February 11, 2012

The next chess piece moves

Does Obama’s dictatorial ploy to force private companies and the individuals therein to both pay for and provide “free” birth control, sterilization, arbortifacients, etc., gain strength if it can actually lower the costs of health insurance premiums? Writes Sarah W in the comments:

I am horrified at the prospect of national health care, and the related infringements of Obamacare if anyone here isn’t familiar with me.

People ought to be able to provide for their own costs or prudent provision of insurance, by having less of any money spent in that direction confiscated to government coffers; along with health accounts with tax free growth to boost the power of that money. Employer based insurance is part of the problem ( although there are different ways to change that system and I don’t mean to go into that now. ) Mainly I think individuals should have more power and choice in the matter and that this particular issue would be moot if people bought their own plans and paid their own expenses.

Let me be the debbil though. Devils advocate for a moment (and devils advocate only). I have a feeling this is going to come up, and I think it ought to be talked about. What if net subscriber costs went DOWN as as result, or were raised much less than predicted when adjusted for the following:

This wasn’t addressed directly, unless I missed it, in the article – there is an expected savings from one of the pricier payouts for insurers – the cost of pregnancy and childbirth, especially complicated pregnancy and childbirth, and the extraordinarily high expenses associated with premature delivery of a baby (who is generally added to the parents insurance without any exclusions possible for the insurer, and whose care may rapidly mount into the hundred of thousands and even millions in rare cases over time).

It is possible that this would make provision of contraceptives and sterilization procedures cost effective and lower insurer payouts overall.

I’d like to know the true answer to that. It would have some effect certainly.

But assuming it is true – what then? The argument that costs rise for all even when there is no direct subsidy of a particular health care consumers choices is weaker then.

To which I’d like to answer this way:

Dear Devil’s advocate,

The answer is, we needn’t sell our individual liberty and autonomy for a coupon, if that’s what it comes down to, just as we shouldn’t only concern ourselves with losses in individual liberty if the immediate price tag goes up a bit.

And because there was no shortage of availability for cheap contraceptives before Obama’s dictate — and because the rate of abortion is already so elevated in poor areas to begin with — the point is moot anyway: you aren’t going to significantly decrease pregnancies because pregnancies today are widely planned (or at least welcomed), while those that aren’t are readily dealt with, either in advance (through the use of cheap and readily available contraception, from condoms to the pill to the very free abstinence) or after the fact. And even if you did, the savings would be diffuse and long term, pace the analysis from HHS.

Besides that — and this is crucial — none of this is the point. For instance, why make birth control services “free”? Why not, by the same logic, make, say, Lipitor “free.” After all, to play devil’s advocate to your devil’s advocate, heart disease and disease caused by high cholesterol (diabetes, etc.) are on the whole likely more expensive to treat in the long run than is the price of “free” Lipitor spread among the entirety of the mandated population, right?

The point being, that once you begin concentrating on such localized questions, you’re now back to a kind of Gingrich noodling about what should and shouldn’t be provided and at what cost according to a government now intimately involved in the health care of everyone, all of which — by getting us lost in the weeds — misses the overarching point (as I believe is the point): the market and private contracts should be controlling these decisions and prices, and that includes getting the government out of the way of who it allows to join what pool even if it’s across state lines.

Obama is systematically pandering identity group to identity group, promising them “free” things or tax payer-funded relief that people in these various groups wish to take advantage of. And the pitch is seductive, because we’ve all come to realize that we have a government that has no compunction about spending money it doesn’t have — making it difficult for us to reject our cut of an out of control entitlement State. And all Obama and the progressives are asking for in return is that the people they’re buying off eventually enslave themselves utterly to the state.

I would pause here to mention how none of this movement toward dictatorship and the deconstruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would have been nearly as likely had we not adopted and then legitimated 1) a New Critical — and later post structural — hermeneutic that allowed the Constitution to be rewritten under the aegis of “interpretation” that, because it dismissed the need to appeal to original intent, was not in fact interpretation; and 2) a judicial system that gives itself leave to build and rule upon the presumed legitimacy of prior poorly-reasoned, unconstitutional “interpretations” instead of returning to the source documents.

