Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
On January 20, the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed arguing that national health care mandates were constitutional. The article claimed this was true both under modern Supreme Court interpretations and under the Constitution’s original meaning.
I do not share the writer’s confidence that national health care mandates are constitutional even under the modern Supreme Court’s altered version of the Constitution — but I recognize that legal scholars differ on this question. However, the claim that the Founding Fathers would have thought the Constitution allows Congress to impose health care mandates is little short of absurd.
What really floored me was seeing that this claim was advanced by Akhil Reed Amar, a constitutional scholar I very much admire. Apparently, Professor Amar has been seriously misreading the historical record.
I know that record well: Researching and writing about it has taken much of my professional time for many years. Here are some of Professor Amar’s points, and my rejoinders:
Amar: “It’s true that the Constitution grants Congress authority to legislate only in the areas enumerated in the document itself. Other matters are left to the states under the 10th Amendment. But if enumerated power does exist, the 10th Amendment objection disappears.”
Natelson: The Tenth Amendment (and even more so the Ninth) was adopted to signal that no enumerated power should be stretched too much. Otherwise, federalism would be subverted. An important legal rule in the Founding Era (as today) is that documents should be construed to avoid a situation in which much of the language becomes useless surplusage. Stretching any enumerated power too far would render useless both the other enumerated powers and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
Nuclear and Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled
by Rick Rozoff
January 23, 2010
2010 is proceeding in a manner more befitting the third month of the year, named after the Roman god of war, than the first whose name is derived from a pacific deity.
On January 13 the Associated Press reported that the White House will submit its Quadrennial Defense Review to Congress on February 1 and request a record-high $708 billion for the Pentagon. That figure is the highest in absolute and in inflation-adjusted, constant (for any year) dollars since 1946, the year after the Second World War ended. Adding non-Pentagon defense-related spending, the total may exceed $1 trillion.
The $708 billion includes for the first time monies for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which in prior years were in part funded by periodic supplemental requests, but excludes what the above-mentioned report adds is the first in the new administration’s emergency requests for the same purpose: A purported $33 billion.
Already this month several NATO nations have pledged more troops, even before the January 28 London conference on Afghanistan when several thousand additional forces may be assigned for the war there, in addition to over 150,000 already serving or soon to serve under U.S. and NATO command.
Washington has increased lethal drone missile attacks in Pakistan, and calls for that model to be replicated in Yemen have been made recently, most notably by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who on January 13 also advocated air strikes and special forces operations in the country. 
The Pentagon will begin the deployment of 1,400 personnel to Colombia to man seven new bases under a 10-year military agreement signed last October 30. 
Delaware County Prosecutor responds to GOP call to fill void on statewide ticket
(Columbus) – Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost today announced that he will run for the position of Auditor of State, seeking to fill a vacancy created when incumbent Auditor Mary Taylor was chosen by Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich to be his Lt. Governor running mate. Yost had been a candidate for Attorney General prior to his announcement.
“Business, political and grassroots leaders across this great state have called on me during the last several days to put aside my personal plans and fill a gap in our party’s ticket – to step up and bring my skills and passion for public integrity to this most important work. After much prayer, reflection and taking of counsel, I have decided to run for Auditor of State,” Yost said.
Yost previously served on Delaware City Council, as Delaware County Auditor from 1999 to 2003 and as Prosecutor since then. He vowed to use his background in identifying and prosecuting political corruption to build on Taylor’s “legacy of excellence during her term as Auditor of State.” “Dave Yost brings an ideal background to the race for this critical state office. Given the mess that Ted Strickland and the Democrats have made of Ohio’s budget and financial future, Dave’s candidacy sends yet another signal to voters that Republicans are serious about getting Ohio back on the right track,” said Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine.
Yost pledged “to ensure that every tax dollar sent to Columbus is spent for a public purpose and according to law – and I will take decisive action when it is not.”
By Andrew Moran.
Hat tip: Digital Journal
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused the United States of causing the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, which killed possibly 200,000 people. Chavez believes the U.S. was testing a tectonic weapon to produce eco-type devastations.
Last week, Digital Journal reported that the Venezuelan President accused the United States of using Haiti’s earthquake as a pretext to occupy the Caribbean country, and since then the US has deployed thousands of troops to the region to bring law and order.
Chavez is blaming the US for causing the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti as part of testing a “tectonic weapon” that can cause eco-type disasters, according to Russia Today. The Latin American leader added that the US should “stop playing God.”
Chavez said these “weapon earthquakes” would eventually be used against Iran and be taken over by the US military.
Chavez says these weapons can alter the climate and set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.
Although Chavez did not reveal his source, Press TV reports the Venezuelan media are reporting the earthquake may be associated with the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which has been accused of generating violent and disastrous changes in climate.
Hat tip: JBS.org
Written by Larry Greenley
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
A few years ago I was momentarily fooled by the “net neutrality” campaign. At that time I was surprised to see a coalition for net neutrality featuring liberal MoveOn.org and conservative Gun Owners of America. I just checked and this coalition is still in effect.
More recently I haven’t been paying attention to the net neutrality issue. I was surprised yesterday to learn that President Obama is a big backer of net neutrality. Here’s a 50-second video of Obama speaking at Google back on November 14, 2007, where he said, “I will take a back seat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.”
