Red Tape May Kill Libertarian Summit

December 21st, 2010 at 7:30 am | 49 Comments |

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Apparently in Clarington, Ontario, people aren’t free to celebrate freedom.

Every year, Peter Jaworski and the non-profit Institute for Liberal Studies organize a gathering, the Liberty Summer Seminar, to celebrate individual liberties. Attendees from across North America have flocked to the Jaworski family’s home in Orono, Ontario over the last ten years to hear live music, meet with old friends and listen to libertarian-themed lectures.

But after nine years without conflict, a complaint is now threatening the event, and Jaworski’s parents face a fine of up to $50,000.

Before the event this year, health department officers contacted the Jaworskis and told them that their kitchen and cleaning facilities were not up to code. The event had to be catered. At great expense, they catered this year’s seminar.

Two weeks after this year’s event, the Jaworskis were charged anyhow – with running a commercial conference center on land zoned agricultural. This despite the event being organized by a non-profit, and, well, basically resembling a large BBQ.

It has since been revealed that the complaint which launched this entire mess was made by a woman who lived a 24 minute drive away from the seminar – which rules out the traditional disputes over noise and traffic. Peter Jaworski tells FrumForum that his actual neighbors haven’t complained about either.

Instead, the complainant hosts weddings and wedding receptions – a field of business that the Jaworski family had recently announced they were going to enter. Jaworski tells FrumForum that the likely motive behind the complaint was that the businesswoman was trying to place barriers to competition.

The irony of the whole situation is not lost on the younger Jaworski. Not only is a celebration of freedom being nixed by overbearing bylaws, but Jaworski tells FrumForum that his family fled Communist Poland in 1984 to escape a government which refused to – among other things – guarantee the right to assemble peacefully.

But at least in Canada the Jaworskis will have a line of recourse. They recently filed a notice of constitutional question with the judge presiding over their case – challenging that the charge under the bylaw in question conflicted with the right to assemble peacefully, which is one of Canada’s ‘fundamental freedoms’ enshrined in the constitution.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation, the Canadian equivalent of the United States’ Institute for Justice, has this week decided to take up the case and defend the Jaworskis pro bono, which comes as a relief to the legions of supporters behind the Liberty Summer Seminar.

On February 25, 2011, the Jaworskis will attend a court hearing that will set a trial date. The entire ordeal has no doubt been a burden the Jaworskis have had to bear, but with any luck they will be spared a fine for essentially holding a large family BBQ on their sprawling property in rural Ontario.

For more information on this case, please visit www.willowpond.ca.



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49 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    Rules are for other people. Large land owners are entitled to do whatever they want. A large political rally with “legions of supporters” is transformed into just a “large family BBQ” in the space of three sentences by simply saying that is the case.

    Did I miss anything?

  • Non-Contributor

    Its Canada.

  • Watusie

    I present the Frum Forum Guide to Change.

    If you are a liberal, the only way you can create change is by constitutional amendment. You might think that you also have a second option – Acts of Congress. Well, you are wrong. Acts passed when Democrats are in the majority are in fact “imposed on the people against their will.” See here: http://www.frumforum.com/collins-ill-lead-fight-to-repeal-obamacare

    If you are a conservative, you can create change by getting any conservative judge in the country to rule in your favor. Getting a single judge to overturn an Act of Congress is “a profound victory for constitutional government”. See here: http://www.frumforum.com/cuccinelli-1-obamacare-0

    Liberals, please note – that rule applies to Conservatives only. If you try to get an Act of a Republican Congress overturned, that is judicial activism.

    If you are Libertarian – congratulations, you’ve won the jackpot. You can create change by simply declaring that laws you don’t approve of don’t apply to you. You are the change you wish for. No need to bother getting yourself and your like-minded colleagues elected so that you can reform the system that you think has gotten out of control. Instead, just say “really, that law is silly, so I don’t have to follow it”.

  • WillyP

    irony of ironies.

  • WillyP

    watusie,
    If you are a liberal, Constitutional government means nothing to you. There are no limits on government. Majority rules. Nothing stands in the way of progress – certainly not an ossified document purporting to limit the power of the progressive state.

    Omnipotent, totalitarian government. That’s your endgame. And you know what? A few more years of this president/Congress and we’d be there. Thank GOD for elections!

  • Watusie

    Thanks, WillyP, I didn’t know those things about myself.

