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Posts Tagged ‘federalism’

The GOP Is Not Your Savior | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2021

Unfortunately, the answer is that the Republicans would not have saved us, and for two reasons, one historical and the other philosophical: (1) Republicans have never saved us from the bad policies and programs of Democrats, regardless of whether they had partial or total control of the government and could have done something, and (2) Republicans are philosophically not much different from Democrats, regardless of how often and how loud they recite their conservative mantra about the Constitution, the free market, limited government, federalism, traditional values, free enterprise, a balanced budget, individual freedom, free trade, and property rights.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-gop-is-not-your-savior/

by Laurence Vance

If Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) had not gotten sick and resigned his Senate seat, then the title of this article would have been “Will the Republicans Save Us?”

After serving in the Georgia state house and senate, Isakson served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He was re-elected in 2010 and 2016. Although his Senate term did not expire until January 2023, in August 2019 he announced that because of his Parkinson’s disease and other health challenges, he was resigning his Senate seat effective at the end of 2019. Under Georgia law, the governor—Brian Kemp, a Republican—was allowed to make an appointment to fill the unexpired term until the next regularly scheduled statewide election (November 3, 2020). He selected Republican Kelly Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), who had never held political office. She assumed office in January 2020.

Under Georgia election law, all candidates for a special election, regardless of their political party, compete in a “jungle primary” where every name is on the November general election ballot. If no candidate in what is usually a crowded field receives more than 50 percent of the vote, then a runoff election is conducted in January. All told, there were twenty-one candidates—including a write-in candidate who received seven votes—most of whom received less than 1 percent of the vote. Loeffler finished second in the special election with 25.9 percent of the vote. That is why she was in the January 5 runoff election for the Senate seat she held at the time. But although Loeffler claimed to be the most conservative Republican in the Senate, and was considered to be the richest member of the Senate, she lost in the runoff election to the Democrat Raphael Warnock by the slim margin of 50.8 to 49.2 percent.

It is because of this special election that Georgia was the only state to hold two Senate elections in 2020. In the Senate, the 100 senators are divided into three classes with staggered terms. Thus, only one-third of the Senate seats are contested at any election, and never more than one Senate seat in a state. In the regular Senate race in Georgia, the incumbent Republican David Perdue—the cousin of former Georgia governor and Trump administration Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue—was seeking a second term. But as he received only 49.7 percent of the vote (47.9 percent went for Democrat Jon Ossoff and 2.3 percent went for Libertarian Shane Hazel), Georgia law required a runoff election between the top two candidates. But in the January 5 runoff election, Ossoff defeated Perdue by a margin of 50.4 to 49.6 percent.

Winning these two Georgia Senate seats is how the Democrats wrested control of the Senate from the Republicans, who had controlled the Senate since January 2015. Prior to the Georgia runoff election, there were 50 Republicans in the Senate and 48 Democrats (including the two independent members of the Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who caucus with the Democrats). So now that the Senate is tied 50-50, the Democratic vice president, the former senator Kamala Harris, gets to cast the tie-breaking vote, effectively giving Democrats control of the Senate.

The Democrats

One-party control of the government is dangerous. Gridlock in the Congress helps prevent one party — whether Democrats or Republicans — from exercising unbridled power. Thus, even if one Georgia Senate seat had been won by a Republican, it could have stopped bad legislation proposed by Democrats from passing (assuming that all of the Senate Republicans voted together). But the reality is that life under Democratic rule will be especially dangerous to privacy, liberty, and property.

Now, we know that the Democratic Party for many years has been the party of liberalism, progressivism, collectivism, socialism, paternalism, statism, environmentalism, “social justice,” economic egalitarianism, organized labor, taxpayer-funded abortion, public education, climate change, affirmative action, welfare, higher taxes on the “rich,” universal single-payer health care, increased government regulation of the economy and society, increased government spending, larger and more-intrusive government, and assorted income-transfer programs and wealth-redistribution schemes. The Democratic solution to every problem, injustice, or crisis — real, imaginary, or contrived—is invariably more government, more government intervention, or more government money.

The Democratic Party is not just going to pick up where it left off at the end of the Obama administration. Democrats in Congress will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda. The Democratic Party of today is even more radical than it was twelve years ago during the first two years of Obama’s first term, which was the last time that Democrats had total control of the federal government (House, Senate, presidency).

