The Constitution is not a la carte!

This may come as news to some Red state lawmakers, but there's more to the Constitution than the Second and the Tenth Amendments. The background check bill failed the Senate, but that didn't stop several Republican states from passing bills to exempt themselves from federal gun laws.

Earlier this week, the Alabama state senate passed legislation to nullify all federal laws they deem “a violation of the Second Amendment.” They weren't the first though, as Mississippi attempted to nullify federal laws back in January, and Kansas passed similar legislation last month. But, the nullification measures in these states are meaningless, as they violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which states that federal laws, “shall be the supreme law of the land.” Apparently, these states think they can violate one part of the Constitution to uphold another.

Thankfully, Attorney General Eric Holder is helpfully reminding these states that our Union doesn't operate that way. In a letter to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Holder wrote, “In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, [the law] directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional.”

These Red states can't pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they want to follow. They can't decide they like the Second and Tenth Amendments and act as if the rest doesn't apply to them. And the Supremacy Clause is one of the Constitution's most important tenants. James Madison himself warned that nullification of federal law would, “speedily put an end to the Union itself.”

Republicans constantly tout the importance of our founding fathers, and the Constitution they drafted to form our Union. So, it's about time that those on the Right start respecting all of it.


stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 10 years 5 weeks ago

The liberal persuasion promotes tolerance and inclusion in accordance to the Constitution, the other persuasion is other wise.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 5 weeks ago

I find this very interesting. What I always admired about the United States is that the States had more control locally than the Fed's but that seems to be fading away. The Fed's seem to get involved more and more in local politics every year. For example education, what is the Fed doing getting involved with lunch programs in grade school children in Alabama. Can't Alabama look after that themselves? Besides isn't it the parents job to do that. Some how this went from the parents job, to the Cities job, to the States job and now the Feds job. I get it though there has never been a Socialist region it has to be the whole country or nothing. Proof of that is the mass exit from the socialist States like New York and California. The top 10% earners are leaving those States at a record pace and those States are scrambling to find away to make the payments. At the same time States like Texas who are fiscally responsible are growing. You can't have Socialism when people can move away from it to a Capitalist region because all the money will move as mentioned above. I admire the founding fathers for knowing enough to protect both sides enough for keeping it all togehter for all this time. Where are leaders like that now.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 5 weeks ago

Kend - Do you like charter mongering? If the 99% standup to the 1% they move to a place where the local government will let them rule.

akunard's picture
akunard 10 years 5 weeks ago

More convoluted thinking from thr far, far LEFT!

The states are saying if the Fed. Govt. tries to make a portion of the Constitution void the states will not go along.

The last blog was way too stupid for me to comment on.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Well, Thom, while you're right that the states can't pick and choose from the provisions of the Constitution, so, too, is the federal government limited in its power to interpret the Constitution (including the Second Amendment). That's the Supreme Court's job. So the Fed is no position to throw stones at the states. Obama and company are using every trick in the book to come down on law abiding gun owners and dealers, knowing full well that this won't make one bit of a difference in the illegal procurement and use of fire arms. To make things worse, they use this gun issue as camouflage to cover their own illegal and immoral activities (I refer to illegal wars, the killing and maiming of civillians in foreign lands, their refusal to enforce existing laws in regard to the egregious behavior of the big banks and corporations, and on and on and on....). When are you going to stop aiding and abetting the usual suspects by publishing this kind of tripe? Get off your gun kick and start addressing the issues that really impact the average citizen. The gun thing is just noise.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago
Quote Hartmann:
These Red states can't pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they want to follow. They can't decide they like the Second and Tenth Amendments and act as if the rest doesn't apply to them.

Apparently, these states think they can violate one part of the Constitution to uphold another.

And apparently, some people (Democrats) think that parts of our Constitution aren't worth spit, like the 2nd Amendment, and should be abolished. Do I hear hypocrisy here?

It is not just the Republicans who tout the Constitution when it serves them; and, wants to abolish other parts of it when it doesn't. Democrats are doing this as well when they want to strike out the 2nd Amendment dealing with our right to own guns.

And neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are really representing the best interests of the majority of people in this country anyway. They are both owned by those wealthy ruling elite that wants to deflate any power the people might have in defending themselves. Take away the guns and you take away our freedoms.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 5 weeks ago

The top 1% don't matter they are the movie stars, sports celibs, and old family money. It is the 9% below them the left needs. They are the ones taking the chances and starting companies that create all the new wealth and employment. Those are the ones you are going to miss. They are also the ones not afraid to leave there country to go where the money is if you try and take it from them. You guys should know your country is full of them. They are from all over the world, India, China, Mexico, Canada All over Europe, just to name a few.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

A woman takes her ailing husband to the doctors for treatment and the doctor later has a private talk with her on what is needed to keep him from dying.

The doctor tells the woman that she needs to show him lots of love and affection and make him feel like life is worth living. That she should fix him a very healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and have sex with him at least twice a week or more if he wants it.

As the wife drives her husband home, the husband says "Well, what did the doctor say?"

The wife hesitated a moment, then said..."Well, honey, you are going to die!"

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Tough love, PD? :-)

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 10 years 5 weeks ago

Republicans never met a fact they liked. These guys are living in a dream world that does not resemble the truth. They are not students of the Constitution they say they love. They pretend that the founding fathers got everything right in the Constitution. When the founders made compromise choices to make a strong union, they made several errors. One error is the designation of folks brought over from Africa (and their descendents) as counting as only 3/5 of a person and they were not considered Americans. It took the Civil War to correct that error. More Americans died in that war than any war in our history. I wonder if Republicans want to return to the original language and make residents of African descent slaves. These guys are not thinking at all. They are merely repeating the stories they hear on the radio. They say they want freedom and liberty . . . real freedom is based on truth. They would have to educate themselves first. When you listen to them speak they call those with an education elitist. Where would we be as a species if people did not educate themselves. History will record the ideas and words of these Republicans as functional idiots. They do not make any sense. Perhaps they spout this crap because they do not want to say what they really believe. I think the problem the Republicans are really stuck on is having a black man in the White House. They want to "take their country back." He is not a citizen. He is a Muslim. All that crap is a smokescreen for their deepseated racism.

Analyst's picture
Analyst 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback, the second amendment refers to a well regulated militia, so regulation is part of the amendment itself;

Analyst's picture
Analyst 10 years 5 weeks ago

Thom, your blog states "And the Supremacy Clause is one of the Constitution's most important tenants."

However, I think that you meant to refer to "tenets".

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback: Yeah, I thing for sure...I'm gonna die!

ptg0's picture
ptg0 10 years 5 weeks ago

I wouldnt count on that pussy holder doing anything. Afterall, obama and his rat pack are all about "Look forward, not backward".

Thats code for letting the bush crime family get away with murder which means obama is just another bush of a different color.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Analyst: Yes, the Constitution references both the term "militia" and the phrase "well regulated".

militia |məˈli sh ə|
a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
• a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.
• all able-bodied civilians eligible by law for military service.

You choose which part of this the founders had in mind. My personal opinion is that it included all of the above. In any case it relates to civilians bearing arms.

As to "well regulated", I'd say that the civilian population is already "well regulated" with regard to guns. Last time I noticed, there was no federal law against murder, armed robbery, or any of the various crimes it likes to associate with guns, but every state has that law on its books, regardless of the weapon. For that matter, the federal government has no authority to regulate anything having to do with guns unless it relates to interstate or international issues beyond the purview of state governments or (recently) terrorist activities regardless of the weapons used. So it's unclear where the federal government derives its authority to dictate the conditions under which the average citizen may procure a fire arm. Perhaps from the same place GWB and Obama derived their authority to suspend the letter of the Fourth Amendment?

ptg0's picture
ptg0 10 years 5 weeks ago

As they say, it takes two to tango. When you consider that the U.S. has been at war for all but 8 years since 1776, I dont think this could have occured without democrats support. As a matter of fact numerous democrat scum bags supported bush's illegal wars and policies and obama is still working harder to keep the endless war record intact than he is creating jobs for the saps that elected him.

Obama is just another bush of a different color.

I guess the Chinese are pretty accurate when they call the U.S. war mongers.

ptg0's picture
ptg0 10 years 5 weeks ago

It looks to me like the real terrorists are both republicons and democrats. It is time to flush the toilet of both turds.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 5 weeks ago

The implicitly secessionist stunts being pulled by the states of the Old Confederacy and the theocratic Middle West underscore what I have believed for many years, which is that as the formerly unifying infrastructure deteriorates, so will the federal union itself fall apart. Indeed the war against government implicit in Ayn Rand capitalism may have as its clandestine purpose the deliberate acceleration of the impending collapse. The ultimate goal, of course, is to create a society in which all power belongs to the corporations, much as -- in Medieval Europe and particularly the Holy Roman Empire, all power lay with the baronies.

