Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Earth II Discovered 40 Light Years Away

According to TG Daily:
The radius of the planet is about 2.7 times that of earth and its density suggests it's made of three quarter water and other ices and one quarter rock.
Since there's no free country left on Earth, and not too many places to hide, maybe this planet is the next best bet.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Moral Inversion, Part I

Judicial Watch has released its annual list of the most corrupt politicians of the year.

Even after reading the list and explanations one thing stands out: it isn’t the corruption that’s the chief source of social destruction. What Progressives do in the clear light of day – and actually boast about – is the real problem.

For example, taking a bribe from Angelo Mozillo is bad, true enough. But openly supporting Fannie and Freddie with unlimited funds is real corruption.

Taking a bribe from insurance executives to pass ‘health care reform’ that favors them is wrong; touting that health care reform initiatives are moral in the first place is true corruption.

Giving Federal money to ACORN is horrific. Praising their work as noble is worse.

Funneling the larger share of TARP money to Democrat-supporters is simple graft. Arguing that TARP was good (and that we need another) is wicked.

Selling your power for a buck (or more power) is immoral, to be sure. Enslaving 95% of the country in perpetuity while pretending it's for the benefit of the other 5% is far worse. But corrupting your soul and demanding that others corrupt theirs - and calling it the height of virtue - is pure evil.

It's the Robespierres of the world (the leader of the French Revolution who kept the guillotine busy for the sake of revolutionary 'purity') who do the most harm.

[Hat Tip Hot Air.]

Monday, December 28, 2009

Money, Regulation, And Progress

Why is the country in such doldrums? Given the daily crises foisted on us the past year by the Federal government, the answer might seem obvious. But I mean something a little different...

Republicans bear much of the blame for the messes that have been created the past 10 years, to be sure. But when you hear someone express that view, consider who bears how much. Consider the following...

When Democrats took power in Washington at the end of 2006 the deficit was $150 billion, the national debt $8.5 trillion. By the the end of 2008 the deficit had grown to $430 billion; the national debt to $10 trillion.

Now that Democrats control the entire Federal government the deficit at the end of 2009 is $1.5 trillion. The national debt stands at $12 trillion and is scheduled to rise another $2 trillion over the next few years, more if ObamaCare passes.

Those figures are just the debt, not the total budget. To anyone older than 40 the total sums spent or committed appear staggering, incomprehensible. Estimates of the unfunded liability of Social Security, to choose only one example, hover in the $17.5 trillion range. Medicare's unfunded liability is double that. Those figures are beyond the imagination of even the most Cassandra of pundits a generation ago.

That said, the problems we face are not fundamentally political or even financial, and they're not amenable to a purely political or financial solution. While I look forward along with millions of others to "throwing the bums out" come November 2010, just changing the ratio of R's to D's in D.C. won't solve those fundamental problems. Republicans are no strangers to spending other people's money or controlling lives that are none of their business.

Just to highlight one aspect, for example: Why does the Federal government spend so much money? Because whenever you talk about eliminating Social Security or Medicare, there's push back from both sides of the aisle. That's not a political issue, it's a social one, fundamentally of the dominant ethics. Too many have lost or at least watered down the value of self-responsibility, a virtue even in the face of severe adversity.

To glance at another aspect, the money spent is only the most visible rape of productive citizens. The crushing burden of regulations — now about to explode with the EPA set to hobble every business in the country — exacts a much greater toll. Irrational legislation, i.e. almost all of it, eliminates or at least reduces what comes into existence in the first place. What isn't created is never missed by the majority of the populace.

Consider, technical improvements and miniaturization/storage densification continue at a healthy pace — the iPod, digital cameras, and thumb drives come to mind as examples. But, has there been a fundamentally new invention in the past 30 years?

Think of some from the mid-20th century: radio and TV, jets, satellites, and birth control pills. Even the modern computer is now over 60 years old, PCs a full 35. The list could be extended for an entire post. Has anything remotely comparable from the past generation's worth of years come to market?

In a pinch, one could argue that the scanning tunneling microscope squeaks under the cutoff (1981). Genome sequencing technology might qualify, though its value has not yet been realized. Fuel cells (50 year old technology) await commercialization, somehow.

