To provide for a short title; to report the findings of the General Assembly regarding the constitutionality of certain federal laws and other mandates; to amend Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to theft, so as to prohibit state or federal agents or employees of financial institutions from seizing assets under color of law; to provide for penalties and other punishment; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
This Act shall be known as the "State Authority and Deposit Security Act."
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the states and the people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the Constitution and not prohibited by the Constitution;
(2) The Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the people all rights not otherwise enumerated in the Constitution;
(3) Article I, Section 8, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution grants the federal government the power to punish persons for counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
(4) Article I, Section 8, Clause 10 of the United States Constitution grants the federal government the power to punish persons for piracies and felonies on the high seas and for offenses against the law of nations;
(5) Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution grants the federal government the power to prescribe the punishment for treason;
(6) The United States Constitution contains no other grant of power, general or specific, to Congress or the federal government, to provide for the punishment of any other crimes;
(7) Congress and the federal government have enacted laws, executive orders, rules, regulations, and other mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers;
(8) Any actions taken by the federal government through its agents or employees that are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States are unlawful; and being unlawful, they are criminal offenses against the affected parties; and
(9) The State of Georgia hereby reclaims authority under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the states in the Constitution of the United States.
Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to theft, is amended by adding a new Code section, to read as follows:
(a) An officer, agent, or employee of the federal government or of a state or federal financial institution commits the offense of theft by color of law when such officer, agent, or employee seizes or attempts to seize any money in a financial institution in this state belonging to a citizen of this state unless the seizure is pursuant to a federal court order based upon a conviction for:
(1) Counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; (2) Piracies and felonies on the high seas; (3) Offenses against the law of nations; or (4) Treason.
(b) It shall not be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under subsection (a) of this Code section that the defendant was acting under color of law unless he or she is enforcing an order based upon a conviction for a crime enumerated in subsection (a) of this Code section.
(c) A person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for up to ten years for each $1,000.00 or portion thereof seized or attempted to be seized and by a fine in an amount equal to triple the amount seized or attempted to be seized, which fine shall be paid to the victim of the offense."
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
It's disappointing to see the coverage of the new Supreme Court justice and the confirmation hearings. It's all one big evil fnord reinforcing "It matters what these nine people do."
I noticed that the current Supreme Court nominee and the previous nominee have the parasitic personality type. Most politicians, like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, have the parasitic personality type. Most people don't notice, due to their pro-State brainwashing. The Supreme Court exists to protect the interests of parasites, more than to protect productive workers.
The only reason the Supreme Court matters is that their orders are treated as new laws. State thugs will enforce these laws without questioning them. Lower-ranking judges will follow the Supreme Court's orders.
Ironically, a Supreme Court judge spends more time writing laws than most Congressmen! Supreme Court decisions are like new laws. The justices usually carefully read the decisions. Most Congressmen let lobbyists write laws for them. There's no way a Congressmen could actually carefully read every law that Congress passes.
Every bad law that erodes individual freedom has been approved by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is *NOT* concerned with "What is right and what is wrong." They are only concerned with "What is legal?" The Supreme Court has the final say in resolving all disputes. By definition, whatever the Supreme Court says is legal.
A pro-State troll says "It's good that the Supreme Court has the final decision. This prevents chaos." The problem is that the Supreme Court resolves all disputes, even when one party is the State or another political insider. For example, the Supreme Court has approved the laws that limit the liability of BP and Transocean and Haliburton. This encourages chaos, because insiders can commit crimes and negligence without any negative consequences.
That is the inherent evil of the State legal system, compared to a free market system. State insiders get to resolve all disputes, even when one party to the dispute is a State insider. This causes government to behave like a criminal gang rather than be the protector of freedom.
You don't get picked to be a Supreme Court judge unless you're thoroughly pro-State brainwashed. That's the reason there's so much focus on making sure that the judge will make the "correct" decisions. Back when President Roosevelt was pushing the New Deal, some Supreme Court justices resisted. Now, the Supreme Court rubberstamps most bad laws.
In the confirmation hearings, they'll never ask "Is the IRS Constitutional?" or "Is the Federal Reserve Constitutional?" or "Should defense attorneys be barred from mentioning jury nullification?" or "Do biased jury selection procedures defeat the true purpose of trial by jury?" These are all unstated hidden assumptions. Every Congressman and Federal judge knows the "correct" answer to these questions. The worst laws are endorsed by almost every politician and State parasite.
If you ask a State parasite "Should you have more power or less power?", of course they want more power. Congress and the President choose the Supreme Court. Of course, they will make decisions that favor more State power.
The job of a Supreme Court judge is not to protect individual freedom. Their job is to make fancy-sounding excuses for increasing State power. If you're a pro-State troll, these excuses are believable. A "Constitutional law expert" doesn't debate "What is Constitutional?" Instead, they debate "What is the Supreme Court going to rule next?"
A Congressmen says "We don't have to worry if this law is Constitutional. The Supreme Court will object if we're wrong." A Supreme Court judge says "Of course this law is Constitutional. Otherwise, Congress would not have passed it." In this manner, evil occurs and nobody seems responsible. In the debate surrounding healthcare "reform", some critics asked "Is this law Constitutional?" The Congressmen reacted as if that was a silly, irrelevant, and insulting joke.
The Supreme Court judges are the high priests for the State. The hype surrounding a new Supreme Court judge seems a lot like the hype surrounding a new pope. Government is a crazy religious cult. It's a very successful cult, having brainwashed the vast majority that it is the One True Way to organize a stable society.
The correct attitude regarding the Supreme Court is "Why should I care what those nine pathetic losers do?" Their decisions are treated as new laws. The problem is that the vast majority will obey their orders without questioning it. The Supreme Court doesn't protect individual freedom. Every bad law has been approved by the Supreme Court.
I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who believes empire and imperialism aren't problematic. It is the conclusion that secession/rebellion, for all its violence and bloodletting, is somehow a sufficient and even desirable way to deal with centralized government that is bothersome.
See, this is why I prefer thoughtful dissent to "mega-ditto" type comments. It's good to be challenged - it forces you to re-think and re-state your reasons for blogging and for advocating a particular point of view.
So here goes. Only the dead-ender Neocons and their blood-brother communists still believe in the promises of big, consolidated government. And the above-cited commenter apparently agrees with us what the problem is, and that is the trajectory of all over-centralized governments. They all become dictatorial - just as the Stephens quote stated.
So what's the answer? While folks see (and laugh at!) DC as it flubs every test, unable to solve any problems, they still subconsciously look to it as the ultimate authority and as the object of loyalty. Thanks to the rigorous indoctrination of the government schools, folks think Lincoln's counter-revolution, which substituted the sovereignty of the central government for the sovereignty of the people, is somehow sacred. So they are unable to conceive of human-scaled government - all the important decisions must be made by the Wise Ones in DC, no matter how often they screw up. We're stuck playing musical chairs, switching names and positions in DC, in the illogical belief the system is good and noble, and only needs different people to make the system work.
Meanwhile, things mysteriously get only worse.
The point is, the only solution is to downsize DC. Either it is forced to return the power it usurped from us in full defiance of the Constitution, or it should be fired. Put another way, sovereignty must be returned to the local level. And that means secession. While total withdrawal from the Union may not be necessary, the recovery of the rights of the States depends on properly understanding the real meaning of the Declaration of Independence, and that means the right of secession; that is, the reserved right to withdraw from the Union.
Which brings us to the commenter's next objection:
It becomes an 'insult' or, rather, irritating when that conclusion, which almost inevitably takes on undertones of 'cultural preservation,' leads to romanticized and misguided ideas about what southern culture is and who is a southerner.
No political unit can be born or survive without the affection and loyalty of its people. No voluntary political unit can be established without a cultural foundation uniting the people. As professor Ghia Nodia of the University of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, has observed:
"Democracy has always emerged in distinct communities; there is no record anywhere of free, unconnected, and calculating individuals coming together spontaneously to form a democratic social contract ex nihilo. Whether we like it or not, nationalism is the historical force that has provided the political units for democratic government. 'Nation' is another name for 'we the people'."
For local sovereignty to return as a counterweight to the present centralized system, local loyalty must be nourished. And the creatures who feed off the cancerous growth of Big Government know that, which is why both leftists and Neocons smear Southern heritage.
So that's the bottom line: without "cultural preservation," which includes the values of our political heritage, there can be no resistance to the abuses of Big Government.
As more and more people are now acknowledging - and I think they are entirely correct and, if anything, still underestimating what will be the ultimate costs of this calamity - the damage caused by the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico will most likely be felt for several decades at least. The economic costs forbid accurate projection at this point; that might not be an altogether regrettable result, for a fuller version of the truth might well be so horrifying that it would induce paralysis of both thought and action. The human costs - the livelihoods destroyed, the families subjected to unendurable stress and most probably similarly destroyed in very large numbers, the hopes and dreams put on indefinite hold, only to be surrendered in their totality in time - prohibit contemplation.
