Tag Archives: states rights

RE: The US Senate Race in Kansas

“Independent” Greg Orman, who has so many Democrat Party operative working on his campaign one expects to see Nancy Pelosi’s name on his campaign headquarters door, has stated that he will caucus with whatever party presents the best ideas.

Mr. Orman’s campaign website states:

“If Greg is elected, there’s a reasonable chance that neither party would have a majority in the US Senate. If that is the case, he will work with the other independent Senators to caucus with the party that is most willing to face our country’s difficult problems head on and advance our problem-solving, non-partisan agenda.”

Therein lays the problem, and a perfect example of: a) how constitutionally illiterate our political class has become; b) how constitutionally illiterate our citizenry has become; and c) why the 17th Amendment is the most damaging action ever executed by the Progressive Left throughout US history.

When the Progressives of the early 20th Century marshaled through the 17th Amendment, they did a great damage to the symbiotic set of checks and balanced that achieved protections for both the individual and the individual states, where the power of the federal government was concerned. Under the guise of putting more control of government into the hands of the people, the Progressives, under Woodrow Wilson, literally destroyed the check and balance that protected state sovereignty and, through that erosion, the sovereignty of the individual.

At its inception, the US Constitution mandated, in Article I, Section 3, that:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote…”

The appointment of senators by the state legislators thwarted political faction on the floor of the US Senate. With each senator held accountable by their respective state legislatures for their votes, alliances and actions, the onus for political survival for the senatorial class was devotion to the well-being of their home states. The political ideology or factional allegiance of the senator was irrelevant for the most part. If a senator chose political party over the needs of his home state, the state legislature could – and would – simply recall him through an act the State House, replacing the senator with someone who held allegiance to his home state – and the constitution of that home state – above national political faction.

Understanding this original intent that the Framers built into the Constitution, the idea of Obamacare, or suffocating national debt, or an aggressive IRS, EPA or NSA, would never have come to be. The unfunded mandates of Obamacare would have seen the 54 senators from the 27 states that refused to establish ACA health insurance exchanges – and most likely more from states that did – voting against the bill in its infancy because the legislation harms the well-being of the individual states and usurps the authority of most every state’s constitution. So too, the national debt would never have been allowed to accumulate because it passes down to the citizens of individual states. The IRS would be little more than a gaggle of accountants, the EPA would not exist and the NSA wouldn’t be allowed to operate on US soil, if at all.

Simply put, there would be no party politics in the US Senate. It would be an assembly of representatives of each state’s government, tasked specifically and exclusively with the protection of the home state and her constitution. The passage of the 17th Amendment killed that protection and facilitated political faction on a national level to metastasize in the US Senate, something Pres. George Washington warned vehemently about in his Farewell Address.

The 17th Amendment mandates:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote…”

By tricking – and that’s exactly what the Progressives did – the populace into thinking the popular election of their senators gave them more power over government, it literally established the opposite; delivering great power to national political parties and the federal government, while extinguishing an essential check and balance over said political parties and the federal government. The 17th Amendment took power away from the people and the states, and delivered it to the political parties and the federal government.

So, why is the Senatorial Election in Kansas a perfect example of constitutional illiteracy and Progressive manipulation? Would the 17th Amendment have not been passed Mr. Orman wouldn’t need – or aspire – to caucus with any political faction or party. He would, instead, be carrying out the will of the Kansas State Legislature and, through them, the will of the people of his state. There would be no need – or desire – to “caucus” with those of any particular political “flavor” because the well-being of each state is dictated by the needs of each state and her people, not the leaders of any political party.

To wit, imagine that the 17th Amendment had never passed, or that a smart-thinking Congress repealed it. No longer would we see any – any – legislative gridlock; no longer would we amass unrepayable debt; no longer would we see hyper-partisan or ideological pieces of legislation rammed down our throats; no longer would the American people – and her government – be held hostage to politics…no long would the American people be held hostage to politics.

