Monday, November 21, 2016

To the Not-Right: Two Things Briefly

I'll take a moment to offer up that rarest of things from me, a very brief post, directed to the Not-Right, and those seeking to profit from them.
Two things: 
1) If you see yourself as part of a group that believes that Western Civilization and American Exceptionalism are in any meaningful way the products of race, or dependent upon race, or that race in any way does or even can determine your membership in, or entitlements to their benefits, you not only do not understand the culture you claim to care about, but you are in fact actively acting in an anti-American manner and you place yourself outside of the boundaries of The West.
2) If you willfully accuse, slur or tar others as holding such views, based upon little more than hearsay and your own fervent political passions and prejudices, you are nearly as repugnant to me as those of the first group.


Now all of you, get the hell off my lawn.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Never, Never, ever, say NeverTrump - Identify the greater evil, oppose that, and continue pursuing the Truth

At the risk of having a 'Dewey Defeats Truman!" moment, I'll remind folks before I head to bed, of what I repeated yesterday, which I've been saying from the beginning of this race, that
"...my relevant 'principles' are derived from an understanding of the meaning of America, the candidate that I actively endorse and support needs to be someone who demonstrates an understanding of, and respect for, our Constitution and the Individual Rights it was designed to uphold and protect, through the Rule of Law and limited to that purpose. Those principles led me to choose Sen. Cruz over Trump in the primaries..."
But Cruz eventually Failed Sales 101, as he, with Rubio, attacked the opposition, Trump, and instead of persuading people to the merits of his position, the Never Trump'rs pushed the silent majority of non-political people away. Personally, I blame the obnoxious branch of the 'NeverTrumpe'rs' for Trump even being the GOP nominee.

You gave it to him! You belittled anyone and everyone who showed any favor to anything Trump said, berating them as:
"IDOIT!", "CULTIST!", "CUCK!", "FOOL!",
, and in a year when people were DONE with the GOP con-line of:
'Oh, I'm a "'Principled Reagan Conservative!' (just ignore the bi-partisan deals I make)"
, they'd had enough.

My suspicion is that: FOX, you're over with. GOP you're over with. 'Conservative Right' You've been done with, but are only now just realizing that only one in five of you - at best - share the same principles and beliefs.

As I said:
"#Election2016 Get over your feelings, identify the greater evil & oppose it with the most effective means available.Continue promoting Truth."
I have not, and do not, buy into the out of the blue charges of 'Racist! Misogynist! Crook!' that the media spin cycle has been spinning up since he hit the campaign trail.

I personally did not, and do not, support Trump. I simply took the time to identify the greatest evil facing us - the Left - and opposed it with the most effective electoral means available, which clearly was the GOP nominee: Donald J. Trump.

This changes NOTHING about what my principles are, and what we need to continue doing, for as I've been saying since before the Tea Party:
We must educate ourselves about what Individual Rights are, what the Rule of Law requires, and the necessity of demanding that our Govt be restrained to the Constitution, and that it be limited to upholding and defending our Individual Rights under it.
What still remains to be done, is what remained to be done even back when the GOP was looking for a 'new message' - Screw you're damn new messages!

Go with the basics that are still the basics, several years on:
"...Fine, you want a message? Here you go:

If you want to communicate a message, first make sure that you understand it. If you want us to support candidates, try promoting, and supporting, candidates who actually understand our message, and who are willing and able to articulate it and defend it.

Short of that… please, if you have to make your ‘message’ more appealing to this or that group, or more timely, then you don’t have a message that’s worth their time to listen to. Any message that doesn’t measure up to that, is folly, fad and, in the last analysis, failure, and that is the only message you will succeed in communicating… which is the message that I intend to press in these pages in the year 2013.

So, please, before you reach out, first reach in. Reach in to find your principles and work on understand them first, you have to understand what it is that you believe and why, before you can communicate a worthwhile message about it – note: that doesn’t mean that I think you don’t know what positions you favor, believe me, we all know you do; what it means is that if you want to sell others on their value, then you need to understand the ideas behind those positions you support, you have to reach in to understand what they mean. I’m sorry it takes time, that’s the way it is. Deal with it. It’s a new year. Welcome.

The fact is, that if you can’t show how those positions you support today, flow from the same ideas that led to those truly radical ideas our Founders expressed (note: Not the quotes Adams & Jefferson might have made, but why they made them), in the likes of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (as proposed), then… you might begin to grasp why it is that conservatism, as a political movement, has failed in the last few presidential elections. No one believes your message – including most of those you elect to legislate it. Reach in to understand why you are who you are, and believe what you do, demonstrate it in your actions, communicate it in that way to your fellows, consistently, and you may again foster a movement worth reaching for.

