Friday, April 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I believe that there is an urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform which is humane and tolerant; as well as conducive to the freedom of travel, the openness of trade, and the normalization of commerce. As such – and given that the constitutional clause which had denied the Congress the power to prohibit the states from enacting migration policies which they deem proper has expired – I feel that it is desirable and appropriate to pursue passage of federal legislation prohibiting all agencies of the federal and state governments from constructing or maintaining fencing along our international borders.
Although a system permitting federal jurisdiction over immigration policy would seem to have authorized the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (D.R.E.A.M.) Act, I would vote to support a repeal of that legislation on the grounds that it was enacted through an executive order, which I feel is an inappropriate, expansive exercise of presidential power. I would urge states which have passed similar legislation to transition the responsibility to provide D.R.E.A.M.-Act-type goods and services to the county- and municipal-level governmental agencies within them, as well as to private-sector agencies; and I would urge states which have not passed similar legislation to allow local governments to do so, and to allow the widespread provision of such goods and services to come into being organically through the efforts of private-sector agencies.
As the forms of compensation which are procured through employment are the most productive form of welfare, such private-sector agencies should include places of employment. I would support the right of immigrants – documented and undocumented alike – to negotiate with their employers to obtain the compensation which they deem appropriate for their own subjective purposes, irrespective of federal and state minimum wage standards. I would also voice opposition to mandates on employers – by governments at any level – to participate in the eVerify system, which has been described as obligating hirers to police illegal immigration. Additionally, I would oppose all existing and proposed laws providing for mandatory identification documents for all persons, such as the REAL ID Act.
In order to help provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, I would urge the president and the governors of the several states to grant pardons to all non-violent transgressors, especially to minors who did not have intent or informed awareness of the illegality of the actions of the parents or guardians who accompanied them into the country. Punishment – and law-enforcement requests for the identification documents – of suspected illegals should be contingent upon their conviction for either physically harming or threatening to harm persons; stealing, damaging, or otherwise diminishing the utility of their property; or trespassing on their occupied landed property; provided that some victim claiming that direct harm has occurred has pressed formal charges by filing a Verified Criminal Complaint.
I would assert that deportation and extradition of non-violent illegal immigrants would only be permissible were the status of a transgressor as a foreign subject entered-into with informed consent and without duress, and that the pertinent foreign country has laws explicitly prohibiting illegal emigration. I would also defend the position that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not automatically grant federal citizenship to the native-born, but that it merely makes the extension of an offer of citizenship permanent and irrevocable.
I feel that opponents of illegal immigration would have less justification for their personal and legal views were they to become aware that the federal government has conducted cross-border weapons-for-drugs programs and arms-trafficking-and-tracking operations (such as Project Gun-Runner and Operation Fast-and-Furious) which have destabilized and undermined the sovereignty of Mexico, and caused death of American border personnel. Voting to stop – and investigating to uncover the facts about – such operations is crucial for restoring America’s reputation and credibility abroad; ameliorating artificial antipathy towards minority groups and improving race relations; and saving lives of American civilians, law enforcement officers, and politicians alike.
Additionally, I would work to restitute government theft of immigrant property; sponsor legislation which would prohibit government agencies at the state and federal levels from making English the single official language; and urge governments at all levels – including the governments of Mexico and Central America – to uphold rights to bear arms and rights of the accused which are either on-par with or more protective than the 2nd and the 4th through 8th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
For more entries on borders, immigration, and territorial integrity, please visit:
Monday, April 23, 2012
I believe that workers have the right to pursue goals through collective bargaining in the private sector. I would vote to support the repeal of the National Labor Relations Act and the abolition of the National Labor Relations Board (while contemporaneously urging local governments to begin to administer N.L.R.B.-type services), as they are not necessary to uphold collective bargaining rights, which existed prior to – and exist independently of – any law purporting to uphold, protect, or strengthen that right.
This is not to say, however, that unions have any right to compel the management of workplaces to accede to their demands, nor to lobby government agencies to engage in such compulsion on their behalf. On the contrary; workers’ rights to collectively bargain exist insofar as managements are willing to entertain and give credence to claims of such rights.
In order to foster a civil society which defends the freedom of association as a basic principle of legitimate government, it is essential that no governmental agency administer legislation which impairs the obligation of contracts – whether retroactively or prospectively – unless such contracts interfere with the right to be free from coercion, or such legislation is enacted on the level of municipalities or geographically small counties. As such, I would vote to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, which would effectually invalidate the states’ Right-to-Work laws.
