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:: Thursday, August 20, 2009 ::

Objectivist Blog Round-Up # 113 

:: Posted by Nicholas Provenzo at 8:15 AM

Welcome to the July 30th, 2009 edition of the Objectivist Round-Up. This week presents insight and analyses written by authors who are animated by Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. According to Ayn Rand:


My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

"About the Author," Atlas Shrugged, Appendix.

So without any further delay (and in no particular order), here's this week's round-up:

A. Chambers presents The Caretaker State? posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "For decades, politicians have spoken about their visions to “take care” of American citizens, the world population, and the Earth itself. But long before Presidents Obama and Bush, presidents who held a very different vision of the role of government led America."

Burgess Laughlin presents Weaving the Fabric of History posted at Making Progress, saying, "Ideas cause actions. History is the sum of human actions through time. This hopeful post illustrates one tiny thread of change flowing through the fabric of US culture, from 1957 to 2009."

Alex Moya presents The (False) Logic of Sacrifice posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "In his latest book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, the philosopher Peter Singer claims that you are morally obligated to relieve poverty. Singer offers his readers the following “proof” demonstrating why everyone is immoral if they don’t sacrifice for others. But where does one draw the line?"

Brian Phillips presents The "Public Option" and Education posted at Houston Property Rights, saying, "The "public option" in education offers some valuable lessons regarding health care. But only if we think in principles."

Kevin W. presents We Need a “Martian” Option for Health Care Reform! posted at Wisecracks and Wisdom, saying, "Giving what-for to a webcomic posted this week about Obamacare."

Ryan Krause presents The West Bank Has A Stock Exchange? posted at The Money Speech, saying, "West Bank residents choose luxury foreign cars over car bombs."

Diana Hsieh presents Homeowners Associations posted at NoodleFood, saying, "These neighborhood groups often impose irrational rules -- and serve as breeding grounds for petty power-lusters without a shred of respect for property or contract law."

Michael Labeit presents On the Epistemological Problem of Anarchy posted at Coroner's Bureau, saying, "A libertarian anarchist responds to my critique of libertarian anarchism and advocacy of limited government."

Kelly Elmore presents Post-Partum Depression posted at Reepicheep's Coracle, saying, "One of the less talked about (especially among Objectivists) possibilities of parenthood."

Ari Armstrong presents Rationing inherent in Obamacare: Sources for Gazette Article posted at FreeColorado.com, saying, "Read my Gazette article on rationing, then read my follow-up notes."

Stella presents What's missing from One Lesson posted at ReasonPharm, saying, "Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson" is still a classic -- but Hazlitt's arguments need a moral component in order to combat healthcare "reform.""

Paul Hsieh presents The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "Whole Foods CEO John Mackey demonstrates courage and integrity in speaking out in favor of free market health care reform."

Michael Labeit presents On Private Factor Ownership and Effective Government posted at Bathtub Gin Brigade, saying, "Why private ownership of the means of production is essential for military effectiveness."

Doug Reich presents Why Liberals Don't Read Their Bills, Evade Their Constituents, but "Penetrate the Message Wars" posted at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "Analysis of how a non-conceptual approach to knowledge leads liberals to vote for any policy seeming to involve sacrifice and state control, regardless of the consequences."

Doug Reich presents Health Insurance Negation Plan posted at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "Obama's proposal to stop insurers from considering pre-existing conditions does not represent a "reform" of insurance, it represents an obliteration of the concept of insurance"

Stephen Bourque presents One Reality: Death Panels posted at One Reality, saying, "What better than “death panel” could capture the meaning of a council of wise government officials who sit around a table deciding who gets what health care, like the Three Fates, spinning, weaving, and - yes - cutting?"

C. August presents Tax Withholding is the Threat Here? posted at Titanic Deck Chairs.

* * *

That concludes this edition of the round-up. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Objectivist round-up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

:: Permalink | 0 Comments ::

 

:: Monday, August 10, 2009 ::

Obama’s DNC Mouthpiece 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 5:50 PM

On August 8, I sent this letter to the Democratic National Committee. The letter from Jen O’Malley Dillon -- obviously a form letter prepared for emailing to countless Citizens X for or against ObamaCare -- is reprinted in italics in its entirety following my response to it. Dillon’s letter is as impersonally comforting and assuring as a spam notice that you have a fantastic amount of money sitting in an account with the Bank of Lagos, ready to be wire-transferred to your stateside checking account, if only you would send the undersigned your private banking details. My response does not attempt to counter or refute every assertion, charge, and lie in Dillon’s letter, just the more egregiously offensive statements.

