…so strategic…so statesmanlike. Who could assail such a measured response?

Russell Longcore, reporting for duty.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of Nullification, let me give you the shortest overview. The English colonies in America seceded from the British Empire with their publication of the Declaration of Independence and their victory over the British military in 1781. The colonies became independent nations upon secession. Even King George recognized their nationhood in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. In 1787 the US Constitution was written to create a kind of management company for those independent nations. The “states,” through the Constitution, gave the United States strictly enumerated powers to manage certain affairs of the states, and all the powers not given to it were reserved to the States and to the People…The Tenth Amendment.

So, nullification, though not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, is the process whereby a state refuses to enforce a law enacted by the Congress of the United States because the law is outside the strictures of the Constitution. Nullification has its foundation in the Tenth Amendment.

In the late 18th Century, there were less than 2.5 million people in the thirteen new nations, all on the Eastern Seaboard. At that time, in which a small number of people were governed and resided closeby, nullification may have had its usefulness. But today, there are 50 states with over 300 million people, scattered from sea to shining sea and beyond…to places like Hawaii and Alaska. Much of the USA is thousands of miles away from Washington.

Then why Nullification now, friends? I want to challenge your very premise here.

Nullification is based upon the premise that staying in the Union has some value, and that the Federal government should continue to rule over the states in all the areas of governance except the ones the states nullify. But if you’ll remember, the states created the United States as an errand boy for the states. Well, the errand boy has grown up to be the uncontrollable bully boy of the states and of the planet. The states have been subsumed by the DC crowd. They have abrogated their sovereignty and have no real authority or power to control Washington, since no states control the power of the sword or the power of the purse.

What benefits do the states presently receive from being in the Union? I contend that they receive NONE. Washington only breathes out tyranny, regulation and oppression, both on American soil and around the world. It is so cumbersome, so corrupt and so bloated that it destroys everything it touches.

In my seldom-humble opinion, nullification is a tentative, halting, almost cowering gesture toward Washington. It almost asks permission. Nullification tacitly acknowledges that Washington is the boss. It fairly begs Washington to accept the state’s wishes, even thought the state has no power to thwart Washington’s refusal to honor the nullification.

This is akin to sending the neighborhood bully a letter, telling him that he may not have your lunch money any more. The letter is fine. Now, what are you going to do when you see the bully on the playground TOMORROW? Specifically, what force will you enlist to fight back and defeat the bully when he grabs your shirt in his fists? Your “nullification” will likely get your nose bloodied. Unless you can blacken both his eyes and send him crying to his Mommy, you’ll likely keep losing your lunch money.

The United States of America…the DC crowd, not the people who comprise the 50 states…should by our Declaration of Independence be thrown off by the People. I do not promote that the USA should be dissolved. They should do whatever they want to do. My position is that states should forsake the theater of nullification and move right ahead to secession…leaving the Union altogether. Let the US government continue its treachery and perfidy over the states that wish to remain together.

Nullification is for sissies…Sissies who are not strong enough to advance the secession of their states, converting their state from a slave state and a serfdom to a sovereign nation.

In one act of secession, any state instantly drops the shackles of Federalism and statism. All Federal debt is repudiated, all Federal regulation melts away, all Federal taxation ceases in an instant.

My challenge goes out to my friends still embracing the concept of Nullification – wrestle your sovereignty away from DC by seceding from the Union. Stop trying to maintain a relationship with a criminal enterprise. Don’t just go to counseling with your obdurate political spouse…get a restraining order, a divorce and a gun. Then commit all your efforts to re-creating a new nation where individual liberty and property rights are respected and protected.

Secession is the only hope for liberty on the North American continent. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2010, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


The EPA Can Go To Hell, and I Will Go To Texas

June 24, 2010

by Brian Roberts

Last week, the feds sent the Environmental Protection Agency out to harass the sovereign state of Texas. Texas needs to reclaim the spirit of Davy Crockett, when he famously proclaimed “you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas”; and send the federal agency packing. Here’s why and how.

EPA’s Goal is Centralization of Power

By sending the EPA to Texas, the federal government’s goal is not environmental improvements. The goal is centralization of power. The tactic is to use the unelected bureaucrats of the EPA to increase Texas dependence on the federal government through arbitrary and economically crippling regulation.

Refinery permits are just tools that the EPA intends to use to control the Texas oil and gas industry. EPA control can force Texas into dependence in at least two ways. First, though excessive regulation of a major industry, economic growth will be stifled. This will create more state dependence on federal funds. Second, unnecessary EPA regulations will cost Texans jobs. This is will create individual dependence on welfare programs and since these programs include state-mandated funding, Texas will be hit with additional liabilities.