One aspect of the profoundly evil system that has been destroying us for over a hundred years - and make no mistake, it is deeply evil in design, intent and effect, if by evil we designate those actions which destroy the very possibility of thriving life - is especially awful. The authoritarian-corporatist-militarist system victimizes untold millions of individual human beings, as well as many other forms of life as we see again today, both here and abroad. That would be a momentous evil in itself, but this particular evil is unsatisfied with only this first form of destruction.
Thus, the victims are targeted a second time, and they are forced to become collaborators in their own destruction. It is crucial to understand that these two forms of destruction are not separate manifestations of separate evils. They are the consequences of the same evil, and the two forms of lingering torture and death (psychologically at a minimum, and frequently existentially as well) are part of one overall design. I've discussed certain cultural-psychological manifestations of this dynamic in a number of essays. For an introduction to this analytic approach, I would recommend one article in particular: "Let the Victims Speak." As I stated at the outset of that essay, the nature and operation of this dynamic are very complex; it took me a few decades to appreciate its character. If the subject interests you, I therefore suggest a reading of the earlier article in its entirety.
These passages will provide a sense of the dynamic that concerns me, one that is so commonplace that most people don't even notice it:
Focus on the critical sentence: "Yet, when a victim explodes or acts out in unacceptable ways, these same officials are shocked and indignant."
What exactly are these "unacceptable ways" of exploding or acting out? Who decided they were "unacceptable"? Why is it that "reluctant school officials" will not "take definitive action" against the bullies - thus tacitly conceding that the bullying itself is not all that "unacceptable" - while the same officials are "shocked and indignant" when the victim protests too strongly?
This pattern, and certain of its origins, will be found throughout history, in every culture around the world. The pattern is a simple and deadly one: the oppressor - that is, those who are in the superior position, whether they are parents, school officials, or the government, or in a superior position merely by virtue of physical strength - may inflict bodily harm and/or grievous, lifelong emotional and psychological injury, but the victim may only protest within the limits set by the oppressor himself. The oppressor will determine those forms of protest by the victim that are "acceptable."
You see this pattern with regard to many helpless, lonely children in addition to Billy Wolfe...
Think about this very carefully for a moment. The oppressor may inflict unimaginable cruelties on innocent victims - but the victims may only protest in ways which the oppressor deems "acceptable." The profound injustice is obvious, but not in itself remarkable or unexpected: this is how oppression operates. But ask yourself about the deeper reason for the prohibition. This is of the greatest importance: the victims may only protest within a constricted range of "permissible" behavior because, when they exceed the prescribed limits, they make the oppressors too uncomfortable. They force the oppressors to confront the nature of what they, the oppressors, have done in ways that the oppressors do not choose to face.
The fifth grader in the story would have been fully justified in screaming at his teachers for minutes, even hours. He would have been fully justified in demanding to know why his teachers humiliated him so mercilessly in front of his classmates, and why they exposed him to cruel scrutiny and mockery in this way. He had every right to ask why his teachers - his teachers, who are supposed to protect him from gratuitous cruelty and who are supposed to be devoted to his well-being - would so deeply betray their role. But what do you suppose would have happened to him if he had reacted in this way? As in the case of Billy Wolfe, his teachers would have been "shocked and indignant." The boy with Stahl's ear would almost certainly have been punished again - for identifying the nature of the cruelty perpetrated against him and protesting against it.
Take some time to appreciate the unfathomable cruelty of this pattern. You may be grievously harmed and even permanently damaged by the actions of those who hold unanswerable power - but you may only speak about this evil and its effects within the very narrow limits set by those who would destroy you. If you are killed, the identical prohibitions apply to those who still manage to survive and who would protest the unforgivable crime committed against you. In this manner, the complacency and comfort of those who possess immense power and wealth are underwritten by the silence forced upon their victims. The victims may speak and even protest, but only within severely circumscribed limits, and only so long as their rulers are not made to feel too uncomfortable, or too guilty. Anything which approaches too close to the truth is strictly forbidden.
This is the system of government carefully erected and fortified in the United States over the last century. In the last several decades, it has been made impregnable and unassailable. If you tell the full truth or even approach it, you are consigned to the void beyond the most distant borders of permissible debate.
I consider this only a start at the task of understanding this pattern and its operations; time and health permitting, I will address these complicated matters in more detail in the future. But I now want you to consider another aspect of this collaboration in their own destruction forced upon the victims.
The pattern is the same: the victims are forced to participate in their own destruction. If you participate in our authoritarian-corporatist-militarist system in any significant way, there is no way of escaping this dilemma. I repeat the point for emphasis: this is the way the system was designed. The events of the last decade in particular and the events of today - the acceptance of torture as a "normal" method of state - and warcraft, endless criminal wars of aggression, genocide, the funneling of vast amounts of wealth from defenseless "ordinary" citizens to the already engorged ruling class, the destruction of the Gulf and a huge additional number of lives - are not aberrations, the result of the system having gone awry. This is what the system is designed to do. Most people recoil from evil of this magnitude; they refuse to identify and accept the system for what it is. They still seek to "reform" or "save" it. In other words: they themselves seek rationalizations and justification for their continuing collaboration. The ruling class is many things: avaricious, consumed by lust for power and control, heedless and uncaring of the immense destruction they cause, provided the destruction never touches their lives. But the ruling class is emphatically not stupid. To state what would be painfully obvious, if only so many people were not so wedded to denial: they constitute the ruling class, and you do not. And they counted on your reluctance or outright refusal to identify their evil. They knew they could depend on your continued collaboration in your own drawn-out torture and death.
And they were entirely, completely right. This is hardly the first time history has proven this particular truth.
You can avoid the demand that you support your own destruction, but it is not an approach many people will choose: you can withdraw your support, in every way possible to you. Neither I nor anyone else can tell you how to effect that choice, should you wish to do so. The particulars of each person's life are unique, and the choice of non-cooperation presents itself in many forms. If you view the system as profoundly, irrevocably evil, and if you do not choose to support it any longer, only your own conscience can provide the necessary guidance. Only you can decide how much of your soul you are willing to surrender.
It may be somewhat easier to grasp and understand the nature of the further aspect of the enforced collaboration to which I refer. You will find the example set forth in appalling detail by Nick Turse: "Kick Ass or Buy Gas?" The relevance of the discussion above is made clear by the article's subtitle: "How Taxpayers Are Subsidizing BP's Disaster Through the Pentagon."
Here are several key passages:
Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are livid with BP in the wake of the massive, never-ending oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - and Barack Obama says they ought to be. But there’s one aspect of the BP story that most of those angry residents of the Gulf states aren’t aware of. And the president hasn’t had a thing to say about it.
Even as the tar balls hit Gulf beaches, their tax dollars are subsidizing BP and so far, President Obama has not shown the slightest indication that he plans to stop their flow into BP coffers, despite the recent call of Public Citizen, a watchdog group, to end the nation’s business dealings with company. In fact, the Department of Defense, which has a longstanding, multi-billion dollar business relationship with BP, tells TomDispatch that it has no plans to sever current business ties or curtail future contracts with the oil giant.
The Pentagon’s foreign wars have left it particularly heavily dependent on oil services, energy, and petroleum companies. An analysis published at Foreign Policy in Focus found that, in 2005, 145 such companies had contracts with the Pentagon. That year, the Department of Defense paid out more than $1.5 billion to BP alone and a total of $8 billion taxpayer dollars, in total, to energy-related firms on what is a far-from-complete list of companies.
In 2009, according to the Defense Energy Support Center, the military awarded $22.5 billion in energy contracts. More than $16 billion of that went to purchasing bulk fuel. Some 10 top petroleum suppliers got the lion’s share, more than $11.5 billion, among them big names like Shell, Exxon Mobil and Valero. The largest contractor, however, was BP, which received more than $2.2 billion - almost 12% of all petroleum-contract dollars awarded by the Pentagon for the year.
While one exceptionally powerful department of the federal government has been feeding money into BP (and other oil giants) with abandon, BP has consistently run afoul of U.S. government regulators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to the Center for Public Integrity, “BP account[ed] for 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the[oil] refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years.” Records obtained by the Center demonstrate that between June 2007 and February 2010, BP received a total of 862 citations...
Over those same years, BP received around $5.7 billion in federal contracts, according to official government data. In fact, the $2.2 billion the Pentagon paid to the oil giant in 2009 accounted for almost 16% of the company’s nearly $14 billion in annual profits.
This fiscal year, the U.S. military has already awarded the company more than $837 million, inking its latest deal with BP in March.
