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Common Defense & General Welfare The Meaning is Clear
27 Dec 2009 | Jacquerie

Posted on 12/27/2009 2:59:51 AM PST by Jacquerie

Much fuss is made at this forum regarding the presumed haziness of the “common Defense and general Welfare” clause and the enumerated powers that follow in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. If you are not sure, or think this section is ambiguous, or actually does grant unlimited power to Congress you are in wide company. You are confused at best, but at least you have lots of company.

Our 18th Century Framers were precise grammarians. It took months of often heated debate in the stuffy, hot, State House in Philly to thrash out every concept, idea, detail, clause and yes, punctuation, that ended up in our Beloved Constitution. From James Madison’s notes, there is no question that every single detail had first to pass a committee composed of a few members, and then survive withering examination of the committee of all state delegates.

First, look at Article I Section 8. http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm .

Notice that there are many semicolons and only one period, at the very end of the entire Section. That is right. Section 8 is a single, long sentence. It is also one thought, the enumerated powers of Congress. As any sixth grade private school student and a few government high school grads know, the semicolon is used between closely related main clauses. Thus, there is no disconnect between the declaratory clause (common defense and general welfare) and the enumerated powers which follow. The enumerated powers are components of a single thought, to provide for our common defense and general welfare.

The Framers began with a broad statement, “provide for the common Defense and general Welfare,” and then got into specifics in the same sentence. It is no error or oversight that Article I, Section 8 was written as it was. It was purposely done in order to make sure that a reasonably literate people could not ignore, confuse or abuse its meaning. Congressional powers are strictly limited to those enumerated.

When viewed this way, the words of James Madison in Federalist #41 are perfectly clear: “Nothing is more natural or common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity.”

Even absent Madison’s comments, the grammar, and punctuation combined with long length, unique to Section 8 remove all doubt as to the relationship between the common Defense and general Welfare clause to the enumerated powers that follow.

Those who cannot grasp this concept probably have a graduate Political Science degree, or perhaps are a Supreme Court Justice or a certain 42nd President of the United States and Constitutional Lawyer who wondered what the meaning of the word “is” is.

Or, they could be statists intent on National Socialist Healthcare.


TOPICS: U.S. Congress
KEYWORDS: constitution; generalwelfare; healthcare; obamacare
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 12/27/2009 2:59:55 AM PST by Jacquerie
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To: little jeremiah; Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; ForGod'sSake; NewMediaJournal; pallis; ...

Your thoughts?


2 posted on 12/27/2009 3:02:56 AM PST by Jacquerie (Tyrants should fear for their personal safety.)
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To: Jacquerie

I do not think they had welfare checks back in thise days. They sure did not have food stamps or AFDC. I think they meant secure Borders.


3 posted on 12/27/2009 3:17:00 AM PST by screaminsunshine (!!)
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To: Jacquerie

You don’t throw off one yoke only to assume another.


4 posted on 12/27/2009 4:00:27 AM PST by blackbart.223 (I live in Northern Nevada. Reid doesn't represent me.)
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To: Jacquerie

Nice post! I shall add your analysis to my ammo supply for the holiday family arguments ahead . . ,


5 posted on 12/27/2009 4:41:10 AM PST by WorkingClassFilth
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To: Jacquerie
(for reference)
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 defense 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 a 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 offenses 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, dockyards, 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.

6 posted on 12/27/2009 5:19:27 AM PST by Repeal The 17th (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: Jacquerie

I hope you know I agree with you,
I am puzzled though that if they were such strict grammarians,
why they chose to follow a semi colon with an uppercase letter.
Perhaps the reason is as simple as it ‘looked’ better on the written page...
A good discussion could also be had about the meaning and intent of last phrase regarding the “other powers”.


7 posted on 12/27/2009 5:24:51 AM PST by Repeal The 17th (I AM JIM THOMPSON!)
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To: Jacquerie
I've posted excerpts from Federalist #41 cited here more than a few times. It is clear that the Framers intended a limited Federal government. Unfortunately what the Framers intended is not what we have today. I can think of a number of reasons and people and things to blame, but it's just as much a reality that we do not have a real Constitution as that we no longer use real money. (Hmmm. There's one thing to blame.) We just have to deal with it, one way or another.

