Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Obama vs. Arizona: It Begins

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Actually, it has already begun but so far without clear resolution.  I am referring to a definitive showdown between the central government and the states.  Conflict between the states and the federal government has been escalating for some time in the form of de facto nullification on the part of some states and the rapidly increasing evidence of contempt for constitutional limitations on the part of the federal government.
Perhaps the best-known current examples of nullification center around the refusal of states to enforce laws pertaining to immigration (sanctuary cities) and to state legalization of medical marijuana -- both in direct conflict with federal law.  Those issues have been before federal courts and found some legal resolution, generally favoring central government.  But federal court rulings against the states have had virtually no effect, and the liberal Washington political class has not evinced enthusiasm for enforcement of laws (especially immigration) when violations coincide with its political ambitions. (1) 

Sacred Ground: The Lincoln Myth

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For some of us the time comes when we are forced to recognize that much of what we have been taught -- what is "common knowledge" -- is simply untrue.  That is the case, I believe, to some extent in all the academic disciplines but perhaps less so in the hard sciences than the soft sciences and liberal arts.  Here, I am concerned with history, which seems to be the subject of more ideological tampering than other disciplines.
In this essay I assert that the commonly accepted history -- the orthodoxy -- of the American Civil War period and the persona of Abraham Lincoln are largely innocent of salient fact, intellectual honesty and the application of common sense.  Further, I will argue that Lincoln's abuse of constitutional powers did great violence to Jeffersonian view of federalism and ultimately became the template for contemporary statism.