Jen O'Malley Dillon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee
democraticparty@democrats.org


Dear Jen:

A friend shared with me your letter to him about how evil and anti-democratic Americans are for exercising their First Amendment right to protest the lies and deceptions of the President and the Democratic Party about the health care legislation.

The truth is that the protesters are truly "grassroots," not being guided, advised, or manipulated by nefarious powers behind the scenes. I took part in several Tea Parties over the last few months. No one asked me to. No one paid me to. I'm not being "funded" by anyone or by any organization. I took part because I do not want socialized medicine to destroy my liberty. I know of no one who has taken part in these protests who was acting as a tool of the Republican Party or an insurance company or some other Darth Vaderish entity, as Democratic propaganda asserts.

The truth is that the protesters are not "organized mobs, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion." They have every right to shout down any politician who believes he can feed his constituents the same old pap of assurances, promises, and lies about the health care legislation and get away with it. That is what Americans have been told for decades, and they are tired of it. They are smart enough to see a snake in the grass -- dozens of snakes in the tall grass of political obfuscation and in the self-serving rhetoric of venal politicians.

The truth is that there is a need for real health insurance reform -- to get the government out of the realms of medical, health care, and insurance. In fact, out of the economy entirely. Nothing in the Constitution permits the federal government to take care of anyone. The Constitution exists to protect individual rights, the lives of individuals, their happiness and their property. But several Democratic and Republican administrations have usurped those restrictions and limitations. Americans are beginning to connect those dots. Just as Americans connected the dots in 1773 when they "disrupted" the cargoes of tea and tossed them into Boston Harbor. Just as they connected the dots in 1765 against the Stamp Act, and "disrupted" collection of that tax.

Frankly, I wish the Republican Party would take its name seriously enough to be more forthright in its applause of the "disruptions." This is, after all, supposed to be a republic of free individuals, not a democracy of mob rule orchestrated by petit tyrants and professional looters.

More power to Americans if they can intimidate presumptuous, power-seeking, sanctimonious lawmakers.

You stated in your letter that "as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no 'government takeover' in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress." Who asked you to intrude on people's choices in the first place? Why intrude, if you do not intend to take over the whole realm of health care? Who are you to care whether or not I like my insurance or my doctor? The only job of an elected representative or senator is to uphold the Constitution and individual rights. Period.

You state in your letter: "Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families -- we can't let distortions and intimidation get in the way." What is this our business? I don't own you, and you don't own me. There is no such thing as a collective that can legitimately employ that adjective. There is just a collection of individuals, free to associate with each other or not. My business is not your business, or anyone else's, except in voluntary association or trade. But that's something the health care legislation would end -- by chaining all Americans together in a work gang.

Speaking of distortions, how many millions of dollars has the DNC committed to defeating American opposition to slavery or servitude with smears, lies and glitzy TV ads? And speaking of intimidation, just who unleashed the troglodytes of ACORN, the AFL-CIO, and SEIU (a notoriously communist organization, with international links, of course) on Tea Partiers and others who protest the health care bill? You should warn those thugs: If attacked, we will fight back. Just as we did at Lexington and Concord, and at Bunker Hill.

Your party stooped to a new low when the President authorized an invitation to Americans to inform on each other if they overheard or read a breath of criticism of the health care bill. Well, that tactic certainly backfired, did it not?

Yes, it's going to be a long, hot August. We, the new Sons of Liberty, will also stand strong together to expose the truth about the indentured servitude you are proposing.

Sincerely, and yours in liberty,

Edward Cline

Dear Citizen:

There's been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it's a sham. These "grassroots protests" are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They're trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families -- we can't let distortions and intimidation get in the way. We need to expose these outrageous tactics, and we're counting on you to help. Can you read these "5 facts about the anti-reform mobs," then pass them along to your friends and family?

