Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Legalized Bigamy: A Side-Effect of the Same-Gender Marriage Debate and DOMA

Well, this is an interesting kettle of fish! DOMA allows states to not recognize same-gender marriages from one state (CA, MA) in another. Every other state besides those two have either prohibited same-gender marriages or are silent/neutral on the issue.

That means that a same-gender marriage in CA or MA is not valid in neighboring states.

Bigamy laws state that entering into a marriage while currently in a recognized marriage in that state is invalid and illegal.

In 48 states, same-gender marriages are not valid.

But in 2 states, they are.

So if John and Fred get married in CA but later John marries Sue in NV, while still married to Fred, can they both be legal in their respective states? At this point, certainly. NV cannot claim John commits bigamy since his CA marriage to Fred is not recognized or valid in NV. In NV, John is effectively single and can marry Sue. Since he married Fred in CA first, CA cannot legally recognize his marriage to Sue either, and since he did that in NV, CA has no jurisdiction to claim bigamy.

Now, outside of the obvious question of why in the world John would want the insanity of two spouses in different states, this scenario raises a huge point as to why DOMA is royally screwed up, and why banning same-gender marriage is also royally screwed up. DOMA basically had the effect of creating legalized bigamy once MA and CA legalized same-gender marriage!

Sure the idea of the states being “laboratories of democracy” is all well and good, but what does one do when THIS pops up? All the state laws are valid, and everything John did was legal.

Well, there are three non-status-quo options:
1. Ban same-gander marriage nationally.
2. Permit same-gender marriage nationally.
3. Get government out of marriage entirely.

Naturally, as a libertarian, IMNSHO #1 just won’t fly. Marriage has always been about love and commitment and property, not personal plumbing.

#2 is good, but only as a stopping point on the way to #3. If marriage becomes a private contract between consenting adults (no pre-adult or arranged marriages, thank you!), then the state has no role in it except to mediate any contract disputes if the marriage ends. Since marriage licenses grew out of miscegenation laws, removing such a racist license is only fitting and proper anyway.

That’s as it should be. After all, how many of the Founding Fathers had marriage licenses? Answer: Zero. So, if they didn’t need them, then why do we? A good pre-nup contract is all that is needed.

NOTE: I despise the term “same-sex”. Sex is an action, not a condition of being. Gender is a condition of being, and I refer to marriages and other relationships between two males or between two females for what they are: of the same gender. Plus it indicates the truth: these relationships are about far more than the actions of sex anyway, so they deserve proper respect for that depth. And, besides, who ever uses the term “opposite-sex” marriage or relationship anyway?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Repudiating the 17th Amendment

I have spoken many times in the past on how the 17th Amendment was a collosal mistake disguised in giving a vote to the People. Usually my position was based on the Amendment removing a crucial and little-talked about vertical check on the federal government by the states.

Now Paul C. Hanson has taken it several steps further in what to do about it.

I'll reproduce here what he has said in its entirety at his myspace blog for anyone who doesn't have a myspace account. All credit to him for the fine work.

As found at

Here is why our government doesn't work and what to do about it
Posted July 15th, 2008 by pchanson
A Magic Bullet Will Be Needed to Kill the 17th Amendment.

An article by Paul Hanson

The U.S Constitution "originally" laid out the separation of powers
between the federal government and the State governments in the first paragraph of article 1 section 3. How this paragraph accomplished that goal will become clear later in this article. This paragraph states:

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the LEGISLATURE thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote."

Then in Article I, section 4 we also find this:

"The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators
and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the
Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the PLACES of
chusing Senators." Those places were to be in the State Legislatures.

This balance of power was then permanently locked in by the last
clause of article 5. I call this clause the magic bullet because
it can't be stopped by any means that I can see. Article 5 dealing
with amendments to the Constitution clearly states:

"... and that NO State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its
equal Suffrage in the Senate."

By including this in the section dealing with amendments, it is
obvious that the sections of the Constitution concerning selection
of Senators and the suffrage they provided was not amendable
unless ALL of States consented and that this was to be a permanent provision. All of the above shows how adamant the founders were about this point by referring to the States representation on no less than 3 occasions. If even ONE State objected to changes in an area that would affect their suffrage, that change would be invalid. The normal ratification process could not be used to alter this principle. Yet that is exactly what happened when the 17th amendment was adopted.

