The Comforting Embrace of the Government Nanny


 Montana’s 62nd legislature, led by a healthy Republican majority, sought repeatedly to overturn citizens initiatives and impose new moralistic standards upon its citizens.  As a result, the hypocritical right; who profess a dedication to smaller, more localized government and less intrusion, is being criticized state-wide by its own members. The left generally looks to the government to solve whatever problems we face but most Montanans are already aware that the government’s solutions are generally more destructive than than any problems presented to us. What ever happened to this? Montana is widely known for its libertarian bend and traditionally has had no problem in the past saying no to the federal government.  Real ID, wolves, firearms…. we generally prefer to rule ourselves.

Forget political ideology, Montanans should be dropping labels and stereotypes and embracing each other in the battle our own federal government is waging against us. Instead we are divided, selectively enforcing components of the constitution to meet political needs.

Gonzales v. Raich, the Tenth Amendment, and Controlled Substances Act

Gonzales v Raich essentially ruled that even intra-state marijuana activity was subject to federal jurisdiction via the Commerce Clause. Federal intervention falls under the category of “powers delegated to the United States by the Constitution” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).

While condemning Republicans for their anti-liberty actions regarding Montana’s medical marijuana industry, I’ve noticed frightening inconsistencies in both sides of the political spectrum.  With great frequency I wonder how the left is able to justify their support of national healthcare reform (Obamacare) considering the very decision- Gonzales v. Raich -that made such a mandate possible is also utilized in federal intervention in medical marijuana states.  On the other hand, many conservatives advocated the federal government’s limitless reading of the commerce clause to fight the war on drugs, but now denounce the use of such power to enforce Obamacare…. selective application.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Constitution provides that the powers of the federal government are limited and specifically defined. Because the Constitution did not give Congress the authority to regulate alcohol, prohibition required a constitutional amendment.  If we are taking a principled stand on limiting the scope of the federal government, we need to do so consistently.  Medical marijuana or socialized medicine, we need to ask ourselves whether allowing the federal government to regulate anything and everything is acceptable to us.  The Commerce Clause is a double-edged sword.

How many Republicans would be willing to enforce the Tenth Amendment when the issue is marijuana? How do Democrats justify involving the federal government in healthcare but not in regulating cannabis?

IRS

New tax mandates and penalties included in Obamacare will cause the greatest expansion of the Internal Revenue Service since World War II, as 16,500 agents will be hired to enforce the law.  The IRS is also harassing medical marijuana dispensaries.  According to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, no deductions or credits can be claimed by businesses “trafficking in controlled substances”. So, medical marijuana dispensaries across the state are being audited and disallowed all  business deductions (e.g., buying marijuana, hiring staff, paying for office space, etc.), essentially taxing businesses out of existence.  Using the IRS to enforce health care reform sounds ridiculous, nearly as crazy as involving federal agencies like the EPA, ICE, DHS, or OSHA in medical marijuana raids.

FDA
The Food and Drug Administration wants to hold your hand as well, they essentially believe in no health freedom at all. From the FDA in a dismissal notice filed in Iowa by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”

The FDA believes that it is the only entity granted the authority to decide for you what you are able to eat and drink. The government nanny, in other words, may override your food decisions and deny you free access to the foods and beverages you desire.  This is of course, the same entity that gave us Thalidomide, Vioxx, Phen-fen, and a host of other unsafe pharmaceuticals that were eventually pulled from the market after killing and maiming countless Americans.  Naturally, the FDA has also “definitively established” that marijuana has no medical use or value.

Under the guise of public safety, our populace has been conditioned to believe, despite the overwhelming oppositional evidence, that our government is acting in the name of public safety.  Bans on smoking, including toys with children’s high calorie meals, circumcision, salt, and cell phone use while driving, as well as laws requiring seat belt use can all be easily justified by the sheep.  In reality, they are all affronts to liberty.  Adults should be able to make their own choices, free of government instruction or guidance.   Sure, we all want affordable healthcare- but don’t tell me the federal government has a right to force us all to purchase a product while you claim they have no right to regulate our use of banned substances.