Notwithstanding the successes of the labor movement in helping to procure a decent living wage (in addition to improving workplace safety and procuring health and retirement benefits), union security agreements often carry with them the unfortunate effect of increasing the cost of living, in addition to increasing levels of unemployment and creating unnecessary barriers of entry into the labor market. As such, I would urge unions and managements to make open-shop union security agreements in negotiation in order to prevent and counter-act free-rider problems, rather than to make alternative union security agreements, which I feel can breed resentment of unions among working people.
I believe that the current system – in which the N.L.R.B. wields the power to permit or deny unions’ requests for the right to engage in strikes – can function as an impediment to the goals of organized labor. Examples include narrowing the range of acceptable tactics for labor-movement activities, making independent – or “wildcat” – strikes less likely to occur, making it less likely for new and fledgling labor unions to gain prominence, and exacerbating the oligarchialization of agencies representing workers. As such, I would vociferously advocate for dual- and minority-unionism; urging union officials, members, and supporters to tolerate competition by other unions; and urging management to negotiate with multiple unions, as well as with workers on an individual basis.
Although such mandates are unlikely to be enacted, I would propose legislation prohibiting the federal and state governments from mandating that all unionized workplaces within the pertinent jurisdictions have closed-shop or union-shop security provisions. Additionally – being that informed consent is necessary to ensure that contract-making is voluntary – I would urge governments at all levels to pass legislation ensuring that prospective employees become informed during their job interviews whether they will be obligated to join a union as a condition of employment.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012
This critique of my opponents' positions was written before Republican Dave Redick entered the race as a Republican, and Rocky Ison entered with the statement of principle "Father Son and Holy Ghost".
I’m Joe Kopsick, independent candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district in 2012.
Five candidates – one Republican and four Democrats – have stated an interest to seek their parties’ nominations for the office of U.S. Representative. The Republican is former party nominee, small business owner, and musician Chad Lee; and the Democrats are small business owner and Wisconsin State Assemblyman Mark Pocan, attorney and State Assemblywoman Kelda Helen Roys, Dane County Treasurer Dave Worzala, and veteran and attorney Matt Silverman.
Chad Lee – the Republican who ran against Tammy Baldwin in 2010 – is the former co-owner of the Better Butler cleaning service. Better Butler is now owned by his brother Beau, who once played with Chad in a Christian rock band called Rex Lex. The Lees’ father is a Pentacostal minister at Life Church in Mt. Horeb.
Chad Lee has expressed interest in ending federal funding for the teaching of evolution, and promoted the teaching of intelligent design in schools. His brother has urged fans of Rex Lex to read the Bible “like it’s a history book”. Lee also supports the building of a fence along the length of the U.S. - Mexico border, as well as Arizona’s immigration policy.
Democratic Wisconsin State Assemblyman Mark Pocan has opposed legislation amending the State Constitution to limit government spending during his service in the State Assembly. Despite claiming that he would like to help small businesses obtain the capital they need in order to grow, Pocan – a small business owner himself – opposed a small business tax credit bill while in the legislature.
Pocan also has a flawed record in promoting the freedom of choice – and in protecting the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship – by opposing a bill requiring doctors to verify the uncoerced, independent consent of the patient by dismissing any potentially influential third parties.
Additionally, Pocan has a poor record promoting the right to bear arms. He has opposed concealed-carry laws, and supported civil liability for homeowners using deadly force against intruders in order to prevent imminent death. A realization of Pocan’s policy would compromise people’s ability to defend themselves against their government.
Democratic State Representative Kelda Helen Roys joined Mark Pocan in his support of former Governor Jim Doyle’s ban on smoking in public places and private places of employment throughout Wisconsin; and in Pocan’s opposition to the sale of alcohol to supervised 18- to 20-year-olds, concealed-carry laws, and civil liability for homeowners against violent intruders.
Democratic Treasurer of Dane County Dave Worzala has stated that he does “not believe in the rhetoric of no new taxes”. He believes that raising levels of spending and taxation – including a repeal of the Bush tax cuts – will solve the federal budget crisis, and he would also support continued federal investment in national infrastructure.
Veteran and attorney Matt Silverman has stated that he would support the increase of federal taxes, incorrectly believes that the United States is a democracy, and describes himself as a “pragmatic Democrat”.
