Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Constitution

It is something that is talked about in civics, history, and Government often, the separation of powers. How the framers of our Constitution came together and created a system with checks and balances where each branch can check the powers and the excesses of any other branch.

But in an age of ever-growing and out of control Government, in an age where all of our Government branches are being twisted out of proportion, I do not think many people understand what the three branches are.

And from spending, to the military, to domestic issues and the foreign policy we have to understand our roots if we are going to have any hope in hell of saving our Government. So we can again restore the proper balance within our Government.

the legislature: They write the rules and decide what resources and assets will be used to go where. They have the power of the purse…at least as was originally intended.

The Executive: They execute the laws and help regulate them and ensure that they are carried out. They can veto the legislation passed, but then the legislature can over ride that veto.

The Judicial: They decide if the laws passed by the Executive and the legislature are right and proper and if they fall within proper and established Constitutional guidelines.

If we use the Foreign policy arena as an example of how these three branches work we can begin to better understand them, how they work, why they work, and begin to understand more about our Foreign Policy (continuing the theme of the last few blogs 😛 )

The legislature convenes and decides who the enemy is. If we need to declare war on this enemy, what resources and funding will be used in the persecution of this enemy. And the parameters of the general mission.

The Executive executes the war and the mission, actually commands the military, and uses the resources that are given by the legislature.

And the Judicial…while they normally do not have any power in a war situation…they can still decide whether the declaration of the war was legal in the first place. And more importantly Constitutional.

All three branches are supposed to work in perfect synch, competing and rubbing against each other, creating and building the Government but often at odds with agendas so that any legislation that passes, can be the right one, and can take time. For if we let one branch have greater power then the others it upsets the balance of power and then we either have rule by a mob, or rule by a petty and executive tyrant.

Advertisements

Recently I have finished reading the Miracle of Freedom, the Seven tipping points that saved the world: ( Link).

It is a book that talks about seven key events in world history, mainly the history of Europe that led to the foundation and continuation of the world today. It charts freedom’s progress. The stumbling blocks, pitfalls, and the advancements that have been made these last several years.

Through civil Government, Science, philosophy, and Religion, all playing a role in creating and shaping the very freedoms we enjoy today. It makes a compelling case and is truly eye-opening. I recommend it.

But just how fragile is our freedom? Why is it at risk? And how do these things make our freedom so precious?

Our freedom is very fragile, and unique. Its been in a state of flux, both in this country and leading up to this country, for years. It took treasure and blood and sweat to keep it, and it will take these things in the future to maintain it. It constantly has people and Government and organizations and the powerful ripping and tearing at its very edge. Often in the name of the very thing they mean to take away. Or in the name of Security, Justice, be it economic, or Social, or environmental.

And it is hardly our birthright, the birthright of humanity.

Injustice exists everywhere and it has done so for years, millennium,

Not saying that the human heart is evil or wrong or we are in a state of pure corruption, again we can make the choice and if we make the wrong one we can recognize that, atone, and move on to a better world. Hopefully. We are plagued by both our successes and our failures.

But injustice still exists, even in this day, oppressive Governments round-up their people with no charge and everywhere there is always someone looking to take power from the people and tip the balance.

But thankfully because of the Constitution, and our respect for the rule of law, we treat everyone equally and fairly under the law. Despite those that would see the rule of law and the Constitution torn apart on their own petty whims.

That lies the road to injustice and evil. Even if they care for the people and even if they have our best interest at heart the moment it becomes about desire and caring and trying to do the right thing, is the moment we risk tearing it apart. The second that even someone noble and righteous violates the rule of law is a risk for the next person to come along and violate it for evil.

The human heart is complex, despite what we strive to and what we build and how most of us in this country and the Western World look at people and try to treat everyone with fairness, and dignity, there is always someone out there who does not share that view.

And even amongst ourselves as individuals it is not always easy.

We strive, we seek, we grow wiser and older and better. But we still fall and are corrupted.

