Showing posts with label United States Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United States Constitution. Show all posts

Monday, July 04, 2016

Good (Happy Birthday, United States) Words

For me, freedom means the ability to live free of fear, free of intimidation and free from gun violence. Freedom in America, as set out in the Declaration of Independence, is meant to be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, there is a vocal minority who believe these fundamental rights are pre-empted by the right to unrestricted access to deadly weapons.

---Jane Doughetry, sister of Sandy Hook victim

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Completely Agree

"We can recognize the extraordinary character of the Founding Fathers while also knowing that those 18th-century political leaders were not outside history. . . . They were as enmeshed in historical circumstances as we are, they had no special divine insight into politics, and their thinking was certainly not free of passion, ignorance, and foolishness."

---Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary historian, Pulitzer prise winning author and Brown University Professor.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Konstitutional Klub

Apparently...and I'm still recovering from pulling several stomach muscles laughing my ass off...Michele Bachmann is organizing classes on the US Constitution. As you swallow the small amount of vomit in your mouth, you should probably know that Bachmann is doing this for all the incoming Congressional freshmen just to make sure that they understand what it "really" means.

She's brought together a faculty that is mighty impressive, I must say. On staff will be Sean Hannity, Andrew Napolitano (the only one who is actually qualified) and David Barton, a Christian evangelist who has called the separation of church and state a "myth."

I hope they release an online version of the class or perhaps there's some way I can get a look at the curriculum. I'm sure it will be more of the same beating of the Constitutional club over the head in order to further a tragically warped belief system but, I have to admit, I'm too curious. For example, how are they going to address the issue of slavery? Or the formation of the national bank? Taxes? Interstate Commerce? Borrowing money on the credit of the United States?

I suppose I (sadly) already know the answer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Imagining Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm wondering what our first Treasury Secretary would think of our current economic situation. On the surface, one would think that the author of The Federalist Papers would offer great insight into the limits of government regarding the US Constitution. After all, this was the guy who argued against having a Bill of Rights.

Yet, it was Hamilton who, just two years after publishing the Federalist Papers, issued a state paper calling for the first central bank in our country's history. This idea was the great granddaddy of the Federal Reserve. More importantly, there was not a single word in our Constitution that allowed for such an institution.

Nonetheless, the man who is held up as the one who knows exactly what the Constitution means went to Article I Section 8.

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

From this, he determined that it gave Congress the power to create a central bank. Given the fact that Congress had the power to collect taxes and borrow money, he reasoned that a central bank would help this process considerably. In looking at this line from Section 8, he argued that there are implied meanings in our Constitution. Meanings that give power, not only to the enumerated items but also to the implied ones.

Jefferson and Madison couldn't believe it. They knew as well as several others that there was no such power guaranteed in the Constitution. They argued vociferously against it. But our first president (another Founding Father) George Washington agreed with Hamilton. And thus was born our first national bank.

Essentially, what I am saying is that by taking this action, two of our Founding an author of a primary source on the Constitution...stated in no uncertain terms that it is a living document and open to interpretation by the people we elect.

So, the next time you hear someone yelling about strict readings of the US Constitution and what our founding fathers intended, tell them this story...that is, right after you wipe their spit from your face.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rules Need Not Apply (Bastard Spic Edition)

Apparently, the new Arizona immigration law isn't good enough. Neither is the United States Constitution.

Russell Pearce, a state Senator from Arizona, is introducing legislation to make all children of illegal immigrants, born here in the United States, also illegal and deny them citizenship. Mr. Pearce must be unaware of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Seems pretty clear to me. Of course, I'm not in the Cult.

"It's been hijacked and abused," Pearce said. "There is no provision in the 14th Amendment for the declaration of citizenship to children born here to illegal aliens."

I'm wondering what version of English he speaks. Must be the "Fuck You, Spic" version.

I'm also wondering exactly what Mr. Pearce envisions as being an acceptable way to deny citizenship to babies and children. Under the new immigration law he voted for, doesn't that mean they would be deported along with their parents? I can see it now...images of brown people being put on trains and herded out of the country because of the "Papers Please" law. But shit, though. I can't compare them to....that time in world history, can I? Nah, no similarities whatsoever...

Many folks would say that Pearce is dreaming if he can pass this law. Fifteen years ago I might have agreed with them. But with the power of the Cult, things have changed. The BP oil spill, for example, is now the fault of our fascist/socialist/leader Barack Obama. And he should apologize to the warm and golden corporation for ever questioning anything they are doing.

So, Pearce has an excellent chance of passing this law regardless of what the Constitution says. After all, rules need not apply.