Still think Progressives are on the side of the people? Yeah, neither do I…I haven’t for a very, very long time.

Core Standards: States Put Fed Dollars Ahead of Students

Sneaking under the media radar (or perhaps with their blessing) 45 of the 50 states have approved the federal program called Common Core Standards.

Common Core is a requirement to participate in the Race to the Top federal grant program; many states signed on without knowing what Common Core was. The federal government offered money to states who dropped the No Child Left Behind program in favor of their new Common Core. Standards were accepted and adopted by Governors and their State Board of Education. Implementation has begun quietly with little public debate or parental input.

common core standards

In essence, Common Core is the federal government’s plan to control the K-12 education system in the US by nationalizing education, state-by-state.

In addition the federal government is developing more standardized tests to assess performance on the Common Core Standards. What’s even more troubling, is the federal government, is developing MORE standardized tests – tests that will supposedly assess performance on the Common Core Standards. In fact, the government is taking $330 million from its Race to the Top budget to develop national tests.

As the Common Core Curriculum is nearing implementation more educators and parents are becoming aware of the new program. There are many questions arising about the curriculum, the standards, and the Constitutionality of it:

  • Quality of the Standards–Advocates for local control of education have warned about the dangers of federalizing state academic standards. What first was painted as a voluntary, state-led effort to modernize and standardize learning goals has transformed into a clear movement toward federally approved standards and nationally standardized tests.  Already, officials in Florida, Georgia and Kentucky have reported lower scores since the implementation of the common core. Lost is state choice for education as they can only add 15% to the approved curriculum; 70% of all reading will be non-fiction, not classics and Algebra 1 is delayed from 8th to 9th grade. Some estimate US students are already two years behind other countries and math delays will hurt more.
  • Voluntary Curriculum…or is it? The Standards/Assessment/Curriculum is a matrix, bound together. Standards alone won’t make a difference; you need curriculum, instruction, professional development and assessments that embody the standards. It is expected the majority of schools will eventually be convinced to use the curriculum to align with Standards and testing, removing control from state departments of education.  Most classic literature will be replaced by “informational texts” such as technical manuals.
  • Teaching Style doesn’t consider the individual child or school– Pushing teachers to teach “knowledge” doesn’t consider the individual child.  Better teaching looks at student growth, starting from where the students are, seeing them as individuals. All public funded schools (including charter schools) are included in the mandate. Many charter schools take pride in their ability to meet individual learning styles.
  •  Costs Open-Ended & Unfunded Mandates—The program is an unfunded mandate. Many states did not investigate the cost for implementation, administrative & teacher training, testing, text books, technology (online testing, hardware, software, digital curriculum and data tracking)..
  • Federal versus State—The US Constitution does not refer to education. Educational decisions are deferred to the states. Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina said, “Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the federal government, neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.” Through default, the Common Core program places education decisions in the hands of the Federal Government.
  • Collecting Student Data—States will assist the larger federal goal of the long term tracking of a child from birth to workforce by tracking student performance and “other” data then providing it to the Departments of Education, Homeland Security and Labor.

There is much more. You can read about the curriculum, the standards, when your state will begin implementing them and how it may impact your children at the Core Standards website.

The good news is: Homeschooling is still an option. At least it is today.

Divided We Stand: Echoing Calls To Secede From The Union

Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Divided We Stand.

In less than a week since this nation re-elected Barack Obama, there are calls from numerous States to secede from The United States of America. We are no longer a United Nation. We are very much a Divided Nation. Many are standing together, calling for a peaceful divide.

The famous declaration for unity that you are familiar with has been attributed to Aesop’s fables, as well as John Dickinson’s Revolutionary War song, “The Liberty Song”, which was was published first in the Boston Gazette in 1768.