What’s On the Table

In an episode of “The Libertarian Angle” recorded just two days after the Electoral College vote was certified, Future of Freedom Foundation president Jacob Hornberger and Citadel professor Richard Ebeling examined the question of life under Democratic control and it was not a pretty picture they painted. According to Hornberger and Ebeling, we are going to see massive increases in federal spending, and the debt ceiling rendered totally irrelevant; massive foreign intervention, since Biden is essentially owned by the national-security state; increased focus on official enemies, expansion of the role of the military in American life, expansion of the welfare state, the revitalization of Obamacare, the attempt to implement a full-fledged government health-care system, and the expansion of the war on drugs (a war that Biden supported when he was vice president and Harris supported as a prosecutor); increased federal regulations, massive welfare-state socialism, a more centrally planned economy, massive debauchery of the currency, tax increases, increased anti-trust enforcement, a national increase in the minimum wage, elements of the “green new deal,” and emphasis on equality of outcomes and proportional representation of minorities in all groups; and more money creation by the Fed, increased inflation, wage and price controls to combat inflation, and a more interventionist foreign policy. They concluded that under a Biden administration, everything is on the table that could be a danger to our liberty, privacy, income, wealth, property, and freedom in the marketplace.

To this we can certainly add increased deficit spending, further increases in the national debt, unrestricted funding for Planned Parenthood, loosened restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions, increased enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, expanded gun-control laws, a federal family-leave policy, government-funded child care, increased resources devoted to fighting climate change, increased violation of privacy and civil liberties in response to the coronavirus, fewer welfare-work requirements, and increased promotion of the transgender movement.

On the basis of statements in the 2020 Democratic Party platform, the recommendations in the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations,” and statements from Biden himself, we can also look forward to extended unemployment benefits, a $15 per hour minimum wage, and more-generous refundable tax credits that give even more Americans tax refunds of money that they never paid in; increased funding for food stamps, WIC, and school-meal programs; greater “investment” in mass transit and transportation public-works projects, “fair” trade policies and deals, expanded farm and housing subsidies, a national goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for all new buildings and vehicles, and “environmental justice”; increases in corporate tax rates, aggressive attempts to increase the supply of “affordable” housing, increased government efforts to close the racial wealth gap, increased spending on K-12 education, tuition-free college, increased federal education grants, extended student-loan payment suspension, and student-debt relief; and making Washington, D.C., the 51st state, an increased push for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, the ending of cash bail, the passing of an Equal Rights Amendment, increased condemnation of “hate speech,” the reauthorization and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act, the securing of equal pay for women, and increased funding for arts and culture.

The Republicans

Read the rest here

This article was originally featured at the Future of Freedom Foundation

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Is 2020 Going To Be the New 1860? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2020

Fortunately, this won’t end in war, but I do think that no matter who wins, decentralization will get a boost in 2021.

It really doesn’t matter who wins the 2020 election. Nearly fifty percent of the American population, if not more, loses. But not if we had real federalism.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/02/brion-mcclanahan/is-2020-going-to-be-the-new-1860/

By

BrionMcClanahan.com

If you watched the debate last night, I pity you. I watched it for you so you wouldn’t have to, but [spoiler alert] you didn’t miss anything by tuning out.

Regardless, I think some things became clear in the two hour snooze fest.

1. Joe Biden still looks like he is too old to be president. He stumbles, stutters, drools, and loses his train of thought in two seconds. Not a good showing for Uncle Joe.

2. Elena Klobuchar isn’t ready to be president, and probably never will be. She is in over her head and needs to quickly exit the race. Foreign policy is the most important role for the president, and Elena lost any momentum with her debate performance.

3. Mayor Mister Bean is attempting to appeal to centrist Democrats that do not exist while banking on LGBTQ support to increase his “woke” credentials. That, coupled with his Frederick Douglass initiative, is bad optics in that Party that is made up of various factions defined by Victim status.

4. Elizabeth Warren delivered the tomahawk chop to Bloomberg’s chances for the Democratic nomination, but she’s still too awkward and weird to win the nomination, even in a Party full of awkward and weird people. No one feels comfortable watching her. It’s like watching every boomer on social media trying to appeal to the kids with a meme about medical marijuana.

5. Comrade Sanders is the most authentic candidate in the the Party and appeals to its real base, the neo-Stalinists who comprise a good portion of the online Bernie Bros. He has never shied away from being a communist, and that means he has the inside shot at winning the nomination, unless the Party steals it from him again.

6. Mike Bloomberg isn’t going to get the nomination, but I think he will run as an independent candidate on a Never Trump/Never Sanders ticket, potentially with Hillary Clinton as his running mate. He is too many of the things the modern Victim Democrats can’t stand: racist, womanizer, billionaire, etc. That was clear as every candidate took shots at his character, money, and influence.

So what does this mean? 2020 looks a lot like 1860 or perhaps 1912.

