The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

28 January 2011

Don't throw out your old 56k modem yet!

Egyptians armed with low-tech electronic gadgets like dial-up modems, landlines and old-school satellite phones are finding ways to get their message out, despite efforts by the teetering government to block communication.
Those who had been using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to distribute images and video to the outside world have had to come up more creative ways to communicate after the Egyptian government blocked Internet and cell service, a move that many are calling unprecedented.

Quote of the Day 1/28

"The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.' A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power."
— [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]

Arguments for and against nullification -- Idaho State Constitution needs new amendment

I totally agree with Tom Woods' logicical argument and historical proofs with regard to original intent of the Constitution with regard to the compact theory of government, and that the individual states should have the final say on whether or not a federal law is Constitutional.  I believe that any State can ultimately nullify a federal law.

Some states, like Idaho, came into the Union after the War to Prevent Southern Independence.  The Idaho constitution was written in 1890.  

Despite my belief in the legitimacy of the concept of nullification,  I believe that States (like Idaho) that built in clauses of submission to Federal law without retaining the right to nullify would have to [go through the formal process to] amend their constitutions in order to proceed with nullification of a Federal law.

The letter from the Deputy Atty Gen. of Idaho holds some water;  his general conclusions stating that no state can nullify federal laws is wrong, however.  

Here is the gist of nullification in a nutshell:  
The sovereign people consented to be governed within the framework of States; 

The states formed a compact under the consitution to act in each other's collective interest;  

The federal government was to have limited specific powers and act as the agent for the states;
Each individual State held its own Convention to decide whether or not to ratify the Federal Constitution.
Only 9 states (Article VII) needed to ratify to essentially create a new entity out of the ashes of the United States created by the Articles of Confederation.  This is proof of State Sovereignty, as each state could choose not to ratify and stay independent.

Any States subsequently joining the Union would be adopting the Constitution and joining the compact voluntarily as equal entities.
The federal government was not a party to it's creation.
How can an element (i.e. the Judicial branch) of the entity created by the Constitution be the final arbiter of its own power?  
Only the parties to the compact (legal contract between equal entities, the states) can decide if their agent, the Federal government, has exceeded it's authority according to the limits imposed on it by the states.

If the state decides the Federal government has passed an unconstitutional law, it may decide to not enforce (to nullify) it within it's borders, imposing state authority (that is, force) between federal law enforcement (that is, force) and that State's citizens. 


January 21,2011
The Honorable William Killen
Idaho State Representative
Re: State Nullification of Federal Law - Our File No. 11-35557
Dear Representative Killen:
This letter is in response to your recent inquiry regarding the theory of State nullification
of federal law. Nullification generally is considered to take one of two forms. The first
is where a State acts within the system, whether through a court challenge, or through
concentrated series of efforts designed to repeal or amend offending legislative
provisions. The second form is most simply described as outright defiance of the law; in
other words, a State simply would ignore a federal provision, or a decision of a federal
Nullification, If Meant As A Term Through Which Offending Legislation or
Judicial Decisions Are Overturned By Working Within The Existent Constitutional
And Legal Framework, Is Permissible And Encouraged By Our System of Checks
and Balances.
Idaho has historically participated in a number of these efforts including the
current challenge to the Healthcare Reform Law, as well as various resolutions addressed
to the Federal Government with respect to the state sovereignty and specific federal
legislative enactments. (See HeR 64, 44,and SJM 106 (2010)). These examples reflect
how a State can work within the constitutionally designed system to overturn or amend a
provision that offends a State's notion of sovereignty and federal overreaching.
Nullification As Defiance Of Federal Law Or Enactment Is Inconsistent With
A State Officer's Duty To Act In Conformity With The Federal And State
Nullification is generally the argument that States have the ability to determine
the constitutionality of a federal enactment, and if a State finds the enactment
unconstitutional it can ignore or otherwise refuse to adhere to the federal requirements.
The basis for this argument is that the States came together to create the federal
government, and therefore the States retain the ultimate discretion as to the reach of
federal authority.! The adoption of these Resolutions in some respects represents the
apex of the ongoing argument between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson over
the scope and influence of the fledgling federal government.2
These arguments arose cyclically throughout the Nation's early history, reaching
a virtual breaking point in 1828-1833 in what was referred to as the "Nullification
Crisis." President Andrew Jackson expressly rejected the theory of nullification as
incompatible with the existence of the Union and destructive to the very purpose of the
the Constitution.3 Southern State nullification advocates nevertheless continued to press
their cause, and their arguments formed a central justification for the Civil War.
The Legal Difficulty Of Idaho's Nullification Claim.
As an historical matter, many of the original States came into existence first as
English colonies and then as sovereign parties to the Articles of Confederation. Idaho's
road to state status followed a much different path.
Virtually all land within Idaho is the result of the United States making a claim to
the land, which was disputed by the British until the adoption of several treaties leading
ultimately to the creation of the Oregon Territory.4 Congress then created the Territory
of Idaho and, ultimately, the State of Idaho. Once Idaho was admitted as a StateS it
acquired all of the privileges and immunities held by each of the other States, but as
reflected above, the right of nullification, the right of secession, and the compact theory
had all been rejected by the United States by the time of statehood.
The framers of the Idaho Constitution were acutely aware of that fact. Article I, §
3 of our Constitution states:
1 See Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson, (November 16, 1798 & December 3, 1799) and Virginia
Resolution, James Madison, (December 24, 1709).
2 Hamilton actually suggested sending the Army into Virginia as a pretext-thus even the earliest
arguments for nullification were viewed as latent arguments for civil war. See also Jonathon Elliot,
"Answers of the Several State Legislatures: "State of New Hampshire" Debates in the Several State
Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, pp. 538-539. (1907).
3 Jackson also expressly rejected the right to secede, noting that the Constitution forms a government, not a
league of States. President Jackson's Proclamation Regarding Nullification, December 10, 1832.
4 Joint British and United States Claim was provided for in Treaty of 1818. The Oregon Treaty (1846)
established the boundary between United States claims and British Claims at the 49th Parallel. The territory
of Oregon was created on August 14, 1848. The territory ofIdaho was created on March 4,1863 (12 Stat.
L. 808, ch. 117).
5 Reviewing the Idaho Admission Bill, § 19 specifically applies the laws of the United States. See 26
Stat.L. 215, ch. 656; am 1998, P.L. 105-296.

