Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Constitutionality of Obamacare

The mainstream media ridicule the core question of whether federal "health care reform" is constitutional. So do those legislators who vote for it.

This was not always the case, as Mark Jones notes.

Back in 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court said:

Obviously, direct control of medical practice in the states is beyond the power of the federal government.
Linder v. United States, 268 U.S. 5, 18, 45 S.Ct. 446 (1925)

Why would the Court say this is "obvious," while today's Congress says the exact opposite?

For the first hundred years after the Constitution was ratified, the phrase "enumerated powers" and the Tenth Amendment meant something. No longer.

Shortly after the Linder case, the Court repeated the obvious:

It is important also to bear in mind that "direct control of medical practice in the States is beyond the power of the Federal Government." Linder v. United States 268 U.S. 5, 18. Congress, therefore, cannot directly restrict the professional judgment of the physician or interfere with its free exercise in the treatment of disease. Whatever power exists in that respect belongs to the states exclusively.
Lambert v. Yellowly, 272 U.S. 581, 589, 47 S.Ct. 210 (1926)

Read the cases here.

If California adopted a policy of mandatory euthanasia for everyone over 55 (to help California curb rising healthcare costs and state government deficits), and pro-life conservatives in Washington D.C. attempted to overturn this policy, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would almost certainly tell Congress that it had no Constitutional power to prevent millions of "physician-assisted suicides" in the states:

The principle that state governments bear the primary responsibility for evaluating physician assisted suicide follows from our concept of federalism, which requires that state lawmakers, not the federal government, are 'the primary regulators of professional [medical] conduct.' Conant v. Walters, 309 F.3d 629, 639 (9th Cir. 2002); Barsky v. Bd. of Regents, 347 U.S. 442, 449, 74 S.Ct 650, 98 L.ED. 829 (1954) ("It is elemental that a state has broad power to establish and enforce standards of conduct within its broders relative to the health of everyone there. It is a vital part of a state's police power.") The Attorney General "may not...regulate [the doctor-patient] relationship to advance federal policy." Conant, 309 F3d at 647 (Kozinski, J., concurring).
Oregon v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 1118, 1124 (9th Cir. 2004)

But if Obama wants to do it, it's OK.

Impermissible Ratemaking in Health-Insurance Reform: Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional -

Can Obama force you to buy health insurance? - Anthony Gregory / The Christian Science Monitor -

Sometimes the mainstream media use the "general welfare" clause to justify federal policies which were "obviously" unconstitutional a century ago. This is an abuse of the general welfare clause.

Of course, state regulation of medicine is just as destructive of medicine as federal regulation. Capitalism, not socialism, is the best policy on every level of government.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 1981

Ronald Reagan: Address to the Nation About Christmas

Good evening.

At Christmas time, every home takes on a special beauty, a special warmth, and that's certainly true of the White House, where so many famous Americans have spent their Christmases over the years. This fine old home, the people's house, has seen so much, been so much a part of all our lives and history. It's been humbling and inspiring for Nancy and me to be spending our first Christmas in this place.

We've lived here as your tenants for almost a year now, and what a year it's been. As a people we've been through quite a lot—moments of joy, of tragedy, and of real achievement—moments that I believe have brought us all closer together. G. K. Chesterton once said that the world would never starve for wonders, but only for the want of wonder.

At this special time of year, we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem, nearly 2,000 year ago.

Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that he was and is the promised Prince of Peace. Yes, we've questioned why he who could perform miracles chose to come among us as a helpless babe, but maybe that was his first miracle, his first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another.

Tonight, in millions of American homes, the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us. Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky. At times our footsteps may have faltered, but trusting in God's help, we've never lost our way.

Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania. Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So, let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.

Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future lies the true meaning of Christmas.

So, in a spirit of gratitude for what we've been able to achieve together over the past year and looking forward to all that we hope to achieve together in the years ahead, Nancy and I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons. As Charles Dickens said so well in "A Christmas Carol," "God bless us, every one."

Good night.

Christmas Resources

It's a quiet Christmas Eve here. And it might be too icy to travel to my sister's for our usual Christmas Day activities. Here's what I would be reading if I had nothing else to do (and hadn't already read them all).

Let's Keep Christmas Commercialized

Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Is It Permissible for Christians to Celebrate Christmas?

December 25 And Paganism

I put together a website on Christmas a few years ago. It's kinda corny, but it has some good ideas. I need to upgrade it, but haven't had time. I just change the date every year:

I think we should celebrate Christmas 365 days a year.

The 12 Days of Liberty

The 95 Days of Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not all Tidings are of Great Joy

Jeff Jacoby tells readers of the Boston Globe that "Not all tidings are of great joy." The article is an excellent reminder of persecution of Christians by false religions of violence.

