Jury nullification is a right of the sovereign individual to exert their authority over that entity (government) whom they have created and granted limited authority to act on their behalf. Likewise, the states (acting on behalf of the sovereign individuals) created a federal government and granted to it some rights originally reserved by the states. ALL rights not specifically granted to it were reserved to the states or the people (10th Amendment). That means simply state nullification is a state right precisely because it is NOT mentioned in the constitution – anything not listed nor prohibited is by default a state right, not a federal right.
The mainstream media and the political elites condescendingly portray state nullification as some backwards invention of ignorant racists. Nothing could be further from the truth. They only betray their own ignorance of the historical, ethical, and philosophical validity of state nullification. Here are some of the common objections to state nullification:
“Didn’t the Civil War settle this?” If by “settle” you are suggesting murderous violence is a legitimate method of dispute resolution, then no. All the Civil War “settled” is the notion of an “indivisible” forced union – literally the state equivalent of “until death do us part” (as in “I’ll kill you if you leave”). If you are suggesting that because the north won that makes any northern practice legitimate and any southern practice illegitimate, then given the fact that the northern states used nullification to nullify the Fugitive Slave Laws that would I suppose only legitimize the practice of nullification.
In my last column I told you that I was amazed at all the spring flowers that were blooming before their time. Well, good grief, today as I drove through downtown Madison grooming the containers I was stunned with the array of color that was everywhere. The Bradford pear trees pushing out their blooms; the pink of flowering almond trees screaming for attention and I even saw iris blooming on East Avenue.
So why is the title of this article about grasses? Because I want you to start thinking about planting ornamental grasses and looking to places where you can purchase them. Grasses are best planted in late spring or early summer. They really need to get their roots comfortably established before the cold and rain of winter attacks. Now that said, if you were to go to your local nursery and ask for an ornamental grass what you would be shown is a pot of dirt with some straw colored sticks poking out. That’s why I’m sharing this information so that you can do a little homework on the computer or your favorite gardening book to learn which ones would make you happy. I have so many favorites that I’m not sure where to start so I’ll just share the names and let you pick the ones that tickle your fancy. Trust me; there is a place in everyone’s yard for some sort of “grass.”
Panicums are neat, tidy and they are natives….and the one I love the best is ‘Northwind’. It stands tall – about five feet – with stiff, erect blue tinted leaves that make a wonderful backdrop for a garden bed. There are many other panicums with equally good qualities and with various different colors: ‘Shenandoah’ starts off with leaves of green and by fall they have turned wine-colored; ‘Red Cloud’ whose green foliage is topped by red tinted inflorescences; or ‘Cloud Nine’ whose blooms appear gold when sunlit.
While watching what few seconds of the Daytona 500 I saw while passing through my grandparents' living room a couple of weekends ago, I began to think about stock car racing as a sport.
Particularly, I was astounded by the numbers surrounding the race: 40 vehicles (give or take a few) traveling 500 miles in a single day.
In case the math doesn’t pop out at you, that’s 20,000 miles on a circular track during the span of just a few hours.
Twenty thousand miles! (I’m spelling it out for emphasis.)
When I said that out loud on Sunday, someone responded, “That’s about like driving around the world.”
“No, that can’t be right,” I muttered under my breath, resolving to check it out the next day at work.
Again I was proven wrong: the circumference of the world is 24,901 miles.
The amount of fuel used during the Daytona 500 could almost power a single vehicle around the entire globe!
And it’s not like they use regular gas in those things. They use that high-octane stuff that really works on the atmosphere.
Maybe that’s why it is always so hot in Daytona: they’ve managed to burn a hole clear through the ozone layer into space.
Come to think of it, space might be the answer for many of NASCAR’s problems.
Here’s my idea (bear with me on this one): I propose that we send NASCAR drivers to the moon.
Can’t you just imagine those guys and gals flying across the rocky surface up there at one-sixth the earth’s gravity?