ML/NJ

8 posted on 12/27/2009 5:40:53 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Jacquerie

A very logical explanation. Too bad logic is a commodity in short supply these days.


9 posted on 12/27/2009 6:08:32 AM PST by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: Repeal The 17th
They did use upper case far more often than we do today.

Not only upper case after the semicolons, but in words peppered throughout in the middle of sentences as well, both in the Constitution and the Declaration.

The last clause in Article I, Section 8 corrected a document wide defect in the Articles of Confederation.

For instance, under the Articles (Section VIII), the states were to provide funds for the “common defense and general welfare” (sound familiar?) in proportion to the value of each state's real estate. The problem was that Congress had no power to compel the states to provide the funds. Why grant authority without the power to implement it? The states knew this and regularly gaffed off their duty and responsibility.

The “make all laws necessary” clause corrected this crippling error in the Articles.

10 posted on 12/27/2009 6:16:46 AM PST by Jacquerie (Tyrants should fear for their personal safety.)
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To: Jacquerie
Your thoughts?

A discussion of Article 1, Section 8, cannot be productive without agreement on the intent and meaning of the words "Powers herein granted" in Article 1, Section 1.

There are two questions I ask repeatedly of my Representatives.

Question #1:

Please explain the meaning of the words Powers herein granted as found in Article 1, Section 1. of the Constitution of the United States.

Ref: 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.

Question #2:

Please explain the meaning of the words powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution as found in the tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Ref: 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.

I am in agreement with Thomas Jefferson’s observation of the general welfare clause. Jefferson said it meant for the Congress to legislate for the general welfare within the powers granted the government by the Constitution.

To quote Jefferson rather to speak for him I offer one of many similar observations from Thomas Jefferson.

3391. GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE, Interpretation. --

To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare”. For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. [Col 2] It was intended to lace them up strictly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect. --

TITLE: National Bank Opinion.
EDITION: Washington ed. vii, 557.
EDITION: Ford ed., v, 286.
PLACE: [none given]
DATE: 1791

“The construction applied... to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate Congress a power... ought not to be construed as themselves to give unlimited powers.” —Thomas Jefferson

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition. Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 February 1791)

"On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invent against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." - Thomas Jefferson

11 posted on 12/27/2009 7:00:15 AM PST by MosesKnows (Love many, Trust few, and always paddle your own canoe)
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To: Jacquerie
"Nothing is more natural or common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity.”

IMHO, there are no better explanations and clarifications on this question from the men who framed our documents of liberty than this from Madison and those provided by MosesKnows in Post #11 from Thomas Jefferson.

Blackbart.223 also has made an apt observation: "You don't throw off one yoke to assume another."

The Founders' 'world view' included an honest assessment of human nature, especially the human tendency to abuse power, delegated or assumed. They recognized their own imperfection, as well as that of those they would elect to represent them under the new Constitution's provisions. For that reason, they explicitly wrote a "people's" Constitution limiting, dividing, separating, checking and balancing those powers. As an added protection, they made "the People's" Constitution amendable only by the Constitution's own provision in Article V--requiring "the People's" participation in any changes to be made. No Constitutional Amendment, authorized under Article V, has been passed to expand the definition of "general welfare."

Was the Founders' understanding of human nature correct? Over time, have those entrusted with power abused that power?

Given Madison's and Jefferson's explanation, was any subsequent abuse of power because of a lack of clear explanation by the brave revolutionaries whose passion was liberty?

Clearly, those who wished to expand the powers of government for their own political purposes have been disingenious in their pretense that the Founders intended for one set of imperfect people in the society to possess the power to make and pass laws to "take" the earnings of the likewise imperfect people they represent under the guise of "helping" another set of people--all a simple vote-buying scam designed to accumulate even more power to themselves!

