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Supreme Court acts like Macchiavelli



Niccolò Macchiavelli. Why did a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court imitate him?

Once again, the Supreme Court sold out “We the People.” Chief Justice John Roberts, in genuine judicial activism, plays two sides against the middle. In Arizona v. US, Roberts ruled that States are not sovereign. But in Florida v. HHS (the 26-State health-care reform bill suit), Roberts says States are sovereign. Are States sovereign or not? Amazing! With this ruling we now have 47 million people (citizens or not) added to the health-care rolls. And the government can make us buy whatever they deem fit, or pay a fine—excuse me, a tax. It has the ring of dictatorship.

When you think back, Daddy George H.W. Bush Senior gave us Judge (backdoor) Souter. Now Junior gave us bend-over Roberts. They screwed “We the People” both times. Let no one misunderstand. I said screwed as an offensive term meaning “in serious trouble.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts Goes Two For Two

Since when did flexibility come into play in the Tenth Amendment? Or maybe we should ask, Chief Justice Roberts, just what would make you sell out the Constitution and the American people in your last two decisions? First, in Arizona, you negate State sovereignty. Then, in Florida, you say the States have sovereign rights.

Also troubling: why did you ignore severability? Oops, did I bring up a sore issue that the Marxist idiots took that out of the original bill? Just how long will we the American people have to put up with judicial assault on our Constitution? These repeated findings by our Supreme Court are reminiscent of Adolph Hitler’s puppet judges, who validated every illegal act of the Führer.

You flaccid Representatives that are supposed to be representing us in Congress, are you listening? If you let this decision stand, you doom the Republic and our capitalist society. Millions of jobs are at stake as well as the total financial ruin of our nation.


What Constitution, what limitations? I can hear these Democrat Marxists, saying:

We are the Constitution.

This perverse decision has really granted unfettered power to Congress to demand that you buy what they say, or you will be (taxed) they will call it fines repeatedly using this decision as precedent.

How to Solve the Problem

Regardless what the pundits or the government lap-dogs in media tell you, this not over! The question is will patriotic Americans show their mettle and act. Though it may be hard to believe there are judges and lawyers out there that are not cowards or political hacks. Many are disgusted with the course our country is on; now it’s time to see who has the testis, gonads, or as we use to say in Brooklyn the b#lls to act? Clearly the Court violated their fiduciary duty to adhere to the Constitution, which is par for the course. That being said, there’s no time for whining so saddle up. “We the people” have just begun to fight. (Where did I hear that before)? Here are three` solutions.

First Solution: Reargument

Niccolò Macchiavelli. Why did a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court imitate him?

Niccolò Macchiavelli. Portrait: Santi di Tito.

First, we have an opportunity to re-argue our original case. “We the People” argued, in our original Petition before the Supreme Court (Purpura v. Sebelius, 11-7275), that this Act, HR 3590, was illegal. We had incontrovertible evidence that the Act originated in the Senate, not the House of Representatives. It came fraudulently to the House for a vote because of the tax provisions it contained. (Today, Judge Andrew Napolitano said as much on national television!)

Today the Supreme Court held that the fines that this Act imposes are taxes! All along Mr. Obama and the Democrat/Marxists fraudulently claimed the Act had no new taxes in it. In essence, they lied to the public. Wow, something novel. Today the Supreme Court told us you will now suffer the largest tax increase in the history of our nation!

Chief Justice Roberts did find that “the commerce clause” was not a valid argument. Does he want a medal? Why should he get one? In a Machiavellian (or maybe a Borgian) Moment he upheld the individual mandate! So much for limited government. As I read the decision, the States are now responsible for insuring 47 million people without insurance. What did I miss? Just who is going to pay for their medical expenses if the States must comply? This puts an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers of each State. And then we have those pesky fines, which Roberts called indirect taxes. By what authority can the IRS make you comply, when the usurper in the White house has no legal authority to sign the Act into law? But before I get into that: isn’t wonderful to be taxed to pay for someone else’s insurance? That brings me to a tacky point, called taxation without representation.


It’s clear to me that we must ask ourselves:

  1. Have we a tax “Act” unconstitutionally instituted by the Senate, not the House?
  2. Have we an Act signed by a person who has yet to prove he has authority to sign the Act into law?

We are back where we started in 2008. We have a Marxist occupying the Oval Office, a man who has yet to prove he’s a “natural born citizen” or for that matter a citizen of any kind of these United States. Unless the proved forged document on the White House web site is now acceptable proof.

Consider this: if an illegal figurehead has the authority to tax us, would it not stand to reason that Congress has no authority to install any tax, since the Executive Branch is vacant? In that case, would not the IRS be enforcing a mandate without authority? And we the American people will be taxed, taxed and re-taxed. Chief Justice Roberts certainly seems to have opened Pandora’s box. So what can we do about it?

Let’s look at an alternative solution:

Second Solution: Nullification

When the government assumes undelegated powers, nullification is the rightful remedy — Thomas Jefferson

The simplest solution could decide whether the United States of America still has a Constitution. Each State legislature must immediately nullify HR 3290 (Obama-care) as unconstitutional (reasons, see the 19-unconstitutional provisions set forth in solution three). The Tenth Amendment Foundation has made it easy even for those representing the people in the People’s Republic of New Jersey to understand how to enact this legislation. Well maybe not all of them. See here.

States are duty bound…to arrest the progress of evil—James Madison

Third Solution: Legal Action

Did the head of the Supreme Court act like Rodrigo Borgia?

Pope Alexander VI, a/k/a Rodrigo Borgia. Portrait artist: Cristofano dell’Altissimo (1525-1605).

Neither the public, the media, nor the Supreme Court ever focused on the details of this Act and the numerous unconstitutional violations that have wide implications and problems far beyond those that the multi-State Florida action or the NFIB action raised.

