About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread


Post 0

Thursday, February 13 - 12:45pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Yeah, right! Link.

 

Number of Executive Orders:

GWB: 291/8 = 36.4
BO:    168/5 = 33.6
That's some reversal!

 

(Edited by Merlin Jetton on 2/13, 1:03pm)



Post 1

Thursday, February 13 - 1:45pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

The really huge difference is that Obama has specifically instructed agencies to not enforce laws he doesn't like, and has made up 'laws' to fill in where he felt they were needed, and he has made stump speeches and a State of the Union address where he explicitly states he will 'go around Congress.'



Post 2

Thursday, February 13 - 6:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I vote to put him on Fred's fiscal cliff bus...or in front of it.



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 3

Wednesday, February 19 - 8:57pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

I don't think the issue is executive orders per se. I'd have no problem with a president's issuing a thousand executive orders to try to prevent agencies from taking unconstitutional actions to violate individual rights, or with a president's declining to enforce a law that blatantly violates individual rights. Think of the worst possible examples and consider whether you believe that a president should take no action inconsistent with a passed law, enforcing it in the name of rule of law, if the law that has been passed itself destroys the context in which rights-based rule of law is possible. Obama, of course, is no champion of individual rights.



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 4

Thursday, February 20 - 3:24pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Either way, you're talking about a dictator, Gabriel.  It's wrong even if the policy is popular.   



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Thursday, February 20 - 3:45pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Teresa,

 

I tend to agree with you.  But with an extreme case, I'm not sure.  What if there was a massive increase in far left legislators that were elected and they voted that anyone who owns more than $250,000 in property would have it taken away and they would be sent to a re-education camp to be taught to be less 'oppressive.'  Then imagine that a president with some libertarian leanings vetos the bill, they override the veto and then the president refuses to allow the law to be implimented and tells the congress that they would have to impeach him, and convict him, and then drag him out of the oval office before he'll act as a dictator.

 

Maybe there is a dividing line of some kind that on one side, observation of the law and maintaining our constitutional structure will always trump being more libertarian via executive orders.  But on the more extreme side of the dividing line the president's oath to uphold the constitution trumps the congress' demands.

 

At this point I'm not sure how to define such a line so that it could be seen in advance.



Post 6

Thursday, February 20 - 6:02pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Isn't that how the process works, Steve?  I don't think Gabriel was talking about the process. He was talking about something outside of the process: executive orders. 



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 7

Thursday, February 20 - 6:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

What I was saying is that the president swears to defend the constitution - that is his primary job.  If congress passed a law that couldn't be administered without a severe violation of say part of the bill of rights, then does his path lie in following the part of the constitution that respects the right of the legislature to make laws that if he can't override with a veto, and therefore must enforce?  Or does he follow the part of the constitution that is in the bill of rights and enforcing the law would violate that right?  Which is being a dictator?  Both?  In one he is violating the part of the constitution that defends the congressional powers, and the other he violates the part of the constitution that violates the individual's rights.



Post 8

Friday, February 21 - 5:39amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve:

 

Well, of course, the arbiter is the USSC.   If they've ruled such a law as 'constitutional' then it is constitutional.   Being a dictator would be, ignoring the USSC -- either way.

 

What is mind blowing is the following: the USSC declares some legislation -- the POTUS' own flagship/agenda legislation that he pushed -- to be constitutional.   The legislation turns out to be a political stinker, and so, for purely political reasons, that POTUS does not implement the legislation as passed by Congress.    Not on the basis of executive implementation, -- the same law in the same form will be adminstered in the same way after the next election cycle as it would have before-- but purely for political reasons.  To avoid having his party cede power under his administration because of the consequences of his own flawed legislation.   That would be, being a dictator, and we are living it.

 

"My vision, as expressed through my government of will, is so paternalistically good for some vague carte blanche granting concept called 'the common good' that I am justified in acting the banana republic dictator in its implementation; the bananas just need to be given time to ripen, a slim 51% of monkeys will someday soon enough love the delicious if spotted bananas, and I know they will, and that elitist knowledge by me and my pinhead bretheren is sufficient to supercede our constitutionally limited form of democratic republic principles once put forth by rich white slave owning mysoginist heterosexuals."

 

Meanwhile, send the wife out to bebop on Jimmy Fallon because that is all we really need to do to rule the monkeys.