In contrast, constitutionalist Congressman Ron Paul is opposed to net neutrality regulation of the Internet based on his opposition to government regulation and support for a free market economy, as you can see in this 56-second video:
With no limits on campaign financing, corporations will take over the government
Jan. 21: In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann envisions a future United States in which today’s Supreme Court ruling permitting unbridled corporate campaign spending purchase all the power greed can afford
By Keith Olbermann
hat tip: msnbc.com
Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on the Supreme Court’s ruling today in the case titled “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.”
On the cold morning of Friday, March 6th, 1857, a very old man who was born just eight months and thirteen days after the Declaration of Independence was adopted; a man who was married to the sister of the man who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner;” a man who was enlightened enough to have freed his own slaves and given pensions to the ones who had become too old to work read aloud, in a reed-thin voice, a very long document.
In it, he ruled on a legal case involving a slave, brought by his owner to live in a free state; yet to remain a slave.
The slave sought his freedom, and sued. And looking back over legal precedent, and the Constitution, and the America in which it was created, this judge ruled that no black man could ever be considered an actual citizen of the United States.
“They had for more than a century before been, regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
by: Kyle Berlin
hat tip: t r u t h o u t
Thursday 21 January 2010
In a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that portends massive changes in campaign finance, corporations will no longer be banned from spending money on presidential or Congressional elections.
The conservative wing of the court, with Anthony Kennedy joining, overruled two long-held precedents in reaching the decision, which said that corporations have the same right to use their own money to fund campaign ads as individuals do.
Kennedy, in his opinion for the majority, wrote that “the Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether.”
The ruling also overturned a segment of the McCain-Feingold Act, which bans the broadcast of ads that mention a candidate for federal office 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary or caucus.
Justice John Paul Stevens, speaking for the court’s liberal wing, including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, read part of his dissent out loud in the courtroom.
In his dissent, he wrote, “although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it.”
Campaign finance experts say the decision will allow freer participation by organizations like labor unions, though direct contributions by corporations to candidates are still prohibited.
The latest edition of The Liberty Voice is in the mail to all of our faithful subscribers and in your favorite restaurants, taverns, bookstores and street newsboxes.
This is our first edition that we accepted paid advertisements, and the response has been (frankly, surprisingly) favorable! Let us know what you think! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and share your valued insights and comments.
This winter issue features many local writers which are new to The Liberty Voice as well as our more seasoned columnists like Ellen Brown and Paul Craig Roberts.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue, including some outstanding liberty candidates who are launching their campaigns in our paper. I hope the intelligent readers of The Liberty Voice will find at least one candidate that they can and will support in these important races.
This edition’s stories include:
LET THEM EAT CAKE: THE ANOMALY OF COMPULSORY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
- (Sponsored by “Families for Schweitzer,” Craig Schweitzer for Ohio State Representative– 2nd District. )
- (Sponsored by “Irvine for Congress”. Travis Irvine is the Libertarian candidate for Ohio’s 12th US Congressional district)
- (Sponsored by “Ryon for Congress”. Dave Ryon is the Constitutional party candidate for Ohio’s U.S. Congress, 15th district seat.)
- (Sponsored by “Ken Matesz for Governor” committee. Ken Matesz is running as a Libertarian for Governor of Ohio in 2010. This article was written by Ken Matesz.)
In this video, Ron Paul explains that the CIA is running the US, he explains that the CIA has taken over the US in a coup.
“There’s been a coup – have you heard? It’s the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything! They run the military .. and they’re every bit as secretive as the Federal Reserve. And yet, think of the harm they have done since they were established at the end of World War II. They are a government unto themselves. They’re in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators… We need to take out the CIA!”
Okay, Dr. Paul. Great idea. You are still a Congressman, am I right? Maybe you could draft legislation to get it done!
by Lesley Swann
Hat tip: Tenth Amendment Center
“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” –Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
The American dream has been a part of humanity long before there was ever an America. History is filled with stories of how people, once enslaved and oppressed, sought freedom for themselves and their loved ones. From the Israelites prayers for freedom from their Egyptian oppressors in the Bible, to William Wallace’s fight for Scottish independence in the 13th century, to the Boston Tea Party to protest taxation without representation, to the songs of freedom by African slaves working in fields here in the United States, the human soul cries out for freedom in a deep and primal way. Freedom is in our DNA.
Pilgrims didn’t come to the New World for welfare handouts or government-run health care. Instead, they risked their lives and everything they had for just a shot a freedom – a shot at being left alone by an abusive and meddlesome government. They knew full well that starvation, disease, or any number of cruel fates could befall them, but for freedom they came anyway. More and more people flocked to the New World for the same reason. It is this unwritten right to be left alone by one’s government, sink or swim, that permeates the U.S. Constitution. No human document can be perfect, but this dream the Founders gave us in the form of the Constitution is the closest humanity has come to fully unleashing the power and splendor of true freedom in this world.
Our Founders had a profound understanding of human nature and of the burning desire for freedom that is planted in the very essence of who we are as human beings. This is why the Constitution was written so as to allow that yearning for freedom to flourish and grow. Our Founders knew that each person would have the best opportunity to achieve their potential when not chained by an oppressive government. Barack Obama’s statements that the Constitution is a “deeply flawed” document only serve to reveal his deeply flawed and naive understanding of human nature, and what it means to be a truly free people. Not only that, but he has completely missed the point of the Constitution, and the precious American dream that our Founders bought for us with their sweat and blood.