It is hard to grow past our instincts. Hard to treat everyone fairly. It always seems that there is that one person, or one issue, or one moment in time that makes us less than who we are. We can become suspicious mistrusting unfair angry or just lose ourselves. We cry out “CAN SOMEONE NOT RID US OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST”

And for too much of time, too much of our history, we have been subject to the petty interests of humans, of Kings, ruling over us where their rule was supreme. Even in this day the Government can fall into those patterns.

And frankly freedom has been the exception, it existed briefly, maybe with the Greeks and then the Romans, they at least experimented before they fell to the darkness of Empire.

But for thousands of years of history humanity has lived under abject tyranny, and some of us still do to this day. Next to what? Roughly three hundred years (being generous) of freedom and free thought?

We have had thousands of years to get used to and grow comfortable with tyranny and oppression, and only a couple hundred, a pin prick, to try to break those bonds and live free.

Sometimes we fall back on old patterns.

We have not gotten used to freedom, but we have forgotten what it means to be a slave.

For far too long we have sat and gotten used to our freedom where we ignore, or don’t recognize the sings of our impending doom.

Whether it is from inside, or outside. Bread and Circuses indeed.

Which is why it is so precious, and why it is so necessary to learn…through history hopefully, what it meant for the people’s of the path to live. Then, and only then can we preserve our own freedom.

Constitutions: They are probably the most significant invention in our society, our most significant thing as it comes to and relates to Government. They are important in telling one who they are as a people, and how the Government that serves them…serves them. And hopefully not as an alien entree.

They are quite simply the contract between a people and its Government.

They are the contract, the blue print, the bedrock, and the rules between a people and its Government. And how a society functions.

It is a set of rules of where the Government relates to the people and what the Government must not do to the people, and how the Government works and the processes that the Government operates under.

They are, along with assorted documents in our country, what gives one great liberty…or even great tyranny.

It is what gives us our liberty.

Well we give ourselves our liberty but that is the blue print in which we operate under.

Because no matter the Government type, whether it is a proper Republic, or a Monarchy, or anything in between they determine how much liberty and how much tyranny is in a society at its core.

Because a monarchy can have limits in it based on the Constitution. A Constitution can limit the Government, and empower the people, or it can give a King or a Congress or an elite or an aristocracy their powers and loopholes to lord it over the people.

And these kinds of Constitutions do not work if they can be changed on a whim. If they can be changed on a whim they will not work.

Whether it is by the whim of the people in a Direct Democracy. Or a King, Monarch, or Tyrant.

The more set in stone a Constitution is, and the harder it is to change it or alter it, and the more checks and balances there are in that process…and all the processes of Government, the better it is for the liberty and the Freedom in that country.

Just like ours and us.

And when people start to ignore the Constitution for their own political objectives, you begin to lose your society and the structure of your society begins to crumble.

In my time of debating a lot of foreigners and people who are not US citizens through the internet something comes up again and again and again.

The idea that, well our laws are better, the foreign laws and that we should look to Europe for Cap and Trade, gun restrictions, or Health Care, are the three most popular.

That our laws are perfect and good and honest and descent, they can save you and that we have such a long life span, such a low murder rate, and why people do not go broke doing health care.

After all you love Israel so much, why can’t you follow their example and their good laws and Government this and that?

In thinking about these arguments and this argument in regards I have come up with four, relatively simple steps, to determine if a law that is foreign in nature or a law that does not originate inside the United States will work for our country.

These steps also work for any law in general and is a good rule of thumb, but they specifically are designed to work for laws that come from over seas and laws that we can mold for use here in the United States.

One: Does the program or law in question limit or stifle human freedom? Does the program make human liberty and freedom impractical?

Many people say that the Scandinavian, or the British or the Canadian health care system has a private option and provides private insurance.

Is it practical or viable?

Is it vibrant and free and truly a meaningful option that people can go to be truly free?

What laws and restrictions could exist where the Government encourages or forces people into the Socialist liberty stripping system?