(Before you answer "the Internet," that was a — highly successful — commercialization effort, not a new invention, though I grant that HTML is only 20 years old. Still, the technology for computer networks existed nearly 40 years ago, even in the private sector.)

Anyway, what to do to get things moving again? A big question with a long answer. For now, a teaser of just four words: destroy Dewey, restore Aristotle.

More on that in a future post...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

National Strike Jan 20, 2010

An enterprising fellow has initiated the idea of a national strike on Jan 20, 2010. The specific form is still taking shape but, so far, it appears to involve a "starve the beast" strategy.

The idea is to strike against advertisers who contribute to statist politicians and organizations. There's only a short time to get things going, but Jan 20 is targeted to be the birth of The Strike, not a one-day event. The sponsoring organization is aligned with several Tea Party organizations and could use your support.

Whether it, along with the 10th Amendment Center will succeed on this one effort, it's good to see that many Americans are starting to wake up to the growing tyranny about to engulf their lives.

The time to move is now. Every year that passes without massive action in favor of freedom will make it that much harder to undo the damage. The Progressives are not about to give up without a long and arduous fight, even if they lose their dominance in Congress in 2010.

Please lend your support. With enough voices, saying the right things, we can shout the Federal tyrants out of existence for good. If you wonder what a revolution might be like, or just want to feed your soul, read Thomas Paine's "The Crisis" written as a series of articles during the Revolutionary War. Better voices now, than guns later.

It's something like this, or dictatorship within a generation.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Analyzing Progressive Pathologies, Part 17

Progressives are endlessly fascinating to anyone interested in the pathology of left-wing reasoning and ethics.

Jonathan Chait, editor of the Nation The New Republic - among America's foremost and oldest of Progressive publications - blames Republicans for the current extreme form of the health care bill. He argues, if you want to be generous with language and use that word, that they could have compromised at any time and gotten a less radical left-wing bill.

Interesting approach. The obstinate, uncompromising Republicans refused to embrace moderate socialism (this once), and therefore the Democrats were forced to embrace radical fascism. Fascinating.

I think I'll try that line of attack sometime.

[Update: I incorrectly stated Chait's employer. The correction is above.]

Sunday, December 20, 2009

G.K. Chesterton On The Current Congress

No, G.K. Chesterton never met Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska). Chesterton died in 1936. But he clearly had someone very much like him in mind when he said,
"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21
I can't think of any time in America's past, except possibly when the New Deal legislation was passed, when this was more true.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clever Quip of the Day

"I would give the Copehangen Conference a good, solid B+."

(A paraphrase of a commenter on HotAir.)

Now that's witty. Someone should tell Oprah.

McConnell Tells It Like It Is on Health Care Debate

Sen. Mitch McConnell has a few words to say about the debate over the health care bill.
Senators on both sides acknowledge that the health care bill we're considering is among the most significant pieces of legislation any of us will ever consider.

So it stands to reason that we'd devote significant time and attention to it.

Indeed, some would argue that we should spend more time and attention on this bill than most -- if not every -- previous bill we've considered.

The Majority disagrees.

Why? Because this bill has become a political nightmare for them.

They know Americans overwhelmingly oppose it, so they want to get it over with.

Americans are already outraged at the fact that Democrat leaders took their eyes off the ball. Rushing the process on a partisan line makes the situation even worse.

Americans were told the purpose of reform was to reduce the cost of health care.

Instead, Democrat leaders produced a $2.5 trillion, 2,074-page monstrosity that vastly expands government, raises taxes, raises premiums, and wrecks Medicare.

And they want to rush this bill through by Christmas -- one of the most significant, far-reaching pieces of legislation in U.S. history. They want to rush it.

And here's the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader's conference room has even seen.

That's right. The final bill we'll vote on isn't even the one we've had on the floor. It's the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private.

That's what they intend to bring to the floor and force a vote on before Christmas.

So this entire process is essentially a charade.
He may be trying just to score points, or he may be completely sincere. Either way, my respect for Senator McConnell just rose by several points.

