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"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous
 sea of Liberty."
 -- Thomas Jefferson

Why do we submit to the law?

We can't run very fast. We have no sharp teeth or claws. Long ago it became obvious that it was in humanity's self interest to ban together for our mutual security. We each give up a small amount of personal freedom, for the greater good of the whole. That is the basis of the social contract.

As citizens, our responsibility is to uphold the laws of government. The government, in turn, also has obligations. The bare minimum of those obligations are to protect the majority of people from enemies both foreign and domestic. What enemies do we wish to protect ourselves from? At the very least hunger, disease, invasion by hostile forces (external security), and threats to our self-governance (internal security).

So how are we doing in that respect? Lousy.

We all but wiped out hunger in the US shortly after the Kennedy administration (ended 1963), but the government intentionally reintroduced it in the Reagan administration to drive down worker wages. What is left of our health care system is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Foreign NGO's have been invited by the Supreme Court to financially manipulate campaigns and thus our government. Internal threats to self-governance are too numerous to recount here, and in any case the Supreme Court has abandoned all pretense that this was a democracy and officially ruled the US a plutocracy.

We are in essence living in a failed state. Just because I am writing about the US, don't think your country is doing any better. Most of the Western world is in the same boat.

Other articles have detailed the complex road we took to get here. That is not the purpose of this series. This series discusses how we get out.

Specifically, how to tell our government “No!”

Is This the Government You had in Mind?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt, 'This Is My Story,' 1937

At 5:00 am, on a cold April morning, armed state troopers and U. S. Marshals amass outside Rainbow Acres Farm, Pennsylvania. It is the culmination of a year long sting operation involving undercover agents purchasing contraband from the owner, Dan Allgyer. The payments were mailed to him or left at a drop-off point in Ziploc bags. Mr. Allgyer had the temerity to deliver the illegal substance to the agents across state lines in nearby Maryland, not once, but twenty-three times. Before the day is over, the authorities confiscate Mr. Allgyer's product and shut down his operation.

In conservative Wisconsin, they take a dim view of such crime. Not only is this substance confiscated but one of the perpetrators is prosecuted for withholding information about his customers.

On the other side of the continent, four law enforcement officers draw their weapons. They burst into an unlocked facility in Venice, California to find seventeen coolers stuffed with contraband. The operation is coordinated with a raid of nearby repeat offender, Sharon Plamer. Twenty agents swarm Palmer's facility for the third time in eighteen months, confiscating her black-market merchandise.

“I still can’t believe they took our yogurt,” a Rawsome volunteer told the L.A. Times. “There’s a medical-marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they’re raiding us because we’re selling raw dairy products?”

Yes, you read that right...milk. Dan Allgyer is an Amish farmer running community supported agriculture that produces fresh, whole, unpasteurized milk. Some of his customers travel over a hundred miles just to get this product. Sharon Palmer runs a CSA producing raw goat cheese.

The FDA is acting under a new law that provides “farm to table” control of food safety. It allows detentions, access to farm records, mandatory recall authority, and enforcement actions that don't involve a pesky judge or courtroom. They argue they are protecting us from contaminated foods. This seems rather hard to swallow, given the year spent investigating an Amish farmer saw billions of contaminated eggs, peanut butter and beef consumed in this country with 9 deaths and 22,500 illnesses. Names implemented in the outbreaks included Cargill and Nestles.

Mike Adams with Natural News points out, “The real reason why the FDA opposes raw milk is because Big Dairy opposes raw milk. Just like Big Pharma, Big Dairy has worked very hard behind the scenes to steer FDA policy in its favor. And according to some recent reports, Big Dairy is one of the primary forces trying to eliminate raw milk because it threatens the commercial milk business.”--Dan Vogelsong

The last outbreak from milk was in 1985. The milk in question was pasteurized and approved by the FDA. Critics of the government's behavior think they are wasting tax payer money conducting sting operations, raids and prosecutions on small farmers making a product that knowledgeable adults want to buy. I agree. So do 10 other state legislatures, that have made it legal to buy and sell raw milk, Pennsylvania and California among them. The FDA sights federal law supremacy in raids on producers in those states.

Is this the federal government you bargained for? Do you feel safer knowing your tax dollars went  to raid an Amish farmer? Finding coop members who drink raw milk? When did minor agencies of the federal government get the power to overturn the will of The People of an entire state? Should the federal government be allowed to override the state laws and dictate what people put in their bodies? Would you feel differently if the product I was talking about was marijuana?

Checks and Balances:

The Tenth Amendment of 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.--Wiki

The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution:

This 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; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.--Wiki

In the Federalist Papers, Madison and Hamilton both argue that the Supremacy Clause was necessary to unite the states and make the government whole. They argue that states carried as much independence as they could give them, without making them sovereign nations onto themselves. The federal government was only “supreme” as it pursued the Constitution and its Amendments, thus striking a balance between these two seemingly conflicting statements.

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the
 federal government are few and defined. Those which are to
 remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
 -- James Madison, the Federalist Papers, No. 4

The Supreme Courtdeclared for itself the right to interpret the Constitution. In case after case, the Supreme Court, part of the federal government, has favored the Supremacy Clause over the Tenth Amendment.

It is not shocking that given the right to decide which law reigns supreme, the federal government favors its own law over the states on all occasions. But if the federal government (Supreme Court) gets to decided in each instance who gets the balance of power between the state and the federal government, there is no real balance of power. If the state can never say “no,” than neither can the people of that state via referendum. The Supreme Court has interpreted this check and balance out of existence.

Since its invention, the federal government has been claimed more power for itself than the Constitution permits. Lately, this includes regulation of intrastate commerce (Marijuana and Dairy Laws), when and where the Bill of Rights gets enforced (Occupy Wall Street raids, TSA, arrest and detentions, indefinite detention without due process by the President). Even the right to murder an American citizen in an extrajudicial execution. None of these are federal “powers” guaranteed by the Constitution. In fact most of these are expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

“No!” in the Constitution:

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."-- Thomas Jefferson

The Founders of the Constitution did foresee a day when the government was no longer responsive to the majority of its people. They actually wrote legislation to try and guide us out of this dilemma.

