A Look Around

Looks like a great video here. Before the liberals get their panties in a wad, yes I know it is a parody and it is funny. This is nothing like the video of Peggy the Moocher who wanted Obama to take care of her. Watch this video and see why parody is funny (because there is an element of truth to it).

Gallup says Obama has hit a new low with 48% of the people disapproving of the job he is doing. I wonder what happened to that big bump Bubba Clinton said he would get. Remember, Clinton told Obama he had to pass health care or he would lose big. Bubba said that is why he lost so many seats when he was prez, didn’t pass health care. Bubba Clinton is not a dumb guy and has to know that this is not the truth so do you suppose he is setting Obama up for failure so Hillary can take the nomination in 2012?

Stimulus II (renamed the “Jobs Bill”) has hit a bit of a snag. The Congress cannot pay for it because Republicans and a top Democrat do not want to take “leftover” bailout (TARP?) money to pay for it.

Democrats have no money to pay for the program. That’s because both Republicans and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee objected to taking money left over from the fund that bailed out banks, automakers and insurers and using it for the jobs bill. My Way News

This will strike a blow to Obama and his supposed concern for jobs because this is an election year and it will look like he is not doing enough to get people back to work. This would not have worked just like the first Stimulus did not work but it would have made it look like he was doing something.

Obama broke protocol on Saturday and left the White House without the press corps (or as Obama would say, CORPSE) in tow. The press was told to be there at one time and Obama left about 2 hours earlier. It was reported that he went to watch one of his daughter’s soccer game. Evidently, this is some kind of big deal because the press is supposed to be there to cover every move a president makes for the “historical” record. I don’t care if we hear about his kid’s games or them going out for ice cream but it looks like the press does. In any event, maybe we will get lucky and he will break protocol and leave the Secret Service behind and just keep walking…

That’s all for now. The question for today is; “Should Congress (our government) be allowed to make you purchase something?”

Please answer in the comment section and explain why.

Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog

Gunline

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31 Responses to “A Look Around”

  1. “Should Congress (our government) be allowed to make you purchase something?”

    They have no Constitutional authority by which to do so. It’s like levying an infinitely high tax on being alive. The technical term for that is enslavement. I believe we have an Amendment that forbids that practice.

  2. Adam says:

    “Should Congress (our government) be allowed to make you purchase something?”

    First of all I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that nowhere in the Constitution does it allow for such and such because the Constitution is relatively short but the legal precedents and interpretations of the Constitutions are what matters most. These are very broad, very long, and as such very confusing at times.

    As far as I can tell Democratic law makers make two arguments:

    Interstate Commerce through the precedent set in Wickard v. Filburn: Buying or not buying health care affects interstate commerce similarly to the way that Filburn’s wheat practices did and therefore Congress has the authority.

    Power to tax: Congress doesn’t have direct authority to make you buy a product but it does have the authority to tax you in a way they see fit.

    I can’t really tell you if those ideas are right or wrong. Clearly we could debate each of them but this is really up to the courts to decide. Interesting discussion here from legal scholars if you’re not afraid to read the NY Times website.

    • Big Dog says:

      Well this is the argument that has been made but no past decision has ever dealt with inactivity. In other words, the SCOTUS has dealt with someone actively participating in commerce, as with wheat production. A farmer was growing more than the gvt allowed even though it was for personnal use. Interesting to note that the court changed its mind after FDR threatened to stack the court (by adding more seats) with people who would do what he wanted. This situation actually allows the court to right a wrong that was coerced from a previous court though I doubt many will have the guts to do so.

      Regardless, if you are not buying health insurance then you are not engaging in commerce so how can that fall under the broad definition the courts and Congress have applied to it?

      If they can claim commerce for everything then what would stop government from claiming that electronic books were ruining the commerce of the publicshing industry and then say each person had to buy a book. What would happen if the liberal Congress said we all had to buy Al Franken’s book or a conservative Congress said we had to buy Karl Rove’s?

      If they can claim commerce with regard to INACTIVITY (people not engaging in commerce) then what would stop them from saying we all have to buy a GM to help recoup the tax dollars spent?

      I do not think they have the legal authority to regulate inactivity. If you do not buy something you are not engaging in commerce. The clause was also designed to deal with commerce among the several states and for the feds in general. Even if they can apply it to individuals then one would be hard pressed to see how not buying something is commerce.

      It is a dangerous precedent to say one must purchase something to be a citizen in good standing.

      I imagine if Bush and the Republican Congress said that everyone had to buy an NRA membership because it was good for commerce (or be penalized by the IRS) there would be a different debate going on.