The Left Provides Cover for the 2010 Campaign

Howard Dean is upset over the current form of the Senate health insurance bill — the contents of which only a handful even knows. Call me a conspiracy nut, but I'm not buyin' it.

Dean is the former head of the Democratic National Committee and former governor of the socialist state of Vermont. This is cover for vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election in a campaign that will begin in a few short weeks. This way, all can say "See, the hard Left didn't like it. The hard Right liked it even less. So, it must be centrist! I'm a centrist. Vote for me."

And, for those who believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell.

On the other hand. Progressives — Dean in particular — have always been disconnected from reality, so who really knows for sure?

Basically, his complaint is that - absent a 'public option' - it still allows insurance companies to make money, rather than the Feds offering health care to anyone for free. This is merely a socialist complaining about fascism. When Dean says,
"Progressives understood that a public plan would give Americans real choices about what kind of system they wanted to be in and how they wanted to spend their money. Yet Washington has decided, once again, that the American people cannot be trusted to choose for themselves."
the irony is so thick you couldn't cut it with my chainsaw.

Since when have Progressives ever been in favor of individuals choosing for themselves when, where, and how to spend their money? Even more absurd, how is the inclusion of an individual mandate - an aspect about which Dean is entirely silent - allowing the American people to choose?

I'll say one thing for Howard Dean. In the midst of any serious issue, he's always a sure bet for some comic relief.

[Hat Tip: PowerLine.]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sanity Quote of the Day

I don't consider myself a cynic — though some do — since I believe that none of the vicious nonsense going on today is inevitable, or "human nature," or the result of some ineradicable or inborn tendency toward evil, etc. Still, it's hard for me not to sympathize with the sentiment expressed in the following quote:
No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up. — Lily Tomlin

Monday, December 14, 2009

Progressivism Infects Mathematics Instruction

"The social life gives the unconscious unity and the background of all [the child's] efforts and of all his attainments. ... I believe, therefore, that the true centre of correlation of the school subjects is not science, nor literature, nor history, nor geography, but the child's own social activities.
I believe that the study of science is educational in so far as it brings out the materials and processes which make social life what it is."
I believe, finally, that the teacher is engaged, not simply in the training of individuals, but in the formation of the proper social life.
John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed (1897)
From a recent column by Michelle Malkin, we glean more of Dewey's Progressive education legacy.
[from a review by James V. Rauff of Millikin University] Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers "is divided into four parts.

The first part is devoted to a broad view of mathematics that includes historical and cultural implications.

Part Two includes nine classroom narratives in which teachers describe lessons they have used that infuse social justice issues into their mathematics curriculum. Included here … an AP calculus lesson on income distribution.

The third part contains three detailed classroom experiences/lessons. These include a physical depiction of the inequitable distribution of the world's wealth, the results of a student investigation into how many U.S. presidents owned slaves, and a wonderful classroom game called 'Transnational Capital Auction' in which students take on the role of leaders of Third World countries bidding competitively for new factories from a multinational corporation. ...

Short lessons, provocative cartoons and snippets of statistics are scattered throughout 'Rethinking Mathematics.'

A partial list of topics includes racial profiling, unemployment rate calculation, the war in Iraq, environmental racism, globalization, wealth distribution and poverty, wheelchair ramps, urban density, HIV/AIDS, deconstructing Barbie, junk food advertising to children and lotteries."
The Progressive virus has now infected even mathematics instruction and the patient is suffering from a high fever. If not reversed, and soon, permanent brain damage will inevitably result.

Obama and Grade Inflation

When asked by America's most successful con-artist, Oprah Winfrey, to grade his performance for the first year, Barack Obama gives himself a "good, solid B+."

How about a “J” for jail? That’s where he and the rest of his gang belong.

