Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fine. You want to play rough?

"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 its equal Suffrage in the Senate. "

--Article Five of the Constitution of the United States.

"On the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States"

If thirty-eight States have a case of the hips regarding ObamaCare, and given that Congress is apparently in a mood to ram stuff down the throat of the electorate, it occurs to Your Humble Correspondent that it just might be time to return the favour.

Someone check my math, but isn't thirty-eight just a bit more than the three-quarters of fifty States required to ram the next Amendment to the Constitution of the United States far enough up the Federal Government that they'd choke on the hair at the back of their throats?

So, how does:

"No person shall be mandated by law to purchase any goods or service, at any time"

sound for the 28th Amendment?

Or shall we go for the poetic justice route, and hoist them on their own petards by way of:

"Only excepting such limited protection as offered by Article One, Section Six, Congress is hereby prohibited from exempting its Members from each, any, and all effects, duties or obligations rendered upon any citizen, or citizens, by any Law, Tax, or other action passed by Congress."

What do you think, Gentle Readers? Is it time to remind Congress who they work for by beating them firmly about the head and shoulders with a Constitutional amendment?

Discuss.

LawDog

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Political bingo

By way of a Gentle Reader we have learned of a way to make listening to the speeches of the current POTUS fun.

Take a five-inch by five-inch square of paper and divide it into 25 squares by way of a magic marker. In each square, in a random fashion write each of the following:

Restored our reputation
Strategic fit
Let me be clear
Make no mistake
Back from the brink
Signs of recovery
Out of the loop
Benchmark
Job creation
Fiscal restraint
Win-win
Affordable health care
Previous Administration
Greed on Wall Street
At the end of the day
Empower/Empowerment
Touch base
Mindset
Corporate greed
Ballpark
Game plan
Leverage
Inherited
Unprecedented

Now, sit down to listen to the next political speech from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and each time one of the 25 words or phrases passes his lips, mark out that square.


When you get a full five blocks horizontally, vertically or diagonally marked off, jump up and yell, "Bull[deleted]!"

See? Fun already.

LawDog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meditations on civility

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States, dueling was an accepted and honourable fact of life, in fact, three of our Founding Fathers met their deaths in duels.

Insults, mockery, verbal abuse -- all and more were accepted grounds for an issuance of an invitation to a morning round of "Pistols for two; coffee for one".

When the First Amendment Freedom of Speech was added to the Constitution, it was as the first of the Bill of Rights -- controls upon the government. The government would not be allowed to abridge the right of free men to speak their minds.

At the time it was abundantly clear that -- through the mechanism of dueling -- society would provide a check upon the abuses of Freedom of Speech by way of dueling.

In simpler language, if a citizen were to use their guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech to insult, abuse, denigrate, mock, harass or distress another -- then sooner or later that citizen was going to get the stupid beaten out of him with a cane, bleed out on a Vidalia sandbar from multiple knife wounds, wind up skewered on the end of a sword, or simply have a large percentage of their vital bits blown out through their spines by way of a heavy-calibre pistol ball.

In the America of the Founding Fathers you were polite and courteous, or you got your butt killed in a duel.

Which worked remarkably well, up until we decided that we was civilized and did away with the barbarity of the duel.

Probably not a bad idea -- except that we never came up with a replacement for the check on incivility that the duel gave society as a whole. We left the right to speak your mind, but we took away any deterrent to being a jackass about it.

As I read that the Supreme Court has decided to take up the Phelps case I can't help but note that the same Founding Fathers that enumerated Fred Phelps' right to speak his mind ... would have killed him graveyard dead for using the First Amendment the way he has. And no-one would have thought ill of the killing.

Not sure we've improved our lot, truth be told.

LawDog