I join Mark Pocan in his support for a sensible policy on illicit drugs, and freedom for Wisconsin’s L.G.B.T.Q. community from institutional public-sector discrimination. I would praise his aversion to risking appeasement by legislation providing for insufficient tax credits for small businesses, and against risking increasing the financial and labor burden on women’s health facilities in the state by mandating unnecessary medical procedures and the transmission of excessive information.
I share Matt Silverman’s desires to decrease federal spending, and to stay amenable to accommodation of others’ views in order to bring about substantive change. I would praise him for taking a principled personal stance in opposition to the big-budget campaign finance of business interests, and for supporting the democratic aspects of our republic.
I join Kelda Roys in her steadfast support for the freedom of choice in regards to abortion, and in her support for gay rights in Wisconsin’s public sector. I join Dave Worzala in his desire to curb federal spending, end the deficit, and change the tax code; and I support his having called attention to the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure.
I join Chad Lee in his concerns about our tax policy and our ability to balance budgets; and in his support for fiscal restraint, free-market solutions, limited government, and nullification.
However, I am running for the House of Representatives because I feel that none of these candidates sufficiently represent my views, and because I am concerned that for any of them to be elected could risk increasing political contention and deepening social and cultural conflict. I would counteract this by showing that the range of acceptable political positions is becoming broader and more nuanced, and that independent and third-party candidates are an important source for original and unique policy positions.
Theory of Government
Unlike some of my Democratic opponents, I do not believe that we are more free the more “democratic” the federal government becomes, and the more it encroaches on the rights of the states and on the people thereof. Like my Republican opponent Chad Lee, I support states’ rights and nullification, in addition to a sharply limited federal government. I would describe myself as a small-“r” republican independent, and a dual-federalist in regards to constitutional theory.
As a member of Congress, I believe that I could help to promote the legitimacy of the relationship between the people and the various levels of government even better than could Mr. Lee. I would vote to support requiring the transmission of certain information to – and independent verification of informed consent of – all parties involved, before a government is delegated authority by the people or by smaller governments. I would also vote in principled dedication to a pluralistic accommodation of alternative viewpoints; and in favor of urging all civil and economic societies to stay true to their ideological cores, undisturbed by the need for moderation, pragmatism, or expedience.
Taxes and Spending
While three of my Democratic opponents have been vocal about balancing government budgets, ending the deficit, and curbing spending, their records and policies show otherwise. Mark Pocan opposed legislation amending the state constitution to limit spending, both Matt Silverman and Dave Worzala – if not both other Democratic candidates as well – support increasing taxes, and Treasurer Worzala seems to believe that increasing taxes and spending will cause spending to be curbed.
Like Chad Lee, I support fiscal restraint in government, and free-market solutions. I believe that in a time of economic stagnation or recession, rapid growth of government budgets, and intrusion into the freedom of the market and the personal lives of the people, taxes should not be raised, and consideration of enacting legal limits on government spending should be urged.
However, I would aim to outdo Mr. Lee in protecting citizens from big government and heavy taxes by supporting tax legislation only if and when it challenges the predominant modern notions of what forms of taxation are constitutionally and ethically acceptable.
I would support attempts to repeal and to judicially invalidate the 16th Amendment, propose a constitutional amendment properly authorizing direct taxation without apportionment, and sponsor legislation requiring that federal revenues be derived only from the product of state duties and imposts, and from an accelerating graduated tax penalizing the creation of income gaps.
Elections and Business Welfare
I would caution voters that a stated personal opposition to big-budget campaigns and lobbying often mean nothing when the candidate expressing the sentiment describes himself as “pragmatic”. I am concerned that Matt Silverman’s promise to be pragmatic may reflect a lack of legal and ethical principles, and a personal lack of feeling of responsibility to be consistent.
Corporate personhood is not a threat to public influence on elections and to the financial security of Americans as much as are personal corporationhood, and the unchecked power of pragmatic politicians to decide to hand out favors to lobbyists without regard to the letter of the law or to the privity of citizens to deal-making in the government.
I would also caution voters that Mark Pocan’s status as a small business owner, his record promoting small business interests, and his likely disdain for the strict-constructionist interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause could risk increasing inappropriate federal expenditures to finance and favor small business.
I believe that this would lend more credence to the growing bailout culture in which government picks winners and losers – not only among large businesses and corporations, but among small businesses as well – and that it would likely increase public distraction, diverting attention away from institutional monetary, taxation, and banking policies which are more directly responsible for the current economic environment.
