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401  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Adams on: September 08, 2009, 07:57:43 AM
Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?

John Adams, the Novanglus, 1775
402  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hall of Shame on: September 07, 2009, 10:50:26 PM
When I clicked on the link it did not come up, so I went to the home page and searched for jack straw admits and it came up in a list.  I was able to go to the article.  The address was the one Crafty listed so why I had trouble I am not sure.  So if anyone has trouble try this round about method.
403  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Thomas Jefferson on: September 07, 2009, 08:34:15 AM
"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution." --Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia Query 19, 1781
404  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants: Klavan PJTV on: September 06, 2009, 02:49:11 PM
I have been exploring PJTV and ran across Klavan.

Here are 2 of his vids I thought well worth watching.

 "Klavan on Culture: Shut Up"

 "Why Are Conservatives So Mean?"
405  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison on: September 06, 2009, 09:45:03 AM
In forming the Senate, the great anchor of the Government, the questions as they came within the first object turned mostly on the mode of appointment, and the duration of it.
James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787
406  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison on: September 05, 2009, 08:17:26 AM
In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example ... of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness.

James Madison, National Gazette Essay, January 18, 1792
407  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison on Just Goverment and Property on: September 04, 2009, 09:09:13 AM
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.

James Madison, Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
408  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Researcher uncovers secrets of Kells 'angels' on: September 03, 2009, 12:28:57 AM
Researcher uncovers secrets of Kells 'angels'
September 2nd, 2009 By Lauren Gold Enlarge
Professor John Cisne looks at folio 85v in "The Book of Durrow," a manuscript with microscopically detailed illumination. Image: Lindsay France/University Photography

( -- The Book of Kells and similarly illustrated manuscripts of seventh- and eighth-century England and Ireland are known for their entrancingly intricate artwork -- geometric designs so precise that in some places they contain lines less than half a millimeter apart and nearly perfectly reproduced in repeating patterns -- leading a later scholar to call them "works not of men, but of angels."

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But behind the artwork's precision is a mystery: How did illustrators refine the details, which rival the precision of engravings on a modern dollar bill, centuries before microscope lenses were invented?

The answer, says Cornell paleontologist John Cisne, may be in the eyes of the creators. The Celtic monks evidently trained their eyes to cross above the plane of the manuscript so they could visually superimpose side-by-side elements of a replicated pattern, and thereby, create 3-D images that magnified differences between the patterns up to 30 times.

The monks could then refine any disparities by minimizing the apparent vertical depth of the images -- ultimately replicating the design element to submillimeter precision. Cisne proposed the idea in the July 17 issue of the journal Perception (Vol. 38, No. 7).

The paper suggests that the technique, called free-fusion stereocomparison, which takes advantage of the brain's ability to perceive depth by integrating the slightly different views from each eye, was known nearly a thousand years before it was articulated by stereoscope inventor Sir George Wheatstone in the 19th century.

Cisne analyzed the most detailed illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, created between 670 and 800 A.D., including the Book of Kells (circa 800 A.D.); some have as many as 30 lines per centimeter.

Detail of folio 85v of "The Book of Durrow"

The artists stayed mum about their techniques, possibly because their talent gave their Celtic church an edge over the Roman church in the competition for disciples. "If you're in the middle of a propaganda war, [it helps] if the angels are clearly on your side," Cisne said.

But they left a few clues, he said, including the high degree of symmetry and repetition among many of the most intricate patterns and the elements' spacing, which is usually at about the distance between an average person's pupils.

"It turns out that if you can draw accurately enough, you can easily get a magnification of the lateral [horizontal] distance something like 10, 20 or 30 times -- about the magnification you could get under a dissecting microscope," Cisne said.

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The monks likely created a highly accurate template for the design elements by drawing the same element repeatedly, comparing versions and modifying to create a standardized model. From there, they could replicate it into complex designs, using free-fusion stereoscopic comparison and minimizing errors along the way.

Many of the design elements contain minute imperfections that are consistent throughout rows or columns, supporting the idea that the monks worked from templates. And depictions of scribes from the era often show the monks holding pen in one hand and erasing knife in the other -- another clue that they made modifications along the way.

"The idea is that these guys did it just the same way I do when I use a drawing tube and a microscope -- lay down a reference grid, fill in the details, and then compare the details with your template," Cisne said.

Their knowledge of stereoscopic imagery likely died with the monasteries, which were later decimated by the Vikings, Cisne said. The original manuscripts are in Dublin and London; Cisne worked from high-quality reproductions in Cornell's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library. They're a reminder, Cisne said, that ingenuity can sometimes trump technology.

"Most people don't appreciate what a fine instrument they have in their eyes," he said, "and how their visual system can be used in other than the obvious ways."

Provided by Cornell University (news : web)

409  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Franklin on: September 03, 2009, 12:18:22 AM
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” — Benjamin Franklin

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” — Benjamin Franklin
410  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Redistribution and General Welfare: Madison on: September 02, 2009, 07:47:50 AM
“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison in a letter to James Robertson

In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” — James Madison, 4 Annals of Congress 179, 1794

“[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” — James Madison

“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” — James Madison

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison, “Letter to Edmund Pendleton,” — James Madison, January 21, 1792, in The Papers of James Madison, vol. 14, Robert A Rutland et. al., ed (Charlottesvile: University Press of Virginia, 1984).

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 58, February 20, 1788

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788
411  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: September 01, 2009, 09:54:23 PM
Heh would not put it past them.  Anything for a voter! grin  wink rolleyes grin
412  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Redistibution of Wealth: Jefferson on: September 01, 2009, 08:48:02 PM
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” — Thomas Jefferson
413  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Adams on: September 01, 2009, 08:42:23 PM
"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud,
is the only maxim which can ever preserve
the liberties of any people."