Hence I foresee North America ruled by corporate money but divided into at least five nations: the Pacific Northwest Confederation (Alaska, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Northern California); Verro Mexico (Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California, parts of Texas); the North American Confederation (the remainder of Canada plus New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and maybe Maryland); the New Christian Confederacy (same as the old Confederacy plus West Virginia and Kentucky), and the United Christian States of God's America (all the remainder, most like Nebraska and North Dakota by plebiscite, other more civilized places like Michigan and Minnesota by theocratic conquest and genocidal elimination of all non-believers). Which defines the state of permanent warfare between God's Own Alliance (the two theocracies) and the avowedly secular North American Alliance (the two confederations).

Verro Mexico meanwhile will be sensibly neutral, content to see its former oppressors tear themselves apart until such time as the Union of Latin American Socialist Republics -- Verro Mexico and everything to the south -- invades to pick up the pieces and in most places is welcomed as a liberator.

(Clip this and save it so your grandchildren can test the accuracy of my predictions.)

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

After SchoolTeacher enters the shed and finds that Sethe had slaughtered her own children, so as not to be taken back to SweetHome, tears run down the arrogant hypocrites' cheek. He sneered "Animal!" And he left.

Scene in the movie "Beloved" based on a book written by Toni Morrison

One of my favorite movies...I still cannot get over the excellent acting done by all of the actors and actresses in this movie. Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Thandie Newton.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

Right on, ptg0! Couldn't agree more!

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Loren Bliss - That's an interesting thesis. But how will this come about without the blessing of the puppet masters? Do you think they already have this outcome planned? And what's the timeframe? Or will it all come to pass through the degeneration of existing structures (nations) and naturally reorganize in this way?

John Bauerle's picture
John Bauerle 10 years 5 weeks ago

Gun registration shell game. Question. I am no expert but when I hear the gun advocates changing the subject of gun registration to blaming the mentally ill memories of the 80s bounce back. Was it not Reagen that took away funding for and closed the mental institutions, putting these people on the street. This also eliminated a path for the care of generations after the 80s?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

I support these Red States bucking the Feds. The Federal Government is wrong in it's attempts to restrict guns. It doesn't even address the problems rationally. By pursuing this course of action they do give the impression that they have a hidden agenda to take our guns away. The Federal Government is attempting to violate its own Constitution and the Red States are saying they won't go for it. Good for them.

The problem with managing a huge sprawling Empire like the United States is delegating authority. The Roman Empire did this masterfully and lasted centuries. Leaders have to realize that localities know what is best for their own communities. All they need from the Fed is help regulating commerce, provide common defense, and enforce trading law with their neighbors so that their businesses can prosper. They don't need to be dictated to on how to live.

In Rome the local Governors gave sweeping powers to heads of localities. They provided security, regulated commerce and collected taxes. People felt safe and comfortable. The economy thrived and citizens were content. Forcing ever stricter laws down the throats of the populace breeds contempt. It also sows the seeds of revolt.

It's a shame history has taught our leaders so little about how to effectively run the Government. It's also a shame that the powers that be have envisioned an unattainable Empire. What a tremendous waste of time, money and resources.

Quite frankly, in my opinion, the Fed should be listening to the state Governors instead of threatening them. After all, the Fed serves the States. We the People! I think we all need to remember that!

Don't forget, the Fed is also trying to overturn laws passed by the States legalizing marijuana. What a giant leap backwards that would be! Instead they should be following the States lead!

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago

Thom and Louise: How do you attract these people? What is it, they come aboard to bash your views, believing somehow their facts are truer than yours and their opinions and history are more accurate or something.

Federal law has since 1789 trumped state law. ALWAYS. It's been repeatedly upheld. The states cannot do something that is unconstitutional and get away with it. If Mississippi decided to make their people of color three/fifths of a person again, they can't. The Constitution overrides them. The gentleman who claims that the feds are usurping states' rights--they are fading away--is simply wrong. There has been no "fading away"; this is the way the Constitution has set it up and it has been upheld many times.

Here's one remark by somebody: "Obama and company are using every trick in the book to come down on law abiding gun owners and dealers, knowing full well that this won't make one bit of a difference in the illegal procurement and use of fire arms."

