Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Key answers critics and naysayers

The Tenth Amendment Center's newly inaugurated weekly podcast show has already featured such notables as Gary Marbut of Montana gun rights fame, and constitutional scholar and historian, Prof. Rob Natelson. Both interviews were well conducted and very informative, as I've mentioned in previous entries.

This week's guest on the show is Ok. Republican Rep. from district 90 (lucky dogs!) Charles Key, who is considered by some to be the founder of the modern tenth amendment resolution movement, among other notable achievements which we won't get into here. Indeed, though Mr. Key doesn't seem much inclined to toot his own horn, and he, accordingly, doesn't mention it in the interview, I'm pretty sure that he actually introduced a version of our tenth amendment resolution during his first stint in the Okla. House of Representatives back in 1990s. Of course he was way ahead of his time then. Besides, Oklahoma's legislature was then controlled by liberal democrats even though the people of the state were then (as well as now) by and large conservatives. But we've rectified that little situation, and Charles Key, thank goodness, is again representing the good people of his district.

Do go over to the Tenth Amendment Center and listen to the interview, though. It's only about 20 minutes long, and Key answers the critics and the naysayers who musn't have anything better to do than to critize the tenth amendment movement as being "ineffective," "just a resolution," "not really serious," and so forth and so on. Recall also that after the Oklahoma legislature overrode the Governor's veto of the measure, Key answered the question of whether secession might be in the cards basically by saying that Oklahoma will not dismiss any option available to us. And he's damn sure right about that.

9 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

What are these "other steps"?

If the officers of the government have overstepped their lawful bounds, and refuse to step back, then by what authority do they any longer claim to govern?

They can claim only the authority granted by the coercive force they may bring to bear. They are nothing but armed criminals, intruding in the affairs of the people.

When your home is invaded by robbers who threaten death and mayhem on you should you fail to comply quickly with their unlimited demands, you have a choice to make. You can choose to comply or you can resist. But what manner of fool, choosing to resist, will resist with nothing but declarations of the criminality of what the robbers do?

That is the last, pathetic refuge of one who is helpless to either resist or comply. When the robbers, having taken everything, demand what you no longer have to give them, and you have no other means to defend yourself, then you resort to pleas for reason and justice. To what avail? They have already set aside such concerns in deciding to become robbers. You beg for mercy from the robber because you have no other possible recourse, not because there is even the slightest hope of success.

When a person transgresses innocently, it is well to call attention to the fact of transgression rather than resort to force or ignore it. One who asks why something is not permitted deserves some reply. As long as words are sufficient to regulate behavior, they should be employed.

But with those who have proven themselves willing to do what they will no matter what you or the law may say, there is no sense in appeals to law or reason. Will a sieve bear water the second time you try it? Or the third, or the tenth, or the thousandth?

You have satisfied, long since, the requirement to explain to the officers of your government that they are violating the laws of your nation. They have long since ceased to fear your words because those words are invariably followed by compliance with their lawless demands.

You. Must. Resist.

Either that, or cease your protests.

Terry Morris said...

Chiu, we are resisting. These tenth amendment resolutions, the TEA rallies, denials by certain states of the power of the federal government to regulate gun ownership, nullification on "Real ID", etc., these are all steps being taken by the people by themselves, and/or through their agents, the state governments. There is a process to this, a process that we've already been through before in our history, both duing the years prior to the revolution and the civil war.

and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves...But whenever a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,...

That's what this movement is all about. What do you think the DoI was but the final declaration in a long string of declarations, proclamations, resolutions, remonstrances, marches and other public gatherings and acts of resistance, and so on? And some of the "other steps" are laid forth in the tenth amendment resolutions themselves wherein 'committees of correspondence' are resolved to be formed to communicate and document abuses of the federal government between themselves and the federal government...

chiu_chunling said...

The fundamental difference is that the Declaration of Independence was, in and of itself, real and final noncompliance with the demands of the pretended laws. The temporal difference is that what the founding fathers considered a "long train of abuses" was only ten years long, marked by real resistance to every abuse.

Of course, I am being intemperate. But that is not the entire issue. I'm also concerned that people not forget that resisting the demands of pretended law requires actual violation of those demands.

chiu_chunling said...

Well, my post on TAC seems to have been eaten or something. So in answer to the last question you asked there, I'm not really sure what a "free-stater" is, as you use the term.

I'm just someone who takes seriously my personal commitment to being a law-abiding citizen of whatever nation will accept me. I regard active cooperation in criminal or treasonous enterprises incompatible with that commitment. And I don't much see the point of trying to negotiate with those who have proven that they cannot be trusted to uphold an agreement.

When they come for me, I will treat them as the dangerous criminals have proven themselves to be. I have held this position for some time now. What has changed is that the time has come for others who believe their government to have degenerated into a massive criminal conspiracy to do the same. When there was still any safety to be had in compliance with the demands of the lawless, I begrudged it to none who chose it.

But now there is no more safety.

chiu_chunling said...

Since I'm still not able to post to the thread over at TAC, I thought I'd post my response to JMB's observation that "it doesn't get much more serious" here.

Actually, it gets quite a bit more serious, and rather quickly. But I think I get what you mean. For what it's worth, I support the state sovereignty movement...morally, anyway.

I recently came across a Wikipedia page on voter turnout that contained the following rather stupid claim.

"[Voter turnout] causes a difficulty for rational choice theory, in that it seems that a rational individual should not vote.

"The basic formula for determining whether someone will vote is

PB + D > C

"P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election, and B is the perceived benefit of that person's favored political party or candidate being elected. D represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting itself. C is the time, effort, and financial cost involved in voting. Since P is virtually zero in most elections, PB is also near zero, and D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C."