Quote by: John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Source: 'Novanglus', 'Boston Gazette' 06 Feb 1775
414  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Madison on: August 31, 2009, 08:17:15 AM
Equal laws protecting equal rights — the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.

James Madison, letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820
415  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights: Washington is selling servitude pt2 on: August 30, 2009, 07:42:50 AM
By Brian Roberts

Article 2 in Series, Restoring Freedom: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective – click here for part 1

Washington is selling servitude.

We watched as they destroyed the financial sector by forcing banks to give loans to people that could not afford them… then they stepped in to “save the day” by gaining direct control of our financial sector.

We watched as they destroyed a once powerful automotive industry through excessive regulation and labor union control… then they stepped in to “save the day” by gaining direct control of our automotive industry.

We listened as they verbally assaulted capitalism when government regulations were to blame.
We watched as they asked the American people to fund a $1 trillion dollar stimulus bill, they yelled emergency as they slipped cash from our children’s pockets to their political allies.

We watched, as they worked to destroy the rule of law by arbitrarily dictating revised terms to legal contracts and installing a Supreme Court justice that promotes social justice over rule-of-law.

We know, they intend to control our children, it’s written in the GIVE Act.

We know, they intend to control our resources, it’s written in the Cap and Trade Bill.

We know, they intend control of our very lives, it’s written in the Health Care Bill.

We know, they intend to control our votes, the 2010 census is now controlled by the white house and the ones registering voters are corrupt
We watch and wait as they install unaccountable czars for dictating  not representing

We watch and wait as they increase “organizer” funding from millions to billions of our tax dollars. And we wonder how these groups will be used to steal our life, liberty and property from us.

The fifth sentence of the Declaration of Independence states, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Our product of freedom is competing with an illegal product. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to sell servitude. It’s that simple. The 10th amendment positions our competitor as an outlaw and recent actions in Washington reaffirm this claim. This brings us to our first point of strategic significance:

A movement based on the 10th amendment is undeniably lawful and moral.

Washington is selling servitude. On fundamental issues, we the people are no longer represented by our national politicians. Our political leaders do not respect the people. They do not bother to read bills that steal away our money and freedom, but then they support these bills aggressively. They set up final votes at midnight in hopes that we do not notice the theft. They pit us against one another by highlighting trivial, but polarizing issues. When the people scream for a solution that doesn’t fit their personal quest for power they shelve the debate instead of making changes that would benefit the people. Despite this disrespect, many national leaders stay in office forever and when real opportunities arise to fill seats with true freedom oriented candidates, the establishment candidates step up, promote and install new big government-types that are mirror images of themselves. It is about personal power not representation. Washington is selling servitude.

Now, thinking like an entrepreneur, Washington used to be a strong ally in our quest to sell individual freedom. Together, we sold freedom to the world and earned the honorable title of “The shining city on the hill”. However, they have now decided to sell servitude. Washington has become a lost distribution channel for our product. Yes, they still want to offer our product, but only so they can do a bait and switch routine and create more customers for servitude. If we continue with these dynamics then the market share for servitude will quickly dominate the market share for freedom. And further compounding our problem, the federal government is a strong distribution channel and finding other channels that can compete is a challenge. To solve this problem, we need a game-changer, something that will expand our more loyal distribution channels while limiting theirs.

The 10th amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This one sentence if effectively used to counter federal power can quickly shift power back to a more local level.

A movement based on the 10th amendment fundamentally changes the political landscape in favor of individual freedom.

Washington is selling servitude. Democrats are selling it outright as if servitude itself was a great product. Most Republicans are packaging it with just a dose of freedom so it goes down a little smoother. But when it comes to the fundamentals like smaller government and individual freedom neither party in Washington is representing us consistently. Both parties are using a horizontal marketing approach and this leaves “we the people” out. Let me explain.

In product marketing, you can position products for sale through a horizontal channel or a vertical channel. The national parties have broad horizontal platforms that work great when selling servitude because it allows them to pick and choose which “selling point” to highlight, which “product deficiencies” to hide and which controversial product features they can use to distract from the outright bugs in their product offering.

If you seek to bring a revolutionary product, such as freedom, to market then vertical marketing is key because it has the ability to capture a significant market share quickly and with minimal budget. The key to success is based on focus.

By focusing on a singular message our demands for more localized control of government will quickly be adopted in positions held by local politicians, followed by state politicians who are emboldened by a loud voice beating the same drum. Whether state politicians are driven to our message by greed or ideals the result is the same, a new ally with a legal precedent to counter federal abuse of power. This can happen in a dramatic way in the next election cycle.

A movement based on the 10th encourages a state government, accountable to the people locally, to challenge the federal government directly.

So how does this all tie together? Dual-power is the sharing of power between the federal government and the state government. This was a fundamental check on power that was envisioned by our founders and written into the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Over the last 100 years, through judicial decisions, constitutional amendment and by simply ignoring it, the 10th amendment has been watered down significantly. Much of this can be changed if the people demand these changes with clarity. If the message is not clear, the the federal government will appease the population with trinkets of freedom but maintain the power to sell more and more servitude.

The 10th goes right for the jugular of federal power, it changes the overall dynamics and it does this through a legal means. A movement based on the 10th clearly has large strategic value in and of itself. The 10th also delivers strong tactical value on how to bring freedom to market. Next…

Take Action Today – Find a 10th Amendment Group in Your Area
Which Side are you on: Jeffersonian or Hamiltonian, by Murray Rothbard
Destroying the Constitution by Claiming Everything is Commerce
Brian Roberts is the President and a founder of an innovative software company in Texas. He has joined the tenth amendment movement as the meetup organizer of Texas Tenth Amendment Center. Follow Brian on Twitter, bcroberts_99.

