Comments miscellany

In this entry are posted comments on a variety of topics from late last week, including: Congress’ lack of power to force people to buy health insurance; anti-Wilders protest outside Parliament; Knoxville trial; Evangelicals opposed to amnesty; Tory sex quotas for MPs; and the new hate crimes law.

No constitutional authority, period

Ron K. writes:

Congress may not have the authority to mandate the purchase of insurance by individual Americans, but it has both the authority and moral obligation to do so for another set of people—legal immigrants and other resident aliens.

I would like to ask Sen. Leahy why he doesn’t sponsor a requirement to purchase unsubsidized, market-price health policies in the next immigration bill. Considering the cost of such policies, this alone would lop a significant chunk off the bottom of our immigrant pool.

“Cheap labor” wouldn’t be so cheap anymore!

States, however, do have the authority to mandate purchase, as their own constitutions grant, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has taken advantage of it. But, to flip the original question around, do the states also have the power to require non-citizens to purchase insurance, in the event don’t require their own citizens to?

This is an important point, because many states have the initiative-and-referendum process by which the voters, led by enterprising citizens, can bypass reluctant legislatures. And raising the standards for immigrants would certainly be a popular concept.

A related question is, can states set a higher minimum wage for non-citizens? (They can now set minimums higher than the federal, and can restrict some “rights” of foreigners, such as voting. So, why not combine these?) That would have the same effect as an insurance mandate.

A. Zarkov writes:

CNS news asked speaker of the house Pelosi:Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” She responding by saying “Are you serious, are you serious.” She refused to answer the question. Later, in responding to an email query, her spokesman Elshami said, ” … broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce.”

Elshami is clearly out of his depth here, and seems unaware of the Supreme Court decisions Wickard v. Filburn and U.S. v. Lopez. The former greatly expanded the scope of the Commerce Clause, while the latter has provided a modern limit. If the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, exceeds the authority of Congress then surely the mandate does. After all, bringing a gun to school is a physical action, and could in some esoteric sense affect interstate commerce, but mere existence? Elshami also tried throw in a red herring, by comparing the health mandate to compulsory automobile insurance. Does he not realize that those are state laws, and states are free to pass such laws unless they go beyond state constitutions? Does he think that any law a state can pass, Congress can also pass?

Things are looking very bad for the Democrats. They won’t answer pertinent questions and can’t seem to grasp elementary notions of constitutional law. Someone in Congress needs to think hard about the meaning of the Commerce Clause and a government of enumerated powers. They look both arrogant and foolish. Watch (and enjoy) the Democrats as they self destruct.

Anti-Wilders protest outside Parliament

Bjorn Larsen writes from Canada:

This is a must-see video, the protest against Geert Wilders outside the House of Commons in England on Friday October 16 2009.

For those of you who have not “seen” the face of Islam, watch this and ponder the future of our societies, societies that allow this kind of language on the streets of England while prosecuting Mr Wilders for hate speech precisely for warning us of what’s already resident in our midst.

Knoxville Trial

David B. writes (Oct 23):

Here is KNS reporter Jamie Satterfield’s account of the police interview. Down in the article she points out that Davidson unwittingly “shored up testimony earlier Thursday from Knoxville Police Department firearms expert Patricia Resig, who said a gun linked to Davidson might be the weapon that killed Newsom.”

Doesn’t it look like Davidson killed Newsom himself? He had Newsom’s shoes when arrested.

David B. writes (Oct. 24):

Here is the Knoxville-News-Sentinel story about Day 6 of the second Knoxville trial. It has to be read to be believed. One would suppose that with witnesses like this a rational jury would conclude that the defense has no case and is just dirtying up the victims to take attention from the horrific murders. The jurors did seem to be skeptical as they can ask questions in Tennessee trials.

Note the box for the video. At the 42 second mark showing the medical examiner you can see that she is holding a photo of the autopsy. If you pause, the photo can be seen.

Evangelicals and amnesty

Sage McLaughlin writes:

In the entry, “Evangelicals in massive phone campaign get their leaders to back away from endorsing amnesty,” you seem shocked that there are as many as 42 denominations within a single evangelical group. I am as well. After all, isn’t sola scriptura the surest proof against human innovations, according to Alan Roebuck?

Sorry for the dig, but I couldn’t resist—it’s been bothering me ever since I read it here. A deeply silly justification for that doctrine, especially given that it is almost laughably anti-empirical.

Roy Beck from Numbers USA writes:

I just took a quick look at the exchanges you sent me about whether Christianity is inherently liberal and pro-open borders. My! Those are deep discussions.