State inseparable part of Union.-The State of Idaho is an inseparable part of
the American Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law
of the land.
The framers therefore expressly recognized Idaho's status as a part of the United States
and the supremacy of the United States Constitution. Consistent with this recognition,
every legislator is required to affirm "that I will support the constitution of the United
States and the constitution of the State of Idaho.,,6 Legislators and other state officials, in
other words, pledge to carry out their duties in a fashion that directly conflicts with the
second form of the nullification theory.
The alpha and omega of the nullification theory, in sum, rest upon rejecting the
principle that the United States Constitution as the supreme law of the land.7 The theory
runs contrary to the very purpose of the federal constitution and Idaho's express
constitutional acknowledgment in Article I, § 3 of that supremacy.
Courts Have Expressly Rejected Nullification
Our history is replete with federal enactments that were unpopular in one State or
another, or even within regions. Taking the logic of the nullification theory to its natural
extension, federal law would become a patchwork of regulation depending upon which
States chose to comply. It is hardly surprising, given this specter, that no court has ever
upheld a State effort to nullify a federal law.
The most instructive case on nullification is likely Cooper v. Aaron8 This case
arose out of a belief by the State of Arkansas that it was not bound to follow the Supreme
Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. 9 Arkansas, through its governor and
legislature, claimed that there is no duty on the part of state official to obey federal court
orders based upon the Court's interpretation of the federal constitution. lO The governor
and the legislature, in practical effect, were advancing the theory that the States were the
ultimate arbiters of the constitutionality of federal enactments and decisions.
The Court expressly rejected this argument stating: "No state legislator or
executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his
undertaking to support it."ll The Court went further: A governor who asserts power to
nullify a federal court manifests that the fiat of a state governor, and not the Constitution
of the United States, would be the supreme law of the land.
6 Idaho Constitution, Article III, § 25 (Oath of Office). See also Idaho Code § 59-401.
7 Article 6 § 2, U.S. Constitution.
s 358 U.S. 1,78 S.Ct. 1401 (1958).
9343 U.S. 483,74 SCt. 686 (1954).
10 358 U.S. at 4, 78 S.Ct. at 1403.
II Id. at 18,78 S.Ct. at 1410.