America the Bankrupt, In More Ways Than Money

"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." Gideon J. Tucker in Final Accounting in the Estate of A. B. (1866)
That pithy quotation borrowed by Mark Twain has been proved with real force once again, courtesy of the recent $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill from Congress. Here are a few horrific highlights:
"The 1,000-plus-page bill brings together six of the 12 annual spending bills that Congress had been unable to pass separately because of partisan roadblocks even though the current budget year began Oct. 1. [emphasis added]
"The bill increases spending by an average of about 10 percent to programs under immediate control of Congress, blending increases for veterans' programs, NASA and the FBI with a pay raise for federal workers and help for car dealers." [emphasis added]
The legislation also:
    Includes an improved binding arbitration process to challenge the decision by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to close more than 2,000 dealerships.
    Renews a federal loan guarantee program for steel companies. [And,]
    Calls for federal worker pay increases averaging 2 percent."
Equally disturbing,
"First, while most people have focused on health care and cap-and-trade, discretionary spending has leaped by 25 percent since the Democrats took the Congressional majority three years ago — plus $311 billion in additional 'stimulus' discretionary spending.

This comes to $561 billion more in discretionary spending over these three years than if they had limited growth to the baseline inflation rate.

Worse, this new spending has pushed the 2011–2020 discretionary spending baseline $1.7 trillion higher than three years ago."
And all this while the spotlight is on so-called health care reform that is carried out behind doors closed even to all but a handful in Congress.

A Congress that ignores the will of its constituents while spending them into ruin, an Executive who cheers them on and calls for ever more spending more than a year into a severe economic downturn, and a Supreme Court that does literally nothing about any of it.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is dictatorship 21st century America-style, about a generation away from becoming it 1920s Italian style.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Enemy Has His Own Problems

On the brighter side, not all is gloom and doom this fine snowy Sunday. Borrowing a phrase from Robert Tracinski, who used it in relation to the jihadists in the Middle East, the enemy has his own problems. Progressives like Matthew Ygelesias are whining that "the progressive agenda has ground to a halt."

Oh, if only it were so!

Careful not to get too cheered by this. What they mean, of course, is that the headlong rush into all-out fascism has slowed by a measurable amount. Personally, I don't have a speedometer that precise, but the fact that Reid is still wrangling with Democrats over the precise form of the health care insurance takeover is some reason for hope, I suppose.

Conservatives are equally worrisome in the form of their response, however. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit approvingly quotes,
"If you hadn’t become seduced by the delusion that Obama is a ‘progressive’ and that last year’s election represented some kind of historic realignment in favor of ‘progressive’ policies you might have seen this coming."
Unfortunately, Obama is absolutely a Progressive and last year's election was absolutely an historic realignment of the electorate. Twenty years ago, perhaps even as little as ten, a man like Obama could never have been elected, and by a comfortable margin, even running against a nothing like McCain.

That the office, events, and the pale counter-currents of the opposition have caused Obama or Congress to delay Cap and Kill, struggle on "health care reform," send a few troops to Afghanistan, and so forth doesn't change that. That these things are the leading topics of debate and legislation in the first place is proof that the Progressive agenda is doing just fine, thank you very much.

Just because the enemy has to reload, and occasionally regroup, doesn't mean the battle — much less the war — for freedom is going well. I'm sure people like Glenn Reynolds know that, so this little bit of bravado seems very out of place. Optimism is one thing. Declaring the tide is running in your favor is quite another.

What would make me share Mr. Reynolds optimism? Well, there are many possibilities, but here are a few:
    If SCOTUS actually showed any life and started threatening to strike down just about everything Congress has done the past year, or even a part of it (such as the "individual mandate"),
    If Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and Barney Frank all lose their jobs in 2010 [Admittedly, Reid is a definite possibility],
    If, instead of 100,000 Tea Party protestors in D.C. on one day there were five million that camped for a month until Congressional leaders surrendered their agenda of the past year, and last, but far from least,
    If the Progressives ruling the House and Senate actually had some principled, effective opposition [though I give Rep. Michelle Bachmann and a few others big points for trying].
Anyway, it is a fine snowy Sunday and it's time to listen to some Harry James and then watch John Wayne in The Fighting Kentuckian. I hope and trust you all have similar delights to keep you sane.