This isn’t about Republicans, it isn’t about Democrats. This isn’t about health care or medical cannabis, this is about liberty.  This is our future and we can’t have it both ways.  We need to forget partisan politics and defend the constitution.  Where is the Tea party now?


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18 thoughts on “The Comforting Embrace of the Government Nanny

  1. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    The interpretation of this particular phrase seems to be at the base of many issues today. I really wish I was well versed in law so I could understand this mess.

    We have a president who lured business men in to starting MMJ dispensaries with a memo that he did a 180 on 2 years later. Mr. Obama was very supportive of MMJ when running for office, and has now decided to come down hard on it. What a 2 faced snake.

    We have state governments being threatened by the feds over laws passed by the people. The governors of some of the states are suing the federal government to force it to reclassify cannabis. The gov of AZ is suing the feds over whether they’re going to come strong arm citizens in their state because the people passed a MMJ law there. We have growers in MT suing the feds for intervening and stealing. We have a group suing the state of MT for drafting an constitution defying MMJ law.

    Why isn’t anything happening? What does it take to get something done? The feds have had a request to reclassify cannabis since 2002, and NOTHING has been done. Why?

    The reason the founding fathers restricted gevernment control of citizens and mentioned things like life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, was because they knew that the only way to freedom was to MINIMALIZE government control over citizens, be it state or federal. They knew that the only way to ensure freedom of religion was to keep religion out of the government. They knew that any time the government tried to “provide” for the citizens, the citizens would lose a measure of freedom. This most certainly will happen with government mandated healthcare.

    I’ve always found it interesting that the people who support abortion tend to oppose the death penalty while those who oppose abortion support the death penalty. It seem there are many conumdrums like this in politics.

  2. I do not “support” abortion. I certainly do not deny abortion to any woman who wants it, for the same reason I do not deny anyone the right to eat meat-it’s none of my business. I don’t support the death penalty for two main reasons; at least one innocent person has already been mistakenly put to death and that’s one more than too many to make it worthwhile. Then there is the cost-we can lock 20 child molesters away for life for what it costs to carry out ONE death penalty. Also, having been in prison I can assure you, 99.9% of murderers would far, far rather be put to death than live forever in that 6’X8′ cell. As far as healthcare goes, medicare for everybody is the only solution and one that will be forced on us if the Teabaggers don’t crash the world economy first. Healthcare, shelter, water, food and energy are common necessities of life and should not be run as a profit making institution. One thing I will work to do when elected is to begin a new “Homesteading” program for the homeless in America, especially for our homeless veterans. Homesteading is a great part of American Tradition and gave the working man a true opportunity to “pull himself up by his bootstraps”, an opportunity that no longer exists. In Mexico, if you need a home you find an unused/unoccupied piece of Federal land, build a home on it, fence it in and, after filing a bit of paperwork, it’s yours! You can’t fence in 50 acres or build your house on the lawn next to the library, there are restrictions, but it works. Maybe I’m biased being a poor veteran and all but I’m just not happy with 30%-60% of our veterans being homeless. We have more than enough empty Federal Land, not to mention the millions of empty, abandoned and foreclosed properties and homes belonging to the Federal Government.
    Simply opening up this opportunity would generate billions in new economic activity and help balance the books for many of our Poor States.

  3. Come watch Comrade Essman spew lies and hypocrisy tonight at 6:30-9:30
    Billings Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
    2032 Central Ave.
    Billings, MT

    Anyone love the Gazette discussion crowd is referring to his turd sb423, as Essman-care?

  4. Oh, BTW, Cannaprop, that 16,000 IRS agent canard has been debunked numerous times. The AHA deserves criticism but let’s stick to facts as we do. I highly suggest people check with SNOPES.com when they hear these juicy details that just PROVE we’re right. More often than not they are wrong.

