Monthly Archives: June 2012

Obamacare Reaction Links

There is too much reaction to the Obamacare ruling to cover it all so I’m just going to start this links thread. I will be adding many more links as time goes on. I encourage our readers to add interesting links in the comment section, and my fellow bloggers to add links to the post.

Was Roberts bullied into changing his vote? I don’t know if he was “bullied,” but the decision sure does look like it took politics into consideration.

There is much discussion on what Roberts legal mental gymnastics means for the Commerce Clause. See Slate.

Professor Knippenberg at First Things.

From Michael Peroutka’s website.

James Antle on “John Roberts’ Betrayal

Here is Antle’s Obamacare Wrap-up.

Rod Dreher doesn’t get what conservatives are so upset about. I don’t get why The American Conservative doesn’t change it’s name.

And speaking of the misnamed American Conservative, Scott McConnell thinks the SCOTUS decision was just dandy.

More Antle.

And still more Antle.

Doug Bandow: Did Romney surrender?

Pat Buchanan on the scoundrel Roberts.

Many more to come…

National Constitution Party Response to Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court Has Spoken

by Darrell L. Castle

The Supreme Court has announced its ruling in regard to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare. My purpose in this article is to point out that those of us in the Constitution Party endeavor to return America to the rule of law as expressed in the US Constitution. That’s why we carry the name Constitution Party. We also seek to restore a concept fundamental to Western Civilization and that is the understanding between government and citizens that the law applies equally to all. The question for us then is where do we go from here in furtherance of our goals.

 From a negative standpoint calling Obamacare the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is like calling a new intercontinental ballistic missile the Peacekeeper. The system this act purports to establish is certainly not affordable, at least not by those who will actually pay for it, and it doesn’t offer much patient protection either. The majority opinion takes some interesting twists and turns to arrive at who will pay. For example how do you justify a fine for being unwilling to buy health insurance—just redefine the fine into a tax and everything is OK.

In arriving at its justification for placing its stamp of approval on Obamacare the majority stated “It is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income but choose to go without health insurance.” “Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.” From that statement, one can conclude that it will be those among the 50 per cent who actually pay income taxes and who choose not to buy the insurance, that will be paying the fine, or tax. This twisted logic appears to be a legal fiction created by the Court to escape the failure of the Commerce Clause to expand enough to cover Obamacare.

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The Constitution Party of Georgia’s Response to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling

Taking a Stand for Freedom

Atlanta, GA – June 28th, 2012- “Not if we have anything to say about it!” said Ricardo Davis, Chairman of the Constitution Party of Georgia. That’s Davis’ reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that has stunned and angered many Americans – that the widely unpopular legislation known as Obamacare is constitutional. “Our nation has taken another step downward in our devolution toward socialism,” Davis said, adding that he is “saddened” by the ruling.

Even more stunning perhaps is that the majority opinion of the 5-4 ruling was written by a member of the court who had been expected to vote against President Obama’s signature health care bill: Chief Justice John Roberts. In it, the court upheld Obamacare’s most controversial provision, the so-called individual mandate, which forces most taxpayers to buy health insurance or pay a fine. The court ruled the mandate is a tax, falls within the powers of Congress and therefore is constitutional. By ruling the mandate is a tax the court sidestepped the controversial issue of whether Congress could impose it under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

But Davis praised the four dissenters on the high court, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who unexpectedly voted with conservatives Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Their opinion, Davis said, “really brought the salient constitutional issues squarely into view.”

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Ron Paul on the SCOTUS ObamaCare (Mis)Decision

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ron Paul issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.

“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’ The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.

“Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care. Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.”

Our nationalistic Supreme Court

The clues for today’s Supreme Court decision were actually found in the immigration and campaign finance decisions made by the court a few days ago. This is very much a nationalistic Supreme Court. This will be the Roberts Court’s legacy. It does not like the states going off to try and decide policy on its own. Thus it tells Montana it cannot write its own campaign finance laws; it tells Arizona it can’t write it’s own immigration laws and tells the states who filed suit against individual mandate sorry, the mandate is a tax and Congress can tax. End of discussion.

Like immigration, the issue goes back to Congress, which as we are reading in a very good article on TAC by Leo Linbeck III, is utterly disfunctional right now, which is why the states have entered the realm of policy to decide on its own because they are tired of waiting.

The mandate is out there as “freedom” issue for those wishing to pursue it. But many Republicans who once supported the mandate (before being against it) may just decide to drop the issue. Will Romney pick it up? Given that he shares a similar background as Roberts as pro-big business “conservative”, me thinks he won’t make the health care issue all that important to his campaign. Big business has wanted the politicians to do something about health care costs (which Romney tried to do in Massachusetts)for a long time and the mandate which forces persons to have health insurance was a way be able to steer business to them. Why change it? And given insurance company donations to the Romney campaign, I doubt if he will.