However, it was Patrick Henry that made the historic exclamation in what was to be his last public speech:

“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

Patrick Henry’s declaration came at a very pivotal point in America’s history. It was March 1799, and Mr. Henry was “denouncing The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions”, which argued that the two states “had the right and the duty to declare unconstitutional any acts of Congress not authorized by The Constitution”.

This speech took such a toll on Patrick Henry that after the speech his “near lifeless body” was carried offstage and into the nearest tavern. He died just two months later.

We have now reached another pivotal point in this nation’s history.

In the November 6 election, the divide between the candidates was a little more than 3 million votes. Barack Obama received 61,910,594 votes, and Mitt Romney received 58,654,765 votes. When you look at the total number of votes cast, it is almost a clear cut down the middle. We are most definitely a divided nation. We can no longer stand together, when we are so obviously divided over so many issues. We have reached a breaking point that threatens to be anything but peaceful if things are not handled in a way in which every voice is heard and considered.

Citizens in Louisiana are now petitioning the White House to “Peacefully grant the State of Louisiana to withdraw from the United States of America”. The petition was created the day after the election, and has nearly 8,000 signatures in just 5 days.

It appears that this petition from Louisiana was the first of many to have been submitted to the “We The People” site on the official White House website. The site claims to be “Your Voice In OUR Government”. The question remains whether or not the Government will hear the many voices being raised. It is highly doubtful, as they have turned their noses up in arrogance towards We The People numerous times before.

It’s not just the state of Louisiana, the list of State Petitions calling to peacefully “withdraw from the United States of America” is growing by the day.

Country singer Charlie Daniel’s is suggesting that “the South” secede from The Union; however, there are Northern States that are not so happy with the government, and are also calling to leave the Union. At the time of this article’s posting, the states with open petitions are the following:

Alabama
Colorado

Florida
Georgia

Indiana

Kentucky
Mississippi

Montana
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Oregon
Texas 

While Louisiana appears to be the first state to start a post-election petition to actually withdraw from The United States, in 2010, Missouri’s Legislative House gave “preliminary approval to state sovereignty measure”, which asserted the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. It was not a call to secede from the Union, but rather a stand for States’ Rights.

In Texas, Peter Morrison, “a high ranking” Republican County Treasurer, made the declaration for The Lone Star State to secede, stating:

“Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?”

The winds of change are coming. The echoing calls to seperate are growing louder and stronger.

Barack Obama claimed in both victory speeches that we are not “a collection of Red States and Blue States, but we are The United States”. These words are empty and mean nothing coming from a man who has done so much to divide this nation. The people are not happy. We are no longer united. We The People are standing, asking to peacefully divide from the albatross that is Barack Obama. If the request is not considered, it very well may come as a demand, which will not be so peaceful.

 

Image via mikechurch.com

What does the SCOTUS ruling on SB1070 really mean

Ultimately, the Supreme Court decided that states cannot create laws that are intended to make up for a federal government’s failure to enforce them which has far reaching implications beyond SB1070.

Consider the current administration’s decision to not enforce deportation statutes and The Defense of Marriage Act. Whether Americans agree or disagree with those laws, this decision means that states do not have the right to create the same or stricter laws and enforce them within their borders.

Now consider other federal laws and amendments to the Constitution:

Second Amendment

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.

Taking SCOTUS’ decision into account, are states now banned from creating more restrictive laws on gun carry and ownership? It would seem to be so. The premise that the second amendment states that this right may not be infringed is the basis upon which many second amendment challenges by groups like the NRA, CALGUNS and more have asserted there cases. Perhaps the Supreme Court has just strengthened every one of those cases.

The Government’s argument was that federal law preempted or “trumped” the state’s efforts to strengthen immigration laws. Is that not what several states have done with the second amendment?

Environmental Laws

Many states such as California have chosen to write environmental regulations stronger than those posed by the EPA. Since the EPA is the federal legal authority, do states no longer have the right to create and enforce state-level laws more restrictive than those set by Congress and implemented by the executive branch?