  5. I have a basic issue with this article. While calling for an end of “Republican” this and “Democrat” that, you fail your own test by called the ACA “Obamacare”. Let’s be very clear here. Obama did not support this abomination. It was written by our very own Max Baucus in collusion with Insurance Corporation stooges. What was passed had little to do with what Obama (and most of the country, btw) wanted. I realise that you despise the very idea of Universal Health Care (though you have never really given a good reason why) but I would point out to you the very simple fact that we are the ONLY industrial country in the world without it. We are also 39th in the world in Health care based on affordability, effectiveness and availability. Before you go off on those statistics, I would recommend you research it. Start with the World Health Organization and work from there. You might be surprised.

    I agree that partisanship is killing America. We are so divided that nothing is getting done and what little is passed, is usually corporate instagated and controlled. Even the single driving issue of this article is a perfect example. Of course the AMA, the insurance agencies and big Pharma don’t want us to self medicate – even if that medication is effective, safe and easy to obtain. They can’t make money that way. They have passed the same restrictive laws and done their level best to control holistic medicine as well. Until we, the voters, figure out a way to divide the politicians (left and right) away from the corporate money, we will continue to be minimized, abused and “nannied”.

    • I suppose I should have put “Obamacare” in quotations, the term was used in part because that is how conservatives refer to it. In reality, the PPACA is better known as Obamacare than anything else, whether or not the moniker is appropriate.
      There are a million reasons that I’m not a fan of universal health care, but I have a feeling no matter what, we will have to agree to disagree on this issue.
      * I grew up on near the Canadian border. As a result, I know many Canadians. Many of my friends and classmates married Canadians and are now citizens of Canada. They live with universal healthcare. For minor infections and such, they consider it top-notch. No complaints. When a loved one is diagnosed with something more serious, however; their views differ dramatically. Generally, they plan a benefit to raise money to send the patient to the states. After all, in 2007, a typical Canadian seeking surgical or other therapeutic treatment had to wait 18.3 weeks in 2007, an all-time high. Average wait time for bariatric surgery is 5 years. Hip replacements? 6 months. Often people die while waiting for treatment. Half of their income goes to taxes.
      *Requiring the purchase of a specific product is constitutionally dubious.
      *Monopolies, whether public or private aren’t innovative.
      *Our real crisis is that the people with insurance, and people with medicaid or medicare believe that they have a universal medical account providing them access, not to the care that they need, but to any test, treatment, referral, or appointment that they DESIRE. This is especially rampant with the medicaid patients who pay for NOTHING and have NO DEDUCTIBLE. They are often demanding and litigious and too many doctors cater to their demands.
      *Everyone in this country has equal access to immediate life-saving care. No emergency room will ever turn you away, and no emergency room will ever withold treatment based on your ability to pay.
      Healthcare is not a right. Yes, it is a noble idea, but it isn’t a right. Observe that all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people. The American rights impose no obligations on other people, merely the negative obligation to leave you alone. The system guarantees you the chance to work for what you want — not to be given it without effort by somebody else.
      * Healthcare isn’t a right. The right to life, e.g., does not mean that your neighbors have to feed and clothe you; it means you have the right to earn your food and clothes yourself and that no one can impede your pursuit or steal them from you if and when you have achieved them. You have the right to the pursuit of happiness- not a guarantee that anyone will make you happy. Your right to anything at others’ expense means that they become rightless.
      *Our government has enough control over us as is without giving them another invasive tool, the government is wasteful and a massive failure at almost everything it does.

      I really don’t care that we are the only industrial nation in the world without it. America is unique in many ways. Everything else you said including on my Facebook last night, I agree with. I just really hate the government and don’t want them involved in my healthcare.

      .

