The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Memo to Barack Obama: We have a Constitution in this country!

President Barack Obama seems to think that this is a country like Britain, where Parliament is all powerful, rather than a country with a Constitution that limits what Congress can do. He is quoted as having said, about the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” better known as “Obamacare”:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example.

Why is this an “unprecedented, extraordinary step”? the Court has ruled lots of laws unconstitutional that were passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” The first time was in 1803, for heaven's sake!

President Obama used to teach constitutional law. If he thinks that ruling Obamacare unconstitutional would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary step” because it was “passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” I wonder what he taught his students when he was a law professor. It would be interesting to know.

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