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Thread: For the few of you who've asked...

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    I am well aware that you all hate it when I cut-and-paste, but I have seen many instances of members asking for a bit of a summary of our founding documents to aid in their understanding of just why certain things are the way they are, or why some people get upset that things have gotten so out-of-kilter.

    I spotted this the other day and thought it was the best (meaning shortest and most-easily digested) and most appropriate example I'd seen for what is needed here.

    This is meant to be instructive-a primer of sorts, and I've had enough rants, so please desist if you find yourself inclined; this is for those who honestly want to know.


    We Are Revolutionaries

    by Charley Reese


    It would be a hopeful sign if the Senate could get away from its obsession with abortion on demand and consider, during its Supreme Court confirmation hearings, what the Constitution is and what it isn't.

    Some people seem to be under the erroneous belief that the Constitution grants us our rights. It does no such thing. To understand the Constitution, you have to remember the Declaration of Independence, which preceded it by several years. It is the Declaration that contains the philosophy of the American Revolution. The Constitution merely implements that philosophy.

    The philosophy of the American Revolution contains three basic premises. One is that rights come from God and are unalienable. Two is that men create governments to protect those rights. Three is that when government fails to protect those rights and becomes abusive of those rights, men have a right and even a duty to overthrow that government and create a new one.

    Some Americans have so neglected their study of American history that the idea of violently overthrowing a government strikes them as, well, communist or some such. Of course, if the Founding Fathers had not violently overthrown the colonial government of Great Britain in North America, we would not be an independent nation.

    If you read the Constitution with those three premises in mind (and both documents were written to be read by ordinary folks, not legal scholars), it makes perfect sense. The main part of the Constitution simply establishes the framework for the federal government and its three parts, defines their respective duties and establishes what the federal government can do and what the states can do. None of that has anything at all to do with individual rights or with social issues.

    The Bill of Rights, which is a set of amendments added after ratification to reassure opponents of the Constitution that the new government would not usurp their rights, simply forbids the new federal government from abusing or abridging already-existing rights. The right to free speech and all the others existed prior to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The language of the First Amendment tells what the intent was: "Congress shall pass no law." Only the new federal government had a Congress.

    The Second Amendment does not grant people the right to keep and bear arms. They already had and continue to have that right. It simply says the already-existing right cannot be abridged. You can't abridge something that doesn't exist. Remember, too, that the same people involved in the Constitution were involved in the Revolution. Obviously, if you believe people have a right to overthrow a government, then no government must be allowed to disarm them.

    It is also good to keep in mind that the Constitution is a textual document, not a "living document." That was a false metaphor intended to provide cover for judges to legislate and amend by interpretation so that the Constitution would mean whatever they said it meant. Not so. It means what it says. It cannot be amended by interpretation or by Congress ignoring it, though modern politicians have committed both sins.

    The Constitution is a written contract between the sovereign people and their government. It was ratified by the people, and only the people can change it through the amendment process. Every single American, liberal or conservative, should be fiercely adamant on that point. Otherwise, we have a nation of men, not of laws.

    Finally, keep in mind that the Constitution was never intended to deal with moral and philosophical issues, such as abortion. The Founding Fathers properly left those to elected legislatures. That's why Roe v. Wade is a profoundly flawed decision. The court usurped the powers of the 50 state legislatures and, by interpretation, created a right to privacy that the words of the Constitution do not support.

    It is said that when the Constitutional Convention ended, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had given the people. "Madam, we have given you a republic – if you can keep it," was the reply. That is still an open question. If Americans continue to allow lawyers and academics to tell them what is so and not so, instead of thinking for themselves, then most surely we won't keep it.

    September 19, 2005
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    i'm not a merkin but i agree.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    I for one like your posts with out you this forum is very quiet , mabey post a link when getting flack . While I hardly ever agree with your posts I do enjoy reading them and relish the chance to offer a different view . It is a complement , with out an opinion might as well watch tv .



    Edit : Spelling of course .
    Last edited by peat moss; 10-01-2005 at 01:43 AM.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    I don't think I've ever gotten a better compliment, peat.

    I often create a stir while intending quite the opposite; I am gratified to hear someone actually gets it.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    JPaul's Avatar Fat Secret Agent
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    Nice post, makes sense.

    Thanks for that.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    JPaul's Avatar Fat Secret Agent
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    Here's another bit of Mre Reese's work. I assume it's the same one.