Unlike candidate Dave Worzala, I would vote to oppose federal spending on infrastructure. Being that the federal government has the constitutional authority to build roads and railroads, I would oppose these activities neither as strongly nor for the same reasons as other infrastructure projects. I would however caution against the risks of bureaucratization and financial mismanagement which often result from such expensive undertakings.
While I believe that there is a need to improve national infrastructure, I feel that involvement of the federal government often risks increasing costs, increasing abuse and oligopoly in the infrastructure-building market; illegitimatizing the political culture in Washington; and undermining the independence of the states.
I would also note that I do not believe that centrally-planned national infrastructure projects have historically helped relieve economic stagnation, recession, and depression as much as has drawing down the scope and aggressiveness of our military activities.
The victory of Mark Pocan or Kelda Roys would likely lead to a more active and vocal promotion of gay rights in the public sphere. I would caution voters that this could lend credence to the notion that government – and / or all society – should treat people differently because they belong to this or that cultural, religious, ethnic, national, gender, sexual orientation, or differently-abled demographic group.
While I believe that non-heterosexuals should be protected from discrimination by the public sector, I would caution governments not to intervene in too much of the social economy with the goal of preventing, prohibiting, or restituting discrimination. This is because in the economy and in society, there exist non-institutional forms of discriminatory action which do not – either directly, immediately, or at all – constitute the threat of harm against persons and their property; that is, they cannot be easily defended as inherently unethical.
On the issue of gay marriage; while I agree with Chad Lee that this issue should be left up to the states, I would take additional steps promoting individual and local sovereignty and independence in this policy area – as well as personal social tolerance and acceptance – which Lee may not be as likely to emphasize.
I would urge governments at all levels to enforce all contracts which outline the conditions of such relationships between informed, consenting adults, regardless of which words partners to those relationships may wish to use to describe them. I would also urge private persons and agencies of capital and labor not to discriminate against non-heterosexuals; support a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act; and support constitutional amendments requiring the federal government to recognize same-sex unions which are valid in states, and legalizing same-sex unions nationwide.
A realization of Mark Pocan’s position on abortion would have risked that potentially influential third parties other than the doctor and patient may – by the mere fact of their presence – dissuade patients from undergoing abortion procedures.
Being that my Democratic opponents such as Pocan may be inclined to oppose any and all Republican-sponsored women’s health policies, they may fail to consider that some Republican legislation may occasionally serve to protect the safety and liberty of the patient. However, the anti-Roe-v.-Wade platform endorsing the 10th Amendment – espoused by the likes of Chad Lee – is no more preferable than are most Democratic policies.
I would vote to oppose federal funding for abortion; and support an act of Congress which would remove the regulation of abortion from the jurisdiction of the federal courts, and place it under control of the states, thus nullifying the Roe decision. I would then support a constitutional amendment legalizing abortion in all states, and refrain from interfering in the rights of states to permit governments within them to prohibit abortion and contraception.
I would urge the states to permit non-governmental actors and subsidiary governments to compete against one another to provide abortion and contraception, and urge governments at all levels to refrain from requiring abortion providers to transmit unnecessary amounts of non-medical information to patients, but I would also recommend that doctors verify the independent consent of patients.
While a law enforcement policy supported by Democrats such as Mark Pocan and Kelda Roys would likely relieve police from enforcing unnecessary vice laws against marijuana, it would do little to nothing to relieve police from enforcing vice laws against alcohol and tobacco.
Such a policy would also compromise the people’s ability to defend themselves against intruders and against their government. In a time of multiple perpetual wars, permanent emergency, and erosion at the Bill of Rights, the people need all the help they can get protecting themselves.
An increase in citizen self-defense would relieve the burden of the government to protect us (thus de-oligopolizing and making freer the market for security), and also decrease government justification for intervening in the affairs of others on the behalf of the people.
I would work to restore the Bill of Rights, procure new privileges for the accused, and make state citizenship optional; and I would oppose attempts by any monopoly government to legalize civil restitution for harming law enforcement officers presenting clear, present, and imminent danger to life while in the line of official duty.
I would urge all governments to protect the right to bear arms, vote to oppose federal weapons bans on 2nd-Amendment grounds, and oppose states’ bans on weapons by invoking the Interstate Commerce Clause. I would also urge all governments to allow other governmental and non-governmental actors to register the weapons of their citizens and clients as all involved parties would agree.
Additionally, I would vote to oppose all federal funding for the war on drugs, especially overseas; and to oppose states’ bans on illicit and prescription drugs – as well as non-illicit drugs like alcohol and tobacco – by invoking the Interstate Commerce Clause. I would also urge people and governments to be cautious that business owners who are prohibited from allowing smoking on their property consent to the regulation and are justly compensated for any loss of revenue and / or property value resulting from the takings of the right to permit smoking.