Let me digress: in the 60’s the radical liberals inundated the Courts with legal challenges at every turn, while Americans sat back and ignored them. That’s how we got into this fix. Well now it’s our turn! We must inundate the Federal Courts in every State with not one petition, but many, about the unconstitutionality of this so-called Affordable Health-care scheme that creates a socialist State.


Instead, of panicking, we must find people willing to file separate actions in each State. (But not to bring the violation in one suit). “We the People” filed the most comprehensive action against Obama-care in the nation. We specifically addressed nineteen separate violations with specificity. We’ve done your work for you. All you have to do is refer to Purpura v Sebelius, 11-7275. It lists each unconstitutional provision. Then watch these jerks try to skirt the issue. Each suit must concentrate on one specific unconstitutional provision. By law, the Courts must address any and all constitutional challenges, and cite their reasoning for their rulings.

In the past, the government and courts could hinder your pursuing unconstitutional violations. They would make it too costly for people to protect their civil rights, and/or use the excuse that the plaintiffs lacked standing.

As far as fees, the Supreme Court has previously ruled (Federal Rules of Evidence 201(d)) that Petitioners had a lawful right to proceed without cost, based upon the following law: a natural man or woman is entitled to relief for free access to its judicial tribunals and public offices in every State in the Union (2 Black 620, see also Crandell v. Nevada, 6 Wall 35). Plaintiff should not be charged fees or costs for the lawful and Constitutional right to petition this court in this matter in which he is entitled to relief. The reason: the filing fee rule was originally written for fictions and subjects of the State, and should not apply to the plaintiff who is a natural individual and entitled to relief; Hale v. Henkel ( 201 U.S. 43)

To show standing, refer to Bond v. United States. Any Constitutional challenge grants standing, whether it involves or affects you directly or not.

I could go on, but that should be enough for now.


The Eagle


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I still don’t see why so-called Christian conservatives have such a problem with those less fortunate than them having access to the same level of care they enjoy. I’m guess the Good Samaritan was also a liberal addition to the Bible.

In addition, what’s wrong with people’s health care no longer being dependent on the profit margin of the insurers? No more worry about pre-existing conditions. No more co-payments. No more going bankrupt because you can’t pay for your medical treatment.

Sounds awful.

I’m guessing you’ll be joining the exodus to Canada… you know, the country with socialised medicine.

Terry A. Hurlbut

That’s because you don’t understand liberty.

Your professors would be proud of you now. Professors Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.


Coming from somebody who thinks the Patriot Act is the greatest thing ever, that’s rich.

Liberty means people have choices – Mr. Ban-Abortion-And-Kill-The-Abortion-Doctors.

You can’t have your cake and eat it. So which is it – government regulates certain things to the benefit of the population, or liberty?

Terry A. Hurlbut

What choices does ObamaCare (ObamaTax?) give people? I see no choices. I see the future you look for: all doctors in the employ of the government, and only one choice of treatment (or non-treatment, if the government deems you useless).


Why is it you’re quite happy for the government to regulate what women do to their bodies 9which, unless you’ve grown a uterus lately you have no say in), or what they do in their bedrooms, but when it comes to offering citizens a better standard of living, you’re all against that?

Strange definition of liberty you’re using.

Also you do realise that the US has a higher infant mortality than Cuba, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Canada, Czech Rep and any other large western European country. And before you say anything – it’s come down since that war criminal George W quit the White House.

Also, why didn’t the GOP or the Tea Party come up with a single alternative proposal? Do you really care that little about your fellow citizens?

Terry A. Hurlbut

The only reason you call George W. Bush a war criminal is that your sympathies lie with our country’s enemies, and hissympathies lay, and continue to lie, with the country that elected him (twice) to lead it.

Now then: do you really want those of us who want liberty, to come up with a proposal for an alternative jail?

Finally: if abortion ought to be perfectly legal, then duelling ought to be legal, too.


You mean the people he duped – like yourself – int invading a country that had never threatened the US? I suppose you still believe Saddam had WMD and that he helped Osama.

Funny how Bush flew all the Bin laden family out of the US after 9/11 and declared Mission Accomplished 7 years before osama was killed. I wonder if he had anything to hide? Like his Taleban oil deals?

Why not dueling? It’s legal in Columbia – as long as both participants are registered organ donors. That’s a non argument. Hell, the way Texas kills innocent people, they might as well let people fight it out – if you win, you’re innocent.

It would also remove a lot of testosterone-drive knuckleheads from society, so I’m all for it. But only if I get to slap you with the gauntlet and not the other way around!

You can’t complain about having your liberty stripped away, when your sole aim in life is to strip liberties away from women and gay people. It works both ways. Then again, if you want the liberty to die from something because you couldn’t afford the treatment, or because your insurer denied the treatment, then go right ahead.

Your jail analogy is frankly stupid. You seriously mean to say that not one right winger can think of a better health care plan than ‘Hey! Let’s make the insurance companies rich. It’s ok if they cut benefits to make bigger profits!”?


PS First election he stole, second election he ran against a nobody, as dictated by the Bilderberg Group. It’s the old “create a problem – provide the solution” scenario.

Why do you think the credit crunch happened on Dubbya’s watch? And 9/11? and the illegal wars?

Terry A. Hurlbut

The credit crunch was Barney Frank’s fault. That might be why he won’t run for Congress anymore; he’s too ashamed, however illogical that might sound. Blame the Community Reinvestment Act, and the direct orders to lend money to non-credit-worthy borrowers.

For Nine-eleven, blame Clinton for putting up walls of separation between and among intelligence agencies. (Though maybe you’re a Truther, one of those people who think that not only did Bush negligently let it happen; he deliberately made it happen.)