How can we rid the world of violent religious fanaticism? Presidents Bush and Obama believe that lethal violence dished out against innocent peasants by heavily armed soldiers and predator drones will convert violent religionists into Mother Teresas.

In contrast, America's Founding Fathers believed that the answer to barbaric religions was Christian evangelism. Instead of bombing Native American terrorists "back to the Stone Age," the Founders sent missionaries.

This would have been a better policy in Iraq, back when Iraq had a "secular" government where Christian missionaries had freedom to evangelize, before the U.S federal government turned Iraq into an Islamic theocracy, killing or making homeless hundreds of thousands of Christians.

Before the coming of Jesus Christ, the world was dominated by terrorists like Bush and Obama. Only worse. Much worse. In the world before Christmas, nobody could have imagined a day when billions of human beings would inhabit the earth, without fearing that they would each soon die a violent death. The coming of Christ has meant a decline in the initiation of force.

Some would give credit for this to "a state with a monopoly on violence":

Eisner and Elias attribute the decline in European homicide to the transition from knightly warrior societies to the centralized governments of early modernity. And, today, violence continues to fester in zones of anarchy, such as frontier regions, failed states, collapsed empires, and territories contested by mafias, gangs, and other dealers of contraband.

But "contraband" is something created by States. And these "zones of anarchy" are zones of peace and non-violence compared to zones of centralized government, the killing fields, gulags, concentration camps, and the "military-industrial complex" of the State that have murdered hundreds of millions of people in the last century.

James Payne suggests another reason for the decline in violence. "Life was once very cheap."

By His incarnation and death, Christ taught us that human beings have value.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:14

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Statism on the State Level

As a candidate for U.S. Congress, I try to keep up on goings-on in Washington D.C. Chuck Baldwin, former Presidential Candidate for the Constitution Party, has (unwittingly) reminded me that I need to keep an eye on state and local governments as well.

"Statism" is the worship of the State, the belief that the machinery of civil government can bring salvation. Is Chuck Baldwin a statist? You be the judge:
Anger With Federal Government Not Enough
by Chuck Baldwin
December 18, 2009

The Title of this article might lead us to think that what we need is anger with state and local governments as well. But noooo.

I'm old enough to remember when giving the Panama Canal away was opposed by virtually everyone outside the Beltway. It changed nothing. Jimmy Carter and Congress gave it away, anyway. Most people oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So what? Our troops are not only still there, but more are on the way. Most people believe children should be allowed to pray and read the Bible in school. So what? They still are forbidden from doing so. Most people believed former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had the right to post the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. So what? He was forced to take them down, anyway (and removed from office in the process). I could go on, but you get the point.

As a card-carrying "Theocrat," I agree that nobody who signed the Constitution intended to give the federal government power to remove the Ten Commandments from all public buildings.

Washington, D.C., is too far gone to salvage. Admit it! Washington is a cesspool, a landfill, and a putrid pond of corruption and duplicity. Neither the Republican nor Democratic Party will ever allow a principled constitutionalist to become its Presidential nominee. No matter whom we elect as President, the beat toward Big-Government socialism and one-world internationalism will go on without interruption. Big Government scalawags own the entire federal system, including Big Media, Big Business, Big Labor, Big Religion, and Big Special Interest Groups. They are all feeding at the government teat.

I agree.
We should abolish the federal government entirely. Just like the Declaration of Independence says we have a duty to do under conditions like these.

Therefore, it is absolutely obligatory that freedom-minded Americans refocus their attention to electing State legislators, governors, judges and sheriffs who will fearlessly defend their God-given liberties. And, as plainly and emphatically as I know how to say it, I am telling you: ONLY THE STATES CAN DEFEND OUR LIBERTY NOW! And awakening to this reality means we will have to completely readjust our thinking and priorities.

Anybody who says any branch or any party or any level of government "defends liberty" doesn't understand the core of the American vision. True Americans believe that "the Government" is the greatest threat to liberty.

America's Founding Fathers believed that the institution of "civil government" was a necessity, even one commanded by God. Creating "the government" was thus an act of religious obedience. But they misread the Bible. They were products of their time.

Still, they recognized the danger of the State, and the Constitution is evidence of this. They believed they needed "checks and balances," "separation of powers," and a Bill of Rights to guard against the greatest threat to our liberties: government itself.
Government does not DEFEND our liberties!
Government is the ENEMY of Liberty.
The Bill of Rights and the Constitution defend our liberties AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

If we had more State legislators such as Washington State's Matthew Shea; Georgia's Bobby Franklin; Pennsylvania's Sam Rohrer; New Hampshire's Dan Itse; Michigan's Paul Opsommer; Oklahoma's Randy Brogdon, Sally Kern and Charles Key; Montana's Rick Jore, Greg Hinkle, and Joel Boniek; Tennessee's Susan Lynn; South Carolina's Michael Pitts and Lee Bright; Missouri's Jim Guest and Cynthia Davis; and sheriffs such as South Carolina's Ray Nash, Arizona's Richard Mack and Joe Arpaio, Montana's Jay Printz and Shane Harrington, etc., it wouldn't matter what those nincompoops inside the Beltway do. The federal government cannot violate your rights and steal your freedoms without the consent and approbation of your State government.