While I would praise Chad Lee for his general support of the 10th Amendment, I consider his immigration policy destructive of the rights of the accused and inhibitive of the freedom of travel.
I believe that there is a need to cultivate a comprehensive, nationwide immigration policy which is humane and pluralistic, but which also does not threaten the sovereignty and independence of particularly anti-illegal-immigration states such as Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina.
The Constitution authorizes Congress to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and it forbids Congress from prohibiting the migration and importation of persons which are thought reasonable by the states. However – although there is no constitutional provision that would prevent a state from constructing a border fence – there is no explicit authority for the federal government to do so. I would support a constitutional amendment which would prohibit both the federal and state governments from maintaining or continuing to construct fences on our international borders.
I would oppose all existing and proposed laws providing for mandatory identification documents for all persons. I would urge all citizens, courts, and law enforcement officials not to extradite illegal immigrants to their home countries unless it can be shown that their ostensible consent to become subject to that country’s authority was informed and not under duress, and also that that country prohibits illegal emigration. Moreover, I would urge governments at all levels to grant rights of the accused – to both federal subjects and non-subjects alike – which are either on-par with or more protective than the 4th Amendment.
Additionally, I would note that opponents of illegal immigration would have less justification for their personal views and legal positions were they to become aware that the federal government has conducted cross-border weapons-for-drugs programs and arms-trafficking-and-tracking operations, which have destabilized and undermined the sovereignty of Mexico, and caused death of American border personnel.
Voting to stop and prevent – and investigating to uncover the facts about – such operations is crucial for restoring America’s reputation and credibility abroad; ameliorating artificial antipathy towards minority groups and improving race relations; and saving lives of American civilians, law enforcement officers, and politicians.
Social Culture and Foreign Policy
None of my opponents have intentionally made religious and social culture or foreign policy major parts of their platforms. However – and for that reason – I am concerned that their not having strongly condemned our nation’s present path in regards to these matters could indicate their indifference and / or complacency to it.
This risk is particularly frightening to me – as it should be to all male citizens below the age of 26 – as a person who is registered and eligible for selective service; and at a time in history when the world’s cultural and military conflict is deepening and could potentially accelerate into a full-scale, international nuclear holy war.
As both a candidate and as a U.S. representative, I will vocally oppose the subversion of American national sovereignty and interest to the concerns of the Zionist lobby, oppose all attempts to continue to fund arms races between the State of Israel and its neighbors, and call attention to any suspected institutional moves to deliberately exclude or suppress the articulation and communication of anti-Zionist religious, cultural, political, and military policy positions.
I’m running for Congress because I support free-market and strict-constructionist policies which I feel not one of my opponents – even the Republican – either fully nor sufficiently supports. But I’m also running because I support social-justice ethics which not one of my opponents – even the Democrats – sufficiently supports.
If elected to the 113th Congress from Wisconsin’s 2nd district, I would be an outspoken voice supporting dual federalism, American national sovereignty, a non-interventionist foreign policy, the restoration of the civil liberties contained in the Bill of Rights, the freedom of choice, freedom from public-sector discrimination, amnesty for all non-violent undocumented immigrants, a non-interventionist monetary policy, sound currency, and real fiscal restraint.
I would be an ardent critic of the current federal monetary, budgetary, taxation, and wage policies; the political influence of all types of lobbies from Wall Street to Israel; and the overly loose, predominantly-held interpretation of the General Welfare Clause which excuses unconstitutional federal spending on military and economic aid to foreign governments; the development of national infrastructure; and loans, favors, and privileges for large labor unions and large businesses.
I would also criticize the overly loose interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause; the Just Compensation Clause; Presidential Reorganizational Authority of the executive branch; and all laws that unreasonably strengthen the power of the executive, especially to use emergency domestic security and financial powers, and to provide for continuity-of-government measures which erode civil liberties.
If I am elected, I will support the freedom of and from association; voluntary exchange and compliance; and a system of contract law which is the basis of – rather than limited by – all legitimate governance. My voting record will reflect the people’s desire to limit and decentralize government, require it to compete in all sectors of the social economy, and embrace free-market principles, and restore our republic and our individual rights in a manner that adheres to the letter of Constitutional law the way its framers intended.
Please vote for me – Joe Kopsick – for the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin’s 2nd district on November 6th, 2012.
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