But some of it certainly points to a sadness that I have been feeling for some time that the open-border tendencies of most Christian national leaders brings the Gospel into disrepute in a number of ways. These leaders while trying to tear down national borders are creating great walls that repel a growing number of people from any interest in the Gospel. There is a sense that U.S. Christian leaders believe that their religion compels them to mistreat their fellow U.S. citizens. This is not a particularly engaging “good news” for the masses of this country.

Marco Jawsario writes:

Two years ago I had the pleasure of attending a meeting with Roy Beck in his office in Arlington along with a few other anti-illegal immigrant activists in northern Virginia. Mr. Beck was a man of impeccable detail and and command presence. Here was a true and capable leader—exceedingly attentive to detail, but noble and gracious to his guests, and kind and considerate to his subordinates, who served him with admiration and affection. In a more traditionalist and less insane time, he would have made an excellent mayor or governor. I thought at the time, what a shame we are being inundated by the third world masses who have rendered nearly impossible the service of such competent and honorable white men to their cities, states, and even country. And instead we get stuck with the likes of Joe Biden.

Illegal alien costume:

Izzy Lyman writes:

Did you hear about the illegal alien costume brouhaha? I wrote a little column about it here.

Tories support sex quotas for MPs

Leonard D. writes:

If constitutional democracy must lead to group-rights socialism, then self-government itself, at least in the American sense, would have to be rejected as a cradle, not of liberty, but of socialism

Yes, this is what I think. To be clearer, I would say that democracy is the problem, not self-government in any other sense; and the American experiment was flawed from the outset by it. I have thought that for some time, although exposure to Mencius Moldbug has certainly clarified my thinking. But it goes back before America, to the dissenters in Britain and back to the Reformation, to Jesus, and ultimately to human nature itself. Egalitarianism and rebelliousness are fundamental aspects of human nature. Democracy is simply a flawed design for government: it is not responsible, effective, or even coherent.

Everyone wants to be superior

Markus writes:

I was interested to read Cornelius Troost’s recollection of his fraternity days, when his frat brothers were prepared to get violent over things that barely rise to the level of triviality. This seems to be part of the problem. All our martial passions have been diverted away from important things, and towards things which, frankly, aren’t.

Years ago I saw my college campus taken over by a mob from a rival college’s engineering department, all decked out in warlike face paint. They sat down on our campus ground and shouted slogans letting us know their engineering school was better than ours. Who cares? Harmless enough, right?

But the point is, you’ll get a (comically) intimidating white mob out yelling and flexing their muscles over nothing, but when do we ever see a white mob out in the streets demanding that justice be done on behalf of a murder victim. Whites are big into competition, but only where it doesn’t matter. Blacks, latinos, muslims and other non-white groups will protest any perceived injustice done against members of their own community. Whites? Almost never.

Watch NHL hockey—a truly great and white-dominated sport. It won’t take long to see the brutality many players are capable of; and you’ll also notice that the white fans seem to like the violence more than the finesse. But it’s all controlled violence, sanctioned by the powers that be.

But what would these same players and fans do if some guy splashed acid on their sister’s face? Would they crowd around the courthouse, demanding retribution?

Hate crimes law

Kathlene M. writes:

Congress has just now extended hate crimes protection to homosexuals. The leftists are trying to assure us that religious speech is protected, but considering how liberals lie about their intentions, why would anyone believe them? If this truly had such broad support, why did Democrats deceptively attach it to a defense policy bill?

From the article:

“To assure its passage after years of frustrated efforts, Democratic supporters attached the measure to a must-pass $680 billion defense policy bill the Senate approved 68-29.”

“Nothing in this legislation diminishes an American’s freedom of religion, freedom of speech or press or the freedom to assemble,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. “Let me be clear. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act targets acts, not speech.”

That didn’t convince Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who said the bill was a “dangerous step” toward thought crimes. He asked whether the bill would “serve as a warning to people not to speak out too loudly about their religious views.”

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said the measure was “part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality.”

State of FrontPage Magazine

Anthony Damato writes:

I was putzing around at the Swindle/Horowitz Newsreel site. Boy, it’s a big tent over there. For a bunch of “conservatives”, they do not seem conservative at all. It’s pretty frustrating to learn that David Swindle is some sort of “mystic agnostic”, and he favors the homosexual agenda from what looks like a libertarian, objectivist/Randian, human rights position all in one. He even used the Matthew Shepard to disprove the Old Testament.

I also see that his friend, a poster named “Swemsen”, is a hostile atheist, who is quite rabid about even a whiff of Christianity. How can we even hope to win if the superstar of conservatism supports those who reject, Christianity, or immigration restrictions?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 26, 2009 11:32 PM | Send

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