Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Are You Serious? The Federal Government Can Do Most Anything!

Liberals are just now waking up to the reality that Obamacare is hard to defend, because they haven't deigned to defend it until now.  The liberal argument for Obamacare has been based in "bandwagon/argumentum ad populum" and "appeal to authority," both logical fallacies.

Here's a common illogical example addressing government's power to regulate non-activity and make us eat broccoli:
Until this week, most scholars seemed to think this would be treated by the justices as a distinction without any special significance. “It’s a silly distinction,” Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia law professor, told me this week. Opponents of the law “have gotten an enormous amount of mileage out of ‘inactivity,’ but that really has nothing to do with the regulation of commerce,” he said.
One hundred professors from many of the country’s major law schools signed a statement arguing that those seeking to overturn the law “seek to jettison nearly two centuries of settled constitutional law” and “there can be no serious doubt about the constitutionality” of the insurance mandate. 
One hundred professors! No serious doubt!  Imagine that! This is the kind of argumentation the left's advocacy is shot through with. No reasoning, just intellectually-flaccid statements that include such phrases as "everybody knows" and "experts agree." They won't even rebut serious challenges, imperiously discounting them out of hand.

Yes We Can!  ...Make them eat their broccoli...

When Justice Scalia asked the broccoli question, White House Solicitor Verrilli stumbled and fumbled, disappointing tearful progressives everywhere. Here's what a New York Times writer thought he should have said, and it sums up progressive thought in a nutshell:
But it seems to me that a succinct answer to Justice Scalia’s question is that the commerce clause would not limit Congress’s ability to regulate broccoli — if members of the House and Senate were crazy enough to pass legislation requiring all of us to eat green vegetables and if that were deemed a rational way to regulate commerce. The same could be said of health clubs.  (NY Times)
Progressivism is Fundamentally Un-American

There you go, folks. This is why progressives should never be trusted with power, and their century-old strongman ideology is fundamentally un-American.  In their world, unlike the founding fathers', a crazy congress could force us to eat our arugula, or march the fatties off to government boot camps, and that is the fatal flaw of progressivism: Trusting our overlords to not be crazy, stupid or greedy as they wield absolute power.  Yeah, that's a great plan!  Sarcasm aside, it is antithetical to the bedrock foundation of this republic, it ignores the entire arc of human history, and flies in the face of our understanding of human nature.

Note how the progressive author blithely dismisses individual liberty:
"To Depression-era farmers, it was no doubt an affront to individual freedom that the federal government had the power to tell them what crops not to plant." (NY Times)
Not buying insurance, or Filburn growing wheat for his own consumption in defiance of government quotas, is fair game for progressives because it affects overall commerce. But everything is connected, so what on earth does not affect overall commerce? That is how markets work. Under the progressives' capacious understanding of the commerce clause, there is no human activity under the sun that the federal government could not regulate.

An old or severely disabled person deciding to not die and instead electing an expensive medical procedure would fit into the same category. A progressive government, using its own twisted logic, would regulate that too, regulating the person right out of existence.  I'll spare you the historical precedents...
"the federal government, yes, can do most anything in this country." -- Democrat Congressman Pete Stark
Please go read Ilya Shapiro's excellent article slicing and dicing the hapless left, We were Serious the whole Time


Always On Watch said...

Obama overstepped with his statement warning SCOTUS the other day.

His defense of that statement yesterday was shot through with inaccuracies. Even the mainstream media cannot ignore all those mistakes Obama continues to make about Constitutional law.

How could BHO ever have been a professor of Constitutional law? He doesn't know about various SCOTUS rulings! Sheesh.

One hundred professors from many of the country’s major law schools signed a statement arguing that those seeking to overturn the law “seek to jettison nearly two centuries of settled constitutional law” and “there can be no serious doubt about the constitutionality” of the insurance mandate.

Gah! You can't make up this idiotic stuff!

LD Jackson said...

I can't believe they seriously believe what they wrote. Oh wait, yes I can believe it, based on the actions of liberals everywhere.

Like AOW said, you just can't make this stuff up.

Always On Watch said...

From an Obama-supporting columnist at the WaPo; she also supports ObamaCare:

...To be clear, I believe the individual mandate is both good policy and sound law, well within Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause. I think overturning the mandate would be bad not only for the country but for the court itself. Especially in the wake of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, it would look like a political act to have the five Republican-appointed justices voting to strike down the law and the four Democratic appointees voting to uphold it.