Summary

The SCOTUS decision on SB1070 seems in the short term to be a weakening of State’s rights and an empowerment of the federal government. While it seems to be a protection of individual liberties in these cases, it may also limit the ability of states to experiment with lighter or stricter laws – an inherent characteristic of our governing framework. The soft spot may be that no state may write a law that trumps the federal which gives our central government even more motivation to create more laws and bureaucracy. The more laws the misfits in D.C. create, the less power left in the hands of the states.

Focused attention on Congressional elections will be required this year – very focused.

Wolf Reintroduction: The Big Lie that is Crushing the Western Way of Life

Fifteen years ago, a huge conglomerate of governmental power-brokers, radical environmentalists, and media manipulators forced the reintroduction of Wolves back into Yellowstone National Park. They did this against the wishes of the generations of families living in the immediate area and simply trying to earn a fair living, along with the folks in the bordering western states that would eventually/already are being affected by the reintroduction of the ravenous and ruthless wolves.

The enviro-conglomerate won the battle and they introduced the wolf back into Yellowstone in 1995. This was a decades long battle that actually started back in 1966, when “certain” biologists became concerned with the unbalance of the ecosystem due to the eradication of the wolf, and it’s resulting Elk population explosion. In the tug of war that ensued, the public originally balked at the reintroduction plans, so the all-powerful and knowledgeable Congress, in conjunction with the National Fish and Wildlife {government-paid] agency, decided that they needed to poll the “visitors” to Yellowstone, to see if they wouldn’t mind the reintroduction of the wolf. ( Even though they will not suffer the consequences, city-dwellers and even people from other countries were allowed to vote to decide the fate of America’s ranchers out west) Through various media blitzes the enviro-conglomerate managed to persuade the public to the tune of 60% ( of visitors to Yellowstone, not those actually living in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) as saying they favored the wolf plan. What they failed to tell the public, was that they were ignoring the very people who would bear the brunt of the wolf experiment in the end, the local people trying to eek out an honest living in the area. As a result, a whole sector of American culture and tradition is on the verge of being wiped out. The area economy is being crippled, and State’s rights have now been exterminated by the enviro-conglomerate that pushed the irresponsible decision to bring the wolf back into Yellowstone. And it just isn’t one state that is now suffering from this big government bullying either. The wolf is now in Idaho, Arizona and several other surrounding states with endless territory now in their sights.

Forget the easily manipulated “Yellowstone visitor polls” and let’s hear from the actual people that the irresponsible reintroduction of the wolf is affecting so harshly today shall we? Watch the following free video, this film is about exposing the lies and proclaiming the truth about what the movement to bring back wolves to Yellowstone – and the rest of America – is really about. Crying Wolf.

Personally, I could care less what someone from say, Chicago wants to view when “visiting” my state, especially considering the fact that it is I who have to try to earn a living there long after tourists (from other states or even other countries) are long gone. Besides, what would assorted city-dwelling pencil-pushers, and government-dependent puppet-voters know about the independent, hard-working American western culture of hunting, fishing, grazing-land management, cattle and sheep ranching, outfitting, etc.? The answer? Not a dang thing, as is obvious in their irresponsible power-play of forcing the wolf reintroduction back into Yellowstone in 1995, against the very citizen’s wishes of the now widely-suffering bordering states area.