Your claim about illegal wars is weak, for a simple reason: Congress did authorize some use of force. Furthermore, Obama continued some of those wars himself. (Though I didn’t appreciate his lending US military protection to expoeditionary forces in Libya, without so much as a by-your-leave to Congress. Bush went to Congress. Obama hasn’t done that since 2011.)

Terry A. Hurlbut

Never threatened the US? Hm-m-m-m. So harboring terrorists and giving them a place to train is not “threatening the US,” in your book. Tell me this, sister: what would be?

Now: I do have an alternative. But I don’t expect you to like it. (Though you might, if you would think about it for a moment.) That alternative is: get out of the way, let insurers sell their insurance policies across State lines, remove the trust-like protections that conventional doctors enjoy at the expense of alternative practitioners, let people set up Health Savings Accounts so that they can self-insure for all but the worst catastrophes, and people will have an incentive to stay well and avoid accidents. A lot of brainwashing has gone on, and not only by progressive politicians and theorists, either: not enough doctors will tell you that diseases like diabetes, cancer, and even arthritis are not inevitable, and do not strike like lightning, and you can avoid them.

Obama’s plan, at best, pays for more of the same kind of medicine that has, frankly, failed its patients. I was part of that establishment for some years, and I have looked into alternative medical research and treatments. And the real reason that the cost of medicine has gone up without limit is that the patient never even sees the extra cost. Hardly anyone does.

This plan will ultimately do nothing but bring the whole economy into a permanent vegetative state, like that in the now-defunct Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact.


“ever threatened the US? Hm-m-m-m. So harboring terrorists and giving them a place to train is not “threatening the US”

And there you go, swallowing the Kool-Aid. name one terrorist that he harboured. One. Go on. Be careful you don’t get confused with the one’s harboured by Bush’s buddies in Syria, Pakistan, or Afghanistan or Libya.

If you still believe the lie Bush and Powell foisted on the American people, well… that’s your lookout. Although next time I’m in town, I’m selling you London Bridge. Cheap.

Wait… did you just seriously advocate alternative medicine as a viable option? Hoo boy. I never took you for a New Ager waving crystals around and doing reiki. You do know what they call alternative medicine that works, right? Medicine.

Also, yes diabetes and heart disease are avoidable. However, as the US is the most obese country on the planet, not many of you are going to avoid it. And once again, your plan falls flat – what about those who have pre-existing conditions? What about those who can’t afford it? What about adult dependants?

As with your Ayn Rand fantasies, it looks good on paper, but has no place in reality.

Terry A. Hurlbut

What about that training camp that had a broken-up airliner in it? What about those bounties Saddam Hussein paid to suicide bombers in Gaza? (And what makes you think they wouldn’t be on their way over here, maybe to blow themselves up at a Passover seder in New York?)

London Bridge? You mean Tower Bridge, right? London tore down the original low-level bridge that had the shops along its length.

Now about alternative medicine: The so-called New Age movement has no monopoly on alternative medicine. You might not know this, if you never got onto any Christian or “patriotic” mailing lists. But they have their versions of alternative medicine, too.

Now for your information, I am not obese. I do not even qualify, by the currently-in-use actuarial tables, as overweight. That is how I avoided arthritis and Type Two Diabetes Mellitus. I was responsible. Were you? (Your avatar doesn’t give me a clue.)

Now the pre-existing condition problem exists for one reason only: because Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Congress allowed people to escape some payment of the very high income taxes of their day by getting their employers to buy health insurance for them. That destroyed the individual market for health insurance.

Here’s the problem with trying to revive that: this bill sets up conditions that would bankrupt any insurer.

Admit it, Jess: your goal is to have the government employ all doctors and to have all citizens and lawful residents (and presumably all foreign tourists) get their health care from the kinds of hospitals and clinics that the VA runs. From my own dreary experience in core clinical clerkships and elective externships in the “VA-SPA,” I don’t think too many patients will call that a bargain.


Yes Terry, a secular Sunni Muslim (Saddam) is going to fund fundamentalist Shi’ite Muslims. Why do you think the Iran-Iraq war happened? Do you really know so little of world affairs?

PS When you say enemies of the country, I’m guessing you’re including Switzerland in that list, because that’s another country George and Dick can never visit again.

And by training camp, I assume you mean Salman Pak. I quote from Freerepublic in 2004: link to

“U.S. intelligence agencies eventually rejected the notion of a link between Salman Pak and the 9/11 attacks, based in part on the presumption that secularist Saddam would have never conspired with religious fundamentalists.

Officials at the CIA and State Department concluded that while hijack training did take place at Salman Pak, it was actually to instruct Iraqi counterterrorism units in anti-hijacking tactics.”

So unfortunately, that theory of yours doesn’t hold water.

And no, I meant London Bridge – the one currently in Arizona.

Glad to hear you are one of the seemingly few healthy Americans. I am healthy too – run the London and Comrades marathons regularly.

And of course it’s all the Dem’s fault. It has nothing to do with the conditions that started to be imposed when Nixon allowed companies like Kaiser Health, or whatever it’s called to operate on a for-profit basis.

And my goal? ooh, I wish I had that kind of power. My goal is to see all people have equal access to health care. Why should somebody die from a treatable disease, merely because they’re poor?

Oh yes, two things to finish off on – you still have said what you mean by “alternative medicine’ – please from a description.

And using my name which was disclosed in a private e-mail to you – not cool.

Terry A. Hurlbut

What did Shi’ite Muslims have to do with the conversation? The Nine-eleven assassins were Sunnis, as the link you gave said. Though if, as it also said, “US intelligence officials” dismissed the Salman Pak training ground, then they suffer from a failure of imagination. Saddam Hussein struck me as being as cynical as a Borgia. He would make common cause with anyone who would either pay him well or enhance his position. If he would should “Allah Ackbar” in an official address to his subjects, as he did during the first Gulf War, then he wouldn’t stick at giving those Nine-eleven people a place to train.