The Party is Over, says Pelosi

I'll have much more to say about the recent House Bill to cripple the financial services industry of the entire country in coming weeks. For now, I couldn't let pass unremarked this quote from Nancy Pelosi:
"We are sending a clear message to Wall Street," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). "The party is over. Never again."
Exactly so. By which she means, of course, that the freedom to make your own financial decisions is over. If she has her way, the Federal Government will be making them for you from now on. If so, let the funeral begin. I've no doubt that the vultures in Congress will be among the first to start picking over the corpse.

Progressives Take Over Education, A Late Warning

Big Hollywood has been almost floor to ceiling complaints lately about Howard Zinn's Progressive history book and the recent documentary (The People Speak) based on it. Michelle Malkin gets into the act, too.

I'm glad they're highlighting the Marxist nature of Zinn's book, and the Progressive goals of his 'students', like Matt Damon. Unfortunately, they're about 110 (or 40) years behind the curve (the number depending on where you want to start), and bearing much less firepower than is needed.

John Dewey created the philosophy – and in some cases the practical implementation – of Progressive education 110 years ago with the publication of The School and Society in 1899. He wrote extensively on the subject in later works, both philosophical and popular. He was, in a sense, the anti-Rand before she published a word.

I'll save for later a full explication of Dewey's philosophy. For now, a simple quote or four will do to convey the flavor. First, his views on morality:
"Moral and social problems, for Dewey, are concerned with the guidance of human action to the achievement of socially defined ends that are productive of a satisfying life for individuals within the social context.

Regarding the nature of what constitutes a satisfying life, Dewey was intentionally vague, out of his conviction that specific ends or goods can be defined only in particular socio-historical contexts. In the Ethics (1932) he speaks of the ends simply as the cultivation of interests in goods that recommend themselves in the light of calm reflection."
In line with Pragmatism, his ethics is essentially contentless. It's whatever 'society' decides at any given time. But the basic approach is key here and that approach is unwaveringly collectivistic. That's even clearer in statements like these:
"I believe that all education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race.
I believe that the only true education comes through the stimulation of the child's powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself. Through these demands he is stimulated to act as a member of a unity, to emerge from his original narrowness of action and feeling and to conceive of himself from the standpoint of the welfare of the group to which he belongs." [My Pedagogic Creed (1897)]
That translated easily into his view of the purpose of education, from a social or political standpoint:
"I believe it is the business of every one interested in education to insist upon the school as the primary and most effective instrument of social progress and reform in order that society may be awakened to realize what the school stands for, and aroused to the necessity of endowing the educator with sufficient equipment properly to perform his task." [ibid]
By the late 1960s, Progressive education (at least in public schools) was nearly the only kind there was. What we see today — with the near monopoly of the views of Greens, unionists, and other Progressive types in education — is the inevitable result.

Compared to Dewey — as measured by the standard of radical transforming destructiveness — Zinn and his followers are pikers.

So, while once again, I'm glad that BH and Malkin are exposing these clowns, I'll be much more impressed when they start attacking the root of the problem. Given the perpetual myopia of most conservatives — as well as their not-so-intellectual leaders' unfortunate tendency to populism — I'm not holding my breath.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sarah Palin Visiting Sandpoint Today

Ms. Palin continues her "Going Rogue" book tour with a stop tonight in Sandpoint, Idaho, the town near where I live. I was thinking of sashaying down to chat with her.

If I get the chance, any questions you want me to ask?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Joke of the Day, Regrettably

My lovely Aunt sent me the following delightful Joke of the Day:
George Bush and Vladimir Putin die and go to hell.
They spy a red phone and ask what it's for. Beelzebub informs them it's for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for five minutes. When he finishes the devil informs him the charge is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.

George Bush gets his turn and talks for an hour. When he's finished the devil tells him there's no charge.

Putin hears this and goes ballistic. "Why does he get to call America for free?"

