Let Me Spell This Out

Big Left has been chanting about “reforming” the Senate again.

Rep Phillips summed up a chanting point we’ve heard from the likes of Tina Smith and Nancy Pelosi:

Let me spell this out for the benefit of Democrats: the US is not – or is not supposed to be – a government with all significant power centralized at the national level, like the UK or France. It’s a federation of states – the United States, a group of independent and interdependent mini-nations joined in a federation with limited, enumerated powers.

Among the primary reason to enumerate and limit those powers? To prevent the most populous states from dictating national policy to smaller states.

It’s why we have a House of Representatives to directly represent The People, and a Senate that represents the interests of States; to check and balance the interests of both sides.

This enumeration of powers, and limits on those powers, is called the Constitution. The Constitution is very closely analogous to a contract.

And when you breach a contract, the law – well, a just legal system – offers relief to the parties to the contract. Including the dissolution of the contract.

Abrogating the Senate’s ability to check and balance the majority and act in states interest is a breach of contract, and grounds for dissolving the Union.

Prove me wrong.

NOTE: If your answer is “the question ‘can we secede’ was settled in 1965”? No. Two reasons:

  • It was settled in 1776.
  • If the contract is null and void – and it will be – then there’s no union to secede from.

F*** around and find out.

It’s Not Us. It’s You.

This nation has two choices, if we’re to remain a nation (or, potentially, a viable society).

One of them – by far the most radical and traumatic – is secession; from individual states, and maybe from the US itself.

(And no – that wasn’t “settled in 1865” any more than it was settled in 1776. It’s only “illegal” when the secedees have the will to bring the secessionists to heel).

Big media is noting one, fairly welll established, such movement, in greater Oregon:

In the summer of 2015, a chimney sweep in Elgin, Oregon, redrew the map of the American West. “Imagine for a moment Idaho’s western border stretching to the Pacific Ocean,” Grant Darrow wrote in a letter to the editor of his local paper. Rural Oregon, he insisted, should break its ties with the urbanites of Portland and liberals of Salem, and join Idaho. “The political diversity in this state is becoming unpalatable,” he argued. “Rural Oregonians in general and Eastern Oregonians in particular are growing increasingly dismayed by the manner in which Oregon’s Legislature and Oregon’s urban dwellers have marginalized their values, demonized their lifestyle, villainized their resource-based livelihoods, and classified them as second-class citizens at best.”

In the half decade or so since Darrow’s diatribe, a simple and outlandish idea, percolating in rural Oregon since the 1960s—what if we were just Idaho?—has grown into a grassroots secession movement. Last month, Harney County, in the high desert of eastern Oregon, became the state’s eighth to pass a nonbinding ballot measure supporting Darrow’s proposal. Move Oregon’s Border signs now dot the region’s empty highways, and Mike McCarter, a retired agricultural nurseryman and gun-club owner who runs a group pushing for the boundary reshuffle, travels the state in a bright-red trucker hat bearing the slogan. “We don’t care to move, because we’re tied to our land here,” he told me recently. “So why not just allow us to be governed by another state?” He mentioned a supporter so certain that her property will become part of Idaho that she already flies its state flag on her lawn. “We’re going to be Idaho,” she told him.

The movement has passed in nearly every county in which it’s gone to the ballot. As the article points out, it seems unlikely the Idaho legislature will accept the new border (which would drive Idaho’s western border to the Pacific – much less Oregon’s California-lite legislature full of unicorn-chasing feebs.

Let’s see – urban lotus-eaters, out of touch with and imposing their dystopian vision on the rest of the state, from a riot-torn city full of people who love central planning? Sounds familiar.

The second option – getting serious about Federalism, checks and balances, and enumerated, divided power, again – would be hypothetically simpler. And, sometimes, I think it would lead just as quickly to mass secession, as Big Left decided to hit the exits.

