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ATS.MIX: Above Politics Show 24

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posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 02:50 AM
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ATS MIX:

Above Politics Show 24

Martin and Justin interview Bob Bird, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Martin trades friendly barbs with Bob over a few ticklish moments in British histor. Bob talks about what it means to be a good citizen. Martin reveals a new twist on the weekly trivia challenge, and Justin debates the finer points of hot coffee crimes and potato chip law. What's the difference between a crisp and a chip? Why should we care? Do third parties still matter? Can one person really make a difference? Tune in for the answers to these questions, and much more!

Bob Bird for Senate (web site)



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[edit on 7/15/2008 by JohnnyAnonymous]




posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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Interestingly Australia has been drifting away from what American term state rights . The induction of GST across the Tasman is a good example of this .

Here is the latest instalment .


TONY ABBOTT is proposing a vast strengthening of federal government powers over the states in the most fundamental change to the constitution since it took effect in 1901.

Mr Abbott said yesterday that he would advocate a constitutional referendum to give the government the ability to assume any powers it wished from the states at any time.


Source

It seems to me that only Libertarians leaning Americans cling to the idea of state rights . Of course Australia was still a number of differnt colonies up until 1901 . The country naturally had a differnt evolutionary path to that of the US.
Perhaps a US member could enlighten us as to the level of debate in the US concerning whether or not there constitution is a blessing or something that hampers the country. I have seen the topic come up on ATS .



posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



Interestingly Australia has been drifting away from what American term state rights. The induction of GST across the Tasman is a good example of this.

It seems to me that only Libertarians leaning Americans cling to the idea of state rights. Of course Australia was still a number of different colonies up until 1901. The country naturally had a different evolutionary path to that of the US.

Perhaps a US member could enlighten us as to the level of debate in the US concerning whether or not there constitution is a blessing or something that hampers the country. I have seen the topic come up on ATS.


States rights are antithetical to a united country. The two concepts are mutually exclusive. From the Swiss Federation (1815) to the United States Federation (1789) people have tried to have the best of both worlds but are at great risk of ending with the worst of each.

I thought - and people of liberal bent think - the issue of states rights was settled in 1861-1865. Our Civil War. But as I have posted elsewhere, the Union won the War and LOST the peace! Because of the dastardly policy adhered to by Southerners up here - labeled Jim Crow - I thought again, in 1954, that it - states rights - were once again discredited and would finally be laid to rest.

But it was not to be. Those people - states rights advocates - are incorrigible. They have proved unstinting in their blind faith in a cause twice rejected. 1865 and 1954. But for them, more rejection means only more effort to overcome and retain or even restore their anti-social policies. They are self-blinded to the great harm to individuals and to the collective country that their Holy Grail produced and still produces. The Red State Blue State divide for example.

Right now the RESISTERS are ahead. Way ahead. They have wrecked the Supreme Court and most of the 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal that once protected citizens from abusive state governments. Not to speak of the 268 authorized District Court judges.

Until 1968, anti-black Democrats in the South of the US were the primary defenders of States Rights. But when Nixon adopted his “Southern Strategy” that launched what became a sea change in the political alignment across the South that ended with Reagan's 1980s plan to incorporate the Boll Weevils into the Republican Party.

Note: Boll Weevils - a dreaded insect attacking the cotton plant - were the Southern Democrats who supported Jim Crow and all the evil that went with that. Lynchings. Beatings. Burnouts. Denial of voting rights. Denial of equal protection of the law. Denial of equal educational opportunity. Denial of common decency such as segregating public restrooms, marked "Colored" and "White." Disallowing blacks to eat in white restaurants. And more and more.

I cannot think of anything GOOD or proper to say about those people. J Strom Thurmond. Jesse Helms. George Wallace. Newt Gingrich was a leader. Bob Barr was another leader. Tom DeLay was a leader. In fact, you can say that with rare exceptions - John Edwards for one - Al Gore for another - all the office holders south of the Mason Dixon line are rampant racists if they are white Republicans. And are suspect if they are white Democrats.

THAT IS STATES RIGHTS IN AMERICA. It stands for RACIAL discrimination and economic exploitation of both blacks and poor whites who are often confused by race baiting demagogues.

[edit on 7/15/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 02:35 AM
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Whoa, donwhite! That's quite an accusation. And, in my opinion, an unfair impugning of what "states rightists" believe in.