Five facts about the anti-reform mobs

1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the "Swiftboat" ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President's plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no "government takeover" in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the "SS" symbol to compare President Obama's policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting -- and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President's health insurance reform plans, they are trying to "break" the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to "stand up and shout" and try to "rattle" lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

It's time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know. You can also post them on your website, blog, or Facebook page.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together and defend the truth.

Thanks,

Jen


I have a suggestion in reference to the poor Congressmen who fled their town halls under police escort, or who were hanged in effigy, or who find Americans who “disrupt” their peaceful convocations of the clueless wholly “un-democratic” and “thuggish.“ It should be an emphatic point of discussion that any politician who does not open his town hall meeting or forum with a clear statement that he is pledged to defend individual rights and private property -- including the bodies of individuals -- and will fight tooth and nail against passage of the health care/health insurance legislation -- that unless he is willing to make such a statement with unquestionable sincerity and certitude -- he will overstep or suborn his mandate to uphold the Constitution and represent his constituents, and will earn the disruption and untoward questions put to him, regardless of the rules of order.

He may advocate socialism and all the scams and schemes he wishes, as a private citizen -- but not as an elected official. This is what Americans should demand. They must grasp that it is not reason or civil discourse that the statists and collectivists want in these encounters. They want bovine agreement and unthinking obedience.

If a Congressman or Senator is unwilling to make such a pledge, then he should not hold the charade of a town hall meeting or forum. He should ignore his constituents and vote according to his feelings.

It is now a matter of either/or, not only for Democratic and Republican politicians, but for any American with courage and integrity enough to understand what is at stake and to question any politician’s right to plunder the lives and fortunes of those who sent him to office.

:: Permalink | 9 Comments ::

 

:: Thursday, August 06, 2009 ::

Obama’s Email Arrogance 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 11:23 AM

Obama’s Email Arrogance

Yesterday I sent this impertinent message to President Barack Obama when his staff sent me the invitation to inform on other Americans who criticize his and Congress’s plans to impose socialized health care on the country.


The White House
flag@whitehouse.gov

5 August 2009

Dear Mr. President:

What is your definition of "fishy"? That it is odiferous? Bad-smelling? Unwelcome? Stinky? Ready to bury?

How dare you refer to Americans criticizing your socialist health and economic plans, and the facts they are bringing to light about your whole power-lusting, corrupt regime as fishy? How dare you threaten to abrogate their First Amendment rights?

Oh, that's right. I forgot. You don't want to be president of a nation of free men. You want to lord it over a nation of dependent troglodytes, ever grateful for the crumbs you throw them after you've eaten the cakes they created through productive work.

If anything can be described as fishy in this country now, it is your administration, and Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank, and the whole crew of your looting parasites.

So, flag this!!

Regards,

A real American and a genuine patriot.


The key paragraph in the White House’s invitation is this:

“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors travel just beneath the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.


This was preceded by two other interesting paragraphs:

“Opponents of health insurance reform may find the truth a little inconvenient, but as our second president famously said, ‘facts are stubborn things.’

Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to ‘uncover’ the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions.”


This announcement was posted by Macon Phillips (White House Director of News Media, go here for the career of this non-entity), but bets can be taken that the idea of inviting Americans to inform on each other is not flying too well at the moment, for undoubtedly the “in box” of flag@whitehouse.gov was almost immediately filled to overflowing with emails from outraged Americans, organized or not. This was not a good idea. Phillips and his handlers in the White House should have realized, given the genuine opposition across the country to Obama’s and Congress’s health care bill, that the reaction to it would have been overwhelmingly instant and “negative.”

What were they thinking? Perhaps, given that opposition, which has chiefly taken the form of what White House denizens have characterized as “disrupters” not tolerating the bromides and platitudes of elected representatives’ raucous town hall meetings about the proposed legislation, they are feeling desperate enough to try anything.

In addition to having the gall to quote John Adams, Phillips (or whoever wrote the invitation, it was probably a committee effort) also paraphrased Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” as though that reference to Gore’s discredited “scary movie” on global warming still had some currency among Americans. He also refers to First Amendment communications between bloggers and individuals as “scary chain emails” and videos as “percolating” on the Internet, chock full of “disinformation.” Facts, however, are not what the White House and its allies in Congress are conveying to the American public about the contents of the health care bill. They have launched, for the length of August up until Congress reconvenes in September, a campaign of disinformation not only about the contents of the bill, but against anyone opposed to the legislation, whether he is a Republican, a voter, or a blogger.

