The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

12 March 2011

Car accident

I was in an accident where my car was totaled and I was hospitalized with internal bleeding.

I won't be posting for a few days; I will post when I can.

My best to you all in the meanwhile.

10 March 2011

Our Republic of Dunces

Consider what happened recently when the Intercollegiate Studies Institute gave a 60-question civic literacy test to more than 28,000 college students:

"Less than half knew about federalism, judicial review, the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and NATO. And this was a multiple-choice test, with the answers staring them right in the face," said political scientist Richard Bake, co-chairman of ISI's Civic Literacy Board.
"Ten percent thought that 'we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' came from the Communist Manifesto," Bake added during a recent interview with my Examiner colleague Barbara Hollingsworth.

Even the smart kids at Harvard failed the test, scoring on average 69, which is a D. Since the vast majority of the students tested are products of public schools, the results represent a comprehensive indictment of public education, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

These are the people who year after year graduate classes in which one of every four kids cannot read at even a basic level. If you can't read the Constitution, or the Declaration, or The Federalist Papers, you won't understand their essential concepts or why they represent so much wisdom.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: here

The Spirit of Runnymede lives on in the UK--kindred constitutional conservatism

Maybe you've seen this over the last couple of days, either from Lew Rockwell or Drudge:

About 600 members of a constitutionalist pro-Liberty group in England stormed a courtroom in County Court, Birkenhead, Merseyside.  They were attempting a citizen's arrest of a judge who was conducting a hearing about one of the members not paying a local council tax.

I thought you might like to know more about the group itself, the British Constitution Group.

The group advocates lawful rebellion, claiming the right originates from the Magna Carta of 1215, signed at Runnymede, England. 

From their website:

"We, the British People have a right to govern ourselves. That right has been subjugated as a consequence of acts of treason having been committed by the collective political establishment, aided and abetted by corrupt segments of the judiciary, the police, the Church and the civil service.

We are no longer prepared to tolerate the subjugation of our rights to satisfy the demands of the shadowy elite of the supranational and criminal banking cartel.

We are no longer prepared to tolerate the lies, deceit and shady practices of politicians that are the hallmarks of corrupt governance around the world.

We are no longer prepared to accept a compliant and colluding media that has been complicit in the aforementioned criminal acts by a lax and pathetic coverage of vital issues.

The collective political establishment has for the past four decades conspired to transfer our national sovereignty into the hands of foreign governance, without our consent and against the rule of law.

We are demanding that our sovereignty be reinstated, our rights be respected and the rule of law upheld."

Sounds familiar to me...

Harry's Law

A worthy libertarian show, with quirky characters...

Written by David E. Kelley, creator of L.A. Law, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, Doogie Howser, MD, Picket Fences, and Chicago Hope.

It stars Kathy Bates.

In the several episodes that I've watched, there have been a few worthwhile themes:

Jury nullification, private policing of one's community, the right of small businesses to hire and fire whom they please, legal ethics when the main character denounces her own client as a murderer in court, to name a few.

A great scene: While her secretary is screaming, Kathy Bates calmly pulls out a revolver and shoots a rat across the room of her office.

For those of you who bother to watch TV at all, I recommend the show-- Monday's at 10 pm on NBC.

Quote of the Day 3/10

Motto of an American

I am against unchecked, concentrated power in all forms and permutations. In other words, I am an American who understands the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. 

--Blogger K_Yew,

09 March 2011

Project Gunwalker : An international incident

Turns out the Mexicans werent included on the information the American government was allowing semiautomatic rifle to "walk" across the border into the hands of criminals and murderers.  Think about how you would feel if the opposite was true: fighting mad?

Tue Mar 8, 7:38 pm ET
MEXICO CITY – Legislators from all of Mexico's three major parties in congress are calling for a joint U.S.-Mexico working group to examine accusations that U.S. federal agents allowed hundreds of guns to flow into Mexico.
Congressman Humberto Trevino estimated Tuesday that 150 shooting injuries or deaths have been linked to guns that were allowed to proceed into Mexico as part of a U.S. effort to build cases against traffickers.
Two of those weapons were involved in the killing of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent in December in southeastern Arizona.
Mexican drug cartels frequently pay straw purchasers to buy weapons at U.S. gun stores and smuggle them south to avoid stringent gun-control laws in Mexico.

The ATF royally screwed up, after so many previous screw ups. Too bad the lousy gun grabbing laws wont go down the drain with the ATF. 

