Liberty 101: Law as SMOD

A habit of liberty for a free people.

One of the most remarkable things about Obamacare has been the theme, lurking with a blithe, disarming shrug, that we have to wait to see “what’s in it” and how it all “plays out.”

It’s not just Nancy Pelosi who talks about it that way.  Basically, it’s everybody who ventures to discuss it analytically.  Each pundit ends up making the point that we’ll just have to see what happens and how it all plays out.

It’s as if Obamacare is not a law, written by men and fully manipulable by them, but Continue reading “Liberty 101: Law as SMOD”

Eyes on the ball, folks: SCOTUS has ruled Congress can make us buy stuff

Gird your loins.

A surprising number of conservative commentators have come out cheering the ObamaCare decision because it ruled that the Commerce clause in the Constitution – Congress’s power to regulate commerce across the 50 states – doesn’t empower our legislators to force us to buy things (in this case, health insurance).

Of course, Congress can require those who propose to engage in regulated activities to purchase things, as a price of doing business.  But ObamaCare forces us to buy insurance just because we woke up one day and were citizens of the United States (and earning a certain income and not covered by insurance our employers have to buy).

The real decision

SCOTUS has said Congress can do that. Continue reading “Eyes on the ball, folks: SCOTUS has ruled Congress can make us buy stuff”

That was quick: Obama backtracks, says SCOTUS “is the final say”

A leftist mantra honored.

Other bloggers have covered in detail President Obama’s expanding body of philosophical commentary on the judicial branch of government.  Powerline’s John Hinderaker had a particularly strong post on Tuesday refuting the Obama backtrack, in which the president claimed that the Supreme Court had not invalidated laws relating to commerce and the economy for “decades.”  Hinderaker lists recent instances of SCOTUS doing exactly that.

A furor of deductions and rumors has arisen around the president’s utterances on the judiciary.  But what caught my attention was how quickly and with what language Obama clarified his Monday gaffe.  This was the money quote: Continue reading “That was quick: Obama backtracks, says SCOTUS “is the final say””

More notes on “fairness”

Highly overrated?

After posting my piece yesterday on taxes and fairness, I saw Jazz Shaw’s piece on the topic.  It impressed me that he mentioned he was still thinking through the whole issue:

…the premise [that “we want everything to be fair”] relies heavily on how we choose to define the word “fair” and what sort of taxes we’re talking about here. (And to be clear, I’m still sorting through some of this because it’s hardly a simple, cut and dried issue.)

I agree that it’s not a cut and dried issue, largely because it cuts across multiple unarticulated premises about human life in general, and the relation between man and the state.  I also got interesting responses from readers at both the Green Room and my home blog.  Reader KGB provided a quote from P.J. O’Rourke’s book Eat the Rich: Continue reading “More notes on “fairness””

US Government to apply peer pressure to your Islamophobia

Shame on you.

Hillary Clinton’s promise on this matter has been out there for months, but a virtually unadvertised conference in Washington, D.C. this week has resurrected the Clinton quote from July 2011.

Back in July, at a conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Clinton pledged that the US would take action against “religious intolerance” in America.

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on that.  Clinton said, in her remarks, “No country, including my own, has a monopoly on truth or a secret formula for ethnic and religious harmony.”  But if any country comes close to having such a monopoly, it is, in fact, the United States.  One of the core principles of our founding was religious freedom; Continue reading “US Government to apply peer pressure to your Islamophobia”