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.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Apparently, presidential power (vs. Congress) depends on who exercises it

Back in 2007, a Presidential candidate named Barack Obama filled out a candidate questionnaire for the Boston Globe and, as reported by John Fund in a column in the National Review Online entitled “Obama Embraces the Imperial Presidency,” he wrote:

The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

He added that the president can only act unilaterally in “instances of self-defense.” Also in 2007, Senator (now Vice-President) Joseph Biden was quoted as saying:

The president has no constitutional authority to take this nation to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked.

Fast forward to 2013. Vice-President Biden is calling for an immediate strike against Syria. President Obama, it would seem, feels no need to defer to Congress' warmaking powers; he is able, in his estimation, to order us into war, in the words of his spokesman Mary Ann Marsh, acting unilaterally:

The president of the United States cannot be handcuffed by the same Republicans that are holding the rest of the country hostage on every other issue. That is wrong.

Apprently, the Constitution confers powers upon a president named Barack Obama which it does not on a president named George W. Bush. Or so believe Obama and Biden.

I don't think so.

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