27 January 2009

"True to our Founding Documents"

The title of this post comes from President Obama's inaugural address. The call to remain faithful to our Constitution is admirable. But I don't know if there has EVER been a time where we ignored our founding document more. This may seem like a shot at the new administration (which it is), but the buck doesn't end there. We, as a nation, are all complicit in remaining ignorant or apathetic to how far we've drifted from our nation's ideological moorings.

The parting shot of our Bill of Rights states:

"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."

Anybody want to take a shot at what powers actually ARE delegated to the Federal Government? A glance at the our Founding Document will tell you that Washington has the Constitutional right:

  • To lay and collect taxes
  • To borrow money
  • To regulate international and interstate trade
  • To come up with a method for naturalization
  • To regulate bankruptcies
  • To coin money and punish counterfeiters
  • To set standards for weights and measures
  • To establish post offices and post roads
  • To issue patents
  • To create courts lower than the Supreme Court
  • To punish pirates
  • To declare war and the rules thereof
  • To raise an army, a navy, and a militia and govern them
  • To govern Washington, D.C.
  • And finally, 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.
That's it. Those are the only things the U.S. Legislature has legal jurisdiction over, at least according to the Supreme Law of the Land. And yet, we sit and accept a vastly different reality every day. Republicans, Democrats, everybody. We are a nation no longer governed by our Constitution.

But we don't have to be.

21 January 2009

A Good Week for Speeches

Not only did we commemorate the perhaps the greatest speech ever (the good Reverend's "I Have A Dream"), but we also had a chance to look back at these inaugural gems. See if you can finish them.

"Ask not..." JFK

"The only thing we have to fear..." FDR

"With malice towards none..." Honest Abe **At least the 2nd best speech in America's history.**

"Government is not the solution to the problem..." The Great Orator

And Obama's inaugural address yesterday was pretty darn good too. I almost feel the need to qualify that statement (and have started to several times), but let's just leave it at that. As Ol' Mr. Lincoln said, with the country much more divided than today,

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Ahh... there's nothing like a good speech.