    I’ve just pulled out my ACLU card. It promises “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

    I guess I’m going to have to cancel my membership, because, as you’ve just informed me, as a liberal, Constitutional government means nothing to me.

    So, was I the only liberal who joined? Funny – all those beards, all those sock and sandals – they never really looked like a bunch of conservatives….

    I’m also going to have to make some changes to my schedule. For example, next month I’m supposed to be attending an event that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act. However, now that I’m informed that, as a liberal, I don’t care about the constitution, I guess I’ll have to cancel, on the grounds that women don’t deserve equal protection.

    On the upside, though – at least now I am free to accept my invitation to the Secession Ball in South Carolina.

    OK, I’m off now: need to write a letter to the mayor asking for a bigger and better nativity scene next year – funded with taxpayer dollars. And then I think I’ll draft a proposal to put before my school board suggesting that we should send all the black kids to a separate school.

  • WillyP

    short sighted, insular naivete combined with a snarky, wrong-headed idealism don’t make for a good political philosophy.

    oh yes, before obama signed the lilly ledbetter act women were denied equal protection. give me a break. i’d like to hear my mother and grandmother say they weren’t equal citizens. what kind of a sick freak thinks like this?

    as a good Constitutional, can you please point to me where in the Constitution the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN COMPEL ME TO PURCHASE HEALTH INSURANCE?

    Nowhere. Chum, it’s this simple.

    If you can’t see that your government has completely outgrown its original mold and now encompasses literally every aspect of one’s life, well, sorry… you’re blind. The Federal behemoth papers over all human activity with petty rules and regulations, irrespective of morality, legislating what is and what is not, for no other reason except that dullars actually believe that some faceless, unaccountable bureau in Washington can create an American utopia.

    Look what they’ve done in the last 10 years. Are we a prosperous people anymore? No. We’re essentially working and slaving away to pay taxes to keep insolvent banks afloat, while our Congressmen debate what area of the private sector is ripest for plunder. Seems like the internet today:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703395204576023452250748540.html

    I’m not sure who said it, but it’s awfully true that if you need to explain to someone why they should value freedom they surely don’t deserve it. You, chum, do not deserve it.

  • Watusie

    “as a good Constitutional, can you please point to me where in the Constitution the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN COMPEL ME TO PURCHASE HEALTH INSURANCE?”

    Happy to oblige:

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3: [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
    Anything else I can do for you? Perhaps come by and wipe the flecks of spittle off your keyboard and monitor??

    BTW: what is a “dullar”?

  • WillyP

    hahaha yes please. i’m covered in spittle and frothing at the mouth.

    ok genius: can you name ONE THING congress cannot do once you interpret the commerce clause that expansively? what prevents the united states congress from dictating more than the politburos? how does this make for constitutionally limited (limits being the whole intent of a constitution) government?

    dullar = dullard = you.

  • Watusie

    I offered no “interpretation” of the commerce clause – I quoted it. If you think it is insufficiently limited, do not blame my “interpretation”, blame the way it was drafted.

    There is only limit: the power is vested in Congress, and not the President, which is hugely significant.

    If that reality makes you anxious – then you need to get the Constitution amended.

    “can you name ONE THING congress cannot do once you interpret the commerce clause that expansively?”

    Sure – they can’t make me go to church on Sunday – that has nothing to do with interstate commerce.

    I can provide dozens more, if you like.

    Don’t you think it is odd that first you tell me that since I am a liberal, Constitutional government means nothing to me…but then you need me to explain the basics of the Constitution to you?

  • WillyP

    No, what I find odd is how you say straight-faced that the Framers of a Constitutionally limited government would go through the trouble of establishing specific tasks of a Federal government and then put in a clause that left the door open to every thing else imaginable.

    I find this extremely bizarre and only acceptable to liberal bloggers. Ahistorical, unintelligent, uninformed, and completely impractical. As if the men who wrote the Constitution took this view…

    We can quote James Madison, who might know a thing about it:

    “In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for the relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object, saying “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”"

    Yup. So against unspecified expenditures was James Madison that he was flummoxed, even offended, that Congress would consider putting aside money to help French refugees.

    Pathetic Watusie. but what else is new

  • ralphs

    For info on what world Libertarians are doing, including conferences see http://www.Libertarian-International.org

    I think the point is you start prohibiting or harrassing this type of get together soon you’re monitoring all political or cultural meetings, or letting local bullies set the agenda for their own profit. Hope the court does the right thing, as this will be helpful worldwide.