Satan replies, "Well, ever since Obama walked into the Oval Office it's become a local call."
Humor often relies a grain of truth to succeed. Brother, don't you wish that was the most unfunny joke ever?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update to Natl Bureau of Prostitution Plan

Art may imitate life, but there are times when reality goes beyond any parody I could devise. I recently proposed establishing a National Bureau of Prostitution to provide 'increased access' for the lonely guys (and gals!) who couldn't afford 'acceptable quality' nookie. Courtesy of the fine fellow at Gods of the Copybook Headings, it turns out that — not too surprising, I suppose — the Dutch are ahead of me here.
[T]he government's top advisory agency - the Raad van State - has indicated that physically handicapped people are also entitled to sexual relations, and at the government's expense, if necessary.
File this one under: "Just when you thought the world couldn't possibly get more absurd..."

Badgers Unite!

I bought a new Canon EOS not long ago and I've been having a great time getting to know it. Here's a self-portrait of me confronting a Progressive.

Kidding aside, the Badger is a superb symbol for the struggle for freedom. This little guy is pound for pound the fiercest fighter in the animal republic. Peaceful until threatened, he prefers pursuing the satisfaction of his wants but will fight to the death if blocked. He's particularly intolerant of those who would use their larger size or numbers to dominate him. And, by the way, the Badger is related to the Skunk with whom he tries to get along but, well, you know, that isn't easy.

Badgers unite! You have nothing to lose but your change.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Emperor Pelosi Declares CongressCare Constitutional

Noted legal scholar, Speaker of the House of RipoffandResentYourConstituents Nancy Pelosi has declared that the Congressional bills to enslave doctors, insurance companies, and patients are, in fact, constitutional. True. They're constitutional in the same way that a very deep enema is.

Here's her rationalization justification. Please try to suppress tear-inducing laughter long enough to finish reading the quote. There will be a quiz afterward.
MYTH:"Health insurance reform could be unconstitutional…or violate the 10th amendment."

FACT: As with Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government has the Constitutional power to reform our health care system.

The 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states… or to the people.

But the Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce. Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life [note: Boy, is she ever right about that!], from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited.
We'll set aside for later discussion that Emperor Pelosi chooses to ignore the 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments in her answer. (Not to mention two and half centuries of law protecting property rights and the right of voluntary trade. So do most so-called representatives these days; we'll pass by that for now.) Instead, let's just take her argument on its own terms.

On this basis, there is absolutely no limitation whatever on anything Congress chooses to legislate, and Pelosi admits as much in the end. Yes, I know, I know. But while this totalitarianism is a sad fact of contemporary political practice, it doesn't make her argument sound. Madison wrote about this on many occasions, saying for example:
"Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own...

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest...

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property so called...

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward other species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor...

If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just government, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights: they will rival the government that most sacredly guards the former; and by repelling its example in violating the latter, will make themselves a pattern to that and all other governments." -James Madison, "Property", National Gazette
Further, Jefferson wrote, on Constitutional limits: "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

With respect to the Commerce Clause on which so much of Congressional mischief* has relied for a century, Madison explains in Federalist No. 42 this:
A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter.

Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out, to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter, and the consumers of the former.

We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquility.
In short, the meaning of the clause as used in the Constitution is the very opposite of what Pelosi and her ilk want to believe (and want even more for you to believe). It's purpose was to prevent the States from interfering with free trade or rigging the game by passing State-specific, State-advantageous import/export duties. It was not to allow the Federal government, Mafia-like, to simply takeover the whole racket.

Pelosi does admit that the Constitution limits the omnipotence of our Federal masters in at least one way:
The 10th amendment does place one significant limit on Congress and the federal government: Congress cannot “commandeer” state officials to administer programs. It must get the consent of state officials who are asked, e.g., to run health programs for the poor or to help build highways. Typically, Congress obtains that consent by providing financial support to the state...
In other words, they can't outright enslave State officials, but they can bribe them into doing the Feds' dirty work for them. Whew, how's that for safeguarding your liberty? Feel better, now?

So far, it will surprise no one who has been paying attention the past two generations, the Supreme Court has said nary a peep about the proposed rape of the health-care-related business owners and those who trade with them. Don't expect that discussion, much less a ruling, anytime soon. Most of them are taking their cues these days from the Pelosi(s) of the world.

*"In 1942's Wickard v. Filburn, the court held that the Commerce Power was broad enough to penalize a farmer growing wheat for his own consumption on his own farm." [ibid, Healy at the Washington Examiner.]