I’ve been told bringing ideas about interpretation and language into the rough-and-tumble of politics is “fundamentally unserious.” But the truth is, this control over language, how it’s used, and what comes to count as a legitimate claim upon it, is the very foundation upon which the Statist coup is built, because the stumbling block to the left’s Utopian designs in this country — and here is where American exceptionalism comes in to play — has always been a Constitution designed and intended to limit their power and control their reach.

Which is why we have now — and have had at various times in our history (see, eg., Woodrow Wilson) — active, leftist intellectual and academic attempts to question 1) the legitimacy of the Constitution and its framers, and failing that, to question its role as foundational, should we wish to maintain the fiction that we are a country of laws and equal protection for all thereunder; and 2) its fixed intent, should we wish to maintain the fiction that there is, in fact, something stable to appeal back to when we gauge the legitimacy of the Statist’s plans to affect the relationship between a government and the putatively self-governed, be it through Executive order or legislation or the administrative state or court activism.

The coupling between ownership over meaning and individual autonomy, as I’ve repeatedly tried to explain over the years, is foundational to our constitutional republic as envisioned by the Declaration; just as the move to make “interpretation” as an operation a matter of motivated consensus at the expense of the individual — now bracketed as his words become public, and his signs are reduced to signifiers then reconfigured as new signs by various interpretive communities seeking to marshal them for their own purposes — is anathema to a society that claims to stand for the rights of the individual.

The erosion of our Constitutional protections is tied directly to the linguistically incoherent procedures we’ve at various times legitimated; the originalist view, which coincides with the intentionalist idea of interpretative coherence and legitimacy, stands as a bullwark against motivated rewritings disguised as interpretation.

And it because we allowed the left, through emotional appeals that praise the “democratizing of meaning” (while simultaneously decrying the linguistic totalitarianism of the individual author), to convince us that what we think we’re doing when we interpret is not a serious or useful question, that we now find the leftist, textualist idea of interpretation institutionalized — and working actively at the bedrock level of epistemology to replace individual autonomy with a kind of motivated and politically-charged collectivism.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:18am
69 comments | Trackback

Comments (69)

  1. I don’t agree that the issue is the fallout from Marbury v. Madison. I believe that framing this debate as one over contraceptives is to lose it from the beginning. This is about unfettered intrusion by the Federal Government into our private lives irrespective of our rights, including the First Amendment. Steyn mentions today that Obamacare has this chilling provision: “The Secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance.”

    Fighting about anything else except this loss of freedom is just useless. Framing the argument as one of judicial excess or of women’s health is to lose it.

  2. Fighting about anything else except this loss of freedom is just useless. Framing the argument as one of judicial excess or of women’s health is to lose it.

    So you mean, just scream “you’re taking my freedom” without showing people the hows and the whys?

    Good plan.

    Until the next time.

    No, I think people can walk and chew gum at the same time. Tell you what: you do it your way and I’ll do it mine, you on Twitter in 140 characters and me here, where I’ll assume an interest from people bothering to read.

  3. “pw: A decade of failure, published nearly live!”

    Carve it into my tombstone. Next to “he was fundamentally unserious.”

  4. So, Jeff, you think this sentence is a coherent rallying cry?

    “The erosion of our Constitutional protections is tied directly to the linguistically incoherent procedures we’ve at various times legitimated; the originalist view, which coincides with the intentionalist idea of interpretative coherence and legitimacy, stands as a bullwark against motivated rewritings disguised as interpretation.”

    To mock you, I say,just scream “you’re using interpretavive conherence incorrectly” and everyone will gather under this banner?

    You avoid the mertis. This fight cannot be won on that framing. Best of luck to you in your effort to alientate all but the most devoted.

  5. So, Jeff, you think this sentence is a coherent rallying cry?

    “The erosion of our Constitutional protections is tied directly to the linguistically incoherent procedures we’ve at various times legitimated; the originalist view, which coincides with the intentionalist idea of interpretative coherence and legitimacy, stands as a bullwark against motivated rewritings disguised as interpretation.”

    Were I interested in writing bumper stickers or crafting “rallying cries” I’d likely put it a different way.

    But when I’m explaining the hows and whys of the trajectory that has compelled us now to beg back lost liberties, taken from us by way of the same bumper sticker bromides disguised as coherent thought you seem to favor, I use different language.

