Does the Constitution allow mandated veganism?

I was reading some tweets on Twitter and saw one person who is of the opinion that if we just followed the Constitution as written then we would be free as a bird. A bird in a cage perhaps, but the Constitution allows most anything. I remembered that a few years ago The National Review pointed out:

During oral arguments before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the constitutionality of Obamacare’s health-insurance mandate, the Obama administration’s lawyer, Beth Brinkmann, was asked whether a federal law requiring all Americans to eat broccoli would be constitutional.

“It depends,” she replied. But she could certainly envision cases where it would be.

That makes her only slightly less certain than Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan, who was asked the same question during her confirmation hearings. Kagan, who will help decide the fate of Obamacare’s mandate, had no doubts that a broccoli mandate would be constitutional.

As you can see we have Federal judges that can see no limits to governmental authority at all and are very willing to state that opinion publicly.  Now if the Court believes that a law could make you eat broccoli, then what would be unconstitutional about a law that mandated total veganism? To take this just a little bit further, if the central government has the power to mandate that you not eat meat, what is the limit to federal power? Could the federal government mandate cannibalism? (see Soylent Green)

Logic dictates that there really are no limits imposed by the constitution. We have moved from a tiny representative republic to an Empire that is governed by a false type of democracy. I say false democracy because we can’t really trust the voting results. As Stalin said long ago, “it does not matter who votes, what matters is who counts the votes”.

We can move past the idea of trying to get an honest count in the voting results anyway. Democracy is just mob rule and the madness of mobs is a well known topic. Do we really want to live in a nation where 51% of the people could tyrannize the rest? Can we have a vote where we decide to euthanize everyone over 70? The constitution would not prevent it.

Now just because the constitution does not prevent anything the federal government wants to do does not mean you will never see the Supreme Court hand down rulings that seem to say that the federal government does not have the power to do this or that. All you are seeing is that the Court plays politics also and is swayed by the public opinion of the day — or the opinion of the elites of the day. These opinions also make the deception of the constitution look more real and fools the low information citizen.

A central question in political philosophy is the question “be who owns you?” Does the state own you? Can the ruling elite do with you as they please? Are you a slave to the state or to popular opinions?

The primary social evil of our time is lack of respect for self-ownership rights. It is what underlies both private crime and institutionalized crime perpetrated by the state. State laws, regulations, and actions are objectionable just because the state is claiming the right to control how someone’s body is to be used. ~ Stephan Kinsella

Modern Americans seem to think that slavery to the State is somehow any better than the old time slavery to another man. Slavery? Slavery you say? Yes.

Modern Americans are subject to the whims of the political fads of the times. The ruling elite and public opinion can change and things that used to be legal and common become illegal and horrible. Just think, when I was a kid my mother really used to let me go outside all day and play. I was all over a very large subdivision and in the woods behind the subdivision. Today mother would be arrested and lose her kids for what was a natural thing in the 60s.

The constitution is no protection at all. How could it be? The state itself decides what the constitution says; so there is not way that that piece of paper limits the state.

What Civil Liberties?

I survived another solemn tribute to 9/11, but the occation got me to thinking about what a police state we live in compared to my childhood a half century ago.

I got to thinking about the Snowden revelations of massive government spying programs at the NSA and other agencies. I got to thinking about the almost daily reports of police brutality and the murders of innocent civilians by these brutal thugs. I got to thinking of the outlandish “asset forfeiture” horror stories of the state’s goons looting innocent people around the country. Finally I got to thinking about the horror that we call the state and the fact that on 9/11 we should be morning the fact that the state exists.

policestateusa

I think that very soon some states will make it illegal to have any space in your car where one might hid contraband. This will make asset forfeiture and caging of innocent people even easier than it is now regardless of whether the suspect mundane citizen has ever done drugs or not. I further predict that the state and its prosecutors will start hiring private goons to pull over motorists and seize their property for the local government for a cut of the action.

I think that as the cities of America spy on the poor mundane citizens with cameras and drones that they will think to make it illegal to record the police or other “officials” since the state’s minions are said to be immune from all law and morality — for our protection.