Additional Reading:

Crossing the Chasm to Freedom
The Mighty 10th: Our Beachhead
The Pincer Movement
416  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights: Crossing the Chasm to Freedom pt1 on: August 30, 2009, 07:41:17 AM
Crossing the Chasm to Freedom
By Brian Roberts

Article 1 in Series, Restoring Freedom: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

Imagine this… You and I are the founders of a start-up company. Our product is compelling. Our market is broad. We are underfunded, unorganized and unfocused. The press clearly doesn’t care about our efforts. Yet, we think we are going to take on the world. We are going to take on the largest, most powerful and monopolistic competitor possible. But we are not intimidated because the personal rewards of success are unimaginable and unlike our competitor’s offering our product will change the world for the better.

So we are driven, like an innovative capitalist… to sell individual freedom to a world that thinks it prefers servitude.

At this time in history, freedom is once again a revolutionary product. And if we are going to take on our massive federal government and replace the socialism it is offering with true individual freedom, then we had better have a strategic plan that is designed to leverage our strengths to the maximum. We cannot afford to waste any resource and our execution must be almost flawless. Sounds impossible? The odds are truly stacked against us, yes, but the good news in our analogy is that start-up companies take on large companies all the time… and more often than you would expect, they win.

For any revolutionary product (remember freedom is our product), market acceptance goes through a dynamic that involves different types of people, each with different objectives. Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm defined a key strategy for taking a technology product to market with limited resources. Like technology, political messages have an adoption lifecycle. And like technology, political messages experience a chasm where after quick and encouraging gains the movement seems to falter. This is a common dynamic of markets and has a solution, but the solution is not intuitive. In order to understand the solution and how the tenth amendment offers the key to success, we need to have a clear understanding of a major barrier, known as the chasm.

The following graph shows the adoption lifecycle, the dangerous chasm and where it falls. Many movements die at the chasm.  Why? The simple answer is that the early message that worked so well to quickly gain support from one segment of the population, offered very little to gain support from other segments, but there is much more to it than that.

In our case, think of the curve as a representation of the American population since that is our target market. We need to consider the desires and needs of the various segments with regards to freedom.

The innovators appreciate things for their own sake; many support the founding fathers and their ideas regarding America and freedom because believe they are right and they respect the ideals. They represent a small but very dedicated segment of our market.

The next group is the early adopters; these are visionary individuals who have the unique ability to match a solution, such as tenth amendment protections, to an opportunity such as regaining freedom. This represents a larger segment of the population, but not nearly enough to make significant political gain. Many of you reading this article are either innovators or early adopters.

This brings us to the early majority. This is the group that we must focus on and any strategy for re-gaining freedom must ultimately be something compelling to this group. You will not find the early majority at tea parties, commenting on blogs or generally debating politics, but many are paying attention.  For the most part they currently believe that our country’s current situation is just politics as usual and that it will all get worked out in the end. “America has seen worse” is a common phrase. They are often party-line voters. In general, this group is risk averse and do not share the visionary’s excitement for revolutionary change.  But true individual freedom at this point in American history is truly revolutionary change, so if we are going to cross the chasm to freedom then we must commit our resources to reaching the early majority. If we fail in this monumental task then our movement will fall short.

We can ignore the late majority and the laggards. This part of the curve represents a population that simply does not understand individual freedom.

This is where it becomes less intuitive. How can we effectively reach the early majority with our limited resources? You might think that the “Big Tent” strategy would develop the biggest following. It seems logical, if we can just sell our wonderful product of freedom to the most people then we will surely generate a massive unstoppable movement.  But hold on… the “big tent” strategy always results in failure. It fails for start-up companies because the massive resources are not available. Even large companies with unlimited resources will fail when the target is not defined, the product is not focused and the message is confused.  As proven by recent history, this is actually a fatal strategic mistake for political movements as well. In politics, the result is ceaseless internal debates that miss the big picture (think controversial social issues), a message defined by the press (think tea parties), and virtually zero political excitement (think McCain). It is clear that the current limitation of  today’s freedom movement is this lack of strategic focus.

To cross the chasm, we need to implement a focused strategy and we need to do this now. We already have the best product ever known to mankind, individual freedom. But the best product is never a guarantee of success. As discussed, the strategy must be able to present a compelling message that will resonate with the early majority. But equally important is the strategy’s ability to build a powerful political base to work from. So what serves as the best political springboard? State Governments? The Republican Party? The growing Tea Party Movement? A third party? All of the above?

A movement with a foundation based on the tenth amendment  has the best chance of returning the power consolidated in Washington to “We the People”. This strategy might seem to fall right into the hands of  current state governments but is it really that simple? I don’t think so. In the next articles of this series we will discuss why the tenth amendment is the perfect foundation, who the allies might be, how we can attract the early majority and what tools we will need to make a real difference.

Brian Roberts is the President and a founder of an innovative software company in Texas. He has joined the tenth amendment movement as the meetup organizer of Texas Tenth Amendment Center. Follow Brian on Twitter, bcroberts_99.
417  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Decentralization for Freedom on: August 28, 2009, 05:39:37 PM
Posted on 27 August 2009

by Dr. Donald W. Livingston,

For the first time in 144 years State interposition (Madison) and State nullification and secession (Jefferson) have entered public discourse as remedies to usurpations by the central government of rights reserved to the sovereign people of the States by the Constitution. Since Americans are not in the habit of exercising these policy options, it is worthwhile to ask just what State legislators and governors can do to protect their citizens from usurpations by the central government.