  • Watusie

    Well then, Willy, you’ll have no problem citing/quoting the limits that the framers provided. So why didn’t you do so?

    Also, stating the obvious: a charity for French refugees doesn’t strike me has having much to do with the regulation of interstate commerce.

  • WillyP

    wat,
    The point wasn’t that it was helping French refugees, but that
    a) tax money was being used for “benevolence”;
    b) the spending was not specifically referenced in the Constitution

    furthermore, can you name one other instance in American law where you are compelled by ANY government to buy ANYTHING, simply because you are alive? this is such a controversial of the purpose of the law i find it nauseating you don’t see the potential for incredible abuse, mr. ACLU.

    you know what? when republicans get into office, i want them to pass a law compelling you and me and everybody else to buy mcdonald’s at least twice per month. how would you like that?

    or better yet, to purchase two books written by ann coulter. would you approve?

    or for that matter anything…. why is healthcare distinct? because the left tells us so? i don’t think so.

    completely idiotic laws that the VA court rightfully repudiated.

  • Watusie

    “you know what? when republicans get into office, i want them to pass a law compelling you and me and everybody else to buy mcdonald’s at least twice per month. how would you like that? or better yet, to purchase two books written by ann coulter. would you approve?”

    Well, those aren’t examples of regulating interstate commerce, are they?

    “why is healthcare distinct?”

    Because of the well-documented phenomenon of free-riders.

    Remember, the mandate was constitutional when you Republicans invented it.

  • politicalfan

    “Remember, the mandate was constitutional when you Republicans invented it.” LOL. Good one Watusie!

    “The individual mandate began life as a Republican idea. Its earliest appearances in legislation were in the Republican alternatives to the Clinton health care bill, where it was co-sponsored by such GOP stalwarts as Bob Dole, Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley. Later on, it was the centerpiece of then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s health reform plan in Massachusetts, and then it was included in the Wyden-Bennett bill, which many Republicans signed on to.”
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/dec/21/judges-ruling-has-silver-lining-for-reform/?news

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    Watusie, I don’t think the Jaworski case is a matter of libertarians declaring laws they disapprove of unjust as an excuse for not following them. It seems more a matter of local officials misconstructing laws and regulations to restrict political assembly and expression– and all in the service, apparently, of satisfying the vindictiveness of a business competitor.

    I’m not very familiar with the law in Canada, so I really have no idea if the Jaworskis’ case is worth fighting, but I hope it is.

    (Oh, and Watusie: You seem to enjoy jumping all over WillyP, and I can’t say that I blame you, and yet I do wonder: what’s the point in having a political sparring partner like him? I know he and all the other Glennbots fairly invite swift and snarky response, but is it really worth it? At an irreducible minimum, debating a doctrinaire talk-radio righty has all the pleasures (for me, at least) that I associate with shooting fish in a barrel or smashing crockery at a country fair. An easy mark, true, but only good for the sort of victory that is just as degrading to the victor as it is to the vanquished.

    Does arguing with WilyP help you refine your arguments in any real or meaningful way? That is to say, does it make you a better liberal?)

  • Watusie

    Interesting questions. Three threads of response. First, I do worry at times that I might live in a left wing echo chamber and therefore could be missing something important. There aren’t many opportunities to “engage” with the righties – they’ll just kick you off forums like Redstate. So yes, it is interesting when you actually find one to indulge in some back and forth to find out if there is any there, there. WillyP’s utter failure to make the case for any of the things he insists are self-evident is instructive. Second, when I meet a cocksure idiot like him, I think it is my duty at as a citizen to point out the error of his ways. Morons like WillyP are the ones that put the car in the ditch in the first place; yet they still want to drive. Third, the idea that the Constitution says whatever, and exclusively, what the righties say it does is particularly offensive to me. WillyP came in all guns blazing on constitutionality, but clearly he doesn’t know the first thing about the issue at hand – he’s just heard someone on talk radio say “well, OBVIOUSLY it is unconstitutional” and so therefore it is. Ultimately, the right may have a point – in this day and age perhaps the commerce clause is too broad. But if that is the case, it needs an amendment to restrict it. However, they clearly aren’t interested in that deep reality – they simply need to hand Obama his Waterloo, and will adopt any means to get there – even trashing the thing that they themselves invented and once brought to a vote!

    Regarding the Jaworskis – if you have time, read some of their stuff. They clearly knew there were rules they were flouting.