What are those tricks? Oh, and you forgot to mention that he's trying to take your guns away. Although he hasn't shown one iota of interest in doing so and has repeatedly affirmed that the 2nd Amendment gives the populace the right to bear arms. The right of anyone to bear any kind of arms and guns and assault weapons for whatever reason without anyone checking to see if they are criminals, terrorists (I believe the NRA forbid the government from taking guns away from terrorists), mentally ill, wildly insane, mentally retarded, felons -- I don't know that any category of person is restrained. The 2nd amendment is ambiguous at best; it refers to a well regulated militia. That sure doesn't sound like any of you guys, out freelancing with guns and ammunition. I get the feeling you are not well regulated about anything. And you should go back and read Thom's column on what the "well-regulated militia" REALLY meant in those times--a euphemistic way for states to allow local governments to keep blacks and slaves powerless and terrified.

There's so much more. As a historian, I recommend you go back and read REAL history--not the stuff the NRA feeds you (by the way, Hitler DID NOT take away Germans' guns when he was elected)>

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

John Bauerie wrote ~ "Was it not Reagen that took away funding for and closed the mental institutions, putting these people on the street."

You are absolutely right, my friend. Addressing this issue is the first thing the Government should be doing to address this problem. Immediately jumping on the gun control bandwagon makes about the same amount of sense as attacking Iraq for the actions of citizens of Saudi Arabia. Give me a break! Who can blame the Red States for seeing this as an assault on their civil liberties. Hell, its an assault on all of our civil liberties.

It does nothing to solve the original problem; that, as you've stated so well, was created by President Ronald Reagan. If you ask me this whole charade is nothing more than a clever shell game just like you said, probably with an agenda so well put out by LorenBliss a few posts ago; destroy the union, and blame it on the radical, trigger happy teabrains and a black President. Vilify the Red States, confiscate all guns in a mock revolt, divide, conquer and dominate the whole country under Corporate run territories, and reap the profits of a police run slave labor state. The big problem. I think its a bad bet they could pull that off. I think they will learn the people aren't as stupid as they think. The powers that be are so removed from common reality they live in a fantasy dream world. I think their fantasy bubble is going to burst some day!

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Here are a couple of thoughts on the "gun control" issue. I hope those of you out there that frame the whole question as one of "gun nuts" versus responsible citizens favoring sensible limits on the instruments of death - period, will try to get your heads around.

First, the issue of familiarity. Let me begin by explaining that I currently live in a rural state (Idaho) but that I was born and raised in a different environment (Seattle). So I made a conscious transition thirty five years ago from a person that was totally unfamiliar and unexperienced with fire arms to somebody quite comfortable around them. This second phase represents almost half of my lifetime. I evolved from a "city guy", a little nervous around guns, to a person quite at home with the concept. Why? I moved to the woods, well away from the presumed protection of law enforcement because, as a practical matter, it doesn't exist in rural communities, at least as a deterrent to crime.

I have to tell you that I was even more freaked out by my first chain saw, but when I realized that it couldn't hurt me unless I did something really stupid, I got used to that too. One of the things that seemed obvious to me was that if I had guns in the house, my kids should be educated as to their destructive potential. For that reason I conducted my own firearms safety course with my four kids. We would go out behind the house, one on one, and blow up 2 liter coke bottles filled with water with my 30-06 hunting rifle. They'd do the shooting. I'd point out the shock waves in the plastic shards to them. Then we'd shoot a fresh head of cabbage and watch it explode into confetti. I'd explain that this is basically what would happen to a human skull if hit with that kind of energy. This exercise was critical, I feel, to the respect they developed for the awesome destructive potential of fire arms. Not a one of them was ever at risk, I feel, of picking up one of dad's guns and playing with it. None of my kids turned into a hunter (and neither did I). My two youngest boys today own fire arms and the older of the two Is a target shooting enthusiast and an expert at reloading ammunition, something I got him into. I don't see anything "nutty" about any of this. And I want to assure you that I was always far more paranoid about that chain saw, when it came to letting the kids use it, than I was about guns.

OK, so are you thinking "yeah, this guy handed a deadly weapon to his kids and has inured them to the implications of guns as killing machines"? Well let me ask you if you're a little more comfy handing the keys to your family sedan to your sixteen year old? If you are, I suspect the whole thing boils down to your comfort level with automobiles. The idea of a two ton vehicle hurtling through space at a hundred feet per second isn't somehow intrinsically frightening because, after all, cars weren't invented to kill people. Nonetheless, something on the order of 35,000 deaths occur each year from automobile accidents, many of which can be ascribed to things like alcohol, road rage, texting ....