      • I am so sorry to hear you hate me. You see, I AM your Government, as YOU are and your neighbors, friends and family.(assuming they are Americans) Indeed that is the very function of the Constitution; it is an enrollment agreement for citizens to join the Government that we call America. I know conservatives are fond of Right to Life, so am I, but not only the right to be born but the right to live a safe, healthy, well educated life complete with healthcare beginning from before birth to the grave. That’s the “General Welfare” clause–it’s part of the agreement: don’t like it? There are any number of Libertarian paradises available, take your pick: Darfur, Somalia, Eritrea? I gave my body and don’t mind paying a reasonable share of expenses. That’s key though-reasonable share. As things stand there are a few of us getting a free ride, worse yet, they are profiting from MY sacrifice and getting paid to boot! I waken in pain every single day so people like Donald Trump can live in luxury and spout his line of crap, so Bernie Maddoff’s Family and the Bush Crime Family can carry on their insult to Justice. I mean come on, what’s your complaint? There are 5 members of my family who have paid for social security and medicare all their lives and yet will never collect a dime of benefits in return and we’re not bitching. Of course 3 of us died shortly before becoming eligible and the other 2 are Veterans who will be using VA healthcare and who will decline SSI as our disability pay is fair enough. I love my country and my fellow citizens and I want them all to have happy healthy lives. If this means I can’t afford a 5 foot TV in my bedroom and a quad in the garage and a ski boat at my lake house, well, screw it, I would rather have a healthy, well educated, compassionate generation coming along behind us. I have been to a bunch of those other countries around the world and I’ll admit we are not as bad as some, but, the Best Country in The World? I’d say we have a ways to go just to catch up with our illusory reputation of the “Best”. Uncanny that in the Best Country in the World we are about number 15 in terms of “Happiness”, Denmark being #1. So, we’re not not doing so good on the Liberty part, Life? well, tell that to one of the 5 or 6 people shot and killed by accident while carrying out drug raids in the last 2 years. And happy? Some folks are only going to be happy after they have destroyed our Federal Government and set up their new Feudal Enclaves. Just ask yourself with any new legislation;does this protect a right or further restrict a right. Because that seems to be a continual theme of the Right-stop this, stop that, no dancing, singing or sex. You think abortion was the objective? They’re trying to outlaw birth control completely! I’m not saying Democrats are Saints but I think Populists like myself have a far better chance of gaining power and making change in the Democratic Party. I tried the Libertarian Party and we ended up with Dubya-I won’t make that mistake again. I don’t like what Obama has been doing on some things but the thought of another conservative Justice on the SCOTUS scares me to death! As a true Conservative, can you really tell me you are satisfied with the Roberts court decision on Citizen’s United? For starters? We need some activist judges all right, active in actually reading the damn Constitution and the Canon of Ethics. Join me, won’t you? If you are unhappy with your Government, change it! Study Law, become a judge, study political science and sociology, history and philosophy and become a politician, Join Your Government, Don’t Tear it Down.

        • Well, I’m way ahead of you, Bob. I did study political science and sociology and history and philosophy. I have no interest in becoming a politician however, I’m far more suited to punditry. I don’t care about having a big TV, in fact; I don’t watch TV…. ever. I don’t have a quad nor do I own a ski boat or a lake house. I never said I didn’t love my country or my fellow citizens. That doesn’t mean I love my government. I’m no less of a decent American for being frustrated with tyranny. Your interpretation of the general welfare clause is not the same as mine. It will be up to the SCOTUS to determine as last I checked, healthcare wasn’t a right. The war on drugs is a horrible failure, but then again, maybe not… considering it had nothing to do with public safety in the first place. And the Patriot Act, oh my…. don’t get me started on that one.

      • You are probably right about us never agreeing on Universal Health Care. Thank you for posting your reasons, too. Sadly, many of them are mis-informed, but that is your right as an American and I will certainly not be able to change your mind.

        I would argue, though, that Health Care is a right. This has been established by Supreme Court decisions time and time again. Further, National Health Care and the overall health of the people of a nation is – at it’s very core – a national security issue. For that reason alone, I would have to at least consider universal health care.

        I would also argue that your “Emergency Room” solution is, at best seriously flawed. First, there aren’t enough Emergency rooms or staffing to deal with the numbers of people in the US trying to use them – many for the very reasons you are saying. Wait times are brutal, many are mis-diagnosed by overworked professionals and lives are lost. Further, getting seen in an Emergency room does not ensure that you will get the care you need. They are there to address acute, at the moment issues and often, stabilize a patient long enough to be seen later by a non-emergency room physician. If that care is not followed up on, the emergency room visit was a waste of time, resources and money – and when the patient goes to the emergency room because of lack of insurance, it is a pretty safe bet they won’t be doing the follow up visit to the doctor to actually correct the problem.