One might wonder where Obama and Company get their arrogance. They get it from the fact that the have gotten away with lies and disinformation for so long.

What is worrisome -- and that is the kindest term I can think of at the moment -- is that all the emails, friendly or not to the idea of informing on fellow Americans, can be collected and used somehow to punish or reward, whether or not the health bill legislation passes. Remember the outrage of the news media over President George W. Bush’s “lost” emails? Even the ever-loyal news media is stammering its reservations about the informant program.

Senator John Cornyn raises this issue in his letter to Obama about the impropriety of asking Americans to inform on others.

“Furthermore, Cornyn wrote, the collection of e-mails could amount to the White House amassing various forms of personally identifiable information.”


Among other things, Cornyn posed this important question to Obama:

“At the very least, I request that you detail to Congress and the public the protocols that your White House is following to purge the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in “fishy” speech.”


It will be interesting if Cornyn gets an answer to any of his questions. Read the whole text of his letter here. There is some comfort in seeing that not all politicians are clueless or indifferent.

But, make no mistake about it: If Obama and Company are willing to stoop to so low a tactic as inviting Americans to inform on each other, even in “casual conversation,” what else would they be willing to do? Aside from all the lies and disinformation conveyed to the public over the last six months about not only the health care bill, but about TARP, the cash for clunkers program, and even Harry Reid’s pet project, a magnet-train link between California and Las Vegas (!!!), this tactic reveals the core, evil soul of Obama and his supporters in and out of government in their quest for total power. Germans were asked by Hitler to inform on their fellow Germans, and tens of thousands of Germans wound up in work camps or concentration camps.

Will Americans follow suit, or are there still enough of us alive to put a brake on our march to fascism?

:: Permalink | 9 Comments ::

 

:: Monday, August 03, 2009 ::

America’s Mobocracy 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 5:55 PM

There are three overlooked or un-emphasized facets of the Obama administration and Congress’s breathless rush to seize everything in the country that is not nailed down -- health care, car production, the used or “clunker” car market, executive pay -- the list may prove to be endless, and there may be nothing that is not nailed down exempt from their avarice. These facets should be the principal foci of critics to the point of obsession.

A minor facet of the Obama administration itself is the Chicago “gangster government” character of his White House staff and his cabinet and departmental appointees. Not all of his appointees are from Chicago. They just have that odor about them, of professional political parasites who have scurried in and out of sight and up and down the totem pole of Washington politics over the years as their chosen career choices, to a soul advancing or pimping for collectivism, most of them never having worked a productive day in their lives. Heading the list is chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, who has all the charm and savvy of Meyer Lansky. (One can legitimately wonder if the grandfather of “community organizing,” Saul Alinsky, and Lansky traded pointers on political activism. They were Chicago contemporaries.)

The President and his wife, Michelle, of course, live like royalty and behave like it. There are the appointed thirty-two “czars” lording it over the American economy, and then there are Michelle’s twenty-two staffers who aid her in her “social” life, all of whose salaries are paid by taxpayers -- not all of them in Chicago.

The first major facet is that, if there is a crisis in any realm over which the government seeks to expand its power to control, the problem can be traced to government controls in the first place. The minuscule, hardly noticeable controls of yesteryear, when men wore handlebar moustaches and labored to write laws in un-air-conditioned chambers, have grown into a forest of lacerating rose bushes without the benefit of roses. This facet has been admirably dwelt on by better analysts than me, but it has not been emphasized by Tea Party organizers or critics to the level it deserves. It does no good to be preoccupied by cost analyses and projected debt and the like, if they are not accompanied by the moral argument. After all, if mere facts had the power to persuade the minds of our governing elite, why are they so immune to and proof against those facts?

