Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Interstate Commerce

NRA Moving from Defense to Offense

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 31, 2017:

For eight long years the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, along with similar groups such as the Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), largely been playing defense. The anti-gun executive orders spewing from the pen of former President Barack Obama, the anti-gun media seizing upon opportunities to promote its agenda thanks to crazed killers committing atrocities, the push to ratify the UN small arms treaty, and more have kept pro-Second Amendment groups such as these back on their heels.

No longer. Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s national spokeswoman, told The Hill on Monday:

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The Humane Society and the Price of Eggs

The article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, December 24, 2014:

 

Thanks to the Humane Watch team, it is now known what the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is doing with its members’ contributions: just one percent goes to support those pet shelters. Local humane societies, despite having a similar name, are not affiliated with HSUS at all, leaving it free to invest in its extreme animal rights agenda.

After reviewing its 2013 tax return, Humane Watch learned the following:

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Egg Wars Raising Prices and Constitutional Issues

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 23, 2014:

 

It didn’t take long for the unintended consequences of the passage of Proposition 2 in California in 2008 to show up in the marketplace as well as the courtroom. 

Although the elimination of “basket cages” to house hens on egg farms in California was not to be fully implemented until January 1, 2015, the consequences were already evident in 2010. The California legislature passed an ordinance requiring that all eggs sold in California come from farms where “egg-laying hens … be confined only in ways that allow [them] to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.”

This was part of the “animal rights” agenda already in place in the European Union that established the “Five Freedoms for Farm Animals” originally proposed by animal rights groups in the United Kingdom in 1965 and implemented by the EU in 1999. 

As William Jasper noted in a recent article for The New American on this issue, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) now reflects the animal rights agenda and was a major force behind the push to pass California’s Proposition 2. 

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Senate Majority Leader Reid Fast Tracking the Internet Sales Tax Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided last week to push through Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi’s bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act, so that it bypasses any committee debates and thus can be brought to the floor for a vote immediately. A vote on Enzi’s bill, s. 743, is expected this week. The Wall Street Journal noted that in his haste to get the bill to the floor for a vote,

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More on the internet sales tax

Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint just resigned from the Senate to become head of the Heritage Foundation. I read his book Saving Freedom and understood better why he was a Tea Party favorite. He certainly was one of mine.

Pressure to pass a law allowing states to collect sales taxes from non-residents simply because they purchased something online is building and DeMint’s response to it is interesting:

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Ann Coulter’s True Colors

English: Commentator and author at CPAC in .

English: Commentator and author at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the most part I enjoy reading Ann Coulter’s columns. True, sometimes she is over the top with her vitriol, but most of the time her targets deserve it.

But her column today betrays her. She makes two mistakes immediately – two incorrect assumptions in my view – and comes out with the inevitable wrong conclusion: Romney is our man!

Assumption number one:

The single most important issue in this election is ending the national nightmare of Obamacare.

If Obamacare if not stopped, it will permanently change the political culture of this country. There will be no going back. America will become a less productive, less wealthy nation. What wealth remains will have to be plowed into Obamacare — to the delight only of the tens of thousands of government bureaucrats administering it.

Has she been away? There is credible persuasive evidence that the slide – the push – into socialism began in 1887 when President Cleveland signed into law the Interstate Commerce Act. Others say it began in earnest under

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The “Necessary and Proper” Clause Needs Reigning In

Mike Rappaport: The Necessary and Proper Clause

Since the New Deal, progressive constitutional lawyers have argued that the [Necessary and Proper] Clause provides an additional step, or two, or three, beyond the enumerated powers of Congress.  Moreover, they have also argued that Congress’s judgments about these matters are entitled to great deference.  Both of these arguments have won favor in the Supreme Court.

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was my privilege last week to spend time with Professor Rob Natelson, referred to by Mike Rappaport in his article, in considering the impact of the recent decision on Obamacare in relation to the Necessary and Proper Clause’s new restrictions in that decision.

Natelson was one of the first constitutional scholars to blow the whistle on Obamacare’s unconstitutionality, and was understandably disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold the mandate on the flimsy grounds of it being a tax and therefore it is ok.