  • WillyP

    watusie,
    Oh get off your high horse. Do you have a J.D. in Constitutional law? No? Well, neither do I. But I have had the benefit of listening to a constitutional lawyer for almost 6 years speak about the Constitution, its history, and the history of the country. That person would be Mark Levin, who was instrumental in overturning the so-called “individual mandate” of Obamacare.

    Moreover, the law isn’t some system of math equations one can study and understand. Law isn’t purely deductive; it evolves out of trial and error. Law is tradition and speaks to man’s fallible nature, his inability to foresee everything in advance as an angel would. Judges are supposed to show significant deference to tradition, especially longstanding tradition (e.g. marriage). When the right complains of judicial activism, it typically refers to a judge substituting his own opinion for generations, centuries of legislative tradition. The judge is supposed to administrate justice through the application of well-established law, not overturn precedent he shows a particular prejudice towards. Nor is the judge supposed to rewrite law if he believes it serves “social justice,” whatever that nebulous phrase means on a given day.

    You cannot rightly understand the social function of law (as I just described briefly above) and then claim flippantly that the United States Constitution allows for Congress – i.e. government – to set minute trade diktats such as we see with Obamacare. Such diktats undermine the entire “spirit of the law” and viciously mock the entire concept of a constitutionally limited government with specific enumerated powers. They go against centuries of tradition and established limits of federal government power. They are reminiscent of the court cases of the 1930′s, when FDR attempted to create a bureau that would oversee and dictate industrial policy in the National Industrial Recovery Act. Rightfully that Act was deemed unConstitutional, just like Obamacare’s individual mandate.

    America legal precedent and tradition aside, Obamacare is bad economically and far too complicated. It is not a piece of legislation but a code of conduct to be followed by doctors, insurance companies, government bureaus, medical research companies, hospitals, health centers, and actuaries. It is so incredibly cumbersome and complicated, references so many additional thousand pages of existing law, that the only thing we can be sure of is that lawyers will have a very nice pay day as a result of its passage. Economically, it squeezes more and more people out of the private sector (i.e the innovative,wealth generating, financially sustainable sector) and onto government insurance. Here’s a recent finding:

    “A new low of 44.8% of American adults report getting their health insurance through an employer in November, down from 50% in January 2008, when Gallup began tracking it. The percentage of Americans with government-based healthcare remains elevated, with the 26% who report having it last month similar to the high of 26.3% found in September.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/145277/New-Low-Healthcare-Employer.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20Healthcare%20-%20Politics%20-%20Wellbeing

    As we are already essentially a bankrupt nation, it seems that expanding entitlement programs to new record levels is about as far from right-headed as we could possibly get. We should be SHRINKING entitlement programs, and instead they are expanding.

    You don’t live in a left wing echo chamber. You have internet access and can look up any Constitutional scholar you want. You can read Hayek and Rand and Mises and Bastiat. You can read Prof. Mark Perry’s blog. You can read John Lott or John Locke. You can visit econlib.org and read hundreds of classics. You can visit mises.org and download free books on classical liberalism spanning centuries.

    Furthermore, you can sign off DailyKos, turn of MSNBC, pick up some history books and get a wider perspective than DNC talking points. You can read of Rome and Greece and the pillars of Western civilization. Somewhere you might find a Bible and read a few chapter of that, too. You can go to a library and read John Kagan, Victor Davis Hanson, or Samuel Huntington.

    Don’t complain there aren’t intelligent sources of “righty” (i.e Liberal) literature. There are a myriad of ways you could be educated. Don’t blame me for not being anything but disdainful of an untutored, ACLU card carrying know-it-all, who doesn’t get the first thing about economics or limited government.

  • Watusie

    WillyP “Do you have a J.D. in Constitutional law? No? Well, neither do I.”

    No one does. They don’t give “J.D.s in Constitutional law”.

    “But I have had the benefit of listening to a constitutional lawyer for almost 6 years speak about the Constitution”

    Wow – that is one hell of a long lecture.

    “That person would be Mark Levin, who was instrumental in overturning the so-called “individual mandate” of Obamacare.”

    Newsflash – it hasn’t been overturned. One judge doesn’t get to over-rule the entire US Congress all by his lonesome. Also, Levin isn’t a “constitutional lawyer”. He is a talk radio host with a law degree.

    WillyP, it is so very, very simple: just cite the limits that are placed on the Commerce Clause. How tough can that be?

