Sieg Barry!

Is the Obama Administration Using Gestapo Tactics?

By: Gary DeMar at Godfather Politics:

Here’s the way politics works: Liberals overreach and conservatives compromise. In the end Liberals win. Liberals will propose a ten percent tax increase, and Republicans will settle for five, the very number Democrats hoped to get. It might take Liberals longer to get to their goal, but they know that eventually they’ll reach it. They can always count on Republicans to compromise.

What’s true on taxes is also applies to religion. There’s a provision in the health care law which requires religious employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives. John Boehner called the rule “an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. If the president does not reverse the department’s attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must,” Boehner said.

Then there’s the accusation that military chaplains were forbidden to read a letter to military personnel about the mandate. Now we’re hearing that the controversy may have been “overblown.”

Did the Obama Administration purposely overreach figuring that the Republicans will broker a compromise? The Administration will get some of what it wants, set a precedent, and the Republicans will leave the negotiating table declaring victory that they were able to get some concessions. In the end, new regulations will force the church to comply with some of the regulations or face sanctions. Republicans will say that the church needs to compromise. Liberals will come back for more at a later time. They won’t stop until they silence the church. We’ve seen this before.

When German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) used his pulpit to expose Adolf Hitler’s radical politics, “He knew every word spoken was reported by Nazi spies and secret agents.”[1] Leo Stein describes in his book I Was in Hell with Niemoeller how the Gestapo gathered evidence against Niemoeller:

Now, the charge against Niemoeller was based entirely on his sermons, which the Gestapo agents had taken down stenographically. But in none of his sermons did Pastor Niemoeller exhort his congregation to overthrow the Nazi regime. He merely raised his voice against some of the Nazi policies, particularly the policy directed against the Church. He had even refrained from criticizing the Nazi government itself or any of its personnel. Under the former government his sermons would have been construed only as an exercise of the right of free speech. Now, however, written laws, no matter how explicitly they were worded, were subjected to the interpretation of the judges.[2]

In a June 27, 1937 sermon, Niemoeller made it clear to those in attendance had a sacred duty to speak out on the evils of the Nazi regime no matter what the consequences: “We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of the authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.”[3] A few days later, he was arrested. His crime? “Abuse of the pulpit.”

The “Special Courts” set up by the Nazis made claims against pastors who spoke out against Hitler’s policies. Niemoeller was not the only one singled out by the Gestapo. “Some 807 other pastors and leading laymen of the ‘Confessional Church’ were arrested in 1937, and hundreds more in the next couple of years.”[4]

A group of Confessional Churches in Germany, founded by Pastor Niemoeller and other Protestant ministers, drew up a proclamation to confront the political changes taking place in Germany that threatened the people “with a deadly danger. The danger lies in a new religion,” the proclamation declared. “The church has by order of its Master to see to it that in our people Christ is given the honor that is proper to the Judge of the world . . . The First Commandment says ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ The new religion is a rejection of the First Commandment.”[5] Five hundred pastors who read the proclamation from their pulpits were arrested.

Notes:
1.Basil Miller, Martin Niemoeller: Hero of the Concentration Camp, 5th ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1942), 112. [↩]

2.Leo Stein, I Was in Hell with Niemoeller (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1942), 175. [↩]

3.Quoted in William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 239. [↩]

4.Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 239. [↩]

5.Quoted in Eugene Davidson, The Trials of the Germans: An Account of the Twenty-Two Defendants before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, [1966] 1997), 275.

How Green Zealots are Destroying the Planet

By: James Delingpole, courtesy, UK Daily Mail

Just imagine a world where you never had to worry about global warming, where the ice caps, the ‘drowning’ Maldives and the polar bears were all doing just fine.

Imagine a world where CO2 was our friend, fossil fuels were a miracle we should cherish, and economic growth made the planet cleaner, healthier, happier and with more open spaces.

Actually, there’s no need to imagine: it already exists. So why do so many people still believe otherwise?

How come, against so much evidence, everyone from the BBC to your kids’ teachers to the Coalition government (though that may change somewhat now Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has resigned), to the President of the Royal Society to the Prince of Wales continues to pump out the message that man-made ‘climate change’ is a major threat?

Why, when the records show that there has been no global warming since 1997, are we still squandering billions of pounds trying to avert it?

These are some of the questions I set out to answer in my new book — which I can guarantee will not make me popular with environmentalists.