    Because my objective here is to explain and analyze, not to create “rallying cries” for people who treat my liberties as part of a team sport.

  6. Best of luck to you in your effort to alientate all but the most devoted.

    This is why we’ve already lost.

  7. Christ almighty Mark, must everything in the world be a rallying cry? Or, in the alternative, are we permitted to attempt to understand what moves beneath our feet, even at the risk it takes more than five words to express what we discover? Shit, man.

  8. Oh, covered, I see. Sorry for the redundancy.

  9. Here, everyone. Ignore my post, with its big words and nettlesome linguistic observations that take a bit of time to get through.

    Instead, go with this rallying cry: “Obama must be defeated, and Mitt is electable! So whaddya say? GOOOOOO TEEEEEAAAAAAMMMMM!”

  10. I’m thinking that “I want to fuck for free” would make a cool bumper sticker.

  11. And with that, I’m about spent. To think, I spent an hour and put some thought into answering a question, when all that was really necessary was a “NO-BAMA!” with a line through the O.

    Goodnight, Gracie!

  12. Here, everyone. Ignore my post, with its big words and nettlesome linguistic observations that take a bit of time to get through.

    crap. Couldn’t you have posted THAT sooner?

  13. Well, heh, anyhow, the exposure of one of Hobbes’ fundamental problems remains: what to do about the dope who can’t discern the best means to his self-preservation? Poor sot is screwed, everywhich-a-way.

  14. I would pause here to mention how none of this movement toward dictatorship and the deconstruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would have been nearly as likely had we not …

    But, of course, how do we put that genii back in the bottle when most people are pretty much unaware of what the Constitution and Bill of Rights enumerated? I think anyone – with a brain – who studies the works of our founding fathers, etc, must come to one of two conclusions; either we’ve gone completely off the rails, or that a socialist society is better than the one originally created.

    Once people know firmly where they stand, I think the debates could be much more fruitful.

  15. Here, everyone. Ignore my post, with its big words and nettlesome linguistic observations that take a bit of time to get through.

    You’re too hard on us. Usually one of these pieces, I need skim, then skip back and forth, and then finally study individual paragraphs.

    With “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”in the background, which is making me dumber by the moment.

    It’s a process, and a stupid joke or two helps me relax.

  16. Everyone knows that this administration has the keenest, most razor sharp economic intellect EVER!!!
    So they must know that abortion is way cheaper than the cost of check ups and tonsil removals over the next 18 years. Thus the big bad insurance industry (which just rolled over and took a big domestic object in the backside… the removal of which would be covered if was is a whoopsie in West Hollywood, but proving that corporations are not people should be painful, so take it in the butt Big Insurance)
    Maybe we can make a new czar to create a bureaucracy within the Postal Service that provides daily delivery and administration of the pill curbside. With a crack enforcement wing led by all the ICE agents we’ll no longer need when we open the border. (net SAVINGS!!) tailing along to force those meds down if need be.
    Maybe outfit serial offenders with ankle monitors that calculate fertility and if the fecund little wench strays out on the town; gets a little drunk and gets herself some…. the RU 486 SWAT team can kick in the door. (Savings!!!)
    Plus MSNBC bonus count of jobs saved or created.

    Really this administration has no idea how much the SAVINGS!!!! (don’t check our math) or costs (shhhh) will be even after three days of Tim Geitner staying up all night on his Turbo Tax crunching numbers with Maxine Waters’ crack staff.
    Nobody knows yet and it’ll never be exact.
    The insurance actuaries will figure a way to do as ordered by their overlords and then hide… I mean spread out, any and all possible costs into every other category, because God knows women should be free from the bondage of paying $9 a month out of their own pocket.

    All that rambling aside, I’m with Jeff here on drawing a line now and then start walking this thing back.

