Until Midterm Elections...

Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Guns and Gays - What the Upcoming Supreme Court Might Term Mean

In all the media frenzy surrounding the Judge Sotomayor hearings, an interesting discussion on three very important cased the Court will be hearing this term has gone almost unnoticed.

The Court in the October 2009 term will be hearing three cases that could transform American jurisprudence for the future. Two of the cases are dealing with the application of the Second Amendment to the various States (NRA v. Chicago and McDonald v. Chicago) and third is closely related and deals with the right to self-defense (Maloney v. Rice).

However, the ruling of the Supreme Court on these three cases could have far-reaching effects beyond just guns and nunchucku.

I have no doubt that the conservatives on the Court have a desire to apply the Second Amendment to the States (this does not include Justice Kennedy because we can never be sure what side he will vote with), but they have a Constitutional dilemma on their hands.

The first problem deals with the language of the Constitution itself. The Founders included the Second Amendment as a check against the national government in much the same way they included such a check in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments and included the Ninth and Tenth Amendment to preserve power to the States that are not listed in the Constitution itself.

As the Twentieth Century progressed, the Court adopted the “incorporation doctrine” to apply many of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution to the States. This doctrine was laid out in Gitlow v. New York (1925) as the First Amendment was applied to the States by a 7-2 majority. The justification of this doctrine, according to the majority, was the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This move overturned the precedent set in Barron v. Baltimore (1833), which ruled the Bill of Rights only applied to the national government.

As time progressed, the incorporation doctrine began to include the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was used in Mapp v. Ohio (1963), Miranda v. Arizona (1966) and Gideon v. Wainright (1963). At this time, conservatives began calling for the reigning in of these clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment.

This leads to the second problem conservatives have in trying to incorporate the Second Amendment. If they use the “equal protection” or “due process” clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, they will become hypocritical due to the accusation they have leveled at liberals and their use of the Fourteenth Amendment, which has led to the label of liberal jurists as activists.

The only other mechanism the conservatives have would be the use of the “privileges and immunities clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, this clause was rendered a dead letter in the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873. This is the third problem, but one the conservatives might be willing to change in order to incorporate the Second Amendment to the States.

Article Four’s Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution reads, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” While the Fourteenth Amendment similar Clause reads, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” Furthermore, the Fourteenth Amendment defines citizenship as “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The interesting difference between Article Four’s and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities statements is the use of citizenship. The main difference is that Article Four reserves citizenship to the States while the Fourteenth Amendment defines national citizenship as well.

The Slaughterhouse Cases deemed that only national rights applied to national citizens, which essentially declared the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause a dead letter since the Constitution does not mention the existence of national rights.

However, there seems to be a sentiment, especially among conservatives, to revisit the Slaughterhouse Cases. In his dissent in Saenz v. Roe (1999), Justice Thomas indicated he would be willing to revisit the 1873 cases if an appropriate case came before the Court. The three cases mentioned above for this term seem like they could be appropriate cases for such a reexamination.

I have no doubt the two Chicago cases will be prime examples for the conservatives to bring the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause back to life. While dancing around the issue in D.C. v. Heller (2007), the conservative justices will not be able to do so this time around. They will either rule that the Second Amendment is not applicable to the States (unlikely) or that since each state citizen is also a national citizen, each citizen of the United States will have the right to own a gun through the Fourteenth Amendment’s clause (likely).

While I might disagree with the nature of gun ownership, the activist legal philosophy behind this move is just as Constitutionally sound as decisions I have supported including Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Roe. v. Wade (1973). While the clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment used to develop a national right might be different, the application results are the same.

The most interesting discussion could occur, however, in Maloney. Mr. Maloney was arrested for having nunchucku, which are illegal under current New York law. However, advocates for Mr. Maloney have argued in the petitioner’s merit brief, that Mr. Maloney owned the Asian weapon for self-defense purposes only and, they further argue, the right to individual self-defense is part of the Second Amendment.