"The Utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of property] and a community of goods [common ownership] are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional. - Samuel Adams

"Our Ageless Constitution", a 1987 Volume which was recently reprinted and is available here contains an essay on Pages 110-116, entitled "Limited Spending and Taxing Powers and 'Small, Frugal Government' (Jefferson). In that comprehensive essay, constitutional scholars trace the 200-year departure from the principle intended to secure liberty and prevent the kinds of runaway taxing and spending by which the current Administration, and those preceding it, have been and are enslaving future generations.

12 posted on 12/27/2009 10:24:30 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Jacquerie
Excellent analysis, and there are other ways to substantiate that your understanding is the correct and intended understanding by the Framers.

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.

"provide for the common defence" does not mean provide for individual defence, and indeed courts have repeatedly decided that government employees (including military and law enforcement) are not required to defend individual citizens, and cannot be held responsible for refusing to do so.

Likewise, "promote the general Welfare", does not mean promote individual Welfare, but here the lefties, statists, and Marxists rant that the opposite is true and the US must guarantee the welfare of every citizen or even better every human, animal, plant, and rock in the universe.

In the socialist universe, the same word will have opposite meanings even if it appears twice in the same sentence, and those meanings will be what the lefty says they mean.

At the point of a gun.

13 posted on 12/27/2009 10:27:49 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: Jacquerie

Well done. Alas, we’re living in a world of lol and wtf. So the serious meanings of words as the Framers meant them is lost. FWIW ;)


14 posted on 12/27/2009 10:29:08 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: Jacquerie

Thanks for inviting me to this thread. As someone with a “graduate Political Science degree” I should yield to your wisdom and the wisdom of those who understand our Founders were seeking to limit infringements on liberty, not destroy liberty with unlimited power to government.


15 posted on 12/27/2009 11:21:21 AM PST by pallis
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To: pallis

Oops. No insult intended.


16 posted on 12/27/2009 11:44:41 AM PST by Jacquerie (Tyrants should fear for their personal safety.)
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To: Jacquerie

“Oops. No insult intended.”

None taken.


17 posted on 12/27/2009 12:14:22 PM PST by pallis
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To: Jacquerie
"....to make sure that a reasonably literate people could not ignore, confuse or abuse its meaning. Congressional powers are strictly limited to those enumerated. "

Even the Founders couldn't imagine the moronic intellectual level now fully attained by 99% of the citizenry.

All thanks to the Fabian-run government schools and the moronic NEA slaves who do the actual indoctrination of the government's children,

18 posted on 12/27/2009 3:40:37 PM PST by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: SuperLuminal; EDINVA; Navy Patriot
On closely reading Article I Section 8 a few days ago, I felt for a moment as if I had made an important discovery.

The fact is that my interpretation was the accepted version from 1787 until the mid 1930s. What happened then? Leftism happened. As EPDVINA and Navy Patriot related here, the Left has an amazing ability to redefine and contort words and concepts into unrecognizable forms. And yes, a dumbed down, radical labor union dominated educational system is probably as great a threat to our future as radical islam.

19 posted on 12/27/2009 5:48:22 PM PST by Jacquerie (More Central Planning is not the solution to the failures of Central Planning.)
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To: Jacquerie

It sums it up nicely, the meaning of the phrase really IS clear. In the way that ancient governments were responsible to prevent widespread-starvation (ref: Joseph/Egypt, Japan’s taxes of rice) is what is meant by common defense and general welfare. {Just note how easy it is to militarily conquer a population that is, literally, starving to death.}


20 posted on 12/27/2009 7:08:17 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Jacquerie

Thanks for the ping!


21 posted on 12/27/2009 9:15:45 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Jacquerie; Alamo-Girl; Jeff Head; joanie-f; marron; metmom; Quix; xzins; little jeremiah; ...
Much fuss is made at this forum regarding the presumed haziness of the “common Defense and general Welfare” clause and the enumerated powers that follow in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. If you are not sure, or think this section is ambiguous, or actually does grant unlimited power to Congress you are in wide company. You are confused at best, but at least you have lots of company.

