The Future of Limited Government

by Jeff Wartman

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.Jacob Hornberger.

Every four years, voters in the United States are given a choice between two major party candidates in the Presidential election.  We are often told that either of these candidates are the “mainstream” candidates and if you want your vote to count, you need to choose between either one of the two major party candidates who have a “chance” at “winning”.

However, for true supporters of limited government and personal liberty, this is often a choice made in vain.  If you truly believe in a limited, decentralized government which protects both economic and personal liberties and rights, during most elections there isn’t a major party candidate that will generally fit your values.  You have a choice between the Democratic Party, of which too many members wish to violate your economic rights and liberties, and the Republican Party, of which too many members wish to violate your personal rights and liberties.  This is not a judgment of individuals in either party.  Most individual members are doing what they think is right.  This is a judgment on those than run the major parties.

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Starting from Scratch

by William E. Morris, DelawareOnline.com

The infamous $700 billion bailout is a symbol of the incompetence of big government. It results from previous government actions that have caused a recession, and threaten a depression. The bail-out to the risk we already had of severe inflation and a financial catastrophe.

What if we started over to design a government from scratch a government that really worked for us?

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States Rights in the Pollution Debate

by Greg Heller, The Holy Cause

Does the “liberal” Obama respect the Constitution more than the “conservative” Bush?  From the Contra Costa Times:

After months of battling with the Bush administration, California may be close to getting permission from the federal government to set its own standards for tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to grant the state a waiver to impose the tough new standards after he takes office in January, reversing a decision by the Bush administration that infuriated environmentalists.

“Obama has said very clearly he would permit California to move forward and enforce its greenhouse gas standards for cars, so we expect that the Bush administration’s policies will be reversed in short order,” said Frank O’Donnell, executive director of the environmental group Clean Air Watch.

… If Obama approves the waiver, the implications will reach far beyond California.

Eighteen other states already have adopted or are in the process of adopting California’s standards. The waiver would clear the way for them to impose the tougher standards as well and would force auto manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles nationwide.

… EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced last December that he had decided against issuing the waiver because California did not have “compelling and extraordinary conditions” to set its own standards.

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Let states decide on medical marijuana

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy, makes the point pretty clear in this letter to the Sheboygan Press:

While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug.

If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and it helps them feel better, then it’s working. In the end, medical marijuana is a quality of life issue best left to patients and their doctors.

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Random Thoughts On Secession

by Logos, Unlawful Government

One of the arguments I frequently hear against secession is that the Constitution never mentions this right, so the right must not exist. Assuming for a moment that the rules of a political system control whether a group of citizens may cease participating in that system (a notion that contradicts the Declaration of Independence), how exactly does constitutional silence disprove secession?

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Unlimited Government

By Jeffrey R. Snyder, Fee.org

The federal government was supposed to be limited to a few defined powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution- “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” -confirms it.

The federal government, of course, does not at present respect its constitutional limits. The chief culprit, in this regard, is the massive social legislation and regulatory apparatus enacted under Congress’s constitutional authority “to regulate Commerce . . . among the several states” (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3).

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Constitution? More of a “Guideline” Really

by History Matters, Church v State

The title of this post is loosely taken from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:
“…the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules”

Readers of my posts here will know that I think the courts often get very far from the original intent of our Founding Fathers when they wrote the U.S. Constitution. There is a process for changing the Constitution (i.e. amendments), and that power is not supposed to be just in the hands of a handful of justices or a single judge, nor is it supposed to be in the hands of the legislature along.

The new “Bail-Out Bill” that just passed is a good example of losing sight of the basic theory of the Constitution. The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to “ensure the economic well-being of Americans.” Well, I certainly with for all Americans to have economic well being, but the Federal Government was not originally empowered to do that so directly.

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Feds violated 10th Amendment. Again.

As It Stands by Dave Stancliff/For the Eureka Times-Standard

A landmark decision for all Californian’s quietly made history on August 20th in a Santa Cruz courtroom.

For the first time since 1996, when the Compassionate Use Act was passed, the federal authorities have been charged with violating the 10th Amendment for harassing medical marijuana patients and state authorities.

The case of Santa Cruz vs. Mukasey, was heard by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel, who said the Bush Administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by Santa Cruz city and county officials, and the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), wasn’t going to happen.

In a recent telephone interview with Alan Hopper, an ACLU counsel familiar with the case, I asked him what came next?

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Leave the Drinking Age to the States

“The federal government should stop trying to do everything, which it doesn’t do well, and start doing, and doing better, the few tasks that only it can handle,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.

“For instance, Uncle Sam has become a nanny-state, telling us what we can eat and how old we must be to drink. More than 100 university presidents have called on Washington to reduce the drinking age of 21. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong, but this isn’t a job for Congress. It should be the decision of the 50 states, which have very different histories, traditions, and views of such issues.”

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