The father of our Constitution, James Madison, in Federalist 43,
further supports this claim. He states that the Constitution was
completely amendable with 2 exceptions only. One of the
exceptions dealt with the importation of slaves and became moot
after 1808. The other was the State's equal suffrage in the Senate.

It appears, then, that this all boils down to definition. What is the
definition of State suffrage? In Federalist 59, Hamilton explains
State suffrage as the State legislatures having a voice in the
Senate. The 17th amendment effectively canceled that voice and
turned it over to the citizens of the States. I submit to you that
now, however, this definition has been left entirely to the
discretion of the States themselves. The courts have no say in the
matter. I will explain this bold statement in detail later. Why do I
feel this issue vitally important to restoring States rights? For
the same reasons our Founders did, to support the concept of
federalism and the balance of power between the States and federal government.

This concept strictly limited the federal governments powers to those specifically enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S.
Constitution. The People, through the Constitution, permitted the
national government to exercise certain enumerated powers. By
limiting the federal government's power and granting the States
nearly unlimited power, the federal government would merely be
protecting the States collectively and allowing the States to
handle their own affairs.

Federalism allowed the States wide latitude to run their own affairs
and by doing so, created 13 laboratories of freedom to experiment and formulate the best system of self-governance. This situation also created an atmosphere of competition between the States. When a State allowed its inhabitants to prosper and keep what they earn, The State would prosper and be allowed to continue governing its people. When the State government became a burden to them, the people could vote out the tyrants during the next election. Another alternative was for the businesses and the people to move to a State that was more to their liking. Business leaving the State would cause the tax base to erode and so would the peoples support of that government. Sooner or later, either
the State government or the people would wake up and correct
the problem.

The 17th amendment took away the States protection from the abuses of federal power allowing the federal government to get away with legislating in areas where they had no business doing so. This was a grave error seriously upsetting the balance of power so carefully crafted into our magnificent Constitution. The concept of Federalism was all but destroyed leading to endless abuses by the federal government from which there is no escape.

The enforcement mechanism against federal encroachment prior to the invalid17th was the States' representation in the Senate. The "Peoples House"i.e. the House of Representatives amply represents the people, while the States were to be represented by the Senate.

The States now have no representation and we are experiencing the folly of this venture toward pure democracy today. We were founded as a Republic not a democracy and now we see why. All the States needed to do in the past was to recall or direct their Senators before a bad law made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote and the damage could be stopped in its tracks. Hamilton's Federalist essay 59 addresses this issue directly. This power has been unconstitutionally snatched from the States by the invalid 17th amendment.

Careful study of the 17th amendments ratification reveals at least 10 states that failed to do so. Those 10 were FL, MS, DE, KY, UT, MD, RI, AL, IA and GA. The clear manner in which article 5 is written places the statement dealing with States equal suffrage in the Senate after the words: "Provided that no Amendment which may be made..." further showing that this was an exception to the rule regarding amendments.

With the failure those of 10 states to ratify the 17th, they were
denied their equal suffrage in the Senate without their consent in
violation of Article 5, thus making the 17th amendment invalid.
However, once any state declares the 17th invalid, based on what
I have pointed out here, that State, even though it had previously
consented to the 17th can withdraw its consent anytime it so chooses. Any State that previously consented can say "we no longer consent" because Article 5 mentions nary a word about the permanence of any such consent. The right of the state to withdraw that consent is further fully supported by the clear wording of the 10th amendment:


"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."

The power to withdraw that consent is not prohibited by article 5
so the power to withdraw it is reserved and retained by the
States. Fits like a glove. All the states need to do is select their
Senators in their legislatures and send them to Washington.
Simple. And what would the courts say about move such as this?
No court can attempt to make the State comply with the 17th
because they won't have jurisdiction to try the case. Here's why:

When a sovereign State declares the 17th amendment invalid, the Senate would be unlawfully seated. It would then follow that the Supreme Court is also unlawfully seated as is the entire federal bench because the Senate approves those federal court appointments including the Supreme Court. Anything decided by those federal courts would be null and void. The State could simply refuse to recognize the jurisdiction of the court system. The States could argue that the federal judiciary has been confirmed by a Senate that did not have the states best interest at heart.