Two: Is it Fiscally sane?

Will running this specific program break the bank?

Will it jeopardize the financial security of the United States and risk causing the country to collapse economically?

Three: Does it match the moral, societal, and cultural objectives and norms of the United States?

Scandinavia, and many other countries that spend large numbers of dollars on social programs, they do not have a large military.

I like having a large military, and how much I might want to shrink it we need one now.

So will these programs put other programs more acceptable to Americans at large in jeopardy? Or those of our defense obligations?

Four: Does it match the legal precedent, codes, or laws of the land of the United States. IE the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.

If the powers that these new laws will create violate established US precedent and the foundations of our moral code, and indeed our society, they should be rejected.

All four of them are equally as important in the long run to determining what laws should and should not get passed.

All four of these steps must be reached and checked off in order to have any law based on foreign legal precedent become law in the United States.

It is very difficult to pass these laws and pass the muster on all these guidelines.

But that is the point. No matter what we are dealing in the realm of Big Governments and tyranny. And any law, ANY law should be nearly impossible to pass.

And if they can match all four requirements, then you likely have a good law that can work in this country, and indeed any other…depending on how you relate to the steps of course. 😛

Story:

Recently Christine O’Donnell was grilled over the separation of Church and State (and other topics but lets just focus on that one.) In a debate with her opponent in her local race.

Now first off, because I was going to do a blog on this subject but alas I am unable to…I like her. A lot. Which is saying something in today’s political climate and how often we have burned. But right now she seems to be a straight shooter and someone who is very brave.

Challenging someone in what is in essence, their home turf, being mocked and ridiculed but yet sticking to her guns.

Now from the video there are two ways you can look at her reactions.

One…that she was stupid and did not know what she was talking about, and was ‘surprised’ that the separation of Church and State even existed in the Constitution.

This is the obvious opinion of the students, mocking and ridiculing, laughing, saying OMG and things like that.

The other interpretation was that she was challenging him, forcing him to defend his position, come up with the exact quote, and come up with the proper answer.

And as we found out the phrase does not exist in the Constitution but it has been misquoted as in the document.
The proper reference can be found in the establishment clause of the US constitution.

But, in my opinion, the guy lost the debate. He did not do himself any favors.

He went on and on about things that he thought were important to Delaware, the jobs and the economy and did not touch upon the actual question until much later, at which point is when she asked him.

And then he went onto state the importance of interpreting the Constitution in today’s context, and then went on to cite Roe Vs. Wade and the right to choose.

Now, if I may be blunt, that is not how you should interpret the Constitution. You should interpret the Constitution as it was written, as it was intended, and not for a different context, and not how groping through the Constitution in order to justify the decisions and your interpretations that does not make sense.

It is true that the separation of Church and State is a good idea, it is true that there are documents and letters making a case for it.

But it does not show up in our Constitution, it does not show up in the first amendment, and to add onto that it was originally meant to protect religion from excesses of the Government, and not the Government from religion.

Though it sort of also does that by protecting religion.

It protects Government and religion coming together and forcing religious belief on people.

It was not meant to stifle religion in any way, in fact the clause supports religion, or freedom of in any case.

It was not meant to stop religious freedom in the school yard in the public square, it was not meant to stop people from making decisions based on what they believe God would want.

It was meant to protect all of our searches for the divine in our own way.

And I would have no problem with someone praying in a classroom, after all I would have no problem with teachers or coaches praying and asking for Gods guidance. There is a time and a place for that.

Every school has lunch, breaks, before school, and times for Students to purely be students, alone and rest time.

And no student should be forced to limit their behavior during that time in any way. Except for the obvious illegal ones.

If they want to pray to God well that is up to them.

After all we allow Muslims to pray in some cases without problem in the lunch room and kitchens, and after all Cambridge schools are now recognizing Muslims for holiday.

If this is fine so should a Christian prayer group under a tree…during lunch.