  • WillyP

    blah blah blah… it’s not so simple. it requires studying existing law and precedent. if it was so easy, i don’t think there would be much of a need for specialized lawyers or law schools. however that does not negate the fact that anybody with common sense can see plainly that if the commerce clause permits force to be used to compel private citizens to purchase certain goods/services, then there is almost no restriction on what the government can tell us what we can and must do.

    and what a job you’ve done responding to the other points i made. no, mark levin isn’t a “talk radio host with a law degree.” the “talk radio host” is a relatively new gig. he is a lawyer who runs a legal foundation.

  • Watusie

    Fine, then WillyP – just name the Supreme Court cases that outline the limits on the Commerce Clause.

    “anybody with common sense can see plainly that if the commerce clause permits force to be used to compel private citizens to purchase certain goods/services, then there is almost no restriction on what the government can tell us what we can and must do”

    Firstly, you are wrong. They can’t make me go to church on Sunday, for starters. That has nothing to do with interstate commerce. Secondly, and much more importantly – there is a reason why the power is vested in Congress, not the Presidency. THAT is what prevents its arbitrary and capricious use.

  • WillyP

    i refer to you to wikipedia, which is good for this sort of thing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

  • Watusie

    I’m normally loathe to cite Wikipedia as the final word on anything. However, this time, I’ll make an exception:

    the Court regularly points out that the primary limitation on unwise exercise of Congressional Commerce Clause must be found at the ballot box.

    Thanks for the link.

  • WillyP

    watusie,
    and regularly does the court show deference to the enumerated powers and the 10th amendment. hence the debate that goes back to what, 1801?

    moreover, the fundamental question remains: why should government be able to compel ME to buy insurance? what right does it have to fine ME for risky behavior?

    and the overarching philosophical debate: why the hell do we want a leviathan federal government dictating petty rules on every aspect of our lives, with almost no recourse? how does a citizen affect an unaccountable bureau? what justice is there for people like me, who prefer not to be locked into small-headed, feel good schemes, like proscribing certain types of lightbulbs or specifying the volume of water per flush of my toilet? this isn’t about anything but control.

    the leftists have breached the firewalls of the constitution going back to the 1910′s. FDR wanted to create a 2nd, phony, economic bill of rights. there is no limit on your conception of government. it is antithetical to constitutionalism.

  • Watusie

    Sorry, can you try that again? I can’t make heads nor tails of your comment. What does the court “showing deference to the enumerated powers” mean, and how would they do it?

  • WillyP

    watusie,
    Make heads of it.

  • Watusie

    How? What does the court “showing deference to the enumerated powers” mean, and how would they do it?

  • Watusie

    WillyP “and the overarching philosophical debate: why the hell do we want a leviathan federal government dictating petty rules on every aspect of our lives, with almost no recourse? how does a citizen affect an unaccountable bureau? what justice is there for people like me, who prefer not to be locked into small-headed, feel good schemes, like proscribing certain types of lightbulbs or specifying the volume of water per flush of my toilet? this isn’t about anything but control.”

    What justice is there for people like me, who like to drive 120mph on the Interstate and spray DDT on my lawn?

    Like I’ve pointed out many times before – if you don’t the lack of limits on the Commerce Clause, you need to get an amendment.

  • WillyP

    If you do not understand that the court has regularly said to our Federal government, “You have no power to do such a thing,” citing the Constitution, then I’m comfortable saying that you do not comprehend the other side of the argument.

    Does this make sense? Furthermore, taking the extreme view that only Congress can limit Congress’ power to regulate commerce, what purpose does the Constitution serve? Commerce/trade/economy are just slightly different words for material exchange. If you are not free to exchange and to choose what you purchase and what you do not purchase, what are you free to do?

    Economic freedom is indivisible from other freedoms. You cannot live in a Socialist state and expect religious freedom. Why? Because the government will regulate how you can express your religious views, what resources can be expended on religious activities, and when you can attend religious service. In fact we saw this happen over and over again as Communists took power. No appeal to God mattered if it interfered with the plans of the State.

    The Constitution was written to create a minimalist, mainly innocuous Federal government, preferring to leave social “experimentation” on the state level. We’re VERY far from that ideal today – trust me, I get this. But instead of scurrying further down the wrong, dead end path, I recommend turning around and decentralizing power, for both moral and material reasons.