Turse later notes that, "[i]n a June 5th email message to supporters, paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee," Obama states the government has "ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far.” The amount of $69 million is a small fraction of the $837 million awarded by the U.S. military to BP just this fiscal year - and that is not to even mention the huge amounts paid to BP in the past, or that will be paid to it in the future:
"I am not aware at this moment of any plans to curtail or cancel any DoD contracts that may exist at this time,” Department of Defense spokesperson Cheryl Irwin told TomDispatch. Irwin also stated that she knew of no plans to restrict the awarding of future contracts to BP.
The president has remained silent on the issue.
I'm forced to admit that, if one were to consider this system from the perspective of its greatest beneficiaries, it is a goddamned beautiful thing. It is elegant. The government takes gobs of money from taxpayers, it shovels huge amounts of that money to already enormously powerful companies, those companies then provide services essential to the government's unending campaigns of widespread destruction and death - and in the necessary course of providing those services, the companies themselves commit numerous "egregious" and "willful" violations of health and safety requirements (all documented by Turse), and the companies thus inflict enormous suffering on some of the same taxpayers.
Then, in a display of our rulers' magnificently bountiful kindness and thoughtfulness, some of those injuries - just some of them, for how can many of the victims ever be made close to whole again in any meaningful way? - will be compensated, using a small portion of the huge wealth made possible by the taxpayers in the first instance.
As I say: elegant.
And this is merely one example, if an especially heinous one, from one industry. How many times in how many industries is this identical pattern repeated every single bloody and blood-filled day? Countless times, in countless industries.
This is what the system is designed to do. It does it with astonishing efficiency. Short of civil disobedience on a huge, unrelenting scale, that is, short of widespread, unceasing non-cooperation, the system will continue for the foreseeable future, probably in roughly its current form for the rest of your life. There is no sign that non-cooperation on the required scale will occur or is even being contemplated, except by a few outliers like me. And, possibly, like a few of you.
So what are you going to do? Scream at the injustice? Yell about the monstrous evil being committed every hour of every day? Write another blog post? I do not exempt myself from the all-encompassing irony which now consumes us, amidst the rising torrent of blood.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister:
It has come to my attention that a member of your cabinet, the Hon. Tony Clement, has filmed a commercial that was allegedly aired in the Peoples’ Republic of China.
This commercial contains an explicit endorsement of a private corporation on behalf of the Government of Canada.
It is my belief that this action has violated the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada Communications Policies as well as rules set out in Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State.
Given the recent troubles your caucus has had with members and ex-members using tax-payer resources to promote their private interests, I think it would be prudent for your office to take this matter very seriously and investigate it fully.
The public has become extremely suspicious of MPs’ use of government resources for personal benefit, but this matter is that much more serious as it involves a sitting cabinet minister. A failure to investigate this matter fully would result in even further erosion of the public’s trust in their elected officials.
Promoting one company over another is not the role of a government minister. Even worse, promoting the interests of friends or political supporters in the name of the Government of Canada is highly inappropriate.
We look forward to hearing from you what steps have been taken to resolve this serious breach of government ethics from within your cabinet.
The Honourable Marlene Jennings, P.C., M.P. Deputy House Leader for the Official Opposition and Liberal Critic for Government Ethics and Democratic Reform
A proposed EU ban on selling eggs by the dozen was today described by UKIP as "bonkers".
Britain has been exempt from EU regulations that ban selling goods by number. But last week MEPs voted to end this country's deal despite objections from UK members.
Instead of packaging telling shoppers that a box contains six eggs the new rules mean that it will instead show the weight in grams of the eggs inside, explained UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall.
The rules apply to other food stuffs traditionally sold by quantity, such as bread rolls and fruit and the rules do not allow both weight and quantity to be displayed.
"This is plain bonkers," said Mr Nuttall, MEP for the North West.
"When the French stop selling their wine by the case we'll be happy to stop selling eggs by the dozen," he said.
"And I am also very concerned that the extra cost of changes to packaging and labelling, as well as weighing, will be passed onto shoppers through higher grocery bills.
"The idiot bureaucrats who have dreamed this nonsense up say it will help consumers make an informed choice when buying food. That is rubbish - British shoppers want to buy items the way they always have not the way dictated by a faceless pen pusher in Brussels," said Mr Nuttall.
"This regulation has to be further debated by the European Parliament and you can be very sure that UKIP will be voting against it."
'That so many EU officials earn more than elected MEPs shows that bureaucracy is more important than democracy in the EU,' said UKIP spokesman, Nigel Farage MEP.
Responding to the revelation that over a 1,000 EU officials earn more than David Cameron on £142,000, Mr Farage said, "Just as people's wages are falling and unemployment is rising, the man in the street should be appalled at the amount of money that these EU officials are being paid, many for pretty menial tasks.
"People should be appalled to learn how much money many of these EU bureaucrats earn. For example, an EU civil servant with a few years experience and two children (at level AD 10) has a net take home pay of €8,810 per month. Out of his gross pay, he has only to pay €570 in tax, and to compound the insult he does not have to pay VAT on a car or household goods.
"For a fantastic health insurance scheme, the EU bureaucrat has to pay only 1.7 % of his salary, a measely €134. No wonder many of these people are screaning for 'more Europe' - what they really want is 'more money' for themselves.
"The EU is a racket perpetuated by EU officials to keep themselves in the life to which they have become accustomed - it has got to stop.
"I call on the EU institutions to reveal in full detail how many EU officials they employ and exactly how much they earn. Only then can the populace of Europe see that the EU is about integration for the political elite and renumeration for the bureaucats.'
"Let's not forget it is the British and German taxpayers who are paying for this EU porkbarrel to finance the bureaucrats."
The following Notice of Motion has been edited in terms of its original formatting.
THE QUEEN'S BENCH WINNIPEG CENTRE
MANITOBA METIS FEDERATION INC., ANITA CAMPBELL, DAVID CHARTRAND, ELBERT CHARTRAND, RITA CULLEN, JEAN DESROSIERS, JOHN FLEURY, LAURA HYRICH, JULYDA LAGIMODIERE, LEAH LAPLANTE, JUDY MAYER, DARRYL MONTGOMERY, MARILEE NAULT, JACK PARK, CLAIRE RIDDLE, and DENISE THOMAS,
- and -
TERRY BELHUMEUR and CLARE L. PIEUK
NOTICE OF MOTION
TAKE NOTICE THAT the plaintiffs will make a motion before the Honourable Madam Justice J.G. McKelvey on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. or as soon after that time as the motion can be heard at the Law Courts Building, 408 York Avenue, in the City of Winnipeg, in Manitoba.
THE MOTION IS FOR:
1. An order striking out the Statement of Defence of the defendant Clare L. Pieuk:
2. In the alternative, such other order as is just.
3. Costs of the motion payable on a solicitor and own client basis.
4. Such further and other relief as the nature of the case may require and this Honourable Court deem just.
THE GROUNDS FOR THE MOTION ARE:
1. Queen’s Bench Rule 60.11.
2. The defendant Clare Pieuk has failed to comply with the order of Justice McKelvey pronounced May 17, 2010 which required him to pay the amount of $4,003.22 to the plaintiffs on or before May 30, 2010.
3. Such further and other grounds as counsel may advise and this Honourable Court may allow.
THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE will be referred to at the hearing of this motion:
1. Affidavit of Donald Roulette sworn June 2, 2010.
2. Such further and other documentary evidence as counsel may advise and this Honourable Court may allow.
Date: June 4, 2010
POSNER & TRACHTENGERG Barristers, Solicitors and Notaries Public Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E4
Murray N. Trachtenberg
Telephone (204) 940-9602 Fax No. (204) 944-8878 Counsel for the plaintiffs
TO: ANDERS BRUUN Barrister & Solicitor 239 Aubert Street Winnipeg, MB R2H 3G8
AND TO: TERRY BELHUMEUR 2020 Burrows Avenue Winnipeg, MB R2R 0Y8
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to control spending.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MARCH 3, 2010
Mr. HENSARLING (for himself, Mr. PENCE, and Mr. CAMPBELL) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to control spending.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within ten years after the date of its submission for ratification:
"SECTION 1. Total annual outlays shall not exceed one-fifth of economic output of the United States of America, unless two-thirds of each House of Congress shall provide for a specific increase of outlays above this amount. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government, except for those for repayment of debt principal.
"SECTION 2. The Congress may waive the provisions of this article while a declaration of war is in effect.
"SECTION 3. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
"SECTION 4. This article shall take effect beginning the fifth fiscal year after its ratification.".
To amend Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, so as to provide for the comprehensive regulation of federal tax funds; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative findings; to provide for definitions; to create the federal tax fund panel and provide for its members, operation, powers, and duties; to create the federal tax fund and provide for its operation; to provide for powers, duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of state officials and state taxpayers in connection with the forgoing; to provide for related matters; to provide for applicability; to provide for use of certain funds; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, is amended by adding a new chapter to read as follows:
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the 'State Authority and Federal Tax Funds Act.'