This is where it gets interesting because nowhere in the Second Amendment, nor anywhere else in the Constitution, is a right to individual self-defense mentioned or hinted at by the Founders. The Second Amendment mentions the right of a State to defend itself (“well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”). However, the amendment says nothing as to the right being a national right. The "right of the people to keep and bear arms" is a freedom from the national government infringing on the right, which Heller made perfectly clear on the DC handgun ban. There is, however, nothing in the text of the amendment nor in the discussion by the Founders that implied the states would not be able to restrict gun rights. Therefore, there is nothing in the Constitution or the writings of the Founding Fathers that mentions a national right for guns and self-defense. This is a power reserved to the various States.

The only rational basis for creating a national right to self-defense would be the fact that 47 States specifically mention the right to self-defense in their State constitutions. Therefore, in order to protect the “privileges and immunities” of United States citizens moving across State boundaries, the right to self-defense must be nationalized.

Again, it would be hard for me to complain about this activist legal reasoning just because I believe in gun regulations. After all, this is almost the same reasoning that was used to create the national right to privacy in Griswold, albeit with the use of a different clause from Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Griswold, the Court reasoned that the Founders strongly supported a right to privacy (it is mentioned in two-thirds of the Federalist Papers). In addition, 45 States specifically listed a right to privacy in their constitutions. The Court then nationalized the right as it extended the privacy right to include medical records, especially in the areas of contraception and conception. This reasoning matches Maloney and a right to privacy almost perfectly. The only difference being is that the liberal jurists supported Griswold and the conservative jurists line up in favor or Maloney.

What I find interesting, is that a favorable ruling for Mr. Maloney would create a unanimous Court for creating new national rights that are not found in the text of the Constitution. Whether it be the use of the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the Equal Protection Clause or the Due Process Clause, the Court would be unanimous in its activism.

This brings me to gay marriage. Since every State allows for marriage and each citizen of the United States is guaranteed the full “privileges and immunities” afforded to citizens of a certain State and gay people are also citizens of the United States, then it should follow that no State can deny a gay couple the right to marry so long as they allow any type of marriage within their State boundaries.

The reasoning is the same and the logical conclusion supports both the conservative and liberal constitutional philosophies. To agree with one application and disagree with the other is to not let the facts judge themselves, which is what justices are supposed to do, right? Any other conclusion would show a bias towards guns or gay marriage and bias does not exist in the conservative world.

Who could have predicted that the right to gay marriage and the right to own a gun for self-defense were so connected? Of course, Justice Kennedy could destroy my entire post by voting with the liberal justices in all three cases.

This is one umpire’s view of the Constitutional questions brought forth and the Court’s upcoming cases.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gun Control: Necessary for safety or harbinger of harm?

There is a topic that has yet to be discussed in any detail on this blog and it is the idea of Gun Control. Claire McCaskill and others recently voted to keep people with concealed-carry permits from taking their permit and gun across state lines. I think that through the 14th amendment and the 2 amendment, it is common sense to see that law-abiding citizens who pass certain tests and have a background check should be allowed to keep their firearms with them at all times.

Seriously, if somebody at Virginia Tech had been packing when that gunman opened fire, maybe only a fraction of the students who were slaughtered would have been. Not even the security guards there were allowed guns.

It is not the gun that does the killing. Its the person who pulls the trigger.

SJ always likes to point out that when the 2nd amendment was written, there was still a prevailing sense of vulnerability among the several states due to our youth as a nation. People wanted to be able to protect themselves from invading forces. But what difference does it make if your home is being invaded by a Redcoat or a burglar? Do we not still have reason to want protection? Are we not a free and independent people? Can we not demand the right to defend ourselves and our loved ones and property from wrong-doers?

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the government went around stealing people's guns...for their safety! That is ludicrous! How are we expected to be safer without arms for defense?

I feel like the right to bear arms is pretty much stated verbatim in the Consitution, yet liberals and other gun control advocates twist themselves into knots to interpret that there is no right to own a gun! I don't understand. If the liberals who read this blog would like to share their reasoning, I'd sure like to try to understand.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste…

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity. What used to be long-term problems -- be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area -- things that we had postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate and must be dealt with. And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before.” ~ Rahm Emanuel, Obama Chief of Staff

Dear readers, this quote from Rahm Emanuel says it all. This is the Obama political philosophy. In fact, this has been the prevailing political philosophy since November 2008, when Mr. Emanuel uttered these now infamous words, and former President Bush, looking frazzled, scared, and tired, proclaimed that in order to save the free market, he was going to abandon free market principles.