How’s That John Roberts Appointment Looking to You Now?

Hey mainstream conservatives and Bushbots, how’s that John Roberts appointment that y’all were so crazy about looking to you now?

If a guy has a cryptic and non-controversial record, he has a cryptic and non-controversial record for a reason. Because he’s cryptic and non-controversial.

When are you people ever gonna learn? (O’Connor, Souter, etc. etc. etc.) You should insist on a controversial track record that gives you reasonable certainty about how that judge is going to think/rule or you should withhold your support.

People are Hardwired to be Ethnocentric

Racism is ‘hardwired’ into the human brain – and people can be prejudiced without knowing it

Rob Waugh, Daily Mail, June 26, 2012

Racism is hardwired into the brain, say scientists – and it operates unconsciously.

The same circuits in the brain that allow us to see which ethnic group a person belongs to overlap with others that drive emotional decisions.

The result is that even right-thinking individuals make unconscious decisions based on a person’s race. But most racism operates on an unconscious level, say researchers – and even ‘right thinking’ individuals may react in a racist way.

Brain scans have proved that interactions with people of other ethnic backgrounds set off reactions that may be completely unknown to our conscious selves.

The finding may force researchers to think about racism in entirely new ways.

It’s possible, the researchers say, that even right-thinking, ‘egalitarian’ people could harbour racist attitudes without knowing.

The chemicals involved in perceiving ethnic backgrounds overlap with those for processing emotion and making decisions, according to new research.

And the findings published in Nature Neuroscience could lead to fresh ways of thinking about unintended race-based attitudes and decisions.

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Updates:

“So-called racism [sic] is a perfectly natural in-group bias which has been stigmatized by the politically correct West.” – Martin Sewell, professor of economics, Oxford University

 

Since We’re on the Subject of War of 1812 Revisionism…

First Justin Raimondo wrote this. Then our own Hawthorn, who is largely in agreement with Raimondo, responded with this. Yesterday LewRockwell posted a link to this Salon article.

I confess I am very conflicted about the War of 1812. The emerging anti-war consensus seems to be that it was entirely a war of choice with possibly exaggerated concerns about impressment used as a justification for a war of conquest (Canada). The problem is that whether or not the War of 1812 was justified depends largely on who you listen to/believe, and there are people whose opinions I usually respect and trust on different sides of the issue. Also, the people I normally view as the bad guys (Yankee industrialist and Federalists) are portrayed as the good guys in the anti-war scenario, and the guys I normally see as the good guys (the Agrarian South, Jeffersonian Democrats and Calhoun in particular), are portrayed as the bad guys. Obviously the truth stands on it’s own regardless of my own emotional attachments, but my emotions do admittedly make it harder for me to accept this new revisionism at face value.

At the least, whatever the truth may be, it is likely more complicated than the simple morality tale the new anti-war revisionists make it out to be. I would actually like to see an intra-paleo debate on this issue since there is generally a broad consensus on most things within paleo circles that there is not, from my sense, on the War of 1812.

But whatever anyone may think about the War of 1812, one thing is certain, it was NOT the “First Neocon War” as the Salon article calls it outright and some revisionists seem to suggest. This reading of the War coincides with neocon Robert Kagan’s take in Dangerous Nation. I don’t know how anti-war revisionists think they are helping the cause by aping Kagan’s theme.

Kagan’s assertion is that America was never the mind-our-own-bussiness republic that the anti-war conservatives would have people believe. He suggests that America was expansionistic from a very early point and that this represents a sort of proto-neoconservatism that has always been part of the American character. The problem with this suggestion is that, as often happens, it ascribes modern thoughts and values to people in the past. To whatever degree Kagan’s assertion may or may not be true, undoubtebly there were Americans in the past who had expansionistic designs – Canada, Cuba, the Philippines, etc. But this was a time when powerful nations such as England and France had empires. The expansionistic designs of some Americans were motivated by the good ol’ fashioned illiberal imperialism that was common at the time. They wanted to be like the big boys and have an empire of our own. To the degree that it might have been ideologically, so to speak, motivated it was to bring Christianity to some benighted parts of the world. This is a far cry from the supposedly benign hegemony watched over by America and the ushering in of liberal democracy that the neocons envision.

Whatever take the anti-war folks want to have on the War of 1812, they should be careful that they don’t give aid and comfort to the Kagans of this battle by parroting their talking points. Whether the War of 1812 was just or not, it was NOT the first or any other kind of neocon war.