First, they can begin by passing resolutions (as a number have done), declaring in no uncertain terms that all powers not delegated to the central government nor prohibited to the States by the Constitution are reserved by them; and that the States themselves have the authority to judge what is reserved and what is delegated–Supreme Court case law notwithstanding.

To deny this is to say that the central government can define the limits of its own power which flatly contradicts the Constitution’s language of State delegated and reserved powers.

Second, the States can insist that an office be set up in Congress to receive and respond to these resolutions. Resolutions are words. They cost little to produce, but words have power. As the Scottish philosopher David Hume observed, political authority is based primarily on opinion not force. It is not merely iron bars that confine you to prison, it is also the guard’s opinion not to let you out. If you could change his mind, the bars could not restrain you.

A continuous flood of resolutions from the States about the constitutionality of this or that issue (and widely publicized), would serve to educate the public (and their rulers) about constitutional limits and alter the mind-set of politics in a decentralist direction.

Further, State legislators and governors should revive, where appropriate, the Jeffersonian discourse of State interposition, nullification, and secession as policy options. To deny this is to say that an American State is not a genuine political society at all, but a mere aggregate of individuals under control of a central government that alone can define the limits of its powers.

To hear such discourse in public speech can strengthen civic virtue and revive the long slumbering disposition of self-government that has been suppressed by a century of runaway centralization.

Lincoln understood the power of words, and advanced the cause of centralization by refusing to describe the States as sovereign political societies. He described them as mere counties authorized by central authority. He asked incredulously: “What is this particular sacredness of a State? If a State, in one instance, and a county in another should be equal in extent of territory, and equal in number of people, wherein is that State any better than a county?”

Lincoln was not describing the federative America that Jefferson and Madison founded, but an imagined and wished for centralized, unitary American state. It is time that the Lincolnian inversion of political discourse be inverted.

Third, In addition to changing the terms of discourse, State legislators and governors should engage in 10th amendment acts of recovering usurped authority. The least controversial of these acts would be simply to not accept federal money for projects that are judged unconstitutional, such as federal involvement in education. Refuse the money, and begin restoring state and local control over education or whatever the issue might be.

Fourth, in order to restore usurped constitutional authority, a State must be prepared, at some point, to resist federal intrusion. There is a long history of States doing just that. Georgia nullified the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chisholm vs. Georgia (1793); New England States nullified fugitive slave laws; and earlier New England townships nullified Jefferson’s embargo and the war of 1812 declared under Madison’s administration. Jefferson said “he felt the foundations of the government shaken under my feet by the New England townships.” Wisconsin was nullifying what it declared to be usurpations by the Supreme Court into the 1850s. There was a time when the States kept the central government under control.

Can this be done today? Before it is attempted a clarification is necessary. We must understand that any such constitutional challenge is a political one based on the States’ sovereign authority and not a matter justiciable by the courts. Genuine federalism in America can be recovered only by political action in the name of the State’s own authority and not by Supreme Court legalism.

Indeed, legalism only affirms that the Court has the final say over what powers the States have. When States interposed to block the Supreme Court’s orders to desegregate public schools in the South on the ground that such orders were unconstitutional, the move failed but only because racial segregation was not a popular issue.

Many scholars then and now thought that Brown v. Board of Education was bad constitutional law, i.e., that the court had abandoned its proper role of policing the Constitution in favor of social engineering. Most, however, approved of the engineering, and paid little regard to the constitutional cost.

But the process can be reversed. States can recover usurped authority by carefully choosing the right issue, at the right time, in the right circumstances, and for the right reasons. Such an act, of course, would require considerable political prudence and skill, and should not be attempted without a reasonable chance of support from public opinion. In such an act of lawful and constitutional resistance, the State would be answerable only to her other sister states. The action might spark a constitutional amendment as happened when Georgia nullified the Supreme Court’s ruling in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793) that an individual could sue a state in federal court without the State’s permission.

The States agreed with Georgia’s nullification and promptly passed the 11th amendment that prohibited such suits. That is how American federalism was supposed to work. The three branches of the central government would check each other, but it would be up to the sovereign States to keep the central government itself in check. The Constitution was to be enforced through political action of the States not by the legalism of nine unelected Supreme Court justices.

Another outcome might be a political settlement that would allow a State, or a number of States, to opt out of a class of federal acts judged to be unconstitutional or fundamentally repugnant. Other federal systems allow this possibility. For instance, the Canadian Constitution has institutionalized federal nullification. Any Province can nullify acts of the central government in the area of civil rights within its own borders, even though other Provinces may enforce the act in theirs.

The States can also try to restrict unconstitutional acts of the central government through amending the Constitution, but that is virtually impossible. Two thirds of both Houses of Congress are required to pass an amendment which must then be ratified by three quarters of the States.

Since 1790, over 10,000 amendments have been proposed to Congress. Only 30 have passed the Congressional gate-keepers, and 27 have been ratified. The other path is that two thirds of the States can compel Congress to call a constitutional convention–a very high bar to meet. It is, therefore, virtually impossible to limit the central government’s power by constitutional amendment. It is worth noting that the framers of the Confederate Constitution sought to overcome this barrier to self-government in Article 1, Section 1 which enacted that if only three States concurred on a constitutional amendment, Congress would have to call a constitutional convention. And only two thirds of the States would be needed to ratify the amendment.

To all of this it is often said that State interposition, nullification, and secession were eliminated as policy options by the Civil War. Brute force, however, cannot settle moral and constitutional questions. Lincoln’s claim that the Union is older than the States; that it created the States; that a State is merely an administrative unit (like a county in a unitary state), are historical and moral claims that must stand on their own. They cannot be settled by superior firepower but only by reasons that persuade.

The problems of limiting central power in a federal system of State delegated and reserved powers, which brought forth the doctrines of State interposition, nullification, and secession as remedies, are as topical today as they were when first broached in the 1790s.