Almost every day, on Twitter or by email, I get violent messages of hate directed not just at me, but even my children. Separately, I’ve been criticised by websites such as the Campaign Against Climate Change (Honorary President: the environmental activist and writer George Monbiot). I’ve had a green activist set up a false website in my name to misdirect my internet traffic. I’ve been vilified everywhere from the Guardian to a BBC Horizon documentary as a wicked ‘denier’ who knows nothing about science.

Not that I’m complaining. Margaret Thatcher once famously said: ‘I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.’

That’s just how I feel about my critics’ ad hominem assaults. They’re born not of strength but out of sheer desperation.

The turning point towards some semblance of sanity in the great climate war came in November 2009 with the leak of the notorious Climategate emails from the University of East Anglia.

What these showed is that the so-called ‘consensus’ science behind Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) — ie the theory that man-made CO2 is causing our planet to heat up in a dangerous, unprecedented fashion — simply cannot be trusted.

The experts had, for years, been twisting the evidence, abusing the scientific process, breaching Freedom of Information requests (by illegally hiding or deleting emails and taxpayer-funded research) and silencing dissent in a way which removes all credibility from the scaremongering reports they write for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(The IPCC is the heavily politicised but supposedly neutral UN advisory body which has been described by President Obama as the ‘gold standard’ of international climate science.)

Since Climategate, the scientific case against AGW theory has hardened still further. Experiments at the CERN laboratory in Geneva have supported the theory of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark that the sun — not man-made CO2 — is the biggest driver of climate change.

The latest data released by the Met Office, based on readings from 30,000 measuring stations, confirms there has been no global warming for 15 years.
Now, with sunspot activity (solar flares caused by magnetic activity) at its lowest since the days of the 17th-century frost fairs on the Thames, it seems increasingly likely we are about to enter a new mini Ice Age. Should we be bothered by this? Of course we should. Not only does it mean that for the rest of our lives we’re likely to be doomed to experience colder winters and duller summers, but it also makes us victims of perhaps the most expensive fraud in history.

Over the past 20 years, across the Western world, billions of pounds, dollars and euros have been squandered by governments on hare-brained schemes to ‘combat climate change’.

Taxes have been raised, regulations increased, flights made more expensive, incandescent light bulbs banned, landscapes despoiled by ugly, bird-chomping wind farms, economic growth curtailed — all to deal with what now turns out to have been a non-existent problem: man-made CO2.

But if anthropogenic warming is not the threat environmentalists would have us believe, why do so many people believe it is? And how come so many disparate groups — from the hair-shirt anti-capitalist activists of Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth to the executives of big corporations, to politicians of every hue from Gordon Brown to David Cameron to scientists at NASA and the UEA — are working together to promote this pernicious myth?

The short answer is ‘follow the money’.

Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the UEA which was at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ scandal, for example, was given £13.7 million in grants for his department’s research work; the environmental non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace came on board because scaremongering helps them raise revenue.

You’re not going to give money to the charity’s Project Thin Ice if you think the polar bear is good for another 10,000 years, but you might if you’re told it’s seriously endangered.

Politicians were attracted because it was a good way of being seen to be addressing an issue of popular concern, and a handy excuse to put up taxes.

Big corporations joined in the scam as a) it enabled them to ‘greenwash’ their image through campaigns like BP’s ‘Beyond Petroleum’ and b) it meant all that extra environmental regulation would be a handy way of pricing their smaller competitors out of the market place.

But money isn’t the only reason. If you read the private emails of the Climategate scientists, what you discover is that most of them genuinely believe in the climate change peril.

That’s why they lied about the evidence and why they tried to destroy the careers of those scientists who disagreed with them: because they wanted to scare politicians into action before time ran out. This was not science, in other words, but political activism.

A similar ‘end justifies the means’ mentality seems to prevail among all those environmental lobby groups. They don’t exaggerate or misrepresent because they’re bad people. They do it, as a former head of Greenpeace once charmingly put it when accused of having overstated the decline in Arctic sea ice, to ‘emotionalise the issue’; because they want to make the rest of the world care about these issues as much as they do.
Powerful feelings, though, are hardly the most sensible basis for global policy. Especially not when, as it turns out, they are based on a misreading of the facts.

One of the grimmest ironies of the modern environmental movement is just how much damage it has done to the planet in the name of ‘saving’ it. Green biofuels (crops such as palm oil grown for fuel) have not only led to the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest in Asia, Africa and South America, but are now known to produce four times more CO2 pollution than fossil fuels.