    The government does not have the right to insert itself so deeply into anyone’s life… even as some of us continue to allow, and invite it to. Government should be in the big business of saying “that is not our job and is outside the scope of the Constitution”

  17. “there is an expected savings from one of the pricier payouts for insurers – the cost of pregnancy and childbirth, especially complicated pregnancy and childbirth, and the extraordinarily high expenses associated with premature delivery of a baby (who is generally added to the parents insurance without any exclusions possible for the insurer, and whose care may rapidly mount into the hundred of thousands and even millions in rare cases over time).”

    what if normal child birth wasn’t covered? what if the insurance was there only for “especially complicated pregnancy and childbirth, and the extraordinarily high expenses associated premature delivery of a baby”? this would be more in line with the original intention of insurance.

  18. I feel the video coming on.

  19. The coupling between ownership over meaning and individual autonomy, as I’ve repeatedly tried to explain over the years, is foundational to our constitutional republic as envisioned by the Declaration; just as the move to make “interpretation” as an operation a matter of motivated consensus at the expense of the individual — now bracketed as his words become public, and his signs are reduced to signifiers then reconfigured as new signs by various interpretive communities seeking to marshal them for their own purposes — is anathema to a society that claims to stand for the rights of the individual.

    This analysis is so crucial to understanding what is happening to us and how we can advance our classical liberal ideals, and so well supported by data, observation, and logical development, that it is really hard for me to understand how people can stay with the contra case. I’m reminded of a plot element in a Douglas Adams story in which an entrepeneur becomes very wealthy by building a software company which is a commercial failure, yet is tremendously successful. Thanks to Uncle Sugar. The software allows you to start with your desired conclusion, and then it works backward to produce a seemingly logical argument.

  20. If “bending the cost curve” is the prime directive of the law then the end choice is simplified as all births become a burdensome expense for the insurer and all deaths become a boon. Humans are the problem, the cost that must be controlled and so must be minimized. The culture of death is a logical consequence of all thought on the left.

  21. Humans are the problem

    Or, on the flip-side, the human problem is the problem. But what, we may ask, is that?

  22. from hhs

    “However, there was no need to adjust premium levels because there was no cost increase as a result of providing coverage of contraceptive services.[3]”

    which directs to “Coalition of Labor Union Women” but thatpdf is from “National Women’s Law Center” which proudly proclaims link

    “2010 The Center’s groundbreaking reports and public awareness campaign on gender disparities in health insurance bring women’s voices into the health care debate and contribute to the passage of landmark legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

    then a stroll over to wapo

    The beauty of this dodge is that it is entirely possible, even likely, that adding the coverage will not raise rates. Easier, cheaper access to contraception means fewer pregnancies. Pregnancies — and the resulting babies — cost insurers far more than birth control pills. For example, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the federal government reported no increase in costs after Congress required coverage of contraceptives for federal employees in 1998. Think of it as immaculate contraceptive coverage.

    link

    so a bunch of lefties claim that following their agenda “saves” money.

  23. http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/02/hypocrisy-of-barack-obama-and-irony.html And we should be attacking Barack Obama on his hypocrisy ever chance we get…

  24. A. Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, VI.II.42
    The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

  25. MarkO did a pretty good job of strangling the thread in it’s crib (deliberately?), and there’s not much to add to what Jeff’s already said. But I’ll try anyways.

    If you’re talking about freedom and not liberty you’ve already lost.

    If you think Mitt Romney is personally (and privately!) more conservative than his big Gov’t Republican record suggests, you’ve already lost.

    If you think Rick Santorum is a big Gov’t Republican, and thus only conservative by reputation, you’ve already lost.

    If you think trying to understand how we got here is a waste of time when we need to be doing something, not only have you already lost, but you don’t even know it.

  26. speaking of mittens

    The Massachusetts law, which essentially mirrored Obama’s proposal, was signed by Romney’s predecessor in 2002, the year before he took office. Romney did not seek its repeal…

    While Romney was largely silent on the contraceptive coverage mandate, he fought a much more public battle over whether to require hospitals in Massachusetts to dispense emergency contraception to rape victims.

    For Romney, the episode pitted his pledge to expand access to emergency contraception against another campaign promise not to change the state’s abortion laws.

    In the end Romney vetoed the bill, but declined to press any legal challenge to the new law once his veto was overturned by state lawmakers…

    The debate stretches back to 2002, when Romney, then a Republican candidate for governor, answered “yes” on a candidate questionnaire distributed by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts that asked whether he would support increased access to emergency contraception.

    link

  27. I guess MarkO is okay with rallying around a cry, without understanding why everyone is rallying, as long as the cry is catchy.