If emails, faxes, hand-written letters, unruly townhall meetings, and demonstrations outside of legislators’ offices and the like are beginning to cause some Senators and Congressmen to think twice about the feasibility of their grandiose plans to transform the country from a republic of free individuals to a highly policed and costly hospital regime, forcing them to acknowledge the role of force and fiat law for the “public good” and how that presumptive power has exacerbated existing problems or has simply created them out of whole cloth, ought to underscore the unlikelihood that if they vote for the hospital regime in any form, they in turn will be voted out of office. Our elitist cadre will be obliged to contemplate being forced to make a living in the private sector which they once presumed to “manage,” but which their actions have helped to tie into several Gordian knots.

The second facet is that when the White House and Congress prescribe socialism (a.k.a. “progressivism”) and legislate to that end, they do it for free. It costs them nothing. They do it with taxpayer money. And, whatever destruction they cause, they are indemnified from the consequences. Ted Kennedy will die without ever having been punished for his crimes. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer and Henry Waxman will return to California and live the high life on a pension and enjoy health care packages few productive persons could ever afford. Barney Frank and Bernard Bernanke will fade into comfortable retirements and, like Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, embark on lucrative speaking careers. Barack and Michelle will traipse back to their Chicago mansion on a pension, as well, and begin to solicit donations for the Obama Presidential Library.

This will ever be a conflict between the “governed” and the government for as long as fiat powers are sanctioned or tolerated by the electorate. It is an unfair contest between the government and the electorate. Those who advocate and pass laws destructive of freedom, property, happiness and the ownership of one’s life, work on the money extorted from those who are the subjects or targets of the destructive law. It is time that the thinking electorate woke up to this rigged game and forced the culprits to acknowledge the fact, as well. Think of it: It cost legislators nothing to regulate or ruin your life. You, on the other hand, must, with countless others, invest time, effort, and money in opposing their plans, besides paying their salaries and getting the check for all their fringe benefits, including first-class health care. And you invest your time, effort and money with no guarantee that it will accomplish anything. Ayn Rand called it the “sanction of the victim.” General Patton might liken it to supplying Nazi artillery and Panzer tanks with ordnance with which to blast advancing American forces.

The culprits should be forced to stammer transparent irrelevancies and more obvious lies, and plot to rush undetected from home to office and back again, to avoid being cornered by the citizenry’s cattle prods and pitchforks. They should be compelled to feel, for once, powerless, redundant and extraneous. They should be forced to feel mean, small and despised beyond redemption and reclamation.

The third facet concerns the motivation behind all the coercive legislation passed, most recently under the reigns of Bush I, Clinton I, Bush II, and now Bush III (a.k.a. Obama). Tea Partiers should make the key connection between “reform” of the health care system (or of “reform” of anything that attracts a Congressman’s attention, for he has nothing else to do in Washington or a state capital or a municipal headquarters but to think up “crises” needing “reform”), and the compulsory nature of such “reform.” Why would politicians bother with “reform” if force were not the key ingredient in the “reform”? There would be no point in their debating “reform” if they did not assume they would have the power to coerce everyone into participating in it. They are not working to extend liberty, but to put fetters on it or to extinguish it altogether. Be warned: Any “compromise” between the Blue Dog Democrats, the Republicans, and the Democrats must by necessity retain the element of coercion, no matter how watered down or conciliatory or “humane” they word the compromise.

Further, the element of coercion or legalized extortion in such legislation should be the main tip-off. Tea Partiers should ask: If the proposed legislation is so efficacious and practical, why, for all the puffery about it being voluntary, would it rely on force? Why would its advocates insist that participation be made mandatory? A secondary tip-off is the fact that those proposing or voting for such legislation notably ensure that they are exempt from all its provisions. Organizers should ask themselves: If this idea is so good, why do Congressmen keep their distance from it? Why do they not want to take part in what they wish to force everyone else to participate in? Is there something so seriously wrong with it that they would no more want to buy it than they would a used car from Richard Nixon?

Yes. There is something wrong with it. The element of force guarantees its impracticality and its character as a moral and economic fraud -- just as robbing a bank or a 7-11 is immoral and an impractical way to “make a living.” Waxman, Pelosi, Dodd, Obama, Frank and the rest of the “progressive” crew, all know this. They are not idiots. The only village idiots party to the fraud are those members of the news media who shill for the plan with looks of urgency -- an urgency that does not dwell on the insidiously evil aspects of the plan, chief among which are its compulsory provisions.