The only legitimate course left to  reestablish our self-governance at the federal level is to amend the Constitution. This can be done in two ways—both of them doomed to failure.

 1. Congress passes an amendment by a 2/3 vote.
 a) This is unlikely to occur because the vast majority sitting in Congress are there due to campaign contributions from corporations and the rich. We would be asking them to kill the goose that has laid their golden egg.

 2. A Constitutional Convention:
 a) This requires 2/3 of State Legislatures (34 states) to pass a resolution to call for a Convention.
 b) Congress is then forced to call a Convention. There is little guidance about how the citizens who attend such a Convention are chosen. This is the first way a Convention could be undone.
 c) Second, ¾ of states (38) must agree for an Amendment to be passed at the Convention.
 d) Finally, Congress gets their last chance to stop democracy. They do not get to vote on any Amendment the Convention proposes, but they do get to choose how the states are counted. Congress gets to choose between the delegates at the Convention or the State legislatures. State legislatures have been just as corrupted by money as the federal government.
 e) By the way, a Convention has never successfully been called in the United States under the Constitution. It is a risky process. Our initial government was completely rewritten by such a Convention when the delegates were only supposed to fix a few minor issues. A Convention could easily get out of control if it could get any traction at all.

Financial corruption runs the government, making Congress completely unaccountable to the people it governs. This negates our ability to regain power over our government, or even to decline to accept its authority, through federal law. We find ourselves in this peculiar Catch-22: We have lost our self-governance, but are unable to legitimately regain our self-governance without access to any self-governance.

There is no way for The People to veto the federal government. If federal law is allowed to override state law, it also overrides popularly elected law. It overrides The People and democracy. That is so easy to see in Arizona where a popular campaign finance resolution, passed by the majority of people, was overruled in favor of the rich by 5 Supreme Court Justices, who declared that money was free speech.

Bringing the law back under the control of the state, brings it back under the control of the referendum. It allows a veto power by The People. It also allows The Majority to create law.

In short, successful and desirable change to the Constitution that reinstates our self-governance is unlikely to happen in our current situation. If we are to claim the power of self-governance for ourselves once again, we will have to do one of two things:
1.) Violent, bloody revolution. (Not my favorite idea.)
2.) Think outside the box, and use the power of the many to rewrite the law. (A better alternative from my point of view.)

The Tenth Amendment, Then:

“…the several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government…”--Thomas Jefferson,  Principles of 1798 

The war between federal and state power started the second the Constitution was drafted. In the "Principles of '98" Jefferson and Madison reacted to federal overreach by the Alien and Sedition Acts. This act made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or certain officials. The two statesmen argued that the law was a clear violation of the First Amendment and need not be heeded by the states. Nullification of this law passed in both the states where it was argued.

Jefferson argued that the Tenth Amendment was the superior law.

"the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

Jefferson argued vehemently that states had the right and the duty not to obey unconstitutional law, even if passed by the federal government.

"whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force"

He further argued that if the federal government was to decide the limits of its own power, no limits would ever be discovered and the government would grow increasingly powerful.

The Tenth Amendment, Now:

"Who will govern the governors? There is only one force in the
 nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure
 and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves.
 They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the
 corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its
 rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the
 safest depository of the ultimate powers of government"
 -- Thomas Jefferson

With no realistic way to change the law of the land due to control by monied forces, can we actually claim to be a self governing people? If the way to change our government is blocked by the government, a self governing people would simply scoff and change the rules. A people mentally harness into the belief that they must obey, even if what they obey is not in their self interest, can not claim to be self governing in reality.

What I am discussing here is a tool. A sharp knife can be used to prepare dinner, or to murder a person. It just depends on the purpose of the user. Like a sharp knife, states rights should be used as necessary and for the greater good. The tool itself is morally neutral.

If Nullification became common place, detractors argue, the law of the country would lack uniformity. States would be free to make foolish and abusive choices.

All true. That is the problem with democracy. It gives you the freedom to make your own mistakes. But if The People are prevented from making their own mistakes, it does not mean the rule of law will automatically be smart and just. Rule by the rich is likely to be more flawed than rule by the majority.

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." -- Thomas Jefferson

States rights are always associated with slavery and the South battling against civil rights. The Tenth Amendment has been used for as many staunchly conservative ideas as progressive ones. One of the first to use the States Rights argument were the abolitionists who argued that they could nullify the Supreme Court's decision to force escaped slaves to be returned to their owners as property. That story is almost never told in the history books.

Now, people of color face more economic hardship, unemployment, and prison time than whites. Jim Crow laws are coming back to suppress the black vote. The single most reliable indicator of whether a person will get the death penalty is if he is black and the victim is white. At the point where you can prove the state is taking a man's life because of skin color, I think you can safely say protecting civil rights at the federal level has failed. Fearing states rights because they might lead to civil rights abuse does not seem rational under the circumstances.

States that make their own decisions are also be free to experience the consequences of those choices.

In “Alabama agriculture officials are stumped over how to keep farms operating now that the state's draconian new immigration law chased away all of the low paid (however illegal) labor.”--AP

If the states wrest back their power, the US would become fifty separate experiments in democracy. The citizens of various states would be allowed to look at the variety of experiences and pressure their legislatures or write referendums to adopt what worked and abandon what did not.  If the right is correct, the blue states will prosper. If progressives are right about how the world actually works, people will rally to bring our ideas to their states.

In the last post, I talked about a form of self-governance that mirrors the lowly millet seed: The same bill downloaded from a website, and run in state referendums simultaneously to achieve what we cannot accomplish at the national level.

The Tenthers are waging such a campaign. So far fourteen states have passed their nonbinding resolution. Six states have introduced legally binding State Sovereignty Bills: “The constitutional amendment to establish state grand juries, one called the Federal Action Review Commission, to hear citizen complaints about the constitutionality of the actions of federal officials or agents, and if it finds them unconstitutional, to authorize and direct non-cooperation with such actions by state officials, agents, and contractors; and the second kind to investigate official misconduct and public administration.”

10th Amendment Resolution

The following is a sample 10th Amendment House Concurrent Resolution approved by the Tenth Amendment Center. Activists, we encourage you to send this to your state senators and representatives – and ask them to introduce this resolution in your state.