Open Letter To Governor Scott Walker

To:  Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconson and current #1 on my short list for President in 2016
From:  Mitch Berg, Irate Peasant
Re:  The Evil In Your State

Governor Walker,

As you are aware – since it’s been used against you – your state has a cranny in its law that allows prosecutors (inevitably “progressives”) to use the police to simultaneously harass and gag the subjects of their politically-motivated “investigations” (inevitably conservatives and tea-partiers).

For the family of “Rachel” (not her real name), the ordeal began before dawn — with the same loud, insistent knocking. Still in her pajamas, Rachel answered the door and saw uniformed police, poised to enter her home. When Rachel asked to wake her children herself, the officer insisted on walking into their rooms. The kids woke to an armed officer, standing near their beds. TOP STORY: Ted Cruz Defends His Defense of the Second Amendment The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer.

And for a  nice, Stalinist tinge to the whole thing?

And, yes, there were the warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about this. Don’t tell your friends. The kids watched — alarmed — as the school bus drove by, with the students inside watching the spectacle of uniformed police surrounding the house, carrying out the family’s belongings. Yet they were told they couldn’t tell anyone at school. They, too, had to remain silent.

Governor Walker – if you want to seize the “liberty” high ground from Rand Paul, I urge you to use the full weight of your office against the public officials responsible for these Stalinist atrocities.

Your state’s “progressive” thugs in suits are doing Orwell proud:

  For dozens of conservatives, the years since Scott Walker’s first election as governor of Wisconsin transformed the state — known for pro-football championships, good cheese, and a population with a reputation for being unfailingly polite — into a place where conservatives have faced early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping. Yes, Wisconsin…was giving birth to a new progressive idea, the use of law enforcement as a political instrument, as a weapon to attempt to undo election results, shame opponents, and ruin lives.

Oh, the court system is wending its leisurely way toward a decision, surely enough:

The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the “misconduct” being investigated isn’t misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights. The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers. 

I’m going to hope and pray – and maybe find something more tangible to do – that the courts involved haven’t given in to complete madness, and that this whole criminal enterprise is exposed, humiliated and obliterated.

And so, Governor Walker, I’ll ask you this:  if the courts rule against the scumbag prosecutors (and if they don’t, I truly despair for the Republic), I’d like to urge you to make examples of these pieces of human garbage.  Arrest them in no-knock raids early in the morning; haul them out of their houses, in their underwear, in front of news cameras (and if Wisconsin’s chickensh*t liberal major media won’t cover it, give the conservative alt-media a call).  Have the trials on camera.   If they’re found guilty – and they’d best be – then stick them in the most maximum of maximum security.

Because if there’s anything worse than breaking the law, it’s perverting it.  And the sooner America’s Brahmins, the Prosecutor class in “progressive” cities, get the message – and the more brutally it’s rammed home until they do – the sooner this country can maybe start achieving some of that “Freedom” and “Liberty” mumbo jumbo.

That is all.

The S Word – Redux

Why keep political divisions, just for the sake of tradition?

Here’s a video about the proposed “State of Jefferson” – the move by rural Northern California to secede from the rest of the state:

This, and the secession movement in Colorado – and the fallout either or both could bring – could be the best thing to happen to this nation in decades.

The S Word, Part V: Realigned

 In the previous installment of this series, we discussed the idea that the word “no”, in hands of a free consumer, is the most powerful idea in the world

With a simple “no”, free people have brought monopolies that defied government’s gnarliest efforts to their knees. 

With a series of simple “nos”, free people with free choice have forced business to get faster, more nimble and responsive and…

…not necessarily “smaller”, but much less ponderous.  In a world full of companies who are trying to get a world full of people to “yes”, the Eldorado goes to first place; second place is the set of steak knives.  We all know who gets third.

Politics, of course, is the one area where people’s ability to say “no” is subsumed to the will of not so much the “majority” as “the minority that best accretes the monopoly on power to itself”.  Which is, of course, why government is so big, slow and stupid. 