That’s the long ball game we are engaged in now, not necessarily to win this or that election (though that too), but to win the hearts and minds of the future...."
Oh, and by the way, for you Trump enthusiasts, congratulations. But. Don't make the same mistake. This is just getting started, and you are going to be ground into the dust - if you fight it, on their terms.

Find the principles that the rest of the Right has abandoned. Or it will go no better, and much worse, for you - and for We The People.

OH! They called it for Trump right before I clicked post - Hillary's DONE! Continue promoting what is Right and True!

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Vote is upon us - Please be sure that your grandchildren's lives fit within the context of your vote

So. Where do you start your consideration of how to vote from? I've posted time and time again over the last decade, on how easily being 'Principled!' in voting, can cease to be principled... such as When acting 'on principle' is unprincipled behavior - part 1, and Part 2 here, or It's time to vote - Why?, and numerous other times over the years - if you'd like a more in-depth treatment, of the matter, look there.

But for the moment now, this will have to do.

Painful as it is for me to say, the only principled choice in this election, is the GOP Nominee, which happens to be Donald J. Trump. If you wish to make a principled decision, then cast your ballot for Donald J. Trump, as the only effective electoral means of defeating the greater threat to liberty and the rule of law, Hillary Clinton. Period.

Some of you might be taken aback by that. I suggest that you examine your principles, before once again consulting them.

What are they derived from?

As I've often said, Principles are a guide to thinking, not a substitute for it. Are you using your 'principles' to think, or to evade that?

Principles are derived from an hierarchical view of reality, from what is understood to be true within a given context, and by applying timeless truths to the moment within time, to determine what are the most moral and the most practical actions to take - if you assume the two are contradictory, you need to give your mind an acid wash and cleanse it of the muck of modernity (clues here)!

If your principles do not adjust to significant changes in the context of a situation, then they are no longer principles, they are merely positions, and to confuse the two is both unprincipled, and deadly dangerous.

To re-purpose an old Buddhist phrase:
"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!.'
For you coders out there, what this means is that you've taken the intellectual equivalent of an abstract class for managing reality (a principle), and hard-coded some fixed parameters within it, hopelessly tying it to one narrow particular situation. For the rest of you: Don't litter your generalities with specifics - you only transform them into rigid rules that are irrelevant and useless.

IOW if your 'Principles' do not direct you to adjust your actions, when the context of the situation has significantly changed, then they are no longer functioning principles; you've corrupted and zombiefied them, likely by emotionally attaching them to particulars of the moment.

For instance, for me, as my relevant 'principles' are derived from an understanding of the meaning of America, the candidate that I actively endorse and support needs to be someone who demonstrates an understanding of, and respect for, our Constitution and the Individual Rights it was designed to uphold and protect, through the Rule of Law and limited to that purpose. Those principles led me to choose Sen. Cruz over Trump in the primaries, because Cruz's experience demonstrated an understanding of, and his polices were compatible with, my principled understanding (rooted in Individual Rights, Property Rights, under Constitutionally limited govt) of what the President of the United States of America is supposed to be the Chief Executive of. On the other hand, Trump... I'd no idea what he stood for,let alone what his principles were, beyond some managerial skills and popular charisma aligned with a vaguely 'pro-Americana-ish' sensibility.

But Ted Cruz lost the primary, and the primaries are over. Which meant that key, significant aspects of the context of my vote and the election, had radically changed.

My principles towards who I can support and endorse have not changed, but the new phase of the election is not about my choice for who would be the best candidate to run for POTUS. Instead, the election in question is now about selecting a candidate from those options which the electoral process of the nation - of which I am a citizen of - has placed on the ballot, and from which one WILL be selected by the voters as POTUS.

If your principles did not enable you to adjust with that context, if your 'Principles!' have instead urged you to ignore the actual potential outcomes of the election, and have instead led you towards some form of personal self-gratification in the voting-booth, then what you are following are positions, not principles.

The fact is, that the context has changed, and you must choose anew from the available options. While Trump is still an unknown and flamboyant player, he is one of the two leading candidates from which the winner will be chosen. If the two front-runners shared fundamental principles of mine, then I'd choose from the best able to further them. However, they don't. Neither one matches up with what I consider important. However, one will be elected, so the next question to be asked is not how can I wash my hands of this choice, but does one of them pose a greater threat to that which I value, and which is the purpose of this election: the nation, our system of gov, and all of the people living under it?