You also forget that the State Department especially got salted years ago with pro-Arabist fellow travelers. That, of course, explains America’s occasional wrongheaded ambivalence toward the Republic of Israel.

Turning now to health care: first of all, I carry no brief for any political party as such. Republicans make mistakes, too. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a Tea Party man. Though I fail to see why letting anyone offer health maintenance services for profit is ipso facto evil or criminal.

Health care is a service, like any other. So is food. And staying healthy is possible. I wouldn’t expect you to admit it, because you seem to revel in a permanent dependent class who will vote for you so that you will extort money from those of us who are responsible about our resources.

What if we all went on strike? What if all of the productive, creative, and inventive people went on strike? That’s what Ayn Rand was trying to illustrate. And neither you nor Barack Obama nor Richard A. Cloward nor Frances Fox Piven nor Henry Waxman nor Edward Ma(la)rkey, nor John Kerry, nor Barbara Boxer, nor any of those other fellow travelers could blame us if we did.


You mean the Bush-ear State Department, of course. Which you say was full of pro-Arab sympathisers at the time he was making stuff up to go war against Arab nations.

And you were the one who bought up Gaza – guess which sect they are?

“health maintenance services for profit is ipso facto evil or criminal.”

Nobody’s saying it is – but it is immoral to put profit over people’s well-being, which is what many of the insurers do. Of course, as an Ayn Rand fanboy that concept is alien to you.

And your “Health care is a service, like any other” is cynical at best. The police are a service, the fire brigade are a service, the army are a service. Would you like it if the police wouldn’t come to your house because you couldn’t afford to pay them? Or are you quite happy to accept socialised policing? Because that’s what you have.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Oh, I see. So either a government provides every service that you deem necessary to the survival of a physical human being, or it provides no services at all.

The police, the military, and the law courts are the proper province of government for one reason only: they manage force. They exert force when necessary to protect individual rights. And those rights are the right not to be killed, robbed, or assaulted in any manner. Those are rights. “Health care” is a good. It is something you have to go out and trade to get.

(For the record, everyone: I am not a “rational anarchist.” I don’t see a “voluntary association of homesteaders and/or tenants” as workable beyond a certain size. As soon as you get one person in it who is not on the same page, that’s trouble. And when trouble begins, you have to answer it.)

The fire brigade could have a separate organizing principle: those who have the most to lose from fire, pool their resources and offer to put out fire wherever it breaks out. They make a judgment that the most efficient way to fight fire is to snuff it out before it even gets to them.

I heard about that case involving the fire fee, and the county fire department that let someone’s house burn. The authorities in that case handled that very poorly. They ought to have accepted such freeloading as the price for making sure that no fire will get so out-of-hand that their own property would inevitably suffer. That’s the principle of the Committee of Safety: you guarantee everyone’s safety so that the gangsters can never threaten you. A Committee of Fire Safety would work on the same principle: you just accept that some people are not going to pay the fee, and fight the fire anyway, because fire has a nasty way of spreading.

Now what do you mean by “well-being”? By what authority do you decide that? The only one who has any role in deciding whether someone’s profit is too high, is the person trading with that someone. If the trader thinks he’s getting a bad deal, he can walk away, and find somebody else. Problem solved. It is not for a third party, that is, someone not a party to a trade, to decide whether a given trade is fair or not. Unless one or the other parties, not happy with the trade, ask that third party. Whom we usually call a “judge.” And even then, the only grounds to intervene are force and fraud.

If you think you can show fraud, show it. But fraud isn’t the issue. The issue is: you have no proper concept of rights, so you want a government that will guarantee everything, at the expense of the responsible ones. And so the police become your bully-boys.


So to recap Mr. Purpura’s three approaches:

1) Prolong the court challenges over technicalities that weren’t strong enough to include in the original suits.

2) Have the states try to nullify the law one at a time, basing their reasoning on a lawsuit that’s been rejected in every venue it’s been submitted to.

3) Have individuals clog up the court system by bombarding it with lawsuits based on the same failed approach you’re relying on for option #2.

It’s said that insanity can be defined as repeating the same actions over and over while expecting the outcome to be different. You don’t have to be that dramatic to recognize that none of these approaches actually offer any option that hasn’t already been shot down – multiple times in some cases. Is your pool of ideas so shallow?

Also, none of them do anything to offer the public a better solution to the healthcare challenges facing the nation – they only seek to roll back the clock to a state so unsatisfactory that it allowed enough support for the ACA to be passed in the first place.

More to the point, I wasn’t the only one to notice how laughable Romney’s reaction speech was – The Daily Show did a god recap of it last night. Basically, Romney’s continuing to pledge to repeal the ACA right after being elected, and replacing it with elements that have real benefits. Except, all the beneficial elements he stated are already in the ACA! The part he would kill, the Individual Mandate, is the key element that makes the rest fiscally viable.

So Romney’s promised “improved” replacement option for Obamacare is essentially Obamacare, but without any means to finance it and keep the debt in control.

And this is a man whose business sense is supposed to be his best qualification?

[…] hearing about “severability” – if you don’t know what that is, read Nick Purpura’s recent article. A severability clause was not included in this legislation but that didn’t stop this Court. They […]


So, to simplify your response – the government can kill people and lock them up, but not save their lives?

It must be a very scary world in which you live.


Let me put it another way – I seem to recall you telling me you’re an MD.

So if a mother brings you a dying child, but has no money, would you let that child die.

Or would you treat the child and send a bill to the government to pay for your treatment?