    I dunno about anyone else, but if the rallying cry is “burn the witch” I’m going to damn well want proof the witch weighs less than a duck.

  28. guess MarkO is okay with rallying around a cry, without understanding why everyone is rallying, as long as the cry is catchy.

    I think the problem is that the opposition isn’t used to doing much more than responding to arguments with bumpersticker lines. When you hear your own side demanding that you do the same, it is demoralizing.

    Even that fat fuch on “the Five” made the argument the other day that he thought this abortion issue would ‘play well’ for them come November. I mean, cripes, that’s all they’re really concerned about, isn’t it.

  29. check this out http://www.adamcarolla.com/dr-drew/
    scroll way ahead to 1:13:15 listen to Carolla rip everyone a new one.

    In his rant on the erosion of basic liberty ie: $1000 fine to throw a frisbee on the beach in LA County, Carolla says that the NRA got one thing very right. The NRA drew a line on the second amendment and fights it every step of the way

  30. I meant that the NRA fights for Second Amendment rights and liberties for the individual every step of the way.
    (And that one is a dogfight every single day)

  31. Sounds to me like MarkO needs to start his own blog, where he can frame and construct the correct rallying cry that will bring big government to it’s knees.

    Come on Mark, just do it! Show us how to save the world!

  32. Hey newrouter, haven’t you been paying attention. Focusing on the minutiae like that isn’t fundamentally unserious.

    It’s all about the proper framing you see:

    Obama very bad man
    any one better than Obama

    (Including, it would appear, a guy who’s only problem with Obama seems to be he’s not doing it right —too much transformativeness— not enough attention to the details, but hey, that’s why we need executive experience, soes we can execute, oh and administer the apparat too I s’pose but hey, he’s got the proper label!)

    we win by losing!

  33. We just go back from the Cathedral in Tulsa, so I thought I’d share the Bishop’s letter:

    February 2, 2012
    Solemnity of the Presentation of Our Lord

    To all the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Tulsa,

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

    These are dire times in which we live and dire times require that we not mince words but speak with authority when it comes to matters of faith, conscience and truth.

    I wish to join the Bishops of this country in expressing my fear that religious liberty in the United States is even now under attack from those elected officials whose duty it is to protect the inalienable right we have from God to worship Him and to defend the Constitution of the United States which guarantees that our right of conscience may neither be violated nor held in contempt.

    With the Bishops and with all right thinking Americans, I protest as strongly as I can the decision made by the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services on January 20 which will require every Catholic in the United States to violate his or her Christian conscience and support abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, unnatural chemical contraception and direct sterilization.

    As you know, in 2010 President Obama signed into law the Health Care Reform Act. This Act, the legality of which has already been challenged in the Supreme Court, makes it compulsory for every citizen to buy or procure health insurance. This same law gives to President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, unprecedented power over all health insurance. On January 20, Ms. Sebelius issued a ruling that will require every insurance policy – even policies issued privately – to cover the cost of those actions which are in themselves always and everywhere immoral and contrary to the law of God.

    This means that all of our Catholic schools and hospitals, our charitable agencies and welfare institutions, our dioceses and all our parishes will be required to cover the complete cost of chemical contraception, sterilization and abortion. If this mandate is not overturned, we Catholics will be compelled by law either to violate our conscience in a matter of grave sin, or to cancel the health insurance we offer to those who work for the Church, or for the hospitals, schools and agencies through which the Church exercises it mission.

    Until now, nonprofit religious institutions have always had the right to exempt themselves from having to offer coverage if it contradicts their basic religious beliefs or violates their conscience. This right was guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is no longer the case. Sebelius’ January 20 decision gives us one year to comply or suffer the consequences.

    As your bishop, I want to make it clear that I consider this mandate unconstitutional, unjust and evil.

    This mandate is unconstitutional because it does not allow us the full and unfettered practice of our faith. The religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is not simply the freedom to worship God on Sunday morning, but also the freedom to worship Him by living moral lives. No Catholic can claim to live a moral life and at the same time support contraception, direct sterilization and abortion. The first amendment guarantees us the freedom not to participate in health care plans that would require us to insure and pay for actions that are gravely sinful.