I want to get that out of the way up front; because I just know that many on the left will try and characterize me as a Bush sycophant, even though I have proven time and again that I am anything but. Bush screwed up. I acknowledge that. It does not give Obama the right to also screw up in the same way. Ok.

How many God-forsaken crises must we tolerate from this current administration? You realize that we have been in a perpetual crisis for many years, but especially now that Obama is president?

We HAD to do TARP. We HAD to force banks to take bailout money. Bank of America HAD to buy Merrill Lynch. We HAD to step in and take over Chrysler and GM. It was a CRISIS! The whole world was about to collapse in on itself if we didn’t give the government the ability to act in all these unconstitutional ways RIGHT NOW!!!

We now know that these were all lies to get us, the public, to concede to ever increasing government action. Ford took no bailout money and now they are stronger than ever. In a poll out April of 2009, Americans were 70% more likely to buy a Ford than a Chrysler or GM vehicle. Difference? No government ownership. Our financial system did not collapse right away when Congress initially balked at the idea of TARP. We did it anyways. Many of the banks who were literally forced to take money by Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary, did not want to and have tried to give it back to avoid any connection with the government.

But still, the crisis perpetuates. We were told that we HAD to pass an $800 Billion “stimulus bill” RIGHT NOW or else COLLAPSE! We were told that we were facing the Great Depression Redux! (Another lie perpetuated by Obama. We STILL are not as bad off as we were in 1981 when Reagan took over and began the cleanup of Carter’s mess). Nevertheless, we had not a moment to lose! If we didn’t pass Obama’s stimulus bill without even reading it, elderly people would be dying in the streets! Kids would have no education or healthcare! Puppies would be destroyed by wandering vagrants! (Ok, that last bit wasn’t said, but it certainly felt like that was a possibility if you listened to Obama go on about it). We asked Obama, “Oh dear leader, how will we know when your magical stimulus bill is working? What will we use to gauge your omnipotent presence and skills?” Obama told us one word: Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Remember that we were warned by Obama that if we did not Pass His Stimulus Bill Right Away Without Any Reading Or Debate we would face such horrible unemployment as 8.0%! (its now 9.5% and climbing). When presented with this staggeringly clear example of his own bill’s failure, Obama says that his bill is working just fine, and as intended. Indeed, Biden says that to those of us who question whether his administration’s policies are working, we are to “look around!” Enjoy all that His wondrous works have beheld. Look around at what Joe? 9.5% unemployment? Record levels of people remaining on the dole? Rising debt and projections that are just unfathomably high? (Some estimates put the total future debt from TARP at $23.7 Trillion, yes, with a “T”) Mr. Biden seems to have “open mouth-insert foot” disease worse than any politician, well pretty much ever. He admits that they “guessed wrong” about how bad the economy was.

GUESSED WRONG!?! They were telling us it was the worst economy since the GREAT DEPRESSION!!! How much more bad will it get? (This is another absurdity upon itself. The unemployment for the 8 years of FDR’s presidency prior to the war getting us out of the depression never dropped below 14% and was in the low 20s for many of those years). And these are the best and brightest economic minds? Holy crap, we are screwed guys.

But guess what, the crisis continues! Even after an $800 billion stimulus, a $500 billion “omnibus” and a 2010 budget that PLANS on being $1.8 trillion in the red, WE ARE STILL IN CRISIS! OUR ENVIRONMENT IS BEING DESTROYED BY EEEEEEVIL CAPITALISM! So we have to pass Cap and Trade! Again, without even reading the freaking bill, as it was not yet even finished being WRITTEN, our wonderful congressmen in the House voted to pass the Waxman Markey legislation that by all accounts will increase electricity rates by 90%, gas and oil by 55%, and will have such a ripple effect throughout the economy on the prices of anything that gets shipped…so pretty much ALL goods, that the Heritage Foundation projects an annual GDP loss of over $200 billion. Not to mention that for every “green job” this bill is designed to create, we can expect, from Spain’s own research and example, to lose 2.2 jobs. All of this so that maybe we could lower the temperature of Earth by .02 degrees C in 50 years.