Terry A. Hurlbut

I would treat the child and then work out a settlement with her. During the Depression, a lot of country doctors got paid in roof shingles, chickens, fresh vegetables, name it.


Well, then you are a saint.

Because no other doctor would do that. They can’t pay for Mercedes Benz’s and $1 million houses with roof shingles and chickens. Not to mention paying off their student loans.

Not only that, but multiply that child by 100. What are you going to do with 100 chickens?

Terry A. Hurlbut

Start a chicken farm. What do you think? Trade some of those chickens for other things. Why must you quibble?


“Start a chicken farm. What do you think? Trade some of those chickens for other things. Why must you quibble?”

For someone who loves capitalism as you do, that’s displaying a real deliberate ignorance to the inefficiencies of barter versus currency. An “Ayn Rand world” would more likely have the “productive, creative, and inventive people” not wanting to waste their time running trading posts when they can be focusing on doing the things they do best for the maximum profit they can earn.

Terry A. Hurlbut

I find barter inherently morally superior to a “currency” that works by having somebody stick a gun in your face and say, “This piece of paper is worth what I and my gun say it’s worth!”

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Somebody would run a trading post to facilitate trade. Currency is nothing more than some trade good that is readily enough available for everyone to get his hands on some of it, but just rare enough to be valuable. In some cities in Europe, cigarettes became a currency. Maybe in the scenario you criticize, the chickens themselves would become a currency.

The best currencies are gold and silver, unless and until someone finds a way to manufacture either.


“I find barter inherently morally superior to a “currency” that works by having somebody stick a gun in your face and say, “This piece of paper is worth what I and my gun say it’s worth!”

And in a barter system, this chicken isn’t worth what I and my gun says it’s worth? But that’s going off topic.

Yes, let’s go back to the economy used in third-world nations, because it’s so much more efficient than being able to conduct business using an accepted currency. Having to go to a trading post to exchange your goods & services for something a needed counterparty will accept just adds inefficiency to a free market. If you really believe in what you say, then you should be funding your site through barter instead of accepting electronic payments for the products you advertise at the top.

Gold and silver are really just objects for barter, by the way, not true currencies – they only have the value people agree to as a convention, and a lump of gold or a paper bill are both the same once a society agrees to the standard. If not, then the value is set with each transaction, and if you’re dying of thirst a glass of water is worth a lot more gold than if you’re not.

But you know this, don’t you? I regard you as a very educated man, Terry, but you choose to cling to some very strange conclusions despite that.

Terry A. Hurlbut

That’s a false choice, of course. The real choice for currency is a commodity, like gold, silver, or oil. But you insist on defining the word currency as something that a government, or a one-world federation, decrees. I ask you again: by what authority? By what authority do you say that only something called “The United States Dollar” or “The Euro” or, perhaps, “The United Nations Dove,” shall be legal tender for all debts, public or private?

Maybe gold’s value will rise or fall, a little, with different transactions. But gold, or silver, or oil, are still objective values. Your government fiat (a Latin jussive subjunctive form translating literally as “Let there be…!”) currency is a subjective value. In fact it is not a value at all. That paper bill is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Especially since, ever since 1973, the United States Dollar is no longer convertible into gold.

Your worship of human government is unbecoming a free man.


I think we’re starting with the same facts but reaching different conclusions.

I agree with you that an ideal currency is one that has an inherent value as a commodity as well. If the “full faith and credit” of the government backing it up turns out to be hollow, you have something better than a piece of paper to trade with.

This is the fallacy of relying on a gold standard to peg the value of paper currency to. It’s essentially taken on faith that a gold-standard government actually has the reserves to match the money supply represented on paper, and that in any time, including war or a grave crisis, the paper would still be exchangeable. It’s all about trust in the end, and in a global market any disruptive change to the supply of that commodity can play havoc with the value of one’s wealth as well.

Gold was a historic choice because it was reasonably rare, chemically stable, and easy to craft into a variety of shapes and sizes for trade. Time and technology have changed that, with gold now having many practical uses besides coinage and jewelry – like oil, it’s a commodity that is most useful when applied to practical use instead of simply being stored.

I don’t worship human government, but I respect human intellect. Many of the greatest advances in history, especially recent history, came from people realizing that cooperating in interdependent systems based on trust that can be audited and verified could unlock tremendous productivity and value. That trust comes with the potential for fraud and abuse, but on the whole the vast majority of mankind will act in good faith if good faith is returned. Just look at the explosion of value and innovation the Internet has unlocked, when so much of these interactions are based on trust and good faith in the actors behaving responsibly.

If you prefer a world where the only business worth doing is when people physically exchange shiny pieces of metal to move value, enjoy. I prefer to be with the part of humankind constantly working to reach our potential, and relying on trust and partnership to get me there faster than mistrust and paranoia.

Terry A. Hurlbut

That’s the problem. The government has broken the faith and has no more credit. This was inevitable.

The best currency are certificates from a private bank, not a public one. This bank would store gold in its own warehouse-sized vaults. It would issue certificates that say, “ABC Bank has such-a-weight of gold on deposit. Turn this in, and the gold is yours.” Banks could agree to honor one another’s certificates. The enforcement mechanism is simple: if someone turns in the certificate and asks for the gold, and you don’t have it, then at best, nobody will do business with you again. (And at worst, the police place you under arrest for fraud.) The cost? A fee for storing the gold, always with the understanding that a person could always demand the physical gold, take it out of the warehouse, and put it into his own safe or vault. Depending on how much gold is involved, it would probably be worth it even to an individual householder to keep a small amount, say in coin, and not to open an account for a trifling sum.

