Articles

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Ball is in Our Court

As the day of judgment approaches, half the country sits waiting for a small group of men and women to decide how many of our civil rights we get to keep. After two flawed decisions that draw not from the Constitution, but from policy and opinion, we wait hopefully for a third opinion that will set us free.

Today the Supreme Court is slightly tilted in our favor, which is to say that it has a few members who believe that the Constitution is more than blotting paper for their opinions, and that individuals and states have rights, rather than just being troublesome cogs in the mighty machine of the national policy apparatus bent on tackling one growing crisis or another.

How long will that tenuous state of affairs endure? Who knows. In the meantime we are caught between an omnipotent executive who believes that he is above the law, an unelected court which includes two of his appointees, one of them his lawyer, and a Congress which does little except spend gargantuan amounts of money. And our best bet is the court, because it is the hardest to bribe and some of its members believe in the law, rather than in the almighty policy ends that justify all means.

When the highest official in the land decided to sell the American people into slavery to insurance companies to get his landmark legislation passed, we took to the streets to protest, we changed the composition of Congress, and here we are waiting for the Supreme Court to decide that maybe we aren't the property of the Executive Branch, warm bodies to be traded at the slave market of policy to get a bill passed.

147 years after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are back to debating slavery. But it's not a debate that began today. Everyone who pays taxes can calculate how much time they spend working for their masters in Washington, D.C. How much of their income the serfs are obligated to send home to the barons in the white palaces who will decide how much of it to hand out to their friends and how much of it to use on the endless expenses of government.

Around the same time as the evils of racial slavery were being fought, the building blocks of economic slavery were being hammered together with the Revenue Act of 1861, the first Federal income tax and the first attack on the Constitution, that concluded with the Sixteenth Amendment. One hundred years before the election that brought Obama to power, the Democratic platform called for an income tax, "to the end that wealth may bear its proportionate share of the burdens of the Federal Government".

The burden has grown vastly since then. It has grown out of all proportion. And to achieve its goals, the government began selling off its assets. Its chief assets are us.

The ObamaCare Mandate is a fairly simple trade between health insurance companies, which largely owe their existence to government tinkering with the health care market, and its government patron. In exchange for giving the government what it wants, the government gives them what they want, us.

Supporters of the Mandate have been legitimately confused by all the protests. As they understand it, we are property-- so why are we complaining about being rented out to another master? If Obama and Congress own us, why can't they lease us out to their supporters in the insurance industry? Especially when it's for the greater good.

Today we're being leased out to the health insurance industry. Tomorrow we might be sent out to go bring in the harvest, the way that citizens were compelled to in Communist countries. Once we have been designated as warm bodies for sale to the highest bidder, when there is, what politicians can describe as, a legitimate concern, then there is absolutely no end to it. And when China finally decides to recoup some of its investment, there will be a mandate for that too.

The Constitution has been so comprehensively violated and we have been deprived of so many rights that defending any right becomes a rear-guard action. After so many violations, we take a stand on the chalk outline of the latest outrage, while having to argue that this is the red line. This is the one that is too much. And we put our faith in a Supreme Court that occasionally respects the Constitution and occasionally creates its own Constitution. And we sit here waiting to find out which it will be this time. Freedom or slavery.

Even a Supreme Court defeat for the slavery of the state mandate will not be the end of the story. 

The policy machine that grinds on in Washington, in state capitals, in municipal city halls and in the halls of a thousand think-tanks and the banquet rooms of a hundred forums is built to deprive people of their rights. It is not easily stopped. Even when the Supreme Court rules against it, it studies the ruling and attacks it from another angle until it gets its way.

Many of the modern violations of our rights went through this process, losing a Supreme Court decision and then finding another way through the door. Once the policy apparatus has agreed on something, the mere objection that it is against the law will not halt them for long. The only way to stop the machine is to break the machine. To tear out its levers and gears, to fill it with sand, spill out its oil and turn it to grind uselessly facing a wall.