Now, as we established in the first part of this series, if Americans could say “no” to each other, many of them would.  If US citizens could “spin off” fellow citizens who don’t match our long-term strategy the way a company CEO spins off a division that isn’t fitting in with the enterprise’s long-term strategy, many of us would do exactly that.

The Creatively Destroyed Union:  The rest of the world – everything from Microsoft to the USSR is breaking into smaller, more sustainable pieces.  It works because existing business models have become obsolete – where “obsolescence” is defiend as “people are saying no to them, and “yes” to other things”

 Why not same for nations?

The Best And Worst That Can Happen:  What might make sense?

Viewed from a high level the “United” States of America seems to have broken into five different nations in all but name and tax code.

The various parts, for my purposes, will use the names I give them.  Call ’em “working titles”. 



The United States of Krugmania (Blue):  The northeast part of the country would likely gravitate, socially and economically, toward the European social democracies that it’s been aping – and getting the rest of the country to ape – for the past 100 years or so.  The new country’s main exports – unemployable grad students, grievances and mainstream media – will provide an excellent income for the few people who will be able afford to be citizens. 

The South (Red): Pro-law-and-order, not above using big government to enact policy (usually social, sometimes economic),but otherwise generally pro-business, The South is already well-placed to be the part of the country to which the Northeast and the  United Dudes (see below) outsource their manufacturing. 

The United States of the Great Lakes (Brown):  Rust-belt states with, frequently, rust-belt policies (Scott Walker’s Wisconsin notwithstanding), the USGL may be politically schizophenic – but it makes sense economically.  Provided they don’t mind paying for Detroit and Chicago. 

Real America (Gray):  Rolling in energy wealth, blessed by its libertarian leanings with little government overhead, RA will be an export powerhouse. 

The United Dudes Of Existence (Yellow): With an economy focused on entertainment, water resale and alternative therapeutics, the UDE’s tax rates may approach 100% – but how about that weather?


Well?  Would it be any worse than what we have?


The S Word, Part IV: Creative Destuction

Throughout this series, I’ve referred to Kevin Williamson’s year-old classic, The End Is Near And It’s Going To Be Awesome.

In it, Williamson – perhaps the best political-philosophy writer doing business today – notes that politics is the worst possible means to allocate resources among a population, in large part because politics, alone among life’s institutions, is immune to evolution.

Politics never evolves – or does so slowly, and only in response to political, rather than market, pressure.

It’s as if a species of animal governed its genome by committee – changing and evolving and mutating not in answer to nature’s stimuli, but according to decisions made by committee.

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The S Word, Part III: Baggage Full Of Red Herrings

So as we discussed in the first two installments, there are plenty of reasons Americans aren’t enamoured with each other these days.  There really are two Americas – one that believes that the road to all good things leads through government, and one that pays at least lip service to the idea that we’ve a free association of equals and that our government operates by consent of the governed.

We’ll come back to that.

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The S Word, Part II: Our Fathers’ House

Years ago, a bunch of people I’ll call The Original Bloggers wrote:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Or at least impel them to think about it.  I mean, we’re just thinking, here…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–

Let’s talk about Liberty.  The NSA is snooping on your phone calls.  The IRS is selectively sandbagging the First Amendment.   The federal and state governments are attacking the First Amendment (FEC regulations, sueing businesses that don’t recognize gay marriage on First Amendment freedom of religion grounds, placing gag orders on politicized investigations). You don’t even have the freedom to pick a healthcare plan that works for you anymore.  Your Fourth Amendment rights are out the window if someone tells the cops you might have traffic-sized lots of pot in your house; your property can be forfeited even if you’re never convicted.  The Tenth Amendment is effectively a dead issue; the Feds can claim absolutely anything is their jurisdiction ever since FDR turned the Commerce Clause into the dominant statement in the Constitution.

They’ve even started walking over the Third Amendment, for crying out loud.

So then what?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Let’s emphasize; just powers.  By consent of the governed.