A RESOLUTION affirming the sovereignty of the People of the State of ___.

WHEREAS, in the American system, sovereignty is defined as final authority, and the People, not government, are sovereign; and

WHEREAS, the people of the State of ____ are not united with the People of the other forty-nine states that comprise the United States of America on a principle of unlimited submission to their federal government; and

WHEREAS, all power not delegated by the people to government is retained; and

WHEREAS, the People of the several States comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “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”; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States, and also that which is necessary and proper to carry into execution those enumerated powers; with the rest being left to state governments or the people themselves; and

WHEREAS, powers, too numerous to list for the purposes of this resolution, have been exercised, past and present, by federal administrations, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, which infringe on the sovereignty of the people of this state, and may further violate the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, when powers are assumed by the federal government which have not been delegated to it by the People, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy; that without this remedy, the People of this State would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE  __ OF THE ___ GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF __, WITH THE SENATE

CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm the sovereignty of the People of the State of ____ under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise delegated to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers; and, it be further

RESOLVED, that a committee of conference be appointed by this legislature, which shall have as its charge to recommend and propose legislation which would have the effect of nullifying specific federal laws and regulations which are outside the scope of the powers delegated by the People to the federal government in the Constitution; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that a committee of correspondence be appointed, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolutions to the Legislatures of the several States; to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship as currently exists;  that it considers union, for specified national purposes, and particularly those enumerated in the Constitution of the United States, to be friendly to the peace, happiness and prosperity of all the States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of this State’s Congressional delegation with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

Your Turn:

I know you're itching to comment on this one, so go ahead. Tell me how you would rewrite the bill to make it better. Or tell me why it won't work at all. Tell me your idea to recapture our ability to self-govern.

I also know this post was heavy with US law and history. Other Western nations are similarly constructed and parallels can be drawn. I welcome commentary from those with knowledge of other nation's law about this subject.

Upcoming Diaries:

Dec 25: Blue Dragon--"Teaching from Radical Texts in the College Setting." (She is using Shock Doctrine in her class.)
Jan 1: T'Pau: "The Power Behind Resolutions" and an exciting announcement.
Jan 8:  Geminijen: Cooperatives Changing Relationship to Unions, Part III
Jan 15: Don Mikulecky--Sustainable Systems and Why Capitalism is not One of Them

If you want to write a diary or have an idea for a diary, please contact: Justina, T'Pau or NY brit expat here, send a message to the group here or send a message to our group email at: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very informative TPau... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPau, NY brit expat, webranding, Justina

    Jefferson referred to nullification in the Kentucky resolution and Madison referred to interposition in the Virginia resolutions.

    “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.” President Obama 11/2/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:20:11 PM PST

  •  A beautifully written and well-argued post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPau, Justina, Mnemosyne, mint julep

    T'Pau. I like historical and legal references, so I was thrilled to read it. A part of me really likes this argument and a part of me is really uncertain.

    The part of me that really likes this argument is the part that wants to gain control over a government; to actually have a government by the people and for the people. The part of me that is really uncertain is the part that keeps on arguing that we need an anti-capitalist movement to build to change the whole system that this could then be grafted upon based upon people's councils so as a real representative democracy could be built.  I agree completely that our so-called federated republic built upon so-called representative democracy is neither the first nor the second in the current situation.

    Only part of the problem we are seeing is the fact that the Federal government has taken powers that should have been reserved for the states and imposed its will on the country. In many senses, I would say that is a symptom of the problem. Our problem is that this Federal (and State) governments basically serve the capitalist system (especially international MNCs and international finance) rather than the needs and will of the people. Our problem is an economic problem which is compounding and compounded by the lack of democracy in the system. Shifting powers to the States will not change the fact that the interests of the capitalist economic system take precedence over those of the needs of the population.

    I hate to sound like an economic reductionist as I am not; but most of the problems we are seeing are due to economic and political control by a tiny group of extremely wealthy and powerful people.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:27:44 PM PST

    •  I hope that more people come to discuss this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, TPau, Justina, mint julep

      at a time when the federal government is abandoning habeas corpus directly contravening the Bill of Rights w/o declaring martial law is not only an abandonment of the Constitution, but of rights granted in English Common Law from which it is derived. We can only watch as treasured liberties and rights are striped away from us by the Federal government under the barest of pretexts. We need to urgently discuss the question of democracy from an anti-capitalist context and both of your diaries on reclaiming democracy have been excellent and cogently argued. Hope that others show up.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:44:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Wish I Had The Legal Knowledge (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TPau, NY brit expat, Justina, mint julep

        to do just that. But alas I don't. I tend to differ to local laws. Not federal laws. I am kind of sick and tried of the Feds telling people what they can and can't do. Gosh I better stop or I am going to start sounding like Ron Paul or something :)!

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:47:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hate to admit it but there are times... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding, mint julep

          when I actually like Ron Paul. At least he is not a puppet of the monied elites.

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:56:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Tend To Think The Feds (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TPau, NY brit expat, Justina, mint julep

            need to work at like 10,000 feet. Kind of an overall framework. Then let states and local communities decide the details. There is a reason everybody has heard the phrase all politics are local. It is because it is true. How things are here in rural, southern Illinois where I live is different than LA or NYC.

            And to be honest, we voted 57% for McCain. But my little town does stuff a lot more progressive stuff than you might think.

            When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

            by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:01:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much for that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, NY brit expat, Justina

        I wish I could say they were both my ideas, but so many are working on these things. I do hope people chose to look at some of the links and get involved.

        I am horrified by what is happening right now in Congress. Even more horrified by the Missing in Action response of the Press.

        I agree with Jensen on one fact--we are beyond the easy, obviously legal, action stage. We need to take bold action and soon.

        De air is de air. What can be done?

        by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:54:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is more than state powers: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, NY brit expat, mint julep

      NYB says

      Only part of the problem we are seeing is the fact that the Federal government has taken powers that should have been reserved for the states and imposed its will on the country. In many senses, I would say that is a symptom of the problem. Our problem is that this Federal (and State) governments basically serve the capitalist system (especially international MNCs and international finance) rather than the needs and will of the people.

