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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Republicans vs. Democrats

A Look At How Democrats & Republicans Differ
BY: Chuck Baldwin - LIVE | July 12, 2012

“It is an absolute fact that no matter which of the two major parties in Washington, D.C., is in power, the freedoms and liberties of the American people continue to be eroded. However, this does NOT mean that there are not basic differences between the two parties. The two parties differ greatly on HOW government will take our liberties. Where they are similar is in the fact that neither of them has any interest in preserving liberty. Until the American people awaken to this reality, whatever freedoms we have left in this country are doomed.

Let me ask you a question: does it really matter whether a free man is enslaved by a socialist state or a fascist state? Are the prisons any more accommodating? Are the lashes from the whip any less painful? Is the agony of losing a loved one any less grievous? Is the persecution any less revolting? What difference does it make to a free man if his liberties are stolen by an Adolf Hitler or by a Joseph Stalin?

Do you want a quick reference to the difference between how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are stealing our liberties? When the Democrats control things, America gets more socialism; when the Republicans control things, America gets more corporatism, which is a polite word for fascism. Socialism requires government to own everything, while fascism requires government to control everything. And remember, too, fascists and socialists have always hated each other. Big deal! Fascists and socialists alike hate freedomists, which is why inside-the-beltway Repubs and Dems can’t stand people like Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and yours truly. (Remember the MIAC report identifying the three of us, and our supporters, as being potential “dangerous militia” members?) So who cares which of these two parties happens to be in power? Our freedoms continue to be under siege. That’s why the battle in Washington politics has nothing to do with preserving freedom, but everything to do with HOW government will take freedom. Will they take it by ownership or by control? And, unfortunately, what we have right now is the worst of both worlds: government is using a combination of both ownership and control to steal our liberties. Why? Because except for a very precious few elected civil magistrates (like Congressman Ron Paul), there is no one on Capitol Hill or the White House who remotely understands–or fights for–the principles of liberty.

Even worse is that when the Donkeys and the Elephants do agree, it almost always is in an effort to point the bayonets at the American citizenry. What does it matter whether government owns it or controls it? What does it matter whether it more resembles socialism of corporatism? What it doesn’t look anything like, is FREEDOM!

Take the Democrat/Republican debate over Obamacare. Even if Mitt Romney and the GOP prevail in the November elections, Obamacare will be replaced with Romneycare. And Romneycare will be 85% Obamacare, with a slight shift toward government control and a slight shift away from government ownership. Again, I say, BIG DEAL! What neither party is talking about is that the federal government has no business being in health care. Period! Just like the federal government has no business being in over 90% of everything it is involved in today. But who do you hear saying that in Washington, D.C., except Ron Paul?

Take the issue of the burgeoning surveillance society. What does it matter which major party is in power in Washington, D.C.? The TSA gets more and more obnoxiously tyrannical; abuses of civil liberties under the guise of fighting a “war on drugs” continues unabated; abuses of the Bill of Rights under the guise of fighting a “war on terror” continues unabated; the federal police state continues to grow exponentially; unconstitutional foreign entanglements continue to proliferate; ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

In a book that I have recommended numerous times, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer writes on page 72, “Through surveillance, wiretaps, spying, and rewarding those who betrayed their friends, Hitler tried to control the citizens of Germany.” On page 73, Lutzer continues the thought saying, “But Hitler did not have the technology to bring every subject of his realm into line.” So, given the technology that is available today, what would Hitler do differently if he were running things in Washington, D.C.? I ask readers to think seriously about that question. What would Hitler do differently?

Today, the federal government monitors virtually every piece of electronic communication. The federal government monitors virtually every major banking transaction. It has spies infiltrated in even harmless organizations all over the country. It threatens people with the loss of their jobs or freedom (or both) to betray their friends. It spies on us with satellites; it spies on us with drones. On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing the federal government to take control of America’s entire communications industry. In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the US military began planning armed confrontation against the American citizenry. (I have the document in my possession.) And, of course, we must not overlook the Patriot Act which has been authorized and reauthorized under both Republicans and Democrats; the Military Commission Act which was signed by G.W. Bush; NDAA 2012 and 2013 which was signed by President Barack Obama, and which was passed by both Republicans and Democrats. And let’s not forget the federal attack against the Branch Davidians under Democrats Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, and the assault against the Randy Weaver household under Republican President George Herbert Walker Bush.

