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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The "settled law" argument

Liberals like to say that “Obamacare is a law passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court.” The arguments by “Sundance” on “The Last Refuge” blog should dispose of that. But in any case, any law Congress can pass, Congress can repeal. In 1798, Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. There was no Supreme Court test of these, because prior to 1803, the Supreme court had not declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, but these laws were certainly as much settled law as Obamacare is now. Yet people as high as the Vice-President of the United States at the time, Thomas Jefferson, were so strongly opposed that Jefferson helped author state legislative resolutions against their enforcement. (Jefferson was the author, not publicly acknowledged at the time, of the Kentucky resolution, while another future President, who is acknowledged as well as the author of much of the Constitution, James Madison, had a similar rôle regarding the Virginia resolution.)

No law is ever totally settled. And anyone who thinks a law is a bad one certainly has the right to work for its repeal. If Thomas Jefferson and James Madison could take the actions they did on the Alien and Sedition Acts, no Republican should be considered unreasonable for opposing, by all means possible, Obamacare. (Even a Constitutional amendment is not beyond repeal. Look at the history of the Eighteenth Amendment, and the Twenty-first.)

You are also invited to read posts by Nick Gillespie on the Reason.com blog, and by Noemie Emery on the Washington Examiner's site.

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