A copy of Susan Lynn’s email came last Thursday. She is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly and serves on the Commerce Committee. She is Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and also chairs the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Commerce Task Force.
Ms. Lynn’s message was or will be sent to 49 State Legislatures around the country. That means if you live in the United States, a copy was likely sent to your state’s governing body on October 20, 2009. It represents the first ray of hope I have seen that local legislators are taking action to stop the abuse of federal power so rampant in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Lynn’s email said:
We send greetings from the Tennessee General Assembly. On June 23, 2009, House Joint Resolution 108, the State Sovereignty Resolution, was signed by Governor Phil Bredesen.
The Resolution created a committee which has as its charge to:
• Communicate the resolution to the legislatures of the several states,
• Assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship,
• Call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government, and
• Seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.
• It is for those purposes that this letter addresses your honorable body.
A couple of paragraphs about the history of our country and intent of our founding fathers follows. Then Ms. Lynn continues with her personal message to State Legislators:
There are clear limits to the power of the federal government and clear realms of power for the states. However, the simple and clear expression of purpose, to secure our natural rights, has evolved into the modern expectation that the national government has an obligation to ensure our life, to create our liberty, and fund our pursuit of happiness.
The national government has become a complex system of programs whose purposes lie outside of the responsibilities of the enumerated powers and of securing our natural rights; programs that benefit some while others must pay.
Today, the federal government seeks to control the salaries of those employed by private business, to change the provisions of private of contracts, to nationalize banks, insurers and auto manufacturers, and to dictate to every person in the land what his . . . medical choices will be.
Forcing property from employers to provide healthcare, legislating what individuals are and are not entitled to, and using the labor of some so that others can receive money that they did not earn goes far beyond securing natural rights, and the enumerated powers in the Constitution.
The role of our American government has been blurred, bent, and breached. The rights endowed to us by our creator must be restored.
To be sure, the People created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only. The Constitutional ratifying structure was created so it would be clear that it was the People, and not the States, that were doing the ratifying.
The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government, and also that which is absolutely necessary to advancing those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution of the United States. The rest is to be handled by the state governments, or locally, by the people themselves.
The Constitution does not include a congressional power to override state laws. It does not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over all matters. It does not provide Congress with the power to legislate over everything. This is verified by the simple fact that attempts to make these principles part of the Constitution were soundly rejected by its signers.
With this in mind, any federal attempt to legislate beyond the Constitutional limits of Congress’ authority is a usurpation of state sovereignty - and unconstitutional.
Governments and political leaders are best held accountable to the will of the people when government is local. The people of a state know what is best for them; authorities, potentially thousands of miles away, governing their lives is opposed to the very notion of freedom.
We invite your state to join with us to form a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.
It’s a powerful message – or, should be. With the known bullying tactics used by the Obama Administration, the Tennessee state legislature can expect reprisals. I’m sure they are aware of that. They deserve a salute and a thank you from each and every one of us. It is a brave line they have drawn in the sand!
Have State Legislators begun to realize the federal government is usurping the powers given them by the Constitution of the United States? If I read this message from Tennessee accurately, the answer is “yes.” I hope that message jolts every politician, bureaucrat and government lawyer who reads it. I hope it makes them remember that if they have been involved in covering up criminal activities associated with fraud or treason, their feet may yet tread a final despot walk from which they thought their government status protected them. That status may, indeed, be the very thing that places them in great danger.
I became fascinated with the laws of nature a long time ago. There are governing principles that exist in life. I believe principles are black and white. Throughout history, societies have survived because they learned to recognize and honor positive principles.
But humans do not live by principles, alone. They have social values, too. What is the difference between these two things – values and principles?
Values derive from principles. Understanding this is key to understanding the meaning of “values.” If a changing social value is not strongly connected to an unchanging principle, it is not a value. Society may choose to call a mode of behavior a social value, but it cannot be defined as holding value unless it is tied to an unchanging principle. For values to change so society may progress, changing values must be tied to unchanging principles.
Some people believe values should reflect what they feel, what they want, what they need. If people want drugs, they should be legalized. If they want promiscuous sex, it should be okay. If pregnancy results, get rid of the baby. If a hole can be found in contract law that allows one person to steal another person’s money, it should be celebrated as a victory, not viewed as a crime – which is what it is.
Nature’s laws tell me that actions have consequences. Because those people for whom unchanging principles have no import see no reason to keep values tied to unchanging principles, they do not believe consequences exist. Why is no one accountable for anything these days?
They have no values. Too many people see no reason for accountability and it has become an acceptable “value.” In reality, such behavior reeks of a lack of value, a lack of character. But then, many people do not live in the real world. They prefer to think their little world of make believe will last forever. It will not. Tennessee has just taken a huge step towards making such an announcement.
I love nature’s laws. They are clear. They are as old as the earth. They are our guides while we dwell in Caesar’s world. All we need do is observe and learn what Mother Nature teaches us.
What things has nature pointed out to me? The same things you see: What goes up must come down. The line of least resistance makes crooked rivers (and crooked people). For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every cause, there is an effect. All living things grow to maturity, level off and die. A garden left untended is quickly filled with weeds. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Values based on relative truths represent the philosophic perspective that nothing is ever totally wrong, nothing is ever totally right. All situations have gray areas. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. The values that result from relative truth are always gray.
Black and white truths are never relative. Values based on unchanging principles represent the philosophic perspective that all things can be judged right or wrong and that nothing is ever relative – especially truth.
Values of right and wrong, untied to unchanging principles and which change from business-to-business, family-to-family, or courtroom-to-courtroom, lack the very stability society needs to thrive. Yet, that is precisely what we have in Washington, D.C. today, from Executive Office to Supreme Court to the Congress.
Nature achieves balance by pitting two forces of equal strength against one another. We cannot have success if failure doesn’t exist. We cannot have light without dark nor love without hate or good without bad.
Deciding what things I stand for requires me to walk out of the gray areas of life and take a stand that certain things are right, certain things are wrong. They are black and white, not gray. By selecting the things for which I stand, I define my character – or, lack thereof.
Everyone does. Where do you stand?
I hope you stand close to your telephone where you will call your state legislator and ask what they are doing about this invitation from the Great State of Tennessee! And I hope you will write Ms. Lynn an email and say “thank you.”
To verify what has been quoted in this article, please visit Ms. Lynn’s blog site.
© 2009 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn Barnewall received her graduate degree in Banking from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Business in 1978. She has authored seven non-fiction books about banking, two are listed at Oxford and Cambridge University libraries in Great Britain. Her current book, When the Swan’s Neck Breaks, details the banking problems she foresaw in 2006. Of the 24 predictions made in the book, 22 have happened. It is fiction but readers refer to it as docu-fiction.
Barnewall was named one of America's top 100 businesswomen in the book, What It Takes (Dolphin/Doubleday; Gardenswartz and Roe) and was one of the founders of the Committee of 200, the official organization of America's top 200 businesswomen. She can be found in Who's:Who in America (2005-08), Who's Who of American Women (2006-08), Who's Who in Finance and Business (2006-08), and Who's Who in the World (2008).