But WE HAD TO DO IT! No choice in the matter! No time for debate, or even reading the bill! Our very future was at stake!

And people wanted to call Bush a fear-monger.

But my friends and dear readers…this man is not finished. Now, we are engaged in a ferocious debate over nationalized healthcare. Obama is going on the stump, he is in campaign mode. He is all “Si Se Puede” and Hopenchange! Just like October of last year. Go on Youtube and search for his healthcare addresses. It is nothing but the same, predictable, pap. We have to do this, we must fix our healthcare system. The status quo cannot stay. People will die in the streets! Healthcare costs will crush our economy!

And we MUST do this before the August recess! It cannot wait! Never mind such un-totalitarian principles as public debate over issues or letting the people have a say in what their elected representatives are doing. Never mind the fact that Republicans ARE NOT saying they want the status quo to remain. We have to do this now! Our future depends on it! The country is at stake! We don’t have time for silly things like actual cost control or basing our legislation on sounds economic principles or common sense! WE MUST ACT NOW!

The truth is, Obama needs to act before August because his poll numbers are slipping. In a recent Gallop poll, only 49% of Americans viewed Obama’s plan for healthcare favorably, down considerably from just a couple of months ago. His presidential tracking poll number is negative, and has been for a couple of weeks (Rasmussen takes the “Highly favorable” and “Highly Negative” and adds them. Obama has recently been as low as -6%) Obama can’t wait until after the August recess because that will give people like me and other common sense Americans too much time to spread the truth about Obamacare and what it will mean for the quality and availability of healthcare in this country.

We have to stay strong and demand that we at least allow our congress the time it needs to fully vet all the options and issues and costs associated with any new legislation. If during that extra time, it is determined that the American people DO NOT WANT a single payer system (make no mistake, that is the intent of this president and this very legislation being discussed in the House, check out the link I posted on SJ’s most recent post below this one), then we should look at other ways of fixing healthcare. The bottom line is, we need our government to slow down, take a deep breath, and allow us all time to digest what is going on in the houses of government.

Just remember this quote and apply it to what is going on today:

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some random thoughts for the dog days of summer…

NEW COMMENT CONCERNING SENATOR SESSIONS' QUESTIONING OF JUDGE SOTOMAYOR. CAN BE FOUND IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.



Why is it wrong to trust the government?

In a simple answer, it isn’t. I understand that those of the right spend countless hours arguing that we can’t trust the government and spend even more hours worrying about the size of the government. However, it just doesn’t bother me.

The greatest eras of economic growth in America during the twentieth century were linked with government intervention/stimulation of the economy. Of course, no one can prove causation about this and anyone claiming is just nuts. We can’t prove the economy would’ve grown without the intervention nor can we prove the growth would’ve been greater with more intervention. However, the twentieth century unreal overall growth in the American economy and size of government, which means – I don’t actually know. Neither does anyone else.

So why is it wrong for me to want the government to get involved in the health care business? I don’t want to shop around for my own health insurance. I have an agent deal with my home, car and life insurance because I don’t want to deal with it. If the government can provide me a plan that is competitive with the cartel controlled health insurance industry plans, then I have no problem turning that over to them. I already let them build my roads, deliver my mail, navigate plane landings and takeoff, keep my neighborhood safe and many other things. I don’t fear a public option for my health care. In fact, I believe the government might be more willing to cover me than a for-profit private plan.

I understand that people have differing beliefs on this, but don’t criticize my overall trust in government. Just because you don’t, doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t. Isn’t that the essence of freedom of thought?


Sotomayor confirmation hearings.

I don’t understand why the Republicans are even making noise on this one. President Obama has nominated a loose constructionist to replace a loose constructionist. I know the Republicans want strict constructionists on the Court, but they act as if that is the only way to interpret the Constitution. Let’s take a look at other loose constructionists – Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (once he became President), John Marshall, Abraham Lincoln, John Harlan (of Plessy v. Ferguson dissent fame). Yet, to hear the Republicans speak, these men must have worked hard to destroy the Constitution with their wrong interpretations.