We have a fundamental right to hunt for the divine and to come to God in our own way. And that needs to be restored because it is one of those fundamental ‘who are we’ questions.

Questions that will be answered in this election…and beyond.

Recently a minor political shake up has been caused when a Federal Judge ruled the policy of the Military preventing Gays from serving openly, called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, unconstitutional.

Normally I do not think this would interest me, and in coming up with notes for this blog and thinking about it, I find it hard to concentrate. Normally I would hardly care and find this question to be something that is irrelevant, and a sub issue to a lot of what is facing the country today.

But because of debates and conversations about this, and gay issues in general, and since most of the people I know seem to be talking about it, and since it is a big issue in an election that is coming up.

So I must weigh in on this very complex topic.

The whole debate seems to be centered on whether or not denying the issue of gays to serve openly in the Military violates the Equal Protections part of the fourteenth amendment, by supposedly limiting gays in their ability to serve.

I do not buy this. And I look at it from an issue of Hetero couples and gay couples alike. I look at the two of them exactly the same.

Sex is special, but it is a deeply personal thing. How you do it, where you do it, with whom you do it, and if you chose to celebrate your bond in any religious ceremony.

But the main issue here, it is private. And it truly does not affect your ability to serve this country, or die for this country, or shoot weapons. And it should be none of the Government’s business.

Whether you are gay non gay or anything else.

And it only becomes a problem if you turn it into one, if you flaunt your sexuality, or if you act inappropriate. And this is the same for hetero couples as it is for homosexuals.

If you disrupt a unit’s cohesion with your activities, you will be punished.

And there are strict rules governing how military couples can be couples, and what kinds of relationships they can pursue and if they can pursue them in the first place. Severe punishment follows anyone who fails to meet these obligations.

And meanwhile everyone in a unit will probably know what your sexuality is, but again the problem is, if it becomes a problem.

So in essence Hetero couples and gay couples are pretty much equal in the eyes of the military. There for, it is not unconstitutional.

This is not to say however that the bill does not need to be reformed and smoothed over through the legislative process, through the Congress of the United States taking proper action to regulate the military.

I have heard stories of military members being thrown out of the military when it was ‘accidentally’ discovered they were gay, or when someone viewed them doing homosexual acts through their bedroom window.

First of all I think I would bring the guy who was spying on the others on the same charges because that is just plain weird…though maybe its just me.

Though the validity of some of these stories have been challenged by people I have talked to that has said that those stories are false and the gays can still serve…they can.

But regardless whether it is a flaw in the bill or the over exuberance of a Military commander that went too far in persecuting these people, these questions must be answered.

And not in this way. My main fear is that you will have a ‘baby being thrown out with the bath water’ situation, and any motion for any court to declare it unconstitutional will just remove the problem without giving us a chance to make it better. That the whole thing will be thrown out and torn apart and it leaves us no opportunity to build on the good parts.

There is a balance that can be struck here. What this balance is, how you can allow homosexuals to serve in the military, without it being a qualification for service, and how homosexuals will be removed from the military is something that needs to be discussed and come to a conclusion.

I have no idea what this balance is, this is an issue that needs to be determined in the Congress.

To create a simple, clear, concise, but iron tight, set of guidelines that will govern Homosexuals in the military, as it does with their hetero counterparts.

The final issue though is that people have compared it to the integration of black and whites. This is an infuriating comparison that should never be made.

Sexuality is something that can be hidden. That can have no effect on your military service, and you can control, and chose how you act it out.

Skin Color, race, and gender cannot be. These things are impossible to hide and impossible to be put away.

It is apart of you, a thing that you cannot easily chose or make different and it is out there for all the world to see.

Now for those that are using similar reasoning and logic to prevent gays from serving, openly or otherwise, that is similar to the people who were arguing against integrating the military.

These arguments may be wrong, and over the top and irrational generalizations.

But that does not mean there aren’t just as strong arguments, and logical, arguments for keeping Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, or at least parts of it, in place.