 

Fred



Post 9

Friday, February 21 - 9:38amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Fred,

 

I agree that the USSC is the designated arbiter - that's the way it was set up, and it's a good plan. But assuming that the supreme court won't hear it, or that the current sitting justices are so biased one way or another that they would give or have given what's clearly a bad ruling.

 

In that situation, what should the president do if he sees a law as unconstitutional. My gut tell me that he should fight it, within the law, as much as possible, but then implement it - if it is not a major violation of the constitution. And if it is a major violation of the constitution then he should just dig his heels in and tell congress they'll have to impeach and convict and evict him.

 

It is dictatorial if he breaks with the constitution's requirement that he enforce the law, but it would also be dictatorial to enforce a law that clearly violates say the 2nd amendment. Say a law is passed, his veto is overturned, and the Supremes rule that it is okay to confiscate all guns?

--------------

 

This might be a issue where the checks and balances could he highlighted with an amendment that covers this situation.  It might say that a President can have a final appeal to any law he refuses to implement on constitution grounds even if the Supreme Court has not sided with him.  In that case a body of 29 States Attorneys could be formed to hear his argument and vote.  If they vote for him, the law is instantly repealed, and if they vote against him he either enforces if or resigns.  That would highlight the fact that the States were the originating partners that form the union and still have some constitutional sovereignty.

 ---------------

 

But none of this curious hypothetical question of when a president becomes a dictator relates to what Obama has been doing, which is, as you pointed out, a blatant violation of our constitution for purely political reasons, and in other cases his actions have violated the constitution for the purpose of exercising control that the constitution wouldn't allow, and presumably because the President is on record with thinking our constitution should have positive rights (entitlements) written into it. And as a good progressive, the end justifies the means - and a controlling elite shouldn't be restricted by laws.



Post 10

Friday, February 21 - 9:57amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve:

 

But with an extreme case, I'm not sure.  What if there was a massive increase in far left legislators that were elected and they voted that anyone who owns more than $250,000 in property would have it taken away and they would be sent to a re-education camp to be taught to be less 'oppressive.'

 

The mob can do what the mob can do, always; the issue is, what are the ethical choices left to an individual?

 

It isn't one choice; it is a hierarchy of choices, and each individual must weigh where on the hierarchy each such case sits.

 

The generic case is, the majority has implemented a cause and committed the nation to a course of action.  Your extreme example above is an example.   Passed by Congress.   Signed into law by the POTUS.   Ruled consititutional by the USSC.   What are the ethical choices?   The following I posit as an escalating scale of choices.

 

1] Accede to the will of the majority on this instance and call it a day.  The issue doesn't meet any hurdle for further action.   We pick out battles, and we win some and lose some.  Avoid support of the issue within the existing political context as legally possible..

 

2] Accede, but work politically within the system to change the political decision and course of action at some time in the future.   Avoid support of the issue within the existing political context as legally possible..

 

3] Find the action so untenable that we leave the political context, withdrawing our support and presence.  May not always be possible, forcing skip to 4 or 5.

 

Those are all polite ethical responses to majority tribal actions we don't agree with.   They are polite/political ethical actions.   Following are mega-political actions. 

 

4] Find the action so untenable that we are unable to comply, withdrawing our support but not our presence.  Acting criminally within the current political context. Avoid support of the issue within the existing political context without regard to legality.

 

finally

 

5] Finding the action so untenable that we are unable to comply, withdrawing our support but not our presence, and actively working to overthrow the current political context, no doubt, with others so moved and inclined.   The only meanigful  political calculus in this action is win or lose. Win, and the outcome is a new political context in which your actions are sufficiently celebrated as seminally revolutionary(until the next revolution.)    Lose, and the outcome is no change and condemnation from the existing political context as terrorists; like rolling a boulder only part way up a hill.   It falls back down on you if you don't go all the way.

 

The first three options are political options.  The last two are mega-political (or if you prefer, extra-political) options.

 

On any particular tribal arrived at political action, what other options are possible for any individual?

 

regards,

Fred

 



Post 11

Friday, February 21 - 12:34pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve:

 

The dilemma you outline is one in which a POTUS is presented with a law which 1] violates the constitution if it is enacted, and also, 2] violates the constitution if it is not enacted and 3] the USSC has either already declared as constitutional or refused to hear.    But if the USSC has ruled, then 1] doesn't apply.    So the real dilemma is, the case where the USSC has not ruled.   In that case, the legislation is clearly defective, and that POTUS does have a dilemma; government and its checks and balances is not working.    Some future USSC may rule the law constitutional or unconstitutional; in the meantime, he, as CIC and chief executive, gives it his best shot and takes the lessor of what he regards as two evils, or, using any other means to decide.  He brings his own suit to the USSC.  "Clean up this mess from Congress."   Or someone else does.   Or nobody else ever does and/or the USSC refuses to hear the case.    He's won the office, in that circumstance, he gets to choose, is how I see it, and then the result is received by each of us through that five step sieve of escalating options.