  • Watusie

    “If you do not understand that the court has regularly said to our Federal government, “You have no power to do such a thing,” citing the Constitution, then I’m comfortable saying that you do not comprehend the other side of the argument. ”

    Is that what you meant by “showing deference to the enumerated powers”?

    But Willy – the commerce clause is one of the enumerated powers.

    And yes, absolutely, the USSC has the power to tell the Federal government, “You have no power to do such a thing,” citing the Constitution. However – they have to cite the Constitution. Or a precedent. So where, in the Constitution, or the precedents, are the limits on the Commerce Clause??

    “taking the extreme view that only Congress can limit Congress’ power to regulate commerce, what purpose does the Constitution serve?”

    I take the view that Congress AND THE VOTERS limit Congress’ power to regulate commerce. For the gazillionth time, if there is another part of the Constitution or a Supreme Court decision that holds otherwise, cite it.

    “Economic freedom is indivisible from other freedoms. You cannot live in a Socialist state and expect religious freedom. Why? Because the government will regulate how you can express your religious views, what resources can be expended on religious activities, and when you can attend religious service. In fact we saw this happen over and over again as Communists took power. No appeal to God mattered if it interfered with the plans of the State.”

    Wow – what a spiral of incoherence. Firstly – socialism is not the same as communism. Secondly, I lived in England for a decade, it is pretty socialist, and I didn’t notice any lack of religious freedom there. Thirdly, saying that “Economic freedom is indivisible from other freedoms.” is just a lame attempt to reintroduce your failed argument that “if the government can do X then it can do Y ” through the back door. Any attempt by Congress to regulate religious matters via the commerce clause would be struck down for not being relevant to interstate commerce.

    “The Constitution was written to create a minimalist, mainly innocuous Federal government, preferring to leave social “experimentation” on the state level. We’re VERY far from that ideal today – trust me, I get this. But instead of scurrying further down the wrong, dead end path, I recommend turning around and decentralizing power, for both moral and material reasons.”

    Wishing does not make it so. If you want limits placed on the commerce clause, get an amendment.

  • WillyP

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that the men who wrote the Constitution did not intend to give to Congress unlimited power to regulate commerce. I think it’s also safe to say that centuries of Supreme Court precedent are on my side in this contention.

    No, the commerce clause is not one of the enumerated powers. It is too vague to be considered “enumerated.” Your view is literally as expansive as you want it to be. Following your logic, there is nothing to stop Congress from instituting any kind of top-down industrial scheme it wanted to. I hold the view that EVEN IF THE VOTERS WANT THIS, it is still ILLEGAL. If the Constitution exists to limit power, it follows that it does not grant unlimited power to Congress to regulate trade. There are limits that have been recognized by courts, and the recent VA court decision makes that clear.

    Socialism and communism mean the same thing. Economically they are identical. The history of the words is explained by the obfuscating revolutionaries who were trying to explain why the socialist revolution was so violent. This is socialism, you see. Once COMMUNISM comes along, things will be peaceful. It was propaganda. Both call specifically for the elimination of private property and the socialization (i.e. government control) of the means of production. Communism and socialism are identical in this regard.

    As was shown, we do not need an amendment. We just need good judges who aren’t obsessed with expanding Federal power.

    What sick impulse drives you liberals anyway? Your plans will never come to fruition because we’re too bankrupt to try them. Still, I wonder what it is about healthcare that you liberals are so obsessed with. I’ve received excellent medical treatment my entire life, no thanks to the state. What are you worried about? And for that matter, I like incandescent light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs give me a headache and make my eyes sore.

    Why are you not content leaving us alone? Why the constant need to harass and control? What do you get from this?

    As for England, they’re gone. Bankrupt and denying fat patients and smokers critical care.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8211626/Smokers-and-fat-patients-thrown-off-NHS-waiting-lists.html

    Giving into the barbarism of sharia law. Rioting students storming the the Treasury and the Royal family. Debt out of control and likely unsolvable.

  • Watusie

    “I think it’s also safe to say that centuries of Supreme Court precedent are on my side in this contention.”

    Then why can’t you name them?

    “No, the commerce clause is not one of the enumerated powers.”

    OMG. That is like saying Massachusetts is not one of the 50 states.

    “Following your logic, there is nothing to stop Congress from instituting any kind of top-down industrial scheme it wanted to. I hold the view that EVEN IF THE VOTERS WANT THIS, it is still ILLEGAL.”