I think that local governments will use license plate scanners to keep lists all associations of the citizenery. Richard Nixon only dreamed of this sort of power to spy on the people. The state will know what church you attend — or if you do so at all. The state will know everyone who attends some political rally or belongs to any group. Freedom of association will become a dead letter. Stalin would have loved the surveillance ability of the modern US police state. It may soon become a crime to be in the area where the police believe crimes may be committed and they will be able to tell who was in the area. Innocent until proven guilty? Surely you know that is not the modern way.

I think it will become a crime for the citizen if the police mistakenly shoots at him or if the police mistakenly beats him. He should not have caused the police this trouble! I think that soon all colleges will have SWAT teams and that they will have grenade launchers and all the other “cool” military gear that all police departments have now. I further think that the Kent State shootings of the 60’s will soon be viewed as a successful mission by the national guardsmen that killed the students.

I think that the police and SWAT teams will soon be enforcing zoning laws and other formerly civil matters or misdemeanors. In fact, the SWAT teams will soon be serving all search warrants in no-knock raids and shooting the pets first, and that is when they are not spying on you via your computer or phone. I think that judges will get in on the dystopian act by  issuing warrants based on predictions of future crimes. I  think that the police will soon give up any pretense about protecting and serving the people and declare that they are now government soldiers and America is a battlefield where rules of war are in force.

I think it will soon be commonplace for NSA records to be utilized by law enforcement agencies for whatever purposes they feel like and that the courts will accept this as “constitutional”. I think that there is almost no violation of common sense or constitutional rights that you can think of that will not become commonplace in the American Dystopia.

The government or their brutal, mindless enforcers are not the friend of mankind. They are the enemy of all that is good and decent. Never forget that.

The U.S. and its useless constitution

Long ago we were taught in government schools that the U.S. was set up to be a Republic. But we were also taught that the U.S. is a democracy. Well which is it? Does it matter? The elite ruling class, i.e. the overlords, want to keep you confused on the issue of “republic” vs. “democracy” as well as ignorant of what the constitution actually says.

ron_paul_poster_flyer_by_the_russianThe difference between a republic and a democracy is critical is seeing how the U.S. became the mess that it is today.

In a republic the people vote for representatives who operate the government according to rules set forth by the whole people in a document called a constitution or some synonymous term. The republican government is supposed to be limited in scope and power to things like defense, keeping the peace, and justice.  It is the primary duty of the elected officials in a republic to oversee the enforcement of the rules stated in the constitution and not to be forever making new laws and rules. New laws and rules may be enacted as needed as situations change over time but they have to conform to the rules, regulations, and powers set forth in the founding document called the constitution. Sometimes the constitution itself would need to be changed by the whole of the people to address changing situations; and that process should be spelled out in the original constitution.

In a democracy the people also vote for representatives to operate the government but in a democracy there is little to no constraint outside public opinion on what rules, laws, and actions the representatives take or enact. In a democracy sometimes the people themselves get to vote on laws and actions to take. There is little or no protection for the marginalized or hated in society — the state is unconstrained in its actions. The ancients knew that a pure democracy was not a thing the common man should ever hope for as it offers no protection from mob rule.

In the U.S. it is said that the constitution is open to interpretation and not fixed in meaning. So if the constitution is open to interpretation then naturally every president’s administration will interpret it to their advantage. Now if every administration interprets the constitution differently then it has no fixed meaning but rather many different, conflicting meanings. If the constitution has many different, conflicting meanings then it has no real meaning at all. Obviously the U.S. has become a democracy without constraint rather than a republic constrained by a written constitution that seeks to restrict the state to a small set of powers and legal actions.

In my last post I wrote:

One of the most disappointing things in political discourse is to hear so many claim that the constitution if followed “as it was written” would “guarantee our rights”. This is almost as bad as those who think that the American constitution grants us our rights in the first place. ~Stoval

The simple fact is that there can be no “meaning” of any written words without “interpretation” of those words. (ask your local English teacher) As long as the state itself does the interpretation then it should be obvious that the state’s minions will seek to interpret the document to mean whatever the minion needs to empower the state in whatever action it seeks to take at that point in time.