I think the Republicans would be better off to not fight the Sotomayor nomination and vote unanimously to confirm. They can save that political capital to fight a possible nomination from President Obama to replace Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy or Justice Thomas if they should leave the Court during this administration’s time in office. If they spend too much on Sotomayor and ultimately lose, then they might not have enough capital left for a real fight. Just food for thought.

The national debt…

We need to something. I don’t know what, but we need to do something. However, for the Republicans to attack social programs and not listen to the need to trim the Department of Defense is the type of single mindedness that has gotten us into this problem. Democrats will never give up social spending as long the Republicans continue to protect Defense from any real reform.


Iran…

I am sick of tired of listening to everyone criticize President Obama for struggling on how to properly react to the events in Iran. I guess Republicans always believe we need to use hard power in all situations. I guess they forgot the failure of the hard power threats from President Bush’s dealings with Iran.


Israel/Palestine Statehood…

Speaking of Iran, we are at an historic moment. The Israelis and Sunni Muslims have a common enemy…Shia Iran. Can we broker this common element into a peace treaty creating a Palestinian state that peacefully coexists with Israel and have the support of the larger Arab world? With this peace, the Sunni and Israelis could work together to isolate Iran and stave off the possibility of a strong Iran, which neither the Israelis nor the Sunni Arabs want.


Ricci…

Just wondering where the conservatives on the Supreme Court found the right to a promotion in the Constitution.


North Korea…

How do we deal with an insane man? A straightjacket…Call the Navy Seals. Still can figure out what the North Koreans want. I still have a hunch this is more about China and North Korea than the United States and North Korea. He knows it would be suicide to actually bomb Hawaii, but knows that he can get attention by making noise about it. What should you do with a child that is doing stuff just get attention? Ignore it or recognize it by punishing it? Don’t know which one is right in this situation. I really don’t think anyone knows.


Michael Jackson…

The man was one of the first to make me fall in love with great music. Thriller came out when I was in junior high and his video releases were can’t miss television on MTV. All these people who are happy a “pedophile” died, I would like to remind you he was found NOT GUILTY in 2005 on those charges. We don’t know what happened and our justice system worked the case out and found the best possible answer to the situation. To say you know what happened is just a flat-out lie.


Truly random stuff…

I fell in love with frozen coffee this summer. Love the coffee and now don’t have to sweat it out to enjoy it when it is 95 degrees outside. QuikTrip comes through again.

The word golf turns out to be Scottish for “bad luck.” At least that is what it has meant for me this summer.

How did they live before that conditioned air stuff that comes into my house? For those who believe that good old days were in the past, then you must live without this wonderfully cool air.

I keep trying new beers, but Guinness keeps remaining my favorite. Is there a beer out there that will make me lower the status of the great Irish stout? Can’t wait to get to Dublin next summer and see my own personal Vatican.

The word golf turns out to be Scottish for “this sucks.” At least that is what it has meant for me this summer.

I heard that St. Louis air quality would always be good in the summer if we didn’t fuel our cars during the daylight hours. It turns out that spilled gasoline instantly turns into ground level ozone when the temperature is higher than 85.

I think the bumper on my car would taste good with hot sauce and/or ketchup on it.

The word golf turns out to be Scottish for “birdie the eighteenth so he keeps coming back.” At least that is what it has meant for me this summer.

Just found out my phone has MusicID on it. Seriously, I'm so psyched!!!

Almost one month away from getting to teach again. Honestly, I can’t wait. Eight weeks is too long to be away from one’s passion/job. We would do better to spread those eight weeks around and go to a year-around schedule. I keep hearing that we can’t do it because of athletics, but what is the purpose of schools again?

I hate listening to other teachers complain that I get to play golf for free. Get a job in the summer at a golf course. It is not really that hard.

Merry Christmas in July.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cap and Trade, National Healthcare, and Obama’s Power Grabs

Well, I’m back from Europe. The trip was excellent and provided a lot of insight into World War II and Cold War history. Since it has been a while since I’ve posted anything, I figured some updates and a more general discussion forum would be a good way to get us through the upcoming days of summer.

Let me begin with Cap and Trade. If you didn’t know, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman Markey Cap and Trade bill on Friday night.