      I can tell if it is right or wrong. I can’t tell how the court will decide though.

      • Adam says:

        “Regardless, if you are not buying health insurance then you are not engaging in commerce so how can that fall under the broad definition the courts and Congress have applied to it?”

        Because people are still getting health care when they have emergencies whether they have insurance or not. It’s not just about the health insurance specifically but all of health care in general.

        “I imagine if Bush and the Republican Congress said that everyone had to buy an NRA membership because it was good for commerce (or be penalized by the IRS) there would be a different debate going on.”

        I’m sure there are good examples to equate to health insurance mandates but it’s not GM vehicles or gun lobby memberships. We’re talking about health care which is a vital resource. You don’t need a car or gun lobby to survive but you do need your health, as I’m sure the thousands that die every year from lack of coverage would back me up on if they weren’t all dead.

        • Big Dog says:

          Well you can say that it is about people’s health so it is different but the premise is the same; Congress has decided that this falls under commerce and they can require it. One could make the argument that owning a gun would allow people who might get attacked (especially in the viooent cities) to be safer. I am sure the murder victims would agree with me if they were not already dead.

          Once again though, I think you miss the point. It is not about whether people get health care when they are uninsured (they should be billed for it and pay it), it is about whether Congress can force you to engage in some sort of economic activity REGARDLESS OF THE REASON. We can say it is about health and it is important blah blah, that is not the issue. The issue is, can they force you to buy something in order to be a citizen in good standing? Can they force you to engage in economic activity? There is no argument that if you decide to purchase something then government has certain regulatory authority (which it nearly always exceeds) but if you buy nothing, how can that be commerce?

          There are many things that one could say is a vital resource. We could say food is a vital resource and then Congress can make everyone buy parcels of land on which to grow food. Congress could say that vegetables are better for you so you MUST buy a certain quantity each time you shop.

          It is a slippery slope and if it is allowed there is no end to what they can do by claiming it is for our own good or that it is vital.

          Energy conservation is vital. Suppose we all have to buy a hybrid from GM in order to reduce energy costs.

          There is no limit to how expansive that can become. Once you allow it you cannot turn back.

        • Adam says:

          I’m sure if you think you can come up with an example I would say is something that Congress might actually have logical reason to impose under a new precedent but I haven’t seen it yet. Nothing you’ve said even comes close to the importance of health care to our well being.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “It is a slippery slope and if it is allowed there is no end to what they can do…”>>

          DAR
          The “Slippery Slope” is a classical informal fallacy.

          Best to not based your arguments upon fallacies.

        • Blake says:

          Adam- don’t you think that having jobs might just be above that of getting healthcare?
          I mean, you can not eat healthcare, and if you haven’t a job, you cannot buy healthcare, whether you want it or not-.
          This is not quite the chicken or the egg concept, but it could be close- yes, you do need to be healthy to work, but you need the job to pay for the healthcare, or you are just sponging off of the govt., and then we are back at the beginning.
          Liberals like to equate health insurance to car insurance, but if you do not drive, the govt. doesn’t mandate that you buy the insurance, and it rightly cannot stretch the Commerce clause to make the argument- this will be thrown out in the courts, which is why I will ignore the IRS and its unconstitutional powers- I mean, what are they going to do- put me in jail and give me free healthcare?
          States are free under the Constitution to mandate Healthcare, as Mass. has done, and Indiana also, but the Feds cannot legally do this- not that it would stop an ignorant FUBAR of a Resident we have now- he really is light in the intellect department- he reminds me of the case of the Russian boy that got shipped back to Russia ’cause he was ADHD- but Barrie’s parents just did not know where to ship him, Kenya, or Indonesia- so they had to keep him- how sad.

  3. Big Dog says:

    A slippery slope is only a fallacy if there is no logical chain of events that leads one to a conclusion based upon a series of interacting events. Since we see that Congress is now using commerce to justify something never before done based upon ever far reaching interpretations of commerce and what the clause means then it is logical to conclude that allowing something of this nature will lead to ever widening interpretations and mandates.

    Since government has, time and again, shown that it will take a mile if given an inch then the argument is not fallacy but logical. This is partucularly true given statements from mebers about this being a first step.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “A slippery slope is only a fallacy if there is no logical chain of events that leads one to a conclusion based upon a series of interacting events.”>>

      DAR
      No, you don’t get to invent some cockamamie, logically possible chain of events and then assume this happens. That’s the slippery slope fallacy because it forgets the middle ground and all other possibilities. That’s what you did.