      I agree. That is why this is a two part series. The two methods have to work hand in hand. A Constitutional Amendment is needed to unseat corporations as people and money as free speech in order for you to achieve a shift in economic power in the country. This is unlikely due to the reasons I outlined above.

      What I propose is an end run around the federal government to achieve this end. Declare your state a sovereign state where The People have ultimate authority. Then declare the Supreme Court decisions unconstitutional and void in your state. Power then reverts back to the people in your state. Repeat the process in the other 49 states.

      The alternative is posed by Derrick Jensen and is not very pretty.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:48:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree that we need positive action, but this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justina

        is more in the sense of a radical reform that in the absence of an anti-capitalist movement may entrench the situation at both the state and federal levels. To actually have a positive impact, we need more than shifting of power from federal to state; we need an anti-capitalist movement to guide both reform and more revolutionary transformation.

        I am not a fan of collapse models and agree with Steve Best that a collapse will not get rid of the system nor those in power, who will most certainly entrench themselves and their power as they have the money and control of armies (or can purchase them). I do not think that the system will collapse on its own; that requires a subjective element, human beings with the will and determination to change the system.

        Getting a constitutional amendment through will require the cooperation (hah) of those that are in power (both federal and state governments); what are the chances for that? We need a movement to actually force that through in the first place. If that movement is strong enough to do that, why maintain the current constitution and set-up of government? A more democratic one giving power to people may be a better way forward than maintaining a current set-up. A radical reform may not be what is wanted by the majority while a more democratic system could be preferred.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:08:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure what you are getting at... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          Do you believe anti-capitalist reform will not be seen as a radical reform here?

          Keep in mind, what I purpose is actually a return to the historic powers of the state as a balance to the federal government.

          I do agree, both the state and federal governments can easily be bought. The only thing that makes this worth doing is the possibility of using the referendum power of the people to change the law one state at a time to achieve a national end.

          In collapse, which I do think we are heading towards at the moment, the rich are likely to gain more power over the many. I agree with you there.

          So what is to be done? How do you get from where we are now to where we want to be? How do we capture control of our legal system to actually rewrite the laws in any meaningful way?

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:37:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all; anti-capitalist reform is a radical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TPau

            reform and I think that people will recognise it as such here. I just was pointing out that this is a reform, not a transformation.

            I do understand that this is a return to the historic powers of the state as a balance to the federal government; but the constitution was more a functionalist document in many senses ... it was the different functions between state and federal governments that enabled the different balance.

            I am far more worried that we are heading towards a fascist state than a collapse; the world economic system is not headed for a collapse (crisis is a normal part of the system), while the majority in the advanced capitalist world are and will be suffering impoverishment, growth and profitability is still occurring in the semi-periphery. To impose impoverishment upon the majority, the powers that be will use any form of repression that they deem necessary. That is my worry.

            I do not know how we will be able to write laws, I do not even know how we will be able to hold onto cherished rights in the context of what is happening in the advanced capitalist world. The one thing that I know has worked in the past is a large enough left-wing movement is need to not only secure reforms but to secure proper transformation in the system. In the absence of that, nothing will change.

             

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:11:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm...so are you giving up?... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat, alizard

              Weren't you the one calling for action not so long ago when legislation passed that undercut funding to the handicapped in Britain?

              Left wing movements have only achieved modest reforms that are undone over time. I don't know that I would call that "working". Even left wing movements had to have a game plan for changing their government. Would you have the left just lobby Congress for fundamental change? Do you believe that will work?

              The most people to demonstrate for a cause EVER in the world demonstrated before the Iraq war. It mattered not one iota. The world has moved on since the '60's. The monied forces took note of the demonstrations and their effectiveness and took counter measures. We must move on too.

              I still fear collapse, but not due to the usual capitalist ups and downs. I think the impending approach of peak production of multiple resources will put more strain on the system than has ever existed before. That will likely assure a bad outcome for democracy if we do not have mechanisms in place soon to safeguard it.

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:23:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have not given up, am working on building the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TPau

                movement this will not only enable reform, but will enable bringing about transformation. Bringing about transformation requires changing people's beliefs and attitudes at all levels. Building an anti-capitalist movement will not force them into reform, it can form the basis for a new system. I want the left to be working at all levels that they can do to fight what is happening and build opposition.

                In the absence of this movement we neither have the power to alter the situation in the states nor the federal level. I am thinking that a bottom-up fight is the way to go. We know that they are setting the stage for increased repression in the advanced capitalist world; that is the whole point of the elimination of habeas corpus in the US and the draconian punishment given to rioters, the preventing of demonstrations, and the crack-downs on left-wing and progressive movements in the US and Europe.

                So while I think lobbying Congress (or the Commons) is by no means sufficient, to be honest I am uncertain given the situation whether it helps at all, it is something that liberals can do. Getting a human personhood passed would be useful, but even if successful, that will not change the system substantially (I agree that it would handicap them slightly, but the same people now in charge of our governments and political system were the same people in charge before the idea of corporate personhood was legalised by the Supreme Court). Shifting power to the states when the states are under the control of the same reactionary forces gives them an additional area to disempower people. We need to be organising in communities municipally, locally, by states, regionally and nationally; but that needs to be democratic in control of the people. Some of the worst excesses we are seeing in terms of the attack on working class people are at the state level; we cannot assume that these attacks will cease (and I am not saying that you are assuming this) if we shift power to the states. It is in some ways easier to fight at state level if we have enough people to fight it, but in some states we are literally fighting even worse forces.

                Perhaps I am thinking that ignoring the powers that be and trying to create the power that could be would be a good fight; community, municipal, local, state, region, national.

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:00:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But this still lacks method... (0+ / 0-)

                  Let's say I grant you a wide movement of people in the US that have a unified agenda to fundamentally change the government to noncapitalist, democratic power. I think that is a fantasy, and it disables you from action, but for the sake of argument, let's say you actually achieve it. Then what?

                  You still have a Congress that operates with approval in the teens and doesn't care. They pass more draconian laws. They are still elected by a system that is corrupt and patently unfair and limits our choices to two equally bad candidates. How do you stop them?