People who think the "common defense and general Welfare" clause is "hazy" evidently have been taught to understand Article I Section 8 in a manner completely out of the context given by the DoI and the Preamble.

Boiling it all down, the DoI tells us who the We the People are. The Preamble tells us that We the People are the ultimate source and authority of our constitutional system of government; that the purpose of the People's ordaining and establishing the Constitution is finally "to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." They were not surrendering their native, sovereign liberties to the federal government (were this so, the 9th Amendment would be pointless). Rather, they were delegating certain enumerated and limited powers to Congress to discharge on behalf of the People.

In short, Congressional power is NOT in any way "unlimited." If it were, the entire Bill of Rights would be senseless. For the BoR is nothing but a statement of the constraints on Congressional power agreed to and imposed by We the People as the principal of the Constitutional charter; the Congress is in the position of agent. In the principal/agent relation, the former is the "sovereign" party, the latter the executor, or "servant" of the principal in the exercise of the enumerated powers granted — and only those granted powers. Last time I tried to count the granted, "enumerated" powers of the Constitution, I came up with the number: 28. [I invite anybody to get their hands on the document, and try to make their own count. I'd love to see what you'd come up with!]

If so, this would mean there are only 28 ways in which the federal government in its several branches can legitimately act under the Constitution. Anything else or beyond the granted powers would be understood by the Framers as an illegitimate usurpation of the just powers/unalienable rights of the People — the People's retained rights, which are made explicit in the DoI, the Preamble, and the BoR. Even with respect to the delegated powers, the People are the "answerable authority" that Congress, as the People's delegated agent, MUST respect.

Note also that the Constitution has zero authority to regard the People in terms of group affiliation of any kind. The entire philosophical complex of our Founding Documents deals only with the individual human person, and this mainly in Judeo-Christian terms (as the DoI makes explicit). In short, Justice inheres in persons only, not in groups....

However, when legal positivists and nominalists read the texts, they do so as if the texts were unconnected with any larger system of ideas that would shed light on their meaning. In a sense, they "deconstruct" the Constitution, by saying, in effect, "the words speak for themselves," the texts are whatever they might happen to mean to the reader, without regard to the intent of the author of the texts, which are de facto held to be perfectly irrelevant to constitutional jurisprudence. That's where the "living Constitution" B.S. comes into the picture.

Don't get me wrong: I also believe the Constitution is a "living" document. But not in the Darwinian manner of the legal positivist/nominalist persuasion, which basically seems to hold that the "life form" of the Constitution has to be created anew by changing it.... It is "living" because it is capable of being "changed" — by them.

As pointed out already, the larger system of ideas that motivated the intent and purposes of the Framers is captured in the DoI, the Preamble, and the BoR. THAT is the context in which the Constitution is supposed to operate, "for the benefit of ourselves and our Posterity."

Anyhoot, just some thoughts, Jacquerie, FWIW. Thank you so very much for your excellent essay/post, and for pointing out what should be obvious: that the Framers were, indeed, the most punctilious of grammarians! Now all we need is people who understand English grammar.... But they seem to be getting as rare as people who understand what the Framers were up to, in designing the Constitution the way they did....

Surely this state of affairs demonstrates the utterly abject failure of so-called public education nowadays....

So all I can say is: "GO, Home-schoolers!" The future of our culture seems to be in your hands....

22 posted on 12/28/2009 11:03:37 AM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: betty boop

I thoroughly agree yet again.

Thanks.


23 posted on 12/28/2009 12:44:52 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: SuperLuminal

Actually, they could.
What couldn’t imagine was the popular election of senators, universal suffrage, or the level of the Federal governments intrusion into the election process. IIRC, initially, only property owners could vote.
Nowadays, my vote can be canceled out by welfare recipient who has never been financially independent or paid a penny in income taxes in his entire life - and they call that “fair.”


24 posted on 12/28/2009 1:10:54 PM PST by Little Ray
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To: Jacquerie; Alamo-Girl; Jeff Head; joanie-f; marron; metmom; TXnMA; MHGinTN; YHAOS; CottShop; ...
p.s.: Plus two more thoughts on further reflection....

