Down in Florida, the State ordered a Diet Coach to cease and desist from giving – and charging for – advice to clients on how to lose weight.
On the one hand, the idea that people can’t talk to each other and provide a service for which they are in return paid for that service – in this case, advice about what to eat so as to lose weight – should be a basic cornerstone of libertarian idealism.
On the other hand, the State of Florida disagrees and claims it has a compelling interest in making sure that people who dispense such advice – for money – are up to its standards because 36% of the people who live there are classified as obese. That puts Florida in the middle percentile of the national obesity rankings. So they passed a law to make it a requirement for anybody who gets paid for nutritional advise must have a degree (which you can get from their State-run Universities for the price of a Masters Program! Get a Student loan to cover it!), nine-hundred hours of supervised training and fork over some money for a license.
All of this is to, as they put it, make sure that the people of the State of Florida, who are not capable of making informed choices about nutritional advise on their own, don’t get taken to the cleaners by paying people who have not earned their Masters Degree, taken the training and paid the fee, for their nutritional advice.
Now, the argument being made by the diet coach told to cease and desist is simply that everything she is telling her clients is freely available on the interwebs. Which… is true.
But is that really the argument she should have made?
“No Bill of Attainder… shall be passed…” – Article 1 Section 9
In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency, the only person to ever do so. The primary evidence against him was a set of tapes that he had made in the Oval Office, which purported to contain direct evidence of the Watergate Conspiracy, or at least a lot of buzzing that replaced sections that might have proved the Watergate Conspiracy if they hadn’t been so obviously erased.
After he resigned President Ford pardoned Mr. Nixon on September 8, 1974.
Prior to that day, Presidential papers were not considered “public documents.” They were private papers which belonged to the President. In fact, until Franklin Roosevelt donated his papers to the National Archives through his Presidential Library and Museum in 1939, they had never been available to the public except in the form of books and articles written by researchers who had been granted access.
Until December 19, 1974. On that day, President Ford signed a bill passed by Congress, The Presidential Recordings and Materials Act.” This law, which by definition applied ONLY to the records and Materials of Richard Nixon, made it clear that these were now the property of the United States, to be overseen by the National Archivist, who was charged with determining which records and documents the United States would keep – for potential use in judicial proceedings – and which would be returned as the property of Richard Nixon.
Naturally, the former President sued, claiming that this law was clearly unconstitutional as it violated the ban on Bills of Attainder.
It would take until 1998 to fully resolves Nixon’s role in this. Today, the Federal Courts are preparing to take up two cases that both Defenses are arguing are Bills of Attainder. Will history repeat or will the Courts find that no bills of attainder shall be passed?
In Boston last week, a Liberty Pole was raised.
Once upon a time that was a VERY common occurrence. It had deep symbolism to the Revolutionary Generation. Along with other symbols, it pointed to their ideas for what exactly they were willing to pledge their lives, their treasures, and their sacred honor.
Through the years the symbols have been forgotten even as they remain in our midst and our everyday lives. The words they represented have been slurred until we no longer recognize their true meaning.
The raising of a Liberty pole last week in Boston reminds us that those ideas are not dead. They can be restored…