Think about it. Is your visceral response to guns and gun violence logical, or maybe just a tad emotional? And can you possibly see the position of people who view guns as just another tool without demonizing them as fanatics?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

historywriter wrote ~ "Federal law has since 1789 trumped state law. ALWAYS. It's been repeatedly upheld."

That's true. However, that flawed stipulation in the constitution lead to a bloody Civil War in less than a century; and, history is on the precipice to repeat itself. All over the same mistake. If anything in the Constitution has to change The States need more jurisdiction over themselves. Federal law must remain supreme when it involves enforcing the Bill of Rights, Civil Rights, Equal Rights, Commerce, Public Welfare, and the General Defense; but, thats it. The Fed exists mainly to defend the individual from organized powers. The States, Counties, and Cities should be able to Govern all other Public Affairs as they see fit. Without the Authority to do so these agencies become ineffective in their charge to Govern. Too much centralized power weakens the Union and does not strengthen it.

Thousands of years of Roman Empire history trumps two centuries of American history.

Thom attracts people who think for themselves and don't blindly agree with anything he says. I doubt he would want it any other way. He's not always right you know.

douglas m 10 years 5 weeks ago

If states dont want want fedral law, maybe they shouldnt get federal funds either.Just sayin

akunard's picture
akunard 10 years 5 weeks ago

You need to see the movie "Lincoln" those functional idiots out voted and bought off the Democrats in order to free the slaves. And I bet that is a fact that PhilpHenderson does not like.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

Anyone who buys Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) doesn't assume that Colonel Sanders actually prepared and cooked it for them do they? The same could be said of blogs like this one. I suspect that whoever actually posts the blog is not actually the one whose name is on it. I think both of the Hartmanns would be very much more careful about the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes that we often see. But, of course, I could be wrong. I imagine that Thom and Louise are both pretty busy with their main television shows and would farm out their blog to some lowly employees... whose name we may never know.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

akunard ~ Great point! The issue of slavery should have been dealt with before the Constitution was ratified. States with slavery should never have been invited into the union until slavery was abolished. What a boneheaded mistake our founding fathers made just to save time and pass the buck onto the next generation. Shame on them.

What hypocrisy as well to allow slavery under the jurisdiction of the Bill of Rights. Thats a total of 71 years of the Constitution not being enforced and the States were allowed to violate Federal law. Some precedent! 71 years of unconstitutional slavery and some people here think the States never got to do their own thing? It is the Fed that cherry picks what laws it wants to enforce and which ones it wants to ignore. The ability of the Fed to do this is at will is the problem!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ When I buy Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) I don't even assume it's chicken.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Philip Henderson - I'm certain you're right when you state "I think the problem the Republicans are really stuck on is having a black man in the White House". In fact I'll go so far as to say that a lot of white independents and Democrats are struggling with their own prejudice. I can tell you though, that as an old white guy in a red state I voted for your man, and I'm sorry to say, I've watched him piss it all away. I don't attribute that to race - just individual character. I'll tell you straight up that I abhor bigotry, and think anyone stupid enough to stand in the way of the inevitable changes that have taken place in this country since MLK will be steamrolled. But the real issue here is whether we will collectively make good decisions going forward. We haven't so far.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback ~ Agreed. But I'll go one further. I think the reason a black man was allowed to enter the white house was to give the Republicans a leader that they would appear to be justified in intimidating and bullying to the point of getting away with treason. I don't think the Republicans hate him because he's black, I think the love him because he's black.

Unfortunately, I foresaw this possibility when he first announced his candidacy. I said, I'd love to see a black man in office; but, now is not the right time. We need someone who has the full support of everyone; and is not easily intimidated. A black man in the white house is something I always wanted to see. I guess I made a bad compromise. At least I'm glad to hear I wasn't alone.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Black man? The guy's a half breed, like most of us. I think he played that like a fiddle. A real "soul brother" would certainly have had more empathy for the plight of the poor.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 10 years 5 weeks ago

