April 29, 2012

New Political Designs for sale

I have a new political design for sale at Zazzle.com. Just in time for the conclusion of he GOP primaries and the start of the Presidential campaign.


Available as a t-shirt and a bumper sticker.


If there are additional products you would like to have this graphic on, just let me know in the comments and I'll make it available.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:37 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 25, 2012

About the Constitution

It's time to share another survey. This one is from the Heritage Foundation asking for my money about my views on the Constitution. One of the great things about this survey is that it's online so I don't have to type the questions.


Do you believe it is important for the government to abide by the Constitution as it is written, or do you believe the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted to reflect current political and economic circumstances?
as it is written
needs to be reinterpreted
undecided

This is supposed to be a nation of laws and the Constitution is supposed to be the highest law in the nation. I believe it says what it means and it means what it says.

Do you think that every piece of federal legislation should cite which clause in the Constitution authorizes the legislation?
yes
no
undecided

At the very least it would force legislators to actually consider the Constitution. I'm sure they would engage in boat load of linguistic spin but paying lip service to the Constitution would be an improvement over completely disregarding it.

 
Do you think the federal government has taken on more power than the Constitution allows?
yes
no
undecided

I think "taken on more power than the Constitution allows" describes at a minimum 70% of what the federal government does.
 
Do you think the federal government has taken on powers that belong to the states?
yes
no
undecided

What power they haven't usurped from the individual they have taken from the states. Starting with, but certainly not limited to unfunded mandates.
 
The Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives the federal government the power "to regulate commerce…among the several states.” Do you believe this power includes requiring individual citizens to buy health insurance and targeting "green companies” for large government grants?
yes
no
undecided

Not just no but HELL NO! The government is working very hard to take over more and more of our lives and eliminate more and more of our liberty.
 
The Bill of Rights lays out what the federal government is forbidden to do to citizens, such as abridge our freedom of speech and religion. Do you agree with President Obama that it should also list what the government must do for citizens, such as provide education and jobs?
yes
no
undecided

I think the government should not be doing very much of anything other than protecting us militarily, enforcing just laws, and being our agent dealing with foreign countries.
 
Listed below are the federal cabinet-level departments. Which do you think might have no mandate in the Constitution? (You may check more than one.)
State
Education
Agriculture
Defense
Energy
Housing and Urban Development
Justice
Commerce
Transportation
Treasury
Labor
Veterans Affairs
Interior
Homeland Security
Health and Human Services
 
Do you think it is important for children to study the Constitution in school?
yes
no
undecided

I think they should study the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence every year.

 
Do you believe most elected officials understand the Constitution?
yes
no
undecided

If they did, they wouldn't do three quarters of the stuff they do.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:58 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


April 22, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. You should celebrate it. You should celebrate all of the things that make life on Earth livable. You should celebrate all of the things that make life on earth more pleasant. You should celebrate all of the things that make life on Earth a joy.


Look around you.

Look right in front of you. You're looking at this on a computer. Think of all the human activity, all of the benefit to humanity, from all of the work that went into making every  bit of that computer. Celebrate the electricity that flows through it's circuits and every thing it took to create it.

Celebrate Life on Earth Day.

And try to imagine some of the things that would be possible if we got the nanny-state fascistic ninnies out of the way.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:53 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


April 10, 2012

Making the Opponents Case

I was going to leave this as a comment to this post at Hot Air, but but by the time I got there the thread was long and it would have likely gotten lost in the noise. The post itself was about Cardinal Raymond Burke making a statement the for a Catholic employer to comply with the ObamaCare birth control and abortion pill mandate would be a sin.


The comment I particularly wanted to respond to was this one by someone commenting under the name social-justice.

What about amnesty? It it sin to break the laws of a sovereign nation?

How does the good cardinal feel about it?

This clever socialist (Social Justice is liberal code for no one should have more than me so we're taking yours) Thinks he/she/it is poking a big hole in the Cardinal's position by pointing out a Catch 22 created by the Cardinal's statement.

Here's the thing. Conflict between laws of the government and teaching of religion is one reason why the First Amendment protects the the right to the free exercise of religion. I know the logic is beyond you and you have no understanding of the concept of Liberty but could you at least make an effort?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


April 07, 2012

Unprecedented Asshattery

Before you start reading this I want you to take out your copy of the United States Constitution. You have one right? If not hang your head in shame and go Google it yourself. I want you to read the part of the Constitution that establishes the judicial branch of our government. (Article 3). I'll wait here...