A Supreme Court of Constitutionalists might deal it some serious setbacks, but it has become clear that we are headed into dark territory where the laws don't matter anymore. Obama has shed most of the pretense of legality, doing things because he wants them done. The legal rationale for ObamaCare never existed. Those who wrote and passed it did not believe that such a rationale was even needed.

Their only argument has been the policy argument, the ends justifying the means. The policy ends which justify the oppressive means is their argument for every one of their endless streams of abuses. It is a position that places them and their actions completely outside the law. Anything they do is justified because it is for the greater good, to meet one "growing crisis" or another, whether it's health care, obesity, racism, bullying, profiteering, homophobia, high prices or anything you see discussed with serious faces and even more serious hairdos on the evening news.

Even Supreme Court rulings depend on executive compliance. Obama has demonstrated several times that he will simply not comply with the law. And a showdown between the law and an executive backed by the media and a parade train of experts, not to mention a completely corrupt Attorney General, will not be a pretty sight.

The mere willingness of the executive branch to operate outside the law acts as a restraint on the Supreme Court's willingness to challenge the executive. That is what FDR managed to accomplish by alternately terrorizing and bypassing the Supreme Court. Obama has shown every sign of being willing to do the same thing. Some liberals are already proposing their own court packing schemes. The Washington Post has an article calling for upping the number of justices from 9 to 19, which is certainly one way to gain a majority.

The left has gotten this far by subverting institutions and it is being increasingly open about not caring for the forms or for anything that interferes with its objectives. As a defense against it, the Supreme Court is a fragile entity. It is meant to serve as a final review for a law-abiding legislature, not for a thuggish executive and a legislature that passes bills without knowing what it is in them. In an era in which the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches have all been warped, none of them can be relied on to do the right thing.

We are in the midst of another Civil War. Not a war of bullets, but a war of laws. And the lawmaking apparatus is a tool for depriving people of rights, not a tool for creating safe spaces for rights. In the firefight, those who want to limit rights through government mandates will have the upper hand. The Supreme Court, as a reviewing body, is less vulnerable to the seduction of legislation than the legislative and executive branches, but it has done its share of legislating, and activist Federal judges are a reliable way of subverting democracy and states' rights.

We can't depend on the Supreme Court to do the right thing, though it can occasionally be an important ally in the struggle to restore the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of the individual. The ball is not in their court, it is in ours. And it is important that we understand what is at stake. Behind all the policy debates is a simple question. Do we want to be free men and women or will we agree to be slaves?

The final review of every act of government does not come from within the government, but from the people, who have to decide what is acceptable and unacceptable. This is a law of human nature that is not subject to any higher court, only the court of the conscience. Rights and freedoms do not come from government, they come from the people. We have seen how in Egypt, the people chose slavery. That makes it all the more vital to remember that, no matter what we are told, we have a choice, and the greatest power that we have is the knowledge that the choice and the final decision are ours.





32 comments:

LemonLimeMoon said...

People spoke out on this all across the nation. They do not want it but things are being decided even against the will of the people.

Keliata said...

There aren't nearly enough Americans taking to the streets in protest.

Besides, the left has far too many unelected apparatchiks. Slang for a communist lacky but there are American, liberal versions. We just don't have a term for them.

Keliata said...

Daniel:

You should have posted this article on July 4.

fsy said...


You should have posted this article on July 4.


I'm afraid it's already getting trite to point out that Obama makes George III look positively beneficent and law-abiding.

Anonymous said...

Daniel, once again. you go to the heart of the matter: are we to be slaves or are we to be free men?

The process that you see underway in the US has been pre-dated by a similar one in Europe. Pre-dated by at least a century. Over here, a free people have been seduced by a bill of goods that predicates itself on "redistribution of wealth" and "fairness" and they have willingly shackled themselves to a tyrany.

Karl Marx and his followers knew a simple truth: if you can get people to abandon God then you can bind them to any proposition that serves to act as a surrogate. A few days ago you wrote of "The Cult of Obama" and how millions of Americans had become disciples in a new religion based on transformative change. Barack Obama was so obviously a fraud that I firmly believed that Americans would reject him. The more I was decieved.