Originally posted by donwhite
States rights are antithetical to a united country. The two concepts are mutually exclusive. From the Swiss Federation (1815) to the United States Federation (1789) people have tried to have the best of both worlds but are at great risk of ending with the worst of each.


What is antithetical to a united country is having a government whose People are ignored. Ole Hank Thoreau is famous for quoting Thomas Paine who said: "That government is best which governs least." More recently, Tip O'Neill is famous for saying: "All politics is local."

The statutes for New York City are not apt for the state of Montana and vice versa. One size does not fit all for cities, towns, counties, states or nations. This should make absolute sense to everyone, in my opinion (again with the opinion), and it is codified in the 10th amendment to the Constitution.

But opponents to local and self- rule will, invariably, invoke this time tested excuse for statism:


I thought - and people of liberal bent think - the issue of states rights was settled in 1861-1865. Our Civil War. But as I have posted elsewhere, the Union won the War and LOST the peace! Because of the dastardly policy adhered to by Southerners up here - labeled Jim Crow - I thought again, in 1954, that it - states rights - were once again discredited and would finally be laid to rest.


Don, c'mon. It wasn't the principle of local sovereignty that created Jim Crow, it was the backwardness of the locals. To champion Federal rule over local rule is to believe in, not just federal over state, but government over individuals. Sometimes that may result in what we would consider to atrocious policies like Jim Crow.

But if the answer is always to call in a "higher" government, then the answer is to ignore local, regional and personal concerns. You site this example as an air-tight argument against all local sovereignty. To do that you must accept -- and live with the consequences -- that "higher" government has the individual's interests at heart. That, in my opinion (I'm full of opinions), is a contradiction in terms.


But it was not to be. Those people - states rights advocates - are incorrigible. They have proved unstinting in their blind faith in a cause twice rejected. 1865 and 1954. But for them, more rejection means only more effort to overcome and retain or even restore their anti-social policies.They are self-blinded to the great harm to individuals and to the collective country that their Holy Grail produced and still produces.


Again, you announce your blind faith in cloud-parting, choral-singing governing, Governors and all things government. As if if only we had more government then all these scary "people things" will go away.

I'm not a "believer", as it were, but an interesting quote from Jesus is "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto God what is Gods." My first reaction to that is "Great! Caesar gets nothing!".

My second reaction is to lament that some want to give everything unto Caesar because they have mistaken him for God.





[edit on 16-7-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by Tuning Spork
 



I'm not a "believer", as it were, but an interesting quote from Jesus is "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and give unto God what is Gods." My first reaction to that is "Great! Caesar gets nothing!". My second reaction is to lament that some want to give everything unto Caesar because they have mistaken him for God.


Jesus recognized the power and authority of Caesar. You might say Jesus approved of the graduated income tax. Jesus thought he was living in the END Times of Daniel and Ezekiel. He hoped to overthrow Rome and restore the glory of King David. But he was wrong on both counts.

Next to states rights, the second most harmful movement in America is the easy mixing of religion and politics. This was not always the case. America's founders were men of the Age of the Enlightenment which was the culmination of a 1,000 years of effort to liberate oneself from the shackles of religion. Read the Preamble of the US Con to see that we ourselves ORDAINED the Constitution, a necessity in the mind-set of those days. We did not have the local archbishop, papal nuncio or any other religionist to do our ordaining.

US Con. Article VI: " . . officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

PS. Im reading "Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality" by Leigh Eric Schmidt, 2005. He treats this subject - religiosity and personal independence gone amuck.

[edit on 7/16/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 01:28 PM
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Martin and I are glad to see this debate. It's just the kind of thing that we hope for, each time we do a new show. When we talk to each other, we go "Above Politics." Spork and Don are probably not going to change each otehr's minds...but...one them might just change YOUR mind on some key issue. On the basis of this spirited exchange, I'd say that Show 24 has payed for itself.



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 03:40 PM
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Don for the sake of discussion I have a question for you .

If you had a free hand what measures would you take to deal with the issue of State Rights ?

Cheers xpert11.



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



Don for the sake of discussion I have a question for you. If you had a free hand what measures would you take to deal with the issue of State Rights?


Short answer - RUN the regulatory clock back t0 1979.

Long answer.
National policy should be made at the national level. Social security. Health care. National defense. Foreign policy.

Uniformity is desirable in a country with 3.8 million square miles and 304 million people. In the 1880s the US Congress established the Interstate Commerce Commission. It did 2 very important things. It established a single uniform gage for tracks. 56 ½ inches between the inside of the tracks. Which can be traced back to Rome and the spaces cut in crosswalks for 2 wheel chariots to run through. The chariots in turn were made wide enough to be pulled behind 2 horses. The path made by 2 horse in harness is about 56 ½ inches. See Note 1.

The second thing the ICC did was divide the US into 4 times zones and draw lines on a map establishing those zones. Up to then each city and town set its own time which was chaotic and causing many trains running on single tracks to wreck. We still have that system. Now the world uses that system.

In the 1920s with the advent of the automobile, the US Congress authorized the first national highway system, called the US or United States system. It was called a “post road” in the Act of Congress because the Constitution authorized Congress to provide for post roads. The Congress laid a 3 cents a gallon tax on gas and set up a trust fund. The Congress authorized the Federal government to pay 50% of the cost of roads - the states to pay the other 50% - PROVIDED the roads were built to Federal uniform standards.

We still have those highways in service. US 1 runs from Maine to Key West Florida. Odd numbers run north south and US 101 is the last road on the West Coast. US 2 runs east west and the numbers rise as you go south. US 90 for example runs along the Gulf of Mexico. Without a uniform system we would have 50 different road widths, varying weight bearing capacity, shoulders and markings. That’s STATES RIGHTS. By making it a Federal uniform system, we have a great highway system instead of patchwork mess. We honored the states rights advocates by letting each state be in charge of its own construction but the Feds laid out the right of way, supplied the plans and did the inspecting to be sure the State Boys don't cheat or steal.

In the 1950s we began the Interstate Highway System. To meet the US Constitution, the Act of Congress authorizing the highways as called the National Defense Highway System on the theory the Congress had the power if the roads were built for National Defense. In this case the Fed’s paid 90% of the cost, the states 10%. We are ready for a replacement system. But we spent all our EXTRA money in Iraq. Thank you Bush43. That's your LEGACY.

Banking is national in scope - it was not always - and the FDIC makes people happy to use it. Same goes for the old neighborhood savings and loan associations. They have the FSLIC to make your money safe. NO PRIVATE ENTITY could possibly INSURE the trillions of dollars out there, ONLY the Federal government can do that. Of course, we are in this mess today as a direct result of RONALD REAGAN and the dismantling of the New Deal regulatory institutions.

From 1933 until 1980 banks, mortgages and commodities were closely overseen. Anybody born after 1980 thinks GOD made it that way. They thought GOD watched out for lead paint in toys. They thought GOD watched over their tomatoes for e coli. That let the Republicans money mongers wreck the system and now the TAXPAYERS will have to pay $2-$5 trillion to fix it. That's the REAL Reagan Legacy. Now we know, GOD did not fix it, FDR did. The first time, we'll get to do it again. Shucks, who wants to read history?


Note 1.
W&H MAIN YARDS: US Standard Railroad Gauge By Professor Tom O'Hare, Germanic Languages, University of Texas at Austin tohare@mail.utexas.edu

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 ft 8 ½ in (1.44 m). That's an exceedingly odd number. Why is that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English ex patriots. Why did the English build 'em like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did *they* use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools as they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. OK! Why did the wagons use that wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the ruts. So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of breaking their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made by or for Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing (ruts again). Thus we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 ft 8 ½ in derives from the original military specification (MilSpec) for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. MisSpecs (and bureaucracies) live forever!
www.spikesys.com...

[edit on 7/16/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 03:18 AM
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So Don in short it can be said that you would remove the need for state governments leaving only geographical boundaries ?

I can understand how " State Rights " could have made sense before the industrial revolution and the invention of the telegraph and Morse code communication's and transport were often slow and unreliable . This could contribute to making central government over a large area impractical . Of course it be noted that this didn't stop the rise and fall of countless empires .

The Romans build a network of roads that included fortified areas where travels could rest safely at night time .

: Grabs bag of popcorn and can of Coke : This discussion could get interesting .

[edit on 17-7-2008 by xpert11]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



So Don in short it can be said that you would remove the need for state governments leaving only geographical boundaries ?


Is not that our rhetoric? In the pledge of allegiance don’t we say "One nation . . " Isn’t the name of this place the UNITED States? And not the Fifty States of America? Does not the current on-going financial crisis illustrate that none of the 50 states can protect your money or your job or your retirement? Or your food?

