Jim Roye:
umair haque

But looking at your other medium comments, I see that you are indeed an ideologue, an extremist, which is to say that you are a failure as a citizen, and as a thinking person.

If relying on the truth and not making up facts to fit my views makes me a ideologue then so be it.

Could the US Constitution ever be “amended” to provide, say, proportional representation, or basic healthcare, which is what all of Europe has? Of course not. “Amending” a Constitution proves that it cannot be seriously structurally or fundamentally altered, only incrementally changed in small ways. That is exactly why Europe had to *rewrite*, not just “amend”, its constitutions, to get fundamentally better ones.

Why would anyone think that it couldn’t be amended to include proportional representation and healthcare? In theory, one could write an amendment to repeal the entire Constitution as it exists today. Once again, you are making up claims that don’t hold water. There is no Constitutional or legal barrier to amending the Constitution and adding either of the items you mention. The only thing lacking is the political will to make those changes.

When the Preamble talks about “general welfare”, “general tranquillity”, “a more perfect union”, what do those words mean? It doesn’t define “general welfare”, “domestic tranquillity”, and so on. How are we to define those terms? Shall we just pretend they are nostrums? Or do we have to go back in our own history, to other great documents, to understand their meaning?

You seem to be the only person that has a problem understanding those concepts. We *do* have records of the Constitutional convention that tell us what the people that wrote those words meant and why they included them. We also have the Federalist Papers written by some of those same people that explain most of the provisions of the Constitution as well.

Anyone that’s read U.S. history would know that at the end of the Revolutionary War we drafted and passed the Articles of Confederation to form a Federal government. The Articles of Confederation had several issues that resulted in calling the Constitutional convention. Hence, their reason from writing the constitution was to “form a more perfect union” — one better than the union that they had under the Articles of Confederation. The “domestic tranquility” comment was in direct response to Shay’s Rebellion and the handful of other small similar uprisings.

If the US has always had “public hospitals”, if the US is so wonderful at medical breakthroughs, then how come Americans are dying younger every year?

Have you bothered to research the causes of Americans dying younger? And have you bothered to look at how many of those medical breakthroughs developed in the US are being used to save lives in those other countries? Life expectancy isn’t magically extended just by having public hospitals. You keep trying to attach some significance to “public hospitals” that doesn’t exist.

By “public hospital”, you presumably mean “something funded by charity”.

Well then we can chalk that up to another incorrect presumption on your part. Public hospitals are publicly funded. They are largely paid for via tax revenues. A hospital that is funded by charity is a private charitable hospital.

Negative freedom means that your “freedom from” cancels out my “right to”, doesn’t it?

No, it means no such thing.

A positive freedom (or positive liberty) requires the State to set the conditions for you to be able to exercise your free will. It is an obligation of the State, but not on any specific individual within that State.

A negative freedom (or negative liberty) is something that can only be exercised by an individual. I, as an individual, have no obligation to create the conditions for you to be able to exercise your free will and you have no right to claim my labor to create those conditions for you. I have the negative freedom to NOT help you exercise your free will.

You have a right to buy a house and the land that house sits on. The State has fulfilled it’s requirements by creating laws and rules for the creation of currency, the process of securing loans and the process transferring, recording and enforcing property ownership.

But I have the ability to exercise my negative freedom and decline to sell *my* home to you.

I haven’t canceled your right to own property because your right is general and does not extend to any right to purchase my specific property.

Pencillin was discovered in London for this reason. There was not just a “public hospital”, which is not really the point I am making. There was before that all this, the idea, spirit of, search for, genuine freedom, which is about what belongs to all.

Penicillin was discovered in London by pure dumb luck. Scientists all over the world were looking at various types of molds because of their antibacterial properties. Fleming just happened to have the right mold land in the right petri dish at the right time and managed to notice the effects. It wasn’t even a planned experiment. You are trying to assign some mystical property to something that happened by accident.