And for that one is lumped in with the rest of the gay bashers, homophobes, and bigots…oh my!!!.

This has been bothering me for a while now.

Now 1632 is a great novel, it is a very important novel to read for the times.  Its fun, a great read, and it does have a pretty kind look at the American experience and American style Government.

But, some of it when I read it I can almost see once in a while a bit of a Progressive or Socialist ideology in it from some of the main characters, who seems at other times to be an annoying Libertarian.  Sorry Annoyingly Libertarian.  But the society that they built is not…quite a copy of the United States, and the rhetoric in it can sometimes be…seemingly..well of that side of the aisle.  Other times not so much.

Now one of the pieces of ‘evidence’ is the quote above.  One of the characters in the novel utters this question to the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus:  “What lasts longer, the Mountains or the Sea?”  This really percolates in his head for most of the book and it keeps on coming back over and over and over again.

Now for cultures, well duh, this is quite simple to realize.  Cultures must change, the only constant is some form of change.  Even if that change is only repeating a pattern from the past.

But in Government this is where this gets kind of tricky.  Because it almost sounds like the ideology that dictates that the Constitution, the very fabric of Government, must change with the times, to be reinterpreted on the whim of the people, or a political elite.  To mean whatever they want it to mean for their agenda at any point of time.  In other words a very progressive philosophy of Constitutional Government.

How do you reconcile the two positions?  How do you reconcile the knowledge that if societies survive they need to change in some form or another, to grow, evolve, and to endure, with the philosophy that governments need to be firm and principled?

Then it hit me.

I was being glum about this blog, the views were getting small, and it was just, not a good day, well it was a great day since it was starting to come back a bit.

But it hit me.  That is the answer.

OK imagine this. The ship of state, it’s going along in rough and turbulent waters.  A hurricane of winds and waves smashing and rocking us, as the under current changes and new societal quirks are adopted.

But throughout the journey of the ship of state they have been in constant contact with the shore, with the home base, with the light house, with the guide stone.  In constant communication about the base, and with the base.

What is the safe port of call?

The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights.  That is our blue print, and our safe port of call, and our foundation.

Think about it.

What lasts longer, the mountains or the sea?  Well obviously the sea, duh.

But we are not a sea, we are a ship traveling on the sea.

And no ship can survive without supplies, without food, a place to get water and medicine, a place to rest and relax from our travels and regroup and heal from our battering.

Because no ship, and no society can survive without firm foundations to go running back to and just know that they are there.

Our foundations are faith, hope, and charity.  Our foundations are our founding documents, the founding fathers, and the founding principles.

And the progressives know this.  They know that we have a life line, and if they destroy that life line then they can change the ship, they can change the founding principles.

That is why they are distorting the message, that is why they are messing with the communications lines and the satellite up-link, and discouraging communication with the shore.  Oh no we can do it, just trust our great and noble Captain!

They know if they can cut off our communication with the shore, if they can stop ourselves from getting supply and having that guide store then we will be adrift.  We will be lost out there in a wild current of change, tempest-tossed and forlorn.

We will be running out of supplies, we will be running out of water and we will be growing desperate.

Then we might be locking onto something else, anything else, it could be Marxism, it could be Fascism, it could be another version of our founding principles.  But it will be an unknown.

That is why we must restore our founding principles, that is why we must restore ourselves, and that is why we must constantly communicate, with ourselves about the shore, and the shore itself.  If we hope to survive.

And we cannot look for a political solution.  Oh no, we cannot look to the Government.  We cannot rely upon the ‘Captain’ of a vessel.  Especially when the Captain says ‘oh we do not need the shore, we have enough supplies and we can do it ourselves…or make safe harbor somewhere else.’

No that is not the answer.

We need our founding principles, our Plymouth Rock and our foundation or we are nothing.

And we also must look at their foundation, and for many of them their foundation was God, Faith, and Religion.

We must look at them, their words, their foundation, and their organization in order to win.  In order to discover our own foundation.