Update from David Codrea, National Gun Rights Examiner:

ATF is “closing ranks and circling the wagons,” William La Jeunesse of Fox News reports.
“This is much bigger than Brian Terry,” he concludes, with an assessment that the failed ATF policy of letting guns be sold to cartels through straw purchasers is “becoming a major scandal.”

Hoard nickels, silver, older pennies

For those of us mortal mundanes that don't have enough income to buy even the smaller amounts of gold, there are other ways of storing wealth in commodities: older and even current US coins.

The concept: commodities, which have a value in the marketplace for either manufacturing or as money itself, have been increasing in dollar value as the value of each dollar plummets.  This should be the way you think of it: hedge against inflation or the value of the coin.  

The beauty of the concept: even if the value of the coin drops to or below the face value, the coin still has the face value.

Right now, the value of a 1946-2011 nickel is greater than 5 cents, closer to 7 cents, because of inflation of the price of nickel.  

Older pennies from 1909-1982, made mostly of useful copper, are worth 2.8 cents now.  In 1983, pennies became 97.5% cheaper zinc.

Silver US coins from 1964 and older, are currently more than 2600% greater than face value, e.g. a silver dime from 1964 or before, is worth $2.60.

Your paper money in the bank loses value every day, every time the government does a "quantitative easing".  Change what you can into coinage and find a safe way to store it.

So follow Gresham's Law

Gresham's law is an economic principle "which states that when government compulsorily overvalues one money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation." It is commonly stated as: "Bad money drives out good", but is more accurately stated: "Bad money drives out good if their exchange rate is set by law."

Check out current values of these coins, updated as the value of copper and silver fluctuate:

Quote of the Day 3/9

"We hang the petty thieves, and appoint the great ones to public office"
-- Aesop

08 March 2011

Secession: "The American Civil War [sic] answered that question"

Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again.

Jefferson Davis

As popular respect for political systems continues to erode, you may have noticed the statists frantically trying to deflate emerging inquiries and debates on the topic of secession. Their principal argument has been the non sequitur "the American Civil War answered that question." Such a response presumes that history expresses immutable principles that transcend time, a proposition that would at once be seen for its inherent absurdity were it applied to scientific understanding. Who was Copernicus to suggest that we live in a heliocentric universe after Ptolemy informed us of the geocentric nature of our world?

Furthermore, the American Revolutionary War was premised on the right of people to secede from existing political systems; and yet the statists are not to be heard using that period as precedent for condemning Lincoln’s suppression of that principle.

If history is to be the standard for propriety in our world, would we not have to defend the principle of slavery, given that the 1857 U.S. Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford upheld the legality of the practice? And wouldn’t the fate of Joan of Arc have "answered the question" that political dissenters could be burned at the stake? Or are we, like lawyers, entitled to pick and choose the precedents that serve our particular cause, while carefully "distinguishing" other instances that don’t serve our purposes?

Read Butler Shaffer at


"The American Civil War [sic] answered that question"

How closed and complacent a mind must be to think this way...The same mind assumes or believes that the war was fought solely or primarily over the morality of slavery.

What is right for one group of people is not right for another.  

One thing is for certain:  What is wrong for most Americans is centralized power. 

Some Americans do not mind being granted privileges from Washington, rather than exercising Natural Rights; some do not mind 9 Justices in the Supreme Court making one decision that binds 250 million.  
Some do not mind non representative government;  some do not mind giving up freedom for (what they perceive to be) security."

But I think most Americans do mind these things.

Most of us would prefer to be free to decide what is right for ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Most of us want to be able to decide how best to spend our money and keep most of what we earn.

The only way to assure this is to dismantle centralized power.

Some Maine Yankees remember the Constitution, Ninth and Tenth Amendments

On Saturday morning, Sedgwick became likely the first locale in the country to pass a "Food Sovereignty" law. It's the proposed ordinance I first described last fall, when I introduced the "Five Musketeers", a group of farmers and consumers intent on pushing back against overly aggressive state food regulators. The regulators were interfering with farmers who, for example, took chickens to a neighbor for slaughtering, or who sold raw milk directly to consumers.

The essence of local government, town hall, Sedgwick, ME

Citing America's Declaration of Independence and the Maine Constitution, the ordinance proposed that "Sedgwick citizens possess the right to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing." These would include raw milk and other dairy products and locally slaughtered meats, among other items.

The rest of the article

This is what I am referring to when I talk about local government.  

I consider this an example of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights: Assertion of a right not specifically enumerated to the Federal government.  