So, again, pick your poison. Both the socialist-leaning Democrats and the corporatist-leaning Republicans in Washington, D.C., meet together in pointing the bayonet against the American citizenry. And you really wonder why nothing significant changes in this country?

And in this regard, the platforms of the two major parties are completely meaningless! I dare say that Barack Obama has never read the Democrat platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says. I also guarantee you that Mitt Romney hasn’t read the Republican platform and doesn’t care one iota what it says either. Can anyone remember when Republican Presidential candidate, Bob Dole, in a rare moment of candor, publicly admitted that he had not read his party’s platform and didn’t care what it said? Party platforms are for the benefit of rank and file party members to make them feel like their ideas count for something to the party leadership. They don’t!

So, do the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., differ? Yes! They differ on how our freedoms will be taken from us. They differ on the degree of government ownership and control. They differ on the nuances of political tyranny. Where they are twins is in their lust and ambition for power, in their approval of stripping more and more freedoms from the American people, and in their absolute and total disregard for constitutional government.

Without some sort of “Great Awakening” both politically and spiritually, whatever is left of our liberties is doomed–and both major parties in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable.”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nullification Movie

Nullification Movie Trailer: "The States Can Nullify Obamacare!"
Published July 8, 2012 | TenthAmendmentCenter

BREAKING: Nullification Movie just won best feature length documentary at FreedomFest! Get the DVD here: store.tenthamendmentcenter.com

“What the film is about:

What do we do when the Federal Government steps outside of it’s constitutional boundaries? Do we ask federal bureaucrats in black robes to enforce the limits of it’s own power? Thomas Jefferson and James Madison didn’t think so, and neither do we. The rightful remedy to federal tyranny rests in the hands of the people and the several States. It’s called “nullification” or “interposition.” It’s an idea whose time has come.

This newly-released documentary from the Foundation for a Free Society and the Tenth Amendment Center features Thomas Woods, Michael Boldin, Debra Medina, Stewart Rhodes, Sheriff Richard Mack, Charles Goyette, Kevin Gutzman, Robert Scott Bell, Mike Maharrey, and others. In it we explore the history of state nullification, the constitutional legitimacy of the idea, and how nullification can be used today to push back against the encroachment of federal power.

The Genesis of the Film:

We began filming Nullification: The Rightful Remedy on September 4th, 2010 at the Fort Worth, Texas Nullify Now event. This was the first stop of what would eventually be an eight city tour that ran from the Fall of 2010 to the Spring of 2011. What initially began as just an idea to document the event itself soon developed into the concept of a feature-length documentary covering the history of Nullification and the re-emergence of Nullification today.

Jason Rink, Executive Director of the Foundation for a Free Society and Michael Boldin, Executive Director of the Tenth Amendment Center, discussed the idea for a feature-length film shortly after the Fort Worth event. The Foundation for a Free Society, a national sponsor of the Nullify Now Tour, decided to move ahead with the project. Jason Rink and John Bush began interviewing many of the event speakers and key State representatives and Senators who were pushing significant pieces of nullification legislation.

The finished version of the film promises to be the most comprehensive documentary on the subject of the Tenth Amendment and Nullification, which is truly an idea whose time has come.”

August OFA Meeting - Viewing - Nulification, The Rightful Remedy
When: Thursday August 2, 2012
Where: 2800 Tremont Rd, Columbus, OH. Upper Arlington Public Library

Friday, July 6, 2012

Principles vs Personalities

By: Mike Maharrey | Tenth Amendment Center | June 21, 2012


“In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson found himself in a position to nearly double the size of U.S. territory. He also sought to avoid future conflicts with France over Mississippi River navigation rights. But, the Louisiana Purchase gave the staunch advocate for a strict reading of federal power a pretty hefty dilemma.

He was well aware that the Constitution delegated the general government no authority to take such action. In fact, in a letter that year to John Breckinridge – the man who sponsored his 1798 Kentucky Resolutions rejecting unconstitutional federal powers – he referred to the purchase as “beyond the Constitution.”