And who cares if we destroy the moon’s environment? It’s not like we actually live up there!
Space: the final frontier... for NASCAR.
Printed in the March 7, 2013 edition
The House considered 40 bills and resolutions last week, as we closed in on what is known as "Crossover Day." Crossover Day is legislative day 30, and is the last day a bill or resolution can pass from its home chamber to the other chamber of the General Assembly. With hundreds of pieces of legislation now in the system, the competition to get bills across before the deadline makes for a frenzied atmosphere.
Far and away, the most important measures we considered were HB 142 and HB 143. These bills comprise Speaker Ralston’s ethics package. They have been offered in response to the clear mandate from the voters last summer, expressed in the primary election referendum about lobbyist gift caps that was passed by a lopsided majority. HB 142 is the primary bill, and includes the most direct answer to the referendum. To the point: the referendum proposes a $100 cap on direct gifts from lobbyists to individual elected officials – the bill bans such gifts altogether. This would eliminate lobbyists taking individual officials out to dinner, as well as paying for tickets to sports events and for other entertainment/recreation. The other place the bill substantively constrains spending is by ruling out the payment of airfare by lobbyists. It would still allow payment for other travel expenses.
The bill makes significant changes in two other areas. First, it gives rule-making power back to the campaign finance commission. It also defines who is a “lobbyist,” and requires that such folks register (for a $25 fee, down from $300), and that they must wear an ID card if working on Capitol grounds or other state buildings. Basically, anyone who advocates on someone else’s behalf (paid or unpaid) is a lobbyist. Anyone who is expressing his or her own personal views, unpaid, for five or fewer days per year is not considered one.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week that he will not accept the expansion of Medicaid provided by the Affordable Care Act. At least six other Republican governors, including Florida’s Rick Scott, have made the opposite
decision for their states.
Medicaid provides healthcare coverage for some, but not nearly all, of the poor. Currently, poor children and pregnant women are covered, but most adults don’t qualify. One group of adults that does benefit is the elderly poor; a large percentage of nursing home care is provided through Medicaid.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans, regardless of age and parental status, will qualify for coverage if they are poor (making less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line) and if their states opt in to the program. The federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs of the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and at least 90 percent of the costs thereafter (currently, the states pay 50-75 percent of Medicaid costs).
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 22 percent of Georgians currently have no health insurance – the seventh highest rate in the nation. Medicaid expansion under the ACA would provide coverage for 620,000 of those Georgians.
The consequences of Gov. Deal’s decision are enormous and not just for the uninsured. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia hospitals lose an estimated $1.5 billion every year caring for the poor and uninsured. The rest of us pay for that care – an estimated $1,000 per year more in premiums to make up for hospital losses.
I’m sure you have heard the many claims of the effects of sequestration such as three-hour waits at airport security, prisoners released from jails, airport control towers closed, federal meat inspectors pulled from processing plants, school children going hungry, border patrols cut, teachers laid off, and the list goes on and on.
Several actions have happened even before sequestration. Illegal immigrants were released from jail, 800,000 civilian defense workers face furloughs and the aircraft carrier, USS Harry Truman, has been held in port in Virginia rather than deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Harry Truman joins five other U.S. aircraft carriers that, for some reason, have been in port for months all lined up in a row similar to Battle Ship Row at Pearl Harbor.
One thing you may not have heard about sequestration is that it only amounts to an $85 billion cut in the $3.35 trillion federal budget this year. The cut amounts to a little over 2 cents on every dollar spent. Another thing you may not have heard is that even with the $85 billion cut, the 2013 federal budget is higher than the 2012 budget.
To put this in perspective, sequestration is equivalent to a family receiving a nice raise in wages but must cut spending after the raise by 2 percent. If the family decided that they must cancel their charitable contributions, turn off their air conditioning, put their car up on blocks and cancel Christmas to save 2 cents on the dollar, you would have to say they overreacted. But that is exactly what the administration is doing with their blustering and threats over sequestration.