    Because this mandate is unconstitutional, we will refuse to comply with it.

    This mandate is evil, because not only does it require that all Catholics cooperate in sin by providing for and paying for coverage for gravely immoral actions which have as their final end the destruction of human life, but also by requiring that Catholics who do not cooperate in this should be punished. Were we to comply with this law, we would offend God and imperil our souls. We will not comply.

    This mandate is unjust because it imposes a secular definition of religious freedom that makes it a crime to practice our faith in the public square. It is the Church – not the government – which has the right to determine how and when we practice our faith. In this matter, President Obama’s administration has overstepped its authority. This is what Pope Leo XIII cautioned against when he wrote over a hundred years ago: “if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, then those rulers exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice. Nor can their authority be valid, since authority without justice is null.”

    From the founding of our nation, we Catholic have always obeyed the laws. But this law, we cannot obey.

    I ask you as a fellow American, I beg you as your Bishop, pray and do penance that this matter be resolved according to God’s will. I also hope you will contact your senators and congressmen in Washington to protest this outrage against our religious liberty and demand that this decision be overturned.

    In this difficulty as in all things, let us place our confidence in Jesus.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery
    Bishop of Tulsa -

  34. I’d started this but i’m not quite sure

    If you try to recast the contra argument in mathematical terms the inanity is clear. Assume we agree on what “parallel” and “lines”individually mean, then I can make the statement that “two parallel lines never intersect” and because I intend that statement to be interpreted in the context of a Euclidean mathematics, the statement is demonstrably true. However, a different mathematician, agreeing on what “parallel” and “lines”individually mean, but not knowing my intent, and operating under the Reimann mathematics assumption, would argue that the statement is in general false.

    How in great googlie’s ghost does it factor in that one of the mathematicians is a two-fer?

    Power. Power power power.

  35. I ask you as a fellow American, I beg you as your Bishop, pray and do penance that this matter be resolved according to God’s will. I also hope you will contact your senators and congressmen in Washington to protest this outrage against our religious liberty and demand that this decision be overturned.

    Is that enough? I wonder. Perhaps it is as far as the Bishop can safely tread, so far as his direct participation in politics is concerned. But is it far enough for the parishioner, who is also a citizen? I think not.

  36. newrouter, that’s very interesting.

    Mitt vetoed a contraceptives bill on principle, but signed Romneycare because it was the best deal he could get.

    So much for the realpolitik excuse for signing Romneycare.

  37. Thanks leigh, excellent and powerful.

  38. As your bishop, I want to make it clear that I consider this mandate unconstitutional, unjust and evil.

    From the founding of our nation, we Catholic have always obeyed the laws. But this law, we cannot obey.

    I thought it was a very strongly worded letter, especially these two sections I have blockquoted. Bishop Slattery gave a homily today that was a take on the gospel reading of the Prodigal Son (the Mass was for the teens who are to make their Confirmation in April). It was well done conversational in tone for the audience but, with an emphasis on duty and forgiveness.

    He is originally from the wards in Chicago and is 71 years old. I think if more forceful calls to duty are needed, he’s our man.

  39. You’re welcome, motionview (ya heathen! Just kidding, buddy)

  40. Pingback: Because this mandate is unconstitutional, we will refuse to comply with it. | Atheists For Santorum

  41. And in fact, he has done more than that. I referred above to using the term “insurance companies” loosely, because Obama has just made crystal clear that “insurance” is not what we will be paying for under ObamaCare. With actual “insurance,” the insured cannot expect to line up for “free” goodies mandated – arbitrarily, and at any time – by the government. An insurance contract is finite and specific. The insured pays a premium; the insurer makes defined pay-outs in the case of a contingency. In most cases, for the average person, the contingency is a major personal setback of some kind: an auto accident, the house burning down, being diagnosed with cancer.