I see seven primary econo-political, geopolitical and environmental trends in the Americas today. In Latin America there is a profound shift toward an as-yet unnamed socialism based on workers' and peasants' cooperatives that will eventually lead to proclamation of a new manifesto or a modified version of the original Communist Manifesto calling for local self-governance, the disolving of national boundaries, trans-national socioeconomic union and then, inevitably, to defensive military action against El Norte. In North America there are six trends in three pairs of antitheticals. One set of antitheticals is the secularism of the coastal regions and Canada versus the incipient theocracy of the South and the midlands. While the One Percent's preference is obviously theocracy, the forces of secularism and/or unapologetic Gaian paganism are strong enough in the coastal cities to mount an effective resistance, hence in the interest of profit the corporations will have to adopt at least the pretense of tolerance outside the officially Christian domains. The second pair of antitheticals is the accelerating passage toward zero-tolerance tyranny manifest in the total surveillance state versus the accelerating passage toward entropy manifest in the ongoing and soon-to-be-total collapse of infrastructure both political and physical. However this conflict is resolved, it will be the ruin of the federal union as we know it. The fifth North American trend is the One Percent's effort to convert the 99 Percent to "human capital" in the original sense -- that is, from a workforce to slave labor. Even if that is largely successful -- and I believe it will be (the reason now at age 73 I celebrate the fact my one child did not survive beyond his mother's womb) -- the unmitigated horrors of life under slavery will nevertheless produce a people with strong basic survival skills, especially for living off the land, witness, for example the British Isles after the withdrawal of the Roman Legions. The counter-trend is the tendency of the One Percent to abandon North America entirely -- to seek greener pastures overseas amongst peoples who are easier to exploit and enslave. The seventh trend is the wild card: the fury of Gaia or Mother Nature. Eruption of the super-volcano heating up under Yellowstone could be as destructive to the United States as the eruption of Calliste (Thera) was in 1650 BCE to the global trading commonwealth that for a thousand years had been based on Crete. More superstorms of the Katrina/Sandy class will destroy more cities -- and as we see in New Orleans and New York, the One Percent has no intention of paying the costs of full recovery. These results of terminal climate change will undoubtedly wreak havoc. Based on history (and if indeed any humans at all survive), societies will be radically transformed. The more high-tech the technology, the more fragile it is; hence no surveillance state (or any other human construct) can ultimately withstand the forces of Nature.

Which means the great fear that is now driving the One Percent to ever-intensified tyranny -- the terror of losing control -- is almost certain to be fulfilled. What comes after that -- again note the example of post-Roman Europe -- will largely be determined by the societies that were there before the collapse. The human tendency is toward restoration -- note how efforts to restore the Roman Empire shape European politics to this day. Given that tendency, I see post-apocalyptic North America and Latin America each taking shape much as I described. As to a timeline, my sense is probably 50 years to total North American collapse and political contraction into smaller units (though Mother Nature could certainly accelerate that process), probably another 50 years to evolve the socioeconomic systems I described. And -- yes -- there are two hopeful elements implicit in this. One is that in the wake of Gaia's revenge, the god of Judaism, Christianity and Islam will be the god who failed, which portends an eventual end to Abrahamic theocracy. Conversely, the rise of feminism and environmentalism presage a new, Earth-centered religion a key purpose of which will be nurturing human sustainability. Indeed the Gaia Hypothesis -- essentially that Earth (and by implication the entire cosmos) is alive, conscious and self-regulating -- scientifically restates what was the core principle of all religions until the advent of the anti-Nature, anti-woman male super-gods mandated the imposition of patriarchy about 5000 years ago. And global warming may not continue indefinitely. When I studied geology in the 1970s, there was a computer model of the oceanic currents based on several million years of geological history that postulated once polar ice melt has raised the seas to a certain level, the currents (the Gulf Stream, the Japan Current etc.) will reverse, bringing cold air from the poles toward the equator -- starting the earth toward another ice age.

This is, of course, a gross oversimplification of a very complex estimate of probabilities, something I have been thinking about for nearly 50 years. Amongst its early influences were Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, Gastil's Cultural Regions of the United States, and Vacca's The Coming Dark Age, not to mention the experience of being two cars into the 14th Street Station on the Eighth Avenue IND when the still-unexplained blackout of 1965 hit the Northeast. After about an hour we passengers organized our own escape; I will never forget climbing from the Stygian darkness of the subway into a Manhattan illuminated only by a preternaturally brilliant full moon. The sense of witnessing prophecy -- of seeing the City as it will look a few hundred years from now -- literally stood my hair on end, as remembering it will still sometimes do even now.