Back already? It's not a very long section is it. 

Did you see the part where the Constitution expressly describes the Supreme Court's authority to rule on the Constitutionality of legislation? Of course you didn't because it's not there. The principle of Judicial Review was established by the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution in the case Marbury vs Madison. Never heard of it you say? Once more in shame to Google you go!

Got it? OK. Now for today's lesson basic civics and jurisprudence.

When a principle of law is clarified by judicial ruling such that this ruling becomes the basis for future application of the law, we call that a "precedent."  Dictionary.com defines precedent as:

noun
1.
Law . a legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases.
2.
any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations.

Marbury vs Madison was decided in 1803 thus the concept of the courts ruling that a law is in violation of the Constitution and therefore invalid has been the operating precedent for over 200 years.

I knew all of this without having to look it up because I learned it when I was young. I'll confess to having to look up the 1803 date because having the right year was better than "the early 1800's" which my memory of high school history was able to recover!

Now imagine that a hypothetical student went to law school. Not just any law school but the most prestigious law school in the country, if not the world. Imagine that same person while a student became editor of the school's Law Review an extremely prestigious position at an extremely prestigious publication at this extremely prestigious institution of higher learning. But don't stop there. Imagine that after receiving a law degree from the university at the pinnacle of legal education this person went on be an instructor of law. And not just any law an instructor of Constitutional Law.

You would think that person would have a better understanding of the concepts of precedent and judicial review than I can conjure up from my memory of a class I took in high school {cough} years ago. But what if this hypothetical person said:

"Ultimately I am 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"

You would have to wonder if perhaps a degree from the most prestigious law school in the country is worth the paper it is printed on. Or maybe our hypothetical student was absent the days they covered Marbury, the concept of precedent and any of the hundreds of cases over the last 200+ years in which laws have been overturned as unconstitutional.

Or maybe the hypothetical student knew that what he was saying was a massive pile of horse excrement but thought he could get away with it.

I'm not a lawyer and didn't go to the most prestigious law school and edit its law review and I never taught Constitutional Law. But it seems to me that with the 200 year history of judicial review arising out of the decision of Marbury vs Madison the Supreme Court overturning a law it judges to be unconstitutional would be the textbook definition of precedented.

If you want to have nightmares or watch your blood pressure spike imagine this hypothetical student grew up to be President of the United States.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:34 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


April 01, 2012

One Man. One Vote.

Watching the spin coming out of the Supreme Court hearings on ObamaCare has been disturbingly amusing. The only thing we can be sure of is that after three days of oral argument we know what the outcome will be with as much certainty as we did before three days of oral argument.

I do think there is some cause for hope. During the first day of arguments Justice Anthony Kennedy noted:

Here the government is saying that the federal government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.

We just have to wait and see what The Court - or in particular Justice Kennedy - thinks about the constitutionality of that transformation.

The left has been spinning furiously that the the overturning of ObamaCare would be the best thing that could happen for Campaign to Reelect The One.

This of course is complete BS and why the right isn't calling them out for using people's healthcare as a political football escapes me. The Vice President at the law's signing ceremony proclaimed that it was a "Big F'n Deal." If they think the crowning achievement of their ideology is so great and wonderful for the people why are they telling everyone that it's being overturned by The Court would be a good thing politically? 

Is it possible that they are trying to influence the court with this crap? 

Are they just trying to lower expectations because they think they are going to lose? 

Is it possible that they are more hypocritical, more venal, and more lacking in principles than I imagined? 

I'm going to go with D. All of the above.

One supporter of socialized medicine was so taken aback by the arguments against parts of the law that he added a little bonus to the hope that ObamaCare is overturned. He spelled out a scenario that in focusing on the case at hand I had not previously considered: (emphasis added)

"I was baffled the court would even hear that argument, let alone take it seriously," said Ron Pollack, executive director of the pro-reform Families USA and a health-care activist for three decades. If that goes, federal programs to improve education, the environment, transportation. and more could suddenly be under fire, he said -- creating the potential for the wholesale gutting of the New Deal and the welfare state.

That is indeed cause to hope for change.

The overwhelming (perhaps unanimous) consensus among those watching and commenting on The Court proceedings is that whole thing hinges on the decision of one justice. One man, one vote, will decide if there will be a fundamental transformation of the relationship between the individual and the government. 

In case you have forgotten what that means and what is at stake, I would remind you how one man once described that relationship: "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy apparently will be deciding if it "shall perish from the earth."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:09 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


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