The result of thye 2008 election filled me with an abiding sadness. The country that was the last hope of a free world was down the pan. Had God abandoned His great love, America? We will see. In my heart, I think not. I think He has merely handed an opportunity to Americans to reject their folly and cleave to freedom and His love.

You're in the Last Chance Saloon. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and He will deliver you from your bondage.

Heads up lads, the game's afoot.

Churchill

DP111 said...

DG

Among the many articles you have written, this one is brilliant.

One point I saw only vaguely - that we were wage slaves for the government.

The second, that we were slaves on a "plantation" owned by political barons, to be leased or sold, as they saw fit.

The last I did not see. But now it is clear.

From this, it is clear that supreme court, congress, senate - all instruments to prevent barony, are now useless. It will be the people who will have to decide and take action, against a state that is fully armed.

What is also clear is that no matter how good a system is, it will eventually become corrupt, and a threat to the decent man. Such a system will eventually have to be taken down by force.

Edward Cline said...

Bravo, Daniel! Often your columns are informative, other times weighed with gloom. This one is absolutely inspiring. See you on the barricades, if we're destined to erect them.

Yuri said...

Great article!

On the subject of income taxation, has anyone else noticed that a flat tax (which I support) is actually a progressive tax?

That is, that it taxes the rich more -- regardless of how much they consume government services.

Is there any proposed method of taxation which could tax each individual based on the amount of government services consumed?

The only texample I can think of, off-hand, would be a toll road.

Adam said...

#Churchill- Believe it or not the 2008 election worked out the best it could. I know that sounds crazy. After 8 years of Bush running around telling people he was a Conservative, and pushing a Liberal agenda, and essentially tarnishing all of Conservatism, we had a generation who had forgot the perils of living under a Progressive Marxist rule. If we had elected John McCain it would have only continued the destruction of Conservatism started Bush Sr and Jr. Young idealists indoctrinated at Liberal Universities would have what their Professors taught them vindicated essentially ending Conservatism forever. As the saying went, in order to get Reagan, we needed to survive Carter. Personaly I doubt Romney is Reagan-esque, but then again I'm not sure Reagan was Conservative enough to get us out of the mess we are currently in. Either way, many Liberals are finally seeing the dangers of Progressivism.

Adam said...

So I just read that they upheld it. Guess the whole "Freedom" thing is officialy dead.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Not a complete surprise. Roberts was threatened and he backed down.

Welcome to Thug Nation.

The Supreme Court took the narrowest possible view of it and ruled that the government can 'tax' us to pay the tax to a third party.

Aside from everything else, the concept of what a tax is just got expanded.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Also expect to see the same liberal pundits denouncing Roberts to suddenly begin describing him as a voice of reason. And if he keeps this up, he'll be another Kennedy before long.

Alex said...

Majority of parasites and idiots rules - true democracy. Republic is dead. It will take another 3-5-10 years and private sector will be sucked dry. Then what? Where the money will come from? Judging by the history – more brutal and open confiscation of private property and dwindling freedom/individual rites.

PS Please, raise your hand if you think your private retirement savings account is safe from expropriation.

23 Skidoo said...

Damn. Just Damn.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Not surprising.

Again, remember, expecting any branch of government to reform itself is a lost cause. A thing that is warped rarely straightens itself.

Nancy Coppock said...

Edmund Burke opined that the root of religious persecution was unwanted kindness.

There will be no stopping these god-presuming religious zealots. We are fodder for their own power.

revereridesagain said...

What was Roberts threatened with? Of course, whatever it was he established what he is and all that was left was haggling over the price.

Adam said...

Not sure why everyone is so surprised. Roberts was appointed by Bush. And Bush wasn never as Conservative as he claimed he was.

Adam said...

# revereridesagain- He was threatened with a tarnished reputation as a partisan. Progs are great at revising history. His legacy depended on him making them happy.

