Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I was pretty pissed when I got to reading the TIME article about the Constitution. I put it down.
Luckily, someone had the patience to read it and brought forth thirteen factual errors and the kind of proof that we are known for here. Thank you Aaron Worthing.
He had originally tried to show everything that was wrong with the piece, but let's face it - if it came from TIME, you'd be at it for years. Here are the thirteen factual errors posted by Worthing:
1. The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.He gets pretty thorough in his explanations. Complete citations and everything.
2. The Constitution is not law.
3. The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment emancipated the slaves.
4. The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African Americans.
5. The original Constitution declared that black people were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.
6. That the original, unamended Constitution prohibited women from voting.
7. Inter arma enim silent leges translates as “in time of war, the Constitution is silent.”
8. The War Powers Act allows the president to unilaterally wage war for sixty days.
9. We have only declared war five times.
10. Alexander Hamilton wanted a king for America.
11. Social Security is a debt within the meaning of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment.
12. Naturalization depends on your birth.
13. The Obamacare mandate is a tax.
I brought up the TIME article, and found a bunch of "hard to say" thoughts, all with incredibly flimsy support. Check this out:
People on the right and left constantly ask what the framers would say about some event that is happening today. What would the framers say about whether the drones over Libya constitute a violation of Article I, Section 8, which gives Congress the power to declare war? Well, since George Washington didn't even dream that man could fly, much less use a global-positioning satellite to aim a missile, it's hard to say what he would think. What would the framers say about whether a tax on people who did not buy health insurance is an abuse of Congress's authority under the commerce clause? Well, since James Madison did not know what health insurance was and doctors back then still used leeches, it's difficult to know what he would say. And what would Thomas Jefferson, a man who owned slaves and is believed to have fathered children with at least one of them, think about a half-white, half-black American President born in Hawaii (a state that did not exist)? Again, hard to say.
I'll take them one at a "time".
What would the framers say about whether the drones over Libya constitute a violation of Article I, Section 8, which gives Congress the power to declare war? Well, since George Washington didn't even dream that man could fly, much less use a global-positioning satellite to aim a missile, it's hard to say what he would think.
George Washington may not have had much knowledge of future ballistic and weapons science, but he sure did know a lot about what justifies military action. I will concede that it is hard to say what Washington would think, but the reason given is a HUGE crock of bullshit. Washington was no proponent of military force, but raised a militia to put down a major rebellion in Western Pennsylvania with no declaration of war from Congress. He did have an opinion from a Supreme Court Justice declaring Western Pennsylvania in rebellion. He therefore did not act alone, but also did not act in accordance with any requirement that Congress declare war. Furthermore, this was a domestic military action, which Washington would clearly have thought to be less acceptable than military action abroad. Drones over Libya is a military action. The fact that US soldiers are not put at risk when drones are used, coupled with the fact that Islamic terrorists were just as big a problem then as they are now, would make the action much less problematic to Washington. He would clearly see the need, even in his day, to keep terrorists at bay. If terrorism were given as the justification, Washington would likely support it. If the justification were "humanitarian", I doubt he would.
What would the framers say about whether a tax on people who did not buy health insurance is an abuse of Congress's authority under the commerce clause? Well, since James Madison did not know what health insurance was and doctors back then still used leeches, it's difficult to know what he would say.
First of all, what has been proposed and illegally passed in Congress is NOT A TAX. It is a PENALTY; it is a FINE. Madison knew Congress's inability to levy such fines (or taxes for that matter, if you concede that point, which I do not). He wrote the Constitution, after all. If you want to know Madison's position, simply ask the question in general terms: What would the framers say about the government requiring people to purchase expensive items or services under penalty of a fine (or additional tax)? What would Madison say NOW? The question has as much to do with health insurance as the previous one has to do with modern military technology. Just as Washington's answer can be arrived at by simply asking the question in more general terms, Madison's answer comes just as easily. James Madison would NOT have approved.
Jefferson, a man who owned slaves and is believed to have fathered children with at least one of them, think about a half-white, half-black American President born in Hawaii (a state that did not exist)? Again, hard to say.
Jefferson is on record more than once as wishing for an end to slavery. For his part, he signed legislation passed by Congress at his request ending the slave trade. Jefferson's answer would clearly be one of indifference. If a natural born citizen who happened to be bi- or multi-racial became President of the United States, then so be it. After all, if he fathered any of those children (and DNA evidence eliminates all but one), I am sure he would be quite proud to attend his inauguration. Again, the answer is deceptive. Jefferson freed five slaves in his will. Unfortunately, his estate had some debt that required the sale of the rest of his slaves at that point. Hawaii is a state. Jefferson was no fool (unlike the author of the TIME article). He would gladly have approved of a biracial President born in a state he didn't know. He would NOT have approved of Barack Obama, for reasons we have shown here already. Obama is NOT a natural born citizen, and Jefferson would DEFINITELY have supported the Vattel definition. The whole concept of rights as enumerated by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, even as edited by the Continental Congress, is derived from Vattel's expression of natural law.
Richard Stengel is either trying to deceive Americans into believing the Founders and the Constitution are things they are not, or he's an idiot. I'm banking on the former. I can't believe anyone would be so stupid (or believe anyone to be so stupid) as to believe a thing he's written given what he wrote in the paragraph cited.
In either case, he's a fucking loser with a job that should have gone to someone else. Kudos to Aaron for putting him in his place.