Grassroot Perspective: Sneaky Government, IRS Passport Grabs and Bureaucrat Calculus

This column was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. A weekly liberty briefing and news guide to keep you informed and prepared on what’s UP to more freedom or DOWN to bigger, more intrusive government. Quote of the Week: “the future belongs only to socialism ” – Erich Honecker, October 6, 1989 U.S. Senate FY 2013 Department of the Interior Appropriations Draft has Native Hawaiian recognition as a bill rider Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations committee released a draft of the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior appropriations that included on page 129, line 19 a bill rider which provides for Native Hawaiian recognition: “the Secretary shall consider for recognition the self-governing community that may include individuals enrolled under Act 195 (26th Haw. Leg. Sess. (2011)).” Hawaii’s Act 195 (2011) specifically states, “The Native Hawaiian people are hereby recognized as the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawaii.” Should the Interior budget bill pass, the United States Government would be in effect ratifying the language of the State of Hawaii. Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) responded with alarm in a press release, saying “That is a race-based definition and it is contrary to our constitutional principles.” ANALYSIS: The issue of Native Hawaiian sovereignty remains an incendiary matter for many individuals, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian. However the fairest and most equitable solution to the Hawaiian people cannot come from creating a new system of Federally administered funding and recognition. As we have seen in America’s Declaration of Independence, real freedom and liberty comes not from recognition of a people by a state but rather the recognition of a state by the people. A state...

Constitution 201: Woodrow Wilson and the Rejection of the Founders’ Constitution

This article was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. This lesson is taught by Dr. Ronald Pestritto, Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution, Associate Professor of Politics, and Dean of the Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.  Dr. Pestritto is a senior fellow at Hillsdale’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  He teaches courses in American politics and political philosophy.  Dr. Pestritto is also a senior fellow at Claremont Institute and an academic fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He has published extensively, both books and articles, particularly concerning his main focus on the political thought of the Progressives.  He received his BA from Claremont McKenna College, and his MA and PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University.  This lecture was posted on the internet September 17, and those interested may register at constitution.hillsdale.edu.  There is no fee.  The next lesson in this series will be Overview:  Founders vs. Progressives, taught by Dr. Thomas West. We must ask why Woodrow Wilson, and other Progressives, wanted to transform theUnited Statesfrom a constitutional republic into an administrative state. Wilsonwas first an academic, and he continually disparaged politics as dirty, corrupt, and in the control of corporate special interests.  On the other hand, he viewed the rising science of government administration as a potentially pure and objective enterprise, fit for the direction of experts with university training. “The Study of Administration” is an 1886 essay from the early period ofWilson’s scholarly career; it captures his lifetime beliefs about the place of public administration in national government. Wilsonidentifies the role of administration in three periods of historic development...

Big Bad Surprises in the New Akaka Bill

• Tribal casinos in Hawaii even if the state legalizes only church bingo • Grabbing for federal, state, and even private lands in Hawaii • Akaka tribe casinos competing against genuine tribes on mainland • Grabbing federal handouts away from genuine tribes • Pig in a poke — recognizing a tribe before it’s created • Race the only requirement enforced for tribal membership • Balkanize America — any “indigenous” group can now be a tribe The present essay is a quote-free citation-free version of a more detailed analysis with extensive documentation and internet links. Please see http://tinyurl.com/9yadojp The new Akaka bill introduced on September 13, 2012 is a monster. It’s only 14 pages long, but it’s all the previous versions on steroids. Until now the bill prohibited the Akaka tribe from engaging in any form of gambling in Hawaii or anywhere else. The new version authorizes full-blown tribal casinos in Hawaii if the state ever legalizes any form of gambling including church bingo. This new bill allows the Akaka tribe, by far the largest tribe in America, to bully the genuine but much smaller mainland tribes by competing against them in two ways which previous versions of the bill prohibited. (a) The Akaka tribe can put casinos in 48 other states (excluding Utah) even if the State of Hawaii does not allow gambling in Hawaii. (b) Language in the bill also says the Akaka tribe can immediately receive benefits automatically from existing programs routinely available to all the federally recognized tribes, plus any new programs. In view of America’s $16 Trillion national debt, the pot of money available for...

Grassroot Perspective: Land of the Sorta Free, Compromise and Agree with Me, and More

This column was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. Scanning the week’s national news, views and clues with you and yours in mind Quote of the Week: “The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich. “–P. J. O’Rourke  Each week, we’ll be monitoring the web to find the most interesting, challenging, or important items for those who are concerned about liberty, accountability, and big government.  Here are some of the highlights from the past week: Land of the Somewhat Free It will come as no surprise that Americacontinues its mediocre performance on the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World 2012 index.  After climbing to the top 5 between 1980 and 2000, we dropped to 8th in 2005, and now sit at an embarrassing 18th place.  What figures into their assessment?  Things like size of government, sound money, regulation, and freedom to trade internationally.  So it’s not hard to figure out what has happened in the last several years that has caused the precipitous decline.  The size of our government has ballooned, and the current administration (whose anti-obesity campaign should really be aimed at federal government programs) is intent on growing it more.  Our monetary policy seems as though it was designed by a drunk man playing darts at 3am.  And our bloated federal agencies continue to try to justify their existence (and increase their power by stealth) by increasing our regulatory burden. The greatest irony of all is that all of these changes were sold to the American people...

Constitution 201: Woodrow Wilson and the Rejection of the Founders’ Principles

This article was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. This lesson is taught by Dr. Ronald Pestritto, Associate Professor of Politics and Dean of the Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College.  Dr. Pestritto is a senior fellow at Hillsdale’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  He teaches courses in American politics and political philosophy.  Dr. Pestritto is also a senior fellow at Claremont Institute and an academic fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He has published extensively, both books and articles, particularly concerning his main focus on the political thought of the Progressives.  He received his BA from Claremont McKenna College, and his MA and PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University.  This lecture was posted on the internet September 10, and those interested may register at constitution.hillsdale.edu.  There is no fee.    The Founders had argued that we were governed by unchanging human nature, permanent truths about the human condition.  This led to the recognition of inalienable individual rights, and the responsibility of a just government to secure them.  While our reason makes us fit for self government, we must also accept that our passions can be dangerous to its just realization.  A constitutional framework must distribute power widely, and establish checks on those powers, to ensure our ultimate reliance on reason and to minimize negative effects from the passions of factions—even majority factions. The Progressives have challenged the universalism of the Founders.  Founding principles were fine for the problems we faced at the end of the eighteenth century.  However, conditions change, bringing new problems.  Government must evolve to meet new challenges, and the...