And yet, Obama’s assault on “an unelected group of people” stopped me cold. Because, as the former constitutional law professor certainly understands, it is the essence of our governmental system to vest in the court the ultimate power to decide the meaning of the constitution. Even if, as the president said, it means overturning “a duly constituted and passed law.”

Of course, acts of Congress are entitled to judicial deference and a presumption of constitutionality. The decision to declare a statute unconstitutional, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1927, is “the gravest and most delicate duty that this court is called on to perform.”

But the president went too far in asserting that it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step” for the court to overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” That’s what courts have done since Marbury v. Madison. The size of the congressional majority is of no constitutional significance. We give the ultimate authority to decide constitutional questions to “a group of unelected people” precisely to insulate them from public opinion.

I would lament a ruling striking down the individual mandate, but I would not denounce it as conservative justices run amok....

The above also appeared in yesterday's print edition.

Always On Watch said...

YE, GODS!!!: "Newsweek Calls For Impeaching Supreme Court Justices If They Overturn Obamacare."

Finntann said...


I want that on a bumper sticker.

It's probably the worst decision the supremes ever made.


MathewK said...

"the federal government, yes, can do most anything in this country."

If only this federal government he loves so much could learn to live within its financial means.

It'll never happen, the more leftward a government, the less the chances of them being able to contain the urge to tax, meddle and lord over you.

Bunkerville said...

We are just now seeing the pettiness, blaming, angry man we saw a bit of after te 2010 election. He cannot take rejection. If Obama goes down, we will see the real Obama.

Bunkerville said...

Correction: If Obamacare goes down

Silverfiddle said...

The left is apoplectic. They cannot understand any point of view that conflicts with their own because they are too intellectually lazy to explore it and too imperious to even entertain the notion that there may be other points of view out there.

Their attitude, like after the 2000 election, is not just wrong, but corrosive. Chalking it all up to blatant partisanship, corruption, stupidity or any other excuse close at hand.

This is the ultimate crybaby attitude, screaming that they will blow it all up and burn it all down if they can't have it their way.

Ducky's here said...

Crybaby? Stop me if I'm wrong but the fringe right, the evangelical insane, assorted militarists who shit at the site of a keffiyah and assorted gun loons are the biggest whiners around.

They pull out their bibles or the copy of Hayek and start preaching.

They think that when wheat prices are low they should plant more wheat.

The fringe right, do you want intelligent political leadership or a freaking minstrel show.

Anonymous said...

The left proceeds on the absolute conviction that "Might Makes Right."

The tactics advocated by Marx-Engels and put into practice by the Bolsheviks, The Frankfurt School, the Progressives, the New York Intellectuals, Alinsky, MLK, Jr., the Yippees, NOW, Code Pink, Media Matters, Black Panthers, NOI, etc. have all advocated violence, or the implied threat of violence, -- the use of MOBS and threatened INSURRECTION -- to force or frighten the Establishment to capitulate to their demands.

It's NEVER about The Rule of Reason, but ALWAYS about COERCION and the THREAT of violent reprisal or prolonged INCARCERATION.

If you fail to develop and maintain sufficient force to SHOOT DOWN opposition when it becomes too obstreperous, you WILL be overwhelmed and DESTROYED.

The truth is ugly. Face it. It's a dog eat dog world. "Reason is but the salve of passion."

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

The SALVE of Passion!

That's not only a typo, it's a very funny Freudian Slip.

Reason, of course, is the SLAVE of Passion.


~ FT

Silverfiddle said...

For the record, Barack Obama is not a constitutional professor, he was a lecturer.

He never was a scholar, he wrote no scholarly books or articles, and he has never argued a constitutional case.

All he has done is write two books that were paean's to his own inconsequential life, and it shows.

Silverfiddle said...

Poor Ducky, it must be tough trying to defend the passive-aggressive agitprop crybabies in his own camp.

Go change the channel somewhere else, Duckster. We're running reality 24/7 here.

Ducky's here said...

For the record, non of your posters have even been lecturers.

Anonymous said...


Regarding Newsweek's call for the impeachment of SCOTUS should they make the "wrong" decision:

Apparently, everything is up for grabs to those with the busiest hands, the strongest arms and the loudest voices.

I never knew Oliver Wendell Holmes was one of history's greatest villains before, did you? [Read the Newseek article to see what I mean]

More and more we see that mere assertion of a feeling is treated as though it deserves to be treated as an established fact.

Romney's "win" in Wisconsin, which I believe was manipulated into being by the Establishment, probably sealed the doom of any genuine conservative initiatives for the foreseeable future.