For the answer to that, see my previous posts, especially "Perverting Progress into Poison - the Doppelganger Strikes Back - The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.9b", and "Progressively Doing away with Truth - How Pro-Regressives see Regress as Progress pt 9c", is yes, the Pro-Regressive 'Progressive' Leftist candidate is by far, the greater threat. While I still can't endorse Trump or offer my support for his unknown qualifications, I can, and must, oppose that greater threat, with the most effective means electoral means available, which, from those options available to select from, as provided by the nations electoral process, of which we are citizen participants in, that is the GOP nominee, who happens to be: Donald J. Trump.

If you grasp the context, the principles involved, and the threats to them, then there is little reason to quibble, and no room for any of the 'adult' whining about it that I've been painful witness of. The only viable option, is Trump. Done. Grow up, cast your vote and move on.

Hopefully you'll join me, beginning the day after he is elected (fingers crossed), in working to educate the electorate as to what ideas, principles and considerations they should have a more solid understanding of, but until then, we go to vote with the ballots we have.

Would I prefer to have a candidate that I could feel confident would understand, support and defend the Constitution? Absolutely. Sadly, tragically, that is not the option, IMHO, that the American people have left us with. The reality is that we do not have anyone available, conceptually and electorally, who I can see fits the bill, not in the two major parties, or, even if they were electorally viable, in any of the third party candidates. Still, there will be an election - Tuesday - and one candidate Will win it. If this were a cycle with generally pro-American candidates, whose main differences were simply policy, then we'd have an election with someone to vote For, and without having to be too concerned with if they lost (again, sadly, we haven't seen an election like that in over a century).

But that is not the reality we're facing.

We have a front runner for the Left who is possessed of an anti-American philosophy, and if you need a reminder, these are just a few of the founding ideals of the 'American Progressives' that Hillary identifies herself as being:

  • "Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent."
  • "The tradition of respect for individual liberty, Gladden preached, was "a radical defect in the thinking of the average American."
  • "...Individuals, Ross maintained, were but "plastic lumps of human dough," to be formed on the great "social kneading board.
Those are the fundamentals which guide here in the laws and policies that she will implement.

If elected, she will have not only enjoy the support of the bulk of Congress behind her in her efforts, but the wide landscape of the judiciary, to which she will deliberately add more equally anti-American judges to the Supreme Court, not to mention the entire bureaucracy of all the administrative agencies, such as EPA, FDA, IRS, etc, that will be behind her as well.

Outside of govt proper, she will also enjoy the full support of academia, the educational bureaucracy, the media, Hollywood, etc. In 8 yrs, Obama has transformed the bulwark of our Constitution, into little more than something of a fundraising talking point for a few of those 'on the right'... and that's about it. And the culture of our nation has slid at least as far down and to the Left. That is where a Hillary Clinton presidency will be starting from. She will Not stop at the level of economic policies, she will do everything in her power to extend govt power past what we can do, and into what we will be allowed to think and hope of doing.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I see the Left gaining power at this point in time, as an Evil, and a far greater one than is posed by Trump, no matter how foolish or corrupt he might be.

The Left Must be slowed. Period. And the most effective means of doing that, sickeningly, is with the GOP nominee.

I don't like it one bit. I've disliked Trump since the 1980's, but this isn't about my preferences or sensibilities, but about attempting to keep the greater evil from gaining power.

Once again, I in No way am a supporter of Trump - I'm an opposer of the pro-regressive 'Progressive' Left. I have no basis in reasoned experience to believe that Trump will succeed in accomplishing anything good, I have reams of information and understanding that the Pro-Regressive 'Progressive' Leftist candidate, is the most vicious believer and operator the Left has fielded in a century.

I am not supporting Trump, I'm opposing the Left's Hillary Clinton.

To treat this election as if it is simply a choice between policy options, is ignorant, and borderline insanity, and the habit of treating the left as just another policy choice, is what has had a great deal to do with the Right's failure over the last many decades; failing - refusing - to confront the meaning of their policies, and I'm speaking of those who think in terms of defining their 'principles', which Are anti-American, has been a futile, foolish policy of 'competitive appeasement'.

By anti-American, I don't mean they are bad people who kick puppies and are mean to all - I've far too many friends and family who are leftists, who I know to be wonderful, kind, generous people, to give that a moments consideration. But then I don't define America by is boundaries or 'baseball, hot dogs, apple pie...', but by the ideas that first made it possible, and which our founding documents embody. That means ideas that recognize and uphold individual rights, property, and a rule of Law that recognizes their being upheld, as its purpose. To deliberately infringe upon, or negate those principles, Is to advance ideas and positions that are, necessarily, anti-American.