We seem to like uniformity in the obvious, highway system, air travel system and so on. But we fall all over ourselves when the R&Fs try to scam us and must rely on STATE’S RIGHTS claims which are always STATE’S WRONGS just waiting to bite you! Why the R&Fs? Because they have learned it is MUCH easier to control each of the 50 state legislatures than it is to control the single Federal Congress. Oh, they are working on that one too, but it is still beyond their reach by a razors edge. OK, follows my take on state’s rights

States Rights. As far as I know this is a peculiarly American political phenomena. I won’t spend much time on this but I must remind all that it began with the English method of colonizing the New World. Half the 13 colonies were private company colonies organized to make a profit for their investor-owners. One or two has some religious motivations. (None were for religious tolerance but were instead for the freedom to be religiously intolerant. Only the secular colonies were religiously tolerant).

States rights are deeply ensconced in our fundamental document, the US Constitution. These are usually call compromises. One of the major selling point of the new constitution was this: “All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.” See Article VI, Section 1, of the US Constitution. Vote YES and your debt problem is shifted away from your state.

Next, the unicameral legislature featured in the Articles was replaced by a bicameral legislature. Bad move. All laws must now be passed two times. The upper chamber - the Senate - was made up with 2 senators from each state regardless of the state’s population. Very undemocratic but the Founders never called this a democracy, they did call it a republic. See Article IV, Section 4.

The Senate was given several extraordinary powers. 1) The right to approve or disapprove of all foreign treaties. 2) The right to confirm or not confirm all presidential appointees including all the Federal judges. Worse, senate approval of treaties requires a super majority - 2/3s of those present and voting. This proviso puts our foreign policy in the hands of 34 senators. How’s that for the world’s greatest - our own description - DEMOCRACY?

To insulate senators from the public the Founders devised the following: 1) senators were chosen by state legislatures, the long time bailiwick of the rich and famous (not changed until 1913); 2) six year term of office; 3) the right to be the sole judge of the election of members; and 4) the right to make their own internal operating rules. Wow! What’s left to want?

To offset this humongous grant of power to a non-democratic body, the Founders gave the House - lower chamber - the exclusive grant to originate tax laws. Even this was weakened however by allowing the senate to amend or modify those bills as in the case of all other bills. An EMPTY gesture? A feely-good move?

Other concessions to the slave owners of the South were 1) prohibiting any law banning the importation of slaves until 1808. 2) limiting any tax on imported slaves to $10. Most slaves sold for $500 to $2000, this tax was more a nuisance than a revenue raiser. The tax was actually meant by anti-slave elements to be a way to keep a census on slaves.

Finally, the slave states representation in the House was enhanced by allowing each slave to be counted as 3/5ths of a (white) person for allotting representatives per the decennial census. More than 50% of South Carolina’s population in 1860 was slave. On that basis their 8 members in the House should have been 5 and not 8. Virginia and North Carolina both had very large slave populations and Virginia’s 15 member House delegation would have been reduced to 11 or 12 and North Carolina's 10 to 7 or 8. Similar reductions would have reduced other southern state's delegates to Congress by 10 or 11 seats. Slave states had 20 MORE seats in the House than they deserved. And that was made worse by the Southern habit of re-electing their members so they could take full advantage of the SENIORITY system both chambers adopted in committee assignments.

OK you say, what’s all of that got to do with State’s Rights in 2008? Well I reply, you cannot make ANYTHING out of NOTHING. If you don’t know how we got here, you can’t imagine a way to get out.

I know State’s Rights has a patriotic ring! In fact it is sufficiently ambiguous that it
is in the HEARER'S ears which gives it meaning. Rabble-rousing demagogues know how to PULL YOUR STRINGS. The rich anti-tax people will recite a tax bill then shout State’s Rights! Shucks, you think, I’m for states rights so I must be against that tax bill. The pro oil drillers shout State’s Rights and you say to yourself, I’m for state’s rights so I must be for more drilling.

You are not told there is 10 billion barrels of proved reserves sitting next door to ANWR ready to take out of the ground, but held back by the oil industry ostensibly arguing over which pipeline to use. An existing Canadian line at 25 cents a barrel or a new Alaska pipeline at $2 a barrel and a years construction delay.

No Republican will tell you that speculators from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs currently own MORE oil today than ExxonMobil or TexacoChevron. You are trapped and you don’t even know it. And if anyone invokes State’s Rights, he or she is excused from further explanation.

NEXT TO LAST. Years ago, the Dems enacted and Nixon approved, the so-called Block Grants from the Federal to the state governments. The entire theory behind block grants was this: some states are richer than others. We all want a better America. We are all diminished when one state - Mississippi for example - is impoverished. Especially when compared to another state like Connecticut which has one of the highest per capita incomes of the 50 states.

The Federal tax rate is the same in CT as it is in MS. So if the Federal government collects a sum certain, then no one can complain he is taxed more than any other taxpayer. And if the Government re-allots the block grant money to each state on the basis of that states GDP, then POORER states will receive more in block grants than RICHER states, thereby helping to equalize America into one grand country!

LAST. In the 1980s Toyota decided to expand its car making to the United States. Honda, Mazda and Nissan were already here and saving ‘tons” on ocean freight. Those companies had moved into rural areas - Honda at Marysville OH, Mazda at Flat Rock MI and Nissan at Smryna TN - and found the good old country boys would work hard and for less money and fewer fringes than those UAW types in Detroit.

And Glory Unto GOD, poor states like Kentucky would actually PAY big rich companies like Toyota to build a factory in their state and etc and etc. so Toyota got $300 m. back when that was a sizeable sum of money and they built a factory at Georgetown, KY.

Toyota decided to go into the pickup truck business and the states went wild! They engaged in a bidding war! Kentucky had the plant sewed up at a site near Elizabethtown but for one 200 acre farm owner. His land was essential to the 2,500 acres tract Toyota wanted. KY finally offered the man 4 X the assessed value. 2.5 X had been the standard offer. KY has a 100% fair market value assessment law. He refused. “Take me to court” he said. His argument was the state was abusing the undeniable right of eminent domain for state use, but when used to benefit a private person or company it was wrong.

The delay gave Indiana time to UP their offer and Toyota went to Princeton, Indiana to build their full size pickup truck line. Ky said the value of its offer was $350 million so it can be assumed Indian offered MORE. Indiana had already snapped up the Fuji Heavy Industries auto factory to build Subaru label cars. Alabama outbid a dozen states for a new Mercedes-Benz plant. South Carolina outbid the other states to land a BMW factory.

Why should not foreign car makers take full advantage of the 50 state system that has each state dumbing down its citizens, lowering safe working conditions, reducing workers compensation protections and under-staffing wage and hour enforcers. Why not? If Americans are that dumb, “let’s go make some money there.”

And that my friends is the 2 way reward you get for supporting STATE’S RIGHTS. Dumber and poorer. Surely it's the American national version of the Limbo! First performed in Trinidad, The dancer moves to a Caribbean rhythm, then leans backward and dances under a horizontal stick without touching it. Upon touching it or falling backwards, the dancer is "out." When you hear a foreign factory is to be sited in another state, you can be sure the taxpayers paid for it and money for public education and health care has been cut. Hey, they don’t have any organized constituency, now do they?

[edit on 7/17/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 08:05 PM
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Oh well that only leaves one thing Constitutional Convention at Don place !
BYO BBQ
Bring a plate
RSVP by umm right now .

Now do I attend the Royal Commission into the governance of Auckland or this other land mark event ?



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



Oh well that only leaves one thing Constitutional Convention at Don place! BYO BBQ Bring a plate.


I thought it might be interesting to see just what the Constitution EMPOWERS Congress to do and PROHIBITS the states from doing.

Article 1, Section 8. The Congress shall have power to


1) lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,
2) to pay the debts
3) and provide for the common defense and
4) general welfare of the United States;
5) To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
6) To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
7) To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
8) To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
9) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
10) To establish post offices and post roads;
11) 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;
12) To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
13) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
14) To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
15) To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
16) To provide and maintain a navy;
17) To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
18) To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
19) 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, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
20) To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) And
21) 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.

Article 1, Section 10. No state shall


1) enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation;
2) grant letters of marque and reprisal;
3) coin money;
4) emit bills of credit;
5) make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts;
6) pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
No state shall, without the consent of the Congress,
7) lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: 7A) and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States;
8) and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.
No state shall, without the consent of Congress,
9) lay any duty of tonnage,
10) keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace,
11) enter into any agreement or compact with another state,
12) or with a foreign power,
13) or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

How is that for granting power? And restricting power?

[edit on 7/17/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:40 AM
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Slightly off track here but I have a few questions concerning the power granted to Congress .

Does number 13 on your list provide a way for the US to join the International Criminal Court ?

Now concerning point 14 on your list .

Has the use of mercenary's in Iraq fallen under the banner of a letter of marque when the practice is defended ?

Shouldnt Congress and not the president have control over what happens to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay ?

[edit on 18-7-2008 by xpert11]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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This is a really good discussion, but Martin and I have one question we'd like to ask you guys.

We just hit the six month mark. 24 shows.

Which ONE is your favorite, so far?



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by Justin_Case
Which ONE is your favorite, so far?


This topic is drifting further then a raft at sea . I don't know if I can pin down a favourite show . So far the shows that stick out in my memory are the member interviews with DonWhite , JohnnyUtah(SP?) and Infinite . Don and Johnny balance out the US political spectrum and I hadn't from a British Republican before .



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 05:56 AM
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reply to post by donwhite
 


Thank you, donwhite, for reprising the authorities granted to our congress.

Which one of them (please be specific) grants congress the Powers -- granted to them by the consent of the Gorverned -- to assume any policy which they wish to assume?

I wondered what you meant by "R&F". I surmise that that means "republicans & federalists"?

A Federalist, in days of yore, was someone who championed a strong federal government over a loose confederacy of States. (Strange, in today's parlance, I know. But there we are.)

(By the way, I loved your recounting of the reason for modern railroad-track spacings. I first learned that about 25 years ago on James Burkes' "Connections". Still very cool viewing.)

You provided some pretty good examples of the reason that Federalism took hold at our founding.
But, Don, will you grant that there are still issues in this ever-changing world that require local sovereignty simply because they are "controversial"? Go here:
www.youtube.com...
and forward to 7:52 and listen to Mike Huckabee's answer on this topic:


"Let me tell you why Governor Schwarzenegger is right. Because if he's right, every other State's gonna copy him. And, if he's wrong, every other state's gonna recruit the jobs he's lost in California to their own States.


That, right there, is the argument for local sovereignty rather than appealing to a higher Power.

Getting roads in line? Great!

Getting the People in line...........?




[edit on 18-7-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



Does number 13 on your list provide a way for the US to join the International Criminal Court?
13)
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;


I would say NO. The ICC is a United Nations entity. Our participation in the ICC would be accomplished by treaty. That requires 67 senators to approve. A two-thirds vote. 90%+ of the 51 Dems would vote Yea, but 90% of the 49 GOP would vote Nay. There are NOT 67 Yea votes for the ICC in the US Senate. This is another example of the Red Blue Divide in America. (The Kyoto Treaty would meet the same fate in the Senate. Dems Yea, GOP Nay).

You cannot understand American politics if you cannot grasp that Regan Republicans do not like the UN. Period. Bush Junior is a Reagan Republican. Remember John Bolton? They are the ones whose followers carry the bumper sticker “Get the US out of the UN, Get the UN out of the US” These are the spiritual grand-children if not the biological, of the same types FDR had to deal with in the run-up to World War 2. Their great-grandfathers killed the League of Nations in 1918. They are our burden to carry!

OTOH, the old so-called Eastern Establishment Republicans were internationalists and support the United Nations. Of course, with the advent of Barry Goldwater - 1964 - a/k/a AuH2O - the E-E’s lost control of the GOP to the Western wing which has morphed into the Born Agains Wing.



Now concerning point 14 on your list. Has the use of mercenary's in Iraq fallen under the banner of a letter of marque when the practice is defended? Shouldn’t Congress and not the president have control over what happens to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay?
14)
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;


Of course! You must recall that John Ashcroft - testifying today before the Congress on torture - was AG. He went so far as to drape a bare breasted statue of Lady Justice in the DoJ rotunda. See Note 1. At that time the sycophant Alberto Gonzales was the WH Counsel. So you had TWO loony-tunes types advising the president what he could and could not do.

The two of them (and add VP Cheney to the mix) advised Bush43 that under the WAR powers IMPLICIT in the Commander in Chief designation, he could LITERALLY do anything he determined was necessary and proper for the SECURITY of the United States. He and he alone was empowered to make THAT decision. It was bootstrapping up from nowhere to everywhere.

This is where he came upon his own self-applied appellation “I’m The Decider.” I am telling you this man is ignorant. But See Article 2, Section 2. “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;“ This provision is plain and clear. You can sense how frightening it is for us to have a government that reads this as granting him ALL power in time of national emergency! This is why I label Ashcroft and Gonzales as loony-tunes.

In a better world we would not have mercenaries. The primary reason we do have them is the Reagan movement towards PRIVATIZING the government. See Note 2. I constantly blast it because it is merely a numbers game. The DoE - Energy Department - website says it has 18,000 employees. Later on, it remarks there are 115,000 civilians under contract to the Department. So I ask: HOW many people does the DoE PAY? But look at this. If you are an insider and can latch onto a contract, you have the next best thing to a KEY to HEAVEN! I give you Pantex.

Aside: Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Pantex, LLC (B&W Pantex) is an independent company formed solely to manage the Pantex plant. The company draws from the operational excellence and experience of Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., BWX Technologies, Honeywell and Bechtel National. www.pantex.com... I assume you know who owns Bechtel National? Yup, Halliburton!


Note 1.
John Ashcroft has the dubious distinction of being the only senator to lose an election to a DEAD man. In Missouri, his opponent was killed in a plane crash too late for the name to be replaced on the ballot. The MO governor promised to appoint the dead man’s wife to the post if they voted for him. And they did.

Note 2.
I was there at the beginning. After the Korean Armistice in 1953, it was hard to retain men in the Armed Forces. The pay was low and the hours were long. And endless repetition made jobs boring. At all our bases outside the US - called the ZI back then, Zone of Interior - local or indigenous personnel were hired to do all menial labor tasks. This went far to making our bases “welcome” to foreigners as good paying, easy work employers. In the 1950s Orient native employers would frequently beat sluggish employees with a stick! No AFL-CIO there!

For example, I lived in an Army 8 man tent (but unlike the Army the AF only assigned 5-6 men to one tent). We also had a House Boy to attend to the keeping it clean part. He was paid $8 a month in 1953-54. I was designated to be in charge of collecting and paying him. Being always the Liberal person I am, I paid him double or triple the designated amount. Plus a carton of chewing gum or cigarettes from time to time. High value items!

The military top brass soon realized that it could do much better in retaining personnel back in the ZI if they did that same thing there. So the AF (later the Army) hired locals to staff the kitchens, do the yard work and do everything but care for your individual space.

Then one thing led to another. Military police - called AP - Air Police in the AF - were a non contributors to the overall scheme of things - called mission - so we hired companies like Pinkerton’s and other private security companies to provide inside the base security.

Now, factor in that retiring GENERAL OFFICERS were wise to the potential LOW RISK but HIGH profits and they began their own companies. They went back to their comrades in arms still on active duty who happily gave them either no bid or lush contracts to furnish such services. The generals in turn gave money to congressmen - legally - who served on the Armed Services Committee and VIOLA! you have Blackwater and etc. Everybody is getting RICH except the taxpayers and they are beguiled by ever smaller numbers of government employees!! Who said "Ignorance Is Bliss?"

[edit on 7/18/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 12:14 AM
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Don there is some interesting reading in your last post . Although your argument that the Reagan revolution is responseible for the use of mercenary's in Iraq doesn't add up . You yourself said that civilians started working on US military bases long before Reagan took office . Plus it was Nixon who ended the draft after it was filibuster in Congress .
Gonzales is the man who holds the record for most " I don't recalls " answers while giving testimony.


Now for a personal perspective on the matter .The lack of state governments in New Zealand certainly doesn't equate to a lack of pride in one province . I am a Cantabrian before I am a kiwi . Its okay to fly red just as along as you are flying red and black. Patriotism(SP?) extends down on then just the nation level .

Notes to the reader . I don't support the province of Canterbury breaking away from the rest of the country . Christchurch the city I live is located in the province of Canterbury . Red and Black is of course Canterbury colours . Cantabrians have a reputation and rightfully so for being proud of the fact they are very one eyed .



posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by xpert11
 



Don there is some interesting reading in your last post . Although your argument that the Reagan revolution is responsible for the use of mercenary's in Iraq doesn't add up. You yourself said that civilians started working on US military bases long before Reagan took office.


The use of non-military personnel to perform duties on military installations began as I have related. Originally hired to do housekeeping duties the soldiers and airmen did not want to do. Provided as an incentive to stay on active duty, the armed forces were relieved of those mundane chores.

That was the beginning of the slippery slope. I lay most of the real blame on Reagan because he popularized, authenticated or legitimized the notion of turning over public functions to private enterprise.

I am of the opinion the Blackwater genre began as part of our 39 year old failed War on Drugs - Nixon 1969 - and our many “invasions” of Columbia where we wanted NO US soldiers to go. We began to use CONTRACT or hired guns to wage a vicious war in Columbia. Three were released just last week. I assume their handsoime pay continued while they were "absent" from duty.

It's been impossible to get REAL numbers from the current Administration on how many PRIVATE armed persons are in Iraq and on the US payroll. Most consistently I have heard 30,000 but sometimes I hear 120,000. I suspect both numbers are correct. But that the smaller number is actually the Armed and Deadly variety and the larger number includes doctors, lawyers, merchant chief, electricians, plumbers, road builders and so on.

A primary reason I constantly harangue against MERCENARIES is that we are paying them at least $10,000 a month. That figure was revealed 3 years ago and it might be expected to be more today. BUT, Blackwater and other ARMED person providers charge the US taxpayers $30,000 a month for each man furnished. Therein lies the source of actual corruption if not a corrupting influence.

We pay a corporal (E4) with over 4 years service, $2,047.80 a month. Additional pay includes combat area pay and if married, a family allowance, food and quarters allowance if not furnished and other incentive pay such as up to $75,000 lump sum to re-enlist. For an E4 man in Iraq, I’d add $5-600 to his base pay. A captain as company commander (O3) with over 6 years service is paid $4,763.10 base pay. Add $1,500 for fringes. The top US rank, O10, (4 stars) with over 30 years service, is paid $15,767.10 plus about $5,000 a month PLUS fringe payments. Housing allowance, food allowance, and etc. All military personnel get 30 days per year paid vacation.
www.militaryfactory.com...

The recent incident - incident is a poor word - where the HIRED mercenaries from Blackwater KILLED 17 Iraqi - mostly women and a few children - in a one-way shoot-out, brought to our attention that NO ONE knows who is in charge, who they must answer to and whether they are responsible to any authority at all. Thorny issues Herr Oberfuhrer Rumsfeld preferred to avoid and Bush43 cares not a whit about.



Gonzales is the man who holds the record for the most "I don't recalls" answers while giving testimony.


Perhaps this happened before your time but another notable man gave a similar performance before Gonzales. Former President Ronald Reagan was called to testify in the Iran Contra Hearings. He had a similar “memory” problem. He remembered everything but the tough stuff. Too many times he answered “You know I just don’t remember that” in his best down home actors form! It was an Oscar performance! It was sad to watch. Everyone knew he was lying but what could you say or do? He did what he thought was right. You may not recall this either but Bush Senior pardoned Casper Weinberg and 5 of his assistants who were on trial for LYING to investigators about their recollections of the Iran Contra fiasco. Why did Bush Sr do that? Because their testimony would have put Bush Senior RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of Iran Contra.

None of Bill Clinton’s pardons were given to save his own BUTT but Republicans are always BLIND to this. In the famous Clinton case of Marc Rich, the Clinton pardon was conditioned on his submitting to civil jurisdiction so his creditors could seek to recover the money he supposedly stole from them. Because Rich’s wife wore a “DD” size bra, they inferred she had somehow invigeled Clinton to grant the pardon.



Now for a personal perspective on the matter .The lack of state governments in New Zealand certainly doesn't equate to a lack of pride in one province. I am a Cantabrian before I am a kiwi. Its okay to fly red just as along as you are flying red and black. Patriotism extends down on then just the nation level .


You say “I am a Cantabrian before I am a kiwi” but I wonder. Why not be both at the same time? OTOH, here follows our own OATH for new citizens:


“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” en.wikipedia.org...(United_States) 139 words.


Not much wiggle room in that! OTOH, as an ACLU member over 25 years, I do believe this OATH is unconstitutional!

But compare that ALL TOO LONG oath to the one required of our president: "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." 39 words. www.law.cornell.edu...

[edit on 7/19/2008 by donwhite]



posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 06:39 PM
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C'mon guys! Give these guys some more stars for this great debate! give this thread more flags so that EVERYBODY can read this great debate!



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