[ExI] age of mockery

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Oct 19 04:28:42 UTC 2012

>... On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
Subject: Re: [ExI] age of mockery

On 18/10/2012 15:56, spike wrote:
>> ...There is a fundamental disconnect between the Brits and the Yanks. We 
> do not beg Her Majesty, our Parliament, our congress, or anyone else, 
> for anything found in the Bill of Rights...

>...While I am a fan of good, clear liberal democratic constitutions like
the US one, there are plenty of devils hiding in the practical details...

Oy vey, ja.  Example, the recent experience with the US supreme court
deciding on the constitutionality of the health care law.

 >...As any lawyer can tell you, the nature and interpretation of the
constitution is pretty dynamic. Hence how "interstate commerce" can excuse
nearly any bizarre federal regulation...

This really worried me that the SCOTUS would find the health care law
constitutional on the interstate commerce clause.  Had they done this, it
would have opened the door to the fed doing pretty much anything it wanted,
then coming up with some tortured line of reasoning that it was based on
regulating interstate commerce.  As it is, the law was upheld, sorta.  They
declared the penalty for not buying health insurance a tax, then set the tax
so low it is waaaaay cheaper than buying the insurance.  How is that going
to work?  

>... People love to claim something is unconstitutional, but how often are
such claims actually upheld by the courts?

Not nearly often enough, tragically.  However I have a lot of new hope.

>>... The government does not have the right to infringe upon those rights,
not now, not later, case closed.

>...This is a moral claim, not a legal one...

As I read the language of the Bill of Rights, it feels like a legal and
moral claim.  Of course I am not a lawyer.

>... Yes, if the government infringes on the rights it is acting morally
wrong (even if someone does not buy the view that the constitution is
morally True, if a government has agreed to being bound by the constitution
it would be breaking its promise if it broke the constitution)... Anders

Ja, and you make an excellent point.  The original comment was a reply to a
comment about the government having more and better guns, etc.  But my
notion is that if the government began issuing blatantly illegal orders to
the military, that government would no longer have those more and better

I have known a number of military people over the years, and I must give the
military credit where it is due: they do an excellent job of training their
people, both officers and enlisted, that their duty is to the constitution,
not to their commanders.  They are trained to follow their orders, but also
to recognize illegal orders, regardless of who issues them.  Any order that
countermands any of the rights guaranteed by the constitution are illegal

So now we have a constitution carefully designed by a group of guys who
fought what they saw as an out-of-control government, to prevent the new
government from going out of control itself.  And today, anyone who insists
on all the restrictions carefully designed by those guys are called Tea
Partiers.  Hmmm, OK cool, I wear that label with pride.  I think it's a
great constitution.

In my next post I will steer back to the mockery concept which is really
what started the discussion.


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