By the way: historically, gold was twenty dollars an ounce, and that is the real meaning of the “twenty dollar” figure in the Sixth Amendment. Silver was one dollar an ounce. We have William Jennings Bryan to thank for the idea of debasing the objective currency of his day, and Woodrow Wilson to thank for turning our currency into nothing more than hot air. (And an earlier Supreme Court for letting him get away with it. Which goes to another problem I have with Supreme Courts: that they get it into their justicial heads that “the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means, any time it says it.”)

Fiat money is no money at all. What makes it worse is fractional reserve banking. Banks need keep only, say, 20 percent of their assets on reserve. The rest, they lend out to other banks. And: the banking system counts that money as an asset of the lending bank and also as cash-on-hand at the borrowing bank or other borrower. In fact, fractional-reserve banking “multiplies” the amount of money in the system by the reciprocal of the reserve requirement.

Now you know and I know that there’s a very unpleasant, but still family-friendly, word for this practice: Fraud!. And just what do you think happens when everyone calls in every loan at once? “Oh, but they wouldn’t.” But I still ask: what would happen if it did?

As William Devane, the current pitchman for Rosland Capital, says: you can’t print gold. You can’t print silver, or oil, or copper, either.

I do not say that I never trust anybody. I do say that I cannot trust a government that conjures up money out of thin air. When that government then tells me, “This money is worthless only in the eyes of them that are stupid or unfit for their jobs,” I consider that an insult to my intelligence. Hans Christian Andersen illustrated this point better than I could ever do.


Your idea that banks should basically be warehouses to store commodities for a fee is like renting a secure mattress to stuff your coins in. An odd perspective, given the lessons in Matthew 25:14-30.

There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, but accumulating wealth and not doing anything purposeful with it is bad for everyone. Wealth should be invested, not hoarded, so the value is unlocked and spread across the people doing useful things with that investment.

That’s the point of allowing banks to hold a reserve while lending the rest for investments in homes, businesses, vehicles, etc. Yes, there’s a level of trust required, and the FDIC helped with that after the lessons of the bank runs at the outset of the Depression. The FDIC worked well because it was paired with the Glass-Steagall regulations that forbid institutions from taking deposits to speculate with it. Only after the rules were repealed did we see the markets return to the kind of reckless behavior that led to the crisis of 2008 – a key lesson of history ignored, and a heavy price paid.

That’s why the Right’s obsession with deregulation is so laughably hypocritical – there’s little trust for the government, but plenty of blind faith in firms like Goldman that enriched themselves while selling investments to suckers, and betting against the suckers for their own account.

Terry A. Hurlbut

You forget one thing. You want funds for loans? Then let people put money up on time deposit. That’s the real lesson of the Parable of the Talents (or the Parable of the Minas in the Gospel According to Luke.) The two savvier servants invested in business ventures, and each man doubled his share. The third man should have put his money up on time deposit. But what we have now is an account that tries to pretend to be a demand deposit, when in fact it has no security whatsoever.

And don’t count time deposits twice, as “money on deposit” in one bank, and “cash on hand” at another. That’s the flaw in fractional-reserve banking.

Why do you think the Great Banking Crisis happened? Because too many people had to call in their loans at once, because they needed to convert their deposits into cash. Too many “but…but…buts” later, and we had what we went through in 2008. So what the government came up with is another way to agree on keeping up the scam. That, and an avowed socialist looking for a way to redistribute wealth, and “never let[ting] a good crisis go to waste.”

All I’m saying is: if you’re going to have money on demand deposit, don’t expect it to yield the income of a time deposit. In fact, reconcile yourself to paying service charges, if you want to be sure that when you and every other Tom, Dick and Harry want your money back, it will be there.

Terry A. Hurlbut

The government can reply with force against those who initiate its use.

And nothing else.


Addressing random points made by Terry in one post, rather than scattershot:

1) Interesting how you argue here that certain services don’t scale well once the population exceeds a certain point – that was the position you were arguing against in your essay about privatizing roads in your ideal “Ayn Rand World”.

2) Your statements regarding how fire-fighting services should be handled in an ideal world are also full of double-standards:

2.1) Providing fire-fighting services to all, including those without the means to pay for the service is a public good since it prevents the spread of damage from the uncovered to the covered. How does this not apply to disease-management, basic preventative health and immunization services. Whether from actual epidemics or just lost productivity, health issues affect all of society.

2.2) In an “Ayn Rand World”, why would any rational person pay for fire insurance if they knew they’d be served in a fire anyway (especially if they lived in a dense neighborhood? In this model it’s a completely rational choice to “take your chances” and save money each month against the possibility that you might get a fire down the road. With all these rational people watching out for their economic self-interest, who gets stuck with the bill to run the fire department day-to-day?

3) Okay, a poor person breaks an arm and you set it, and together you work out repayment over time. What about the poor person who comes to you with cancer, MS, or a similar long-term or high-cost condition?

4) Health insurance companies run for profit have no rational incentive to provide affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions. There’s no rational incentive to provide caps on co-pays either. They have an obligation to maximize returns for their shareholders, and that’s in clear contradiction to serving the overall public interest even when the services they provide are valuable to those who can afford it.

5) While for-profit health insurance providers have a responsibility to maximize shareholder return, they have no such obligation to maximize the percent of care provided per dollar of premiums paid. Medicare spends 5 percent of each health care dollar on administrative expenses, compared with 17 percent spent on average by private insurers. Which system actually serves the public interest better then, when it comes to dollars-paid for care received?
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You and Mr. Purpura are still not offering anything better as a national-level solution than a laissez-faire, “profits first and every one for himself” primary system, with begging for charity as the safety net (assuming the group running the charity doesn’t restrict treatment based on their beliefs).