    Well, then, you’ll have no problem citing the law that is being violated in your hypothetical. I look forward to that.

  • Re: libertarische nieuwjaarsborrel | Dagelijkse Standaard

    [...] dit is wat de Libertarische Partij te wachten staat: Every year, Peter Jaworski and the non-profit [...]

  • Nanotek

    “Law is tradition ”

    Law is pure and, if need be, violent power

    I don’t see how the individual mandate of the PPACA can survive the SCOTUS, ultimately.

  • ralphs

    …for information on Libertarians at work and conferences worldwide, please see: http://www.Libertarian-International.org

  • WillyP

    “Citizens! In all times, two political systems have been in existence, and each may be maintained by good reasons. According to one of them, Government ought to do much, but then it ought to take much. According to the other, this two-fold activity ought to be little felt. We have to choose between these two systems. But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who parade it, for the sake of the pleasure of accusing all governments of weakness, and thus exposing them to your attacks, are only flattering and deceiving you, while they are deceiving themselves.”

    -Frederic Bastiat, “What is Government?” 1849

    Amen!

  • Watusie

    WillyP, Frederic Bastiat isn’t a precedent which is binding on the Supreme Court.

  • WillyP

    That may be true, but Mssr. Bastiat does believe you to be “chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous.”

  • Watusie

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but the words of obscure dead Frenchmen can never hurt me.

    Let’s recap, shall we? Things kicked off with you shouting that, since I’m a liberal, I obviously know nothing about the constitution. You then proceeded to demonstrate over the course of more than a dozen posts that you, in fact, are utterly clueless about the most basic concepts, and that you are absolutely wedded the idea that what you WISH was constitutional law is IS in fact constitutional law.

    I will continue to wait, no doubt futilely, for you to present the evidence that supports your claims. Please remember that “evidence” is not a soundbite from Mark Levin, or your firm assertion that know something to be true – “evidence” is either language from the Constitution or a relevant SC case.

  • WillyP

    We get this from Wikipedia and Justice Rehnquist:

    One commentator has written that “In the wake of New Deal era Supreme Court jurisprudence it has become clear that Congress has acquired the authority to regulate private economic activity in a manner near limitless in its purview.”[3] Justice Rehnquist’s opinion in United States v. Lopez explains:

    “Jones & Laughlin Steel, Darby, and Wickard ushered in an era of Commerce Clause jurisprudence that greatly expanded the previously defined authority of Congress under that Clause. In part, this was a recognition of the great changes that had occurred in the way business was carried on in this country. Enterprises that had once been local or at most regional in nature had become national in scope. But the doctrinal change also reflected a view that earlier Commerce Clause cases artificially had constrained the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.”

    Unfortunately, the selected quote does not cite the “earlier Commerce Clause cases” that “had artificially restrained the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.” [Or, more accurately, the VIEW that the court had artificially restrained the authority of Congress.]

    If we are to believe Justice Rehnquist, who likely knew his case history, spending some time looking through judicial history would presumably turn up these particular cases. And, again as per Rehnquist, they would be in line with what I have been asserting – that pre-New Deal, the Supreme Court had shown deference to the enumerated powers of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment; that is, they checked the power of the Federal government extending its reach into commerce.

  • Watusie

    OMG, here we go again. WTF do you mean when you say “show deference to the enumerated powers”? Seriously – I mean it. Spell out for me what this phrase means.

    The SC cannot “check the power of the Federal government extending its reach into commerce” without constitutional basis. Meaning it has to find that the Federal government overreached.

    So what is the basis for finding overreach in this case? Are you arguing that the health care industry – 1/6th of the nation’s economy – isn’t “interstate commerce”? Are you arguing that the individual mandate is not part of a framework of “regulation”? Are you arguing that the law was not brought into being by an Act of Congress? No, no and no? Well then, for the gazillionth time: what is the basis for your argument, other than you wish the constitution read the way you want it to?

    And finally: if the Rehnquist Lopez decision is the best you can do, then really, you should just cut your losses and concede defeat now. It turned on the finding that “possession of a gun in a local school zone is in no sense an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, substantially affect any sort of interstate commerce.”. It is impossible to say the same about health insurance.

  • WillyP

    1/6 of the nation’s economy might be one of those metrics that signifies “overreach.”

  • Watusie

    My God, Willy – so now you are arguing that the interstate commerce clause doesn’t apply to really, really big industries? Once something gets to be the size of the health care industry, Congress gets stripped of the power to regulate it?