"The People" want to be TAKEN CARE OF by a government acting in loco parentis. They don't realize that in so doing they give up their freedom.

Funny though! I've said for years that SCOTUS was much too powerful and had taken too much upon itself. Now that it might just work to support m idea of what's right and good, the enemedia decides SCOTUS should have its wings clipped.

I guess I should consider myself part of a "disaffected minority," eh? ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Do not underestimate the power of the message from a socialist messiah. I know first hand how well that message sells to people who do not want to take responsibility for their lot in life. You can not reason with the followers of a messiah. Romney will not defeat Obama without the conservatives providing the inspiration to turnout the vote.

Ducky's here said...

Holmes was an activist, FT.

Trying to have your cake and eat it to?

Always On Watch said...

For the record, Barack Obama is not a constitutional professor, he was a lecturer.

Not according to the mainstream news media on this morning's news.

Repeat a lie often enough, and the people will believe it. That's exactly what the msm are doing right now.

Besides, even if the mainstream media say "lecturer," they always add the word "Harvard." Therefore, most listeners and watchers draw the conclusion that Obama is an expert on the Constitution.

Too many Americans will believe whatever Obama says. They won't bother to check out the history of SCOTUS and its rulings.

lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisa said...

Haha before the election my Obama loving brother was saying that Obama was a Rhodes Scholar and my sister in law voted for him because she thought he was "cute" and her sister voted for him because she thought we should have a black president.
Yes folks this is the mentality of a dumbed down society.

Speaking of Zombies listen to this robotic interview of Talking Points of Wasserman Shultz

Silverfiddle said...

Holmes was not an activist, he was a progressive enabler. He did more to unmoor the law from our constitution than any other Justice in the history of our nation.

Here is a blog post of mine on him

Z said...

AOW's right....Obama's being touted a CONSTITUTIONAL PROFESSOR more than he ever has been on the leftwing news this morning....

Progressivism is fundamentally un-American because the dependency they coax is fundamentally against everything American.
I saw Van JOnes the other day say "Conservatives just want everyone to stand on their own two feet"(I paraphrase but that was exactly the sentiment)...before I realized it was Jones, I thought "My gosh, a black talking head on CNN who understands".
Then it hit me he was actually dissing that concept....absolutely unbelievable in anybody BUT Van Jones...oh, and every other leftwinger who believes entitlements should rule the land.

Unknown said...

AOW, clearly the Newsweek piece is from out of control, talking head, loonitic.

Case in point.
"You don’t have to pull the analytical thread of that reasoning very hard to see that it boils down to an argument for allowing the poor to die"

Obviously this guy just read his Obama/Axelrod daily email.

Jersey McJones said...

"You don’t have to pull the analytical thread of that reasoning very hard to see that it boils down to an argument for allowing the poor to die"

What exactly is incorrect about that observation?


Ducky's here said...

I'm sure there is something in Hayek or von Mise that answers your question Jersey.

They have to leave out the Sermon On the Mount, that gets a little dicey.

Z said...

Ducky, I was wondering...on what do you base your Catholic beliefs?
Such an odd curiosity to read your disdain for Scripture...
I don't believe in challenging or insulting anyone's religion, particularly as badly as you always do, but I am curious.

You usually run from questions like this, but man up...try it.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: You don't need to insult Ducky's religion; He does a good job of it on his own. All part of what he believes will shock and scandalize us. Of course it doesn't, but who am I to deny someone a petty thrill?

Silverfiddle said...

I stand corrected (sort of) on Mr. Obama's status at professor (sort of, not a full one) at the University of Chicago.


Anonymous said...

Karl R. Popper wrote in his classic work The Open Society and Its Enemies:

“those who are not prepared to fight for their freedom will lose it.”

The tragedy is that the enemy threatening our freedom is the very entity – the State – whose “fundamental purpose [is…] the protection of that freedom which does not harm other citizens.”

So what are we to do as generally law-abiding citizens, when the law itself has become fundamentally unjust? The answer was given some 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in his classic essay “Civil Disobedience”:

“Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a [democratic] government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government, itself, that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? ... Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; ... but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.”

So if you are a true fighter for freedom of speech and haven’t been in prison yet, you’ve done something wrong! Or you were just plain lucky.

Read the entire document at:

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

SF...but he never was a full-time or tenure-tracked professor. I'm with most people who attended universities...I called anyone behind the dais "professor"...
It's odd that, in the past, the information wasn't quite as supportive of his professor title as this...but if they say so, that's the case with Obama.