Or it will be said that, even so, too much water has gone over the dam. Institutions of the central government are so entrenched, so entangled with powerful interests, and this system has gone on for so long that people have lost any sense of civic virtue on the State and local level.

It is certainly true that the central government has intruded into nearly every aspect of life, and disentanglement will not occur overnight. But centralization in America is not as intense and debilitating as it was in the former Soviet Union, from which, nevertheless, 15 States recovered civic virtue and seceded. Moreover, the current State sovereignty movement suggests that State and local civic virtue are not dead in America. But as mentioned above, a shift in the decentralist direction will require a long course of political re-education.

And the sort of education required is not academic but practical–one exemplified in the conduct and civic virtue of State legislators and governors who take to heart Madison’s admonition in the Virginia Resolutions (1798) that State governments not only have the constitutional right of “interposition” to protect their citizens against usurpations by the central government but the “duty” to do so.

Finally, there is the objection that the primacy of State political action over Supreme Court legalism could work when there were fewer States, but now that there are 50 States interposition and nullification have become impractical. But If true that means the Union has simply grown too large for the purposes of self-government; in which case the obvious response is that it should be divided through secession into smaller political units that make self-government viable.

Consider how dull our notion of self-government has become. Congress has capped the number of representatives in the House at 435, a majority of which is only 218 representatives. A majority in the Senate is 51. A majority of both Houses is a mere 269 people. This small number, with concurrence of the President, rules over 300 million people. But worse. Congress has long ago alienated much of its legislative responsibility to the Executive and Judicial branch. Its main interest is in distributing its vast revenue (which now is nearly 3 trillion dollars) to its clients.

The President and the Supreme Court are the dominant rulers. The Executive office makes war, and its bureaucracy makes laws. The Supreme Court, with only 9 unelected judges, has become the most important social policy making body in the Union, and makes claim to be the final authority on interpreting the Constitution. Never in history have so many been ruled by so few.

As the American empire grows in population and as the ratchet of centralization tightens with each turn, talk of self-government becomes increasingly meaningless. The ratio of representatives to population in the House of Representatives today is one representative for every 690,000 people–a vacuous ratio for representation. When the population reaches 435 million, there will be one “representative” for every million persons.

What to do? Expand the size of the House? No; it is about the right size for a legislative body. The only remedy is territorial division of the Union through secession into a number of different and independent political units.

Such a division can spring only from political action by the States, each acting in its sovereign capacity. And what form the new order might take (whether a number of federal unions, a number of independent states, whether these will be large or small states like Singapore, etc.) can only be determined by political action of the States themselves.

The central government of the United States (that is, 9 unelected judges, a congressional majority of only 269, and 1 CEO) cannot manage the bloated and unwieldy empire that a century of ritualistic centralization has produced; nor will it ever relinquish power.

George Kennan thought that a discourse on how to divide the Union was bound to develop out of pressure generated by the sheer oversized character of the regime. It is too early to say that the current State sovereignty movement is the beginning of that discourse, but it might well be the beginning of the beginning.