 

In the future, a USSC might hear and rule-- that eliminates his dilemma within our political context.  The law gets upheld or struck down.    But that doesn't change the requirement for each of us individually to respond through that five point sieve, even to that constitutionally legal outcome.

 

regards,

Fred

 

(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 2/21, 12:37pm)



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Friday, February 21 - 12:59pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve:

 

It is a little like this:  one day, you are a fine upstanding law abiding citizen.

 

The next day, on a hill hundreds of miles away, folks you didn't even vote for-- even if you voted --  pass a law that has the effect, no matter what you do or not do, you are breaking the law.

 

The following day, you are a criminal.

 

The agression of that circumstance is purely the actions of those on a hill hundreds of miles away; as for us, as individuals, it is no different than if a mob on that same hill had decided to club us over the head.   That mob is outside our door.  What do we do?

 

Are we willing to die as individuals to defend our lives and freedom from a mob?   Are the members of the mob as individuals willing to die to have their way?  Yes, the mob might prevail.  But not every member of the mob, and the members of the mob individually can throw their own dice and decide if the issue is worth the risk.    The mob will likely win if individuals within that mob want what they want, sufficient to overcome the defensive violence of those fighting for their lives and freedom.   Or, if the cost of pressing what they want is made too high, they rethink the nature of what they want, and decide if it is worth losing individual lives over,  both victims and individuals in the mob itself.   The second amendment has, as part of its function, to be the noisy indicator that the mob has gone too far, a last chance to check its bloodlust before doing what it can do instead of limiting itself to what it should do.

 

If that is the choice; immolate oneself to a mob quietly, or make as many of the bastards(or those the bastards send to do their dirty work)pay with their lives for that which they claim they want, then freedom from the mob should not go quietly into that good night.

 

So, when the common sense confiscators send someone else out to implement their world view for them, who are they willing to sacrifice for their visions of gun free utopia?   Will our own children in the military actually ever accept such an order and direct arms at US civilians, or, would they sense the moment had come for history's biggest fragging?   Only true fools would ever roll those dice.

 

Meanwhile, it is clear; with every snarling hint, another three-shifts, can't keep them on the shelves response by an America arming itself to the teeth.   The nation is awash in weapons, totally sated, until the next snarling hint.    It's not even subtle at this point.  AR and .223 demand is back down to normal these days, after over a year of three shifts hyper sales.   America's response is ratcheted, and impolite.  More heavily armed than ever.    You would think the Piers Morgans would learn, but they never do.  Evetytime they bring it up, gunsales skyrocket.   It isn't about duck hunting.

 

Fred

 

 

 

(Edited by Fred Bartlett on 2/21, 1:05pm)



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Wednesday, February 26 - 11:38amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Fred,

 

As usual we agree.  

 

In the end it is always a matter of what is in one's rational self-interest.  We create moral rules because it is silly, time-wasting, and error prone to attempt think out, from scratch, the moral nature of every decision we make before we make it.  The moral rules become our rules of thumb.  But when the government passes a law that violates our rights, then we need to weigh the moral value of honoring the law, the practical value of adhering to our rule of thumb in this case, and weigh the costs and benefits all over, from scratch, given this new law.  And the question we are resolving becomes (choose one): follow the law despite what it costs us, find a way around the law (violate it but without confrontation if possible), leave the jurisdiction, or go dust off the gun.

 

The fact that the left is always so determined to outlaw guns, despite the fact that far more people are killed by drunk drivers, and despite the fact that all the guns out there are never going to be magically collected, and despite the fact that almost all gun deaths are due to criminals and not the honest, law-abiding folks.  That makes me think that they know, subconsciously at the very least, that those guns are going to point at the elite they want to run country at that point when the elite go too far in their destruction of liberty.  I think that they know, better than anyone else, that these guns aren't about duck hunting.  And the fact that at some level they know all of this, also tells us that they already know they are going to go too far.  Kind of makes you want to dust of the gun right now.



Post to this thread
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.