Substitute Trump, Bloomberg, and Sanders for Douglas, Lincoln, and Bell or Taft, Wilson, and Debs and you have the 2020 presidential election.

The only real modern comparison could be 1992 with Perot, Clinton, and Bush, but Trump represents everything Perot advocated in 1992 while Bloomberg is the establishment. Sanders will be the socialist side show.

And Trump will win.

Fortunately, this won’t end in war, but I do think that no matter who wins, decentralization will get a boost in 2021.

Think locally, act locally. We are already seeing more Americans sign on to the idea of secession and nullification than at any point since 1860. And this time it will be peaceful. There are secession movements in Oregon and Virginia in addition to California, Illinois, New York, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, and Vermont. Self-determination is the American tradition.

It really doesn’t matter who wins the 2020 election. Nearly fifty percent of the American population, if not more, loses. But not if we had real federalism.

Every president before Lincoln knew it, as did nearly the entire founding generation.

The States, and perhaps even the counties, are the key to breaking apart the monstrosity that is Washington D.C.

I discuss the debates and the future of American politics in Episode 292 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

You can watch it here.

OR

You can listen to it here.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

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7 Reasons to Oppose Red Flag Guns Laws – Foundation for Economic Education

Posted by M. C. on November 1, 2019

If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

https://fee.org/articles/7-reasons-to-oppose-red-flag-guns-laws/

Jon Miltimore

Here are seven reasons red flag laws should be opposed, particularly at the federal level.

1. There’s No Evidence Red Flag Laws Reduce Gun Violence

Most people haven’t heard of red flag laws until recently—if they have at all—but they aren’t new.

Connecticut enacted the nation’s first red flag law in 1999, followed by Indiana (2005). This means social scientists have had decades to analyze the effectiveness of these laws. And what did they find?

“The evidence,” The New York Times recently reported, “for whether extreme risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”

The Washington Post reports that California’s red flag went basically unused for two years after its passage in 2016. Washington, D.C.’s law has gone entirely unused. Other states, such as Florida and Maryland, have gone the other direction, seizing hundreds of firearms from gun-owners. Yet it’s unclear if these actions stopped a shooting.

With additional states passing red flag laws, researchers will soon have much more data to analyze. But before passing expansive federal legislation that infringes on civil liberties, lawmakers should have clear and compelling empirical evidence that red flag laws actually do what they are intended to do.

2. Congress Lacks the Authority

The Founding Fathers clearly enumerated the powers of the federal government in the Constitution. Among the powers granted in Article I, Section 8 are “the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.”

Regulating firearms is not among the powers listed in the Constitution (though this has not always stopped lawmakers from regulating them). In fact, the document expressly forbids the federal government from doing so, stating in the Second Amendment that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

3. We Have Federalism

Unlike the federal government, whose powers, James Madison noted, are “few and defined,” states possess powers that “are numerous and indefinite.”

Indeed, 17 states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, and many more states are in the process of adding them. This shows that the people and their representatives are fully capable of passing such laws if they choose. If red flag laws are deemed desirable, this is the appropriate place to pursue such laws, assuming they pass constitutional muster. But do they?

4. Red Flag Laws Violate Due Process

The Constitution mandates that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Seizing the property of individuals who have been convicted of no crime violates this provision. Gun control advocates claim due process is not violated because people whose firearms are taken can appeal to courts to reclaim their property. However, as economist Raheem Williams has observed, “this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right.”

Depriving individuals of a clearly established, constitutionally-guaranteed right in the absence of criminal charges or trial is an affront to civil liberties.

5. Red Flag Laws Could Lead to More Violence

In 2018, two Maryland police officers shot and killed 61-year-old Gary Willis in his own house after waking him at 5:17 a.m. The officers, who were not harmed during the shooting, had been ordered to remove guns from his home under the state’s red flag law, which had gone into effect one month prior to the shooting.

While red flag laws are designed to reduce violence, it’s possible they could do the opposite by creating confrontations between law enforcement and gun owners like Willis, especially as the enforcement of red flag laws expands.

6. It’s Not Just the “Mentally Ill” and Grave Threats Who Are Flagged

In theory, red flag laws are supposed to target individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In practice, they can work quite differently.

In a 14-page analysis, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island explained that few people understand just how expansive the state’s red flag law is.

“It is worth emphasizing that while a seeming urgent need for [the law] derives from recent egregious and deadly mass shootings, [the law’s] reach goes far beyond any efforts to address such extraordinary incidents,” the authors said. Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel.