(1) These magnificently punctilious grammarians "also" crafted one of the greatest (and most concise) literary masterpieces in the history of the English language.

(2) What is increasingly less appreciated in our own time is that the Framers' design was fundamentally premised on a system of SELF-government. Something that had never, ever been seen in the world before, a world in which priests and monarchs, et al., had been accepted as the necessary "intercessors" between God and Man, just to get quite normal things done in daily existence, since most people — living in what Eric Vöegelin has described as the Ecumenic Age, in which "primitive" and "tribal" forms of existence were increasingly displaced by "organizational principles" to be contrived by an expert (priestly–political–bureaucratic) class; and then from there, imposed direct pressure on the "subject" people "from on-high," whether the pressured people liked it or not. Historically speaking, they usually didn't.

[N.B.: The events we revere and remember at Christmas took place in precisely such a milieu, or "crucible" of forces.... ]

Yet the Framers, being of Christian temperament, believed in (or as some might have termed it, recognized the "self-evident truth" of) human free will. Thus, to me it seems that, bottom line, what the Framers proposed was that Man should live in openness to God, exercise/enjoy the gifts that God gave him, and live in the virtue of God's love and justice....

Such a view clearly has Judeo-Christian roots, and roots in classical Greece, as well. Maybe this latter aspect could be a topic for another time.

25 posted on 12/28/2009 1:51:40 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: betty boop
Yet the Framers, being of Christian temperament, believed in (or as some might have termed it, recognized the "self-evident truth" of) human free will. Thus, to me it seems that, bottom line, what the Framers proposed was that Man should live in openness to God, exercise/enjoy the gifts that God gave him, and live in the virtue of God's love and justice....

It is my view that "self-government" is rooted in two moral qualities, the first being the ability to govern oneself, the desire and willingness to govern oneself, and the second being respect for neighbor which is in part how "love thy neighbor" plays itself out in the practical world.

Freedom requires a moral center of gravity in a society or the society ceases to be free, in fact in the absence of a generalized moral sense freedom becomes an unbearable burden and people will gladly shed it, they will demand that their betters relieve them of it.

Loving obedience to God, and love of neighbor are the twin roots of both rule of law and constitutional liberty. When they atrophy freedom shrivels and dies.

26 posted on 12/28/2009 2:26:06 PM PST by marron
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To: Little Ray
"What couldn’t imagine was the popular election of senators, universal suffrage, or the level of the Federal governments intrusion into the election process. IIRC, initially, only property owners could vote. "

Probably because they, having just engaged in a revolution over things far less onerous than the tyrannical actions you have noted, would have thought there would have been a second (corrective) revolution long since....

27 posted on 12/28/2009 3:48:15 PM PST by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: betty boop

On closer reading of your posts, I still greatly and thoroughly agree.

Not sure I can add much more.

Personally, I would like to see . . . The Constitution, The Declaration of I and the Bill of Rights . . . printed on very unpalatable cardboard . . . then Pelousey and Finestein sp? both required to memorize all those docs . . . and then have to eat every particle of all those docs. Then be tried and sentenced and . . . fittingly punished . . . for horrific treason.

But then they are but stooges of the worse evil doers behind the scenes.

. . . who have been shredding those documents for decades.


28 posted on 12/28/2009 7:16:39 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Repeal The 17th

Any noun could be capitalized under the rules of proper English grammar for the time.


29 posted on 12/28/2009 7:22:17 PM PST by piytar (Ammo is hard to find! Bought some lately? Please share where at www.ammo-finder.com)
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To: betty boop; Jacquerie
Well done! It's late and I'm still recuperating from a raucous but otherwise very Merry Christmas. I hope all were blessed this Christmas as much as I.

All points are spot on as near as I can tell through these droopy eyelids. Our Founders no doubt wrote the Constitution so that We The People could understand it. Like Jacquerie pointed out, the only people looking to parse the language and discover subtle nuances are our would-be masters.

