Monday, April 24, 2006

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE;

Well, it seems Mr. Alexander Hamilton had a differing view from that of many of the other Framers. After consideration of the following points he raised, I'm inclined to agree with Alex.....
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"Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations. "WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our State bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government..
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"But a minute detail of particular rights is certainly far less applicable to a Constitution like that under consideration, which is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than to a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns. If, therefore, the loud clamors against the plan of the convention, on this score, are well founded, no epithets of reprobation will be too strong for the constitution of this State. But the truth is, that both of them contain all which, in relation to their objects, is reasonably to be desired...
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"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #84.
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You know, it appears that Alex had a valid point, doesn’t it? For there have indeed been men, (and women), ‘disposed to usurp’. And they have indeed found ‘plausible pretense’ for claiming that power. Which fact has ‘afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government’.
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What I find most interesting however, is Alex’s statement of “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous”. As well as, “They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted”.
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“Here is a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our State bills of rights”…
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Alex utilized the word ‘principal’ which leads me to examine just what are the principles of the U.S. Constitution? Let’s take a look, shall we?
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The Principles of the United States Constitution:

A good place to start would seem to be the preamble to the Constitution;
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"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."
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Constitution: 1 : an established law or custom : ORDINANCE. 2 a : the physical makeup of the individual comprising inherited qualities modified by environment b : the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something. 3 : the act of establishing, making, or setting up. 4 : the mode in which a state or society is organized; especially : the manner in which sovereign power is distributed. 5 a : the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it. b : a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization.
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A government of We the People.
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Unity.
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Justice.
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Insurance of Domestic Tranquility.
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Common Defense.
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General Welfare.
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Security of the Blessings of Liberty in the present and the future.
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Hmmmm, seems to me we have a problem here. What do you think?
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Do you feel that your part of the government?
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Do you feel united?
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Is it Justice that a woman, whom fled a ruthlessly oppressive dictatorship is being treated as a criminal, for exercising a Right GUARANTEED by the First Amendment?
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Are you comfortably insured of your tranquility?
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Do you feel secure in the ‘common defense’? Especially, in light of the fact that the courts have ruled that, it is governments duty to provide for thecommon defense’. But, that they have no duty to provide for individual defense. And to top that off. Many of the states want to restrict or prohibit your rightful exercise of providing for your individual defense? Can someone please explain how that, in any way, promotes the ‘General Welfare’?
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Do you feel that your ‘Liberty’ is secure? Let us examine the word ‘Liberty’. I’ve heard it used some place before….where was it? Oh yeah, now I remember;
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"They ought to be restrained Within proper bounds. With respect to the freedom of the press, I need say nothing; for it is hoped that the gentlemen who shall compose Congress will take care to infringe as little as possible the rights of human nature. This will result from their integrity. They should, from prudence, abstain from violating the rights of their constituents. They are not, however, expressly restrained. But whether they will INTERMEDDLE with that PALLADIUM of our liberties or not, I leave you to determine."
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- Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, (06/16/1788)
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And, if I remember correctly there was another place I’ve seen it before as well;

"The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic Usurpation of Power by rulers. The Right of the Citizens to Keep and Bear Arms has JUSTLY been considered, as the PALLADIUM of the LIBERTIES of The Republic; since it offers a strong moral check AGAINST the Usurpation and Arbitrary Power of rulers; and will generally...ENABLE the PEOPLE to RESIST and TRIUMPH OVER THEM."
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- Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833
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I don’t know about anyone else, but with all of the various bans, ordinances, restrictions, qualifications, bounds, rules and regulations set in place. All of which were imposed on something that was never to be infringed upon in the first place. And in consideration of what Alex points out above, “They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted”. I surely don’t feel that my liberty is secure, do you? And, I damn sure don’t think that the future looks anymore promising. In light of what is happening to our ‘Liberty’ today….

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