The powers that the US Government is exercising are – to say the least – flirting with unjust.

Says me.

…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

If you’re a blue-stater, you no doubt believe that Red America is engaged in a war against Choice.  We want to impound your Lady Parts, or something.   The Tea Party wants to force you into a national church.

And if you’re a red-stater, you know that the apparatus of government, from the IRS scandal to Secretary Napolitano’s McCarthyistic “Enemies Lists” made up of pro-lifers, tax protesters and Second Amendment activists, are the stocking feet that warn of the jackboot aimed at your throat.

Decision Point:Here’s the key to the whole thing.  It may be the most important part of the Declaration of Independence.  Read it twice.

 Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

So do the “abuses and usurpations” rise to the level of “evincing a design” that invokes our “right and duty” to reboot the American experiment the government America hires to defend the borders and plow the streets?

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Usurpations: Time has rendered some of the listed injuries and usurpations obsolete – but others still ring true, to people on both sides of the aisle.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

Any Second Amendment supporter that’s ever played “find the roaming hearing” at the Capitol in Saint Paul knows how this works.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners

If you’re a Blue American, you may feel this way.

If you’re a Red American, you might think He has done the opposite; refused to prevent the population of the states by the un-naturalized.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

Homeland Security, anyone?

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

I’d say the current militarization of the police and Federal law enforcement, and the ritual abuse of property forfeiture laws, certainly qualifies.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

And giving the police and prosecutors immense power, especially at the federal level, to make jury trials mere formalities.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

Lefties; testify!

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

That’s not an especially absurd way to describe the gutting of the Tenth Amendment and the ballooning of the Commerce Clause.

Distant, Arrogant, Unresponsive:  So no matter what part of our society you’re from, there’s something to complain about.  And if the Presidency and Congress change hands, the left will no doubt return to their complaints apace.

But they all sound basically the same.  Our society is hobbled by the tyranny of people who just aren’t like us.

If you’re a Blue American, you no doubt wonder how much better a nation this would be if it weren’t held back by all those god-bothering, bitter, gun-clinging fat white Jeebus freaks that clog fly-over-land.  Indeed, the left fantasizes about it – from Paul Krugman’s dissociative fantasies disguised as NYTimes columns, to Seth McFarland’s “What if Algore had won?” episode of Family Guy.

And if you’re a Red American, you no doubt see the nation you love being turned from a representative democracy into an bureaucratic oligarchy; morphing from a “free association of equals” into a hierarchical, top-down society run by, for, and in the image of a self-appointed caste of brahmin elites that care nothing for society outside the Beltway or between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre, but need to control it anyway.

So – why are we still together?

More next Tuesday.

The S Word, Part I: We’re Just Not That Into Each Other Anymore

It’s said that America is the most polarized it’s been in history.

It’s not true, of course; the stretch from the 1890s into the Depression features some very stark social battle lines.  The 1828 election was kinda contentious.  And you might recall we fought a Civil War once upon a time.  Ken Burns even did a documentary about it.

In the past, we’ve fought – usually more or less civilly – amongst ourselves over a lot of things.  Slavery was a big one.  Approaches to federalism – and yep, that question usually manifested itself in re slavery, for the first fourscore and seven years of our nation’s existence – were a common squabbling point.  I suspect it was the topic of the year for the Debate team from 1777 to 1864.

And from the end of the Civil War until the Depression, the gulf between the Haves and the Have Nots was big.  Much bigger than it is today, even after five years of Obama exacerbating it for the benefit of his plutocrat pals.  No, seriously – no contest.

Of course, the different parts of this country have differed in the past – so much so that two of them spent four years fighting the bloodiest war in American history.  The contention?  Federalism, economic rivalries, whatever – they all tied back to slavery, one way or the other.

And in each of those conflicts – once the noxious legacy of slavery was extinguished – there was a general agreement; underneath it all, we were undertaking a valid national experiment.

As in “national”, meaning “everyone in the nation”. 

I wonder, sometimes.

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