And by evil, I mean that the driving philosophy behind the Left, is opposed to even recognizing that reality can be known (see Kant), is deliberately intent upon imposing their will over and against what is real and true, and because they prefer their wishes to reality, they feel justified in having 'experts' and legislators 'force us to be free', which goes back to Rousseau, and as this quote indicates, has persisted from then, to Joseph Stalin, and has certainly not been denounced in our day,
"...We will mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts—yes, his thoughts!—threatens the unity of the socialist state..."
as well as every PC re-education program anyone had ever been sentenced to, is alive and kicking in the left.

Finally, it is the intent and deep desire of the Left, to not allow people to live their own lives, but to use govt power to live their lives for them, and I most definitely do see that as being evil.

Tomorrow, don't react,; think, before you vote, vote as if your grand children's lives depend upon it..

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Progressively Doing away with Truth - How Pro-Regressives see Regress as Progress

When I began this series of posts last year, it was just after Halloween, and I was seeing the 1st Monday in October, the opening day of the Supreme Court session, as being far scarier for adults living under the Rule of Law, than what children imagined the ghosts and goblins held for them during the previous week. Their fears, after all, were imaginary, but for adults, the progressive replacement of the Rule of Law, with its evil twin, the Doppelganger's Rule of Rule, was very real, and happening right before their ayes. Now, as I write this, we're two days away from the 2016 election, and that, with the possible election of an actual 'Progressive' as President, that is even more terrifying of a prospect, than what had originally prompted me to start these posts on Progress and Regress in the development of the Rule of Law.

SoOo, with that in mind, let's wrap up this series of posts with a quick look at a snippet of scary quotes from the previous posts, of 'Progressive' leaders from economists, politicians and founders of our modern public school system, in their own words - not mine - making clear what they first believed, and fundamentally still do believe:
  • "Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent."
  • "The tradition of respect for individual liberty, Gladden preached, was "a radical defect in the thinking of the average American."
  • "...Individuals, Ross maintained, were but "plastic lumps of human dough," to be formed on the great "social kneading board.
  • "...Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals. Limits of wisdom and convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are, upon strict analysis, none...."

  • , and from a fellow traveler, Marx,
  • "In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "
I could follow those up with far more outrageous quotes from 'Progressives', showing their open hostility to, and mockery of, our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, as well as praise for racism, eugenics and the disregard for individual human life... you name it. But hopefully these are enough to indicate what it is that 'Progressives', which Hillary Clinton identifies herself as being, do believe, and hints at why I refer to them as being Pro-Regressive. The 'progressives' ideology is about denying, and repealing the culminating points of Western Political Philosophy: Individual Rights defended by the Rule of Law under a system of self-government that is limited to that purpose. The Pro-Regressive Progressive, was founded in opposition to that.

I see that as a problem for our continued experiment in self-governance.

These quotes are not from their political talking points, but an expression of the philosophical fundamentals which drive the political policies they do support; they are what has been behind their

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Perverting Progress into Poison - the Doppelganger Strikes Back - The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.9b

For most Americans, even today, their natural reaction when they see an error, or a falsehood, or some other wrong, their impulse is to try and correct it. While the belief that they can correct it, is cause for us to hope, the fact that their corrections are so full of obvious errors is cause for despair. But even so, the belief that they can correct it, that comes from our recognition that there are facts and that we can know them, and that because we understand that we can know the facts, and that paying attention to what is, and is not so, will help us to understand what is True, we then presume that we can put ourselves on the path towards understanding what we ought to do, because of what we know to be true.

Which all seems so very obvious, reasonable and commonsensical. Right? And once upon a time in The West, not only would it be thought possible and normal to distinguish between a 'fact' and a 'lie', there would have been no dispute about the wisdom of correcting it with what was Right and True.

But that sort of sense is no longer acknowledged by those in places of intellectual power over the world we are living in. Most such folks will deny that there is any connection between what IS, and what Ought to be done about it (and that definitely depends upon what you think the meaning of 'is' is). To be sure, these 'thought leaders' are exceedingly quick to tell you what is right for you to do, but they will, often in the same breath, also tell you that there is no way to know what is True or Right.