Taking this to the logical conclusion of original intent, the local government ordinance should also trump a law of the State of Maine, as the ultimate sovereignty is with the people, then the State, then the Federal government.

Consumers are free to opt out;  if the strategy is economically non-viable, it will terminate itself.  If it works, good for them, because their overhead will decrease, allowing them more to live on.

Quote of the Day 3/8

"I consider the foundation of the [Federal] Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." [10th Amendment] 

To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

-- Thomas Jefferson, "Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank" [February 15, 1791]

07 March 2011

Silver heading up and up, $50 an ounce soon

Silver is blasting through all barriers, topping $36.5 this morning! The white bullion market is tight, and the short squeeze in the futures market is exerting a constant upward pressure on the price. If current trends persist, the all-time high of $49.45/ounce will be reached in the near future.

Silver is performing exceptionally, outstripping a vast array of commodities and stocks. Even unrest in the Middle East has not stopped the price increasing, whereas during similar circumstances in the past, silver would have taken some serious blows.

Demand far outsrips production

As far as silver is concerned, we are living in exceptional times. Supply shortages have existed since the Fifties, but this deficit was traditionally eliminated with the (once strategic) reserves of central banks and other financial institutions, who wanted to get rid of their silver due to its lack of monetary use. Consequently, bank supplies have fallen rapidly. Today, the shortage on the silver market is mainly supplemented by recycling used silver, aka ‘scrap’.

It wont be long before we look back on $50/oz fondly...<heavy sigh>

Confederate money donated to South Carolina by Wade Hampton to be auctioned

 The South Carolina Department of Archives and History is cash-strapped, like the rest of state government. But it nevertheless has managed to increase its costly storage capacity. 

How? By selling Confederate currency

What better time than the Civil War's sesquicentennial year to make those Confederate bills pay off even more.

The department is planning to auction off more Confederate money in May. Profits are used for archival conservation.

The bills have been in the possession of the state since Wade Hampton, who had risen to the rank of major general as a Confederate cavalry commander, was governor (1876-1879). It was Gov. Hampton who saw to it that Confederate bills, which had been rendered worthless following the war, would be redeemed by the Bank of South Carolina for half their face value.

Eric Emerson, director of Archives and History for the state, said citizens who still had the bills were allowed to turn them in. They were marked as canceled, bound in paper with a wax seal and set aside to be destroyed.
But they weren't destroyed, and now they hold value to collectors. The sales can draw anywhere from two or three dollars to tens of thousands, depending on how rare the bills are, how well preserved and whether they are sold individually or in lots.

Archives and History bills have been offered at auction three times, and the results have been good. Mr. Emerson says they have enabled the archives to add shelving, which is needed to accommodate its growing collection of documents.

He hopes that the Legislature will make a slight adjustment that will allow them to bring in even more. The department has asked for permission to sell the items, which now must be handled only at auction. 

So 150 years after the Civil War began, the state's leaders will be considering a way to give Confederate money value -- without seceding.

Economic misery: Worldwide hyperinflation will occur soon

A deluge of an unprecedented magnitude is both inevitable and imminent. The consequences of the economic and political mismanagement will have a devastating impact on the world for a very long time. And the consequences will touch most corners of the world in so many different areas; economic, financial, social, political and geopolitical. The adjustment that the world will undergo in the next decade or longer, will be of such colossal magnitude that life will be very different for coming generations compared to the current social, financial and moral decadence. But history always gives us lessons and the one that is coming will be necessary and eventually good for the world. But the transition and adjustment will be extremely traumatic for most of us.

...Although food and fuel inflation is rampant worldwide already, we are only seeing the very beginning. Massive oil price rises are likely to continue as a result of the geopolitical situation as well as peak-oil. The Middle East is a time bomb waiting to go off. Israel is in an extremely precarious position and the involvement or non-involvement of the US in this conflict would both have dire consequences for Israel and peace in the world. Food prices will continue to rise dramatically. Major parts of the world are living below the poverty line today and this will increase exponentially.

...The following are INDISPUTALBLE FACTS:
  • The US dollar is down 82% against gold since 1999
  • The US dollar is down 49% against the Swiss Francs since 2001
  • The Dow Jones is down 81% against gold since 1999
  • The Continuous Commodity Index is up 100% since 2009
The above facts are clear evidence of an economy that has been totally mismanaged. But more importantly most of these trends are now starting to accelerate – a clear sign that hyperinflation is just around the corner.