"Nincompoops" don't frighten me as much as fascists.
I have to admit I don't know all these politicians. But I have read some horrifying things about a few of them. Sheriff Arpaio for one. Please see this link:

Please see that link.

Although I agree with Chuck Baldwin on the issue of the Ten Commandments, I disagree with him on the issues of immigration and the War on Drugs. Libertarians should be terrified by people like Arpaio and other state-level conservatives who are willing to use massive violence and military power to stop drug-users and day-laborers.

And while I agree that the federal government did not have constitutional authority to de- segregate the South, the State-level politicians who used violence against blacks were thugs, and dangerous threats to EVERYONE's liberties, and unconstitutional federal intervention may have brought about the most libertarian result.

Is Baldwin moving us ahead to a libertarian future, or taking us back to the pre-Civil Rights south?

If conservatives/constitutionalists/libertarians would spend as much time and energy influencing elections and policies at the State and local levels as they attempt to do at the national level, we could turn this floundering ship of state around. If he had the support and backing of his State's legislature and sheriffs, imagine what ONE constitutionalist governor could do. I get goose bumps thinking about it!

Me too, especially after reading that link above

Read that link.

Imagine a State with its own financial system--its own currency, banks, regulatory agencies, etc.

Government should not have a monopoly on money or banking. At any level.

Imagine a State with its own militia--under the authority of the governor only--completely independent from any responsibility to the President or federal government.

And me powerless to file in federal court to protect my Constitutional rights. (Yes, I know, I oppose 14th Amendment incorporation.)

Imagine a State with an education system unfettered by the federal Department of Education.

I believe in the separation of school and state.

Imagine a State where the BLM, the FBI, the ATF, and the DEA had to actually submit to State law.

Or worse, could be deployed by Sheriff Arpaio! See the photos of local military hardware in that link.

Imagine a State with its own health care system.

Eu, yuck!!
Libertarians believe in the separation of medicine and state.

Imagine a State with no FEMA--UNLESS INVITED IN.

I don't know, for some reason I feel safer with the power 2,000 miles away rather than right next-door.

Imagine a State that would not allow Washington's spooks to unlawfully spy on law-abiding citizens.

Imagine a county or state that does the spying.
Imagine a "Neighborhood Watch" against YOU!
Welcome to Communist China's village "elders."

Imagine a State that actually had a say in how much land the federal government could claim for its own.

And claimed the land instead of the feds.
Susette Kelo's home was seized by state/local authorities.

Imagine a State where citizens never had to worry about a national ID act.

And only had to worry about a STATE ID act.
And laws which changed every time you crossed a state border.

Imagine a State that would protect the right of its citizens to freely express their faith in the public square.

The State does not protect our rights!!!
The State is the greatest THREAT to our rights.

And I guess the thing that bugs me most, speaking as a perennial candidate for U.S. Congress, is Baldwin's idea of getting voters to vote for state-local politicians like Arpaio, when they still for for Republicrats and Demoblicans, and not for anarchists like ME! What progress is made with lots of Little Caesars on the local level, and voters who still vote for Roy Blunt's successor on the federal level? How can we expect voters to take action locally if they won't also take action on the federal level? Baldwin seems to be in some kind of unrealistic dream land.

Belief that local is more sanctified than federal is like believing Republicans are less dangerous than Democrats.

All of this--and more--is attainable with a constitutionalist State government committed to protecting the liberties of its citizens.

By "Constitutionalist," Baldwin means "anti-drugs," "anti-immigrant," and Pro-AUTHORITAH!

I repeat: freedom in America has only one hope: the resurrection of State independence and sovereignty.

State-level or local tyranny is no better than federal tyranny.
Freedom has only one hope: the death of the myth of the moral legitimacy of "the State." The death of the myth that people wearing uniforms or carrying badges have the right to use violence -- to confiscate wealth, impede movement, kidnap, or kill.

Only libertarians are offering that vision. (At least they should be.)

In the US Constitution, our Founding Fathers sagaciously reserved to State governments their independence and sovereignty, knowing that they had the awesome responsibility of being the last (and greatest) vanguard of liberty for the American people.

This is mythology. The Federal Founders did not omnipotently grant sovereignty to the states; the states would not relinquish it to the new federal government -- and it was often guarded for nefarious reasons. Some states had practices which were as tyrannical as George III. The Federal Framers couldn't do anything about this. Many Framers of the Constitution were disappointed they could not even do anything about slavery itself. Open, notorious human traffic in several states!