The Ron Paul Disruption

There is fear out there expressed by those in the Republican Party, the Romney for President campaign, even the Ron Paul for President campaign about the behavior of Paul supporting delegates and Paul supporters in general at the upcoming GOP National Convention in Tampa.

What does Ron Paul want? Will be  speak at the convention? Will he be nominated? Will his supporters be disruptive?

In the context of the modern political convention, which instead of being a deliberative body is a really a tax-payer funded love-in for the nominated candidate, this is an important question. Because these are made-for-TV events, any kind of appearance of disruption of routine party business by parliamentary wrangling of appearance of disunity is frowned upon severely. Everything is meticulously planned and scripted and any deviation from that plan could present an image problem for the folks watching about the candidate the convention will nominate.

For example, there’s talk Ron Paul could have himself put into nomination for vice-president by his delegates forcing a roll call vote which hasn’t happened at a convention since 1972. That will throw everything off schedule if it happens.  Just ask George McGovern.

Given this situation, it would seem the Paul supporters would have some leverage with the Romney campaign and the party leadership. Give us what want and we’ll give you decorum. Instead negotiations seem to be happening from the opposite direction. The party seems to be saying either give us decorum or you will have no role at the convention. This is largely due to the fact the upper-echelon of the campaign, persons-like campaign manager Jesse Benton, his string-puller Trygve Olson and the man they want to work for in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul, are looking ahead and trying to make sure Ron Paul supporters and delegates don’t come off in Republican eyes like the protestors at 1968 Democratic National Convention.

You hear the word “respect” more and more from persons in the Paul campaign. No doubt there are those within the campaign who believe their own supporters are an unruly mob and have said so publicly. They’ve gone so far as to schedule their own gathering at Tampa to keep Paul away from grassroots sponsored events festivals schedule the week. Shouldn’t respect be a two-way street? How much respect should Paul supporters be forced give while the Romney campaign forces out Paul supporters from the Massachusetts delegation,  and acts in questionable if not downright illegal ways to secure delegates in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arizona and attack and arrest Paul delegates in the process?

The only “respect” Paul delegates at the convention should show is to the taxpayers who have the fund these Nuremburg-type rallies and make them actual democratic events again. If that means things go off schedule, so be it. Paul delegates can make history by changing again the nature of a political party convention away from spectacle to an actual gathering where there’s debate and discussion and votes, the kinds of things that actually happen in democracy. If left to their own devices I’m sure these delegates would do just that. But I am worried that biggest division in Tampa will not be between Romney and Paul, it will be between and Paul supporters and their own campaign.

Ha Ha! Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Flops at the Box Office

#3 this weekend at $16.5 million. It’s budget was $70 million.

I knew it was going to flop, but was still rooting hard that it would. I have been in a couple of movies where there was a trailer for ALVH and the general audience response was not “That looks cool” or “I’ve gotta see that” but “Huh?” and “What?” The movie is based off a popular book, but if you aren’t familiar with the book then the premise just seems stupid.

It couldn’t happen to a better fictionalized President. We already have to put up with the equally farcical Abraham Lincoln as great President and Abraham Lincoln as savior of the nation, do we really need Abraham Lincoln as vampire slayer?

EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief

Yes, he used the word “undermine.” And just who is this “UN migration chief” who wants to “undermine” Europe’s traditional demographics? Check it out:

Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural. …

Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.

Of course this fat cat wants more immigration. By importing cheap, exploitable labor, big business depresses middle-class wages, generating obscene corporate profits. But that’s not all: immigration also destroys social cohesion and trust. Rootless big business wants a world where close-knit communities do not exist, where individuals are friendless, deracinated, and alone. All the better to exploit them.

Big government also relishes such a future.

When I hear Occupy protesters denounce both the destruction of the middle class and the obscene profits of big business, then in the next breath agree with big business about the glories of multiculturalism, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The Real Question Conservatives Should be Asking about Romney

Who are we going to get to primary this loser in 2016?

Of course I’m trying to be funny, but I’m also serious. Significant deviations  should be punished at every opportunity – by challenges in the GOP primary and by third parties in the general. Since a primary challenge against a sitting President is unlikely to succeed, it is a good chance to make ideological points. The all-bluster far left failed to mount a serious challenge to Obama in the primaries and came away looking like nothing but a bunch of windbags as a result. Serious conservatives need to avoid the same fate, and start grooming potential challengers now.

Besides, primary challenges are fun, exciting and help draw lines and distinguish friend from foe.

Any suggestions?