A friend, Henry Moore, wrote to tell me that he disagreed with me on my view of the constitution in a post (see here) he had put up at about the same time as my last one. After reading it over, I don’t think we disagree all that much. After all, I posted “The Constitutionalism of Ron Paul” a while back agreeing with Ron Paul that we would be far, far better off if we could get the state to follow its own rules as plainly written in the constitution. And so, I also agree with Henry Moore that it would be great if the government of the U.S. would follow its constitution on matters like the second amendment found in the Bill of Rights.

But my friends, while the tactic of demanding that the state follow its own rules is a worthwhile endeavor, I can not see any state constrained by any piece of paper for very long at all. It is the very anatomy of the state itself to commit aggression against its own citizens. The very nature of the state is that of the few preying on the many; sucking the lifeblood like some mythical vampire.

As I have written before, the main problem with the constitution is that it is in conflict with the non-aggression principle.The constitution supports aggression against the citizens: forcibly taking some people’s rightful positions and property to give to other people and that is just for starters. But if we are to seek to use the constitution itself against the present police state, the best tactic is to use the nearly forgotten and never followed 10th amendment to the constitution seeking to use the state you live in to protect you from the central government in D.C. Of course, you are on your own seeking protection from your local state!

All in all, I think making the government follow the constitution is a good tactic but I tend to think it is far too little and far too late. I wager an honest survey would find that the majority of Americans don’t even know what is in the darn document, much less how it was interpreted back when it was written. Who says government schools are not working?

The constitution and our rights

I have tweeted the following Lysander Spooner quote to friends on Twitter (in modified form due to length) on many occasions. It may be one of his all time best quotes.

But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

~ Lysander Spooner

And to think that Spooner never lived to see the age of Obama and the NSA!

Lysander-Spooner-Quotes-5One of the most disappointing things in political discourse is to hear so many claim that the constitution if followed “as it was written” would “guarantee our rights”. This is almost as bad as those who think that the American constitution grants us our rights in the first place.

I believe in natural rights as did Murray Rothbard. We have certain rights that are inherent due to our humanity, and they can be summed up by simply saying we have the right not to be the victim of aggression. We might argue a bit over what, exactly, those inherent human rights are and how best to enforce said rights, but we must believe that natural rights predate the state and its constitution or we are believing in “rights” that are really just privileges bestowed by the state at its whim. After all,  if men can bestow “rights”, then they are not rights at all, because they can just as easily be taken away.

The right to life and liberty in our time is most often threatened by the state — the very institution that so many think is supposed to protect our right to life and liberty. They think that if only we would just “follow the constitution” that everything would be just fine again in this country. But how does one expect the state to be constrained by a piece of paper that it enforces itself? Has it ever really followed the constitution in all matters? Have all men and women in the USA ever been protected from the state?

Ron Paul did run a magnificent campaign for the nomination of the GOP by calling for the nation to follow the constitution in countless matters where the state is presently not following the constitution. In doing so, he was calling for an end to our overseas empire, and end to the drug war, and a drastic downsizing of the central government of the US. For this he was attacked and marginalized on many occasions by the “leaders” of our nation-state.

The simple fact is that the U.S. constitution is not a document that will “protect our rights” even if we follow it as it was written. After all, consider this part from the constitution:

Article 1; Section 8

1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

That part by itself puts lie to the belief that the constitution limits the power of government.

But the main problem is that the constitution in no way supports the non-aggression principle. The NAP says that we may never comment aggression against someone who has not first attacked us. We may never use force, fraud, or intimidation against the innocent to get what we want and yet the U.S. constitution authorizes just that.

If we ever are to live in peace and prosperity, free from the coersive force, fraud, and theft of the state then we must come up with a system that does not have as its very foundation the monopoly use of force to control the population. One would think that is obvious to even the most dense and propagandized person in the country.