This progressive reversal of perceptions and moral fortunes has been turning the Western world upside down, and has been brought upon us by those who have the nerve to call themselves 'Progressives', and the effects of it reach far beneath those appearances which they prefer to stay above. From academics to policy wonks to media gadflies and political activists, they feel the zeal to tell others what they should do, while also saying that no one can know what is true, and somehow they have the effrontery to call this position 'Progress!'.

The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress
  • pt 9b: Perverting Progress into Poison - the Doppelganger Strikes Back
  • pt 9c: Perverting Progress into Poison - How Pro-Regressives see Regress as Progress
Now for the first time since nearly as far back as Woodrow Wilson, We The People have on the ballot for our President, a self professed 'American Progressive' in the person of Hillary Clinton, who's also supported by numerous others who more than fit the same bill, wouldn't it be wise before choosing whether to cast your vote for Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump - or to avoid the choice through a 'third party' alternative - wouldn't it be wise to try and understand what it is that they, and she, mean by 'Progressive!'?

Because I've gotta tell you, especially for those of you who do have a negative view of 'Progressives', if you think that their ideology is somehow equivalent to being a corrupt bureaucrat, or a corrupt businessmen, or a crook, or even if you believe that it's equivalent to being an authoritarian 'Statist', or even a flat out 'Tyrant', you are not only greatly mistaken, but your mistake is aiding and abetting that same pro-regressive 'Progressive' agenda that you have such a negative view of, in much the same way a cold blooded murderer would benefit from being treated no more seriously than you would a swindler.

One thing which this series of posts on 'Progress and Regress and the Rule of Law', has been illustrating, is that simple abuse of power, and abuse of the law for political power, is what we've had with us throughout all of human history - but abusive, tyrannical government is not how you identify

Monday, October 17, 2016

Trick or Treating like it's 1984 - The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.9a

Trick or Treat
I began this series of posts at Halloween last year, with the point that the 1st Monday in October (opening day of the Supreme Court) was a far more frightening day, for adults, than Halloween was for their children. For the adults, our 'Trick or Treat!' gives us shocking sights of the Rule of Law being replaced by its evil twin, the Doppelganger's Rule of Rules, and if that's so, and it is, how much more frighteningly true has it become of our Presidential elections? But to understand which candidate is truly the most frightening this year, you can't simply judge from the candidates, their campaigns or the reporting on them - you have to understand what ideas will guide their use of political power over (and in) our lives, and that takes a wee bit more time than saying 'BOO!' - which is about all the media wants to tell you.

In the last few posts of this series, I've been sticking to the nature and development - the progress - of Law, but in order to see where, under a Pro-Regressive ideology, the Law is both leading to, and being generated from, we need to look over in the direction of Education. Why? Because The Law is but a means of binding, and giving order to the use of power in a manner that reflects the philosophy of the times, and on its own it will range somewhere on a scale between judicious restraint and savage barbarity. What informs the direction which that will to power takes, however, mostly enters our past, present and future lawmakers heads through our schools - they are the drinking fountains of philosophy, and directly or indirectly, that is where our culture cultivates itself from.

What is being cultivated is on display in these videos, but keep in mind that these aren't simply a charming new addition to the genre of late night comedy show's 'Stupid Student Tricks'. Take a closer look at these college student videos with an eye, not to laughing or dismissing these people as fools or pansies, or to taking aim at Millennials (as if your generation look better if smart phone video existed then. Please. I actually think they're more likely to outshine us all), or to mock the ignorance that's been educated into them - we do a disservice to ourselves, and to them, when we look at videos such as these and dismissively chuckle at them in that way. Instead, try looking at them as evidence of seeds that are and have been germinating across our land for over a century - and just imagine the harvests that are soon to come. Do that and I think you'll see that laughter is less warranted than a cold chill of fear.

In some ways the outrageous Social Justice Warrior videos are less alarming to me, than those of the more coolly 'reasoned' responses such as these "Georgetown students who say that the Constitution is outdated, overrated’", as they are surer indicators of the shape of the coming establishment, who seemingly have no sense whatsoever of the dangers inherent to the holding of power, or of the need to restrain its use by those who would use it to 'do good, to help you!' even, or especially, against your will. Even worse, they seem so well versed in justifying the abandonment of restraint and of justifying the exercise of political power over others, with little awareness of either the best, or most dangerous methods, of managing and restraining political power; something which used to be one of the central themes of a college education - how is that absent from their minds - yet these students are in college, and no matter how little respect I have for the content of what they are learning, they are there because they are deemed to be the least foolish, stupid or laugh-at-able members of American youth.