(a) The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that '(t)he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.' The General Assembly finds that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically stated in the Constitution of the United States of America and no more.
(b) The General Assembly finds that the federal government, its agencies or agents, or the United States Congress does not have the power under the Constitution of the United States of America to appropriate or otherwise expend funds for purposes that are outside the scope of the powers enumerated in the Constitution of the United States of America for the federal government.
(c) In light of the continuing unconstitutional federal expenditures, the state hereby reasserts its authority pursuant to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) 'Director' means the director of the Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services; (2) 'Federal tax' means any tax that a person in this state is required to pay under Title 26 of the United States Code; (3) 'Federal Tax Fund' means the escrow account created by Code Section 50-37-5; (4) 'Panel' means the Federal Tax Fund Panel created in Code Section 50-37-4; and (5) 'Person' means natural persons, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, and other legal entities.
(a) There is created the Federal Tax Fund Panel which shall consist of six members of the General Assembly, none of which shall be members of the State Bar of Georgia. Three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and three members shall be appointed by the President of the Senate.
(b) In even numbered years the Speaker shall appoint one of the members of the Panel as chairman, and in odd numbered years the Lieutenant Governor shall appoint one of the members of the Panel as chairman. Each person appointed as chairman shall serve for a term of office of one year and until that person's successor is appointed and qualified. Any vacancy occurring during a year shall be filled by the appointing officer for the remainder of the unexpired term of office.
(c) The Panel shall determine the percentage of all federal expenditures that are in compliance with the limits placed on the federal government by the states using the most recent data published by the federal government plus any additional information on other expenditures made but not disclosed by the federal government. No Federal expenditures shall be qualified for disbursement to the appropriate federal recipient from the Federal Tax Fund unless the use of those expenditures is made transparent to the Panel and to the members of the General Assembly for the purpose of certifying the constitutionality of said expenditures.
(a) The Federal Tax Fund is created in the state treasury. All federal tax moneys collected by the state on behalf of the federal government shall be deposited by the director into the Federal Tax Fund.
(b) The director, on a quarterly basis shall disburse the funds to the respective appropriate federal recipient provided that it has been determined by the Panel that all federal expenditures for the most recently published fiscal year were only for constitutional purposes. The percentage of federal appropriations that are in compliance with the limits placed on the federal government by the states in Section 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America, as determined by the Panel, shall be the same percentage of the Federal Tax Fund that the director shall disburse to the appropriate federal recipient. The remainder of the fund shall be withheld.
(c) Funds that the director withholds from each federal recipient plus any interest earned thereon shall be transferred quarterly from the Federal Tax Fund and deposited into the general fund for general use.
(a) Any person liable for any federal tax shall remit the tax when due along with the federal taxpayer number to the director for deposit into the Federal Tax Fund.
(b) All moneys collected pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall be transmitted to the director who, as a fiduciary agent, shall credit the funds to the Federal Tax Fund on behalf of the person who remitted the tax.
(c) The director shall submit to the federal Internal Revenue Service the names and tax identification numbers of, and the date on which and amounts deposited by, persons liable for any federal tax so that the Internal Revenue Service can credit the state's taxpayers for federal tax obligations.
Any person who is:
(1) Liable for any federal tax who fails to forward federal tax moneys to the director; or
(2) Not required to pay a federal tax but pays it anyway or does not forward the voluntary amount to the director;
shall be subject to penalties assessed pursuant to applicable federal or state statutes.
In compliance with the Oath or Affirmation clause found in Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of America, the Governor, members of the General Assembly, judges, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the director, the state auditor, and all other state officers and employees shall implement this chapter regardless of any sanctions, threats, court action, or other pressure brought to bear by federal authorities.
Any actions by the federal government, its agencies or agents, or the Congress of the United States against any person in this state for compliance with this chapter shall be considered an action against this state, and this state shall make an appropriate response to cause the action to cease and desist. This state shall take all necessary measures to recover from the federal government, its agencies or agents, or the Congress of the United States the reasonable costs of defending the action.
This chapter shall apply to federal taxes collected after the date on which this chapter takes effect, and, because the 'Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land,' [emphasis added], this article shall be enforced retroactively to repeal any unconstitutional federal mandates that have been imposed on the state.
The General Assembly, by simple majority vote in both houses, shall determine how the moneys transferred from the Federal Tax Fund to the general fund, including accrued interest, are to be used for the benefit of the people of the state. These moneys shall be used for the benefit of the people of Georgia only. Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit the General Assembly from authorizing all or a portion of the funds withheld from the appropriate federal agency be refunded to the federal taxpayers from whence it came and such refund shall not be considered a gratuity."
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is one of the most subtly horrific pieces of writing ever uttered. The single most chilling paragraph in a book that does not flinch from describing Nazi atrocities is this one:
On August 19, 1934, 95% of the Germans who were registered to vote went to the polls and 90% (38 million) of adult German citizens voted to give Adolf Hitler complete and total authority to rule Germany as he saw fit. Only 4.25 million Germans voted against this transfer of power to a totalitarian regime.
With this vote, the position of Führer as an amalgam of President and Chancellor — the elevation of Adolf Hitler to the status of dictator — was formally and democratically approved by the German people.
Hitler's program was not a secret; nor were the means he proposed to use. 90% of the people voted for Mein Kampf and the Nuremberg rallies and the repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles and Kristallnacht; the mandate was overwhelming.
Since I first published this essay, some people have cited Shirer to different effect, that Hitler actually gained supreme power by an act of the Reichstag on Match 23 1933, and was already dictator at the time of the 1934 elections. This is a quibble. The particular route by which Hitler was able to subvert the Weimar Republic's democracy is far less important than the simple fact that he was able to do so. In fact, accepting the argument that his coup was only supported by a minority of the German people would only make the conclusion of this essay sharper and more painful.
I do not find it surprising that establishment historians and political scientists have largely failed to confront these stark facts. For to do so would be to expose the shakiness of the assumptions that underly our own political system.
The Weimar Republic's 1934 elections wrote a grim and final epitaph for the theory that constitutional democracy is a reliable guardian of individual liberty, or even sufficient to prevent deliberate government genocide of its own citizens. The demonstration is given more point for Americans by the fact that the Weimar Republic's constitution was explicitly modelled on that of the United States.
The American form of constitutional democracy was invented by the founding fathers of the United States because all previous systems had been found wanting. The verdict of history since has agreed with Winston Churchill's epigram that democracy is a terrible form of government, but eight times better than any other.
But constitutional democracy itself is not proof against the short-sightedness and moral blindness of its own people. This is not a new insight; two centuries ago Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the book which effectively founded the modern study of history, found there its major theme.
What the willful self-destruction of Weimar Germany demonstrates is that the terminal instability of democracy is not a marginal or distant phenomenon. A modern, educated, civilized, and cosmopolitan people in the heart of the liberal West can — and will, at the behest of even a single, sufficiently skillful demagogue — surrender their liberty and condemn millions of innocent victims to mass death.
In doing so, it raises a trenchant question. If constitutional democracy has failed so catastrophically to solve the problem of government, what system possibly can?
No one has yet improved on Max Weber's definition of government as an organization claiming a monopoly on the licit first use of force in a specified geographic region. The question of good government reduces to this: who can be trusted to wield the first use of force wisely and morally?
We already knew that kings, priests, emperors, and autocrats of all kinds have failed this test, as have noble classes and other oligarchies. We know from the aftermaths of the French and other revolutions that the sovereign people, unchecked by constitutional restraint on their tribunes' use of force, can be fully as arbitrary and vicious as any tyrant.
The terrible lesson of Weimar Germany is that constitutional restraint doesn't work either. One does not actually need Weimar Germany to make this point; the history of the U.S. itself should be sufficient to demonstrate it, at least to anyone honest enough to admit that the Founding Fathers did not intend for us to suffer under the weight of a stifling regulatory bureacracy, a redistributionist welfare state, and the IRS. But Weimar makes a more persuasive example, because even those willing to defend the U.S. Government's escalating abuses of power will hardly defend Nazi Germany.
I struggled with this question for years after I read Shirer. It's one that throws all the central problems of politics and moral philosophy into simplifying relief. For reasonable men may differ on what positive goods governments should aim to secure for their citizens. Reasonable men may differ even on what sorts of catastrophe and deprivation governments should aim to prevent. But it is hard to see how any political arrangement that can condone the genocidal massacre of its own citizens can be considered acceptable or sane.
If no government is institutionally stable against the folly of its citizens, is ‘no government’ the only answer? Must we give up centralization of power entirely to prevent future Dachaus and Treblinkas? This is the anarchist prescription; if we cannot prevent all violence, at least we can deny would-be Hitlers the mass army, the machinery of state coercion, the social instruments of genocide.