A hyperinflationary depression will destroy the value of money as well as most assets that were financed by the credit bubble (property, stock market).  Wealth protection is now critical and urgent. We see no better way of protecting assets against total destruction than physical gold and silver stored outside the banking system. Thereafter, precious metals, energy and food stocks are our preference.  But it must be remembered that any asset including stocks that is held through a bank is dependent on a sound and surviving banking system.

The real move in precious metals is still to come as we have outlined in many articles. Less than 1% of investors own gold. Before this economic cycle is over we are likely to see a mania in physical precious metals that will drive prices exponentially higher. And luckily for investors, this is a mania which is unlikely to end in a collapse since gold most probably will be part of a future reserve currency.

Finally we are again quoting von Mises who clearly understood that “le déluge” is inevitable:

“There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig von Mises

Note well: Gold and silver are not becoming more valuable.  Your dollar, your savings, your earnings are becoming less valuable.  This is directly related to the activities of Federal Reserve keynesian economists.  

The accuracy of Austrian economic predictions has been borne out over the past 90 years;  only the timing of the prediction is in question.

"Good night, and good luck." -- Edward R. Morrow

Read rest of the article at

Prosecutor in Barry Bonds trial wants jury nullification arguments barred

Another prosecution motion concerns the centuries-old concept of jury nullification.

Jury nullification occurs when jurors, despite the law and the evidence, acquit a criminal defendant, either because they believe the law is unjust or because they believe it is being used in an unjust way.

The doctrine governing federal courts in California [sic] is that while jurors can never be punished for a verdict, they can’t be told about their power to nullify and a trial judge must guard against any defense arguments that could lead to nullification.  

Prosecutors want Illston to prevent Bonds’ attorneys from taking a back-door route to jury nullification by barring them from asking questions of witnesses or presenting evidence that could indirectly lead to such a verdict.

“All jury nullification arguments should be prohibited, whatever incarnation they take,” prosecutors wrote.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: here

06 March 2011

Galt vs. Anti-Galt

"Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. 

Life is given to him, survival is not. 

His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. 

His mind is given to him, its content is not. 

To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch-or build a cyclotron-without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think."

"...Sweep aside those parasites of subsidized classrooms, who live on the profits of the mind of others and proclaim that man needs no morality, no values, no code of behavior. They, who pose as scientists and claim that man is only an animal, do not grant him inclusion in the law of existence they have granted to the lowest of insects. 

They recognize that every living species has a way of survival demanded by its nature, they do not claim that a fish can live out of water or that a dog can live without its sense of smell--

but man, they claim, the most complex of beings, man can survive in any way whatever, man has no identity, no nature, and there's no practical reason why he cannot live with his means of survival destroyed, with his mind throttled and placed at the disposal of any orders they might care to issue..."

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt speaking

The Anti-Galt speaks in Wisconsin: "The rich have over-played their hand."

He seems to have forgotten who pays the taxes to support the public employees.  Without the person who makes the factory, there is no factory, and no jobs for the factory worker.  With every penny in increased wages, there is a penny less for the private owner to reinvest to keep his product competitive (think of what has happened to Detroit and Flint).  With every increase in taxes, there is less saved money (saved money = capital--less capital through increased taxation weakens the capitalist system overall--the State cannibalizes its own lifeforce).

Last week, the Anti-Galt spoke thus:

"[W]e've allowed a vast majority of ... cash to be concentrated in the hands of just a few people. ... They're sitting on the money, they're using it for their own -- they're putting it someplace else with no interest in helping you with your life, with that money. We've allowed them to take that. That's not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours. We all have this -- we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it. And I think we need to go back to taxing these people at the proper rates."

SEIU celebrates previous collective bargaining win...

Economic knowledge should dictate your politics.

Lincoln's racial views further exposed in new book

McLEAN, Va. – Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has inspired Americans for generations, but consider his jarring remarks in 1862 to a White House audience of free blacks, urging them to leave the U.S. and settle in Central America.

"For the sake of your race, you should sacrifice something of your present comfort for the purpose of being as grand in that respect as the white people," Lincoln said, promoting his idea of colonization: resettling blacks in foreign countries on the belief that whites and blacks could not coexist in the same nation.

Lincoln went on to say that free blacks who envisioned a permanent life in the United States were being "selfish" and he promoted Central America as an ideal location "especially because of the similarity of climate with your native land — thus being suited to your physical condition."

"thus being suited to your physical condition..."

"Colonization After Emancipation," is based in part on newly uncovered documents that authors Philip Magness and Sebastian Page found at the British National Archives outside London and in the U.S. National Archives.

yahoo news article