Monday, November 12, 2012

Secession 2012

My ultimate dream: Secession! Let us petition the national government to let us go in peace... like that would ever happen- but I love New York.

Its interesting to think about especially with respect to the soviet satellite states and the flag:

Thanks to Daily Paul

Monday, October 29, 2012

Madison on Republicanism (Federalist No. 10)

 In Federalist No. 10, Madison’s primary objective was to explain the advantages of the republican form of government found in the new constitution in contrast to that of pure democracy. In reformatting the loose union of States of the Articles of the Confederation to that which would become the union of the several States (and later the singular United States), it was important for less populated of the several States to avoid the tyranny of those States with greater population. Furthermore, under the Articles each State was its own sovereign entity, and as such it was imperative for each State to have as much representation under the new constitution as its sister States. The problem begins with the Articles themselves, under which Madison argues: 
Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. 
Madison’s aim was to reconcile the problem of majority rules and minority rights in the proper context of the sovereignty of each State. Thus presents the central problem of the ratification process: How is everyone fairly represented under the new united States? This is the question that Madison answered with general republicanism, “[i]n the extent and proper structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government." 

Monday, October 22, 2012

On the Declaration of Independence

What does the Declaration tell us about the issue of whether the US was a single nation or 13 independent nations? How is that related to the issue of Federalism?

The Declaration is introduced proclaiming the natural right of “one people” to assume autonomy by breaking political bonds with another. This is appeal to natural law rather than the characterization of a specific relationship, so it can not indicate to the single or several nature of the colonies in terms of nations and governments. However, the second phrase, “Free and independent states,” is the proper context through which the historian is required to study the nature of the states in terms of governments and nations. There is the continuous notion that the colonies, each independent of the others, are united in cause only, and in this particular instance (seceding from Great Britain and ending their allegiance to King George III) do their interests coincide. There not even the suggestion that the colonies, and later each state,  has agreed to anything other than a general compact that for this specific cause they are united.With respect to federalism, this perspective is of grave importance. A federalist system is a general construction of government in which a confederated unit of autonomous states delegate specific authority to a central governing body to execute certain tasks. Federalism implies a dynamic structure of power because each autonomous state has consented to surrender specific orders of authority and must yield to the central body in that context yet retains its own sovereignty. This semi-sovereign nature becomes the crux of the federalism issue as it pertains to the colonies after the revolutionary war, well into the nineteenth century culminating in the the final answer of Mr. Lincoln’s war between the states.  

If you know for sure that something is absolutely true, what difference does it make what others think of what you do? Please answer in terms of political issues faced by the founders. What does this say about democracy in general? 

The Declaration of Independence was the justification used to validate the separation between Great Britain and the American Colonies. The separatists, through the authorship of Thomas Jefferson, expressed their understanding of natural law, how that pertains to governance and liberty and the way in which the English citizens of the colonies feel their rights have been violated. The phrase, “decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” is used here to convey the rationality through which the drastic measure of secession has been decided upon because the phrase is ended with “requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” As the introductory words of the Declaration, Jefferson is ceding the notion that while the power of the government is drawn from the consent of the governed and in certain instances it is appropriate to dissolve political associations, it must been done in a rational, thoughtful manner that carefully outlines the reasons for which separation is necessary. To address the question of absolute truth:  by endorsing the Declaration, the signers were saying, “we know this for sure, so we’re going to act on it” but, because the position they took was deeply grounded in the study of natural law- founded on reason, they sought to explain how breaking their allegiance to the King was justified. The Declaration does not mention democracy in any context. It does reference heavily the Lockean theory of government and State power resting on the consent of the governed, but it would be a grave error to assume that democracy is the implication of consent of the governed.

Does the Declaration say the democracy is the only legitimate form of government? What does it say is the end or purpose of government vs the means for accomplishing this end?

No. The Declaration states, “That to secure [natural rights], governments... [derive] their just powers from the consent of the governed.” If the scope of government extends beyond its functional role as the guardian of liberty, it is the duty of the people to erect a new institution predicated “on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem the most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” 

Something New

I'm going to be trying something new. I obviously am not good at blogging in general without specific notions to address. I have utterly failed at this. But! I am taking an american government class and a class called "the civil war" (something on the war between the States). This requires me to write.

And. I think I'm pretty damn thoughtful. (Whether this is true in terms of supplying consumer demand, only time will tell.) Therefore, I'm going to be posting what I have to do for class if I think its insightful.
I'm also going to be posting some exchanges with classmates, which I think should be fun. I'm not sure how the format is going to work and how to protect their privacy; this must be worked out. It might be useful for someone else in making the case for freedom. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Chicken Hawk Squawks: Rush Limbaugh Should Shut Up About Ron Paul

Paul Mulshine with this, the greatest Google Reader headline of all time. The title speaks for itself. I was hoping the link would take me to a blank page with "A chicken hawk squawks: Rush Limbaugh should shut up about Ron Paul" in like 72 point font. The article is great too, but definitely the best headline I've read in a while.

The article begins [emphasis mine]:

For a guy who got out of the draft during the Vietnam War because of a big zit on his butt, Rush Limbaugh has a lot of nerve mocking Air Force veteran Ron Paul for refusing to start more wars. 
I was driving down I-95 on my way to South Carolina to cover the big presidential primary set for this Saturday when I picked up Limbaugh on a scratchy AM station.
He was rehashing the debate held Monday night in Myrtle Beach. Like most of the hired mouths on talk radio, he had been leaving Ron Paul out of his discussion of the debate.
But for a moment he lapsed into a silly voice meant to be Paul's and said "We don't need more wars" in a mocking tone.
I've had it with these wannabe tough guys who have never actually fought in one of the wars they want to send others off to fight. Forget Vietnam. Limbaugh is young enough to have fought in both Gulf wars. So are Sean Hannity and Mark "Would you buy a used mattress from this man?" Levin.
Continue Reading

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Should Organic Industries Rely on Federal "Investments"?

According to this alert from The Organic Trade Association

In order to reach deficit reduction requirements, Members of Congress are currently facing the daunting task of determining unprecedented spending cuts. While the funding for organic programs is miniscule in regards to the overall budget, everything is under scrutiny.

Consequently, they request that supporters send the following letter to Congress:

As your constituent, I am urging you to defend the small, but critical, programs that support the organic businesses which I rely on to feed myself and my family. 

These programs include the:
National Organic Program (NOP);
Organic Data Initiative (ODI);
Organic Research Extension Initiative (OREI);
National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program; and the
Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

I need you to protect my choice to purchase products grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals, antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones. Only organic offers this assurance. 

Please encourage the leadership of the Agriculture Committees and the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to protect funding for the tens of thousands of organic farmers and manufacturers working to improve our nation’s environment and health. 

Instead of urging supporters to rely on federal programs to subsidize healthy, organic food production- why not set the organic movement on a sustainable path by transitioning from federal dependency to a competitive system that maximizes the rewards to farmers, businesses and investors catering to the skyrocketing consumer demand for organic products? 

State sponsored intervention into markets consistently results in the misallocation of resources and investment, highlighted in the recent housing crisis and impending doom of student loans. Federal "investments" (in companies like Amtrak) also discourage creativity and competition, which prevent lower prices and and inhibit productivity.

Only an independent market will provide the most effective and efficient organic food industry. Such a market advances productivity by stimulating competition and creative investment, driving down prices while maintaining quality. Ultimately, this will expand the consumer base and make healthy, organic food accessible and affordable to everyone.