In order to remain true to his principles, the states would need to ratify a constitutional amendment delegating to the federal government the power to make the purchase. But the clock was ticking and the deal would likely fall apart in the time necessary to complete the amendment process. And, his cabinet insisted an amendment was unnecessary anyway.

So what did Jefferson do?

He did what every good politician eventually does. He abandoned principle to pragmatism and plunked down $15 million for the 827,000 square miles of land.

You have to give the third president credit for at least coming up with a colorful rationalization. In that same letter to Breckinridge, he wrote:

“It is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory; and saying to him when of age, I did this for your good.”

Jefferson’s obfuscation shouldn’t surprise any of us. Compromise and flip-flopping go with politics like peanut butter goes with jelly. It just goes to show; even those personalities we hold out as the most principled – the so-called great ones – sometimes disappoint us.

How should we handle this kind of disappointment? Forever write off the offender as a traitor to the cause? Ignore the foible and continue to prop him up on his pedestal? Tear him down or make excuses for him?

Or is there an altogether better way to approach things?

Disappointment washed across the liberty movement like a tsunami over the last few weeks. For two years, thousands of freedom lovers poured their hearts and souls into a presidential campaign, only to see it stumble far short of the finish line. Another personality engaged in political maneuvering that some in the liberty movement found shrewd and pragmatic. Others expressed their disgust with all kinds of vicious condemnations. The events of the last several weeks left many liberty lovers sounding confused, hopeless and defeated.

This brings up important questions: why do we invest so much time and energy into personalities when history teaches us that disappointment is a virtual certainty? After all, isn’t the liberty movement about a set of principles – and not about a person’s name?

Granted, we need leaders to advance our ideas. And when politicians pass good legislation, which is rare, is certainly does help too. But when the personalities become the focus of the movement, we set ourselves up for failure.

People will always disappoint us at some point. They will make mistakes. They will abandon principles for one reason or another. And ultimately, they will fade away.

We simply cannot afford to place all of our hopes on a single man or woman ascending to the White House throne, no matter how great that person may appear. Electing a handful of “good ones” to Congress won’t guarantee victory for the cause either. Even the “good ones” can prove not so good when elevated to positions of power.

So, instead of rallying around a cult of personality, I suggest we continue to build our movement on a set of unchanging principles.

At the Tenth Amendment Center, we intentionally avoid getting all wrapped up in the players on the field – especially on a national level. Instead, we tirelessly focus our attention and efforts on advancing one agenda: follow the Constitution. Every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses.

Of course, we praise politicians and leaders when they support our cause and put our principles into action. We quote them when they get it right. We publish their articles when they articulate them well.

But we call them out just as quickly when they fail to uphold our ideals. For us here at the TAC, people serve a purpose as players on the board, but not as the objective of the game. Leaders, politicians and personalities have a purpose, but they are never the purpose.

Our focus on principle means we don’t align ourselves exclusively with any particular political movement or their various leaders. We don’t claim the mantle of Republican or Democrat. We aren’t Tea Partiers or Occupiers. We don’t call ourselves liberals or conservatives. And we don’t cast our lot exclusively with libertarians either.

We simply want to live free. So, we build coalitions where we see opportunities to advance the principles of constitutionally limited government and the decentralization of power. Sometimes we work with the right. Sometimes we do so with the left.

And, most of the time we irritate both sides of the political aisle.

With all of the angst in the liberty movement right now, perhaps it’s time to consider a fresh approach. I hope you will take some time to look seriously at the work we do here at the Tenth Amendment Center. Maybe instead of investing so much effort in promoting a few individuals on the national level, we should instead focus on advancing a set of principles.

I can guarantee you this: no matter who wins the presidential election in 2012, no matter what crazy statement this or that politician may make in the coming year, no matter who casts a stupid vote or makes a disappointing endorsement in the future, we will be right here doing what we’ve done for the last six years – fighting to limit the size and scope of the federal government to its properly prescribed road.

To quote Jefferson once again, “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

There, sir, you were certainly right.

Every issue. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses ”