Tag Archive: history of the united states


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The 10th Amendment seems to be a point of contention. Many of our statist friends say that this amendment give the federal government free rein to do whatever it wants, citing the part “not prohibited to it” to mean that it is referring to the Federal Government. But, take a moment to apply basic English rules to it, and you’ll see this is in error.

Here is the text, in whole:
“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.”

So, we see that we can take out the part offset by commas as it would read: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Easy Peasy! If the powers are not delegated to the US, they are to remain with the states or people. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

This is where it gets dicey. Statists want the offset portion to be highlighted!! “See?” they say, “If they are not outlined OR if they are not denied specifically to the feds, they can do it!!”

Keep your pantyhose on! Let’s delve into that.

Here is the offset part: “nor prohibited by it to the States”. Oh, whoops. Looks like our statist friends didn’t take enough English classes to understand complex sentence structures.

This reads: “nor prohibited by it [“it” means the US Constitution] TO THE STATES. As Scooby-Doo says, “Ruh-roh!”

The following four statements identify that which is for the feds to do, and that which is for the states:

If a thing is not delegated to the United States Congress, it goes to the states and people. (These are few and defined, and found in Article I for a full list of items they are in charge of handling.)

Regarding the states, if it’s not denied to the states, it belongs with the states and people. (This list is almost endless, save the few things denied to them in Article I – such as making treaties with foreign countries.)

The only thing left for the feds to do is that which is specifically delegated to them by the Constitution, and nothing more.

Thus, the next time a statist says to you, “I don’t see the word healthcare in the Constitution!” You can say, “Exactly!” Maybe you will have time for a quick English lesson or two for them.

Any questions?

Alright, last time we discussed the way the numbers are decided for the House and the Senate. This is also how many electoral votes there are for the President and VP, with the addition of 3 for the District of Colombia, a recent phenomenon. I’ll have to get into DC representation in another post, but just know for now, that there are those 3. Now you understand why I made you read about the numbers of reps, right? At this point, there are 435 representatives in the House, and 100 in the Senate (unless one has passed away and not yet been replaced…that type of thing). But, the number of electors is based on the number of reps and senators, presuming they are fully staffed, and those for DC, which makes for a total of 538.

 

Initially, whoever got the most electoral votes was president and second most was VP. Can you imagine Obama having to deal with McCain as his VP? Cracks me up to think about it! Right. Moving on…

 

This idea of one vote per citizen was rejected during deliberations, as was having the congress doing the voting (pretty happy about that rejection, right about now, and I don’t think I even have to address why that was nixed), and it all comes down to the numbers.

 

If the “one man, one vote” thing were to be instituted, or if the electoral college was set up differently, the top most populous states would elect the president and the rest of the country would be left thinking, “What just happened?” and most likely, “Oh, garbage.”

 

Let’s take the 2,000 election as an example of the collection of power from very narrow concentrations of power in the “one man, one vote” results. From Wallbuilders.com:

 

“If the national tally of the popular vote is transferred proportionally into a vote by the House of Representatives, the results would have been 210 Members voting for Gore, 209 for Bush, and 16 Members voting for others; Gore, therefore, would have narrowly won a vote in the House based on the will of the population.

However, if the State by State votes are transferred to the Senate, since Bush won 30 States and Gore 20, the Senate vote would have been 60 for Bush and 40 for Gore; Bush, therefore, by a large margin, would have been the choice of the States.

In short, Gore narrowly won the popular vote by winning heavily populated and narrowly concentrated urban parts of the nation (Gore carried only 676 counties, located primarily along both coasts and along the Mississippi River) while Bush was the overwhelming choice of the States and of the more geographically diverse regions of the country (Bush carried 2436 counties — nearly four times that of Gore — spreading virtually from coast to coast). The electoral college wisely weighs these competing interests in the selection for a President.”

Clearly, Bush won, when one takes into consideration the entire country.

 

The electoral college forces the votes to be taken state by state, and it allows the power of each voter to be heralded across the entire nation. Do you want your vote to count? Or do you want big cities and populous states to rule everything? I’d rather not be railroaded, thank you, and thus stand firm in my conviction to the brilliant system of the electoral college.

 

**This post was updated on 11/17/12 due to an oversight that was brought to my attention by an alert reader.**

Let’s talk numbers this time. First, a brief discussion about the houses of Congress. They stink.

 

Haha. That’s another post altogether. This time, we’ll be discussing how their numbers are chosen. In the end, it will tie into the electoral college, I promise.

 

The House of Representatives is composed of representatives based on the number of people living in a state. So, the large states have more representation in this house.

 

To balance this, they created a bicameral (meaning two houses) legislature (meaning the law making body of the government), with, in addition to the House of Representatives, the Senate that has two representatives for each state, no matter the size.

 

In reality, the big states were happy to not have a Senate. They were fine and dandy with railroading the small states. But, logic prevailed, and the bicameral won the day, thank goodness.

 

There is also the concept of length of terms. The House is supposed to have its proverbial finger on the pulse of the nation. Thus, every two years, the passions of the nation are made known by the election of those in the House. Or, ya know, it shows us how many people actually care enough to vote, especially when it’s not a presidential election year. (Hint: our framers would have a FIT if they knew how few people voted – and how fewer actually voted with accurate knowledge of the issues).

 

For the Senate, it was supposed to be made up of more thoughtful and longer-serving types of representatives. They are only up for election once every 6 years, and so have a couple of election cycles to not have to worry about campaigning. This is supposed to allow them to focus on the legality of the legislation they are passing. (Okay, take a minute to stop laughing…I know only a handful of them have worried about that in the past 60-100 years…)

 

They started out being picked by the state legislatures, so they were SUPPOSED to focus on the needs of the entire state. This changed with the 17th amendment and the Senate has become more prone to the whims of the electorate since, because they are now chosen by the one vote per citizen system. You’ll see later why this is so messed up. Hang in there!!

 

One-third of the representatives in the Senate are chosen every two years, so there is never a time when EVERYONE is a newbie. This sounds like a great idea…until no one knows how to function properly. Imagine there is an impeachment trial going on, and then everyone gets voted out. How are the new guys supposed to know what’s going on, who knew what and when…it would be a huge problem, to say the least.

 

Next up: other options for voting in the Pres and VP, and how this blog ties in with the electoral college. It’s going to be riveting! 😉

There has only been one extermination order made law in the history of The United States. It was signed by Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs on October 27, 1838. The crime that required this unique and horrific order? Being Mormon.

It was in effect until June 25, 1976. That’s not a typo. 1976.

The reason? The church had a serious anti-slavery stance and many Mormons owned choice pieces of land, that they had purchased honestly. The Missouri Compromise was in the works, and the Mormons wanted to vote.

The order stated that the Mormons would be driven out, or killed. There was no treaty signed. They had not agreed to remove, yet remained in the country. The were not stalling the inevitable. There was no grace period. It was a genocidal order, effective immediately. Women and children were thrown into the cold from their homes and made to walk, many barefoot, in the snow, all the way out of the state of Missouri. And that was some of the nicer things done to the innocent citizens.

The federal government wouldn’t do anything to help. So, the Mormons left the country. Then, the country enveloped them once again, as it acquired the land on which they lived. Many of them fought on the Union side of the Civil War, for the very country that had denied them the right to even live. None fought for the Confederacy.

This country’s founding documents have a high bar. The system of government is the best ever invented. The people of that time did not live up to the standard, but that does not mean that the standard should be lowered…or fundamentally transformed. It means we need to follow it more closely, we must meet IT.

This, my dearest friends, is why we need to study real history…so we can see WHY this can once again be the greatest nation on earth; what made it so great from the get go; and how we can restore the greatness of our founding documents, and, as individuals, attempt to meet the high standard they demand.

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