                  Shifting power to the states when the states are under the control of the same reactionary forces gives them an additional area to disempower people.

                  Agree the states are no panacea either, but it does start to diffuse the power. The more diffuse the power, the more energy it takes to control a country. That is why the push has been to get all the power centralized for so long. Pushing the power in the other direction pushes it back toward the people.

                  We need to be organising in communities municipally, locally, by states, regionally and nationally; but that needs to be democratic in control of the people.

                  TOTALLY AGREE! But the small city of Arcata (renowned for one crop that has a tenuous legal standing) can not stand up to the DEA, FDA, TSA, etc. The entire state of California could, if directed by the masses.

                  State sovereignty and removing corporate personhood are only the first steps. We would be fools to end there. But these are two of the necessary steps to get ourselves out of here. State sovereignty coupled with referendum gives the people enough voice to oppose its government. With Congress so rooted in corruption, it is the only other way I can see to wrest back power to the masses, other than destruction of the government as a whole.

                  Removing corporate personhood allows states to regulate them again--including regulation of campaign finance. If corporations are no longer "people" then they have no right to "free speech" in the way of money to campaigns. That would strike at the heart of the problem.

                  De air is de air. What can be done?

                  by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:37:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those corps will still control the media, (0+ / 0-)

                    they will finance elections like they did before they were given personhood (make your employees make donations to the campaigns in order for them to move up or keep jobs, they have always done this).

                    A movement can block through voting or not voting. It can create enough havoc to their plans at all levels through non-cooperation and the spread of new and different ideas. A government that is literally unelected and that no one follows and whose laws are not respected is really a government that has no power to enforce its will except by force. Constant unrest and disobedience is rather hard to govern and even the strongest government backed by a military has problems. We also begin to build opposition parties (real ones) and work at all levels. This limits the impact of what they can actually force down our throats.

                    I have no problem with fighting corporate personhood, I think it is an excellent place to struggle and resonates across people that are used to some basic level of democracy. I agree that concentrating at different levels is also appropriate; but we need the movement, in the absence of that we have the same people in control. I know that you are not saying that this is the end of the struggle, I think that there are many arms to it and that we can meet in the middle. Looking at even the so-called progressive states (with the exception of VT), their state legislatures are corrupt and totally bought off. But I do think that you are correct that looking at a state or a region is far more manageable.

                    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                    by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:57:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There were some controls earlier that made having. (0+ / 0-)

                      a movement easier. Including FCC fairness rules that allowed you equal airtime for contradictory viewpoints. That was struck down in the Clinton years and has allowed the media to become a propaganda machine.

                      I was in AZ when the Campaign Finance Reform took affect. Suddenly long time incumbents were kicked out and you saw soccer moms and activists elected to state seats--and they did a better job then the bought and paid for incumbents. Yes, it can work.

                      It made having the movement easier. Conservative AZ suddenly was talking about all these new ideas. It was a great few years for them, before the Supreme Court put a stop to all that actual democracy.

                      Again, I think what I am discussing here is a tool. Only a tool. It does need a movement to wield it. The nature of the movement determines how it is used and the end result.

                      De air is de air. What can be done?

                      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:39:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I Tend To Take A Buyer Beware Type (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, NY brit expat

    of stance if you are a small farmer selling something. Clearly I want regulation and oversight if I am buying milk at a billion dollar grocery store. Not so much if you are a small farmer. Now I will admit I am not sure at what point somebody isn't a small farmer.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:43:20 PM PST

    •  Thing is, all the outbreaks of contamination... (4+ / 0-)

      are from pasteurized milk. The FDA also does a horrible job of keeping us safe from other contamination.

      It really does look suspicious for them to be a tool of Big Dairy and the DEA is very likely a tool of Big Pharma.

      I am always suspicious of federal agencies that want to "keep me safe".

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:00:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Get About 75% Of My Meat (6+ / 0-)

        and eggs from local farmers. Not sure if there is any regulation. But I see where the animals are raised. I can touch them. I can see and smell what I eat. I am not worried in the least about the quality of the food. Not so much about the stuff I get in a huge chain store.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:04:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are better off than relying on the FDA (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding, Justina, mint julep

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:07:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Bitch To The Management Of My Local (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glbTVET, Justina, Mnemosyne, mint julep

            grocery store all the time. I'll go through their meat and about about 90% of the time the stuff is dated to expire the next day. I am like WTF. I'll get it home, and well "fresh" chicken isn't supposed to smell like that. The stuff I get from local farmers, never had that happen.

            When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

            by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:09:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  FDA Has Been Purchased By Corporations. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, mint julep

            I don't think the problem with our FDA today is due to the fact that it is a federal, as opposed to state, agency.  The problem is that the big pharma controls the FDA and writes their regulations.  There is no adequate enforcement of even the minimal regulations that big pharma writes.

            My grandfather was, in the 1940's, a meat inspector for the U.S. Agricultural Agency.  He was a tough, conscientiousness guy who never let a bad piece of meat get past him.

            Now, there are hardly any meat inspectors and the regulations have been re-written to suit the meat companies' bottom lines.  There is no adequate enforcement of regulations, thus more bad meat gets to market.

            The problem is not with the federal nature of the agencies, but the fact that their administrators are puppets of the industries they are supposed to regulate.

            As long as big money controls our legislators (state and federal), staffs our regulatory agencies and writes their policies,  consumers lose the real protection that is needed while some farmers are hit with outrageous attacks on their products, like the unpasteurized milk.

            Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

            by Justina on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:52:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agree with the nature of the problem... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat

              But what is the solution?

              The FDA is like a hundred other agencies--all controlled by the very industries they are supposed to regulate. They have become the tools of these NGO's. It is one of several ways big money controls the population. Being centrally organized makes this easy for them--they only need to control one agency.

              But how do you fight against this? How will you turn the tide against them? What strength will you use to fight back?

              Congress no longer fears the threat of unpopular opinion. That is clear from their behavior. Apparently, neither does the White House. Writing in a blog or demonstrating in the streets would have worked if it was going to by now.

              Burning down London would eventually work. Blood shed did work for Egypt and Syria. But I would very much like to avoid those things.