The Founding Fathers of the United States thought they had found a way to successfully head off the degeneration of governments into pathological monstrosities: ensure that the people remain armed, and teach them that it is part of their duty as free citizens to check the arrogance of government — by threat of armed revolt or by actual revolution, if need be. Thomas Jefferson would have asked why the Jews and Gypsies of Germany allowed themselves to be disarmed by Nazi gun-confiscation laws without rising in revolt — and, more pointedly, why the soi-disant civilized nations of the world did not see the confiscation of civilian weapons as a sure harbinger of the Holocaust to come.
But, in the event, they were disarmed, and thus they had no recourse when the stormtroopers came to put them on the death trains. The fatal instability of constitutional democracy killed over twelve million people. And I see nothing intrinsic in the American system to prevent a future Holocaust. Especially not when many Americans seem bent on disarming their neighbors, and dismantling the very check that Jefferson and the other Founders were attempting to build into our system with the plain words of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
I am left with the bleak conclusion that no attempt to hold the arrogance of government in check will work — because a majority of the people themselves are too easily seduced into abandoning their own institutional protections against tyranny by the false promises and poisonous dreams of statist propaganda.
In the aftermath of the presidential election of 2000, a map of the United States was published in which the counties that had voted for Bush were colored red and the counties that had voted for Gore were colored blue. The result was striking: the "Blue counties" made up only a small fraction of the area of the United States, but they included roughly half of the total population. Outside of the Northeast, the map consisted mostly of a large expanse of red, interrupted by geographically small—but densely populated—urban areas. Note that although the original map showed the United States divided into red and blue counties, it has given rise to the terms "Red states" and "Blue states."
In what follows, I shall often refer to the Bush voters or sympathizers as Reds (although you may prefer to think of them as Republicans or conservatives) and to the Gore voters or sympathizers as Blues (although you may prefer to think of them as Democrats or liberals). Note that the word "Red" in this context has no implication of communist sympathies.
In recent weeks there has been a furor over the health care bill that was pushed through by the Obama administration. This is partly because its opponents feel it is an extremely bad bill: one which will not improve their health care, but instead will add enormously to the public debt. Even more disturbing than the contents of the bill, however, is the fact that it was passed despite the clear opposition of the American people. Every national poll for months had shown that the public did not like the bill; and in the weeks preceding the vote Congress had been besieged by letters, emails, faxes, and telephone calls from constituents, with the great majority opposing the bill.
Those who urged congressmen to vote for the bill did not pretend that the majority of the public was on their side; rather, they urged congressmen to be "courageous" and ignore public opinion. They claimed (correctly) that for Congress to blatantly ignore public opinion did not violate the Constitution. However, it did violate our traditions on the relation of the government to the governed. This is the first time in American history that a major bill has been forced through over the clear opposition of the public. Even if the law itself is beneficial, the manner of its passage was semi-tyrannical, and as a result the social fabric has been badly torn.
Many people believe that the passage of the health care bill will result in the Democrats losing seats in the Congressional elections this fall. That may happen; but even if opponents of the bill gain a clear majority in the House of Representatives, they will still not be able to repeal the bill. To do that would require large gains in the Senate (both this year and in 2012) as well as a GOP victory in the 2012 presidential election.
However, even if repeal occurs, it will not be enough. Repeal of the health care bill is highly desirable, but it will not avert the deeper dangers facing us. The "Blues" will continue their attempts to force their leftist programs on us; and, given the demographic factors (immigration and natural growth), they will eventually succeed and transform the country totally. The ideological gulf between the Blues and the Reds is simply too great, and the Blues are too intolerant and unwilling to compromise, for the type of society we desire to survive.
What sort of society are the Blues aiming for? Obviously, they do not all hold identical political views. By and large, however, most of them want the United States to become more like the "socialist" countries of Western Europe such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Holland.
- Most Blues strongly favor significant redistribution of wealth, partly by a steeply progressive income tax, and partly by other means.
- Most of them are internationalists and multiculturalists.
- Most of them are opposed to deporting (or removing by attrition) the millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States, and indeed wish to continue large-scale immigration of non-Europeans into the United States.
- Despite paying lip-service to the idea of constitutional government, the Blues never let the Constitution get in the way of policies they favor, but instead constantly interpret it to mean whatever they wish. Of numerous possible examples, here are four:
(a) Most of them strongly approve of the decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, a decision that overturned all existing state laws on abortion. (While one might believe that such laws were ill-advised, there is certainly nothing in the Constitution that prohibits them.)
(b) Perhaps even more extreme was the decision in Wickard v. Filburn (1942). Filburn was a farmer who had been fined by the government for planting too much grain on his land, thereby violating a federal law which had been passed under the auspices of the interstate commerce clause. Filburn pointed out that he had not sold the grain, but rather had used it himself, and that therefore his activity was not "interstate commerce." The court ruled against him, on the grounds that his non-commercial use of his own grain on his own farm "affected" interstate commerce, and therefore came under Congress' power to regular interstate commerce! By so greatly expanding the reach of the interstate commerce clause, the decision almost eliminated the restrictions placed on the powers of the federal government by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
(c) Most Blues seemed quite ready to push Obama's health care bill through by a vote "deeming" the Senate bill had passed without the House of Representatives ever taking a direct vote on the bill. (Faced with public outrage, the House leaders eventually backed down on this procedure, but not because they had any constitutional scruples concerning it.)
(d) The majority of Blues approve of the federal and state governments mandating racial quotas and preferences, even though such laws clearly violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
- Despite their claims of being opposed to racism (often expressed very sanctimoniously), the majority of Blues are, by our standards, blatant racists. That is, they strongly favor laws and policies—such as racial preferences and quotas—that deprive some persons of jobs, promotions, college admissions, and scholarships just because of their race. These preferences and quotas were first instituted in the mid-1960s and have gradually become more and more pervasive.
- Despite paying lip service to the notion of freedom of speech, in practice many of the Blues often favor censorship laws of various sorts, such as laws banning "hate speech," and repressive "speech codes" on college campuses. These speech codes—usually adopted by a vote of the faculty (typically a very "liberal" group)—provide a clear indication of the way most Blues view the right of free speech and what is in store for us if they triumph.
We don't want to live in a country dominated by such people, and we don't want to bequeath such a government to our children. For that matter, the Blues don't much like us either. Many of them consider us to be racists, religious fanatics, stupid, heartless, and corrupt. It is therefore time for a divorce. Just as a husband and wife with irreconcilable differences are often better off divorcing, so the Reds and the Blues would be far better off if we split into two separate countries.
2) The solution: partition the United States into two countries
If the United States were to be divided into two independent countries—one consisting of the counties that voted for Bush in 2000 and the other consisting of the counties that voted for Gore—then most of the Bush voters would wind up in the "Red country" and most of the Gore voters will wind up in the "Blue country."
One might question whether such a radical procedure is necessary. Could we not achieve our goals merely by convincing more people of the virtues of our policies and then winning some elections? No, such a plan might sound good in theory, but it is bound to fail in the long run because of demographic factors.
The central problem is that the ranks of the Blues are constantly being augmented by the mass immigration of non-Europeans. California and Illinois used to be swing states; but, as a result of immigration, Illinois is now a Blue state and California is a Democratic stronghold. Florida and Texas will follow within thirty years unless the flood of immigrants is halted. Even if immigration is halted, an amnesty for the illegal immigrants already here (a law strongly supported by the Democratic Party, and by many Republican leaders as well) will create an electorate in which the Republicans have little chance of winning. Even without amnesty, the children of today's illegal aliens will become voting citizens within fifteen or twenty years, with almost the same effect.
Indeed, even in the best-case scenario, in which we obtain a moratorium on immigration, and in addition manage to deport the majority of the illegal immigrants, differential birth rates will still be fatal to us within a few decades. The "Anglo" population (the majority of which are Reds) is not having enough children to reproduce itself, whereas the Hispanic population (most of whom are Blues) has a much higher birthrate and its numbers are increasing rapidly.
Actually, the best-case scenario seems improbable. It is unlikely that we will soon adopt a moratorium on immigration. Nor does it seem likely that most of the illegal immigrants here today will be deported: the chances are that most of them will eventually be amnestied. In the course of the next few decades, the political position of the Reds will become hopeless. If we wish our descendants to live in a free country we must secede before that occurs.
3) Will they let us secede?
At this point, even before presenting the details of the secession plan, it may be best to reply to the most common objection to it which, roughly stated, is: "The whole idea is hopelessly impracticable because the United States government will never permit us to leave. Liberals are far too fanatic, far too authoritarian, and far too convinced that their policies are the only just policies to ever let us secede and implement our "unjust" policies in a separate country."