    He has a very readable prose style

    Vote for a Man, Not a Puppet

    by Charley Reese

    Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war – Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers.

    I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.

    It's no wonder the president avoids press conferences like the plague. Take away his cue cards and he can barely talk. Americans should be embarrassed that an Arab king (Abdullah of Jordan) spoke more fluently and articulately in English than our own president at their joint press conference recently.

    John Kerry is at least an educated man, well-read, who knows how to think and who knows that the world is a great deal more complex than Bush's comic-book world of American heroes and foreign evildoers. It's unfortunate that in our poorly educated country, Kerry's very intelligence and refusal to adopt simplistic slogans might doom his presidential election efforts.

    But Thomas Jefferson said it well, as he did so often, when he observed that people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never was and never will be.

    People who think of themselves as conservatives will really display their stupidity, as I did in the last election, by voting for Bush. Bush is as far from being a conservative as you can get. Well, he fooled me once, but he won't fool me twice.

    It is not at all conservative to balloon government spending, to vastly increase the power of government, to show contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law, or to tell people that foreign outsourcing of American jobs is good for them, that giant fiscal and trade deficits don't matter, and that people should not know what their government is doing. Bush is the most prone-to-classify, the most secretive president in the 20th century. His administration leans dangerously toward the authoritarian.

    It's no wonder that the Justice Department has convicted a few Arab-Americans of supporting terrorism. What would you do if you found yourself arrested and a federal prosecutor whispers in your ear that either you can plea-bargain this or the president will designate you an enemy combatant and you'll be held incommunicado for the duration?

    This election really is important, not only for domestic reasons, but because Bush's foreign policy has been a dangerous disaster. He's almost restarted the Cold War with Russia and the nuclear arms race. America is not only hated in the Middle East, but it has few friends anywhere in the world thanks to the arrogance and ineptness of the Bush administration. Don't forget, a scientific poll of Europeans found us, Israel, North Korea and Iran as the greatest threats to world peace.

    I will swallow a lot of petty policy differences with Kerry to get a man in the White House with brains enough not to blow up the world and us with it. Go to Kerry's Web site and read some of the magazine profiles on him. You'll find that there is a great deal more to Kerry than the GOP attack dogs would have you believe.

    Besides, it would be fun to have a president who plays hockey, windsurfs, ride motorcycles, plays the guitar, writes poetry and speaks French. It would be good to have a man in the White House who has killed people face to face. Killing people has a sobering effect on a man and dispels all illusions about war.

    May 17, 2004

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    Thanks for that JP.
    It is not at all conservative to balloon government spending, to vastly increase the power of government, to show contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law, or to tell people that foreign outsourcing of American jobs is good for them, that giant fiscal and trade deficits don't matter, and that people should not know what their government is doing. Bush is the most prone-to-classify, the most secretive president in the 20th century. His administration leans dangerously toward the authoritarian.
    I dislike Bush not because he's Republican but because he's even shit at being Republican.

    There are some conservative ideals I like...like small government but Bush's is high on government spending but it doesn't even benefit the average joe.

    SDRAWKCAB-SSA
    Last edited by Busyman; 10-01-2005 at 02:57 PM.
    Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, Bitchhhh!

    Flies Like An Arrow, Flies Like An Apple
    ---12323---4552-----
    2133--STRENGTH--8310
    344---5--5301---3232

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    @busyman , Bush isn't even a good person ,just one born with a silver spoon up his ass . He's got to be the most clumsy fuck since President Ford . Poor people skills too how did he get elected anyway ? Oh ya the Florida polls .

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by peat moss
    @busyman , Bush isn't even a good person ,just one born with a silver spoon up his ass . He's got to be the most clumsy fuck since President Ford . Poor people skills too how did he get elected anyway ? Oh ya the Florida polls .
    Well, you'll be shut of him in a mere 3 years; better get behind your candidate, peat...
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by j2k4
    Quote Originally Posted by peat moss
    @busyman , Bush isn't even a good person ,just one born with a silver spoon up his ass . He's got to be the most clumsy fuck since President Ford . Poor people skills too how did he get elected anyway ? Oh ya the Florida polls .
    Well, you'll be shut of him in a mere 3 years; better get behind your candidate, peat...
    this may be my over active imagination but somehow i'm scared he wont go in three years

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