    If the federal government can step in and arbitrarily require a company to provide things for “free” that were previously elective, premium-based services, then it is no longer an insurance company. We are not buying insurance from it; we are simply participating in a mandatory government program whose features can be changed at any time, regardless of what we or the “insurers” want. There is no contract. There are only the one-sided decisions of bureaucrats and future presidents.

    link

  42. Ooo! My first link! Thankee, mv!

  43. If the federal government can step in and arbitrarily require [an insurance] company to provide things for “free” [...] then it is no longer an insurance company [and] [w]e are not buying insurance from it[.] [W]e are simply participating in a mandatory government program whose features can be changed at any time[.] There is no contract. There are only the one-sided decisions of bureaucrats and future presidents.

    The author says that like it’s a bad thing, as if it were a bug and not feature.

  44. “Rallying cries” are how you energize a mob. Mobs give you the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

    Thoughtful essays reflecting on what has happened, what we stand to lose, and what we hope to preserve and gain are how you get informed citizens. Informed citizens give you the American Revolution and the Constitution.

  45. Absent an underlying principle that may require volumes to lay out, a rallying cry is an empty howl.

    This is why any productive enterprise needs both an R&D department and a marketing department.

  46. I peronally like these:
    “Don’t Tread On Me”
    “Live Free Or Die”

    Of course you do need to do a bit of book-learnin’ to get there.

  47. Crawford and McGehee, we all know Thomas Paine’s pamphleteering had absolutely nothing to do with rallying citizens for the Revolutionary War. No underlying principles were discussed. The pages were filled with bullet points of simple slogans for the masses.

  48. btw, Sarah’s speech started slow but ended pretty strong.

    Just saw a replay of a speech by Governor Jindal. I was impressed with both content and delivery.

  49. lame thinking cont.

    Discussing the issue on Fox News following the announcement, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee echoed this argument: “I am an employer. So my question is, do I now have the right to say, ‘Look, I don’t want to provide something [like Plan B] that I find morally repugnant and morally reprehensible.’”

    Answer: if I had to pay for the Iraq War, then no, you don’t have that right. (By the way, the Catholic Church opposed the Iraq War.)

    If you accept the argument that the government can’t make an individual pay for policies he or she finds morally repugnant, then that would mean I shouldn’t have to pay taxes if I am living in a state that executes people, since I find the death penalty morally repugnant. (The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty too.)

    Conservatives will argue that paying taxes is different from buying an insurance policy, but really it isn’t. The concept is the same. At times, as citizens of this country we are forced to pay for things we don’t like, or even morally oppose, because our duly elected officials make decisions with which we disagree. The onus is on citizens to persuade the government to abandon policies that we find repugnant or to work to get them out of office.

    link

  50. “Conservatives will argue that paying taxes is different from buying an insurance policy, but really it isn’t.”

    “insurance” is what ever you want it to be i guess.

  51. Oh please. As if there is even ONE person in this country that gets pregnant because, “Golly, if only I could afford birth control”. Planned parenthood gives it away, basically for free, if you cannot afford it.

    No costs would go down. PERIOD.

    I do like Jeff’s take that, REGARDLESS of costs going up or down, you don’t give up your freedom for the mere hope that costs go down. BUT, when it is virtually impossible that costs could go down from common sense and logic, you stop there.

  52. Discussing the issue on Fox News following the announcement, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee echoed this argument: “I am an employer. So my question is, do I now have the right to say, ‘Look, I don’t want to provide something [like Plan B] that I find morally repugnant and morally reprehensible.’”

    Answer: if I had to pay for the Iraq War, then no, you don’t have that right. (By the way, the Catholic Church opposed the Iraq War.)

    If you accept the argument that the government can’t make an individual pay for policies he or she finds morally repugnant, then that would mean I shouldn’t have to pay taxes if I am living in a state that executes people, since I find the death penalty morally repugnant. (The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty too.)

    Conservatives will argue that paying taxes is different from buying an insurance policy, but really it isn’t. The concept is the same. At times, as citizens of this country we are forced to pay for things we don’t like, or even morally oppose, because our duly elected officials make decisions with which we disagree. The onus is on citizens to persuade the government to abandon policies that we find repugnant or to work to get them out of office.

    Oh, bullshit. Taxes and private payments are most definitely completely different animals. Yeah, the government does a lot of things with our tax money that many people disagree with. But regardelss of what they use my taxes for, the tax laws are constitutional and I have to pay those taxes, regardless.