30 posted on 12/28/2009 10:27:05 PM PST by ForGod'sSake (You have two choices and two choices only: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!)
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To: Jacquerie; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

31 posted on 12/28/2009 10:28:15 PM PST by narses ('in an odd way this is cheering news!'.)
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To: betty boop; marron
Thank you oh so very much for your beautiful essay-post, dearest sister in Christ!

Yet the Framers, being of Christian temperament, believed in (or as some might have termed it, recognized the "self-evident truth" of) human free will. Thus, to me it seems that, bottom line, what the Framers proposed was that Man should live in openness to God, exercise/enjoy the gifts that God gave him, and live in the virtue of God's love and justice....

I very strongly agree with the above and marron's statement concerning it:

Loving obedience to God, and love of neighbor are the twin roots of both rule of law and constitutional liberty. When they atrophy freedom shrivels and dies.

Like the law of God, the law the framers' envisioned, hangs on the Great Commandment.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – Matthew 22:37-40

A Godless, self-centered people cannot abide by either rule of law - oaths become meaningless; duty, a four-lettered word; obedience, forced. Government of a necessity becomes larger and more powerful and controlling - to maintain order, such people must be managed like animals from womb to tomb because they have no honor to manage themselves.

32 posted on 12/28/2009 10:30:33 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
A Godless, self-centered people cannot abide by either rule of law - oaths become meaningless; duty, a four-lettered word; obedience, forced. Government of a necessity becomes larger and more powerful and controlling - to maintain order, such people must be managed like animals from womb to tomb because they have no honor to manage themselves.

I like your use of the word "honor". Its an almost forgotten word, and almost everything hangs on it.

33 posted on 12/28/2009 10:35:12 PM PST by marron
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To: betty boop
The entire philosophical complex of our Founding Documents deals only with the individual human person . . .

That is a topic worthy of a long essay. Our Constitution was a bulwark against the worst aspect of human political nature, the tendency to accumulate power. It worked this way until we let the courts run wild.

You bring up so many other great points . . . among the saddest is denial of the Judeo-Christian foundation of our governing philosophy.

34 posted on 12/29/2009 2:57:32 AM PST by Jacquerie (It is only in the context of Natural Law that the Declaration & Constitution form a coherent whole.)
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To: betty boop
What is increasingly less appreciated in our own time is that the Framers' design was fundamentally premised on a system of SELF-government.

That is so lost on so many today. Self government evolved here of necessity. Small bands of colonists in the wilderness had little choice but to band together. England was embroiled in civil wars for much of the 17th century and largely ignored the colonial's political evolution. The French knew England would be of little help and paid various indian tribes to attack us. Things were so bad that a few northeastern states formed a confederacy for self defense. American self government was so advanced by the mid 18th Century that eventual independence was anticipated by many here and in England.

35 posted on 12/29/2009 3:20:41 AM PST by Jacquerie (It is only in the context of Natural Law that the Declaration & Constitution form a coherent whole.)
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To: Jacquerie; Alamo-Girl; marron; Quix
That is a topic worthy of a long essay. Our Constitution was a bulwark against the worst aspect of human political nature, the tendency to accumulate power. It worked this way until we let the courts run wild.

Indeed, Jacquerie: Many federal (and state) courts appear to be "not sympatico" with the idea of constitutional constraints; so they just ignore them. No wonder our society is increasingly a madhouse these days! To undermine the rule of law leaves the society in a state of moral ambiguity, turmoil, uncertainty....

I think it's safe to say that the Framers recognized that state-vs.-individual political power was perhaps the only true zero-sum game in the world. In this we can discern the influence of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) and John Locke, the philosophical genie behind the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

The zero-sum consists in the fact that the more the power of the state, the less the power (liberty) of the person. Thomas Jefferson accordingly spoke of how this zero-sum power game plays out in political reality: "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

I imagine that many/most Americans nowadays are simply terrified of Washington... and with good reason....

FWIW. Thanks so very much for writing, Jacquerie!