The political problem for the EPA is that Texas’ commonsense policies have resulted in cleaner air while maintaining one of the healthiest economies in our nation during the current recession. This Texas independence and success is why the feds will continue to financially attack Texas. A self-sustaining state is very problematic for a federal government that is trying to centralize all the power in Washington. So expect the relationship between the Texas state government and the U.S. government to increasingly deteriorate. Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business, had this to say about the political dilemma facing the EPA:

“Evidently, Texas’ success in improving both our environment and our economy, while Washington still argues about how to accomplish either, is something that EPA and the administration finds troubling.”

Proponents of centralized government will attempt to argue that Texas’ policies are causing the streets of New Orleans to smell like the morning after a frat party, or that pollution from Texas is causing smog in LA and NYC, or that the earth will be destroyed by the Texas carbon footprint. All of these arguments are ridiculous excuses designed to provide cover for a federal power grab. These straw man arguments do not in any way reflect reality.

Proponents of centralized government will argue that Texas should just roll over and take it because, they falsely proclaim: Texas needs federal subsidies. When in fact, Texas has been a donor state for decades and currently only gets back 94 cents for every dollar that is sent to Washington. Historical data shows that every year since 1981, Texas citizens have donated more to the federal government than what was received. The truth is that if Texas continues to roll over and take it, then at some point in the near future Texas will become dependent on federal money and require more back than what was put in, and that is certainly one of the goals of centralization.

The real battle, often hidden behind the propaganda, is between sovereign states seeking a level of independence guaranteed by the Constitution and a federal government that seeks to undermine the American system of federalism itself. Texas success is a powerful example that local, more decentralized government works best and for centralizers, that kind of example must be destroyed.

Texas’ Duty is Decentralization of Power

Texas should invoke the 10th and legally send the EPA back Washington D.C. where they can look for a lesser target to plunder. The tenth amendment guarantees a limited federal government and grants governing authority to states and to the people. Leaders in the Texas legislature and Governor Perry have responded with strong words against the EPA’s intrusion.

Governor Perry said this about the EPA’s actions:

“The Obama administration has taken yet another step in its campaign to harm our economy and impose federal control over Texas. On behalf of those Texans whose jobs are threatened by this latest overreach, and in defense of, not only our clean air program, but also our rights under the 10th Amendment, I am calling upon President Obama to rein in the EPA and instruct them to study our successful approach for recommended use elsewhere.”

Texas State Representative Wayne Christian had this to say:

“The EPA’s unilateral and unwarranted takeover of air quality permits in Texas further proves that the federal government has a clear disregard for the authority of the Texas Legislature and for the principle of federalism. Washington is seeking to command and control all sectors of economic activity. This action must not stand.”

It is apparent that Texas politicians and leaders understand that this is a federal power grab that should not be allowed to proceed. However, in recent times, leadership in Texas has been more about talking the talk and less about walking the walk. A recent example, still fresh on the minds of many Texans, is the hesitancy of the Governor to call a special session so that Texas might pass nullification legislation to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional mandates of Obamacare.

While this delay in legislation concerning health care may prove to be the proper course strategically, this may not be the case in the battle against the EPA’s permit consolidation. EPA’s regional administrator has indicated that Texas has “weeks, not years” before the EPA begins taking over the entire air-pollution permitting program. The time to act has arrived.

Texas leadership would do well to find inspiration in another Davy Crockett quote:

“I would rather be beaten and be a man than to be elected and be a little puppy dog. I have always supported measures and principles and not men. I have acted fearlessly and independent and I never will regret my course. I would rather be politically buried than to be hypocritically immortalized.”

The solution is straightforward: the state government of Texas should tell the EPA to go to hell. In practical terms this means that nullification legislation should be passed by the Texas legislature and signed by the Governor. This legislation, based on the tenth amendment, should declare federal mandates with regards to the Clean Air Act null and void in the state of Texas and should include penalties for federal agents or local law enforcement agents that attempt to enforce this federal law in the state of Texas.

In an age of rapid centralization of power in Washington DC, nullification legislation denying federal authority is becoming common. Various states have defied federal laws by passing legislation designed to nullify: federal healthcare laws, federal firearm laws, federal marijuana laws, federal identification laws, among others.

Reprinted from the Tenth Amendment Center.

June 22, 2010

Brian Roberts is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center.

Copyright 2010 Tenth Amendment Center.