        Anyway, this is a discussion for another time. As a student of sociology, history and law, I find it amazing that we are so blind as a country to what should be blatently obvious.

      • I, too, am against federally administered health care. I have many European friends who report exactly the same problems as you descibed with the Canadian system. They take out supplemental insurance to cover anything other than routine procedures. All you have to do is look at the waste generated by the federal government administering ANY program to see that federal health care will be an inefficient mess. I do, however, see where states could come in with programs to supply basic needs to those who can’t afford routine health care. In the long run, much money could be saved, but only if the taxes to run the program were kept to a minimum, and administration of the program was done at a state or local, and not federal level to minimize waste and beaurocracy.

        • Sadly, everyone who has responded to this idea has used anecdotal evidence to “prove” that universal health care doesn’t work. The statistics disagree with you. The general health care needs of those countries that practice universal health care be better met, the people in those countries are healthier and the cost to the individual (yes, that includes the taxes paid to pay for the system) if FAR less than what we pay in the US (by a factor of 2.56 actually but who is counting). I would happily trade my extortionary health insurance payments for a smaller increase in my taxes to receive health care – in a New York second. Having actually studied the reality of the situation (rather than buy into vague “my friend in X country says”, I am a firm believer that Universal Health care is the ONLY way we are going to blast ourselves loose of the AMA/Insurance/Pharma conglomerates that dictate our health.

    • Bob, did I write something that offended you? I sense some animosity…. you act as if I deliberately lied to readers. I’m not going to get into a he said, she said link war, because honestly, neither of us have any way to prove that our links have the right information. Apparently, the info’s veracity is questionable, but I can assure you that I found the same info at several locations online. I certainly didn’t post information that I suspected was false. Your implication that I should stick to facts hurts my feelings.

      • Just because you find the same lie in several locations does not bolster it’s veracity. I am offended by people who show symptoms of Obama Derangement Syndrome. Sorry if I hurt your feelings but it hurts my sense of right and wrong to continually have “facts” represented as “fair and balanced”. I used to be a Libertarian myself but old age and pragmatism cured me of that. This is not to say I am in any way happy with our President or ANY of Montana’s legislators’ approach to solving our healthcare problem. Single Payer is the only solution that has ever been proven to work anywhere and we will soon be going there as well.
        All this however, is BTP. I am just a stickler for facts, maybe a result of spending 3 years sitting enraptured in Nate Blumberg’s lectures. I suggest you bookmark the following links: http://www.factcheck.org/ http://www.politifact.com/ http://www.opensecrets.org/index.php http://snopes.com/ http://www.truthorfiction.com/ http://www.hoax-slayer.com/
        By comparing results from these sources you will usually save yourself embarrassment and most likely lower your blood pressure when you find out those FEMA camps are old Job Corps Camps being prepared for the next Katrina, or maybe Joplin. Not that you would have fallen for such a brazen lie, I’m sure. My point is, Left, Right or Center, we will have much more success in everything we do if we make sure we are speaking Truth to power and to do this we need to know what “Truth” is. So, again, sorry if I hurt your feelings, I am not trying to attack you personally. I would have called you out had you been spewing one of the FEW whoppers Liberals use. ha ha.

  6. PPS I was driven out of several ER’s and refused treatment and came within hours of death before I was finally able to get treatment. I am still often refused treatment on the basis that “I am a veteran and they will treat me at the VA” I guess I’m an assh#*e but it bugs me that some drunken bum can get free dental treatment but I am denied the same care because I am a veteran. We only get dental if we actually got shot in the mouth. So, here I sit with 8 remaining broken and infected teeth remaining(I made an unwise decision to interfere with a wife beater) and no way to afford treatment. Sure wish I was a Canadian.

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