Wind farms, besides blighting views, destroying topsoil and causing massive noise pollution, kill around 400,000 birds a year in the U.S. alone. Environmentalists, in fact, have a disastrous track record when it comes to predictions and policy recommendations. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller Silent Spring — which promised a cancer epidemic from pesticides — led to a near worldwide ban on the malarial pesticide DDT, thus condemning millions in the Third World to die from malaria.

Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, meanwhile, rehearsed another of the green movement’s favourite themes: overpopulation. By the Seventies and Eighties, he warned, hundreds of millions of us would be dying like flies because there wouldn’t be enough food.

Why did Ehrlich’s prediction never come to pass? Because, like most of the greenies’ doomsday scenarios, it overlooked one vital factor: progress.

Because the green movement has for years been ideologically wedded to the notion that mankind is an ecological curse (‘The Earth has a cancer. The cancer is man’, as a global think tank called The Club of Rome, which includes several current and former heads of state, puts it), it fails to understand the role which technology, human ingenuity and adaption play in our species’ survival.
Ehrlich’s population disaster was averted thanks to a brilliant American scientist called Norman Borlaug who devised new mutant strains of wheat which managed to triple cereal production on the starving Indian subcontinent.

Of course, there is still widespread concern over the use of genetically modified crops, but scientists argue that with proper safeguards in place they can actually be more environmentally friendly than conventional crops, using less water and fewer pesticides.

Similar technological advances in the field of energy make a nonsense of environmentalists’ claims that we are running out of fuel: long before coal ran out came the petroleum revolution; and, though we still have plenty of oil left, we now have the miracle of shale gas which lies in abundance everywhere from Blackpool to the North Sea, and is released using blasts of high-pressure liquid to open pockets of gas in rock.

When, many decades hence, that runs out we will start to harvest clathrates (solid methane deposits) buried on the ocean floor.

Economic progress is not our enemy but our friend. It is an historical fact that the richer nations are, the more money they have to spare on ensuring a cleaner environment: compare the relatively clean air in London to the choking smog that envelops Beijing and Delhi; look at where the worst ecological disasters happened in the last century — under impoverished Communist regimes, from the Aral Sea to Chernobyl.

But the greens refuse to accept this because, according to their quasi-religious doctrine, industrial civilisation is a curse and economic growth a disease which can only be cured by rationing and self-sacrifice, higher taxes and greater state control.

That’s why I call my new book Watermelons — because it’s about zealots who are green on the outside, but in political terms, red on the inside. If only their views weren’t so influential, in schools, universities, in the media, in the corridors of power, the global economy wouldn’t be nearly in the mess it’s in today.

As someone who loves long walks in unspoilt countryside and who wants a brighter future for his children, I’m sickened by the way environmental activists tar anyone who disagrees with them as a selfish, polluting, anti-science ‘denier’.

The real deniers are those ideological greens who refuse to look at hard evidence (not just pie-in-the-sky computer models which are no more accurate than the suspect data fed into them) and won’t accept that their well-intentioned schemes to make our world a better place are in fact making it uglier, poorer and less free.

So You Thought You were Safe?

For everyone who has posted a not-so-flattering picture up on Facebook, this should give you pause.

From: The UK Daily Mail:

Deleted Facebook photos don’t disappear but can still be accessed by anyone with a link to the images themselves.

The company admits that its systems ‘do not always delete images in a reasonable period of time.’

The news is liable to be a shock to users who’ve relied on the delete function to remove embarrassing photos from office parties or nights out.

Deleted images vanish from ‘normal’ views of the site – ie if you log in to Facebook and look on somebody’s photo page, they won’t be visible – but remain visible to anyone with a direct URL link to the picture.

That means that if, for instance, a picture has been circulated by email, the image will still be there for anyone who clicks the link.

Facebook has repeatedly promised to ‘fix’ problems with the systems it uses to remove photographs, after users pointed out that images tended to persist after deletion.

Not all deleted pictures are affected, but a significant percentage.


Technology site Ars Technica reports that a picture of a naked toddler supposedly ‘removed’ in 2008 was still visible as of February 2012.

Site readers reported campaigns of harassment using supposedly ‘deleted’ pictures.

Facebook has been repeatedly informed of the problem, but the company’s line has always been that it is being fixed.

