states rights

Ron Paul: The Tonight Show or Campaign Rally?

December 17th, 2011 2:19 am  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Drugs, Election, Environment, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul, states rights, Taxes  |  33 Responses

Last night Ron Paul appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a big Ron Paul supporter it was surreal. Leno kept him on for 3 interview segments. Almost every single thing Ron Paul said was met with loud cheers. Comedian/Fear Factor Host/Podcaster Joe Rogan was Leno’s next guest. He came out wearing a Ron Paul shirt. Leno asked Joe, “What part of his [Ron Paul's] platform do you like?” Rogan replied, “Every single thing that comes out of his mouth. I go yeah, YEAH, FINALLY!”

This was not just an appearance on a late night talk show. This was a Ron Paul campaign rally.

During the final interview segment with Paul, Leno asked him his thoughts on the other candidates and went down the list by name. When he got to Bachmann, Ron Paul replied, “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She wants to go get them.” This probably didn’t win him any neo-conservative supporters. Then he doubled down on this when he replied similarly about Santorum saying he doesn’t like “gay people and Muslims.”  Wow. I can’t imagine that Santorum and Bachmann won’t issue a counter-attack soon.

This just further cements my point in previous articles. Ron Paul can and would beat Obama in the general election. His more difficult win is in the GOP primary.

During the appearance Twitter was about 99% positive about Ron Paul, including many tweets saying things like, “I wasn’t sure before, but now I’m definitely voting for Ron Paul.”

Now we can sit back and monitor how the pundits and other candidates react, if they react at all.

See the entire appearance below in 4 parts.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


05/05/2011 Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, others in GOP Debate – Full Video

May 6th, 2011 12:29 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Debate, Drugs, Economics, Election, Foreign Policy, FOX news, Free Market, Gary Johnson, government spending, Maven Commentary, Ron Paul, states rights, terrorism, torture, War  |  18 Responses

Ron Paul is on fire. That is my opinion of his performance in this first GOP debate. Of course, I’m biased. Feel free to make your own judgement after watching the entire debate below. There were a few stellar moments from Ron Paul, including his answer when asked about legalizing drugs, and his answer about being the “Founding Father” of the Tea Party movement regarding Michele Bachmann.

I don’t agree with a lot of what Herman Cain says, but I have to admit he has charisma that will give him a lot of support. Expect the other candidates to start attacking him if his poll numbers go up. I think they will.

Gary Johnson did very well with a few odd moments. If I’m looking at him through social-con or neo-con eyes voting for him would likely be impossible. He did come off as a very honest “make the hard choices” candidate. Sort of like Cain without the charisma.

Pawlenty seems to be channeling John McCain a bit too much and Santorum just comes off as angry. Both seem to be going after the George W. Bush voting block; however small that is these days.

Enjoy the entire debate below.

California vs. Holder, and the coming drug war battle

October 16th, 2010 10:22 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Constitution, Drugs, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, rule of law, states rights  |  3 Responses

First, some background. Proposition 19 in the State of California would “allow Californians age 21 and older to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana and possess up to an ounce. It also allows cities and counties to authorize cultivation and sales, and to tax them.”

Eric Holder sent a letter to some former DEA administrator’s who have urged the Justice Department to oppose Proposition 19. In it he wrote:

“Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19. If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens.”

So does this mean that Obama’s justice department will begin enforcing federal drug laws once again in California? Yes, it appears it does.

This goes right back to the nullification debate. Do states have the right to nullify unconstitutional federal laws? Given this news it appears that Obama’s justice department’s Constitution goes right from Amendment 9 to Amendment 11.

It appears that a certain California Sheriff has a similar version of the Constitution:

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who is a co-chairman of the main opposition committee, released the letter at a news conference at his headquarters Friday, flanked by two former DEA heads, the district attorney and the Los Angeles city attorney.

“He is saying it is an unenforceable law and the federal government will not allow California to become a rogue state on this issue,” Baca said. “You can’t make a law in contradiction to federal law as a state. Therefore Proposition 19 is null and void and dead on arrival.”