Well, some of their spokesmen certainly sound that way; but in truth most of the individuals who vote Democratic are neither totalitarian nor fanatic. People like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, and Keith Olbermann are not typical of the Democratic voters. Many of the people who voted for Obama sincerely believed that he represented racial reconciliation and just wanted to show that they were not racists. Many who supported Obama's health reform bill did not do so because they are hard-line leftists, but simply because they are soft-hearted and like the idea of everyone receiving low-cost health insurance. Others support Roe v. Wade not because they like the idea of an intrusive federal government, but merely because they feel that the opponents of abortion are trying to force their way on everyone. Others who voted Democratic were responding to a feeling that Republican leaders have been corrupt and incompetent. For the most part, Democratic voters are not would-be Lenins or Stalins, but are honorable, peace-loving people who are in general willing to live and let live.
Furthermore, most Democratic voters have a pacifistic outlook and are generally unwilling to fight long, bloody wars. (Most liberal Democrats opposed the Vietnam War, and most of them opposed both of the wars in Iraq as well.) When conflicts arise, their instinctive reaction is to try to negotiate a peaceful compromise. Typical slogans are: "There never was a good war or a bad peace," "Jaw, jaw is better than war, war," "Arms are for hugging," and "Give peace a chance."
It is claimed that the crushing of the South's attempt to secede in the 1860s proves that such attempts must be futile. But the Southern secession would probably have been successful, had it not been opposed by as resolute and talented a leader as Abraham Lincoln. Furthermore, even though most Northerners wished to preserve the Union, Lincoln had a hard time sustaining public support for the war. Such support was strengthened in many minds (though weakened in others) by the prospect of ending slavery, a war aim which came to the fore with the Emancipation Proclamation, almost half way through the war. (And note that even Lincoln—as resolute an advocate of preserving the Union at all costs as any we are likely to face—delayed using force until the South made the foolish mistake of firing on Fort Sumter.)
Finally, if despite our attempts to avoid war it does come to actual fighting, the Blue country will be weaker and unlikely to prevail. Consider the advantages that the Red country would have:
- Its territory is far larger.
- It contains most of the mineral resources of the combined countries.
- It generates most of the electric power.
- It is self-sufficient in food, whereas the Blue country (and particularly the large metropolitan areas that contain a large part of its population) is not self-sufficient in food.
- More of our citizens are armed.
- The Red forces will have much higher morale, because they will be fighting to defend their liberties and their independence, whereas the liberty and independence of the Blues are not threatened by simply letting the Red regions leave in peace.
- Although the armed forces of the Blue country may be larger as first, they will constantly be plagued with defections, since most members of the armed forces are conservatives, and likely to sympathize with the Reds.
While in principle the Blue armies might invade the Red country, such a campaign will face serious problems in practice. Many of their soldiers will be reluctant to kill people who look like themselves and who mean them no harm. Do you think a general in the Blue army will order a unit to start shelling or bombing a city in the Red territory? And if he does so, will the unit commanders follow his orders, and will the troops under them obey?
A bit of recent history might be instructive. In December, 1989 there were large demonstrations in Timisoara against the Communist leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and he tried to suppress the uprising by force. For the most part, however, the Romanian soldiers refused to fire on the unarmed demonstrators, and the rebellion succeeded. The total loss of life was probably less than 1,000.
It has been asserted that the leaders of the Blue country will feel that they have to control the Red country for economic reasons, namely that the Red country contains the food and mineral resources that the Blue country needs. However, it will be obvious that they can obtain those goods by peaceful trade, as they do right now.
Finally, it is sometimes claimed that the American government will feel that it cannot permit any Red state or county to secede, since if a single such secession might result in the entire country falling apart. Again, an example from recent history might be instructive.
Lithuania had been an independent country between the two world wars, but it was swallowed up by the USSR in the early 1940s and organized as the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, in effect making it a province in the Soviet empire. In the late 1980s, a movement to regain national independence gained strength. Elections were held in early 1990, and in March 1990 the Lithuanian legislature took the bold step of voting to secede from the Soviet Union. Political analysts in the West unanimously predicted that the Soviet government would never permit Lithuania to secede. "The Soviet government is a dictatorship," they said, "and is unpopular in many parts of the Soviet Union. The rulers know that if they permit Lithuania to secede, then other provinces will be emboldened, and the Soviet empire might fall apart. Since the communist regime in control of the USSR has always been willing to act brutally to suppress any threat to its rule, there is no possibility that it will permit Lithuania to secede."
The reasoning seemed impeccable, but that was not the way things actually worked out. The USSR first tried an economic blockade of Lithuania. That did not bring Lithuania to heel. So in January 1991 they tried a military crackdown. That resulted in 14 Lithuanians being killed and about 700 injured; however, the Lithuanians still refused to back down. Perhaps fearful of world opinion, the Soviet government abandoned their attempt to crush the rebellion by force, and in August 1991 it recognized Lithuanian independence. It is worth remarking that Russia had 40 times the population of Lithuania, and even larger advantages in territory, troops, and military equipment, and that Russia had not suffered any military casualties in the fighting.
Does this prove that the secession of the Red states and counties is bound to secede, and that there will be almost no casualties? No, certainly not. All it shows is that we cannot dismiss the possibility of secession as an impractical idea that is sure to fail.
4) How will partition work: some details of the proposal
Since the two countries will be independent nations, each will have its own constitution. As the Blue country will simply be a continuation of the present United States of America with a reduced territory, it need not do anything in order to retain its present constitution.
The Red country, however, being a new country, will have to adopt a constitution. Therefore, it will need to hold a constitutional convention at an early stage. I would expect that the constitution that will be adopted will strongly resemble the present constitution of the United States of America, and will provide for:
- A federal republic, with powers divided between the central government and the states;
- A division of powers among the legislature, the executive, and the courts.
- A "Bill of rights" to protect the civil liberties of individuals.
- A procedure for amending the constitution.
Since the Red and Blue countries will be independent nations, each will have its own president, its own legislature, its own court system, and its own set of laws. (Provisionally, of course, the laws of the United States of America at the time of separation will remain in force in the Red country until superseded by laws duly passed by the new government of that country.) The Red country will arrange for its own flag, its own uniforms, its own diplomats, and its own currency.
In general, each person will be a citizen of the country in which he resides. However, provisions must be made for ideological Reds living in the Blue country at the time of the split. Three options will be available for each such person:
1. He can simply stay where he is and remain a citizen of the United States of America. No positive action will be required from him. The only "loss" that such a person has suffered is that it has become less likely that the federal government will adopt policies or programs that person favors.
2. The person can, during the period preceding the break-up, move to a location within the Red country and thereby automatically become a citizen of the Red country at the time of the split.
3. The Red country can also agree that any person who chooses to move to the Red country within a specified period after the split (perhaps one year) can become a citizen of the Red country merely by filing a sworn statement that he wishes to do so and is renouncing his citizenship in the Blue country.
4. If the person wishes to become a citizen of the Red country, but does not wish to move there, he would have to make a formal request to the government of the Red country, stating that he is prepared formally to renounce his citizenship in the Blue country if his request is granted. In such cases, the Blue country would consider him a resident alien, while the Red country would consider him a citizen residing abroad.
The same set of options would be available, of course, to ideological Blues who are living in states or counties that become part of the Red country. Note that no individual will be forced to move, or to sacrifice his property. Each individual will have voting rights in the country of which he is a citizen, but not in the other.
It is our strong desire, of course, that the two countries will live in peace with each other. We have NO desire to injure the Blue country. Quite the reverse: Even aside from general humanitarian concerns, it is greatly to our advantage that the Blue country—which will be our closest and most important neighbor—enjoys peace and prosperity. We hope and expect that within a few years of the break-up the two countries will be trading extensively with each other. They will export various manufactured goods to us, and provide us with various services; our exports to them will include food, minerals resources, electric power, and various industrial products. Most of this would be simply a continuation of the trade between the two regions that already exists.
A look at the map of the Red and Blue counties shows that many of the large metropolitan areas, although part of the Blue country, will be completely surrounded by Red territory. In all such cases, the Red country should permit freight between any two parts of the Blue country (for example, a train carrying goods from St. Louis to Chicago) to transit Red territory without any tariffs being levied. The same rule, of course, would apply to trucks, or to freight transported by air.
In return, freight originating in the Red country could pass through ports located in the Blue country without being subject to any Blue country taxes. Such shipments would be subject to the ordinary port fees that shipments of American goods had to pay, but no higher. The same would be true for shipments from other countries to the Red country: They could pass through ports in the Blue country without paying import taxes, although they would still have to pay the same port fees that goods being shipped to or from the Blue country incurred.
Each country will, of course, make its own rules on immigration and citizenship. It is to be anticipated that the Red country will severely limit, or prohibit altogether, immigration from Third-World countries such as Mexico. If such immigration really is beneficial, those benefits will therefore accrue solely to the Blue country.