Ruth-Buzzy Ginsberg is a Disgrace

From Glenn Beck: Ginsburg – Don’t look to U.S. for a Constitution

Is it too much for a United States Supreme Court Justice to have a little reverence for the Constitution of the United States? Apparently that’s the case for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who on a visit to the Middle East was asked if Egypt should model the United States Constitution when setting up theirs. Her response was a disturbing ‘no’ — who did she think Egypt should model and what does the Justice think about our Constitution? Prepare to be offended.

The Blaze reports:
The Supreme Court‘s midwinter break is often used by justices to fly off to sunny vacation spots or European capitals where they address an audience or two on someone else’s tab. But this year, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on a different sort of visit to two North African countries where popular uprisings helped topple longtime leaders. And in one of those countries — Egypt — she raised eyebrows after saying, during a television interview, that she “would not look to the United States Constitution” as a blueprint for crafting the nation’s new constitution.

Continue Reading

They Did It! Russians Expose Lake Vostok Secrets

 

The unofficial comment came this morning from the American office of the Russian Embassy: They did it!!!

Attached was a link to the state-sponsored Russian news agency RIA Novosti, , which quoted an unnamed source as saying:

“Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake.”

The news came as a huge relief after weekend speculation grew over the current status of the Russian drill team as they raced against time to reach Antarctica’s 20 million-year-old, ice-covered Lake Vostok or be forced to wait another year to try again.

Link to Original Story

American Jihad, Part One

This is a 4 part series on what is likely in America unless enough of us wake up.

As Rudy Gulliani says, the further we get from 9-11, 2001, the safer we think we are. This is a false sense of security. These Islamic radicals are a very patient bunch. Whereas we Americans may think in terms of weeks or months, they will plan things for years. This isn’t an episode of Hawaii Five-O, where they solve the murder and catch the bad guy in an hours time.

This Lake’s not for Swimming

The scientific community is holding its breath for a team of Russian scientists that has been out of contact with colleagues in the U.S for six days, as they drill through the ice to obtain access to a lake buried beneath the Antarctic ice for 20 million years.

Lake Vostok lies in the middle of the Antarctic continent and is buried more than two miles beneath the ice.

Lake Vostok circled in red

Luckily for them, it’s not winter down there yet, but it is fast approaching. They currently only have to contend with temperatures of minus 66C (-87F).

The expedition has to evacuate their station by Tuesday,  when winter proper kicks in and temperatures start to drop to an less hospitable minus 85C ( -121F). On July 21, 1983, temperatures at Vostok Station hit the lowest level ever recorded on Earth – minus 89.2C (-128.56F) That’s chilly bean, baby!

Geothermal heat under the ice keeps the lake liquid, and its conditions are often described as ‘alien’ because they are thought to be akin to the subterranean lakes on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Valery Lukin, chief of the Russian Antactic Expedition, said last month: “We do not know what is waiting for us down there.”

Last year scientists working the lake were unable to break through but came within ten to 50 meters (33 to 165 feet) of the surface.

Robin E. Bell, a researcher at Columbia University who has visited the region, told reporters that the team is focused on getting their job done while they still can, and it is premature to fear the worst.

Microbiologist Dr. David A. Pearce, a scientist on a competing mission to plumb the depths of another Antarctic lake, had been in contact with the Russians, but is now in the dark as well.

Ms. Bell said: “I wouldn’t read too much into it. When you’re doing something very challenging, the last thing you want to do is chat to people”.

Regarding the working conditions, Dr Pearce said, “If you left your eyes open, the fluid in them would start to freeze. Your nostrils would start to freeze. The moisture in your mouth would start to freeze.”

He added: “It’s not just physically challenging, it’s psychologically challenging. You’re away from your family and friends, and there’s pressure to deliver the science you’ve promised.”

They are hoping water in the lake, the most inhospitable region of the planet, would reveal more about ancient life on our planet. The water inside the lake will have had no contact with man-made pollutants or Earthly life forms for millions of years.

The world can only wait to hear what has become of the explorers.

When they finally do breakthrough, great care must be taken not to contaminate the hidden underground lake with bacteria and drilling fluids.

To make sure the water stays completely pure, the machinery will not even touch the lake surface.

Instead they will use suction will to extract samples of the unique water into the borehole, where it will freeze before being raised to the surface for analysis.

