My cousin sent this to me. Nice analogy. I realize national and family debt are not synonymous, but that our extreme accelerating debt is a problem is just common sense.
These are the two major schools of Constitutional interpretation:
I’m an originalist and while I understand the living Constitution is a tempting concept, at a certain point, there’s no longer a basis anymore. Mark Levin has made the point: What if you had a living mortage, whose terms could be arbitrarily adapted to suit the times? How would that work? No. The mortgage is a contract. You can amend it (refinance?), but it says what it says.
Unfortunately, with a 200+ old year mortgage, the terms can be harder to decipher. Hence, originalism doesn’t resolve all the conflicts, it just provides a framework for and limit on interpretation.
Wikipedia provides a nice example:
Suppose that the Constitution contained (which it obviously does not) a provision that a person may not be “subjected to the punishments of hanging by the neck, beheading, stoning, pressing, or execution by firing squad”. A strict constructionist would interpret that clause to mean that the specific punishments mentioned above were unconstitutional, but that other forms of capital punishment were permissible. For a strict constructionist, the specific, strict reading of the text is the beginning and end of the inquiry.
For an Originalist, however, the text is the beginning of the inquiry, and two Originalists might reach very different results, not only from the strict constructionist, but from each other. “Originalists can reach different results in the same case” (see What Originalism is Not — Originalism is not always an answer in and of itself, infra); one originalist might look at the context in which the clause was written, and might discover that the punishments listed in the clause were the only forms of capital punishment in use at that time, and the only forms of capital punishment that had ever been used at the time of ratification. An originalist might therefore conclude that capital punishment in general—including those methods for it invented since ratification, such as the electric chair—are not constitutional. Another originalist may look at the text and see that the writers created a list. He would assume that the Congress intended this to be an exhaustive list of objectionable executions. Otherwise, they would have banned capital punishment as a whole, instead of listing specific means of punishment. He would rule that other forms of execution are constitutional.
The paragraph above does not give examples of Original intent vis a vis Original meaning. Using the former, the Judge would look for the letters and journals of the Founders on the subject of capital punishment. If he found that a majority expressed an aversion to it, the interpretation would be averse to capital punishment. Using Original meaning the Judge would look for the frequency of each contemporaneous form of capital punishment. If any form other than those listed was extremely rare, the decision could be averse to all capital punishment. If another form, not listed, was not rare, the decision would have to be in favor of capital punishment because reasonable persons in 1793 would so interpret the clause.
I have a hard time imagining a credible argument against this approach. Oh wait, I just thought of a couple (for liberals): Scalia and Thomas. Actually, I appreciate the judgements I’ve read of theirs. My point is that even if they are rogues, hi-jacking the term “originalism”, originalism is (to me) the only approach to the constitution that treats it properly.
I was talking with some co-workers about Voter ID laws after James O’Keefe’s latest escapade. I heard some very reasonable and astute criticisms of them. But we all agreed that we didn’t know enough about the quantities of either unregistered voters or voter fraud (not to be confused with voter registration fraud, another issue.) I volunteered to do some research and email the results. The email is below. One item I failed to include is the Heritage Foundations’ (conservative think tank), Without Proof: The Unpersuasive Case Against Voter Identification, which is more of a point by point refute of the Brennan Study.
I agree with a lot of what he says here. I think his position that the bible is all about controlling people is misguided. Clearly not a sola scriptura guy. Also, I used to have a cassette of a late interview he did (back in circa 1998) and I’m not sure if the whole thing is verbatim, but the good->god; evil->devil thing is word for word. I found it here http://www.2pac2k.de/religion.html. Spelling intact.
Where do You stand On Religion?