36 posted on 12/29/2009 11:56:35 AM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: Alamo-Girl; marron; Jacquerie; Quix
A Godless, self-centered people cannot abide by either rule of law — oaths become meaningless; duty, a four-lettered word; obedience, forced. Government of a necessity becomes larger and more powerful and controlling — to maintain order, such people must be managed like animals from womb to tomb because they have no honor to manage themselves.

This observation may seem hard-hearted of me, but here goes anyway....

"Such people [as] must be managed like animals from womb to tomb because they have no honor to manage themselves" aren't even fully human. They deserve to be managed like livestock. They have moved into a fantasy world that seems strangely like a retreat to the "womb": Everything must be done for them.... There must be some kind of new "Back to the Womb" movement going on here....

Needless to say, such an ideology is poison to a just socio/political order founded on the principle of individual liberty.

This must constitute some kind of refutation of evolution theory; for it seems species not only can evolve; but they also can devolve — back to a more "primitive" state....

Charles Darwin, please call your office!!!

Thank you so very much, dearest sister in Christ, for your excellent post, and kind words of support!

37 posted on 12/29/2009 12:13:51 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: ForGod'sSake; Jacquerie; Alamo-Girl; Quix
Like Jacquerie pointed out, the only people looking to parse the language and discover subtle nuances are our would-be masters.

Yes indeed. This is the type of person who believes he can spin an entirely new "reality" simply by manipulating words/language....

So glad to hear you had a wonderful Christmas, ForGod'sSake! Me too!!! :^)

38 posted on 12/29/2009 12:17:35 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: blackbart.223; Jacquerie
You don’t throw off one yoke only to assume another.

BB .22, excellent and concise argument. I love it. Why can't our SCOTUS get this?

Jacquerie, thanks for the ping. As you know, I agree. Who was the FReeper claiming the Constitution was a flawed document? Where they in on this ping?

And most importantly is every FReeper teaching this to every child within earshot?

39 posted on 12/29/2009 12:58:59 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: marron; Alamo-Girl; Quix; Jacquerie
Freedom requires a moral center of gravity in a society or the society ceases to be free, in fact in the absence of a generalized moral sense freedom becomes an unbearable burden and people will gladly shed it, they will demand that their betters relieve them of it.

Beautifully said, marron. As ever.

The stunning irony in all this, to me, is that this nation tore itself apart over the compelling moral issue of freeing the slaves. And yet today, it seems so many people are frantic to stand in line, for the purpose of becoming re-enrolled as slaves, this time of the Big Massah in Washington....

I am mindful that before the federal government decided to "help" the "poor and underprivileged" people, by means of LBJ's Great Society programme, black families were overwhelmingly intact families, with a father present. "Underprivileged people" may have been "poor" in economic terms, but they were "rich" in personal dignity. Many if not most saw education and personal initiative as the trusted ways to improve one's personal condition, and to "step up" in society. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas exemplifies this tradition.

So what happened, at great taxpayer expense? Just look around you. It seems to me that any kind of "gummint help" is like pouring a caustic agent onto society with a view of "dissolving" it....

40 posted on 12/29/2009 1:06:52 PM PST by betty boop (Malevolence wears the false face of honesty. — Tacitus)
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To: ml/nj; Jacquerie
Though I see your intent, I wonder if we are too accommodating of these Constitutional infringements. Is continued decay inevitable? The Founders didn't think so. Obviously, our fellow Americans need to learn/re-learn the truths so succinctly stated in this thread.

Might we not best serve the cause of American Liberty by emailing a link to this video to friends and family?: The American Form of Government

We could also create a manifesto, using Jacquerie's comments and those of yours and others, to explain our very simple position - the Constitution guarantees individual liberty through the only means available to humankind: limited government.

Then email it to all our lists.

41 posted on 12/29/2009 1:12:09 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: loveliberty2
Clearly, those who wished to expand the powers of government for their own political purposes have been disingenious in their pretense that the Founders intended for one set of imperfect people in the society to possess the power to make and pass laws to "take" the earnings of the likewise imperfect people they represent under the guise of "helping" another set of people--all a simple vote-buying scam designed to accumulate even more power to themselves!