We can also anticipate that the Red country will probably decide to deport, or persuade to leave by means of law enforcement, all or most illegal immigrants residing in its territory, and to end the automatic granting of citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. (Such persons will not be stateless: they will automatically be citizens of their parents' country.)
A related question involves persons already living who were born in the United States, but whose parents were illegal immigrants. In my opinion, such persons were never entitled to American citizenship, and therefore should not be granted citizenship in the Red country even if they happen to reside there now. No great hardship is involved, since such persons are already citizens of their parents' country, and in addition the Blues consider them citizens of the United States as well. In any event, most such persons reside in the Blue country.
Each country will automatically acquire public lands and structures in its own territory, but military hardware will be divided between the two countries.
5) Replies to some common objections
Obviously, there is no room in an article of this length to reply to every objection that might be made to a partition of the United States into two sovereign nations. However, I shall attempt to supply answers to the most common objections. It should be remembered that this would hardly be the first time in history that a sovereign nation was partitioned, and, except where relations between the two countries were markedly hostile, the practical problems involved always got worked out pretty easily.
One possible objection is that neither country will be self-sufficient economically. However, most countries are not self-sufficient. Certainly the United States of America is not: we currently import large amounts of petroleum in order to fuel out cars and trucks. The Red and Blue countries will handle this problem the way most nations do—by peaceful trade with countries that have the things we need.
Another objection is that the Red and Blue countries, if separated, would be much weaker militarily than the United States of America is now. I dare say they would be, but each of them would still be much stronger than any other country in the world, or any plausible combination of foreign states.
The United States Air Force is much, much stronger than that of any other nation, and any reasonable division of it will leave the Red and Blue countries with the two strongest air forces in the world. Likewise, our current navy is enormously more powerful than that of any other nation. Our army might find it difficult to "build democracy" in other nations. However, when it comes to the classic tasks of an army—killing people and breaking things—our capability is unmatched. Furthermore, none of the nations bordering us has strong armed forces. All this is without even taking into consideration our enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Another problem concerns those persons who live in the Red country but work in the Blue country, and vice versa. How will they be treated? Can they retain their jobs? To whom will they pay their taxes?
To begin with, we should remember that this problem only affects a smallish minority of workers. At present, the large majority of Americans either live and work in the same county, or live in one county and work in another county of the same "color." The most common exceptions involve people who live in a big (Blue) city and work in a nearby (Red) suburb. However, this occurs less frequently than you might suspect, since many of the "bedroom suburbs" surrounding big cities vote Blue. For example, all five suburban counties adjacent to Washington, DC voted for Obama by large margins, and he carried all the suburban counties surrounding New York City.
In those cases where an individual lives in the Red country and works in the Blue country he would have to obtain a work permit from the government of the Blue country and to carry adequate identification. In such cases, if the usual rule were followed, he would pay income taxes to the Blue country on the money he earns there.
But could not the two governments cause him trouble if they wanted to? Yes, they could, but they usually don't. Of course, the individual could avoid such problems by changing either his residence or his job; but that would usually not be necessary.
Another objection concerns the question of border crossings. Would visas be necessary? Wouldn't guarding the borders between the two countries be cumbersome and expensive? Well, are visas necessary today to travel between the United States and Canada? One would certainly have to carry adequate ID, but—as long as relations between the two countries are friendly—that would probably be all that would be required.
What would "adequate ID" consist of? The simplest solution would probably be for both countries to issue identity cards to each of its citizens. The notion that this is a "fascist" practice is ridiculous. Most democratic counties—including Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland—have been doing this for a long time. Nor is it a major nuisance: most of us already carry identification with us such as driver's licenses or credit cards. Identity cards will have the added advantage of making election fraud more difficult.
What about visas? These would normally be unnecessary, except possibly at border crossings close to high crime areas, and maybe not even there. Even at such places, it might be sufficient to merely check a person's ID card.
But wouldn't this leave the door open to illegal immigration? Well, I expect that the Blue country will be swamped by illegal immigration, since liberals show no taste for the measures that are needed to prevent it. But the Red country (which we can tentatively refer to as the "American Federal Republic," or AFR) can prevent it, and I expect that they will:
- Merely checking people's identity cards will prevent would-be illegal aliens from just walking or driving across the border at regular crossing points.
- Would-be illegal aliens can be deterred from sneaking across the border at other points by enforcing significant criminal penalties against persons who do so (in addition to, not instead of deportation).
- Depriving illegal aliens of all government benefits, such as the right to collect social security, will be another deterrent to their entering. So will a rigid policy of denying them driver's licenses, or any other licenses or permits.
- Enforcing significant penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants will dry up the supply of jobs which lures them here and will encourage those already here to leave voluntarily.
- Finally, most would-be illegal immigrants, seeing how much easier and safer it is to try to enter the Blue country, will avoid the more dangerous action of attempting to sneak into the Red country.
It has been suggested that, since the ideas and programs of the American Federal Republic (the Red country) are so different than those of most other nations, other countries will intervene to destroy it by economic warfare such as boycotts, embargoes, or blacklisting. This seems fanciful to me: If decades of such economic warfare by the Arab states failed to destroy tiny little Israel, how could such activities seriously threaten the American Federal Republic, which will be a large, rich country with abundant natural resources? Nor does it seem likely that many individual countries would be willing to make serious economic sacrifices in a (probably futile) attempt to damage us. Various other countries need our mineral resources and our agricultural products, and virtually all of them are constantly trying to increase their exports, so as to be able to pay for the imports they need.
Finally, it has been suggested that a separation from the Blue states, even if achieved, will only provide a temporary solution to the problems threatening the Red states and counties: In the long run we will still be swamped by immigration, we will be unable to balance our budget, or even to avert fiscal catastrophe, and we will lose our will.
That could, of course, occur (and is likely to happen to the Blue country). I suspect, though, that as the citizens of the American Federal Republic see what is happening to the Blue country, their resolve to defend their borders and control immigration will increase, rather than decrease. The Blues might tax and spend so recklessly that they destroy their economy: the Reds are less likely to do so. I also think that a people with the gumption to secede—and with a pride in its own heritage and accomplishments—is not so likely to lose its will to survive.
6) Why not divide up the present United States by permitting only entire states to secede?
Several people have suggested that since counties have never been sovereign bodies, it would be more reasonable to permit only entire states to secede from the United States of America. Although at first sight that may seem reasonable, on more careful consideration it appears that such a substitute plan would have grave disadvantages.
Perhaps the greatest of these is that in many of the seceding states the Blues would comprise a substantial minority of the population. For example, in the election of 2000 (the source of the original Red-Blue map), Bush received only about 53 percent of the vote in Louisiana, 56 percent in North Carolina, and about 59.5 percent in Texas (a state which he carried by more than 1,300,000 votes). His percentages in several of the other states he carried—such as Missouri, Ohio, and Florida—were much lower still.
Consequently, most of the states in the American Federal Republic would include a large number of people who had been included in that country against their will, and would therefore be disgruntled. Even if they chose to become loyal citizens of the new republic, they would continue to vote against the reforms that conservatives feel are desirable. (In like fashion, many states that remained in the Blue country would include a large number of disgruntled citizens who would continue to oppose and obstruct the policies that the liberals wanted.)
On the other hand, if dissident counties were allowed to secede, then the number of such unwilling citizens of the Red country would be greatly reduced. Most of the Red counties have very large conservative majorities, thus enabling us to make the reforms that are needed, and also giving us the advantage of a relatively homogenous and unified population. The forcible inclusion of large numbers of disgruntled liberals in our new country would give us a larger population; but far from making us stronger, would make us weaker.
Another disadvantage of permitting only entire states to secede is that the Red country would thereby lose a significant fraction of its population, as well as about half of its territory.
7) How do we get from here to there?
Consider how our founding fathers proceeded in the 1770s. After several years in which grievances against the current government (the British crown) were discussed, followed by the Boston Tea Party and the subsequent crackdown on Massachusetts by the British government, they proceeded to call a Continental Congress, with delegates from most of the states present. The first Continental Congress assembled in 1774, but met for only a few weeks. The second Continental Congress assembled the following year, and it was that body that, a year later, adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In similar fashion, after preparing the way with various discussions, articles, and conferences, we might assemble a new "Continental Congress," with delegates from all states in which there is substantial interest in leaving the union. After due discussion, this Continental Congress will draft and approve a new "Declaration of Independence."
It is probably best if the new Declaration follow the format of the one adopted in 1776. Indeed, as much as possible, it might be wise to copy the wording of the original Declaration, with its ringing phrases familiar to Americans today. Even so, we should not expect more than a few states to sign the declaration.