The states were never given "the awesome responsibility" of being the greatest "vanguard of liberty."
No level of government is the "vanguard of liberty!"
Government is the enemy of liberty.
At every level.

They never intended or imagined that the states would ever become a doormat for the central government (which is what most of them have become).

Will Americans now become the doormat of sadistic Sheriffs and corrupt, power-hungry state-level politicians?

The whole idea of "the government" -- whether at the federal, state, or local level -- is the enemy.

"Constitutionalists" are simply substituting one form of tyranny for another.

Update 1/15/10: Local government may be just as intrusive as the federal leviathan

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Public Option" Explained

On this morning's "Ozarks Virtual Town Hall" we'll explain why the best way to celebrate Christmas is to abolish the Federal Government. Join the conversation at 10:30 am Central Time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jerusalem and Sparta

Against my argument that America was a Christian nation, or even a Protestant nation, or more specifically a Calvinist nation, is the argument that Rome was the model for America, and not Christianity. This claim is based, for example, on the presence of Greco-Roman architecture in the nation's capitol.

Unfortunately, there has long been a connection between churchmen and Rome. Those who admired Rome were not always as anti-Christian as they are alleged to be by those who say America is not a Christian nation.

I was unaware of this factoid until reading it at, "The Pledge of Allegiance is un-American":

In 1954, Congress inserted the words "under God," following an influential sermon by a Protestant pastor who argued that the model for the United States in the Cold War should be ancient Sparta.

An amateur internet infidel might claim that America's Founders wanted America to be like Sparta, and therefore would not have wanted "under God" to be in the Pledge of Allegiance. Obviously a bogus argument.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beck and Bernanke

Glenn Beck writes:

Time picked its person of the year and the winner is (drumroll) none other than Ben Bernanke. He's been running the Federal Reserve since before the economic crisis began. Is he on the list to be scolded? No! That would make too much sense. Instead, we are supposed to thank him for losing 7 million jobs!

I can't think of a better selection right off hand than Ben Bernanke.

Adolph Hitler was TIME's "Man of the Year" in 1939.

TIME's criteria is "importance," not "goodness."

Who did more damage to the world in 2009 than Ben Bernanke?

Not even Obama.

Obama does nothing unless Bernanke funds it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Man "Marries" Video Game Character

You've been married over a decade. You've got kids. You've sacrificed opportunities that Tiger Woods did not sacrifice. You've worked every day, compromised, struggled, lost sleep, expended energy, and remained faithful, honoring the promises you made on your wedding day, to make your marriage successful. Your children are learning valuable lessons from you. They are going to be productive members of society.

But don't get cocky.

You need to admit that a man in Japan who "married" a video game character, with a "priest" "officiating" over the ceremony, has a marriage which is just as valuable to society, requires just as much sacrifice and hard work as your marriage, and should be honored and praised equally with your marriage.

He is being a model of monogamous marital commitment.

You must celebrate "diversity."

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ohh, DUDE!

If you're a Muslim in Iraq or Afghanistan, and you hear U.S. aircraft, you'd better run.

Who are these people?:

The Declaration of Independence says our "Creator" has endowed us with certain unalienable rights. These rights are not the gift of the government. Government has a duty to acknowledge God and the rights God gives human beings created in His Image.

Rights are not created by the U.S. Constitution or the "Bill of Rights" (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). The Constitution was an attempt to create a government which would not violate those God-given rights.

The Constitution says:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Is this is a right that human beings have been given by their Creator? Can George Bush or Barack Obama suspend those rights? Do you believe people in other parts of the world have "Constitutional Rights," or did God only give rights to Americans?

Thousands of innocent, non-combatant civilians have their God-given rights violated by the U.S. government on an on-going basis in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Death Penalty is imposed on them without trial.

If a SWAT team broke into your house and put you in handcuffs, and transported you to a secure location, and ordered you to push the button and kill 30-40 Muslims, without any inquiry or proof that they were a threat to you or to anyone in the United States, would you push the button?

If the SWAT team took your handcuffs off, stopped threatening you, and offered you college tuition and a good paycheck, would you push the button?

If these Muslims were not on the other side of the globe, but were threatening to kill your next-door neighbor, and you were told that if you didn't push the button and kill the Muslims, the Muslims would kill your neighbors, would you push the button? What would be your reaction upon seeing the Muslims splattered all over the neighborhood by your hand:

(1) Sadness
(2) "Ohh, DUDE!!"

For Further Reading:
Opium, Rape and the American Way
• Video: Marc Herold, Ph.D., Whittemore School of Business and Economics
• Thomas Jefferson: Missionaries and Terrorists
• Terrorism: A False Religion