Gary the Gun Nut 10 years 5 weeks ago

It is a documented fact that many of the guns manufactured and/or sold in some states are illegally transported and/or used in other states for criminal purposes. So from that perspective the federal government absolutely does have the Constitutional authority and, indeed, the moral imperative to undertake gun control measures as deemed appropriate and effective (i.e., may serve to alleviate this glaring and significant social problem).


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 8.

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

(emphasis added)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Loren Bliss ~ Quite a thoughtful analysis from a non prophet. Kudos to you. Especially that section about global warming and the potential for the eruption of Yosemite.

Let me begin by saying I too am no prophet. However, I do believe the song, "Throwing Stones," was written by a Great Prophet. It would be worth it to check it out. If I'm right, the 1% and many, many others are goners. The future will be a better place to live... eventually. Here's the link again:

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago


Maybe the issue of slavery ‘SHOULD HAVE” been dealt with before the constitution was ratified, but it wasn’t and for a good reason: It was a divisive, difficult issue and most of the constitutional signers were slave owners themselves. It was not outlawed in the constitution but slaves were considered 3/5 of a person. But slavery was not outlawed. The northern states were increasingly against slavery and the southern states were not, because the slaves supplied free labor to their owners and propelled the southern economy.

Thom, by the way, has written that the 2nd amendment was part of that compromise since the “well organized militias” were a sort of code word for allowing the states or localities to form “militias” that would keep the slaves in line. They periodically (weekly I think) inspected the slave quarters to make sure no one had escaped, went after slaves who had escaped and the like.

It’s easy to say the constitution should have dealt with it initially but it was a contentious issue 200 years ago and still remains contentious – not slavery per se, but how we have made created a system of discrimination against our black citizens. And there was no 71 years of lack of enforcement; there was no prohibition against slavery at the time.

We still have a system that works against blacks in many ways. Read Alexander's The New Jim Crow.

William Faulkner said, “History isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago

Loren Bliss

I find your comments interesting, provocative and scary. But you do toss out two somewhat optimistic possibilities--one on feminism and Gaia (despite some obvious contradictions such as our own Michelle Bachman) i think we'd have a much better country and world if women had at least half the power of men. The other is the possible reversability of climate change.

Keep writing.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Loren Bliss: Thank you for your lucid and detailed response to my questions. I certainly hope that you're wrong, but suspect that you're fears may be well founded. At least, nothing good can come of the way things are presently going.

Just one observation. You said "...the rise of feminism and environmentalism presage a new, Earth-centered religion a key purpose of which will be nurturing human sustainability." You are surely aware that there's nothing "new" about this philosophy/religion. The most recent local example was manifest in some of the native North American tribes. (We stomped them flat).

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Loren Bliss ~ Concerning a pure theocracy in the South and mid-states, I don't see that happening. For a theocracy to flourish it has to be accepted by the vast majority. The current fundamentalist influences in these areas are so laced with hypocrisy and hatred I don't see the vast multitude of any major region embracing it long enough for it to develop into a theocracy. If I'm wrong, I don't see that theocracy lasting very long. Eventually, it would become very hateful to the people.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

historywriter wrote ~ "And there was no 71 years of lack of enforcement; there was no prohibition against slavery at the time."

I beg to disagree. There was clear and present prohibition against slavery at the inception of the Constitution--it was called the Bill of Rights. Ratifying the Constitution to deny black people those "inalienable" rights was BS and we all know that. Remember the Declaration of Independence, "WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL..." So did those wealthy slave owners know that back then. Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, didn't write "...ALL WHITE MEN..." now did he? Don't fool yourself. That very act was perhaps the first Unconstitutional Law written. The entire government is responsible. You can defend the Nations actions all you want my friend; but, the cheap easy solution doesn't make it any more legal, moral, or righteous with me. Funny how hypocrisy can turn around and bite you on the butt far into the future, isn't it?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

I realize how ironic and confusing it may seem to many that in one post I attack slavery and in another I defend the actions of the descendants of slave owners. Please bare in mind that I only seek what is moral, legal and right. Just because a group in history has been on the wrong side of the law doesn't mean that they can never be on the right side of the law. I am not prejudiced in any way concerning the law or what is in the best interest of this country. I stand by my opinions. I'm sorry for any confusion.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 5 weeks ago

Gary the Gun Nut ~ Before I forget, thanks buddy for the support. Much appreciated. Don't think I didn't notice.