      You said:

      “It is a slippery slope and if it is allowed there is no end to what they can do…”>>

      How you worded this is exactly how the Slippery Slope is used when it is used fallaciously.

      Bigd: “Congress is now using commerce to justify something never before done”>>

      DAR
      Precedent shows that Congress has repeatedly used the commerce clause to govern over things involving interstate commerce. Health care involves interstate commerce bigtime.

      D.
      ——————
      “As attorneys general for our respective heartland states, we take issue with the constitutional arguments being made against this new legislation. Under long-settled Supreme Court precedents, Congress has ample power under the commerce clause of the Constitution to legislate on health care.

      Congress has the authority to regulate anything that affects interstate commerce “among the several States.” This is bolstered by the supremacy clause, which explicitly makes the Constitution and the laws of the United States “the supreme Law of the Land” for all Americans.

      For Congress to have the power to pass this legislation, therefore, the health care problem need only affect interstate commerce. It clearly does.”

      Link.

  4. Big Dog says:

    Adam, it does not matter how important one thinks it is. Some people place little importance on it because they can afford out of pocket or are young and healthy. The issue is can they do it under our Constitution? It does not matter the issue or how important it is, the issue is is it Constitutional?

    Ignoring the Constitution because of the perceived importance of the issue is wrong.

    If Congress decided that in order to exercise free speech each person had to attend a speech class it could argue that it was important and that commerce was affected. It would not be Constitutional. The issue is, is it Constitutional, regardless of the matter at hand.

    If you are willing to give up Constitutional constraints for an issue that you view as important then you must do the same for others who view a different issue as important.

    • Adam says:

      “Ignoring the Constitution because of the perceived importance of the issue is wrong.”

      Sure, and when you find me doing that feel free to bring this back up.

      • Big Dog says:

        I think this thread is full of your assertions that this is important so we need to look at it that way rather than through the Constitution.

        You say it is important and needs to be imposed under new precedent.

        • Adam says:

          No, I simply said health care is important, unlike gun lobby memberships, owning guns, GM vehicles, etc. I never said what you’re asserting I said but this is what you always do. In fact I started this by saying “Clearly we could debate each of them but this is really up to the courts to decide.” But this is what you always do, turning your alleged understanding of the Constitution into a political peeing contest.

          • Big Dog says:

            Once again, importance is based upon what value one places on an item. You can say that health care insurance is important and others might not think it so. Just because YOU say it is does not make it so for everyone.

            But the issue, which you seem to miss, is not how important any one person or group of people thinks it is. The issue is if the government can force you to purchase something. And if you decide that they can then you have no standing in any matter where they force you to buy something no matter what it is. So, if they can force you to buy health care then they can force you to buy a GM (whether it has the same importance to you or not). The fact is, if they can force you to buy one they have the authority to force you to buy the other so when they exercise that you have no standing to reject it.

            • Adam says:

              Please see the notes about slippery slope that Darrel linked to above.

            • Big Dog says:

              I understand the slippery slope Adam. Perhaps you should figure out the difference between a fallacy and a logical conclusion. Since it has been happeneing and will continue, we are on that slippery slope.

            • Big Dog says:

              Though I would not say this is a minor action those of the past (the interpretations of the commerce clause to mean more than intended) were part of that slope and continue. And one can see that if we allow the government to force us to buy insurance then they can force us to buy any good. That is a fact. If it is Constitutional to make us buy one thing then it cannot be unconstitutional to make us buy another. Those are contradictory terms and cannot exist together. Therefore, if we say they can make us buy one thing then can make us buy any number of things.

              From Darrel’s link:
              Modern usage includes a logically valid form, in which a minor action causes a significant impact through a long chain of logical relationships. Note that establishing this chain of logical implication (or quantifying the relevant probabilities) makes this form logically valid. The slippery slope argument remains a fallacy if such a chain is not established.

              The chain was established from the interpretation of the commerce clause and we have made the chain by showing that if we can be forced to purchase one item we can be forced to purchase any number of them.

              It fits the definition of the logical part.

            • Darrel says:

              Philosophers have their own terminology and a very special way of using “logically valid.” It’s not what you think.

              See:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logically_valid

              To say, as you did and seem to be repeating:

              “It is a slippery slope and if it is allowed there is no end to what they can do…”

              Is precisely, exactly, the Slippery Slope fallacy.

              To say if A, then B, just because you can possibly go from A, to B, is to commit the slippery slope fallacy.

              As you quote above:

              “The slippery slope argument remains a fallacy if such a chain is not established.”

              You haven’t established your chain. You’ve assumed it. You start at with:

              If health care is allowed… and then slide all the way to:

              “there is no end to what they can do…”

              That doesn’t follow.