    It is completely different to force people to buy something or pay for something on the private market that you disagree with.

  53. doubling down on stupid

    Despite renewed statements of concern by Catholic leaders, the Obama administration is done negotiating and will finalize its plan requiring insurance companies to provide free contraception to women working and studying at religious institutions, President Obama’s chief of staff said Sunday.

    Jacob Lew told “Fox News Sunday” that the compromise offered last week to address objections by the Catholic Church is clear and consistent with the president’s “very deep belief that a woman has a right to all forms of preventive health care, including contraception.”

    “We have set out our policy,” Lew said. “We are going to finalize it in the final rules, but I think what the president announced on Friday is a balanced approach that meets the concerns raised both in terms of access to health care and in terms of protecting religious liberties, and we think that’s the right approach.”

    link

  54. …there is an expected savings from one of the pricier payouts for insurers – the cost of pregnancy and childbirth, especially complicated pregnancy and childbirth…

    I very seriously doubt this. The standard oral contraceptive is only, what, $30, $40 per month? We aren’t talking about homeless women here…the issue is providing this “coverage” free to women that have jobs good enough that they offer some sort of health insurance. The women who will benefit from this mandate likely are already using birth control if they are so inclined.

  55. But regardless of what they use my taxes for, the tax laws are constitutional and I have to pay those taxes, regardless.

    Not if you’re a church, of course. That would be unconstitutional. Which further illustrates the nonsensical nature of the bullshit argument.

  56. From newrouter’s quote and link just above [my emphasis]:

    Jacob Lew told “Fox News Sunday” that the compromise offered last week to address objections by the Catholic Church is clear and consistent with the president’s “very deep belief that a woman has a right to all forms of preventive health care, including contraception.”

    Pay close attention to the words bolded above. This looks to be an honest formulation of the policy, which we see — again, if we look closely — is a dictatorial policy on its face: for it is based solely on “the president’s ‘very deep belief…'”.

    Maybe I’ve missed something in Article II, but I cannot recall the Constitution granting the chief executive a power to institute “rights”, not even “rights” about which he holds a “very deep belief”.

    Now, such behavior, is of course not unknown to us. It is as such a behavior which constitutes a commonplace in tyrannies we’ve seen across the world and throughout time. The tyrant has a will. Upon his will he acts as he and he alone, sees fit. What, however, could be a more arbitrary source of governance than the will of a single soul?

  57. I cannot recall the Constitution granting the chief executive a power to institute “rights”, not even “rights” about which he holds a “very deep belief”.

    You can’t find it because those stupid Founders didn’t anticipate the glory that is Teh Won.

  58. “…those stupid Founders didn’t anticipate the glory that is Teh Won.”

    Not that I relish being disagreeable toward a light-hearted comment . . . but . . . (and you know what comes next!) . . .

    Oh, yes they did!

  59. Not only did they anticipate, they were actually reacting to Teh Won…otherwise known as the King of England.

  60. I’m feeling generous this morning, sdferr, so I thought I’d lob you a softball.

  61. King George the III of England had Barack Obama one better: monarchical legitimacy! Dear King Obama is merely an interloper on the stage of government in America. A low born, loathsome ne’er do well, soon to fade into black.

  62. Heh. You racist, you.

  63. Oh, btw, the homily today was all about the Bishop’s letter. Message: Game on!

  64. In #52 if the “Answer” section is what Huckabee said then he is more stupid than I had thought he was. If that section was by someone else then I apologize to Mr. Huckabee but wonder why he didn’t dispute the “answer”.

    There is a difference morally, a difference in my personal culpability, between the government executing a criminal and the government requiring me to execute someone personally or requiring me to furnish the gun and bullets personally to someone who wishes to execute another.

  65. Yeah geoffb, that’s Kirsten Powers’ voice, not Huckabee’s.

  66. Thanks it wasn’t clear from the comment to me.

    In other news:

    Ya know, that Plato’s City’s burning, babe.

    There ain’t a thing in the world they can do.

  67. Some folks can cheer it on, Geoff.
    http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/

  68. Protesting math with arson. That’s sure to solve something.

  69. Federalist No. 10

    By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

    There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

    There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

    It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

    The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

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