The very real damage: Many businesses have already closed down due to the wolves devastation of the Elk population over just the past fifteen years alone. The government originally “promised” a managed wolf population of between 78-100 (or 30 breeding pairs) when they forced this scheme onto the ranchers whom live in the area that the wolves would be released in. The current population? It is now approaching 1700 wolves or 17 times the promised total by our government, just in the Montana/Idaho region alone. In 2006, the Yellowstone Elk population had already decreased by 50% from mid-90’s totals. If the Elk population was decreased by 50% in 10 short years with an original wolf population of around 100, think of what will happen now that the wolf population has swelled to around 1700. Wolves must eat, and as the Elk disappear, the moose populations also dwindle, which then leads to more predation on cattle and sheep. Those cattle and sheep just happen to be the property of the ranchers, not the darn government! Whatever happened to property rights in this country? What about the right to protect said property? In the end, the ranchers lose massive amounts of money, and eventually go out of business. Along with ranching, goes the hunting, outfitting, taxidermy, meat processing, and guide businesses associated with the Western culture of ranching and hunting. Elk-hunting permits in the region are now down a whopping 90% thanks to the enviro-conglomerate caused explosion in the wolf population in the west. Once again the U.S. Government has bowed down to radical environmentalists to create a massive problem for the people who actually live in the areas effected by their policies. It seems that when considering the effects of reintroducing the wolf to Yellowstone, the right to the Western culture and way of life was completely ignored, along with their perspective state’s rights. What kind of a country is it, that allows whole sectors of it’s population to be devastated by another sector that wants to put wolves, mother earth, trees, or even the ozone ahead or our citizens constitutional rights? It certainly can not be considered to be even close to a people’s Republic, as was established by our constitution.

Jesse Jackson: It’s Civil War vs. Civil Rights

Jesse Jackson posits the argument that Conservatives want to re-fight the civil war in order to destroy his civil rights.

Social justice, slavery and more are thrown about as he attempts to dismantle the logical argument of true freedom – individual rights –  by pushing big government enslavement. His crowd is eating it up.

“Should you choose unity over individual freedom, you have simply volunteered yourself into the company of slaves”

Why Do Democrats Want an Internet Shopping Tax

Internet Sales TaxCall it the eBay or Amazon tax – or perhaps the Barnes and Nobles, Apple Store or New York Times Online tax – call it whatever you like, but it is a tax. A tax proposed by Illinois’ own Senator Duck Durbin (D) that will be levied on all online purchases.

The Main Street Fairness Act, as Sen. Durbin’s bill is named, aims to reverse the decades long moratorium on online purchases that was put in place to foster online commerce. Now that virtual stores are actually closing down their brick-and-mortar counterparts the Federal government is looking to help the states.

There is a constitutional component involved. When someone purchases something online from a site that has a physical store in that same state, most states enforce the collection of state sales tax from the consumer. It is only when someone makes a purchase across states lines that the feds are even permitted to intervene, thanks to the [Interstate/Indian/Foreign] Commerce clause.

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes [1]

The commerce clause has long been used by those in favor of a stronger central government so it should come as no surprise that it is Democrats doing more of the same.

There is a problem with the thinking on this bill. It will now create a situation where online retailers now suffer a bit of a disadvantage. A buyer selecting a $20.00 item from shopping.com would then get to pay a state sales tax on top of the shipping costs AND will have to wait a few days for their purchase to get there, possibly damaged in shipping.

With the new bill not offered up to the public as of yet, analysis was done against H.R. 5660, a bill with the same name but submitted last year by Sen. Durbin.

There are many legal and common sense perspectives to consider. First, is the Supreme Court Case of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which the bill cites as a basis of authority. Quill is an office furniture retailer that had no facilities nor employees in North Dakota and therefor positioned that it was no burden on the state which gave the state of North Dakota no standing to force Quill to collect sales tax for the state. Notice, the argument isn’t about whether or not the consumer should pay sales taxes, but rather who could be compelled to collect them.

With the legal out of the way, comes the common sense. Imagine the complexity a business would have to deal with the understand the sales tax rates of each State, the counties that add a bit and the municipalities with their extra .25% sales tax. The chart of taxes is difficult enough to deal with for in-state companies, much less someone trying to operate a nation-wide concern.