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:02:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Where is the evidence for this claim? (0+ / 0-)
        Thing is, all the outbreaks of contamination... (4+ / 0-)
        are from pasteurized milk.
        Maybe it depends on the definition of "outbreak", but from the information I've looked at, it appears that incidents that are identified with raw milk are far greater in number than those identified with pasteurized milk, at least in the last 10 years.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:29:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But Would More "States Rights" Actually Help? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    Alabama's legislature passed Jim Crow laws after the Civil War, and now they have passed a very racist anti-immigrants law. Arizona has done the same.  If the Tea Party types had the power to disallow federal legislation, we might find ourselves living back in the ante bellum South all over.

    State legislators can be bought by the corporatists even cheaper than the federal ones.

    Would this type of state level review of federal laws really improve matters, or simply allow ALEC to impose its legislation  even more quickly and firmly?

    I agree with NY brit expat, that we have to prevent the wealthy (or the religious right) from buying and controlling our elections and our legislators first, not simply giving state legislatures the power to abrogate federal laws. If not, the results could be even worse than we have now.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:02:27 PM PST

    •  And how would you and NYB do this?... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, Justina

      In truth, we should have headed this off a long time ago. We all knew corruption was becoming a huge problem. We should have gotten active and passed several Constitutional Amendments. We didn't and now it would be all but impossible to do so.

      The proposal is more than state's rights. It is combining states rights with the referendum to give the majority in the states a voice. That alone might get an Amendment passed. Congress can be forced to do the right thing under threat of losing all control, but little else would force them to do so.

      Now Congress just passed a law to undercut all rights and protections--even those as old as the Magna Carta. The Prez has a list of Americans he feels he can execute extra-judicially. Whatever you are going to do, you better do it fast.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:15:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that this is a reform (however radical) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, Justina

        versus revolution in debate. For me, building a strong enough opposition to the system could be better used to work to eliminate it rather than reform the situation. I think that reform is insufficient to deal with the problem.

        Unite the left-wing opposition and build the movement against the capitalist system; we can then ensure all human rights and fulfilling the needs and wishes of the people.

        The government established by the constitution is in itself undemocratic; the whole purpose of the Senate was to check the will of the people in the House. At this point, neither organ reflects the needs of the people and instead serves the interests of MNCs and finance capital; we will need to do more than role back the attack, we need to ensure that the social contract (the constitution) reflects the will of the people rather than the needs of the few. It was written by a group of white men representing the few and continues to uphold their interests.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:31:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then you would argue for actually revolution??... (0+ / 0-)

          Like with guns? Blood shed?

          I can't get behind that, I'm sorry.

          The government established by the constitution is in itself undemocratic; the whole purpose of the Senate was to check the will of the people in the House. At this point, neither organ reflects the needs of the people and instead serves the interests of MNCs and finance capital; we will need to do more than role back the attack, we need to ensure that the social contract (the constitution) reflects the will of the people rather than the needs of the few. It was written by a group of white men representing the few and continues to uphold their interests.

          All true. But would you change it at gunpoint, then? Because you know as well as I Congress and the White House aren't going to change it. What is your plan of attack? Clearly Congress does not care about the will of the people. Neither does Parliament, BTW. Elections are merely bought. How will you get your reconstruction of the Constitution?

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:46:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have no trouble forcing through serious (0+ / 0-)

            left-wing transformation at the ballot box from the local to the state to the federal level. I have not advocated anyone picking up weapons here; a strong enough movement can force through serious transformations as they can force the government to move if it feels threatened sufficiently. The problem that we are facing is that we need a real grassroots movement that extends from the people and builds upwards. That needs to be built with a clear agenda agreed upon by the people; bottom-up change is what is required.

            The changes that you are suggesting are insufficient to force through the changes that are needed to secure the will of the people in the US and they will take a massive amount of energy that may actually concentrate those in power not only at the federal level but at the state level as well.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:20:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you would lobby Congress??... (0+ / 0-)

              The same Congress that looked out it's window at the largest world wide anti war demonstrations ever, and then approved the White House war on Iraq.

              A Congress that just rolled back the rights of it's citizens to pre Magna Carta and controlled the media so well only those on the internet know about it.

              Congress that has an approval rate in the teens and doesn't care.

              That Congress? That media? What pressure do you think your movement (assuming enough people hear about said movement) can place on a Congress already operating with the apparent approval of only Congressional staffers and family members already? What leverage will you apply?

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:33:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  see my comment above ... lobbying Congress (0+ / 0-)

                is in most cases a waste of time; there are only a few people worth lobbying there. We need to build a movement outside the  governmental structures in which we are living. What makes the states an appropriate vehicle for a fight? There are significant differences w/in and between states that getting progressive legislation passed is possible only if we have a strong enough movement; at this point, the same people controlling the Federal government control the State governments. We need to think outside the box in some senses; those are boxes that they have drawn, we need to recreate these boxes to suit the needs of the majority, not the needs of corps.

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:05:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The states have done things the corporations did.. (0+ / 0-)

                  not foresee. Many of these things the corporations are directing the federal government to fight against:

                  1.) Campaign Finance Reform Legislation in multiple states including very conservative Arizona. Struck down by the Supreme Court.

                  2.) Marijuana laws and laws supporting small farm, organic produce being harassed by DEA under big pharma, and FDA under big agriculture.

                  3.) Multiple states unwilling to cooperate with Patriot Act or Real ID act.

                  4.) Ohio declining to cooperate with the Health Care act because it forces people to purchase a product. I agree with conservative Ohio in this case. The federal government compelling people to buy anything is a terrible precedent to set.

                  5.) Sheriff's First Act which makes it illegal for federal agents to act within a state without the written permission of the sheriff. Don't laugh. It is on the ballot in three states. That would make it much more challenging to disappear people in a federal black hole. If the recent Congressional sell out becomes well known, I anticipate more states running this one.

                  Granted there is also racist laws, anti gay marriage, and gun owners rights going on the books in various states. But I can't help but notice that for all the rhetoric about how states are controlled by the elites, the states seem to be fighting the good fight in most instances.