Dr. Donald Livingston, professor at Emory University in Atlanta, has been called the preeminent political philosopher of our day in Georgia.
418  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hoover's pro-labor stance helped cause Great Depression on: August 28, 2009, 02:26:05 PM
Hoover's pro-labor stance helped cause Great Depression, economist says
August 28th, 2009 By Meg Sullivan
( -- Pro-labor policies pushed by President Herbert Hoover after the stock market crash of 1929 accounted for close to two-thirds of the drop in the nation's gross domestic product over the two years that followed, causing what might otherwise have been a bad recession to slip into the Great Depression, a UCLA economist concludes in a new study.   "These findings suggest that the recession was three times worse — at a minimum — than it would otherwise have been, because of Hoover," said Lee E. Ohanian, a UCLA professor of economics.
The policies, which included both propping up wages and encouraging job-sharing, also accounted for more than two-thirds of the precipitous decline in hours worked in the manufacturing sector, which was much harder hit initially than the agricultural sector, according to Ohanian.
"By keeping industrial wages too high, Hoover sharply depressed employment beyond where it otherwise would have been, and that act drove down the overall gross national product," Ohanian said. "His policy was the single most important event in precipitating the Great Depression."
The findings are slated to appear in the December issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Economic Theory and were posted today on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Reasearch ( as a working paper.
Hoover's approach is unlikely to be considered today as a means of responding to economic crisis, but it does illustrate the perils of ill-conceived government policies in times of economic upheaval and confusion, says Ohanian, a macroeconomist who specializes in economic crises.
"Hoover's response illustrates the danger of knee-jerk policy reactions in a time of crisis," he said. "Almost always when bad policies are adopted, it's during a period of crisis. The real risk is picking a cure that turns out to be worse than the disease."
While economists have long debated the factors that led to the Great Depression, Ohanian's findings are novel because they don't simply pinpoint — they also quantify — the considerable impact of such labor-market distortions. The findings also challenge Hoover's pro-market reputation. "This was a president who had served as secretary of commerce under his predecessor, yet many of the mistakes he made were remarkably similar to those later made by Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose reputation is much less market-based and more pro-labor," Ohanian said.
To isolate the culprit of the Depression, Ohanian spent four years sifting through historic wage data from the Conference Board, information from Hoover's own memoirs and press accounts of the Hoover administration. Ohanian also conducted sophisticated economic modeling that allowed him to see how the economy would have progressed had Hoover's policies not been enacted.
At the time, Hoover was concerned about two potential crises, Ohanian found. He was afraid the stock market collapse of October 1929 would result in a recession with deflation, leading to dramatic wage cuts, as a period of deflation had done just a decade earlier. And because of a series of recent legislative and court decisions that had expanded the power of organized labor, he also worried about the possibility of crippling strikes if such wage cuts were to come to pass.
"Hoover had the idea that if wages were kept high for workers and they shared jobs instead of being laid off, they would be able to buy more goods and services, which would help the economy improve," Ohanian said.
After the crash, Hoover met with major leaders of industry and cut a deal with them to either maintain or raise wages and institute job-sharing to keep workers employed, at least to some degree, Ohanian found. In response, General Motors, Ford, U.S. Steel, Dupont, International Harvester and many other large firms fell in line, even publicly underscoring their compliance with Hoover's program.
Designed to placate labor and safeguard workers' buying power, the step had an unintended effect: As deflation eventually did set in, the inflation-adjusted value of these wages rose over time, effectively giving workers a raise precisely at the time when companies were least in a position to afford such increases and precisely when productivity was beginning to fall.
"The wage freeze effectively raised the cost of labor and, by extension, production," Ohanian said. "If you artificially raise the price of production, your costs go way up and you pass them on to the customers, and they buy that much less."
Reluctant to lower wages due to Hoover's entreaties, employers in the manufacturing sector responded by reducing the work week and laying off workers. By September 1931, the manufacturing sector was already hurting: Hours clocked by workers had fallen by 20 percent and employment by 35 percent.
Overall, the economy suffered, with the GDP falling by 27 percent. In a situation in which wages would have been expected to fall, they remained at about 92 percent of what they had been two years earlier. When adjusted for deflation, they had actually climbed by 10 percent, Ohanian found. Interestingly, during the dreaded period of deflation a decade earlier, some manufacturing wages fell 30 percent. GDP, meanwhile, only dropped by 4 percent.
"The Depression was the first time in the history of the U.S. that wages did not fall during a period of significant deflation," Ohanian said.
The paper, "What — or Who — Started the Great Depression" is not Ohanian's first research on the underlying causes of this dark period in American history. Along with former UCLA economics professor Harold L. Cole (now a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania), Ohanian published research in 2004 indicating that Roosevelt's response also had an unintentionally deleterious effect. By their calculations, fallout from Roosevelt's National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) dragged out the Depression for seven years longer than a more market-based response would have.
While several other economists have also implicated Roosevelt in the Great Depression's extensive duration, the UCLA research is unique because it is based on mathematical models that pinpointed the exact extent to which Roosevelt's policies prolonged the Depression, according to the UCLA economists. They calculated that the policies accounted for 60 percent of the Depression's duration.
Similarly, Hoover's employment policies have been cited as a precipitating factor in Depression. But the latest UCLA study uses modern economic tools to quantify the impact of the president's wage freeze and job-sharing policies and also provides a theory for why the major industrial businesses followed Hoover's request. By Ohanian's calculation, Hoover's policies accounted for 18 percent of the 27 percent decline in the nation's GDP by the fourth quarter of 1931.
Often-cited causes of the Depression include banking failures and large contractions of the money supply. The problem is, Ohanian says, neither of these events occurred significantly until mid-1931 — nearly two years after Hoover's fateful wage policies.
Moreover, unemployment did not plague the part of the labor force that was exempt from Hoover's 1929 wage policy. While farm employment would be reduced by Dust Bowl climatic conditions in 1935, at the outset of the Depression it remained surprisingly strong, Ohanian found. In fact, hours clocked in the agricultural sector, which comprised about 30 percent of the workforce at the time, were roughly unchanged through 1931. And unlike in the manufacturing sector, agricultural wages fell dramatically, by 30 percent.
"Wages fell substantially, but farm employment rates held steady until the Dust Bowl," Ohanian said.
Despite continued calls from industry for wage cuts in 1930 and 1931, Hoover held industry to their original promise, Ohanian found. By late 1931, manufacturers requested that Hoover provide relief in the form of increasing their ability to collude for price-setting purposes. Hoover denied this request. In response, industry signaled they would no longer support the wage freeze.
"In late 1931, industry finally did cut wages, but it was too late," Ohanian said. "By this point, the economy was in an unprecedented, full-blown depression."
Source: University of California - Los Angeles
419  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: 2nd Post: A Reason for Partisan Politics on: August 28, 2009, 08:25:10 AM
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.

Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, Circa 1774

But why can't we get along and stop partisan politics?  Every time a question arises I find the Founders had already thought of it and pointed their answer out in their writings. 

420  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Jefferson on: August 28, 2009, 07:57:37 AM
Excessive taxation will carry reason & reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Taylor, November 26, 1798
421  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Alexander Hamilton on: August 27, 2009, 04:24:05 PM
“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.”

Fedrealist Paper 22  Alexander Hamilton
422  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST: Jogo do Pau on: August 26, 2009, 12:26:30 AM

423  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: August 25, 2009, 11:41:08 PM
WOW doesn't cover it!  Thanks BbG! shocked
424  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Jefferson on: August 25, 2009, 07:33:12 AM
He who is permitted by law to have no property of his own, can with difficulty conceive that property is founded in anything but force.
Thomas Jefferson, January 26, 1788
425  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Madison on: August 24, 2009, 07:50:16 AM
A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
Reminds me of town-hall meetings.  -Freki

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.
It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is
government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?

James Madison, Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788

A lens through which character is shown, how does this reflect on the politicians we have seen lately?- Freki
426  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: John Adams on: August 23, 2009, 08:01:23 AM
The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.

John Adams, letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire and influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism.

John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, vol 1, 1787

The power needs to move back to the States,  Adams is right, we need to change how Senators are elected back to the founders design.  IMO Freki
427  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Madison and Jefferson Checks on goverment on: August 20, 2009, 02:53:23 PM
A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States.