    Why didn’t you address any of the questions I laid out for you? When, oh when, are you going to define this mysterious concept of “showing deference to the enumerated powers”?

  • WillyP

    When, oh when, are you going to try to systematically define how you limit government?

    Isn’t that the entire point? Your logical endgame is no logical limiting at all. It will end in chaos, and either the abandonment of prior policies or the full socialization of industry.

    Regardless of case law you have to answer to a higher law, which will make stymie your efforts at realizing your goals. I appeal to the history and traditions of this nation, and its legal precedent, which thus far has not intruded TOO much into healthcare for “the middle class.”

    If starry-eyed, delusional “reformers” think that legislating a lower price makes it so, and that the Commerce Clause provides adequate legal cover, and the courts acquiesce, then there is basically no limit to what our Federal government can and cannot do.

  • Watusie

    “When, oh when, are you going to try to systematically define how you limit government?”

    I’ve done so several times – it is called the Constitution.

    “Your logical endgame is no logical limiting at all. It will end in chaos, and either the abandonment of prior policies or the full socialization of industry.”

    I have identified for you over and over again the limits that are placed on the commerce clause by the Constitution.

    “Regardless of case law you have to answer to a higher law,”

    In the United States there is no higher law than the Constitution.

    “I appeal to the history and traditions of this nation, and its legal precedent”

    Given that you cannot actually IDENTIFY any legal precedent, it appears you are appealing to something that you know doesn’t exist.

    “If starry-eyed, delusional “reformers” think that legislating a lower price makes it so, and that the Commerce Clause provides adequate legal cover, and the courts acquiesce, then there is basically no limit to what our Federal government can and cannot do.”

    So you keep on saying. And, as I’ve responded several times, that is bullshit. In fact, you yourself cited a Supreme Court ruling to the same effect just a few hours ago – although I guess that was just by accident, becasue you seem to be completely unaware of it.

    If you think you’ve got precedent on you side – cite it.
    If you think there is a flaw in the Constitution – get an amendment.

    Why do you continue to evade all of the questions I laid out for you? When, oh when, are you going to define this mysterious concept of “showing deference to the enumerated powers”?

  • WillyP

    you’re ridiculous. you’re playing silly games. you don’t seem to get what i’m asking – how do you, who insists that commerce clause is as expansive as congress wants it to be – propose to limit government?

    your interpretation grants a carte blanche to government to regulate (i.e dictate) the purchase of and abstention from all goods and services. i exaggerate not one bit when i say this is absolutely lunacy. it opens the legal door to a full socialization of society. this what the communist ACLU teaches you, i presume.

    your proposal is “amend the constitution.” and i’m saying: the courts have run amok when we have to spell out that congress is not the final say on all commercial matters. this is just nuts. completely and absolutely nuts. we don’t live in an historical vacuum. we can get a very good sense of how the commerce clause had been interpreted by the actions of prior congresses. and prior to the new deal, it was interpreted very narrowly.

  • Watusie

    WillyP, I have never, ever said that “commerce clause is as expansive as congress wants it to be”. The commerce clause has exactly those limits on it as are placed there by the Constitution and the relevant SC decisions. Congress has absolutely no ability to expand its own power.

    How do I propose to limit government? Via the mechanisms laid out in the Constitution. When it comes to the commerce clause, they can be summed up in four words: Commerce. Interstate. Regulate. Congress. If you don’t have all four of those – then there is your limit.

    And of course, once you’ve got “Congress”, you’ve got the unspoken but looming-large limit of “Ballotbox.” Clever, those Founders….

    “your interpretation grants a carte blanche to government to regulate (i.e dictate) all goods ans services.”

    Firstly, regulate does not mean dictate – not in general use, and PARTICULARLY not when it comes to the word “regulate” as found in the Constitution.

    Secondly, as I just said above – bullshit. You yourself cited a Supreme Court ruling to the same effect just a few hours ago – completely by accident, it seems.

    “and prior to the new deal, it was interpreted very narrowly.”

    I hate to break it to you, but there isn’t a clause the Constitution that says “every decision taken prior to 1935 counts double”.

    You are so cock-sure that the law is on your side. Great. Then you can end this debate with a resounding victory for yourself and total humiliation for me by simply citing a bit of it.

  • WillyP

    you may want to listen to it from “the horse’s mouth”

    http://marklevinshow.com/sectional.asp?id=32930#