Reality isn’t that simplistic, and just like with your “Ayn Rand Roads” world, having a world that conforms to your black-and-white view may satisfy your sense of individual freedom, but it’ll provide a third-world standard of living when self-interest takes precedence over the benefits of living in a society.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Why should we offer anything other than a voluntary system? By what authority do you demand, at the point of a gun, that any person do any favor for any other person?

Reality really is just as “simplistic” as you so ineptly put it. The government never produces anything. It orders something, at the point of a gun.

And charity at the point of a gun is the worst fraud that anyone ever perpetrated on mankind.


“Reality really is just as “simplistic” as you so ineptly put it. The government never produces anything. It orders something, at the point of a gun.”

Government, when run properly, provides services to the citizens that are best delivered at the national level because of economies of scale or for the sake of maintaining order instead of chaos.

Even defense is a service in this context, which is why we have a unified national military instead of a collection of state militias trying to defend the security welfare of all.

In a nation like ours, the control of the government lies in the hands of the people, who have managed to peacefully choose who to represent their interests ever few years for over two centuries (except for the Civil War of course). You get the government you deserve, and if you don’t like it, you can replace the House and a third of the Senate in two years or less, and the Executive office in four or less.

No one is pointing a gun and demanding you do anything – that’s pure inflammatory rhetoric. If you’re so unquestionably correct about how this nation should be run, then lead people in your direction with equally unquestionable logic and they’ll follow. Misinformation, borderline libel and spreading the usual FUD talking points isn’t going to do it.

Terry A. Hurlbut

You clearly don’t understand. Government, by definition, holds a gun. Of course someone is pointing a gun. Whenever anyone says, “Do this, or pay a fine, or else come along with me, unless you want to die,” that’s coercion.

Your idea is of a government that can do literally anything. There’s more to it than “if you don’t like it, replace its leadership every so often.” The Framers recognized that in a republic, each person, and each political subdivision, has certain rights that define his or its relationship with the whole and with every larger division to which he or it belongs. But you don’t recognize anyone’s inherent right to property, or to the fruits of his labor, or the return on his investment.

And then you demand the sanction of the victim—or rather, the sanction of the target.

Consider that sanction withdrawn.


You clearly don’t understand. Government, by definition, holds a gun. Of course someone is pointing a gun. Whenever anyone says, “Do this, or pay a fine, or else come along with me, unless you want to die,” that’s coercion.

I completely understand that, Terry. I also understand the founding principle that when a government goes past the limits of acceptable behavior, the people have an inherent right to declare that they no longer recognize that authority as legitimate, and replace it with a new form of government that they find acceptable. We couldn’t vote King George III out of power, so it took armed force to change that government. Since that time, elections and the possible use of recall & impeachment have done the job just fine, along with amendments to the Constitution itself as needed.

I’m personally much more of a libertarian-leaning person than you’d suspect – it’s my frequent disagreement with you that’s earned me the “liberal” label here on CNaV, and frankly, I don’t care to expend any effort at convincing people what label to use instead – labels are too often misused anyway.

My idea is of a government is one that’s essentially limited in nature, but also one that serves the public good. Call it a slippery slope if you want, but the entire history of the U.S.A. is replete with acts by the Federal government that had nothing to do with the powers granted to it under the Constitution, but served the public good.

As one example, I don’t believe there was any Constitutionally-permitted power that allowed the wealth of the citizens to be used to purchase lands to expand the nation at the whim of the Executive branch. A federal government operating strictly under the limits of the Constitution would have administered the original territory of the U.S.A., and North America would be a vastly different place today as a result.

Terry A. Hurlbut

That’s the problem. It is a slippery slope!. When you define government as you do, the “limits” you say you would set on it, are meaningless.

What is the public good? In point of fact, there is no such entity as “the public”! What you and I call “the public” is a collection of people. Who decides who gets served? Who is the public?

I hold no brief for those who made, to say the least, mistakes, and to say the most, outright trespasses on the Constitution. I want that to stop. To do that, I follow the lead of some of the most inventive thinkers whose works I have read. I seek to set a hard-and-fast limit on the government. Never again do I want to see the kind of debacle we have now.

Territorial expansion, cession, and trade is and always has been an inherent power of any government. Furthermore, when you consider whom we bought some of those territories from, that would fall neatly under common defense. (Consider the Louisiana Purchase. We bought that from—guess whom?—Napoleon Bonaparte.) And consider this: the Louisiana Purchase had to go through Congress. The House had to appropriate the funds to make the buy, and two-thirds of the Senate had to vote to ratify the treaty as a treaty.

The “social welfare” programs of today fall under no legitimate heading. The phrase general welfare refers to “welfare of the union of States,” not “welfare of specific citizens and lawful residents who cannot or will not fend for themselves.” And because no such organic entity as “the public” exists, apart from its constituent members, “the public welfare” becomes “the welfare of favored classes of people who pledge their votes in exchange for letting the State rob those who would never vote for it, to pay those who will.”


The point is that it’s taken somebody “pointing a gun” at people like you to get them to actually care about their fellow man. Up until now nobody’s cared – you’ve all be walking past the poor, beat up man on the road. Well, now you’re being forced to be Samaritans.

“Why should we offer anything other than a voluntary system” – because those who can not afford to partake of the voluntary system, would face a higher chance of dying. And that, my friend, has eugenics written all over it.

Terry A. Hurlbut

So you don’t even apologize for pointing that gun. I hope you remember that, because by your logic, someone else could point a gun at you, if only to say, “Drop it.”

Eugenics is actually another pointing-of-the-gun project. Someone points a gun at a group of people, and says, “You will marry this person. And you may not marry that person. And I select you to die, because you are genetically defective.”

You amaze me. You fail to distinguish between nature and a human tyrant.

There’s nothing about genetics here. This is about human liberty. And with that I will not compromise.