The team also faces the risk of a potential explosion with oxygen and nitrogen trapped below. To avert this risk, the team will try to make sure only a small amount of air can escape.

John Priscu, a Montana State University Antarctic researcher, told the Washington Post the Russian scientists told him they were just 40ft from where the waterline is thought to lie.

He told the Post, “This is a huge moment for science and exploration, breaking through to this enormous lake that we didn’t even know existed until the 1990s.”

Priscu added, “If it goes well, a breakthrough opens up a whole new chapter in our understanding of our planet and possibly moons in our solar system and planets far beyond. If it doesn’t go well, it casts a pall over the whole effort to explore this wet underside of Antarctica.”

Priscu insists the Russians are not lost. “What I can tell you is that they are doing something that has never been done before. Think of it, sampling a lake under 2.5 miles of ice at a location that is the highest, driest and coldest desert on our planet.”

“I don’t think there’s anything sinister or ominous,” he added. “The Russians have their own way of dealing with things, particularly the media, which I respect.”

Specialists at the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute predict they will find “the only giant super-clean water system on the planet”.

They forecast the extraordinary 5,400 cubic kilometers (3355 cubic miles) of water in the pristine prehistoric lake, encased by ice since before man existed, will be “twice cleaner than double-distilled water”.

There is also the strong prospect of discovering completely unknown life forms in its clear ancient waters.

The worst possible scenario could be the water suddenly shooting up through the hole when the breakthrough is made. “Up to a quarter of the lake’s water could shoot out of the hole”, Dr Priscu said, if their worst fears are realized.

For now, we’ll all have to just wait and wonder if they will accomplish what they set out to do, or have died trying.

Attribution: Rob Cooper and Thomas DuranteH

Ann’s Pretzel Logic

I would like to first apologize for the length of this article, but I thought it too important to cut down. Anyway, here we go.

Has the once great conservative voice, Ann Coulter, become a moderate loving, Romney Zombie?

I’d say, evidently so, but you may judge for yourself.

I was going to disect this article myself, when I heard Mark Levin had already done it.

Knowing I could never compete with the intellect of Levin, I will instead pull some exerpts from his brilliant rebuttal of the following.

Due to the length of Levin’s rebuttal, I will, at times, paraphrase.

Three cheers for RomneyCare

by Ann Coulter

If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles — as it was at the time.

Levin: No it wasn’t a triumph for the free-market. Ted Kennedy was one of the main collaborators. He didn’t view it as conservative free-market principles.

It’s not as if we had a beautifully functioning free market in health care until Gov. Mitt Romney came along and wrecked it by requiring that Massachusetts residents purchase their own health insurance.

Levin: I don’t think we have a perfectly functioning  free-market in anything we do. The free-market accepts successes & failures & that there are many imperfect people within that system. That’s part of the brilliance of the free-market. That imperfection is not a justification to detroy it.

In 2007, when Romneycare became law, the federal government alone was already picking up the tab for 45.4 percent of all health care expenditures in the country.

Levin: So…what does that have to do with anything. Did all the other states say, “Hey, that’s a great idea, individual mandates. Let’s all copy Romneycare.” Have any of them copied Romneycare? No.

Until Obamacare, mandatory private health insurance was considered the free-market alternative to the Democrats’ piecemeal socialization of the entire medical industry.

In November 2004, for example, libertarian Ronald Bailey praised mandated private health insurance in Reason magazine, saying that it “could preserve and extend the advantages of a free market with a minimal amount of coercion.”

Levin: Apparently Ronald was wrong, Ann.

A leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, helped design Romneycare, and its health care analyst, Bob Moffit, flew to Boston for the bill signing.

Levin: What Ann leaves out of her column is that Heritage has since renounced the individual mandate.

Romneycare was also supported by Regina Herzlinger, Harvard Business School professor and health policy analyst for the conservative Manhattan Institute. Herzlinger praised Romneycare for making consumers, not business or government, the primary purchasers of health care.

Levin: Really, Ann. So Herzlinger supported it. But you left somebody out, didn’t you. Jonathan Gruber. Why did you leave Jonathan Gruber out, Ann? Because he’s a leftist? Jonathan Gruber had the biggest role in designing Romneycare of anybody and he was also one of the main architects of Obamacare. He has said publically that there is little difference between the two. Somehow Mr. Gruber didn’t make it into Ann’s piece. Anyway, why does it matter what any of these people thought. We can all think for ourselves, can’t we? The fact is, the only one who bit, was Mitt Romney. If any other Governor adopted such a thing, they’re awfully quiet about it.