There is no right to pick and choose which federal laws a State will follow. Aside
from ignoring the Supremacy Clause in Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States
Constitution, that contention cannot be reconciled with Article I, § 3 of the Idaho
Constitution or the oath of office prescribed in Article III, § 25. I hope this brief analysis
responds adequately to your inquiry.
Brian Kane
Assistant Chief Deputy [Attorney General]

State's Rights revival owes debt of gratitude to Tom Woods

Harvard honours grad,  PhD. from Columbia University, author of many books, expert in constitutional history and economic history, Tom Woods has been vilified and smeared by the progressives and MSM as a "pseudohistorian" and "neo confederate", simply because he has spoken at a southern heritage meeting.

He is now gaining more and more positive attention for his books "Nullification" and "Meltdown".  

Campaign for Liberty has passed out Nullification to the entire state legislature of Idaho late in 2010; Idaho republicans are currently pushing a bill to nullify Obamacare.

Update:  Idaho attorney general Lawrence Wasden (R) has called the attempt to nullify Obamacare "unconstitutional", after the Idaho democrats asked him to render an opinion on the matter.

I'm your huckleberry

The orgin of the saying

If you’re like me, you’ve enjoyed the movie “Tombstone” (the famous story of which is supposed to have happened in the former Confederate territory of Arizona)  multiple times. My brother and I have virtually memorised the dialog in this film – including the phrase “I’m you’re huckleberry.” I’ve often wondered where this phrase comes from, as I figure many folks have. Lawson Stone writes:
On and off I hear discussions in which people speculate on the exact origin and meaning is of the quaint idiom used by Doc Holliday in the movie “Tombstone.” I’ve heard some wild suggestions, including “huckleberry” meaning “pall-bearer” suggesting “I’ll bury you.”
Still others think it has something to do with Mark Twain’s character, Huckleberry Finn, and means “steadfast friend, pard.” This is unlikely, since the book of that title was not written until 1883. Tom Sawyer was written in 1876, but nowhere there is the term “huckleberry” used to mean “steadfast friend” or the like.

Why, Johnny Ringo, you look like someone walked over your grave...

Read the rest at

27 January 2011

Great graphic summing up SOTU

Quote of the Day 1/27

 "It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. 

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! 

The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? 

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! 

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Patrick Henry

Journalists ignoring Codrea and Vanderbeogh on Project Gunwalker ATF scandal

Despite having insider information about the dog and pony show in Phoenix recently, the mainstream media reporters are staying away from this story.

Are two bloggers making suspect claims, or are they in the know? 

[Addressing journalists interested in the Project Gunwalker story:]

"Here’s a way you can corroborate for yourself an important piece of information—one that goes to the heart of if we really are in contact with insiders and if they really are clueing us in on information that bears out when tested.  Read this:
[A] potential BATFE operation early next week is being discussed on Sipsey Street Irregulars.  I have been in private consultation over this and have expressed several concerns over making such a discussion public at this time.  I see that the cautions I have privately expressed—including concerns about disinformation, intentional releases to identify leaks, and the moral and legal implications of discussing an actual planned operation—have been incorporated into the latest post, which lists the pros and cons of a public discussion vs. keeping quiet.

Ask yourself: How could we have known?"

Codrea's latest.

What the hell is wrong with journalists today?  Don't they want a scoop anymore, or are they simply content to shill for the .gov?

The Old Dominion strikes back at Federal Tyranny!

 Sic Semper Tyrannis, baby! :-))))

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1438 (HB1438), the Intrastate Commerce Act. The bill, “Provides that all goods produced or manufactured within the Commonwealth, when such goods are held, retained, or maintained in the Commonwealth, shall not be subject to federal law, federal regulation, or the constitutional power of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.”
The vote was 65-33.
For decades, using a tortured definition of “interstate commerce,” Congress has claimed the authority to regulate, control, ban, or mandate virtually everything – from wheat grown on one’s own land for personal consumption, to weed grown in an individual’s own home for the same purpose, to guns manufactured, sold and kept in state boundaries, and everything in between. And, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has largely condoned and even encouraged such reprehensible legislative behavior.

Read more and financially support:

Just to get an idea of how ridiculous tyrannical the Federal Supreme Court can be, think of:

Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that dramatically increased the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity. A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat to feed his chickens. The U.S. government had imposed limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.