Am watching Jesus of Nazareth in dribs and drabs as I can, thanks for the recommendation....lovely. I smiled when I saw the very blue eyes in Christ and John the Baptist as you'd said; I figure it's a kind of good ploy to set them apart from the others, though...kind of works for me. Rather haunting eyes.
My mother is Armenian, was born in Istanbul and raised in Cairo and has the lightest blue eyes ever. Very odd. (no famous family ties, however :-) (except with King Richard, perhaps, who raped and plundered as he went through the region!)

Trekkie4Ever said...

It's hard to believe that the progressives would want to be told what to do and not what to, which includes foods that you eat.

I wonder, if the Obama Gestapo would have arrested me for eating three brownies just now?

This was never the intention of our forefathers to be ruled by a dictator.

Anonymous said...

Methinks every one of us is the descendant either of a rapist or a rape victim somewhere along the line.

So what? It doesn't matter where we came from nearly as much as it where we're going.

Where I come from
Nobody knows.
Where I'm going
Everyone goes.
The wind blows ––
The sea flows ––
And nobody knows.

My mother too had beautiful aquamarine-colored eyes and Titian colored hair-- and so did two of her three sisters all of whom were blond as well -- but my grandparents were born in southern Italy -- that place where people are supposed to be swarthy, dark-eyed, short and stocky.

As with much we've been led to believe, it ain't necessarily so. ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention the little rhyme in that last post was written by Robert Nathan for his short novel Portrait of Jennie.

The movie version of "Jennie" was godawful, despite having Ethel Barrymore and Joseph Cotton in the cast.

I highly recommend the book.

~ FT

Ducky's here said...

z, I have the highest respect for the Gospels.

I am very suspicious of the O.T./Revelations sects.

Ducky's here said...

... clearly z I do not accept the dogma of sola scriptura . Like any dogma it has no basis in reason and the fact that Martin Luther believed it means nothing to me.

I am concerned with the social gospel. The Church on earth ans as a answer to the suffering on earth.

Unfortunately, I don't take much to the idea of eternal life, seems unfair not to get a vote about it. Clearly an issue that makes me more receptive to Eastern religions. Buddha may ave had the right idea.

But I take comfort from Christ's ministry and the Catholic Worker movement. As I have said, you cannot be a laissez-faire capitalist and try to claim to be Christian. You can't be a Calvinist and claim to be human, let alone righteous.

Z said...

Ducky, anything I say to your interpretation of Christianity will be met with ugly disdain and I'll just say "good luck."

FT...many Italians are blonde and blue eyed. Armenians are not.

Finntann said...

"For the record, none of your posters have even been lecturers."

How the hell would you know? lol

As far as the Catholic Workers Movement, you apparently diverge from their view on the proper power of the state.

"The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that."

I have the greatest admiration and respect for those who do good works... legislate it, and you can stuff it.


Anonymous said...

I read the post, and Shapiro's article too. It all boils down to this new-minted slogan:


If you want to be SUBJECT and a SLAVE instead of a CITIZEN with God-given rights and Freedom to pursue happiness as you see fit, by all means embrace Progressivism, which is just another of many terms used to make MARXISM appear more palatable.

New Hampshire and Patrick Henry had it right.

Live Free or Die

Give Me LIBERTY or Give Me Death

The only type of thought and political activity that ought to be suppressed, punished, and excommunicated are those modes of thinking which are diametrically opposed to FREEDOM of EXPRESSION, FREEDOM of CHOICE, FREEDOM to RISK, FREEDOM to GAIN, FREEDOM to LOSE, FREEDOM to get up and TRY AGAIN.

The ONLY things that government can really accomplish are to REDUCE and ELIMINATE your LIBERTY while it PICKS YOUR POCKET.

At its best government is a necessary EVIL, but it's always an EVIL -- and never to be TRUSTED -- no matter how necessary it might be.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"... many Italians are blonde and blue eyed. Armenians are not."

You mentioned your mother's having beautiful blue eyes, Z -- a clear break with the usual ethnic stereotype associated with Armenians -- AND with the popular American idea of what "Italians" are supposed to look like.

Many Italians may, indeed, be blond and blue-eyed, especially if they come from the northern provinces, but most of the Italian immigrants who came here during the Great Migration were in fact swarthy, "spaghetti benders" with olive skin, dark brown or black eyes, stocky builds, wavy black hair, and they really did reek of garlic. ;-)

My family was a rare exception that helped prove the rule.

I was only trying to show commonality with you, Z. I had no intention of starting an argument. Both of our mothers were and are beautiful women who transcend the common misconceptions that accompany stereotyping.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said... I'll just say "good luck."