Then – the costs. H.R. 5660 lines out the funding for:

  • Implementation of an online multistate registration system
  • Establishment of advisory councils
  • Provisions for funding and staffing the Governing Board

It should go without saying this will only skim money off the collected state funds. It would necessarily have to. That multi-state registration system won’t build or run itself and the councils and governing boards will be filled with even more bureaucrats that make huge sums of money and get ridiculous benefits. By the time that money gets to back to the states from which it came, it will be a fraction of what it once was – if it gets back to the states.

The final and most important part is that the Federal government will now control the revenues that come from these purchases. That will allow them yet another carrot and/or stick to use against the states. Similar to how the federal government pressures states into certain provisions in order to receive federal highway dollars, the states will be given orders that they must follow if they want to receive their share of the federal internet sales tax money. This is another attempt of the central planners in our society to weaken the power of the states. Imagine how the federal government could affect a cash strapped state like say .. Wisconsin, when they aren’t playing the way the majority in Congress desire.

This tax isn’t about ending budget shortfalls for the states. They could do that on their own, although painfully, without this kind of intervention. This is about power – pure Federalist, big-government power. The bill only requires 10 states to sign on which is almost certainly an indication that the bill’s sponsors know that not very many states will cede their sovereignty just for a few crumbs from the Federal table.

Sources:

[1] – Constitution of the United States – Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3

Florida Senate Passes Freedom from Obamcare Act

 

Senator Mike Haridopolos, District 26 — Press Release March 9, 2011*

Florida Senate Passes Health Care Freedom Act
First bill passed by Senate in 2011 session allows Floridians to make health care decisions

The proposed amendment is sponsored by Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R-Merritt Island) and co-sponsored by every member of the Senate Republican Caucus.

“This proposed constitutional amendment is about an individual’s right to make his own health care decisions without interference from the federal government,” said Senate President Haridopolos. “It also sends a message to Washington D.C. that its one-size-fits-all approach to health care doesn’t work. I’m thankfully for the support of my Republican colleagues on this constitutional amendment. We believe in patient-centered, not government-centered health care. After approval from the House of Representatives, Floridians will have the opportunity to decide for themselves at the ballot box.”

 

    The seriousness of this vote should not be underscored in any way shape or form folks. This is changing the Florida Constitution that would let all Floridians make their own healthcare decisions, instead it being mandated by  some appointed bureaucrats up in DC. This bill, SJR 2 will undoubtedly fly through the Florida House, after which Governor Scott will sign it immediately. Then it will be up to all Floridans to vote on it in 2012,  and after passage, would make it illegal for the Federal bureaucrats to force the Federal Socialised medicine (also known aas Obamacare) onto the people of Florida. This is a great day for the U

* http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressRelease/Show/Senators/2010-2012/District26/PressRelease/PressRelease20110309090031144

Increasing Number of States Telling Feds to Keep Away from Our Guns

A recent Rebellion in America article states that five states: Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Tennessee and now South Dakota have made it illegal for the Federal government to enforce or enact laws on personal firearms manufactured and kept within state lines.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has signed into law his state’s version of a Firearms Freedom Act that first was launched in Montana. It already is law there, in Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, which took the unusual step of specifying criminal penalties – including both fines and jail time – for federal agents attempting to enforce a federal law on a “personal firearm” in the Cowboy State.

More than twenty other states have introduced similar legislation and six more are considering it.  The Northeast and Pacific coast represent the majority of hold outs, but there is some peppering in the great lakes and upper mid-west.

The recent affront to State’s rights is becoming something that the individual states are deciding to fight back against.

“As the federal government has radically overstepped is constitutional limitations in the past year or so, an explosion of states have begun re-asserting their rights not only with regard to firearms, but also in shielding themselves against government health care, cap and trade global warming taxes, and more,”   .. “that the federal government was created by the states to serve the states and the people, and it is time for the states to begin drawing boundaries for the federal government and its agencies.” .. “When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state’s citizens..”

We can only hope that this is a trend that will extend to health care, cap and trade, over-regulation and the rest of the current administrations over-reaching into our lives.