The only other argument that could be made against the State would be the power of the Senate to be the ultimate judge of their elections and refuse to seat the Senators. However, how can an illegitimate Senate make such a decision? The answer is, they can't.

I have presented these facts in many forums over the years and they have never been successfully challenged. One argument that always seems to arise is this: "Well, all the states do have equal suffrage because they still each have two senators." This invalid argument comes from a lack of full understanding of what "suffrage" really stands for and by a focus on the first term "equal" while ignoring the second, "suffrage." The point of my entire article is that the States (meaning the State Legislatures) are the ones who have lost suffrage. The people of the State now elect Senators and are in possession of that suffrage. The real point is who do these senators now represent? After I make this point, I usually get this: "Well, the people ARE the "State." This is not entirely accurate either. In all instances I can find in the Constitution where it is speaking about the States, it is speaking of the Legislature of the States. The best example I can find that clearly delineates between the two is the last clause of that wonderful 10th Amendment again. That clause clearly lists the "People" and the "States" as two separate entities. If they were the same thing, there would be no need to list them both in the very same sentence.

There are other far-reaching implications of an invalid 17th and I'm
sure that opponents of what's been written here will use them to fight these truths. I will not give them ammunition by detailing what those far reaching implications are. However, I will say this:
If we endeavor to rid ourselves of the invalid 17th amendment in
the manner outlined above, be prepared for the fight of your lives
because there are many entrenched interests that would like
nothing more than to never have this information reach the light
of day.

There have been many articles written concerning the "repeal" of the 17th amendment. While many of these articles correctly point out the folly of the 17th, they fail to realize that a movement to repeal is nothing more than a pipe dream. The only way to remove the 17th amendment is through outright repudiation using the method I have described above. I will explain why:

There are 2 methods laid out in Article 5 for amending the
Constitution. One of those methods is through a Convention of the
States. I will not go into details as to why this method should
never be used under any circumstances other than to say that if you truly value your freedoms, this method should be avoided at all
costs. The other method would be an exercise in futility. To use
the method that all the other amendments have used since the
10th would entail having to first convince 67 senators to vote
themselves out of a job. Then 290 House members would have to
vote for the repeal of an amendment which will make all the laws
they want to pass much more difficult to push through the Senate.
A senate which as a result of its passage would now be jealously
guarding the rights of the States that the House laws frequently
trample. If that isn't enough, you need to get 38 state legislatures
to vote for repealing an amendment over the objections of the
people who would feel like their right to vote was being stolen (a
right which never really existed due to an invalid 17th). To
educate the masses in 38 separate states that the 17th
amendment was a mistake is an insurmountable task. To do it
for just one, as would be the case in a move to repudiate it,
Maybe. In a repudiation argument, it could be demonstrated to
the people that the right to vote for their Senators should have
never been theirs in the first place due to the fraudulent manner
in which the 17th was adopted.

My first target for a move to repudiate would be done in a State
that swings to the right most of the time and where the voters are
well informed and leery of the feds. Utah would be my choice
since Utah rejected the 17th outright and they have been stung
recently by federal land grabs. Please join me in this endeavor to
repudiate the 17th and get the concept of federalism firmly back
on track.

We must educate ourselves and our posterity in the wonderful documents that founded our great Republic if we are ever to set it back on course toward freedom and prosperity. That is why I'm writing this today. My positions on the 17th amendment are supported by the Constitution of the United States including the 10th amendment and "The Federalist Papers", specifically Madison 43 and Hamilton 59.

Thanks for your attention,


Paul C. Hanson

This article can also be found on my blog.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Signs of life in the Anglican Church


The General Synod passed a resolution Monday night that allows women to become bishops, acting over the objections of traditionalists who argued that Jesus
only wanted men in leadership positions.

The Anglican Church (Church of England) allowed women priests 16 years ago.

Naturally, the Vatican, who regards the Anglicans in same way that China regards Taiwan, as a renegade splinter form the main group, was not pleased:

The move by the Anglican Church's General Synod "is a rift to the apostolic tradition" of ordaining only men as bishops, the Vatican said in a statement, and is another obstacle to reconciliation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
"This decision will have consequences on the dialogue which had brought good fruits," the Vatican statement said.

Of course, the Vatican has it wrong. So what else is new? When it comes to women, the Vatican bats 0-for-existence.