The bill passed by 154-2 in the Massachusetts House and unanimously, 37-0, in the Massachusetts Senate — including the vote of Sen. Scott Brown, who won Teddy Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate in January 2010 by pledging to be the “41st vote against Obamacare.”

Levin: So now we’re going to sight Scott Brown who’s feet are firmly planted in the air. Scott Brown voted for Romneycare and against Obamacare. You know why that is? Because his constituants are turning. The more people are invloved in Romneycare, the less they like it. But again, what does that have to do with anything, particularly if you are a Constitutionalist. The fact that anything like Romneycare empowers any government to interfere with your private medical decisions, who cares how many people vote for it. Politicians imposing their will on the people. The Founders rejected all of that.

But because both Obamacare and Romneycare concern the same general topic area — health care — and can be nicknamed (politician’s name plus “care”), Romney’s health care bill is suddenly perceived as virtually the same thing as the widely detested Obamacare. (How about “Romneycare-gate”?)

Levin: You can mock it, Ann, but the architect of both, which you left out of your column, he said they were the same.

As The New York Times put it, “Mr. Romney’s bellicose opposition to ‘Obamacare’ is an almost comical contradiction to his support for the same idea in Massachusetts when he was governor there.” This is like saying state school-choice plans are “the same idea” as the Department of Education.

Levin: No it’s not like saying that. It is like saying it’s the same mind set, that government knows best. Government can and will pass laws and has no respect for the circle of liberty.

One difference between the health care bills is that Romneycare is constitutional and Obamacare is not. True, Obamacare’s unconstitutional provisions are the least of its horrors, but the Constitution still matters to some Americans. (Oh, to be there when someone at the Times discovers this document called “the Constitution”!)

Levin: So what, who cares. Romney says it’s different. You (Romney) says he believes in the tenth amendment, but you don’t believe in the individual and that’s the proiblem. You believe in Utopianism, these impossible fantasies, State run healthcare.

As Rick Santorum has pointed out, states can enact all sorts of laws — including laws banning contraception — without violating the Constitution.

That document places strict limits on what Congress can do, not what the states can do. Romney, incidentally, has always said his plan would be a bad idea nationally.

Levin: Well, good for him. It’s a bad idea, period.

The only reason the “individual mandate” has become a malediction is because the legal argument against Obamacare is that Congress has no constitutional authority to force citizens to buy a particular product.

The legal briefs opposing Obamacare argue that someone sitting at home, minding his own business, is not engaged in “commerce … among the several states,” and, therefore, Congress has no authority under the to Commerce Clause force people to buy insurance.

Levin: There is absolutely nothing in American history, including the examples Ann has given, that compels two private parties, an individual & a business to enter into a private contract for goods or services the individual may not want nor the business may not want to give, and none of the examples Ann provides, disputes that.

No one is claiming that the Constitution gives each person an unalienable right not to buy insurance.

Levin: No, what we’re saying is that people should free to pursue their own interests and to be unmolested by government a much as possible. I’m not even sure why she’s mixing the Constitution with state issue. Maybe she thinks she’s on to something? She’s on to nothing.

States have been forcing people to do things from the beginning of the republic: drilling for the militia, taking blood tests before marriage, paying for public schools, registering property titles and waiting in line for six hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to drive.

Levin: None of these are examples of entities being forced to enter into private contracts with other entities against their will. That has never been done in the history of this country. Are we to reject our principles to defend this man? I don’t believe in three cheers for socialism.

There’s no obvious constitutional difference between a state forcing militia-age males to equip themselves with guns and a state forcing adults in today’s world to equip themselves with health insurance.

The hyperventilating over government-mandated health insurance confuses a legal argument with a policy objection.

If Obamacare were a one-page bill that did nothing but mandate that every American buy health insurance, it would still be unconstitutional, but it wouldn’t be the godawful train wreck that it is. It wouldn’t even be the godawful train wreck that high-speed rail is.

Levin: Some of us have been arguing to the Supreme Court, that this individual mandate changes the relationship of the individual to the government. That government can order you to enter into private contracts against your will, or fine you, penalize you, sick the IRS on you. There is not a single example in history of that. None! What then, would prevent the government from ordering to buy anything? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait for Ann’s next column.

