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The United States Constitution

By neilb@uk ·
This is the most quoted document in the threads in TR. There's not a thread goes ten posts without a reference to the constitution or one of the Amendments.

I come from a country without a written constitution. We have a mixture of written sources, constitutional conventions, legal precedent, royal prerogatives and simple custom making up the "British Constitution". We can change our constitution with an Act of Parliament in exactly the same way that we would enact any simple law. I like that as I feel that the constitution evolves with the country and the times. It also seems to work! It's only recently being threatened - at least in its uncodified form - by the Human Rights laws and (perhaps) a European constitution.

So my Stateside chums, what's so special about The Constitution? This thread was prompted by a post suggesting that the document should be part of your school curriculum. Should it? What does it give you that I don't have? Then I'll see if I can find something that I have that you don't!

Neil :)

p.s. As I'm on a course next week, I'll have to leave you to fight it out amongst yourselves during the day...

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Examine the European Union and you have

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Think of it like this

a good idea - then you could look at the United Nations or the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. None are very nice.

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National Anthems

by Too Old For IT In reply to Thanks Sandy

There has been occasional talk of chaning the United States national anthem form "The Star Spangled Banner" (the planets most un-singable anthem) to "America the Beautiful". My wife prefers "God Bless America", tho she is a Kate Smith (and Philadelphia Flyers) fan from way back.

I am rather fond of "The Stars and Stripes Forever", tho I have the feeling that some of the lyrics might not pass muster in todays overly-PC society:

"Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_and_Stripes_Forever_%28march%29

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Sousa!!!!!

by X-MarCap In reply to National Anthems

An excellent choice! The Marine band does such a stirring rendition of this that I get ready to grab my rifle and March...

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They knew how to write back in the 19th Century

by Too Old For IT In reply to Sousa!!!!!

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.
Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with might endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

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Trying to pick a favorite Sousa march, is like ...

by deepsand In reply to Sousa!!!!!

trying to pick a favorite Beatles song.

The only good that can come of such is that of listening to them all over again!

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how do the two apply to each other?

by therealbeadweaver2002 In reply to Enumerated Powers.

you mention powers "granted by the phrase "provide . . . for the general welfare" as set forth in the Preamble" but the tenth CLEARLY states that if it ain't in there, it DON'T BELONG with teh federal soverign but with the state or personal. The preamble was just a form of introduction and reasoning BEHIND the limits of power, not a part of the powers.

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That's the doctrine of strict construction that you raise.

by deepsand In reply to how do the two apply to e ...

However, as pointed out in my post, our Founders were themselves split on this issue, with others holding to the doctrine of implied powers.

Please see the links that I provided for more detail, both historical and recent.

It is this tension between these 2 doctrines that is at the heart of most current political debate, with neither the Democrats nor the Republicans being consistent as to which camp they are in.

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Another view of usurped powers

by Too Old For IT In reply to Enumerated Powers.

Most of the usurpation came from Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, as well as Reconstruction following the Civil War.

States rights remain today merely as hollow sentiments in the Constitution. No politician would raise the issue, as neither the congress, nor the president nor does the Supreme Court have any notion of what "limited government" is.

(yeah, I had to look up "usurpation" too)

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The Commerce Clause allows for limited "wiggle room."

by deepsand In reply to Another view of usurped p ...

It was the Supreme Court that opened the flood gates when, in 1937, it allowed the Social Security Act to pass muster, under the "general welfare" argument; prior to that, Congress and the Presidents had had but limited success in that arena.

Following that, it did'nt take too long for the states to follow suit.

See

http://www.ssa.gov/history/court.html

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The commerce clause is the toe-hold

by Too Old For IT In reply to The Commerce Clause allow ...

.. for all the civil rights legislation that pounded the nails in the coffin of state, and individual, rights.

The notion is that, if you have a packet of ketchup that may have components from another state, you have to follow ALL federal laws.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_clause

(edited to add link)

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