:: Permalink | 3 Comments ::

 

:: Saturday, August 01, 2009 ::

Nine Reasons to Reject Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court 

:: Posted by Joe Wright at 1:30 PM

Fundamental error: She said that fidelity to the law should be the guiding principle in making judgements. The correct principle is fidelity to the Constitution. Otherwise, how would you judge whether a law was right or wrong? The argument would be circular.

Bias: Substituting empathy and Latina ethnicity for reason and objective judgement, she has displayed unquestioned bias and the risk that her decisions would be biased. She has disqualified herself by repeatedly making these obviously biased statements.

Dishonesty: Inspite of abundant evidence that she said and, prior to the hearing, believed that,
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," at the hearing she said that she really didn’t mean that. Yet this was clearly not an off-handed remark that can be so easily dismissed. She said it several times over the past many years and on camera. Note that she didn’t apologize for making the biased comment.

In an editorial, the Washington Post said, "Judge Sotomayor's attempts to explain away and distance herself from that statement were unconvincing and at times uncomfortably close to disingenuous, especially when she argued that her reason for raising questions about gender or race was to warn against injecting personal biases into the judicial process. Her repeated and lengthy speeches on the matter do not support that interpretation."

Interstate Commerce: She agreed with a ruling in, Swedenburg v. Kelly, that New York State had the right to restrict the sales of wine from other states to buyers in New York. The law and the ruling were in violation of the Interstate Commerce clause of the U. S. Constitution. The Supreme Court eventually ruled the New York statute unconstitutional.

Evasion: Not unique to her hearing, nonetheless, she evaded numerous questions saying that she couldn’t comment on cases that might come before her.

Diversity: Supporters of Sotomayor and by implication, she herself believes that diversity on the bench is a good thing. To say that is to imply that race and ethnicity is the or a criteria by which people and in this case Supreme Court justices should be judged. Choosing someone solely or evenly partly, because he or she is black, Puerto Rican, American Indian, Irish, Scotch, Namibian, white, etc. is blatant racism. It is so obviously contrary to the essence of the American system.

Diversity on the bench tells you nothing about the intellectual capacity and the ability of any justice or the justices as a whole to make objective judgements. It is judicial merit, not diversity that should be the standard.

Property Rights: Sotomayor sat on a panel that banned nun chucks, saying that they could not only cause "serious, but fatal damage." Just how many other objects could cause "serious, but fatal damage?" Should silverware be banned and people forced to return to eating with their fingers? Or perhaps she doesn’t know that there are techniques of using your hands to kill. Should the use of hands and fingers be banned?

This case illustrates a complete misunderstanding of property and the right to property implied in the 2nd Amendment. You might say, nun chucks don’t kill people; people kill people.

Second Amendment and Federalism: In the nun chucks ruling, Sotomayor reveals a profound misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment and of Federalism. She is not alone in this, but she has ruled on it. She has alleged that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to the individual states, by which she means that states can pass their own laws that might be in conflict with Federal law and that Federal law cannot supersede those state laws. This is so absurd that it is almost beyond belief that anyone would even say it, much less rule so in court. Sotomayor’s position is completely the opposite of Federalism, under which the Federal Government is the superior, overriding body in a system of government. For example, no state can regulate or interfere with interstate commerce as was ruled in the Swedenburg case mentioned earlier.

Federal law is superior to state law and in any conflict between the two, Federal law reigns supreme. I hasten to say that this is not always the case in practice, but it should be based on the intent of the Founding Fathers who, after all, invented the system.

Individual Rights and the Purpose of Government: I listened to all of the Senate Judicial Committee hearings, but didn’t hear once any substantial discussion about the sanctity of individual rights or the purpose of government in protecting those rights. I would like to have heard from Sotomayor, that she believes in the principles and the individual rights defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I would like to have heard her assert an allegiance to the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness and that she would rule against any act of an individual or a government that violates those rights.

Yet, I heard nothing remotely similar to such thoughts. Instead I heard evasions and vague answers to questions, bold denials of previous statements and claims that we just don’t understand her. I heard the ramblings of someone who is devoid of principle and someone who lacks reason and the ability to make objective judgements in a court of law.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor should be rejected as Justice on the Supreme Court.

:: Permalink | 2 Comments ::

 

 

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