Wow. Baca’s ignorance would be astounding if it wasn’t for Obama through Holder saying basically the same thing. This directly contradicts our Founders. Obama is King and anyone who disagrees with him are peasants or worse, racists. I suppose we can thank Abraham Lincoln for this.

The America we live in is one where the National Government can nullify state laws and “F%*@ the Founders” sing the Statists.

Tomorrow’s to-do list: Donate to Rand Paul, Buy “Nullification”

June 27th, 2010 7:05 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Commentary, Constitution, Election, fascism, Fund Raising, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Philosophy, Rand Paul, Socialism, states rights, Thomas Woods  |  1

Tomorrow is June 28th and there are two events every liberty-lover should be participating in.

First up, is the first money bomb for Rand Paul’s General election campaign. Pledge here and donate tomorrow (or beginning at midnight tonight) here. He’s going to need a significant amount of money to defend the attacks that are now coming at him from national progressives and Obamatons.

Next, it is the official release day for Tom Woods’ latest and perhaps greatest book entitled, “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century“. I consider his previous book “Meltdown” one of the best economics books I’ve ever read. Given Woods’ track record his new book will be mind-opening to those willing to give it a read. The book and Tom were recently featured on Glenn Beck’s TV show about Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” (see the video below).

So that’s my To-Do list for Monday, June 28th, 2010. I hope it is yours as well.


Supreme Court set to offer opinion on the Chicago Gun ban tomorrow

June 27th, 2010 5:58 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Gun Control, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, states rights  |  3 Responses

The Supreme Court will release its opinion on the McDonald v. Chicago gun ban case on Monday. The opinion will decide whether the 2nd Amendment applies to the states.

From the SCOTUS blog:

The first opinion that could emerge is a historic ruling on gun rights, resolving whether the Second Amendment restricts the gun-control powers of states, counties, and cities, and not just the federal government’s powers (McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521).   That’s because the author of the opinion (according to Tom’s analysis) could be Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.   He is the most junior Justice likely to announce an opinion Monday, and opinions are usually released in reverse order of the authors’ seniority.

Most watchers believe the opinion will be against the gun ban and in favor of applying the 2nd Amendment to the states, but it will likely not be as far-reaching as most gun rights advocates would like. This puts it in similar territory as the Heller case. Tom Goldstein, offers his thoughts regarding the likely outcome, also from the SCOTUS blog, in a prediction article:

The next case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, which presents the question whether the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is “incorporated” and therefore applies to state and local gun regulation. McDonald was argued in February, and the only Justice not to write from that sitting is Justice Alito. He therefore likely has the Court’s opinion.

Justice Alito was a member of the five-Justice majority that recognized a Second Amendment right outside the context of militia service in the Heller case. He therefore is a likely vote for finding incorporation. At oral argument in McDonald, Justice Alito seemed quite doubtful about the City’s efforts to suggest a narrow ground for ruling.

I predict that Justice Alito will write the Court’s opinion in McDonald recognizing that the Second Amendment is incorporated. But given Justice Alito’s sensitivity towards law enforcement, I doubt that the opinion will call into question a broad swath of firearms regulation.

We’ll post an update once the opinion is released tomorrow.

Last year I wrote about my own thoughts on “Incorporation” of the 2nd Amendment in this article.

Nullification – The Forgotten Check on the Federal Government

May 20th, 2010 11:45 pm  |  by  |  Published in Liberty, states rights  |  Comments Off

“In questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

Originally published May 21, 2010 at

Yesterday, May 20th, I gave a short talk to the Concerned Citizens of Upper Perkiomen Valley for Smaller Government on the concept of nullification.  Nullification is one of the checks the states have on the federal government where the state refuses to comply with federal law — which are deemed harmful to the state and usually assume powers not delegated by the state to the federal government.  Nullified federal laws are deemed null and void in the state(s) where passed and have no force.

The presentation first covered the concept of state sovereignty, the roots of nullification during the Federalist Papers and the ratification of the Constitution.  Next historical uses of nullification were reviewed, followed by a surprising amount of modern-day state legislation that are also attempts at nullification.  A video recording is not yet available.