James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

James Madison, Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788

A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Ritchie, December 25, 1820

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure."
November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939
428  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Hannan and Madison on: August 19, 2009, 08:13:44 AM
BbG I pulled this quote from Hannan's speech which I liked very much.
It is the ideal of the left isn't it?  If the motive is good it
doesn't really matter.  "I'm wearing the awareness ribbon or the
wristband!  So I don't really need to give to the charity, because
everyone can see what a good guy I am."  Now when you see it in an
individual, the tendency to be moralistic rather than moral, to care
about having the right opinions about global corporations rather
than live your life properly, it is disagreeable.  When you see that
principle elevated to a ruling principle of government it is
Daniel Hannan, Member of British Parliament, Speaking at the Army and Navy Club August 2009


I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic — it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out.
James Madison, speech to the Congress, April 9, 1789
429  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Madison on: August 17, 2009, 08:19:00 AM
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.
James Madison, Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.
James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
430  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Character doesn't matter? on: August 16, 2009, 06:38:19 PM
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
James Madison, speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 20, 1788
431  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science : Ripsaw on: August 15, 2009, 09:37:41 PM
I am excited about this vehicle.  It is now being developed as an unmanned remote controlled vehicle for the military.

432  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: August 14, 2009, 11:04:58 PM
I pulled this after listening to the political rant posting of Crafty August 14

Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. On a candid examination of history we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which in republics, have more frequently than any other cause produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of the ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes.

–James Madison, Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention on Control of the Military, June 16, 1788 in: History of the Virginia Federal Convention of 1788, vol. 1, p. 130 (H.B. Grigsby ed. 1890).
433  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: August 14, 2009, 05:17:09 PM
Amen to Jefferson's Quote.  I choose when, where, and to whom I give charity, the government has no place in the process.

It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.
James Madison, letter to the Dey of Algiers, August, 1816
434  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Madison on: August 14, 2009, 07:42:16 AM
It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated.
James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, December 2, 1829
435  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Jefferson on: August 12, 2009, 09:57:37 PM
Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.
Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking up Arms, July 6, 1775
436  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson: Washington vs. States Rights on: August 11, 2009, 11:06:36 PM
[T]he States can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore... never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold at market.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, June 12, 1823
W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821
437  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics: Greatest robbery ever on: August 11, 2009, 10:13:19 AM
We are witnessing a historical moment.  The greatest robbery in the history of the world.  Here is a video showing what the government is doing about it. cry

This is the site I saw the vid first.

Here is that vid
438  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Madison on: August 11, 2009, 07:34:39 AM
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity.
James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
439  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison: Democracy or Republic? on: August 10, 2009, 08:50:43 AM
An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

James Madison, Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788

As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.

James Madison, Federalist No. 55, February 15, 1788

440  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Jefferson on: August 07, 2009, 07:42:40 AM
The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body, (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, Aug 18, 1821
441  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers:Madison Father of the Constituion on: August 04, 2009, 08:34:32 AM
James Madison: “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.”

James Madison: If there be a government then which prides itself in maintaining the inviolability of property; which provides that none shall be taken directly even for public use without indemnification to the owner, and yet directly violates the property which individuals have in their opinions, their religion, their persons, and their faculties; nay more, which indirectly violates their property, in their actual possessions, in the labor that acquires their daily subsistence, and in the hallowed remnant of time which ought to relieve their fatigues and soothe their cares, the influence  will have been anticipated, that such a government is not a pattern for the United States.


James Madison: A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor; where the keenness and competitions of want are deemed an insufficient spur to labor, and taxes are again applied, by an unfeeling policy, as another spur; in violation of that sacred property, which Heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to him, in the small repose that could be spared from the supply of his necessities.
442  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Adams on: August 03, 2009, 08:14:20 AM
"They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men." --John Adams 

John Adams: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.
443  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Jefferson on: August 02, 2009, 07:35:23 AM
The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.

Thomas Jefferson, Note in Destutt de Tracy, 1816

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, May 27, 1788

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, March 9, 1821
444  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: July 31, 2009, 01:05:26 PM
I am one of those tea baggers.  I live in a small town, pop was 2000 when I was young it is now about 7000.  At the first Tea party protest we had about 1700.  As I looked around at the demographics of the crowd they were mostly the older patriarchs and matriarchs of the town!  People who had never protested anything in their lives.  At the fourth of July protest we topped 2000 people.  Our town has 7000.  The article that follows has comments from congress men who still dont seem to get this movement.  They seem to think they know best and are not listening to their constituents.  The backlash against bigger government is not a flash in the pan.  We have had enough.  Our reps need to listen or be put out.

Alex Isenstadt Alex Isenstadt – Fri Jul 31, 5:30 am ET
Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.

“I had felt they would be pointless,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to temporarily suspend the events in his Long Island district. “There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.”

In Bishop’s case, his decision came on the heels of a June 22 event he held in Setauket, N.Y., in which protesters dominated the meeting by shouting criticisms at the congressman for his positions on energy policy, health care and the bailout of the auto industry.

Within an hour of the disruption, police were called in to escort the 59-year-old Democrat — who has held more than 100 town hall meetings since he was elected in 2002 — to his car safely.

“I have no problem with someone disagreeing with positions I hold,” Bishop said, noting that, for the time being, he was using other platforms to communicate with his constituents. “But I also believe no one is served if you can’t talk through differences.”

Bishop isn’t the only one confronted by boiling anger and rising incivility. At a health care town hall event in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this month, police were called in to restore order, and at least one heckler was taken away by local police. Close to 100 sign-carrying protesters greeted Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) at a late June community college small-business development forum in Panama City, Fla. Last week, Danville, Va., anti-tax tea party activists claimed they were “refused an opportunity” to ask Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-Va.) a question at a town hall event and instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property after they attempted to hold up protest signs.