To the rest of us, he will go down as a Marxist enabler and coward.

Edward Cline said...

The threat was that he'd be called a "partisan"? That's it??? And for that Roberts has sold us out??
I want to read Clarence Thomas's opinion. He's the only one on the bench with a true intellect and he's usually on our side.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

more here

http://www.volokh.com/2012/06/28/was-scalias-dissent-originally-a-majority-opinion/

the 'dissent' was originally the majority opinion, so roberts defected

Marcel said...

Rights and freedoms do not come from government,they come from God who always give a godless,reprobate people over to the darkness they have embraced by rejecting Him !

I getting harder to ignore the fact that once blessed America is now a cursed land.

The deceived and the deceiver are His.
17 He leads counselors away plundered,
And makes fools of the judges...
He leads princes away plundered,
And overthrows the mighty...
He makes nations great, and destroys them;
Job 12

Anonymous said...

Adam
I understand exactly what you're saying. As I wrote, Americans have been given an opportunity to see the true face of tyranny - if they don't like it, throw them out.

This Obamacare decision is a similar wake-up call. It should energise freedom loving people to get out and vote.

Churchill

Keliata said...

John Roberts:( A native Buffalonian.

What is it with my city?

Keliata said...

Already people are clamoring to move to Canda now. I've read and heard of this Tweet online and on TV

"I'm marrying a Canadian n moving to Canada ��. Retweeted by Jacob ... Screwthis commie country, I'm moving to #Canada #whoswithme.

Anonymous said...

Americans are only getting more of what they have been tolerating for decades.
We tolerated unconstitutional acts in 1913, 1973, 1992, 1993 and many more. This is just a beginning because our masters have nothing but contempt for us.

Marcel said...

This really lays out whats coming next-
The Pelican Brief with a twist
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/47701

Anonymous said...

Most Americans will simply yawn, go back to watching "Snooki" on TV and go shopping at the Mall for things they don't need.

Our MSM Overlords have successfully dumbed-down the populace by years and years of politically correct news reporting and trashy TV programs. Even a brilliant guy like Mike Bloomberg watches that dopey program about women in their 20's with nonsensical man problems and STDs.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add according to the New York Post. Wonder what Rupert Murdoch watches?

Keliata said...

Anony: Which is exactly why I've abandoned the MSM. I first learned of the decision on RT/American, after CNN and friends got it wrong.

Keliata said...

OT but Michael Savage was way out of line:


"Conservative firebrand Michael Savage is not known to mince words--one of his favorite adjectives is "Islamofascist," and in 2009 he was banned from entering the United Kingdom on grounds of extremism.

But on Thursday, the popular radio talk show host's outspokenness veered into particularly strange territory when he suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts' epilepsy medication was responsible for his decision to uphold President Obama's health care law.

"Let's talk about Roberts," Savage said. "I'm going to tell you something that you're not gonna hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to.

"It's well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication.

"Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts' writings you can see the cognitive disassociation (sic) in what he is saying..."


Blast Roberts and his decision, make fun of where he was born but this...this is really below the belt.

Richard of Oz said...

Welcome to our world in Australia. We also have a dysfunctional group of leftars ruling us in an overbaearing, holier than thou manner. We have had "universal" health care since the early 70s, and it works well if you are precisely what these fools aspire you to be - that is, an umemployed (unemployable) 'droid sucking from the public teat. Those of us who are still working, pay for this twice, once through our income tax, then at the end of the year hit with a tarrif. Of course, we are also to be hit a "carbon" tax tomorrow, which should remove a number of those pesky old people when they can't afford to put the heater on in Winter, or their fan in summer.
Daniel, may I suggest you put your formidable talents to having a look at this big, new tax, and see what your future will be? Remember, these people are world wide.
I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours, but I don't hold out much hope that anyone will dismantle your health "care" system in the future, now that it is in. They - the apparatchiks of the health industry - will come to rely on it.

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