Outstanding.

Yet, this is the liberal/communist canard: nothing means what we say it means unless it means what we say it to mean. That we gave them our children without a fight and as a convenience is too much to believe

42 posted on 12/29/2009 1:18:24 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD
I see your intent ... Is continued decay inevitable?

I'm not sure I said anything about my intent.

Decay inevitable? It's impossible for something which has disappeared altogether to decay further. The only thing that could happen further is for people to stop giving lip service to the Constitution, but they only give lip service when they think that something in the Constitution supports whatever they think is right.

ML/NJ

43 posted on 12/29/2009 1:30:15 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: loveliberty2
"Clearly, those who wished to expand the powers of government for their own political purposes have been disingenious in their pretense that the Founders intended for one set of imperfect people in the society to possess the power to make and pass laws to "take" the earnings of the likewise imperfect people they represent under the guise of "helping" another set of people--all a simple vote-buying scam designed to accumulate even more power to themselves!"

Very well said. What gives anyone the right to step on me simply because he was voted in to preform a specified job? Presidents are not Gods. Anyone in the house and senate don't fit the job descripion either.

44 posted on 12/29/2009 2:19:36 PM PST by blackbart.223 (I live in Northern Nevada. Reid doesn't represent me.)
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To: 1010RD
"And most importantly is every FReeper teaching this to every child within earshot?"

I am. And I toss a few adults into the mix.

45 posted on 12/29/2009 2:22:34 PM PST by blackbart.223 (I live in Northern Nevada. Reid doesn't represent me.)
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To: blackbart.223
Roger that. Too many adults haven't a clue, thus they've let slip liberty from their hands.

Empty minds = empty hands ;-]

46 posted on 12/29/2009 8:00:22 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: marron; betty boop; Jacquerie; Alamo-Girl; Jeff Head; joanie-f; metmom; MHGinTN; YHAOS; CottShop
"Loving obedience to God, and love of neighbor are the twin roots of both rule of law and constitutional liberty. When they atrophy freedom shrivels and dies."

Nicely Done!!!

That one is "worth hanging on the wall"!!

47 posted on 12/29/2009 9:05:08 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...!!)
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To: betty boop

The rot is deeper than that.

Some say the rot goes back 400 years.

Certainly within the earliest years of our Republic, powerful rich people cooperated with powerful rich people in Europe to insure that they remained essentially in control of the world, and expanded and tightened that control.

Satan worship was reportedly involved early on.

Certainly for at least the last 100 years, those who made the most money insured that other up and coming, becoming wealthy folks played ball according to the globalist script . . . or were bought out . . . or threatened . . . or bankruped by clever schemes or imprisoned on trumped up charges o out right killed.

I no longer have any doubt of such things.

Insuring that their stooge was in the White House was an early, well managed priority. The farce of a great difference between the DIMRATS AND THE GOP was just that—playing the public for fools while distracting them with a phony competition. The Good-cop/bad-cop ploy coupled with the frog in the bucket strategy allowd all manner of skullduggary to go on under the table and sometimes in plain daylight—e.g. the VietNam war etc.

Of course they have been INCREASINGLY shredding the Constitution for decades. They never did respect it.

Of course the courts have been compromised for a long time. I suspect that 3/4ths of the judges are covert or overt globalists. It might be even 85% or more.


48 posted on 12/29/2009 9:12:13 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: marron
I like your use of the word "honor". Its an almost forgotten word, and almost everything hangs on it.

I agree. Thank you so much for your encouragements, dear marron!

49 posted on 12/29/2009 9:29:48 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
They deserve to be managed like livestock. They have moved into a fantasy world that seems strangely like a retreat to the "womb": Everything must be done for them.... There must be some kind of new "Back to the Womb" movement going on here....

Indeed. Liberty can be lost in a single generation like that.

Thank you so much for your insights, dearest sister in Christ!

50 posted on 12/29/2009 9:33:13 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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