It would not be a 2,000-page, trillion-dollar federal program micromanaging every aspect of health care in America with enormous, unresponsive federal bureaucracies manned by no-show public-sector union members enforcing a mountain of regulations that will bankrupt the country and destroy medical care, as liberals scratch their heads and wonder why Obamacare is costing 20 times more than they expected and doctors are leaving the profession in droves for more lucrative careers, such as video store clerk.

Nothing good has ever come of a 2,000-page bill.

Levin: Really. She just gave a explaination for what is beginning to happen in Massachussetts, albeit, on a smaller level, because it’s a state.

There’s not much governors can do about the collectivist mess Congress has made of health care in this country. They are mere functionaries in the federal government’s health care Leviathan.

Levin: So every governor is compelled to do what Romney did, right? There’s evidently only one response, Romneycare.

A governor can’t repeal or expand the federal tax break given to companies that pay their employees’ health insurance premiums — a tax break denied the self-employed and self-insured.

A governor can’t order the IRS to start recognizing tax deductions for individual health savings accounts.

A governor can’t repeal the 1946 federal law essentially requiring hospitals to provide free medical services to all comers, thus dumping a free-rider problem on the states.

Levin: While a state does have to deal with these things like free hospital care, there are ways to deal with it. Why can’t they garnish wages, seize assets, do all those things for people who really can afford there hospital & medical care, but simply refuse to pay for it.

It was precisely this free-rider problem that Romneycare was designed to address in the only way a governor can. In addition to mandating that everyone purchase health insurance, Romneycare used the $1.2 billion that the state was already spending on medical care for the uninsured to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance for those who couldn’t afford it.

Levin: So as Governor, he was concerned about those poor. It’s just unfair. Sounds just like a liberal. So in the name of fairness & equity, we will create a whole top down government run system. That’s what every Governor would do, right? Problem is, every Governor didn’t do that. You want to look at a Governor whose making real  progress, fighting like hell. Look at Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Where as Teddy Kennedy stood shoulder to shoulder with Mitt, you won’t find anyone like that standing with Scott Walker. Tells you something, doesn’t it.

What went wrong with Romneycare wasn’t a problem in the bill, but a problem in Massachusetts: Democrats.

Levin: That’s precisely the problem. When George Bush opened the door to bailouts, did he think would end with him? Did Mitt really think when he opened the flood gates the water would stop when he left? Just as Bush did, you and he only laid the foundation and set the precedent for future governors and presidents to run with it, as it were.

First, the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature set the threshold for receiving a subsidy so that it included people making just below the median income in the United States, a policy known as “redistribution of income.” For more on this policy, see “Marx, Karl.”

Levin: Gee, that was utterly unpredictable!

Then, liberals destroyed the group-rate, “no frills” private insurance plans allowed under Romneycare (i.e. the only kind of health insurance a normal person would want to buy, but which is banned in most states) by adding dozens of state mandates, including requiring insurers to cover chiropractors and in vitro fertilization — a policy known as “pandering to lobbyists.”

Levin: We know they do these things in advance, Ann, don’t we? DON”T WE!

For more on “pandering” and “lobbyists,” see “Gingrich, Newt.” (Yes, that’s an actual person’s name.)

Romney’s critics, such as Rick Santorum, charge that the governor should have known that Democrats would wreck whatever reforms he attempted.

Levin: Gee, ya think?

They have, but no more than they would have wrecked health care in Massachusetts without Romneycare. Democrats could use a sunny day as an excuse to destroy the free market, redistribute income and pander to lobbyists. Does that mean Republicans should never try to reform anything and start denouncing sunny days?

Levin: That’s your defense? Liberals & democrats will do what they always do. Is this why we elect republicans? This isn’t reform, it’s big government. This is absurd!

Santorum has boasted of his role in passing welfare reform in the 1990s. You know what the Democrats’ 2009 stimulus bill dismantled? That’s right: the welfare reform that passed in the 1990s.

Levin: Isn’t that interesting. Santorum tried to undo the welfare state. She says because liberals can undo it, why bother. Liberals try to undo a lot, but we must fight the good fight. Romneycare was not the good fight.

The problem isn’t health insurance mandates. The problem isn’t Romneycare. The problem isn’t welfare reform. The problem is Democrats.

Levin: Actually, Ann, the problem is leftists and republicans who play along with them. Shame, shame, shame.