The provisional government of the new republic should promptly invite other states to join it. In addition, the American Federal Republic should make it plain that if any county in one of the seceding states wishes to remain part of the United States of America we will not stand in its way. Correspondingly, if a county in a state that has declined to join the AFR wishes to secede from that state (and from the USA) and link up with the AFR they will be welcomed.
Since it is important that the American Federal Republic function as a constitutional republic, one of the first things the AFR should do is to hold a constitutional convention. We anticipate that the resulting document will be similar to the present American constitution, but not identical.
Now it is easy for any individual to make up a list of changes that he or she thinks would improve the present constitution, but far harder for a group of us to agree on the specific changes. Since an attempt to make many changes in the present constitution will cause a long convention, and we need a functioning constitution quickly, it would be advisable for the constitutional convention to make only a few essential changes but to add a section providing that another constitutional convention to be held within five years. Among the important changes that might be made at the first convention are:
- Adding a provision stating that the new constitution should always be interpreted in accordance with the meaning that it had at the time it was adopted — thereby preventing it from being distorted by future court decisions, as has happened to the American constitution.
- Adding a clause to Article I, Section 8 of the constitution, specifically authorizing Congress to maintain a system of regular payments to senior citizens — in other words, Social Security. (Without such a clause, opponents will claim that we are trying to surreptitiously make Social Security unconstitutional.)
- In like fashion we should add a clause to Article I, Section 8, specifically authorizing Congress to maintain a medical insurance program for senior citizens (in other words, Medicare, or something like it).
- We should also add a provision specifically stating that abortion is a matter for the individual states to deal with, and that the federal government has no authority to forbid, mandate, or regulate abortion.
Once a constitution has been adopted, the new republic should proceed to elect a Congress and a president, and at that point judges and cabinet officers can be selected. Only then will the new republic be ready to pass new legislation, including important laws regarding immigration and citizenship.
At every stage of this process we should avoid resorting to violence. It might be that at some point we are attacked and have no choice but to defend ourselves, but under no circumstances should we initiate military action. Even if we are attacked, we should delay striking back, but should instead try to negotiate a peaceful compromise.
It will be important, of course, for the American Federal Republic to have a treaty with the United States of America. Since it is of great importance that the two countries be on friendly terms, in negotiating that treaty, we should bend over backward to be fair to the other side.
At this point, a sympathetic reader might reasonably say, "This proposal sounds good, but what can I do now to help it come true?" Well, you can:
- Help build up support for the program by discussing it with your family, friends, or other associates.
- Organize or join an organization that is working to further our goals.
- Contribute money to such an organization.
- Organize or attend conferences to discuss possible problems and tentative solutions, and also to improve our plans.
- Do NOT engage in any violence.
As we do this, leaders will emerge and we will gradually discover how to proceed next.
8) The aftermath of separation: Will we prosper?
This is really two questions: Will the new American Federal Republic (the Red country) prosper? And will the remaining portion of the United States of America (the Blue country) prosper? Let us consider the latter question first.
We certainly hope that the Blue country will prosper. The American Federal Republic will be much better off if its principal neighbor—the United States—is economically prosperous. Fortunately, the remaining portion of the United States will have all the material assets that help to produce a prosperous country.
As the majority of the industrial output of the USA today is located in the Blue counties, after the split-up the remaining part of the USA will have a substantially larger industrial output than the new American Federal Republic. Furthermore, since the United States currently has far more than twice the GDP (Gross Dometic Product) of any other country, after the split-up it will still have a higher GDP than any foreign country, even such industrial powerhouses as Germany, Japan, or China. It will also have military forces far stronger than any plausible (or even implausible) combination of enemies.
The territory of the USA will of course be less than it is now; but with more than 600,000 square miles it will still be one of the larger countries on Earth. Furthermore, the value of that territory is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is crisscrossed by a network of railroads and superhighways, and the fortunate circumstance that virtually all of it lies in temperate climates. In addition, it will include an unmatched set of great natural harbors (such as those of New York and San Francisco) and port facilities.
The Blue country (the remaining part of the USA after the departure of the Red counties) will probably start with a population of somewhere between 150 million and 200 million. Furthermore, most of those people are literate, and a large number have very valuable job skills. In addition, the Blue country will enjoy all of the supposed advantages of diversity.
Since most of the most prestigious universities in the United States — indeed, in the world—are located in the Blue country (schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Caltech), the stripped-down USA will still contain the most remarkable group of scientists and scholars in the world.
The Blue country will also wind up with the majority of the leading cultural centers (such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York), as well as a majority of the leading hospitals, and almost all of the great museums.
In addition, it will include Wall Street—which, despite some recent reverses, is still the world's leading financial center—as well as the aircraft and motion picture industries (which provide a sizable portion of our overseas earnings).
Last, but certainly not least, it will include a working constitution, and a complete set of government institutions (including the federal courts, the various federal agencies, and a group of experienced personnel to run them) that have been built up under that constitutional framework.
Therefore, the Blue country certainly could prosper; however, it is not certain that it will. History shows that a country can have all the obvious material requirements for success, and yet still do poorly. Intangible factors such as ideology, partisanship, and leadership sometimes prove more important than territory, climate, natural resources, factories, or education. The Blue country will have, in exaggerated form, all of the political problems that plague the United States today:
- A large number of citizens who favor leftist economic policies
- Large numbers of welfare recipients
- Large numbers of criminals
- Ethnic groups that mistrust each other
- A superabundance of diversity in language, race, and religion.
I therefore suspect that within a few decades the Blue country will fail badly. I may be wrong, of course, and certainly hope that I am. However, even if my prediction is correct, the Blue country will still be in control of its destiny, and therefore able, at least in principle, to modify or reverse ill-advised policies and again become prosperous.
At first sight, it might appear that the Red country—the new American Federal Republic—will face greater difficulties than Blue country. It will have far less industry, almost no ports, and will lack the great universities (with their assembled scientific talent) that the Blue country has. Furthermore, it will lack the "diversity" that most Blues believe is necessary for success in the modern world. A more careful analysis, however, suggests that the American Federal Republic is likely to prosper:
With an area of perhaps 2,500,000 square miles, it will be one of the largest countries on Earth, with the additional advantage that most of it will enjoy a temperate climate. As its territory includes most of the food-producing parts of the present USA, it will be self-sufficient in food and will probably have a large surplus for export. It will also include the lion's share of America's mineral resources, enabling it to meet most of its own needs and also to gain foreign exchange to pay for needed imports.
Even more important will be its human resources: about 150 million persons, mostly literate, hard-working, and with useful job skills. Furthermore, since most of the high crime areas in the USA today are in the big cities, the Red country will have a markedly lower crime rate than America does today. For the same reason, it will also start with a smaller fraction of its citizens on welfare.
Another feature that will help the American Federal Republic to prosper is that the great majority of its population is devoted to the idea of living in a constitutional republic and that they favor a constitution that protects vital civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press. (None of the countries in Europe has as profound a devotion to those rights as we do.) Furthermore, our population is experienced in the actual practice of democratic government, rather than just liking the general idea.
Still another advantage that the American Federal Republic will start with is that most of its citizens are proud of our heritage. (In contrast, many of the Blues are ashamed of their heritage, and keep apologizing for their past.) Furthermore, most of the citizens of the AFR strongly favor free enterprise and will resist any conversion to a socialist state.
In addition, the AFR will have the inestimable advantage of starting out with a relatively homogeneous population. As Publius wrote in 1787 in the Federalist Papers (see paragraph 5 of paper number 2, probably composed by John Jay):
Providence has been pleased to give this ... country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs ...
Actually, Jay was overstating his case somewhat. There were actually three quite different groups living within our borders at the time. Only by ignoring both the black slaves and the Indian tribes could he call us "one united people." The white Europeans that Jay was referring to comprised less than 80 percent of the total population at the time.
Today, fortunately, we have eliminated the blight of slavery. And while non-Hispanic whites are only about 70 percent of the population of the present United States, they will constitute about 85 percent of the starting population of the American Federal Republic (because the large majority of American blacks and Hispanics live in the Blue country), giving the AFR more homogeneity than the United States had when the American constitution was drafted. Actually, the situation is even better than those figures imply. Virtually none of the American Indians or black slaves had been assimilated when Jay wrote, whereas many of the Blacks and Hispanics living in the Red counties today have been assimilated.
The American Federal Republic will therefore, in its most important attributes be similar to what the United States of America was in the late eighteenth century. It may start out with fewer factories than the Blue country has, and have far fewer museums and libraries, and less prestigious universities (just as the early United States had fewer factories than England, fewer museums and libraries, and no universities that could rival Oxford and Cambridge). But factories can be built, and museums and libraries can be founded, and our colleges and universities, unhampered by quotas and preferences, will acquire better students and better faculties than the established universities in the Blue country. Just as the United States flourished after gaining its independence, and built a "shining city on a hill," so—with courage and determination—can we.
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