What Natelson did, however, was express his delight in the court’s reining in, after lo these many years after Wickard v. Filburn was decided in 1942 that Roscoe Filburn’s raising wheat on his farm for his own personal consumption somehow impacted interstate commerce. He called it a “signal accomplishment” with which he personally had much to do. In his brief to the court Natelson spelled out, clearly and persuasively, that the Wickard decision was wrong, and the court’s majority bought his argument.

Natelson uncovered a clear exposition on the matter, a pamphlet written by one of the founders, Josiah Quincy, and Rappaport quoted Natelson’s comments on it here:

Perhaps the most interesting part of the pamphlet illustrates why, as has been documented extensively, the Founders understood the Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18) to be a mere recital, and not an affirmative grant of power to Congress. At that point, Quincy was discussing the Boston Port Bill’s requirement that the Town of Boston reimburse the East Indian Company for the tea tossed into the harbor. Quincy pointed out (page 18-19) that it would be illegal for Boston to pay the Company, because another Parliamentary statute limited Town expenses to “maintenance and support of the ministry, schools, the poor, and defraying other necessary Town Charges.”

“Will any now say,” Quincy wrote, “that the monies appointed to be paid to the East-India [Company], come within the words of ‘necessary town charges?’ When did the town contract the debt, or how are they subject to it?”

This is perfect. The Necessary and Proper Clause has been conveniently stretched out of all proportion to meet the goals of the Supremes in the past to expand greatly the power of the central government. This recognition by the present court is a watershed moment. It’s too bad more light hasn’t been shed on the subject.

President Obama Pokes the Supreme Court … Again

First Floor at the Statute of John Marshall in...

President Obama, commenting on the judicial review being undertaken by the Supreme Court on his premier signature legislation, ObamaCare, challenged the court to uphold his law or be considered “activists” legislating from the bench. Said the President:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. I guess I would remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. For an unelected group of people to somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law is a good example of that, and I’m pretty sure this court will recognize that and not take that step.

This isn’t the first time the President has directed barbs at the Supreme Court. During his State of the Union address two years ago he looked down on the Justices seated below him and said their recent decision on Citizens United opened the “floodgates” to unlimited independent election spending.

This time the President’s use of the words “unprecedented,” “extraordinary” and “unelected” elicited howls of protest from observers such as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who responded that “It would be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t like is ‘activist.’ ” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) joined in, saying he was “disappointed” by the President’s warning:

It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional; they do that on a regular basis, so it’s not unprecedented at all.

What is unprecedented is…the president of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court.

Even the Wall Street Journal excoriated the President over his remarks, chiding him that he “needs a remedial course in judicial review.” How could the President, allegedly a constitutional scholar and professor at the University of Chicago and president of the Harvard Law Review, not remember the pivotal case, Marbury v. Madison, decided 209 years ago and considered as perhaps the singular landmark case in the history of law? That case helped define the constitutional boundaries between the Executive and Judicial branches of the fledgling republic and was the first time in Western history that a court invalidated a law by declaring it to be unconstitutional. As noted by the Journal:

In Marbury in 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall laid down the doctrine of judicial review. In the 209 years since, the Supreme Court has invalidated part or all of countless laws on grounds that they violated the Constitution. All of those laws were passed by a “democratically elected” legislature of some kind, either Congress or in one of the states. And no doubt many of them were passed by “strong” majorities.

The decision specifically ruled that “Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 is unconstitutional to the extent it purports to enlarge the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court beyond that permitted by the Constitution. Congress cannot pass laws that are contrary to the Constitution, and it is the role of the Judicial system to interpret what the Constitution permits.” [Emphasis added.] In writing the unanimous decision, Chief Justice John Marshal said, “The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws and not of men…”

Judge Andrew Napolitano made much the same point in this Fox News commentary:

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul also weighed in on the matter by reminding his readers that not only should the Supreme Court

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The Panic of 1893: Boosting Bankers’ Money and Power

Caption said: "MR. J. PIERPONT MORGAN, WH...

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Junius Morgan was, at best, a third-tier English banker in the 1850s, who was fortunate to have had a hand in a number of lucrative financings, mostly for industries seeking seasonal financing. His conservative nature was partly a cause of his lack of distinction. He’d inherited a substantial sum when his father died and was exceedingly careful when risking any part of it. One of the maxims Junius instilled into his son, John Pierpont Morgan, was, “Never under any circumstances do an action which could be called into question if known to the world.”