                  De air is de air. What can be done?

                  by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:54:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It depends on the state and it depends on the (0+ / 0-)

                    issue; in many cases, it is simply not true that the states are fighting the good fight (see Arizona and Alabama on immigration, see several states on voting laws and gerrymandering to preserve power of the elite, see attacks on women's reproductive rights, see right-to-work laws, see environmental laws wrt vehicular inspections in Florida and off-shore drilling in Florida and other places).

                    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                    by NY brit expat on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 06:18:03 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But the federal gov is doing no better. It is... (0+ / 0-)

                      not stepping in to help the people who are oppressed in those states.

                      I agree, this tool can be used for good or for evil. It does not make it a bad tool. Leaving it to the right only to wield, takes a tool out of our chest and makes us weaker. Better to work with the tool and create law to our advantage.

                      De air is de air. What can be done?

                      by TPau on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:34:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  The Violence Comes From the Counter-Revolutution. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat

            Where mass movements are in motion to effect radical change, the violence does not generally come from the revolutionaries, but from those in power who are trying to maintain their control through the police and the army.  Egypt provides a good example.

            Terrorist violence generally arises when the radicals do not have support from the mass of the people.  It is a sign of weakness, not strength.  

            When a movement has mass support, hundreds of thousands if not millions, in the streets, conducting strikes and the like, the sheer numbers can over-whelm the counter-revolution.  The police and the military can refuse to defend the formerly powerful rulers.  When the police and military refuse to fight the people, the people win and those who formerly ruled try to negotiate or run away.

            Convincing the police and the military not to defend the ruling class is critical, and it takes the existence of a truly mass movement to do that.  OWS has the potential to become that mass movement.

            Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

            by Justina on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:23:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly ... (0+ / 0-)

              "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:58:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is so much easier to kill them when they are... (0+ / 0-)

              unarmed. (Kent State.)

              Where mass movements are in motion to effect radical change, the violence does not generally come from the revolutionaries, but from those in power who are trying to maintain their control through the police and the army.  Egypt provides a good example.

              The people who are killed in those movements are still just as dead. It does not matter if they were armed or not. That kind of push back and destruction leads to violence by those in control. It leads to bloodshed whether it is just or not.

              Demonstrators do put their bodies on the cogs of the machine. They do it for all to see. And in so doing make themselves targets.

              Living where you do, you should know that.

              But who will you kill if the voters go to the polls and decide they have the right to democracy if the federal government agrees with them or not? Who will they kill if a sheriff arrests an FBI agent about to detain a "terrorist", who just happens to edit a radical newspaper, because the FBI did not OK it with the state first? Who will they murder if taxes go to the state before they go to the federal government?

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:04:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  We have yet to see how Egypt will turn out... (0+ / 0-)

              You worry about the integrity of some states. You worry that some states may pass fascist laws. But if the whole government is defunct, that is the most risky time for a nation. Very few nations have successfully pulled off a good government in those circumstances. We have yet to see what the result of Arab Spring will be. I worry for them and hope they beat the odds.

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:07:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I am puzzled by the conservative tone of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    diary.  First, it complains about federal regulation, then it argues for nullification and states rights.  What did I miss?

    •  I Am Not. IMHO When You Talk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TPau

      issues like this I find many liberals, like myself, can sound like those on the far right. I am a live and let live kind of guy. If you want to do pretty much whatever you want and it doesn't harm anybody, more power to you. I also think local communities should set their own laws. If the majority of the people in a community want to do X, let them. I don't think the Feds should care, as long as X isn't taking away the rights, of say a women or a minority.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:23:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Totally agree... (0+ / 0-)

        The role of the federal gov should be to protect the rights of minorities that could be trampled by local authority. Not to override state law just because they can.

        De air is de air. What can be done?

        by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:30:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let Me Give You A Small Example (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne

          Field Across From My House (Summer '11)

          That is the view outside my front door. Well on Thanksgiving morning my next door neighbor was outside with his young son. Letting him target shot a small bb-gun. I am sure it wasn't legal. But were they bothering anybody? Nope. Hurting anybody? Nope. So nobody cared.

          I know it is a little thing, but it is a good example of my thinking.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:37:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do you own right and left handed screw drivers? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glbTVET

      The states rights argument is usually couched by the right in the modern era. This was not at all the case historically.

      In any case, State referendum is a tool. It can be used by both the right and the left.

      Our current situation is that the lion's share of the power in the US is consolidated at the top in the federal government. So much so that the federal government is now interfering with people's personal lives at an every increasing level. Without any opposition (check or balance) there is nothing to stop that encroachment.

      Congress and the White House have become so contemptuous of public opinion that the passed legislation to make military tribunal and indefinite detention for civilians possible this week.

      The preferred way to unseat that corruption and balance the power would be through Constitutional Amendment. Unfortunately, the corruption itself prohibits that.

      What I propose is adopting the tool of the right to work for the left. To combine states right with the referendum to create a velvet revolution (as opposed to the more violent version). It is an end run around a Congress that I see ans irredeemably corrupted by money.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, The Corruption Is Now Total. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat

        Referendums can be a useful tactic, but they can be used for negative as well as noble purposes.  (Remember that anti-tax referendum in California that caused absolute paralysis?

        The wealthy can control many aspects of the referendum process, such as how the issues are stated on the ballots, etc., which gets us back to the fact that big money now controls every aspect of our governments, state,federal and even local in many cases.

        The corruption has become to total in this country that I think only masses of people in the streets and workplaces can bring it to a halt, tear down the existing system and replace it with a human one.

        (Please tell the governments that are beating and gassing so many OWS demonstrators that our revolution is velvet.  All the violence is coming from their police, as has been the case throughout history, most everywhere in the world.)

        But, as Occupy Wall Street has shown, by refusing to be pinned down to one list of demand, it has allowed many different folks to join and many different ideas and tactics to take place and grow.  TPau's miliary democracy and state sovereignty/referendum idea is one of them that could help in the right circumstances.  But I think that it could also divert from the pressing economic issues (including the economics of elections), where I think the focus should remain.