All right. So you admit that you’re holding that gun. Well, then: pull the trigger, or drop it. Because I refuse to obey you.


So it basically boils down to the fact that you’re opposing this not on political grounds, but because you’re selfish? “To hell with those who cannot afford the same standard of living I enjoy.”

Also, I have no idea where your marriage rant came from – nobody is forcing anybody to marry anybody.

Terry A. Hurlbut

And what’s wrong with selfishness? And for that matter: what, in practice, separates altruism from spite? Especially political practice?

As to the “marriage rant”: you’re the one who mentioned eugenics. I was just saying, for the record, what eugenics really means, so that your rant wouldn’t confuse anybody.


“And what’s wrong with selfishness? And for that matter: what, in practice, separates altruism from spite?”

Yes, because the four Gospels are just chock full of Jesus teaching that selfishness is the key to God’s grace, and that altruism is spiteful.

Is a healthy dose of rational self-interest bad, in and of itself? Absolutely not. What’s problematic is when people draw ridiculous absolutes like Ayn Rand did, and ignore that humanity is social in nature, with the capacity to do selfless things a part of our makeup as well.

If I saw a car about to hit a child I didn’t know, I’d risk my life to jump in the way and try to save her, even though that risks leaving my own children fatherless. It’s a pure, instinctive values-based call, because if that were one of my kids I’d hope a stranger would do the same.

This is the Golden Rule in action – act towards others as you’d want them to act towards you, whereas the “Ayn Rand World” assumes that if we all act towards others in the way that optimizes our self-interest, life will be better for all in the big picture. Problem is, that “big picture” involves winners and losers, and Objectivism’s appeal is only for the winners.

I went through my post-college introduction to Rand, and though she was onto something at first. In time, though, I began to feel like she was overcompensating for her justifiable revulsion for the Soviet way of life she grew up under, and swinging off the opposite “deep end”. There’s no real personal commitment in an Ayn Rand World – you know, the kind where you do for your partner without requiring an imaginary ledger to balance later on. The heroine from Atlas Shrugged moved from lover to lover, with each one deciding that the next man better met her needs, so that was fine with them. Rand herself didn’t exactly take the commitment of marriage seriously, and if someone was living up to her ideals, they’d divorce a terminally-ill spouse so they wouldn’t be saddled with the medical-care debt after their passing, and the spouse would approve.

Terry A. Hurlbut

The Golden Rule ceases to be when the government pulls out its guns. How do you expect a society to keep any fellow-feeling at all when half of it has hired a road agent to rob the other half? What entitles the robber half to do the robbing, other than their failure at looking out for themselves? And how do you expect the targets of your robbery to keep putting up with it?

Your whole scheme will fail the minute enough of your targets withdraw the sanction they’ve been giving you all this time, and say to you:

Don’t try to find me. You won’t. Don’t say that I owe you. I don’t. Don’t cry that you need me. I don’t give a fig. Don’t claim that you own me. You don’t. Don’t beg me to come back. I am on strike.

[…] Supreme Court acts like Machiavelli […]

That’s a first. Normally eugenics is described as “ethnic cleansing, the use of abortion to eliminate ‘defective’ unborn babies, infanticide, etc, etc” At least, that’s what the pro-lifers would have us believe.

“What’s wrong with selfishness”

Well nothing if that’s the kind of person you are. I’m just wondering how you equate it with “Love thy neighbour as thy love thyself.” Although, if I remember from your other comments, this is the point where you throw Christianity out of the window and revert back to Old Testament verses.

The real irony of it is that is the blue collar, redneck Tea party members who need this cover the most, to save them going bankrupt every time they have to go into hospital. And yet they’re too busy chanting what the millionaires are telling to chant to sit down, shut up and actually realise it’s good for them.

It’s as ludicrous as tea party members taking the day off to protest their bosses’ 4% tax hike. I’d understand if they protested their 2% wage hike.

I have yet to see the right make any coherent argument against Obamacare, except “Waah! My freedom!” Show me how it will impact you financially and you might make a case. Until then, all I hear is the bleating of uninformed sheeple.

Terry A. Hurlbut

Finally you play that card. “Can’t you see that you’re going against your own interest?” In other words, those “blue-collared rednecks” ought to accept your bribe that you extort from the white-collar crowd. And you can’t stand it because, for once, a large-enough element of that blue-collar crowd got wise to you.

And here is what they understand: a government that can rob somebody to pay them, can as easily rob them to pay somebody else.


For all the hysteria you show about Evil Government waving hypothetical guns around with the Affordable Care Act, Terry, you have absolutely no problem with the literal waving around of guns by police at the homeless and beggars. I guess it’s only “force” when it’s a law you don’t like.

Police beating up hobos = OK

Federal authorities “forcing at the point of a gun” (i.e. regulations, in real-world speak) at health insurance corporations = Teh Eb1l.

Terry A. Hurlbut

“Police beating up hobos”? What are you talking about? Or do you now agitate for the refusal, by the police or the law courts, to recognize any such misdemeanor as “trespass”? That strongly suggests that you seek to abolish property and insist that the society hold all land in common.


Yes. Yes I do.

Terry A. Hurlbut

So you admit it. I like brass. I like it a lot better than hypocrisy. Just don’t expect me to accept your plans as workable, when your goal amounts to nothing less than highway robbery and brigandage.


So, Conrail, Amtrak, TVA, NYC subway, et al. were/are all brigands and highway robbers?

Terry A. Hurlbut

Well, if you want to know the truth, every bit of that was unconstitutional. Governments have no business running planes or trains. If that sounds radical to you, then I put it that it’s no more radical than turning one-sixth of our country’s economy into a command system subject to Five Year Plans, input-output analysis, the whole schmear.


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