26 January 2011

State of the Union Address filled with empty promises

"The American people certainly don't need any more empty promises.  Millions of American families have been pushed to the edge of desperation by this economy.
There has been a lot of talk that the economy is "turning around", but in many areas of the country the employment situation continues to get even worse.  Payrolls decreased in 35 U.S. states during the month of December.
The truth is that the number of "good jobs" produced by the U.S. economy continues to shrink.  In fact, only 47 percent of working-age Americans have a full-time job at this point.
The American people are not going to buy this "economic recovery" as long as unemployment remains at epidemic levels in so many areas.  Just consider some of the stunningly high unemployment rates in some of our most important states....
Nevada - 14.5%
California - 12.5%
Florida - 12.0%
So did Barack Obama propose anything substantial that will actually create real jobs?
Instead, all he had to offer was just a bunch of empty promises."

Read the rest at zero hedge here.

Here is the change promised...

This year's SOTU moment that ruffles MSM feathers: To Obama "You believe in socialism"

Rep. responds to Obama: 'You believe in socialism'
(CNN) – The State of Union address may have appeared to be a more civil affair to viewers at home, but at least one Republican congressman was launching some fiery rhetoric on Twitter as President Obama spoke.
Tweeting during the president's speech in the confines of his office, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said at one point, "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

The tweet was sent under the handle @RepPaulBrounMD, the account the congressman uses for his congressional duties. (Broun also has a separate account, @PaulBrounforGA, that he uses for political purposes.) The remark quickly circulated on Twitter, with some users comparing it to Rep. Joe Wilson's famous "You Lie" outburst two years ago.
Several of Broun's other instant responses to the president were also sharply critical:
"All children will be poor if we continue with Obama's policies #fb"
"From my seat, Obama's call for more investments sounds like more govt spending #fb #SOTU #TCOT"
If the govt would get out of the way, we could have innovation and development"
A Broun spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. But according to Roll Call, the congressman has watched the last few State of the Union Addresses from his office so he can tweet during the debate.
Broun did part on a somewhat positive note, however: "Good speech-but long on hope and short on reality."

So tell me, exactly, why is it that the truth always annoys the Statist shills in the MSM?

Libertarianism--the only political philosophy that can unite Right and Left

Listen to Lew Rockwell interview and mentor feminist left liberal Naomi Wolf.  She had already started to study Constitutional limited government after the Patriot Act, sensing a fascist shift in the United States under Bush/Cheney.  

Her reaction to the Patriot Act was to do an academic review of large civilizations during their declining years.  She recognized a pattern of behavior by every government going through such a decline and recognized the signs in the United States.  She then wrote The End of America, and Letters of Warning to a Young Patriot.

Here are some of the signs of what she terms a "fascist shift" in a country as it moves away from democracy in its period of decline:

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
  2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
  3. Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system.
  5. Harass citizens' groups.
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
  7. Target key individuals.
  8. Control the press.
  9. Treat all political dissidents as traitors.
  10. Suspend the rule of law.[27]

Sound familiar?  

I would term the same change in a totalitarian shift, as it works with Socialist/communist ideology as well as corporatist/fascist ideology.

This was originally a podcast of the Lew Rockwell Show from October 2008:

Fascinating to listen to a far but not extreme left liberal/progressive with an open mind make political transitions in her thinking in "real time", when mentored by a skilled teacher like Lew Rockwell. 

What is missing from her knowledge base, and is not touched upon much in the interview, is how a knowledge of economics, specifically Austrian school economics, is necessary in guiding one's politics, and that economic knowledge guides a person directly to a libertarian political perspective.

 I believe Naomi Wolf remains primarily left liberal, but tending towards libertarianism.  She is deeply disappointed in Obama, especially as to his continuance of the wars and Guantanamo;  I think this will inevitably push her farther toward a libertarian philosophy, distrustful of any statist political party.  Time will tell. 


Our revolution needs to begin with the way most Americans think about how to take care of themselves, and what, if any role government should have in an individual providing for him or herself.  Should we have preemptive war or only defensive war?  Do we believe in Washington's farewell address and the theme of Jefferson's first inaugural?  Or Teddy Roosevelt's expansionism, and Woodrow Wilson's/FDR's/LBJ's/Clinton's/Bush 41's and Bush 43's preemptive wars, to spread our philosophy to every country, whether you like it or not...

What legacy does our generation leave to our kids?

This is what motivates me to blog; I am trying to reach the rational and open minded person and win them over to my/our way of thinking.

Please note that I believe that there are two groups that will never convert to a small/minimal government political philosophy.  One is the corporate/banking caste that benefits so much from a strong central state that they cannot be weaned from Leviathan state.  The other is the incompetent portion of society, unable or unwilling to be net producers or even work to subsist.  This caste is too dependent on the welfare component of the Leviathan state.