Allow me to point out the mudanely obvious, from Acts of the Apostles, specifically 2:1-12:

1 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them.
4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky.
6 When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.
7 They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Behold, aren’t all these who speak Galileans?
8 How do we hear, everyone in our own native language?
9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,
10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!”
12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, “What does this mean?”

Yes, I refer to the Pentcost, the ordaining of the first ministers of Jesus. The story is pretty familiar to most Christians.

But who, in verse 1, were "they" (the "brethern" in some versions)?

Refer back to 1:13-14:

13 When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
14 All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Also, Matthias, selected as Judas's replacement, in 1:26.

Note the list: the eleven apostles (plus Matthias), the women (Mary, Martha, and the Magdalene), and the brothers of Jesus.

It is upon all of these that the tongues of fire from the Holy Spirit descended onto--INCLUDING THE WOMEN!

Yes, in the Christian religion, at the outset, God ordained women to do His Work. At last that's what the book the Christians believe to be the inerrant Word of God, the Bible, says.

That fact seems to be lost on the Vatican. It was not on the early Church when they needed all the help they could get, and the frescoes from that period reflected it.

Besides, look at it from a common sense point of view.

What difference is there between men and women that prevent women from ministering to the Word of God? What is it about women that suppsoedly prevent them from doing so?

Is it some sort of stigma associated with Eve? Tell that the women saints and the Virgin Mary.

Is it some ancient patriarchal power trip? Probably. Strong women frighten weak men.

Is it something in the female brain? Yes. Women as a whole tend to be more caregivers than power players, and the power players in religion are the ones who not only want to be charge, but want to stay there as well. But in this case, perhaps having caregivers in charge instead of theo-political neophytes is probably a good thing. That means that women are probably BETTER at ministering the Word of God than men (which would explain most of the debacles in Church history!).

Is it the gender? I hope not. That's just misogynistic and just wrong.

When it comes to women, marriage, children, and uncloistered life, the Vatican tends to be wrong much more than they right. I owe my own existence to saner heads outside the Vatican, because my grandfather was a loving and happily married Lutheran pastor, father of my father, and giver of unconditional love to me in the too-short time we had together. My first son was named in his honor.

So cheers to the Anglicans for getting it right. And jeers to the Vatican for getting it wrong. Again.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Help Needed

I don’t normally do this, but this isn’t normal, either. needs your help. is devoted to the cause of non-interventionism and is read by libertarians, pacifists, leftists, "greens," and independents alike, as well as many on the Right who agree with our opposition to imperialism.

And they are in need of cash. Perpetual war for perpetual peace has exhausted the many dedicated staffers, readers and volunteers.

Why? One word: IRAN. The Bush Administration is determined to go to war with Iran whether the American people want it or not, and by 4-1 margins we don’t! Furthermore, America does not have the resources in this recession and already overstretched military to open a third theater of war!

Iran does not have nuclear weapons. They are not developing any either. President Bush could care less. To his thinking, they are the evil bad guys. They are not a threat to this nation, and they never have been. It has been nearly thirty years since the lowest point in Iran-American relations. Thirty years of rebuilding a damaged relationship. The Iranian people don’t want war, either. Bush would throw all of that away over a neocon fiction.

The consequences of such an attack would be devastating to our economy, and it would destroy what little credibility in the international community the United States has left. Oil would most likely blow past $250 per barrel and gas $7 per gallon. Consumer prices on everything would skyrocket, and the current recession could worsen, even becoming a return to 1929.

We don’t want or need that to happen.

So what can you do? is leading the charge against this lunacy. But they need your help. With your kind donation they can continue this fight and help us all work to avoid the economic and political destruction of America.

There are three things I’m pleading with you to do.

First, please donate here. Anything you can give helps. Everything you can give is appreciated would like to raise $25,000 by August 1st.

Second, please pass this request around. The more people that know about this need and this huge problem, the more that can be done, and everyone needs to be involved.

Third, contact your Congressman, Senators, and the White House on HCR 362. Tell them NO to war with Iran.

America’s future is in jeopardy. Can you afford not to help?

While I am not associated with in any way, I do support their mission.

For more information on how you can help, please contact Development Director Angela Keaton at or 310-729-3760.


The Mudslinger