The two first-tier international banking families were the Baring Brothers and the Rothschilds. Barings financed the Louisiana Purchase and the French indemnity payment after Napoleon’s loss to the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. So influential was Barings that the Duke of Richelieu commented:

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President Grover Cleveland: the Democrat Who Vetoed 300 Bills

U.S. President Grover Cleveland.

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Prior to serving two non-consecutive terms as President of the United States (#22 from 1885-1889 and #24 from 1893-1897), Grover Cleveland’s reputation for “obstinate honesty” actually served him well in politics.

In the early 1880s the political machine in Buffalo, New York, was a finely-honed mechanism of organized looting by both Republicans and Democrats. In 1881, however, the Democrats sought to gain significant advantage over their Republican partners in crime by

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Anti-Gun Zealot Nominated to Head ATF

ATF logo

Rather than wait for the new Congress to be installed in January, President Obama decided to press forward for the Senate confirmation of Andrew Traver for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). As pro-Second Amendment scholar David Kopel pointed out, “The Second Amendment had a great night on [election day]. Across the nation, the right to arms is stronger than ever, and the stage has been set for constructive reforms in 2011. [In the] U.S. Senate: The net result of Tuesday was a gain of +6 votes on Second Amendment issues…. In not a single U.S. Senate seat did the gun control lobby gain ground.”

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Despite Kagan, Public Knows Little About Supreme Court

Cover of "The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Sup...

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Now that Elena Kagan has been confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court following several weeks of highly publicized hearings, the public remains poorly informed about the Court’s role. And even what is supposedly known is contradictory. Pew Research Center’s latest New IQ Quiz, which was conducted in early July, revealed that “an overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter…yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about key government policies.”

For example, barely one in four of those surveyed was able to identify John Roberts as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Pew goes on to say, “young people fare particularly poorly on political knowledge.”

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Railroads, Robber Barons, and Unbridled Capitalism

Steam locomotive O k (O d )

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When Matthew Josephson wrote The Robber Barons in 1934, he tipped his hand as to his personal prejudice against the capitalists of the late 19th century:

Besides the young men who marched to [the Battle of] Bull Run, there were other young men of 1861 whose instinctive sense of history proved to be unerring. Loving not the paths of glory they slunk away quickly, bent upon business of their own. They were warlike enough and pitiless yet never risked their skin: they fought without military rules or codes of honor or any tactics or weapons familiar to men: they were the strange, new mercenary soldiers of economic life.

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The Breakup of Ma Bell

Southwestern Bell logo, 1939–1964

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Ten years into the 20th century, the United States citizenry were still enjoying the afterglow of a remarkable generation of economic growth, innovation, and expansion.

Popular interests consisted of going to the movies, doing the Tango, and reading the Saturday Evening Post. A hands-off President, William Howard Taft, was in the White House, and people were enjoying clever inventions such as traffic lights, the refrigerator, and the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone on March 7, 1876, but initially it was considered no more than a passing novelty. In fact, Western Union passed up the opportunity to purchase the Bell patents for $100,000.

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Attack on John Birch Society Backfires

John Birch Society

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The recent article in Politico.com by Charles Postel hinting at “dark forces” influencing the Tea Party is another in a recent and growing series of unsuccessful attacks on The John Birch Society. Rachel Maddow’s attacks on the JBS were exposed when she issued falsehoods and innuendos last December, and Karl Rove gave the back of his hand to the Society in a recent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.

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Can ObamaCare Be Repealed, Nullified?

Repeal ObamaCare

Image by NObamaNoMas via Flickr

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has earned a “Freedom Index” rating of 90 percent in the current Congress to date, has introduced a bill in the House to repeal ObamaCare. In her press release, Bachmann reminded her constituents that “the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG. Taken all together, [with ObamaCare] we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.” Bachmann said that it “will do nothing to spur economic growth … [but] will serve only as an obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.”

Her bill is simplicity itself:

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Free Markets, Deregulation, and Blame

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Free markets, in the full sense of the phrase, exist only in the minds and imaginations of free-market economists from the Austrian School, such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

The classic definition is simply a market without intervention or regulation by government. In truth, commerce in any developed country is always controlled to some extent by government. A free market requires the right to own property, which means that the wages, earnings, profits, and gains obtained by providing products and services to others belongs to the individual generating them. The assumption is that an individual with this kind of freedom would only make an exchange that gained him a benefit.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.