Remember, z, faith is not a guarantee.
"Good luck" is our condition. All of us.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: As I have said, you cannot be a laissez-faire capitalist and try to claim to be Christian.

That is bullshit. Go investigate the concept of subsidiarity.

Z said...

Ducky...and I said "Good LUCK".

Z said...

FT...just giving information. No argument!

Grung_e_Gene said...

Unbelievable, while you conservatives argue about how Media Matters murdered 7 million Ukrainians, and that FDR=Hitler, actual real world consequences of supporting the Republican Party which claims to love the military, which claims to be pro-religious freedom, which claims to want small government, which claims to be fighting just wars, keeps on stealing Trillions of dollars, allowing Banks and Wall Street Vultures kill people overseas for profit, funnels billions in Corporate Welfare for Foreign Owned Conglomerates, and champion allowing Government to take away your basic right to control your own body...

But, it's all okay cause they're your guys!

Wake Up, the Republican Party is selling you in bondage, but, that the chains they fetter you with are inscribed with passages like Second Amendment and Anti-Socialism! doesn't make your bondage any less true...

Silverfiddle said...

No, Gene, it's not "ok because they are our guys," and if you were to read this and other like-minded blogs you would see a volcano of criticism of our own side, unlike the lock-step goosestepping you guys in Left Blogistan engage in constantly.

Indeed, you and your comrades brook no unorthodox thought, and dissident is not tolerated. Indeed, heretical comments deleted.

The fact that you cannot see how our problems were a bipartisan creation reveals your blindness.

So doctor, go heal thyself. And no one here equated FDR with Hitler, but that is what we would expect from an Obama stooge.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Silverfiddle, it's in your banner picture, right up top. Go look. You are equating Obama and FDR with Hitler. And who else do you have in there? Mussolini, President Obama, President Wilson. So stop it, I expect better from you. However, I admit I don't know who the other two pictured are...

Also, please don't give me that "heretical comments are deleted" bullish*t. I've never deleted a single comment you have ever posted at my blog.

I've never even deleted the few 'you suck', 'leftist slime' comments some of your readers drop off over at my blog.

In fact, I enjoy reading yours because it makes me question my assumptions.

But, don't give me this clean your house first because the mess was made by the Republican House and Republican Senate and Republican Executive and their policies, not by President Obama. He hasn't made it better fast enough but it's not from lack of effort.

Silverfiddle said...

The picture is meant to provoke.

It's about State-sponsored totalitarianism, Gene. The left can do it, the right can do it, anybody. It has no natural home besides the human heart.

Francisco Franco (Unlike Hitler, a real rightwing dictator) and Juan Peron are the other two.

If you only blame republicans, you are one-eye blind.

My criticism of Obama stems from his anti-individual, anti-liberty approach. He is economically ignorant and he thinks he can power everything from the federal government. His approach has never worked.

Life is messy and so is liberty. Progressives are unable to accept that.

Grung_e_Gene said...

When I was in Spain for Dynamic Mix I never did get a chance to go to the Franciso Franco Zaragosa Military Academy, so never saw a bust of the guy...

Life is messy, but here's where I fundamentally disagree with you Silverfiddle.

President Obama did not create all these messes 3 years ago. And the Wall Street, Banking, Oil Industries and DoD Contractors are the biggest receivers of government monies. By Far. We're Talking 10 Trillion over the last decade at least.

Yet, what are you and I lead by BOTH SIDES to fight over, the measly scraps of SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, and tax breaks.

The Government didn't bankrupt and isn't bankrupting you, a Government enthralled to the 1% did it. And now they rejoice in getting many to displace and misidentify their enemy. Obama isn't the enemy, the shackled Government bonded to do the work of the Thieves, Vultures and Murderers of Wall Street are.

But, hey everyone's blood is up so I almost think it's pointless to come over here anymore...

Silverfiddle said...

Everybody's blood is up, but I think we can attain some clarity, even if we cannot agree on exact causes and remedies.

I agree with you that corporate welfare is a gargantuan problem. Government should not be handing out money. Period.

Defense is mentioned in the constitution, and we need it, so you can't eliminate payments to DoD contractors. But that doesn't mean we can't cut waste and use our military smarter.

Obama didn't start the fire, but he is throwing gasoline on it, imho. Imagine if he and his big democrat majority had done some economically smart moves instead of growing the deficit and ramming through Obamacare...

Silverfiddle said...

And Gene, I do give you props for not being one of those censorious lefties. You do let comments stand at your blog, no matter how disagreeable.