Archive for the Stupid Legislation Category

More on the Obamacare SCOTUS Ruling

Posted in Economics, Government, In the News, Philosophy, Politics, Stupid Legislation, Taxes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by Xajow

I cannot state strongly enough how very much I dislike the ruling from the Supreme Court today on Obamacare. One the one hand striking down the use of the commerce clause is good, but then turning around and saying the mandate works as a tax is horrible. Basically now the Supreme Court has established precedent for Congress to use taxing behavior or lack of behavior as a means of controlling what individuals do. One of the arguments against the use of the commerce clause to support the mandate was that if the government could force people to buy health insurance, it could then force people to buy broccoli. Well, now, the government can, if it chooses, tax people for not buying broccoli. In other words, you still end up punished for not doing what the federal government tells you you must do.

This is what comes of sacrificing principle for so-called “practicality.” This is what comes of voting into office the “electable” candidate rather than the one who shares your principles. This is what comes of all the excuses for not protecting liberty. You lose liberty little by little.

Thankfully, the number of people willing to fight back against this is growing. The situation is not hopeless. There are rising politicians who are starting to push back against the government expansion of power. And there are growing numbers of people who are willing to support those politicians. Things will change slowly, but they will change.

And I am still holding out hope that someone like Justice Janice Rogers Brown will be nominated to the Supreme Court. I will be very happy when that happens. And mark my words, one day it will happen. Maybe not specifically Justice Brown, but someone like her. Then you will know we are working our way forward to a more free and just society.

Obamacare Ruling from SCOTUS

Posted in Economics, Government, In the News, Philosophy, Politics, Stupid Legislation, Taxes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by Xajow

So now instead of using the commerce clause as an excuse to do whatever it wants, Congress can now use taxation powers as an excuse to do whatever it wants. Or basically a combination of the two. This is my understanding of what the SCOTUS ruling means for the U.S. in the long term. Because even if Republicans take control of Congress and repeal Obama care, this legal president will still remain on the books.

Ugh.

Little by little the government whittles away the limitations placed on its power. People sworn to uphold the Constitution are instead using any means they can to ignore it. And now SCOTUS just gave them another tool for that purpose.

And do not even come to me with your “You must be against Obamacare because you don’t care about helping people” nonsense. I am so much not in the mood today. Obamacare is going to hurt the nation, society, and individuals. I oppose it exactly because I do care about my neighbor, about helping others in need.

I really do not like what this SCOTUS ruling portends for the future. 

New York Legislators Try to Control the Internet

Posted in Bullying, In the News, Philosophy, Politics, Stupid Legislation with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by Xajow

Well intended politicians are at it again. Sigh.

Proposed legislation in both chambers [of the New York state legislature] would require New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”

That is from an article at Wired, which rightly points out this proposed law would not pass even a basic challenge on constitutional grounds. But one would expect the people in the New York legislature to know that. Do they not? Or do they just not care?

What reason do these ignorant and/or apathetic politicians give for this proposed law?

Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte said the legislation would cut down on “mean-spirited and baseless political attacks” and “turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.”

[…]

Sen. Thomas O’Mara, a Republican who is also sponsoring the measure, said it would “help lend some accountability to the internet age.”

And yet,

Oddly, the bill has no identification requirement for those who request the takedown of anonymous content.

I do not mind that people want to do something about bullying. I am getting a little bit tired of the whining that some people say mean things. Just because someone said something you think is mean does not mean that person is a bully or a cyberbully. Some people are jerks, yes, but that is not the same as being a bully. And yes, some people are intellectually shallow. But again that does not not automatically make them bullies.

And now I am going to say something bound to be upsetting to some people. Sometimes, if you are offended it is because you are offendable. Which means maybe you just need to suck it up and go on. I’m not saying ignore actual bullying. I am saying that people are sometimes going to be mean even when they are not bullying, and if you cannot handle that, you have no one to blame but yourself. Becoming a mature adult involves, in part, learning to live with the fact that sometimes people will say or do things that seem mean. It is an unavoidable part of life. Whining that it is not fair is just childish.

Do not think I am letting bullies off the hook. On the contrary, as someone who has had to deal with being bullied in various forms, I do not generally tolerate that behavior for long. If you are genuinely bullied, stand up for yourself and address the issue. The answer to bullying speech, or any speech you do not like, is not to try to silence the offending person. The answer is more speech. In other words, the answer to bullying is not more bullying, but rather it is courage. Bullies gain power by you being afraid of them. Bullies loose power when you are not. Stand up to bullies. Do not become one yourself.