The bill on which they voted was not written yet at the time of the vote. A 300 page amendment to “the bill” was dropped in the hopper at 3:40am on Friday.

I know it doesn’t really mean much, but I’ll throw it out there…Obama himself said that all bills would be posted on one of his websites for 5 days before any votes would happen. This one wasn’t completely written yet before the House voted on it and passed it.

Remember the problems we had regarding the so-called stimulus bill that nobody read? Well at least that bill was completely WRITTEN when it was voted on.

Here is an excerpt from testimony by Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation regarding the costs of this bill:

“What are those costs? According to the analysis we conducted at The Heritage Foundation, which is attached to my written statement, the higher energy costs kick in as soon as the bill's provisions take effect in 2012. For a household of four, energy costs go up $436 that year, and they eventually reach $1,241 in 2035 and average $829 annually over that span. Electricity costs go up 90 percent by 2035, gasoline by 58 percent, and natural gas by 55 percent by 2035. The cumulative higher energy costs for a family of four by then will be nearly $20,000.
But direct energy costs are only part of the consumer impact. Nearly everything goes up, since higher energy costs raise production costs. If you look at the total cost of Waxman-Markey, it works out to an average of $2,979 annually from 2012-2035 for a household of four. By 2035 alone, the total cost is over $4,600.
Beyond the cost impact on individuals and households, Waxman-Markey also affects employment, and especially employment in the manufacturing sector. We estimate job losses averaging 1,145,000 at any given time from 2012-2035. And note that those are net job losses, after the much-hyped green jobs are taken into account. Some of the lost jobs will be destroyed entirely, while others will be outsourced to nations like China and India that have repeatedly stated that they'll never hamper their own economic growth with energy-cost boosting global warming measures like Waxman-Markey.”

He goes on to detail the discussion in the bill where it acknowledges the fact that this bill WILL necessarily decrease the purchasing power of consumers. There is a section of this bill that discusses redistribution of wealth from richer Americans and direct depositing the money into the bank accounts of poorer Americans.

This is not about protecting the environment. It is about power, taxation, and control of our freedoms. I already have sent Claire McCaskill an email pleading with her to oppose the bill. I urge you all to do the same. We have to stop Cap and Trade for the sake of our freedoms and economy. Nobody stands to benefit from Cap and Trade, except maybe a few guys on Wallstreet who will be responsible for doing the carbon trades, and of course, Barack Obama, who will oversee an even larger economic crisis than he already has.

Healthcare is next.

We have already discussed heavily the merits of healthcare as a right. I don’t want to do that again. What I want to talk about here is an alternative to the government so-called “public option”.

First thing here folks, if this public option is so good for all of us, please ask your senators and representatives if they will be opting out of their government healthcare plans to join up on the plan they will author for us.

I know the answer is no, in fact, in the bill authored by Ted Kennedy, there is an exemption for congressmen from the public option. If their plan is not good enough for them, neither is it good enough for us.

On the way home from the trip to Europe, I read a very good book by Sally Pipes (president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute) called The Top Ten Myths of American Healthcare. It is a very good summary of all the propaganda being put out by Obama and other liberals about the American healthcare system. There is too much there to list everything outright, but something I’d like to mention is the constant quote on the number of folks without healthcare.

45.7 million is the number commonly quoted. Unfortunately, it is very misleading, as this number is transitional. It measures the number of people without health insurance on a given day. It does not account for folks moving between jobs. Nor, does it account for:

The 28 million uninsured who earn more that $50,000 annually (not really all that poor).
The 10 million who are not US citizens.
The 14 million who already qualify for SCHIP, Medicare, and Medicaid, but choose not to enroll in those programs. I know that adds to more than 46 million, but there is some overlap in those numbers.

The real estimate for the number of chronically uninsured is around 8 million.

The way to fix our system is not by nationalizing the system, but rather, injecting a bit of competition.

Like I’ve said before folks, government run means government rationed. When the decisions for your health are taken out of your hands, freedom is lost. I urge you to pick up the book for yourself and have a read. Its probably available at the library for free. But if you truly intend to be intellectually honest, you ought to read this book and listen to the arguments made by someone who is really in the know regarding this type of policy.