“As written, a person could be subject to an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) without ever having committed, or even having threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”

Though comprehensive information is thin, and laws differ from state to state, anecdotal evidence suggests Rhode Island’s law is not unique. A University of Central Florida student, for example, was hauled into proceedings and threatened with a year-long RPO (risk protection order) for saying “stupid” things on Reddit following a mass shooting, even though the student had no criminal history and didn’t own a firearm. (The student also was falsely portrayed as a “ticking time bomb” by police, Jacub Sullum reports.) Another man, Reason reports, was slapped with an RPO for criticizing teenage gun control activists online and sharing a picture of an AR-15 rifle he had built.

Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.

7. They’re Basically Pre-Crime

As I’ve previously observed, red flag laws are essentially a form of pre-crime, a theme explored in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick novel.

I’m not the only writer to make the connection. In an article that appeared in Salon, Travis Dunn linked red flag laws “to the science fiction scenario of The Minority Report, in which precognitive police try to stop crimes before they’re committed.”

That government can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat posed to civil liberties is quite real.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

Compromising civil liberties and property rights to prevent acts of violence that have yet to occur are policies more suited for dystopian thrillers⁠—and police states⁠—than a free society.

It’s clear that laws of this magnitude should not be passed as an emotional or political response to an event, even a tragic one.

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Amazon.com: Minority Report: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell ...

 

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The Tyranny of Conservatism – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 19, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/03/laurence-m-vance/the-tyranny-of-conservatism/

By

Conservatives say they believe in the Constitution, limited government, federalism, free enterprise, individual freedom, private property, and the free market. But, of course, this means absolutely nothing since they say they believe in these things even when their actions show that they don’t believe in any of them.

Consider the drug war.

Does the Constitution authorize the federal government to have a war on drugs? Of course not. But that doesn’t stop conservatives from supporting the DEA and the federal drug war.

Is a government limited to reasonable defense, judicial, and policing activities compatible with government interest in the eating, drinking, smoking, medical, and recreational habits of Americans? Of course not. The only limited government that conservatives seek is one limited to control by conservatives.

Do conservatives believe that all drug polices should be instituted on the state level and that the federal government should have nothing to do with prohibiting or regulating drugs? Of course not. Conservatives only believe in federalism when the federal government does something they don’t like.

Do conservatives believe that free enterprise includes the freedom to buy and sell drugs? Of course not. They want the government to prohibit people from peacefully buying and selling drugs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Columns > America’s Burgeoning Civil War

Posted by M. C. on August 10, 2018

Maybe, maybe not. The key is to be prepared for the eventuality.

Don’t count on government or police to be your friend if the worst comes to fruition.

No matter who would have won the election in 2016, the result would have been the same. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were groomed to take America into a civil war. Make no mistake about it: The gamemakers who control both Trump and Clinton couldn’t care less about the left-right feud taking place on Main Street today. It is the Constitution, Bill of Rights and God’s Natural Law that are targeted for destruction. And neither Donald Trump nor Maxine Waters seem to have any regard, respect or reverence for any of those sacred principles.

https://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/3774/Americas-Burgeoning-Civil-War.aspx

Make no mistake about it: America is already engaged in its second civil war. The decades-old left-right, conservative-liberal, Democrat-Republican paradigm that had (before Donald Trump’s election) almost evaporated is back—with a vengeance. In fact, it has turned into a full-fledged war. And it doesn’t matter to a tinker’s dam which side wins this war: Constitutional government and the Natural rights of man are the losers.

Take your pick. Maxine Waters or Donald Trump, Sean Hannity or Chris Matthews: Both sides are destroying the principles of federalism, constitutionalism and Natural Law. For all intents and purposes these principles are already dead. The American experiment in republicanism is over. From now on it’s the survival of the strongest. Might makes right. Logic, reason and sensible debate are buried in the dustbin of history. America has entered the next Dark Ages. And, sadly, there are hardly any Reformation preachers left in America to lead the nation into the light of liberty. Read the rest of this entry »

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States Rights on Marijuana – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2018

Schumer, states rights, federalism all in the same article.

It took Mary Jane to make it happen.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/05/laurence-m-vance/senator-schumer-vs-the-gop/

By 

In August of last year Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S.1689), the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, to legalize marijuana on the federal level. According to a press release, the bill would:

  • Remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, making it legal at the federal level;
  • Incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marijuana in the state is illegal and the state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offenses;
  • Automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes;
  • Allow an individual currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing.

The bill was cosponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in 2017 and Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT) in 2018. The bill is languishing in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

A House version of the Marijuana Justice Act (H.R.4815) was introduced on January 17, 2018, by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). Now cosponsored by twenty-eight House Democrats, the bill has been referred to multiple House committees and subcommittees. Read the rest of this entry »

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