I repeat, you should be chilled, not amused, by these videos.

You're going to be tempted to laugh though. Way it is. Don't. These aren't funny. At all. Seriously

Ok, the first video opens with a young lady at Georgetown University stating that:
"Yeah, they definitely take it too seriously. it's not... 250 years ago... when the constitution was about written... I'm not sure what that date is..."

There are several things that come to mind to say to that, on a scale ranging from grammar nazi to chronologist, but what I'd really like to say to these students who are pursuing 'higher education' has more to do with their demonstrating what one of her fellow students unironically states, later on in the same video:
"I feel like sometimes, people use the 'Constitution' as an excuse to not... think."
, with which I completely agree... though in the reverse of what he intended it, of course.

These students, as most students over the past ten+ decades, have had their heads pragmatically

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mutating Justice into injustice: the far reaching properties of Property - The Rule of Law in Progress or Regress pt.8

Mutating Justice into injustice
You’d probably not be surprised to know that I was highly aggravated that the FBI didn’t recommend Hillary Clinton's prosecution for the crimes related to her email server - but for me, that wasn’t the most disturbing part. There was of course plenty to be outraged over, with the FBI stating that her actions had violated the law, that she was extremely careless with classified materials, that she was not truthful about her handling of them, and yet in the face of all of that, the FBI would not recommend that she be prosecuted for those violations of the law (and gave much of her staff immunity from prosecution). They didn't dispute that she’d done what she should not have done, only whether she should be prosecuted for the violations that they’d determined she had made.

What was even more disturbing than all of that, for me, was that Director Comey made a point to say that his conclusions should in no way lead other (meaning someone less important?) govt functionaries (oh ... such as a sailor, for instance, gotcha) to think that the laws won't be applied to them, if, someone else, in a position of power, feels like they should be applied, in their case.

That, my friends, is a demonstration of the Rule of Men, being raised above the Rule of Law. BTW, on a related (by marriage) point, the reason why a person of influence, such as Bill Clinton, tries to get away with questioning what the meaning of 'is', is, is to encourage, exacerbate and exploit this very inversion. When men in positions of power can arbitrarily rule over the application of those laws that rule over all of the rest of us, based upon the power and influential relations of those who are involved in or have an interest in, themselves, that is Might Makes Right, and with little or no effort to conceal it. That is the reign of the Doppelganger (the evil twin of the Rule of Law), which is the default societal baseline that civilizations only become respectable civilizations by fruitfully struggling to progress away from… and yet here we are, busily progressing 'forward!' in the wrong direction, at breakneck speed.

Seeing all of this, many people have naturally asked:
“What is the point of having laws if those who break them at the top never face consequences?”
, and although I get the sentiment, surely they must realize that the question contains its own answer, right? Once upholding and defending Individual Rights for all is no longer the purpose of your laws, then as surely as night follows day, defending the wealthy, powerful and influential few, has already become the point of those rules by default, no matter how persistently we continue in calling such rules ‘laws’ ('LINO'?).

For those wondering how and why this has happened, it's worth considering a few questions which, IMHO, help explain how and why we are where we are today:

  1. Can you tell me what it is that connects you to your Property (IOW: if you think you have a Right to it... why)?
  2. Do you know what anchors the Law into protecting everyone's Individual Rights?
  3. What is it that enables those in power to turn any and all of the laws against whoever they wish, as they wish?
These three are tied together, each dependent upon the other, and if unanswered, result in extra-legal situations such as those we're seeing here, so let's work our way through them from the bottom up, taking it from the present into the past, and so get a glimpse of our future. In considering the last question first, a better question to understand it here and now, would not be 'How does this happen?!', but how could it not happen? And a question that'll help provide the answer to #3 above,

  • How much can what is Right and True matter to people, when Lies are acceptable to them?
How we got to where we weren't going to
Have you forgotten about Gruber admitting that Obama’s entire ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor’ line was a lie they’d consciously concocted and told in order to pass ObamaCare over

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Constitution at 229 years old - for Patriots and Protesters

Today marks the completion of what both Patriot and Protester, knowingly or not, are unified in referencing. What was signed as completed upon this day, two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, September 17th, 1787, by thirty-nine of the fifty-five Framers, was the Constitution of the United States of America, and whether you stand in respect for, or disrespectfully turn away from, the Flag, the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance, you do so in reference to that document which is the oldest existing instrument of its kind, still in operation.

Why?