Apparently, whatever genius thought up this equation didn't notice that governments forcibly extract vast sums of money from the populace and then spend that money on favored groups. In America, B can reach into the trillions of dollars (plus little things like not being killed by terrorists or keeping one's rights among other things). That means that the value of an individual vote would have to be pretty low to not be worth thousands of dollars in political leverage.

And of course, people don't vote as individuals, they vote in a cooperative (usually coordinated) effort with millions of other voters attracted to given candidates. These "rational choice" geniuses might have noticed that their theories can't explain any cooperative effort where an individual cannot accomplish anything alone...like moving a piano (okay, some people can do that alone, but it's a lot harder). A few thousand (or million) people voting as a bloc can have a huge influence on an election (as an Asian, I get regular emails explaining this to me...the problem is that they come from an uber-left group determined to make the U.S. subservient to Communist China).

I don't want anything to do with those Beijing #@(*er's, and that includes their puppets in D.C. (my birthplace, incidentally).

I guess the point of all this is that...most people don't know the half of how far things have actually gone. Most people don't want to know. Heck, I don't want to know, but I do. The people who have taken control of America's government are not going to play nice with you. They won't play fair. They are, in point of fact, not playing with you at all.

Yes, speak out. But understand that words are not enough unless you have the means to back them up. Gadsden (as Franklin explains) chose the rattlesnake as a symbol not merely for its rattle, but for its bite. Without the bite, the rattle is nothing.

With this, perhaps you'll agree that I have rattled on long enough.

Terry Morris said...

If you don't know what a "free stater" is, then you definitely are not one. A free state(er) is someone connected to the "Free State" movement. Generally libertarians.

Anyway, do you think you've been banned from posting at TAC? If so I think it would be a shame, not just because of your unique perspective, but because it would set a precedent that I think wouldn't be good at all for a variety of reasons there isn't space enough to get into here. But as Michael pointed out, he really believes tha a 'velvet revolution' is the only path to liberty. Well, he's going to learn better than that over time I'm afraid. But I guess that is youth for you. What else can I say?

chiu_chunling said...

I don't seem to have been banned, I was just having difficulty posting. My second post did show up eventually. It's also possible it was a short term IP block...though the point of something like that escapes me.

I'm not part of the "Free State" movement, though (as my previous post indicates) I'm aware of the principles involved. The fundamental disadvantage of their movement is that they are trying to do honestly and legally what others are already doing secretly. Even though most of this influence is used on the national stage, enough of it is targeted on particular "swing states" to ensure that a group like the Free State Movement is always going to be chasing a moving target (which would be the case anyway, but oh well).

The term "velvet revolution" is itself quite interesting in its etymological implications. It derives from the idea of ruling with a "velvet glove", which implies an iron fist inside. Which is to say, the light touch of the velvet is itself soft and provokes no discomfort. But the force behind that touch is clearly irresistible.

That is the key behind any "velvet revolution". If it is not obvious that resistance is dangerous as well as futile, then there is no disincentive to resistance. If the former rulers do not fear what might happen should they fail to willingly cede power, they will not go quietly.

Unfortunately, the same principle has worked on the other side. Americans have suffered a long-term "velvet revolution" towards socialism. But their handlers are not satisfied with socialism, they want communism. The velvet glove, a web of regulations where no individual regulation seems too onerous by itself, has frayed under the strain of dramatic, rapid change.

That is all to the good, the first step towards liberty is to flinch at slavery. But if you let yourself flinch from all that now stands between you and freedom, it would have been better to submit quietly.

Terry Morris said...

Well, maybe there's some kind of 'monitoring' of your posts going on over there. I couldn't say, but it seems likely given their extreme bias against 'violence talk.' A term that seems to be inherently wrought with real eloi style problems to me, but anyway.

chiu_chunling said...

Well, I can certainly understand the reluctance. As the government has grown more intrusive, it has multiplied and sharpened its tools of intimidation as well. Most Americans today take it for granted that the state is nearly omnipotent. And, most of the time, most of them are comfortable with that idea.

For the last generation or two, mass media has consistently propagated the idea that only the most privileged criminals ever get away with crime, while only select minorities ever get railroaded by the system. This despite the fact that the vast majority of crimes in every category remain unsolved, while actual cases of persons proven to have been wrongly convicted are overwhelmingly ordinary citizens with no connection to any minority of the week.

And that doesn't even touch the core of the enforcement issue. Police are human, like anyone else. They balance the risks and benefits of what they might do on the job. That's not just 'bad' cops, it's everybody who has to do a job without infinite resources or totally comprehensive orders.

If conservatives make themselves low risk targets by consistently complying with police demands, no matter how illegal, while progressives and leftists actually resist and punish any interference with their activities...what can any reasonable person expect? Yes, most cops would rather bust real criminals and scumbags, all other things being equal.

But if independence minded citizens aren't willing to actually resist unlawful infringement of their rights, all things are not equal. Should law enforcement officers put justice and the Constitution above personal convenience and safety? No doubt.

No doubt.

But if humans consistently did as they should we wouldn't need police or laws in the first place, would we? One must reward good behavior, and punish bad behavior. Someone who does what they know to be wrong because it's easier than doing what's right may not be displaying a selfless pursuit of evil, but who does these days (aside from myself)?

The first American patriots took up arms against tyranny and gained a nation. Today's patriots expostulate about liberty with their hands in the air and have all but lost theirs.

Still, while the choice was still between captivity and battle I thought not to counsel anyone else. But the situation has changed, and the old rules no longer apply. If Americans are to survive at all, they must do so as a free people.

Part of me envies you that chance of freedom. A larger part simply hopes you live. And no part of me is willing to comfort you with falsehoods.