The targets in most cases are House Democrats, who over the past few months have tackled controversial legislation including a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a landmark energy proposal and an overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

Democrats, acknowledging the increasing unruliness of the town-hall-style events, say the hot-button issues they are taking on have a lot to do with it.

“I think it’s just the fact that we are dealing with some of the most important public policy issues in a generation,” said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who was confronted by a protester angry about his position on health care reform at a town hall event several weeks ago.

“I think in general what is going on is we are tackling issues that have been ignored for a long time, and I think that is disruptive to a lot of people,” said Bishop, a four-term congressman. “We are trying, one by one, to deal with a set of issues that can’t be ignored, and I think that’s unsettling to a lot of people.”

Freshman Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), whose event at a Syracuse middle school was disrupted, said that he still planned to hold additional town halls but that he was also thinking about other options.

“I think you’ve got to communicate through a variety of different ways. You should do the telephone town hall meetings. You should do the town hall meetings. You should do the smaller group meetings,” said Maffei. “It’s important to do things in a variety of ways, so you don’t have one mode of communication.”

“You’re going to have people of varying views, and in this case, you’ve got the two extremes who were the most vocal,” Maffei said of the flare-up at his July 12 event.

On Tuesday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who handles incumbent retention duties for House Democrats in addition to chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, met with freshman members to discuss their plans for the monthlong August recess. While the specific issue of town hall protesters never came up, according to sources familiar with the meeting, he urged them not to back away from opponents.

“He said, ‘Go on offense. Stay on the offense. It’s really important that your constituents hear directly from you. You shouldn’t let a day go by [that] your constituents don’t hear from you,’” said one House Democratic leadership aide familiar with the meeting.

Some members profess to enjoy the give-and-take of the town halls, even if lately it’s become more take than give.

“Town halls are a favorite part of my job,” said Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), a third-term congressman from St. Louis who noted that a “handful” of disruptions had taken place at his meetings. “It’s what I do. It’s what I will continue to do.”

“People have gotten fired up and all that, but I think that’s what makes town halls fun,” said Perriello, a freshman who is among the most vulnerable Democrats in 2010. “I think that most of the time when we get out there, it’s a good chance for people to vent and offer their thoughts. It’s been good.”

“I enjoy it, and people have a chance to speak their mind,” he said.

Both Carnahan and Perriello said they were plunging forward with plans to hold more town hall meetings.

Republicans, with an eye toward 2010, are keeping close track of the climate at Democratic events.

“We’ve seen Russ Carnahan, we’ve seen Tim Bishop, we’ve seen some other people face some very different crowds back home,” said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “The days of you having a town hall meeting where maybe 15 or 20 of your friends show up — they’re over. You’ve now got real people who are showing up — and that’s going to be a factor.”

Asked later how or whether the GOP would use the confrontations against Democrats, Sessions responded: “Wait till next year.”

But Democrats are quick to point out they’re not the only ones facing hostile audiences. They single out Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who found himself in a confrontation earlier this month with a “birther” protester, and insist that Republicans face a backlash of their own if it appears the party is too closely aligned with tea party activists or other conservative-oriented protesters.

“It’s a risk that they align themselves with such a small minority in the party,” said Brian Smoot, who served as political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the past election cycle. “They risk alienating moderates.”

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445  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 31, 2009, 12:26:50 PM
Why cant' a company or a group of people (like a co-op) hire their own doctor?  Pay the doc a salary and that would take care of general healthcare.  Then as a group negotiate with some other entity, insurance co. or hospital,l for catastrophic care?    Why not pay for the education of med students for their agreement to work for the group for a fixed time? This might lower cost.   Maybe the group could self insure for procedures the on staff medial personnel could not perform.  It seems to me there are ways to get what you want from the free market without the government getting involved.
446  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: General Welfare Quotes on: July 31, 2009, 07:34:27 AM
57 is nice
In response to the Soldier's speech

Thomas Jefferson: “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
James Madison: “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

447  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Wolves, Dogs and other canines on: July 30, 2009, 08:35:41 AM
I have known 2 dogs bitten by rattlesnakes.  They both recovered with no ill effects.  They were both just nursed not doctored ( no antivenom was given). I am forming the opinion that rattlesnake venom does not effect dogs as it does people.  Of coarse this is just 2 examples and many other variables could explain the recovery, dry bite etc.  The effect could be like the fallow web spider in Australia, lethal to people but annoying to dogs.  I am not a vet just an observer.  You might visit The Texas A&M web site or call the University I have had many agricultural questions answered there with a phone call.  They would know about the vaccine.  I have heard it is harder to get into  Aggie Vet school than medical school.

448  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / J. Adams: Thoughts on Govt, meaning of equal on: July 29, 2009, 08:30:06 AM
It already appears, that there must be in every society of men superiors and inferiors, because God has laid in the constitution and course of nature the foundations of the distinction.

John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

But the the founders said all men were created equal!  How can this be?  They meant all men are treated equally by the law, not that everyone should have the same things or wealth should be spread around to make it fair. They would have called social justice TYRANY!!!!! "God has laid in the constitution and course of nature the foundations of the distinction."  The purpose of the U.S. government was to allow you to pursue your business to the best of your ability without fear of Nobles or powerful men, who are above the law, taking your property or life. Now it is the federal government that seizes property!

IMHO Freki
449  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: Jefferson on: July 28, 2009, 07:57:20 AM
Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 19, 1787

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 17, 1781

Crafty I just want to thank you for this forum.  I get much more from this than I put in, Thanks to you and all who participate.

450  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: July 28, 2009, 07:37:31 AM
Ordering Pizza in 2012!(the source suprised me)
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