Outback 10 years 5 weeks ago

Gary the Gun Nut: I think your position on "regulation" is flawed. If, by ANTICIPATING the illegal use of firearms either in-state or across state lines the federal government is preemptively restricting access to those individuals that, in its estimation (subject to some criteria that can only be guessed at when you take the long view) then it's violating the Constitution. What about the rights of all those individuals that might be arbitrarily excluded? Do you actually believe that our government is above this? And if it isn't, what is its underlying motive? Concern for the welfare of those injured or killed as a result of gun violence? Our government displays its compassion and concern for the sanctity of life every day in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

And as an aside to the "history writer", when I said in an earlier post that Obama was using every trick in the book to ram through his agenda of more stringent gun controls I was referring to his playing on the big public outpouring of sympathy for the children of Newtown, attending funerals, crying big crocodile tears, while his Vahrmacht continues to pour the equivalent of napalm on "brown children" in places far out of view.

But back to why your logic is flawed. An exact parallel exists in connection with the First Amendment. As you seem to be pretty familiar with the Constitution, I probably don't need to point out the fact that your freedom of speech cannot be abridged through "prior restraint". You can be drawn and quartered for a lot of things (a growing list it would seem - in the near future possibly even my present criticism of the Administration) by the Sedition Act, but the Constitution guarantees your right to say what you have to say. You cannot be preemptively cut off .... yet.

Naturally, yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater or opening up with an assault rifle in that same venue is and should be considered a felony. Likewise, restricting the sale of firearms to people with demonstrated serious mental issues and or criminal records, or children for that matter, only makes sense. But the legal system in this country is structured on the notion that an individual is innocent until "proven guilty". When you forget that principle, my friend, you are standing on a very slippery slope, whether you're a "gun nut" or not.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

DAnnemarc: I assume it's not chicken and then I don't buy it. I like's less greasy and queasy than KFC. I don't think KFC ever changes their oil. By the way, I hear Popeyes uses Olive Oil to fry their chicken! Get it? Hey, I got a million of 'em!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 10 years 5 weeks ago

Outback & DAnnemarc..#34, #35, #36: Yes, I agree except I'd even go further to say that as I've heard so many others Michael Hudson, Chris Hedges, and even Jeremy Scahill...that had Obama lost, the ruling elite with their puppet Republican President, would not have been able to get away with everything they have gotten away with under Obama.

I believe that the ruling elite knew this and actually supported Obama. Obama was the popular slick tongued devil that was actually backed by the ruling elite as a way to sneak in everything they wanted with very little opposition from Democrats.

They knew that there would be a natural tendency for Democrats to back a Democrat President...even if he is not acting very much like a liberal Democrat. The Democrat Congressmen don't want him to fail...because it would make the whole Democrat party look bad. But, it looks like the whole Democrat party looks bad anyway.

If a Republican had taken the Presidency...most of the Democrats would all be in opposition to every one of those Republican bills especially their attacks on Social Security and Medicare. The Democrats would have howled bloody murder. But with a "Democrat" turn-coat President there is not very much real opposition...just enough to make some constituents think, maybe, that it is still worthwhile to vote Democrat the next time around...but not enough to effectively stop the ruling elite from taking all they want.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago

Really? Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes? Point them out to us.

Do you think Thom Hartmann's many books are ghost written?

I wonder why people throw out speculative rumors as though they are true. I guess because they have no facts.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 10 years 5 weeks ago

Danne: Of course these slave owners didn't write "white men." Although that's what they actually meant. Not just white men but propertied white men. It may have been unconstitutional but these guys were willing to trade off American rights for the signatures that would allow the government to have a constitution and move forward.

The whole writing of the Constitution was far more complex and fraught than most of us know.

Let me recommend to ALL of you that you watch Peter Sagal narrating the 4-PART PBS special that starts next week--May 7, I'm pretty sure. Then come back and tell us about it.

It's things like this that should cause Americans to look honestly at the Constitution and how it was created, not as a sacred document that is absolutely unchangeable -- the so called strict constructionists (Does that include the guys who made Citizens United ther law of the land). If we can ever quit bowing down in the belief that angels and various other heavenly creatures hammered out the constitution and left it infallible (much like the Pope I suppose), we might be able to get some revisions that would address modern, 21st society. (And let it be revised again, if necessary, for the 22st and so on.)

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