We must work to create a voluntary society where men are free to interact with each other in voluntary cooperation; and the U.S. Constitution is a roadblock to that goal not a pathway to it. Stop worshiping the constitution, it is not worthy of veneration.

The constitutionalism of Ron Paul

By the “constitutionalism of Ron Paul” I mean his many calls for returning to the original interpretation of the constitution as well as following it rather than ignoring it. He spent a lifetime in politics calling for the US to follow the constitution as well as his two runs for the GOP nomination for president. It seems to me that Ron Paul was always after an even greater goal than the US government following the original interpretation of the constitution. I think he was after a libertarian society and the quickest way to get there would be by first following the constitution and making the vast cuts in government that following the constitution would require. The quickest way to get to a libertarian society would be by making as much of government as possible optional or voluntary.

ron-paul-revolution

We need to forge a wide social agreement on the concept of voluntary self-government and tolerance and this means making secession at the personal level more and more of a reality. We live in a police state and empire at the present time and the brutality of the state grows with each passing day. Surely we can all agree that moving towards the laissez-faire economy and the non-intervention of government in our lives that was the hallmark of the first decades of this country would be a great movement towards real and total liberty. Even if it is difficult to see how cutting government down to size and making it follow the constitution might be accomplished, we can certainly agree that it is important as one of our goals in the liberty movement. This goal contrasts starkly with any more spreading of the government’s brutality, involuntaryism, coercion and cronyism. The power and reach of the US government has spread into more and more areas of life, here and across the world and it is time to put an end to the growth and start to reduce the long arm of the state.

Economics is simple really. Nearly the full extent of it can be taught in a small book, as has been done before. Look at Henry Hazlitt’s ‘Economics in One Lesson’ which is practically the full extent that any individual citizen needs to know about economics and you will see that the laissez-faire policies of the early republic were far superior to the fascist style interventionism of the present day.

Austrian economics has taught us that if we want to live a more comfortable life in a more comfortable world then we must live by the golden rule, or the non-aggression principle as we libertarians like to call it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you —- or don’t aggress against anyone else unless they first aggress against you. This golden rule (or the N.A.P.) is not handed down by a supreme being, but it is the path to making the society approach a state of Nirvana none the less. The Taoists and their path (the Tao) told us a long time ago that intervention by “the ruler” was always bad and that we should let the people do things for themselves.

The fastest and easiest way to convince people that less government is more happiness by the masses is to reduce the size and scope of the government and let them see the incremental improvements. But there will be many road blocks along our journey to liberty. After all, the political class is not really running things. The political class is only the veneer of the state and not really the state itself. The state is the permanent bureaucratic structures and it is those institutions that make up the real ruling apparatus of the state. Look at the CIA for just one example.

No society can achieve any kind of justice based on the concept that some people have a “right” to have the state loot other people for their benefit. We see this today in the welfare state which has destroyed countless families and destroyed the morality of generations. Don’t forget that large, well connected corporations receive much from the state as well. We don’t call it “crony-capitalism” for nothing. We have created a power struggle that is endless, pointless, futile, and destructive. Only a return to the relatively non-interventionist government of the early days would be a good start towards a total freedom from the state. (that is, if you abhor the violence of armed revolution)

In truth there is no need for a “Constitution” to maintain peace and civility in a society. What is needed is a deep belief in the people that the initiation of physical aggression, intimidation, theft, fraud, and trespass are all morally reprehensible. That and the realization that assigning a monopoly power to an institution – government – is only going to yield in the end the utter brutality and cronyism we see around us today. When the people are compelled by a monopoly which interprets “the law” and uses violence to enforce its will upon the population, then it violates the individual’s right to choose which services one wants to use. We should have a right to choose which protective service we want to use for in a free, civilized society. No one should be above the law, and no one has any legitimate authority over anyone else without voluntary consent.

Ron Paul used a return to the constitution to try to teach the masses that government intervention is always the wrong way to go. Let us hope his message keeps on reverberating with the masses until they withdraw their consent to be governed by the evil monopoly we call the state.