              D.

  5. Blake says:

    That is the basic problem with progressives- they cannot read the Constitution for what it ISN’T- it is not a mandate or document that you can, or should spend time trying to subvert- that used to be called treason- instead, you should be trying to work within the framework of the existing document.
    America’s Constitution is a House that needs no additions, and Barrie doesn’t have the required permits or intelligence to attempt this-

    • Adam says:

      Obviously we’ll continue to rely on the courts to interpret what can and can’t be done under the Constitution and not your opinion of such. Same goes for Big Dog and everyone else who’s so convinced themselves that the mandate is unconstitutional that they’ll treat anyone who says otherwise as if they care little for the document or the interpretation of the law by the courts.

      • Big Dog says:

        Obviously YOU will rely on the court, unless it takes a position you don’t like as with the 2000 election.

        Of course the court will decide but that does not make it correct in its interpretation. There are too many instances where the writings of the Founders were ignored and a position contrary to their was taken by the court. The bullying by FDR gave him what he wanted contrary to the Constitution.

        We shall see how this plays out but I wonder how you will react if it is ruled unconstitutional?

        It is obviously unconstitutionalto force people to buy something in order to be a citizen in good standing. But what is obvious has never stopped government before and the Constitution has not stopped it either.

        We will win it in the court or we will win the election and defund it.

        • Adam says:

          “We shall see how this plays out but I wonder how you will react if it is ruled unconstitutional?”

          I’ll probably react better than you who have already decided against it’s Constitutionality even without knowing how the courts decide.

          “We will win it in the court or we will win the election and defund it.”

          Most likely you’ll accomplish neither of those. Never can tell though…

          • Big Dog says:

            I have always said that the courts would decide. Of course I have my opinion about what the Constitution allows. In case you are unfamiliar, that is something I am allowed under the First Amendment.

            As you can see from your linked article, many legal folks disagree. It all will hinge on how far they decide to move outside the realm of what the Founders wanted. They wrote a lot of it down which is why we know that the Second is an Individual right and not limited to the militia.

            How did you act when the court ruled on the 2000 election? I seem to forget…

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “the court will decide but that does not make it correct in its interpretation.”>>

          DAR
          Actually, it does. That’s exactly what it does. No exceptions. Those are the rules. See the Constitution.

  6. Big Dog says:

    No, the slippery slope argument is not a fallacy if there is a logical progression. We have seen it from the beginning of the last century and it is continuing. It is a slippery slope.

    That argument is that it is a fallacy if there is not a progression of arguments to back the story.

    As for commerce, Darrel what is the definition of commerce? I think it is the engagement in business between two or more people or entities. So a person NOT buying something is NOT engaging in commerce so Congress cannot regulate that.

    Big time…

  7. Big Dog says:

    No Darrel, the Constitution does not say they are correct when they give a ruling, only that it is the law of the land. Those two are not mutually exclusive. A law of the land can be incorrect. This is why we have Congress and the Constitution with legal challenges and why things change. Because sometimes they are wrong.

    Best not to forget the distinction.

    They can rule that you have no right to free speech. It would be the law and it would be a wrong ruling. But they could rule that way even though it is clearly written. That would mean the law is wrong and needs to be changed. You could say that it is what the Constitution means because they said it but that would not make it so.

    We would then have to remove them from office. Since there is no court to over rule them we would need to remove them.

    But make no mistake, there is a difference between a law and it being correct with the Constitution. Plenty of laws run contrary to the Constitution. That is why some of them get changed.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “No Darrel, the Constitution does not say they are correct when they give a ruling, only that it is the law of the land.”>>

      DAR
      “Correct” is subjective opinion and actually irrelevant. You are using correct in a different (and irrelevant) sense.

      The Constitution says that the SCOTUS interpretation of the Constitution is the law of the land and thus in the only sense of correct that matters, the correct law of the land.

      Anything else is mere opinion and carries no weight.

      Bigd: “Because sometimes they are wrong.”>>

      DAR
      But the only people who get to decide when they are wrong, are people on the very same court. No one else.

      D.

      • Blake says:

        Sometimes, Darrel, the Court “revisits” a decision, and finds that that decision was wrong, and they then have to take corrective action, and overturn the previous decision- you know this is true, otherwise, why would pro- choice advocates be shaking like a chihuahua with a brain seizure whenever they think of a conservative Supreme Court?

  8. Mr Soldier says:

    It is the courts’ job to interpret the law, not the constitution.
    The constitution is not a document that was meant to be interpreted, only taken literally.