From: Brian Holtz []
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 9:34 AM
To: ''; ''
Cc: ''
Subject: RE: Allow me represent you in the Ex-Com

>>>>> PI:  The case law you cited is irrelevant.

It's completely relevant to the issue of  whether the Art I Sec 8 Cl 1 "common defense and general welfare" infinitive phrase modifies the Art I Sec 8 Cl 11 war power.

>>>>> PI: The highest law in the land is the U.S. Constitution, not a court interpretation of it.

I never said otherwise. But note that if the Constitution admits of two contradictory interpretations, only one of them can be considered binding, and the Constitution itself (ex hypothesi) can't tell you which to choose.

>>>>> PI: The U.S. Constitution isn?t vague or ambiguous.

It's ludicrous to pretend that reasonable people could never disagree over how the language of the Constitution applies to specific situations. For example, Madison and Hamilton disagreed over whether the "common defense and general welfare" phrase merely modifies the taxation power or is a distinct grant of powers.

>>>>> PI: We the people are forming a more perfect union.  Why?  To provide defense.  For whom?  For America.

The Preamble is simply not operative in granting or limiting federal power. It says why the federal government was created, not what it can or cannot do. If you want to know what the Constitution says the federal government can or cannot do, you need to look for language like "the Congress shall have power..." or "Congress shall make no law...".  The word "shall" does not appear in the Preamble.

>>>>> PI: Congress can collect taxes to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.  It can?t collect taxes to provide for the common defense and general welfare of Iraq, or Kuwait, or anyone else. 

The war power is granted by clause 11, not clause 1.  Clause 1 would indeed disallow a specific empire tax or nation-building tax, but it doesn't require that the general-purpose Armies authorized in clause 12 confine their operations to U.S. soil, or their actions to repelling invasions. Indeed, clause 15 is an example of how the Constitution does limit the scope of military action when it wants to, by placing on the Militia the very sort of restriction that it doesn't place on the Army: "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions".

>>>>> PI: Unless you can specifically show me the part of the U.S. Constitution that authorizes the U.S. government to use the military for non-defensive purposes

"To raise and support Armies" and "To declare War". QED.

>>>>> PI: Nothing else you mentioned is worth responding to.  Your arguments have no merit, are baseless, [..] I?m not going to waste my time getting into a pissing contest with you because you just aren?t worth it. [..] Your arguments are untenable from a libertarian perspective. [..] Your views are worthless. [..] ?m happy we had this discussion so I could see how truly brainwashed and ignorant you are [..] I?m not going to waste my time destroying you over and over again as I have been.  I?ve got more important things to do and far more intelligent people to talk to; besides, you?ve proven to everyone that you aren?t the slightest bit libertarian. I only hope the other people up in the Silicon Valley area will see your blatant stupidity

Methinks you doth protest too much. Our readers are intelligent enough to figure out whether one of us is "destroying" the other's arguments, and your sputtering outburst here will only reinforce what I think is the obvious conclusion in that regard.

>>>>> PI: [Your arguments] violate the non-aggression principle which defines who is or isn?t a libertarian, etc.

I'm still curious about how you distinguish your absolute opposition to first use of force from the anarchism that in a Feb 14 post you called "pure stupidity". If you overcome your shyness on this point before the Ex-Com election, be sure to let us know.

>>>>> PI: I should have known you?d try to cite lame ?godwin?s law? which is irrelevant and carries no weight.  It?s not a law.  It?s an opinion.

If you believe I was implying that Godwin's Law was something like a law of physics, then you read me about as well as you read the Constitution.

>>>>> PI: The mere fact that you think the civil war was the right thing to do means you are beyond hope.

More misreading. I didn't give a blanket endorsement to that war or any other. I simply noted the undeniable fact that wars conducted by the U.S. military have a tendency to liberate nations.

>>>>> PI: You aren?t a libertarian and you never will be. You are exactly the kind of people I intend to get out of the party.  You are exactly the kind of people who have no valid place in the party.

The LP is a voluntary association, and each of us must abide by the LP's collective decisions about who may or may not be a member. I've not been shy about how I think the LP should differentiate itself from anarchism -- by using the modern economic analysis of market imperfection to determine the precise role and rigid limit of government action: If the LP starts expelling us minarchists for insufficient fealty to the no-first-coercion principle, it will be their loss.

>>>>> PI: When you and those like you are a long forgotten and bitter memory within the party, we will thrive as never before because those in the party will be true libertarians and not liars.

I defy you to quote anything I've said and show that it was intentionally false. You're simple addled if you think that intentional and explicit disagreement with you or your definitions constitutes lying.

>>>>> PI: You don?t love liberty, and you don?t represent it.  You stand for the exact opposite of liberty.

I stand for minimizing the overall incidence of coercion. You seem to stand for merely setting a good example of abstention from coercion. (I made this point in each of my last three messages, and each time you had no specific rebuttal to this diagnosis of our differences. If you ever come up with one, be sure to let us know.)

>>>>> PI: Libertarianism has ALWAYS been based on the non-initiation of force for political gain or social engineering

I don't consider minimizing the overall incidence of coercion to be either "political gain or social engineering".

>>>>> PI: Every single death caused in Iraq is a murder and if you disagree with that statement, you support murder

Non sequitur.

>>>>> PI: Any killing that wasn?t provoked by a direct attack is a murder.

The killing of aggressors is never murder, nor are unintentional collateral deaths caused by those fighting aggressors while seeking to minimize such deaths. You can bleat "murder" all you want, but in doing so you're preaching a conclusion to your choir, rather than arguing for that conclusion.

>>>>> PI: Don?t bother responding, because I?m done with you and your worthless posts.

That's too bad, because I'm still curious whether you could ever have answered my points about a) you merely setting an example of coercion abstention, and b) the compulsion of testimony from innocent third parties.  (I'm no longer at all curious about your expertise in Constitutional jurisprudence; you settled that question decisively.)

>>>>> PI:  Support me candidacy or shove it up your ass. 

Not quite the campaign slogan (or spelling) I would have chosen, but as we libertarians say, to each his own.

Brian Holtz
2004 Libertarian candidate for Congress, CA14 (Silicon Valley)