         

        Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

        by Justina on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:29:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In 1975 the Trilateral Commission met to... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          discuss the "Crisis in Democracy". Their "crisis" was that there was too much democracy in the Western world for elites to control, as evidenced by the late 60's and early 70's. They outlined a strategy to reign in that democracy.

          Most of the strategy has come to pass. The powerful adapted to the demonstration, mass movement method. They said very clearly in the report they needed to control the media and they did. Without a real media, the demonstration model is severely hobbled.

          The left has to keep its methods equally fluid. The same tactics will not work again and again if the opposition is willing to change its tactics and adapt.

          OWS is heartening to watch but even now it fades from view here. It remains to be seen what OWS will actually accomplish other than giving hope to the beleaguered left in this fight. It is really too soon to see if there will be substantive change coming from that action.

          The corruption has become to total in this country that I think only masses of people in the streets and workplaces can bring it to a halt, tear down the existing system and replace it with a human one.

          Tearing down is always the other option. I am not by any means sure that this can be avoided, but I would like to try. Syria and Egypt have succeeded at this option but they are far from out of the woods yet. This method also has its risks and its downsides. The possibility of a fascist government or military dictatorship arising is strongest right after you tear down what you already have.

          What I propose is not without risk. There is no solution that is without risk at this point. We have let it get away from us to the point where only risky actions are left to us--including waiting to see what happens.

          But what you propose is one of the riskiest solutions. Once you destroy the government you already have, what comes to replace it may be entirely outside your control. Demonstrations and civil disobedience can be used as an excuse for Marshall Law--for the safety of the masses, of course.

          It very much does not matter if only one side is doing the killing in an uprising. The dead will be just as dead if they were peaceful protestors.

          De air is de air. What can be done?

          by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:13:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They have built private armies (see Blackwater (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TPau

            and its ilk) because they are not certain that the army will be on their side; they have already attacked habeas corpus which will allow them to detail people they deem are risks w/o introducing martial law; there will be additional things passed to protect the interests of those in power. The attack on democracy and the fact that there is not a single mainstream political party that represents the interests of the vast majority and that neither the legislative, executive nor judiciary are subject to the will of the people in any advanced capitalist country (admit that the US is the worst at this point, but the differences are shrinking). 2 elected political leaders have been replaced by "former" executives of Goldman Sachs and the head of the ECB (European Central Bank) also worked for them.

            The situation is going to get worse not better unless we prepare to protect each other; much of the discussion we have had in this group has been to look at alternatives, from cooperatives, to activist guy, goinsouth, yours and Justina's discussions on democracy and alternative formations, working at community level, local levels, etc in different forms to build alternative protections politically, economically and socially for people. We can continue to do so ... bring alternative ideas, help build to protect each other and help build for the future. The struggle needs to be local, regional, national and most importantly international. Everything has risks, but if we do not build a movement, if we do not continue to struggle, we will lose and we will have lost w/o a shot being fired.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:31:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for the vigorous discussion on this... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat

              topic.

              It is always more engaging when we don't see eye to eye. It brings out more about the concept when that happens. Thank you for sticking around and giving it a fiery discussion.

              I agree that a movement is still necessary. This is a tool only. One of the downsides of a tool is that it is morally neutral. It can be used for good or ill.

              OWS is a movement. I hope it can sustain. It has found creative and adaptive ways to get around the media brick wall but it still lacks a voice in most of America. They end up speaking to the converted much of the time and it will be interesting to see if they can overcome that.

              De air is de air. What can be done?

              by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:18:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We all come from different traditions (0+ / 0-)

                in the left; the value of a group discussion like this is the open exchange of ideas and debate. That is how we learn from each other and listen to each other; if we all agreed, there would not be different perspectives in the left. We need discussion and debate, I have enjoyed this tremendously T'Pau, sorry I had to drop out early but sleep called and time differences are annoying sometimes. :)

                "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

                by NY brit expat on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 06:13:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I know I'm late to post but.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPau, NY brit expat, Justina

    I no longer buy dairy.

    I drink Rice Dream Rice Milk and Dark Chocolate Almond milk.

    I have no desire to drink something filled with chemicals and nasty hormones or whatever else ISN'T on the label. I used to be addicted to buttermilk and cheese and dropped that too.

    Big Dairy can go....

  •  questions of policy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat, TPau

    and economics aside, anyone who's tasted real milk that hasn't been adulterated by factory processes understands why Big Dairy is terriied that small producers will cut into their market.

    Like others here, I buy most of my food from local producers when I can. The US food chain is so corrupted and so contaminated with chemicals of one kind or another that the food is apt to be harmful to your long-term well-being as well as having little taste.

    What makes it harder is that I can remember when it wasn't quite so  . . . so much.

    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:02:12 PM PST

    •  definitely ... am rather happy that you can get (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TPau, Mnemosyne

      local and regional free-range and organic produce here (not even that expensive), raw milk can be purchased. They even deliver to your door (all my veg comes from regional producer). You can get all these things in supermarkets here if you want.  You cannot get organic stamped on your produce unless it meets certification requirements. I switched completely to organic veg as I was having problems with the liver caused by meds and tried to clear out as much of the horrible additives.

      I am impressed at the hysteria against raw milk, but never surprised at what the government will do to protect corps ...

      What is needed is to make these things easier to access for all both in terms of quantity and price; mass producers will fight, big dairy and meat producers and corporate farmers will fight. This is something that can be fought for at a number of levels easily; at least we can fight for access to better food and get it through purchase directly from producers at markets and coops. It is the other things that are a bit harder to overcome as an understatement.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:39:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL...Love your signature... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, NY brit expat

      It is sad that the two state where this is happening have already passed laws in favor of raw milk. The FDA is ignoring those laws and coming into the state to confiscate the milk. The states appear powerless to stop this.

      One of the miliary bills being talked about is a bill that would require federal agents to get written approval from the sheriff to come in and arrest or confiscate. That would mean the sheriff would check to mean no state law was being violated. If state law was violated by federal agents, the sheriff could actually arrest the federal agents! This bill is being run in three states this election cycle: Alabama, Tennessee, Washington State.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:27:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just wondering what you think of (0+ / 0-)

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:51:42 AM PST

  •  also see pages 7-8 (0+ / 0-)

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:59:22 AM PST

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