I’m the religion that to me is the realist religion there is. I try to pray to God every night unless I pass out. I learned this in jail, I talked to every God (member of the Five Percent Nation) there was in jail. I think that if you take one of the “O’s” out of “Good” it’s “God”, if you add a “D” to “Evil”, it’s the “Devil”. I think some cool motherfucker sat down a long time ago and said let’s figure out a way to control motherfuckers. That’s what they came up with-the bible. Cause if God wrote the bible, I’m sure there would have been a revised copy by now. Cause a lot of shit has changed. I’ve been looking for this revised copy-I still see that same old copy that we had from then. I’m not disrespecting anyone’s religion, please forgive me if it comes off that way, I’m just stating my opinion. The bible tells us that all these did this because they suffered so much that’s what makes them special people. I got shot five times and I got crucified to the media. And I walked through with the thorns on and I had shit thrown on me and I had the theif at the top; I told that nigga “I’ll be back for you. Trust me, is not supposed to be going down, I’ll be back. I’m not saying I’m Jesus but I’m saying we go through that type of thing everyday. We don’t part the Red Sea but we walk through the hood without getting shot. We don’t turn water to wine but we turn dope fiends and dope heads into productive citizens of society. We turn words into money. What greater gift can there be. So I belive God blesses us, I belive God blesses those that hustle. Those that use their minds and those that overall are righteous. I belive that everything you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that’s bad, I’m going to suffer for it. But in my heart, I belive what I’m doing in my heart is right. So I feel like I’m going to heaven. I think heaven is just when you sleep, you sleep with a good conscience-you don’t have nightmares. Hell is when you sleep, the last thing you see is all the fucked up things you did in your life and you just see it over and over again, cause you don’t burn. If that’s the case, it’s hell on earth cause bullets burn. There’s people that got burned in fires, does that mean they went to hell already? All that is here. What do you got there that we ain’t seen here?
h/t The illustrious illustr8r @ iowntheworld (reproduced in full)
On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks.” The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution.
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington
And for any OWSers who are snickering because they think the founding fathers couldn’t spell…here’s an explanation on the use of “f” for “s” in historical documents…click here.
A while ago, I read Exodus and wrote down the plagues on a scrap of paper. Never sure what to do with it, so thought I’d document here, so I can get rid of it.
- Blood – Exodus 7:14-24
- Frogs – Exodus 8:1-15
- Gnats – Exodus 8:16-19
- Flies – Exodus 8:20-32
- Livestock – Exodus 9:1-7
- Boils – Exodus 9:8-12
- Hail – Exodus 9:13-35
- Locusts – Exodus 10:1-20
- Darkness – Exodus 10:21-29
- Firstborn – Exodus 11:1-12:33
Interesting thoughts from 2Pac in the last months of his life.
It’s all ’bout studyin’ to me. I studied the CIA, America … I hate America for what we did, but I love us for being strong. You gotta do that. So what we don’t got a good image? We’re the strongest motherf—in’ nation. That’s me! That’s me right f—in’ there. I don’t give a f— if you don’t like it! I got the balls. Can’t nobody touch me, won’t nobody rush me. Something we doin’ right. That’s that capitalism sh–. ‘Cause you can feed your kids with that sh–. All that other sh–, you can’t feed your kids with that sh–. (If you) can’t feed your kids, you can’t have a nation. So that’s what’s more important to me.
The Occupy Movement concerns me. I have some sympathy for their complaints in regard to cronyism and corruption, but there is no clear focus of their position or their goals. The goals they have are not well thought out (if we forgive all student loans, how is that fair to those who have paid them back, or to future loan recipients? They are all about fairness, right?). There is an undercurrent that it is more than the (bad enough) redistributionist goals they proclaim. With their general assemblies and up and down twinkles, there seems to be a goal of transforming, rather than reforming, our institutions. While this might sound appealing, it looks more like a grown up version of Lord of the Flies. They seem confused about who their enemy is, as they rail on corporations via their iPhone. They rail on the 1%, but embrace 1%-ers Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin. What bothers me the most is their presumptuous “occupation” of public areas for extended periods of time, being rude and disruptive, and hurting area businesses (not the way to improve the economy, guys). Aren’t a lot of these people the same ones who derisively refer to American foreign actions as occupations? But when they do it, it’s a good thing?
Anyway, I know Oakland is an extreme case, but it’s the tip of the spear. #OWS is not what democracy looks like. It’s what a mob looks like.
This is an excellent clip from last night’s show. He starts by explaining why he is not in favor of election of judges, but is in favor of term limits for judges. He explains that the founders were primarily concerned about two things: Despotism and Majoritarianism. In the interest of guarding against the tyranny of the majority, the people originally only directly elected their representative in the House. The Presidential election is filtered through the Electoral College, while the Senators were originally elected by the State Legislatures (altered by the 17th Amendment). Brilliant exposition on the structure set up by the founders to prevent mob rule.
On a side note, I actually created the video above, which is the first time I’ve done that. It’s nothing fancy, but still. If interested, you can check out how I did it.