While I make no claim to be an expert on nullification, Dr. Thomas Woods of the Mises Institute is and will shortly publish a new book, Nullification.  You can learn more about his book here.  One of Woods’ past articles on nullification is hereA playlist of Woods giving a talk on nullification and “the Principles of ’98″ is below.

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The Implications of Federal Education

March 18th, 2010 9:18 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Education, fascism, Federal Reserve, History, Liberty, moral hazard, states rights  |  3 Responses

The U.S. Department of Education was established on May 4, 1980 with its primary objective being to “[assure] access to equal educational opportunity for every individual,” as well as to improve educational quality across America. One of the largest arguments for the creation of a federal department, however, was to coordinate the federal loan programs set forth in LBJ’s “Great Society” program. Johnson proudly signed the Higher Education Act of 1965 into law, proclaiming that the loan programs would “swing open a new door for the young people of America” by making higher education more affordable.

Flash forward several decades from these grand government schemes and these proclamations seem dubious at best. The average cost of attendance at a public university has increased from $950 per year in 1965 to $2,165 in 1980 to $11,034 in 2007 – to say that the federal loan program has failed to make college a more attainable goal for lower-class families would be an understatement. This rising cost spiral has been discussed at length elsewhere, however; the other issues inherent in the federal micromanagement of education are less often mentioned and are perhaps of more importance in our society.

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State Nullification of Unconstitutional Federal Laws at CPAC 2010

March 15th, 2010 11:13 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, campaign for liberty, Constitution, Liberty, states rights, Thomas Woods  |  Comments Off

The Campaign For Liberty has posted Tom Woods’ excellent speech at CPAC regarding state nullification against unconstitutional federal laws as an avenue for real change in the United States.

The talk is in seven parts in the playlist below.


Virginia Senate votes to nullify Obamacare mandate

February 1st, 2010 9:38 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Commentary, Health Care, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, states rights  |  3 Responses

The Virginia State Senate voted today 23-17 to add a provision to the Virginia State Code that would exempt Virginians from being forced by the federal government to participate in any health care plan. Furthermore, the provision exempts Virginians from having to pay a fine or fee for not participating.

The text of the legislation sponsored by Jill Holtzman Vogel reads as follows:

No resident of this Commonwealth, regardless of whether he has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer, or a plan sponsored by the Commonwealth or the federal government, shall be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage.  No provision of this title shall render a resident of this Commonwealth liable for any penalty, assessment, fee, or fine as a result of his failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage.

This is a big win for Virginians, the 10th Amendment, and liberty. The fight is not over though. I highlight the word “individual” above because it worries me. Does this mean the federal government can mandate family coverage?

Hopefully this ambiguity will be remedied as the bill moves further along in the legislative process.

Five Democrats voted for the bill. You can find the vote tally on the bill’s tracking page here and more information is available here.

Supreme Court to take up 2nd Amendment Incorporation

September 30th, 2009 12:07 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Constitution, Court Cases, Gun Control, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Maven Commentary, states rights  |  1

This is very good news for gun rights fighters. The Supreme Court has accepted the case to answer the question on whether the 2nd Amendment applies, or is “incorporated”, to the states.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether strict local and state gun control laws violate the Second Amendment, ensuring another high-profile battle over the rights of gun owners.

The court said it will review a lower court ruling that upheld a handgun ban in Chicago. Gun rights supporters challenged gun laws in Chicago and some suburbs immediately following the high court’s decision in June 2008 that struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The new case tests whether last year’s ruling applies as well to local and state laws.

While this is good news for hopeful gun rights activists it raises questions for die hard Constitutionalists. The dirty details of “incorporation” reveals some divisions among us. I’ve previously discussed my own thoughts on “incorporation”, but I can certainly understand the opposing viewpoint. The question came up earlier this year when the states rights argument was utilized by the anti-gun rights Senators in reference to the Thune amendment that would have permitted concealed carry reciprocity between the states.

The conventional wisdom is that the Supreme Court has a very good chance of voting in favor of 2nd Amendment incorporation. Perhaps, the more interesting thing, similar to Heller, will be what the majority opinion says at the conclusion of the case.