Is it simply a list of rules for governing by? Is it nothing more than a favorite fossil of 'white people'? A document of oppression? Frederick Douglass once thought so, but because he was a thinker in order to understand what was true, he didn't stop with answers that were given him by others, but continued on thinking upon the matter, and discovered the Truth which such vile falsehoods seek to smother and erase.

But today I'm really not much concerned with your answers to those 'points', but am only interested in whether or not you are familiar with the ideas, principles and purposes which animated the writing of it - are you? And if not... what worth can your opinion - pro or con - have for me, or for anyone else?

Whether you mouth its praises, or make showy protests against it, without understanding what it is you are referencing - your praises and protestations fail to even rise to the level of being wrong, they are but verbal dust to be brushed away, meaningless and of no consequence. But if you are one of that thoughtless many, you may take comfort in the knowledge that you are in the happy company of millions of such Pavlovian 'Conservatives', Pro-Regressive Leftists and Libertarians, for whom the United States Constitution is little more than a paper bell which they bark at.

But for those of you who do see it, not as a mere object of ink upon paper, for those of you who don't insult the memory of they who strove to produce it as having been anything other than men of flesh and blood, for you who understand that it was written so as to give physical form to, and to best enable, the implementation of some of the greatest political ideas of Western Civilization -

  • that Individual Rights result from the nature of being human("...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..."),
  • that men who understand that are capable of self governance,
  • that well ordered argument can lead to a self-correcting means of governance,
  • that such a system, established by such a people, can enable lives lived in liberty while in society with others, so long as the beast of Power is bound down and limited by laws whose purpose is to uphold and defend the Individual Rights of every person
, and that for such a people, intellectually armed through a document such as this, Liberty is possible.

But it is only possible for those who understand that.

For those intemperate folk who simply wish to sing the praises of, or rain curses down upon, that which they know little or nothing of, so that they can 'do what they will', as they want, because they desire to... well for them, as Edmund Burke said in the face of the debut of Fascism:
“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
Whether you are 'for or against it', especially on this day, in our day, you'd be wise to consider what would happen if we should lose the last vestiges of it, and those protections it uniquely extends to both sides.

For those of you who already do, or who are at least willing to make the effort to, understand those ideas which animated the framing of this document, those of you who understand that such principles and ideas as these cannot be owned by any race or culture, but can only be discovered by some for the benefit of all, then by virtue of that understanding, you and I are unified through these thoughts which were so well formed, written down, and 'completed' (and not to forget the first debate on amending its completion), on 'the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven'.

One final point, whether you are an old hand with, or relatively new to, this document and its ideas, I take it as an obvious point that your reading of it can be greatly improved and informed by those arguments for, and against it, that were in the minds of those who debated the writing and ratifying of it. One of the best tools I've ever found for considering and reflecting upon the whole or particular parts of the Constitution, is the University of Chicago's site "The Founders Constitution". Scroll down on the contents page and you'll find that it goes through the Constitution clause by clause, and that each is supplied with a list of links to those relevant portions of not only the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, but to documents which the Founders had in mind when writing the Constitution, to what the Anti-Federalists objected to (this is particularly helpful in understanding the arguments for the Constitution which the Federalist Papers make), as well as early Supreme Court opinions and judgments that were relevant to that clause being acted upon, as well as the commentaries by early Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (which are fantastic).

Without further ado:

Constitution of the United States and the First Twelve Amendments 1787--1804

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

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.

Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. III.

Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate.


Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page. Attest William Jackson Secretary
done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

Go: Washington--Presidt. and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire { John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman
}
Massachusetts { Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Connecticut { Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman
New York Alexander Hamilton
New Jersey { Wil: Livingston
David Brearley.
Wm. Paterson.
Jona: Dayton
Pensylvania { B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris
Delaware { Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom
Maryland { James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl Carroll
Virginia { John Blair--
James Madison Jr.
North Carolina { Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson
South Carolina { J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler.
Georgia { William Few
Abr Baldwin
Amendments to the Constitution
Preamble to the first ten Amendments:

Congress of the United States; Begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789. 
The conventions of a number of the states having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;--


Article I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article II - A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article III - No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Article IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Article VII - In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article X - The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 1, Chapter 1, Document 9

The University of Chicago Press
Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States. Edited by Charles C. Tansill. 69th Cong., 1st sess. House Doc. No. 398. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Translating Reality - From Marcus Aurelius to Hillary Clinton

So something odd that struck me today while watching headlines fly by my newsfeed, is that trying to figure out what is going on in the world around us today, seems in many ways to have a lot in common with trying to find out what someone said in a different time, and in a different place, and in a different language, through the many translations that are available to us, of what they themselves had to say.

Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't need translations?

I'm often frustrated with the fact that I've never learned to read Greek or Latin - I've taken a couple feeble stabs at it, but the usual excuses find there way into the moment, and... then the moment conveniently passes you by... and you need someone to translate that which interests you, for you, which means that I continue having to take my classical era 'food' in, second hand. In trying to counter that as best as possible, I enjoy reading different translations of the same work, sometimes, like today, at the same time, so that the differences that come through the different translators translations often seem striking, giving you a wider perspective on, and, hopefully, a fuller understanding of, what you're reading.

This morning I was reading the 2nd century Roman Emperor,Marcus Aurelius's, 'Meditations', through one 19th Century translation by George Long, and another recent translation by someone I often enjoy disagreeing with on other topics, Jacob Needleman, and John P. Piazza. Anyway, the different flavors that come through the translations range from mild to startling, but an example of mostly the routine, 'small' differences, that you come across, is this one, from section 1.7, where Aurelius's is reflecting on his thanks 'to a Stoic philosopher whom Aurelius valued highly', where he says, through these two different translators,

George Long translation:
"... and with regard to persons who have offended me by words, or done me wrong, to be easily pacified and reconciled, as soon as they have shown a desire to be reconciled; and to read carefully, and not to be satisfied with a superficial understanding of a book; nor hastily to give my assent to those who talk overmuch; and I am indebted to him for my acquaintance with the discourses of Epictetus, which he gave me out of his own collection."
Needleman/Piazza translation:
"...Also, to be eager for reconciliation and meditation with anyone who, having lost their temper and caused trouble, wishes to return. To read with precision and not be satisfied with the mere gist of things, nor to agree too quickly with clever debaters. Finally, to have encountered the discourses of Epictetus, which he provided for me from his own library...."
The differences in the translations of this passage seem like fairly straight forward differences of choice, and one does seem to complement the other, but that is often not the case with those who we've trusted to translate the words and wisdom of past masters, so that we can benefit by them. There are some translators (and in fact many of the celebrated translators of the 19th century), as Allan Bloom notes in the forward to his excellent translation of Plato's 'Republic' who often took it upon themselves to, in their translations, 'correct' the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, etc., by literally (!) putting those words into their mouths which they themselves felt sure should have been said by them, rather than simply translating those words that they actually wrote, and which they the translators were supposed to be translating, for our benefit.

A further interesting note, Marcus Aurelius, a Roman, like most Romans of his time, did not use his native tongue, Latin, to write or converse on philosophic matters, because they found it to be too 'clunky' of a language. So they wrote, even privately to themselves (as Aurelius was doing - his meditations were more like a personal diary of his thoughts, than something meant for public publication), in Greek. So here's lil' ol' me trying to learn from a Roman Emperor, who was writing in Greek, in the years between 167 - 180 a.d., which was then translated into English by a scholar in 19th century England, and by an American academic philosopher in 21st century America, which, for me, is fascinating. Fascinating to see the words that they agreed upon, fascinating to see the similar but not quite same terms they used in others, and how the choices of one, shed light upon the choices of the other, especially in regards to the (Long)
"nor hastily to give my assent to those who talk overmuch"
and (Needleman)
"nor to agree too quickly with clever debaters".
Anyway, what brought this to mind in more stark relief than normal, was that while reading these translations side by side, I was also seeing and hearing the different accounts of Hillary's leaving the 9/11 ceremony this morning, ranging from:
, and it struck me how in hearing news reports from the likes of CNN, MSNBC & Fox and all the other options, our position as Americans attempting to find out what is happening in America, here and now, is very much akin to the difficulties, challenges, and fascinations to be found in reading different translations of a book that comes down to us from a long dead author in a different era, a different language and a different culture and land, where we have to rely upon how a translator not only picks and chooses to translate the words which the original author used, to match the translator's own sensibilities, to which they often add, drop, convey, or go to pains to explain what the author 'must have meant', rather than telling us what they actually said. So remember folks, that when reading or even (especially) watching the NEWS, do remember that we are engaging with our world through the translations of translators who are trying to tell us not only what was said and done, but through their interpretation of what was said and done (or should have been).

Bottom line, in reading the News of the day, or in reading what was once new, ages past - whether in your own language or on being translated into 'your' language - you must try your very best to not only understand what has been said and done, but to then think it through yourself in order to truly understand what needs to be understood, by you, in your life, here and now - otherwise it might as well all be Greek to you.