More Details on Romney’s Immigration Cave-in

From Jim Antle at American Spectator:

  • Romney wants to “grow our economy by growing legal immigration,” according to a campaign fact sheet
  • He would raise caps on high-skilled immigrant visas
  • He would also streamline the temporary worker visa process
  • Expedite family reuinfication
  • Create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who serve honorably in the military
  • Balance this with a fairly strong illegal immigration policy including e-verify, better safeguards for people overstaying visas, and completing the border fence (emphasis mine)

Romney Wussing Out on Immigration Already

One thing previously in Romney’s favor has been that he took a harder line stand on immigration than did some of his opponents. But in the wake of Obama’s amnesty by fiat, he is already starting to cave. Jim Antle has the story. Is anyone really shocked that Flip-Flop Mitt is already caving?

His proposals include unspecified increases in legal immigration, more green cards for family reunification and immigrants who receive advanced degrees at American universities, a path to citizenship for immigrants who serve in the military, but no real word of amnesty for the vast majority of illegal immigrants…

… All in all, Romney is staking out a position to the right of both George W. Bush and John McCain’s if not quite the same in tone as the attrition strategy he advocated during the primaries…

See more…

Revising the War of 1812

Raimondo is out with a column on a favorite, the War of 1812.

Just a couple points to add:

Who knows if they were lying, as politicians do, but the Massachusetts operation was able to produce several folks, including a Congressman, who denied there was much of anything to the Impressment business.  John Quincy Adams, attempting to keep the peace, argued that well, if the subject was murder, then does it really matter how many were actually impressed?

Presidential Material.

-John Henry, not the steel driving bastard, was a British spy who seemed to have had actual connections with New England Federalist elite who were flirting as pro-secessionist and alliance with Britain.  President Madison bought some goods/documents off Henry that alleged there was a Federalist secessionist plot in New England.  The New England Federalists denied such a thing, and Madison’s charge was made to look ridiculous when it was learned the “evidence” was purchased.  Who knows, really, but an early sign of serious entrepreneurial double agent activity.

-In the year of 1812, the only Prime Minister of England to be assassinated occurred in  May of 1812.  While the British Empire, namely its naval power, was being challenged severely, the English populace seemed to dislike the Tory PM, seemed to understand where the assassin was coming from; the Prime Minister was killed by a…wait for it...lone gunmen with…keep waiting…a stint in Russia in the bio.

-Most importantly to recall, the Constitution was largely a Southern power move, but the Southern elite overplayed their hand, and went broke over the War of 1812, ceding power to the Yankee elite around Boston.

The embargo Mr. Jefferson had imposed in his move for autarky, coupled with Mr. Madison’s War, had led Boston elites to go long on factories, and with the post-war bust, the Yankee elite ditched their sea going merchant “free trade” thinking, and embraced “protectionism”.  It’s often forgotten that protectionism began in the South and West at the beginning of the Constitutional Era Republic, only to be adopted by the Yankee elites after the War of 1812.

crossposted

 

Centrism Enforcers

There are few types more annoying than smug, self-appointed centrism enforcers. I post this Gary Wills op-ed as a textbook example of the genre, apply titled “The Curse of Political Purity.”

You will seldom see me quote Noam Chomsky, but he was right when he said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

Crossposted (sort of) at IPR.

 

The Free Trade Betrayal


Pat Buchanan exposes “Free Trade” agreements for what they are – one-sided deals for politically connected big business that enrich the few and impoverish the majority. It happened with NAFTA, says Pat, and now it’s happening with the Korean Free Trade agreement – just as the critics warned it would.

What should we demand from our trade policies? Pat puts it directly and simply: “Instead of a trade policy crafted for the benefit of multinationalist corporations, we need a new trade policy that puts America and Americans first.”

Of course, the internationalists of the left whoop with glee at the prospect of Americans being reduced to a Third-World standard of living. For them, equality is what it’s all about. No wonder Karl Marx supported Free Trade:

But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.
Karl Marx, “On the Question of Free Trade” – January 9, 1848

But putting “America First,” as Pat counsels above, is portrayed by the ruling elite and its mouthpieces as “racist.” The Southern Poverty Law Center explicitly links opposition to “Free Trade” with “extremism”: “NAFTA and other international economic pacts are deeply resented by radical rightists, among others, who see them as evidence of the growing power of a global elite, or ‘New World Order’.”

The globalist enforcers smear our desire to protect our jobs as “xenophobic.” After all, enlightened people know it’s wrong to care more about Americans than foreigners.

Meanwhile, the ultra rich shovel in the dough – and their mouthpieces get their cut.